The Reverse Résumé & Interview

Take yourself back to the first job interview you ever had. You wanted them to know how great you were right? You wanted to tell them about all your successes? Your resume was full of adjectives like created, lead, and managed.

If that is you, you’re like everyone else. Which is exactly why you’ll struggle to differentiate yourself. And as business gurus know, differentiation is the key to success.

If you can’t tell me 10 times in your professional life you’ve really made a mistake, you’re not experienced in your profession, period. Ericsson would say you need 10,000 hours to be an expert, I say you need 1 screw up per 1,000 hours along with it!

So let’s differentiate.

Begin an interview with your biggest mistakes. It will possibly be a shock to your prospective employer but what an awesome (see grab attention) way to start. Eventually you’ll get the questions you really want from them. Like how did you overcome? When will this help us? What did you learn? This conversation leads to engagement, and engagement leads to great opportunities.

With social media and the internet some say the resume is now dead. What about a new age of “reverse” resumes. Who’s with me? Still a little gun shy? Dweck’s research on fixed vs growth mindsets indicates those that seek challenge and stretch their abilities have longer term success and are more resilient. Developing the skills and personality to cope with failure and overcome are invaluable.

So here’s my reverse resume draft.

  • Thought I knew everything when I first graduated and came off the tour because I was an “educated athlete”.
  • Didn’t listen enough and talked too much because of the above and missed some great opportunities.
  • Thought because I’d had success with one athlete/team this whole high performance coaching gig was easy.
  • Thought I was all the evidence anyone needed to look at for the success of anything I was involved in.
  • Didn’t know how to say “I don’t know”.
  • Forgot having a great relationship with an athlete was the most important role of the coach.
  • Put short term success in front of long term success.
  • Blamed athletes when they didn’t implement my coaching.
  • Thought sports science and data provided results.
  • Thought I was right.

Your turn…

David Hodge is career coach that has enjoyed the journey leading to his mistakes. Follow him on twitter @CoachDavidHodge

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