There is no “I” in “team.” There shouldn’t be an “I” in your resume either.
That’s the advice of Anne-Marie Baiynd, President and CEO of TheTradingBook.com and the former CEO of a recruiting firm.
“Resumes that are focused in ‘I’ space are a really big turnoff to managers,” Baiynd told StreetID. “Managers who are serious about building good teams for their companies do not want an I-based resume. ‘I did this, I did that.’.”
Instead, Baiynd said that employers want to see words like “led,” “saved,” “created,” and “facilitated,” as in these examples:
- “Led this impact…”
- “Saved this much money…”
- “Created this much revenue…”
- “Facilitated the growth of…”
“Remember: when we write resumes — particularly as younger people — we write them as, ‘Hey, listen, here’s what I want,'” Baiynd continued. “That is the last thing a company cares about. They don’t care about what you want. They care about what they want. If you give them what they want, you’re going to get what you want. But it’s got to be focused from that element of superior and subordinate.”
Baiynd said that there’s a control element that a manger or a company wants to keep in order to choose the right person. “Someone that seems very self-involved and center of a approach (and that sort of thing) is really…they’re not going to fit into a culture that ends up making you happy because it’s a ‘we’ culture instead of an ‘I’ culture,” Baiynd explained.
“Anything that shows your willingness to step out, to go the extra mile, to find a solution where there wasn’t one,” are things to focus on, Baiynd added. “There are a lot of people who say, ‘You gotta keep it to one page…’ In all my years in recruiting, I’ve read tens of thousands of resumes, and I can promise you I have never read one from start to finish, every single word. I’m a gigantic scanner; I will look at something and say, ‘I see what they’ve done there. I see what they’ve done there.'”
Baiynd acknowledges that some people have had “amazingly prolific” careers with a lot of accomplishments. “Again, those key elements are going to be, if I had to put a gun to your head and say, ‘Give me the top three to four things you did at each job you were at,’ and then you can write at the addendum, ‘If you’re interested in more about what I did on XYZ, please see…’ And then attach an addendum that doesn’t need to be read.”
What if your accomplishments aren’t easy to quantify?
“If you have a career where you don’t have those things you can write down, you need to think about what it is that you are giving to a company,” said Baiynd. “Are you just going to search for a paycheck someplace? If you are, you’re going to have a lot tougher time finding a job versus the guy or gal who’s saying, ‘I’m ready to go put my stamp on something. I am not here to just shuffle on by.'”
But if you are there just for the paycheck, Baiynd said that you must realize that you’re competing against people who are out to make a difference. “And if you’re comfortable with that… There’s a philosophy about work. ‘I’m not selling my life to my job. My job doesn’t do that for me, so why should I do that for it?’ Nothing wrong with that. Just realize that the space you compete in might very well have people who are saying, ‘No, I do wanna do that. I am willing to put myself out there. I am willing to go the extra mile to get myself to the next phase, and you know what? I’m carving things out and I can sit back on my laurels later. I can marry later. I can have kids later.””
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