How many versions of your *curriculum vitae (CV) or resume is sitting in a folder on your computer? There was a time I counted at least 10. I was searching for a new job and was recreating myself over and over to show myself as the ideal person for the advertised job.
While I had experience from which to pull from and highlight, I found it a very ego-busting activity and emotionally confusing, as at any one time I’d presented myself as three or four different people. It was time to stop the schizophrenia.
I wanted to feel more empowered. I also wanted to focus on what I wanted to offer the world rather than allow the world to dictate to me who I needed to be to serve. Coming to this awareness changed my life.
With the global economy the way it is right now it would seem that you should be happy to go after what is being offered, no matter how small or even if it is not what you really want. However, it isn’t going to help you fulfill your goals to have the life you want if you do not focus.
It was no longer about presenting two concise pages of my qualifications and experience and why I was fit for the job, now I showed off how my past work had created a multi-faceted expert who had value to add to an organization. I sat down and hashed out what were the skills I most enjoyed using and the results that I’d achieved with what I had. I thought about where I wanted to be in five years, ten years and beyond and what I would want to be doing. I wanted roles that allowed me to be continuously creating and expanding and impacting the lives of others. This is really why I love entrepreneurship I get to be me.
Deleting the CV versions which did not reflect the life I wanted lifted a load. It also meant I told friends and colleagues who were job hunting on my behalf to stop sending me roles that were going to commit me to someone else’s office for hours on end. I also consciously declined to respond to job ads which required me to spend too many hours filling out online applications and yet upload your CV (rolls eyes) or projects which didn’t fit in my desired skill set.
The minute I shifted my perspective and took corresponding action, I began to attract the type of roles I was best suited for. Many still rejected me or as has become customary, not respond, but my confidence was high. This shift however, was moving me closer to my ultimate goal to be an entrepreneur. I wanted to create products and services that clients could use to change their lives and grow their business. This was my sweet spot and I didn’t have to worry about who I was being.
So how do you stop the CV schizophrenia?
Yes just get fed up with having to come up with a new way to say you want the job. Present the best version of yourself on paper that offers to a future employer who you are every single day and who you want to be five years from now.
Get some pen and paper or pull out your device of choice. Start brainstorming on the following questions:
- What problem do I enjoy solving for others no matter how many times it occurs?
- In five years what do I want to say that I do?
- What do I enjoy doing for others?
- What does my ideal work day look like?
- What past experiences fit the life I want to create now?
- What is the ultra coolest job title I want to have?
- Where do I want to work?
Keep adding questions and answer them as you go along. Sometimes it helps to create a visual map of where you are and where you want to go. Paint a picture or create a collage.
Put down on paper what skills you may need to acquire or upgrade to create this life you want. Consider the final question above. If you know you itch thinking about another desk job then stop pretending that is what you want. Be honest about what you see in your mind as the ideal work space for you. Maybe it is 100 feet in the sky on the sides of buildings. Stop applying for office jobs then.
Rewrite your CV.
Start with your ultra cool new job title. Put it out there what you are looking for. Doesn’t even matter if that job currently doesn’t exist. 15 years ago there was no such thing as a social media manager.
Write your CV given preference to the skills that fit your focus. Show how your experience has prepared you for this role in an active voice rather than something you did 20 years ago.
Be sure to get two people who can vouch for you and your new focus. Be conscious of where you want to go. Push through the rejections and be patient. You deserve to get the job which fits your dream. I believe in you.
CV Schizophrenia is part of a new series on How to Quit Before Your Job Quits You.
*CV or curriculum vitae is a written overview of a person’s experience and other qualifications. In some countries, a CV is typically the first item that a potential employer encounters regarding the job seeker and is typically used to screen applicants, often followed by an interview. (Wikipedia) Resumes which some people use interchangeably are usually one page and show more specifically your fit for the job you are applying for.