A Resume Isn’t Enough
Updated: Dec 2, 2021
by April Olson Mata
Show your work to become an asset at any company.
It’s interview day for that big promotion you have been working towards. You are feeling nervous. You probably have been practicing interview questions in the shower and in your car to and from work. You updated your resume with everything you have accomplished in your career.
After the interview, you rehearse each question thinking about what you could have done differently.
Show Vs. Tell
I have good news for you, it doesn’t matter. Wait, what? It doesn’t matter because you have been interviewing every day for the position and have already been recognized as a front runner for the position.
Think of your resume as the tip of the iceberg and the part that leadership cares about on interview days is everything below the water.
Start The Work Today
In my career, I had the opportunity of sitting in on hundreds of interviews and promoting many and I can’t think of a time when I hired a person just based on their resume or the interview. The decision was weighted heavily on the consistency of the employee’s attitude each day, what type of relationships they had with others, and the quality of their work.
The advice I always give to people seeking other opportunities is to start to do the work today.
Show that you are capable instead of relying on the interview day to try to convince leadership that theoretically you can do it.
How do I do that?
First, consistently fulfill your core job responsibilities with excellence and a good attitude. That is your entry ticket and gets you to the starting line.
Second, think about where you could deliver more that would help your leader, the team, or the company. Leaders can be stretched thin, limited on time, and have a lot of competing priorities.
Find ways to identify inefficiencies, present a solution and then be ready to help implement.
You are a lot closer to the end product or customer, do you see a way to save money or provide better service? Who knows, that one little idea could turn into a best practice and the entire company could adopt it.
Seek out committees or extra projects you can join where you can practice or showcase your abilities. These opportunities could give you a sandbox to practice skills you don’t have the opportunity to do in your normal job, but they would be beneficial for the next position.
You will also have an opportunity to get to know others in your company on a more personal level and they also will get to know you. I remember meeting a part-time entry-level team member at a volunteer event. I was able to hear her story and was really impressed with the person she was. I kept my eye on her performance, growth, and career trajectory putting in a good word years later when she applied for a big promotion.
The key to taking on additional responsibilities and volunteering is that you follow through on your commitment.
If you don’t follow through and don’t deliver in the way you said you would then it does the exact opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish and will put doubt in the minds of your leaders.
Talk It Through
Lastly, have you let anyone know that you are seeking growth? Talk to your supervisor about your ambitions. Ask if they will help you make a plan on how to achieve this goal. Be open to feedback in areas that need more practice or growth, it can be hard to hear, but honest advice is a true gift for your growth.
When it comes to the day of the interview all of the efforts of doing your core job with excellence and a great attitude combined with taking on extra commitments and rocking them comes in handy because you will be able to answer the interview questions with real examples. A pitfall of interviewing is answering questions using vague theoretical examples or canned interview answers. This leaves the interviewer guessing if you can really do what you're talking about. Answering with real-life examples shows the interviewer all that you are capable of and helps them piece together how those skills will transfer to the new position.
You are a talented ambitious person and much more than just a piece of paper!
Through your actions and attitude every day, you will show leadership that you are the easy choice for the promotion long before they sit down at the interview and review your resume.
Meet the Author
April Olson Mata is a Conscious Business Mentor for women. After spending 15 years in the corporate world as the Vice President of Operations she launched her own consulting business helping women transition and thrive in their own businesses that are aligned with their souls.
Her superpower is to help women become unstuck through observing their thoughts, emotions, and energetic body.
She uses tools such as HeartMath for heart and brain coherence so that the women start to rewire their neurons and recondition their bodies for their big life transitions so that they have a new level of clarity and resilience. Her passion is to combine business, science, and finance with intuition, manifesting and help from the divine.
Homebase is downtown Fargo where she resides with her husband Quike, two daughters Emilia (6), Sofia (3), and a Goldendoodle Luna. When she is not working or traveling she is enjoying tacos, camping, coffee, and all things outdoors.