Last week, I attended a client meeting discussing the merits of candidates for a key position. At one point, the conversation turned to a current freelance contributor with whom they had developed a long relationship . The conversation went something like this:
Company Executive A: “What about bringing in Erin on this one? Her work is beautiful.”
Company Executive B: “We should think about the required progress on this project — we need to keep things moving along quickly.”
Company Executive C: “I’d like to see Erin here, but I worry about her ability to handle the schedule when the pressure heats up.”
Hmmmm. That information was certainly never mentioned before — and it certainly was not on her resume. This individual had completed multiple projects with the company quite successfully. Her work was described as “inspired” and she usually hit budget targets. However, it appeared that a portion of her “invisible” or “unwritten” resume was affecting her chances with the current opportunity.
This brings us to an interesting inflection point. We all have an alternative or unwritten resume — which effectively captures what is not included in the more formal version. (See a great discussion of the topic in this classic HBR post.) This unwritten version, might include aspects of our work life including attitude, performance under pressure and our overall ability to collaborate.
We all have a side to our career story that we may be overlooking — and its elements may have a significant impact on our future. We all need to ascertain the complete story. The sooner the better.
So what do you think might be included in your “invisible resume”?
Time to think about that.