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Life or Career Resume?



Hi everybody, this is Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, here’s the question!

My boss and I (who is a longtime friend) were having a conversation about a very specific subject. The subject was the best career advice for graduates. And it got down to one specific thing: Is it better to build a life resume or a career resume? What do you think?


Oh, this is an easy question for me. Life resume.

It used to be that people only cared about your business. But people care about other things. I know somebody very well who had a life thing on their resume who actually got an interview because part of their life showed up on their resume. It happens!

And so look, it’s your grand-pappy’s business that said “we don’t care about your personal life.” Because of course we do. We care about humans, we care about people. I one time looked at a dude’s resume who was applying for a sales job with my company (one of the things I said in the job description was “Must love sales”) and he said in his cover letter “I love sales. Perhaps you’ve heard of the Serengeti Desert?” And then he said “It used to be the Serengeti Forest before I took up being a lumberjack.” And I said that’s such a great letter. Terrible salesperson, but great letter.

So, you should build a life resume. I want to know what matters to you. I want to know what’s interesting to you. Because if I know you as a person that’s going to help me assess whether or not you’re a fit for the organization. Because all of us have had experiences where a person was extraordinarily technically qualified for a job but they were absolutely terrible at fitting in with the company.

So yeah, I want to know about people. Of course I do. Build a life resume do not build a job resume! But of course your job stuff has to be in there too because there’s two things: fit and function. Those are the two most important things.

Hope that was helpful! This is Mondays with Mike. Take care.

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