You are not your resume, you are your work

There is a statement that has lingered on my mind all week, “you’re not your resume you are your work”.

I’m reminded of a conversation with Mary who has been out of university for a year and a half, after graduating from a Master’s class. She took the decision to upgrade in the hope that it would change her career outlook. Unfortunately for her, nobody at work remembers she has a Master’s degree, there has been no promotion or salary raise and she’s stuck wondering what to do. What motivated her to do this has not borne fruit. Could it be something she’s not doing right? Did she focus on getting the additional paper instead of performing in the role she was in?

Mary’s story is not unique, there are teachers who have upgraded from certificate to degree and other than photos of them in a gown, nothing really changed. Accountants and other professionals too. If they did not know how to express themselves verbally or by the work of their hands, even after graduating, the paper will not do it for them. 

Take a moment and picture someone with a very beautiful resume. They have a first class honours and a few past employers but no good recommendation from them. Thanks to online resources, they have a properly organised document but when the opportunity to put it into action and put in the hours comes up, they do not impress.

You find a resume has been left at several receptions and there has not been even one invitation for an interview. What they forget is that the employer won’t look at that, instead, they assess one’s performance. Hence, the wise saying up there.

Many people put on a facade while job hunting. They will convince anyone that they are the most qualified and suited for that position but when given a chance they will be a disappointment in all areas.

A good resume will not do the work and it will not show results without hard work. A good resume will only get noticed if one’s output is top notch, otherwise it only remains on paper. This is not to discredit a well presented resume because it is still an important part of applying for any job. What will, however, make it more attractive is for the bearer to shine at what they have been entrusted with at their place of work.

While dropping an application at the reception, many job seekers do not prepare themselves for a positive response and the huge task from there on to make an employer happy. For one who assumed they were going to some resort for holiday, it begins to stress them. The hours suddenly feel too many and expectations too high.

Working as a receptionist a few years back, an application was dropped at the desk by someone who was qualified by virtue of how their CV was presented. My boss said ‘hmmm not everything that glitters is gold’ but he still opted to give this person a chance and true to his word, a few months on, the gentleman was on his way out.