Larger the Stature, Briefer the Profile

Should the profile become shorter as one becomes more successful?

As a person becomes more prominent and well known in their industry or sector, less is more. In fact, the more prominent one becomes the lower the need for a resume or profile. It's like saying: "And here is someone who needs no introduction ..., President Obama". 

I have a had a few clients who broke the ground in their industries and whose achievements and contributions were so well known, that anything more than a summary of their career seemed superfluous. However, on further thought, what would interest readers was how they overcame the challenges along the way to achieving prominence. For example, if someone is well known for having turned around the performance of an ailing business how the heck did they convince smart investors to put their money into the business. 

Or if someone was known for his role in campaigning for Indigenous land rights and for his role in a landmark decision of the High Court of Australia which overturned the legal doctrine of terra nullius ("land belonging to nothing, no one") which characterised Australian law with regards to land and title, the person can share how the heck did this a ten year remarkable saga unfold? 

But it also depends on the ring into which you are throwing your hat. If you are looking to move into a different industry or sector or geographic location where you might not be all that well known, more information might be needed about your background and achievements. 

Another reason for perhaps including more information might be to clarify misconceptions. For example, if someone worked as a senior executive in a company whose CEO ended up in prison for providing false information to the market or for a company that went belly up, they can easily become painted with the same brush. They therefore might want to clarify their role and responsibilities. 

Here is a good example of such a clarification, In the case of a military disaster found to have been caused by a decision by the Major General commanding the Division: "As the Battalion Commander, I withdrew the four companies being placed at most risk which avoided the casualties which would have been inevitable had they proceeded."

Brief Profile
Tom Hannemann is Principal, Advance Yourself Career Services based in Brisbane, Australia.To know more about him, visit his website


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