THE INSIDE RESUME™
Bruce I. Doyle, III, Ph.D.
The current economic climate has created a significant increase in the number of unemployed workers who are diligently preparing, updating, or submitting their resume hoping that lady luck will soon shine on them with a new career opportunity. You may be one of them. If that’s the case, pay close attention to a new concept that I am about to share with you. It’s something I call the Inside Resume. Understanding your Inside Resume will help you make major advances in your job search.
The traditional resume – the paper one – is a vital link between the job seeker and the potential new employer. Many books have been written and a great number of workshops conducted that cover various techniques for preparing an effective resume. The resume is considered to be the job seeker’s marketing brochure for opening the door to an interview. The focus of a good resume is to provide sufficient factual information - highlighting important skills and career accomplishments - that will entice the hiring manager to want to know more about you.
Having been a job seeker, career counselor, and a hiring manager, I fully support the concept that a well written and properly presented resume is a vital link to securing an interview. In addition to a solid resume, there are sound techniques to be learned for obtaining effective networking, interviewing, and negotiating skills. Once these skills are mastered, you should be on your way to conducting a successful job search.
Another critical element that needs to be addressed along with the above job search elements is the Inside Resume. Your written resume is a documented summary of the experiences in your external world and the Inside Resume is a summary of what’s happening in your internal world. The Inside Resume is a summary of your beliefs which define your likes, dislikes, desires, judgments, motives, values, etc.
It’s the Inside Resume that creates your energetic state - how you are Being. Your state of Being then, drives what you Do (or more importantly, what you don’t Do) and what you Do (or don’t Do) will determine what you Have (or don’t Have) in your life. This is an important relationship to remember: Be – Do – Have. It’s another version of the old quote, “If you always do, what you’ve always done, you’ll always get, what you’ve always gotten.”
The questions I raise are: “What motivates people to do what they do?” “What keeps them from doing what they know they need to do, but don’t?” It’s what’s on their Inside Resume - what they believe.
To illustrate, consider someone (Jack) who was recently laid off. Jack’s Inside Resume contains the dominant belief, “I got shafted!” With this underlying belief dominating Jack’s thinking, how might it be affecting who Jack is Being? Would it be safe to say that he is probably emotional; upset, angry, resentful, feeling victimized? If Jack were Being that way, what would he be Doing? You are correct. He would be complaining loudly about the company, criticizing his boss, and soliciting pity from his peers. Does this behavior increase Jack’s productive? Certainly not.
If Jack were Doing those things, what experience would he be Having? Would he be at peace? Feeling joyful? Having confidence? Taking action to move forward? I doubt it. Jack would likely be focused on trying to figure out “Why me? Why was I picked? I gave that company 120 percent. George never pulled his weight. Why is he still there? Life isn’t fair.”
Can you see the link between Be – Do – Have? If Jack doesn’t change the way he is Being, it’s unlikely that he will be Doing the things that he needs to do to move toward Having a new job.
Jack’s initial response to being laid off is quite natural. His Being is dominated by feelings of betrayal. To change the way he is Being, Jack must quickly focus on releasing his strong emotions in a productive manner. He must also change the belief about his situation to seeing the opportunity he has for finding an even better job. Focusing on appreciating all the positive things that he already has in his life will also assist him in changing how he is Being.
Jeff, Jack’s friend, was laid off the same day. His Inside Resume contains the belief, “It didn’t have anything to do with me.” What state of Being did Jeff’s belief create? You got the picture; Jeff understood the economic situation faced by the company and realized that his boss had to make a difficult decision about which positions to eliminate. Jeff didn’t believe it was personal. His state of Being generated a totally different scenario of Doing. Jeff remained positive, maintained his self-confidence, and began taking action toward finding a new position. This Doing, moved Jeff forward closer to Having what he wanted – a new career position.
Eventually, Jack will come to terms with his situation and begin taking action toward finding a new position. Because of the way he was Being, he lost valuable time getting to the point of Doing what he needed to do to begin his job search. Jack also created “self-generated” misery along the way.
Can you see the difference between what was on Jack’s Inside Resume and what was on Jeff’s? What they experienced came from what they believed about the situation they were in - same situation - two totally different experiences.
With this simple example I hope you can clearly see that your Inside Resume - your beliefs - determine how you are Being. How you are Being will drive what you Do (or don’t Do), and what you Do (or don’t Do) will determine the success that you Have (or don’t Have), which are powerful concepts.
Look at the concept in reverse. If you are not Having the success that you want, ask yourself the question, “What am I not Doing?” In most cases, I’ll bet that you already know what you are not Doing. The real question then becomes, “What’s keeping you from Doing what you know you should be Doing?” The answer is the way you are Being. As we just saw from the example above, the way you are Being comes from something you believe. Are there revisions that need to be made to your Inside Resume? Is there something you believe, that needs to be challenged? Interesting parallel: Beliefs create Being is a good way to remember it.
From my experience as a job seeker and a career counselor, I would like to address, with you, the situation where I find that most job seekers need assistance. The biggest challenge for most job seekers is keeping up the momentum and maintaining a positive frame of mind as the search extends from days to weeks to months. The initial shot of optimism begins to wane quickly when one doesn’t see visible results for his/her efforts. They become stuck – totally immobilized – no Doing.
Believe it or not, this period of time can provide the “gift” of helping you make revisions to your Inside Resume that are life altering. Being laid off can be a blessing. Can you imagine what your life would be like if you no longer experienced worry, fear, and doubt? Have you ever wondered what causes worry, fear, and doubt? If you are currently unemployed, are you experiencing worry, fear, and doubt? Excellent! You are in the perfect place. I know, you think I am crazy. You’re thinking, “Why would anyone benefit from being worried, fearful or in doubt.”
It’s no different than when you take your car to your mechanic to fix a problem you’ve discovered. If the symptoms do not occur at the garage, it’s unlikely that your mechanic will be able diagnose the cause.
If you are frequently finding yourself in fear, you can turn to your Inside Resume and try to determine what you believe about your situation that is creating the fear. When you find the “core” limiting belief that is creating it, you have the opportunity to change it. Once changed, that cause of the unwanted emotion is gone - forever. Remember what we have already concluded: Beliefs create the Experience you are Having. So when you change your Belief – you change your Experience. We’ll explore in Part II how your Inside Resume impacts your outer resume but first let’s tackle most people’s major concern: FEAR.
Several years ago, I had a former military client who was seeking a second career in the traditional business world. After his initial counseling session, he usually had excuses for not completing his weekly assignment. He frequently cancelled his appointment - at the last minute. When he finally did come into the office, I asked him, “Do you hide under the covers in the morning?” He looked at me in amazement and said, “How did you know?” My reply was, “I’ve been there.” In that moment, a sense of trust was established and he openly began discussing his fear.
Being involved in a prolonged job search may create the occasional thought of hiding under the covers, arising with your stomach tied in knots with anxiety and fear.
Here is a technique I’d like you to try the next time you are feeling an uncomfortable emotion. Grab a tablet and on the top of the first page write down the emotional Experience you are Having. It will most likely be “fear”, “anxiety”, “panic”, “loneliness”, or “despair”. Now write down the answer to the following question: “What belief might I hold that could create [what you wrote down as your undesirable experience]?”
Then write down the answer to: “What other belief might I hold that could create [what you wrote down as your undesirable experience]?”
Continue answering the question, “What other belief might I hold that could create [what you wrote down as your undesirable experience]?” until you have a realization – and you will feel it – that you have uncovered the “core” belief that is creating the undesired experience.
In almost all cases, the “core” belief will be something you believe about yourself or something you believe about your external world that is limiting.
Here are some “core” beliefs from actual exercises: “I’m powerless to change my circumstances.” “I can’t do anything, no matter how hard I try.” “Life will always disappoint me.” “I can’t create what I want.” “Life’s not fair.” Do you see how these limiting beliefs could create fear?
Let’s look at “I’m powerless to change my circumstances.” This belief might have been created during childhood because of a specific incident. Unfortunately even in adulthood it has been turned into a generalized truth. Other beliefs: “I can’t do anything, no matter how hard I try.” “Life will always disappoint me.” “I can’t create what I want.” “Life’s not fair.” All seem to be similar - early childhood decisions (beliefs) that have been generalized to apply to ALL situations.
If you were observing someone who expressed these beliefs, what would you say to them? My first question would be, “Were you aware that you held that belief?” They usually say “no” but immediately begin relating their story about when they created the belief. With a little thought, they realize that the belief they created, many years ago, doesn’t apply to every situation and they can choose to change it. Choose is the key word. Beliefs are changed by choice. Just choose a new one. “I am powerful.” “I can create what I want.”
If you find limiting beliefs on your Inside Resume similar to those mentioned above, apply the same analysis. Does the belief apply to ALL situations? Is there a different point of view that I can choose? When you arrive at a new belief, add it to your Inside Resume. It will provide you with more fulfilling experiences.
This is a very powerful exercise. Once the limiting belief is changed, it eliminates a major source of worry, fear, and doubt. Quite often we feel that we are dealing with worry or fear but what really is causing the emotional upset is doubt. Doubt arises when you believe that there is something in your life that you can’t handle or there is some outcome that you can’t control.
There may be additional sources still present on your Inside Resume so be courageous and apply this technique each time an unwanted emotion arises. Before long, nothing will disturb your peace of mind.
By now, I trust that you understand that you have complete control over how you handle anything in your life. What you believe will determine how you experience anything that shows up. We all have control over what we choose to believe. So remember, if you are having an experience that you prefer not to have, review your Inside Resume. It might be time for another revision.
As you move forward with your job search, Your Inside Resume needs to contain some of the following beliefs: “I have unique knowledge and skills that are in demand.” “I am proud of my accomplishments.” “I have the courage to move through fear and doubt.” “The perfect job is out there for me.” “Look out world, here I come.”
As you revise the beliefs on your Inside Resume you will notice that you will Be different and this will cause you to Do more of the things required to Have what you want. It’s a powerful formula. Be – Do – Have. Use your Inside Resume to make it work for you.
In Part II of The Inside Resume, we will discover how The Inside Resume contributes to actually creating your outside resume.