Your resume is as useful as a nutrition label on a can of beans.
Think about it for a second. What does a resume do? It contains words and data about your past so that someone can identify what you’re made of. Your resume is a representation of your ingredients.
You are more than just your ingredients. I hope you already know that.
Here’s the thing, a can of beans is more than its ingredients too. There are the labeling and packaging, the price, your experience with beans, and most importantly, the taste. All these elements combined are why you choose to (or not) pull a can off the shelf and have them for dinner.
Yes, I’m comparing you to beans. Break all these things down, and each one impacts if someone decides to choose the Future You.
Labeling and packaging — are you presenting more than just a bunch of keywords on a resume?
Pricing — are you optimizing your rate against the market dynamics. Too inexpensive and your kind of customer might not consider you, too expensive and they’ll choose someone else.
Bean Experience — while I’m well aware that beans and legumes are a nutritious and healthy part of any diet, I can’t remember the last time I chose them intentionally. Does the “renter of your future time” have a negative predisposition to the kind of person you are? Ask many engineers what they think of salespeople, and you’ll get an inkling.
Taste — has your Future Time Renter had experience with the product of you? Did they like it and want more? Did they recognize and positively remember the Future You?
If you want people to easily identify the Future You’s potential, you need to do more than craft a stunning resume. It’s an essential element, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.
Take a page out of any product marketing playbook, and they’ll tell you the same. You’ve been crafting the “product” of you for years, don’t forget to work on making it easy for people to recognize the value. I did a little digging and found a robust Product Marketing job description if you’re curious about the depth and the variability of the role. It’s more than getting a pretty photo of the beans. That said, the image is important. Remember, Cinderella’s gown was as much to give her confidence to glide down the staircase as it was for the attendees to exclaim, “Oh, that dress! Oh, that girl!” I hate to say this, folks, packaging matters. All. Of. It.
I can hear you all cringing and saying things like, “I hate selling myself.” or “Self-promotion feels icky.” even, “I don’t like it when people try to sell themselves to me, so I’m not going to do it.”
So let me ask you this. Do you think Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an icky self-promoter?
No, I didn’t think so, me either.
Are you clear about who she was and how she might think as a member of the supreme court? Are you clear about her value and contribution?
I am. And yes, probably like you, I’m sad the Future Ruth isn’t part of this world anymore.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a brilliant product marketer of the Future Ruth. Examples?
She co-authored her first book (in Swedish) on civil procedure in Sweden in 1965.
She co-founded the Women’s Rights Law Reporter in 1970.
She co-authored the first Columbia Law School casebook on sex discrimination from 1972–1980.
The list of examples of her work goes on and on. From the moment she graduated law school in 1959, RGB started sharing her thinking.
Find comparing yourself to RGB a little intimidating? You’re reading this, aren’t you? No one gave me permission to start writing. I do it because it helps me practice explaining my particular kind of magic and does so in a way that makes it easy for you to engage. My magic + your action = Cool shit happens.
These articles I write are my attempt at delivering more than just a nutrition label to you, more than, “eat this; it’s good for you.”
Magic happens when people can recognize and remember the potential of the Future You.
You’re more everything than a can of beans. Isn’t it time to make that easy or others to recognize and remember?