Do You Know What You Don’t Know?

I’ve gotten some questions and read some articles this week about whether it is preferable to write your own resume or have a professional write it. Since I’m in the resume writing business, my answer is perhaps biased. However, permit me to make my case.

One of the main arguments for self-writing is that you know what you’ve done better than anyone else. Of course you do. The question is … how well can you articulate it? Not every one has a gift or talent for writing. And very few people are savvy at marketing when they are the product.

My finance executives tend to be numbers-oriented rather than words-oriented. They can finesse and lovingly massage P&Ls, keep department budgets in line, monitor profit growth, and set strategic direction, but when it comes time to marketing themselves through the written word, there can be a serious disconnect.

There is also perspective. We always look at the things we’ve done through our own narrow viewpoint and that sometimes does not allow us to clearly see the value in the things we’ve accomplished and the ways we’ve contributed. Sometimes, it is easier to see the worth of our accomplishments if we have an objective person asking us questions that allow us to look at our contributions from a different vantage point.

I’m not crazy about the way my hair stylist styles my hair, but she cuts it exactly right. She has a different perspective than I do, and one I cannot begin to replicate by looking in a mirror with a pair of scissors in my hand.

My clients are senior-level executives who understand that if you don’t know how to do something, you partner with an expert who knows what you don’t know. If you are immersed in a frustrating and discouraging job search, seek the advice and help of a career coach who knows what you don’t know and who can help you see what you can’t see. The insight you gain regarding your marketability and value to a prospective company can give you a fresh approach … even if you do decide to write your own marketing documents.

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