Why You Shouldn't Live For Your Resume

There’s something I need to get off my chest and that’s how puzzled I am seeing some people making decisions based on “how it looks on their resume.” Do you do this? To me, that’s life imitating art. Or something warped like that. You may be surprised to hear me say this – as the resume expert – but come on, folks! Do you really want to relinquish that much power to your resume? What I see happening is people making career decisions – sometimes life decisions – primarily based on how it will look on their resume. Of course, there may be situations where you don’t have a big preference for the options you’re considering, and if one of them looks a lot better on your resume, then it could make sense. But this living for your resume mentality is sad. Here’s the thing: there probably is a reason you are driven to do something you think is not going to look very good on your resume. It may be you want to do something completely different, or take a sabbatical, or take a step back, or a few months off... So, do it! The feelings and intuition and passion that guide us on our paths in life are hard enough for most of us to follow anyway. You don’t need another self-imposed, made-up reason why you can’t (read: won’t). Because you know what? There are plenty of people in great careers at great companies with not-so-perfect resumes. And there are people with these so-called “perfect resumes” sitting at home being unemployed right now. It doesn’t matter! Who knows? During your sabbatical or your trip around the world, you could end up with inspiration to start your own business, meet your future spouse, or realize you want to switch careers altogether. I’m not trivializing the role of the resume here. I’ve yet to meet someone who moved from one job (or career) to the next without having to produce a resume. And it’s true hiring folks frown upon large employment gaps and stuff. So yes, it may be more challenging for you to create a strong resume next time around. However, your resume is just one way of introducing yourself to an employer. There is so much more to you and how you present yourself. My advice is to hire a resume pro for any kind of challenging background anyway. But for crying out loud... don’t put off life out of fear for the “almighty resume!” If you’ve got an interesting story to tell and you know what sets you apart, and if you can market and present yourself; “perfect resumes” be damned! Resume schmesume. Okay? Now, I want to know... are you guilty of “that won’t look good on my resume” talk? What have you NOT done out of fear it would “ruin” your resume? Tell me! And I’ll tell you whether you could revitalize that old dream or side step without fear from the resume gods. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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