Get Rid of the Resume - It's About the Whole Person


This article is many years in the making. I recall when I first bought my last name domain over 15 years ago. At the time I was a novice in web design and had this crazy idea to reflect a “super resume” of my work beyond the simple white page with bullets and fancy formatting that was the norm of the time. In the beginning, my online “home” was Thibeaux.net (my little brother bought Thibeaux.com….funny I know). I started out placing my resume online and then from there I began to add web pages that gave more robust explanations of my work. Additionally I had a new born baby and wanted to showcase my life as a proud mom. So I shared everything.
In 2002, I went against conventional wisdom of “life sharing” at the time
Job Recruiters would tell me then to take off all of the personal stuff. To quote one recruiter at the time, “new opportunities don’t need to know that stuff”. Resumes typically start for professionals after college. In my opinion, you miss the heartbeat of the person. Heart is built from day one, not after college. Here’s a brief bullet of that heartbeat foundation for me:
  • I was an elite-level gymnast aiming for the ’92 Olympics – that work started at 2 yrs old – I wanted to be the best
  • I had the pleasure of representing national and international brands in print and tv ad campaigns for Girl Scouts of America and United Way by the time I was 7 years old
  • I had been interviewed and my story broadcast to millions before I was five years old
  • A career-ending injury stopped my gymnastics journey in 1990 – life shifted
  • I poured my new time into academic excellence graduating in the top 4% of my high school class of more than 500 students
  • I turned down many scholarship offers to accept my academic scholarship opportunity at Texas A&M University at College Station
  • I became a student activist committed to improving students of color relations and outcomes for all students at Texas A&M
  • Being an activist came at a price – death threats, conflict connected to my position on student equality, high stress
  • In 1993, two days after I returned home for Christmas break in my Sophomore year my father at 44 years old unexpectedly died of a massive heart attack – we buried him on Christmas Eve…that’s the moment at 19 years old ‘I aged’
  • I returned to A&M and made the Dean’s list Spring ’94
  • In my Senior year at A&M I interviewed for as many positions as I could fit into my schedule. I became excellent at telling my story – the heartbeat of who I was
  • I had 6 job offers to choose from and decided to begin my working career with Allstate Insurance Company…
Why do I bring this up? Definitely not to regurgitate my early years bio in this article but to make a point – we are more than bullets on a resume that only start at one point in time. We are the whole person that are looking for a job. The interview/vetting process endeavors to reveal the whole person. Somehow the job seeker has been conditioned to show only the end result of their foundation.
 
I guarantee you the reason I’ll stay up as late as necessary – missing days of sleep to make sure a project gets completed with high quality is not because of bullets on a resume after college. It’s because at this stage in my life I’ve been pursuing excellence – to be the best for 40 years – and I have results. It is because at 19 years old I buried my father and still managed to produce months following that tragic event by making the Dean’s List – that’s someone who knows how to pull it together. The reason you will hire me is not for the tasks I did once I was an adult – it will be for the passion for excellence; my ability to lead; my desire to achieve and influence others around me to do the same – that’s not in bullets – the conventional wisdom of a resume is severely flawed.
Companies interested in making real progress and profits should hire the whole person not bullets that showcase only 20%-40% of their lives
How silly does that sound? Companies ask for a resume that only shows less than half of who you are; or how you came to be. It is very silly. Job seekers give a resume which is only a slice of the pie, and companies try to scour the internet to find the other parts.
The most successful people know that their job is their life and their life is their job
Let me explain because I’m not advocating for people to be workaholics. I am advocating for people to understand that their entire life has a connection to where they are and where they are going. That means that if you have PUBLIC social media accounts – they are connected to the whole person of who you are. If you’re interviewing for a new gig or if someone is evaluating if they want to work with you – your Public Marketing (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) becomes your new resume – whether you meant for it to be or not.
 
Reality is employers and potential business partners want to know the whole person – so the job seeker better act like one! My advice, be consistent, intentional, and private when you need to be.
Life is circuitous – be prepared for the other side of the circle
Nothing happens in silos, your actions, words, reactions, etc. There is no such thing as the business you and the personal you. When an employer looks at you – they see one person – the whole person. Time to understand your heartbeat foundation of who you are. Time to start organizing your life as such – to be prepared for that next opportunity.
--drJ

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