PERFORMANCE STORY TELLING: MAGIC BULLET POINTS

Test your resume savvy. Based on the excerpts below, who gets the job interview?

  • CREATIVE DIRECTOR A: Concepted and designed album packages, including artwork for international releases.

  • CREATIVE DIRECTOR B: For Red Hot Chili Peppers’ CALIFORNICATION, as part of yearlong, multichannel campaign, created artwork for European single — sourced wolves and photographed them on Grand Avenue in downtown L.A.; reviewed wolf headshots with band frontman; secured wild-animal permit and blessing of ASPCA. Album sold 15 million units worldwide.

  • SENIOR SOFTWARE DESIGNER A: Leading multiple teams to realize benefits of Lean/Agile thinking by training and coaching them in adopting Scrum, Kanban and/or XP.

  • SENIOR SOFTWARE DESIGNER B: Team was losing productivity to entrenched interpersonal conflicts and protracted arguments. I coached the members through an exercise I created that fostered heightened mutual respect. Within months, the team had confronted and resolved their differences; as a result, productivity climbed 140%.

Trick question! In both cases, Candidate A and Candidate B are THE SAME CANDIDATE. The excerpts are “before” examples from the resumes of clients who came to us wondering why they weren’t getting any interviews and “after” examples of how they branded themselves — with performance storytelling — after we got our hands on them. If you were a human-resources rep facing 1,000 resumes or even a hiring manager narrowing down to 25, whom would you remember and thus want to call in — the candidate who concepted and created artwork for international releases or the one who sourced wolves? Quoth the hiring manager, “Get me that wolf gal!” (Not “Get me that gal who concepted and created artwork for international releases!”) Memorable performance stories — “nano” narratives sketching specific problems you faced, how you solved them and the results you achieved — “prove” to the hiring manager that you and not the other guy (whose bullet points are just generic job duties) have exactly what it takes to solve HER problems. Need to solve a resume problem? Be Candidate B.