Imagine creating a résumé that gets you an interview, and then giving an interview that makes them wonder why they brought you in in the first place.
It’s hard to imagine a bigger waste of time – yours and theirs.
Yet it happens all the time when people decide they need to misrepresent themselves as something or someone they are not in order to get the interview.
Wouldn’t you agree that each of us has our preferred “date face” that we can put on when we think our real self is inadequate, not impressive enough, or will fall short of someone else’s expectations?
Have you ever sabotaged a good job opportunity by presenting your “date face” rather than your “authentic self”?
I can recall two occasions when I did that back in the day, and I knew in my heart that they had seen through my act and that I would not get the job. And I didn’t.
My self-respect suffered because I knew I had cost myself two potentially great opportunities.
There’s a fine line between your “date face” and the concepts of “acting as if” or “fake-it-‘til-you-make-it.”
I believe the difference is one of external vs. internal intention.
The “date face” is intended to fool, to dissimulate, and to make them think you are something other than who and what you are.
If your ‘date face’ manages to wiggle you through HR’s recruiting filters, it won’t be long until something happens to cause the mask to slip and the real you becomes visible.
Think Dorothy when she saw the Great Oz behind the curtain.
And oftentimes, particularly in this employers’ market, the company will initiate steps to rectify their hiring errors.
I know whereof I speak because I’ve been that duped HR director and I rectified my errors.
The strategies of “act as if” and “fake-it-‘til-you-make-it” are also deception-based – of the most positive kind.
You fool your subconscious in order to overcome whatever fears are holding you back – the very fears that cause you to put on your “date face.”
Smart HR directors, recruiters and hiring managers know that competent potential employees have warts as well as positive attributes.
And they prefer to hire the genuine article who presents him-or herself authentically and effectively, rather than the BS artist who has lovely “date face” credentials and does a great snow job.
To present your “authentic self”:
- Use a targeted cover letter and a Professional Profile™ customized to the specific requirements of the opportunity for which you are applying.
- In both documents, lead with the strength of your relevant accomplishments and corresponding skills.
Remember: If you can’t get interviews for the jobs you want, your education and experience won’t matter.
Don Burrows is a résumé strategist and co-author of Burn Your Résumé! You Need a Professional Profile™ – winning the Inner and Outer Game of finding work or a new job. He can be reached at www.YourProfessionalProfile.com