LIFE IS NOT A RESUME

By Mohan Karulkar: I review a lot of resumes for my job, and one thing I quickly realized is that I only need a few seconds to know if someone is who I'm looking for. I'm talking like 4 or 5 seconds. I'm usually looking for some specific skills and experiences. I'm looking for keywords.

It's unfortunate, because I know how much time can go into crafting a resume. I often help friends with their's, and I understand the experience of agonizing over phrasing and content. Yet, when it comes down to it ... keywords.

Of course, you can't just send me a list of keywords.  If it isn't an actual resume,  I won't read it.  If it isn't well-organized and well-worded, I won't read it.  No matter that I won't read it anyway (keywords, remember?).  You have to put in the effort.

Sounds pretty hypocritical, right?  It's not, I promise.  Organization and content do matter.  They're  like the entry fee.  If your resume is a mess, you aren't getting in the door.  If it looks good, you're getting in.  I'm still just looking for keywords, but at least you have me looking.

Whether you realize it or not, you do this too.  You do it every day with people you meet.  How someone looks, how they sound, or even what their name is -- all constitute an entry fee.  Once they're in, you'll listen to what they have to say.  But if something isn't right about them, they could be Albert Einstein and you wouldn't hear a word they said.

When it comes to resumes, I'm dealing with very specific needs and limited resources.  It makes sense for me to have an entree fee.  When it comes to everyday life, there shouldn't be be one.  Grace -- that quality that lets us see beyond people's appearance -- was never meant to be a limited resource.   But because it is, people go unheard, and their pains go unhealed.

Let's stop treating each other like job candidates.  Let's drop the entry fee, drop the keywords, and drop the pretense of grace as a limited resource. Instead of keeping each other out, let's commit to a life that allows others in!

Are you with me?

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