paperSo I am about to have three different interviews today. Each one is for something somewhat different. It is that little piece of paper, my resume, that has got me to this point; which is applicable to any of the three positions.

However what I am realizing now is that to really achieve a consideration for any of these jobs, I have to show that I am more than what is on that piece of paper; I have to show that I am more than my current skill-set.

 
This begs the question:

“But what do interviewers want?”

“They know what I have done and they know that as an intern I could only do as much as the position would allow. Why can’t they just understand that, and see that my work speaks for itself?”

Well, there is indeed a reason for that. I think as interviewees, we often forget that the people we are interviewing with are much more insightful than we anticipate. From our resume they can unfold who we are as professionals in a very short time span. They can tell if our past work was tangible, or if it merely adds to the facade of our work history. They know that we are stressed; that we are in panic-mode and hyper-sensitive to our situation and our surroundings. They essentially are asking you to prove that you are more than a piece of paper.

In short, they know you and can read you like a book.

Sure you can throw yourself into denial and deceive yourself into thinking that they are naive and unable to interpret who you are, but just consider that they are where they are for a reason; experience.

So what to do…

Panic? Maybe; if that is how you achieve great work. But what it ultimately rests on is demonstrating that you are not the epitome of every resume ever created. Why do you think we create resumes? To repeat them to an interviewer? I really do not even like the idea that resumes are meant to be unpacked in an interview. They can usually infer what you mean by administrative tasks, you do not need to explain that. I think the point of resumes are to set a standard; a base level of assumptions about yourself.

Essentially resumes should be the bait.

So where is the hook?

The hook is going to be what surprises the interviewer. The things that you do outside of your job that make you a good employee. The things that make your resume tangible bait for whatever job you are applying for. Think of your resume as the book cover to the narrative that is you. Think of your resume as the scarf in a magic trick; that hides the real action that makes the audience applaud.

Ok still a little lost? Here is what I am going to do…

On my resume I have done website development, press releases, strategic planning, and other various communication items. That is boring.  In the interview, I am going to discuss how my website development has prompted me to start my own website using WordPress and various plug-ins. I am going to explain how I thought about starting my own business that focuses on web-presence and how I already have created a mock strategic plan for it. I am going to explain how on my personal time I follow 70-something blogs and listen to conversations and am able to extract what is important in certain communities from those conversations. I am going to discuss how even though I don’t read the newspaper, I can tell what items are relevant via twitter hash-tags. I am going to do more than unpack my past; I am going to explain my future.

Will it work? I don’t really know. I guess I can let you know in a few weeks. However I know that by going beyond my resume that the interviewers will not remember me for what paper format I used for my resume, but that they remember me for the person I have shown them in the interview.

I figure that is my best bet, so wish me luck.

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