What can make a good #resume great?

One of the final chapters I was reading from the “Beautiful Teams” book had an awesome insight about what would make a good resume great.

Typically resumes contain stories of the individual’s great accomplishments. Highlighted are all the great projects and teams that the individual worked on. It almost seems too perfect. Do people like this really exist? Very rarely does the individual present the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. Usually these stories need to be extricated from the interviewees by a series of behavioral questions.

Yet what people are most interested in are how the individual will function in a team when issues are encountered. Team harmony is much easier when things are going swimmingly. It usually is during times of stress when some negative behaviors exhibit themselves.

Ken Dryden commented in his book “The Game”, that losing doesn’t build character – rather losing displays character.

Although some may read the resume and think negatively about the issues this person had, I would welcome the resume and feel that resume better represents the person and gave me more insight into how the individual would function on a team.

When I was interviewing co-op students for work experience terms, I had a soft spot for the students that had some blemishes on their transcript. I always wondered if the straight A students had encountered adversity. If they didn’t, how would they react when they encountered adversity for the first time? Blemishes on the transcript allowed me to ask about the situation and challenges they had faced and how they responded. I believe I learned more about them discussing these “blemishes” than I did with the standard behavioral questions. It was a real world scenario that showed their strength of character.

Although the desire to put the best foot forward may prevent these blemishes from making it to resumes consistently, it is something to consider next time you are composing a resume. What better way set yourself apart from the other applicants by honestly reporting the challenges you have faced and how you have thrived and succeeded in the face of the challenges?

Author: Terry Bunio

Terry Bunio is passionate about his work as the Manager of the Project Management Office at the University of Manitoba. Terry oversees the governance on Information Technology projects to make sure the most important projects are being worked on in a consistent and effective way. Terry also provides leadership on the customized Project Methodology that is followed. The Project Methodology is a equal mix of Prince2, Agile, Traditional, and Business Value. Terry strives to bring Brutal Visibility, Eliminating Information islands, Right Sizing Documentation, Promoting Collaboration and Role-Based Non-Consensus, and short Feedback Loops to Minimize Inventory to the Agile Project Management Office. As a fan of pragmatic Agile, Terry always tries to determine if we can deliver value as soon as possible through iterations. As a practical Project Manager, Terry is known to challenge assumptions and strive to strike the balance between the theoretical and real world approaches for both Traditional and Agile approaches. Terry is a fan of AWE (Agile With Estimates), the Green Bay Packers, Winnipeg Jets, and asking why?

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