Is it the story or the way the story is told?

Is it the story or the way the story is told?

I’ve actually kept the list below for about 30 years. It’s a piece of a chronological resume, isn’t it?

I’ve seem this list attached to motivational email chains and I’ve seen it, referenced in biographies as well as other places.  That said, I think it offers a healthy perspective on writing and building a resume.

  • 1831 – Lost his job
  • 1832 – Defeated in run for Illinois State Legislature
  • 1833 – Failed in business
  • 1834 – Elected to Illinois State Legislature
  • 1835 – Girlfriend died
  • 1836 – Had nervous breakdown
  • 1838 – Defeated in run for Illinois House Speaker
  • 1843 – Defeated in run for nomination for U.S. Congress
  • 1846 – Elected to Congress
  • 1848 – Lost re-nomination
  • 1849 – Rejected for land officer position
  • 1854 – Defeated in run for U.S. Senate
  • 1856 – Defeated in run for nomination for Vice President
  • 1858 – Again defeated in run for U.S. Senate

Ok, now how do we create a personal branding plan for this individual for their next career move.

Well, to begin with, there are successes listed in the bullets above, so they need ot be highlighted.  Additionally, within the highlighted failures, there are successes that can be written about.  This gentleman built a good enough case from the experiences of his life to be elected President of the United States in 1860. 

Have you done the same in building your resume?

You can not alter the facts.  You can not change history. However you can tell of your accomplishments even in defeat. I believe the cliche is “experience is what you get when you fail.”  It’s important to remember, there is no one with a work history that has no blemish. No one has ever won every sale or contract, written flawless code that required no updating or entered every accounting journal entry with zero mistakes.  What’s important is that we deliver an honest history of ourselves with a message that through our skill sets and learnings, we are prepared to do our next job efficiently and better. 

Abe Lincoln did it, and so can you.

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