The 1 Thing Holding You Back (And 3 Real-Life Examples)

I give this advice with every resume I review. I also give this advice in conversations about career development. I say it so often, I decided to write a post about it so I can send it to those who need to understand this concept. 

It may feel a bit harsh. If so, I apologize. But it's a lesson you must learn if you want to write a good resume, perform well in an interview, get promoted, get a raise, and generally advance in your career...

Self-Awareness is Power

One of the reasons I believe so much in the resume is not because it's necessary for 99% of jobs out there. It's because the process of writing a resume requires you to be self-aware. In order to craft a resume, you must know what value you bring to a company, what differentiates you from others, but most importantly, you must know what makes you tick. 

In order to be able to articulate why you're the most qualified or the best suited for a role, you must know what makes you uniquely you. That, my friends, is what moves hiring managers and what propels careers...

Nice Always Wins

When it comes to your career, plays well with others is about as important of a competency as you can possess. It's not just because I'm a Midwesterner. I've worked with people from all across the country and in various contexts, and the ability to work well with others and just generally be pleasant is vastly underrated. 

If you do so happen to be a nice person, that can be a tricky thing to articulate to a hiring manager in the context of a resume or a job interview or in the context of learning to tell your own story. There is one key way to demonstrate that you can be trusted to play nicely in the sandbox...

Control, Influence, and Letting Go

I was invited to participate in a leadership panel last week, answering the question "What advice would you give to someone wanting to be an effective leader?" You can watch the video below. 

I passed along advice I was given specific to leading during times of change. The advice, of course, applies much more broadly than leadership and change management. It was this:

  • Understand what is in your control 
  • Understand what is in your realm of influence 
  • Understand what is out of your control, and what you can't influence 

The Job-Specific Resume, and why I love movie theaters

Typically, we dust off and update our resume when we are ready to go after a new job. Most often, in my experience, is that people simply update their most recent job with duties and achievements (remember, your resume should be a highlight reel, not a trophy case) and glance at the copy to be sure there aren't typos.

I'm here to tell you that's not nearly enough...