This morning I was researching a company and reading about the management team. Here are some (edited, obviously!) excerpts from their bios:
Person X brings more than 12 years experience in the [such-and-such] sectors to ♦♦♦♦♦. He spent more than [XX] years at [big company], where he developed [blah, blah, blah] from concept to delivery and created patents which have been implemented in more than 1 billion [widgets] worldwide.
Person Y is responsible for managing the development team to build a robust backend that will [blah blah blah]. Prior to coming on board, [Person Y] was co-founder and CTO of [blah, blah blah]… successfully sold to technology giant [big company]. Person Y also holds a PhD in theoretical physics from [prestigious university]…
I almost started laughing.
I mean, I’m sure these bios have to be true — right? — or at least fairly true! But something about the combination of giant numbers, worldwide reach, PhDs, and influential companies mentioned made me chuckle. It reminds me too much of Agent M’s post about believing in your own b.s.
Do we have to fill our resumés and bios with impressive degrees, well-known corporations, etc., to be successful? I don’t believe we do. I treat writing a bio or a resumé like marketing or branding work:
- Think about yourself — what makes you unique and what are your strengths?
- Think about your goals — what do YOU want to get out of this?
- Think about your audience (your customer, or the hiring manager for a position you want) — what are they looking for?
- Focus your attention where these thing intersect.
Should you push the truth? I wouldn’t; here’s why: I want to work for or with people who value me for my unique experience and way of thinking. But that’s me. Your situation may be different!
(Note: After reading the bios above, here’s what I thought: “These guys must be looking for investors or for a larger company to buy this one… because those are the kind of people who probably care about this stuff.”)
What about you?
How do you approach talking about yourself? (I’m personally horrible at it!) How do you react when you see impressive bios? Do they intimidate you? Make you giggle? Both? Do tell!