Career Calling

September 18, 2013

We Say. We Do.

I interview clients to obtain information needed to write a resume.  Many of them, as many as a third, talk about their work as “We”: “We follow a Six Sigma Methodology for project management.”  “We measure sales success based on new accounts.”  I’ll often stop clients who do this and remind them that employers do not hire “we.”  They hire you.  Whether you are writing a resume or interviewing for a job, it’s important to let the interviewer know what you can do.

When you use collective or team-based language, the employer has no way to understand what you did.  Some people are uncomfortable using the first person, but it is necessary if you want to give the employer a clear picture of what you can do, what value you will bring to the company.  It is equally important to use language that anyone in the industry will understand.  When a client uses something that sounds like company jargon, I’ll ask: Will anyone working in your industry understand that term?  If not, it’s time to do a little translation.

Keep the focus on you and the value you will bring to the employer.  Practice saying sentences that start with “I.”  The employer needs to know who you are and what your best selling points are.  Don’t exaggerate your skills and achievements.  But it is equally important that you don’t undersell what you have to offer.  Know why you are good at what you do and be able to tell that story to potential employers.

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