A few months ago, I received a call from a potential client who told me he had almost decided not to call me because he did not like my website. My immediate response, as a lifelong perfectionist, was to think, “I need to fix this!” I asked him to tell me more about what he didn’t like. I looked at some other web sites he said he did like. I even spoke to my web designers about what it would take to redesign my site to be more Web 2.0.
Then I took a step back. This was one person. One potential client. I have no way of knowing exactly how many other people are not calling, which is what scared me and made me think I should make changes. But other people were calling me and telling me they chose my company over many others on the web because they were so impressed with my web site! Some of them even purchased my highest-value packages.
Given these realities, my business coaches suggested that redesigning my site was not the best choice of investments right now. With the benefit of wisdom and reason, I decided to wait before making any major changes and to make some minor tweaks to my existing site instead. My site is performing just fine, imperfect though it is.
If you are a job seeker, take this story to heart.
On a conference call this month entitled “Debunking Resume Myths,” one of the participants, a resume writer, shared an enlightening story about one of her clients (I’ll call him Jim). Resume in hand, Jim began applying for positions locally. One company, which was not well-regarded in the area, criticized the resume for being too polished.
Jim was undeterred and kept applying for positions using his spiffed up resume. Not long after the first company’s criticism, another company, with a reputation as an excellent place to work, complimented Jim on his decision to invest in a professionally-written resume. This company ultimately hired him, and he remains in his new position today.
If Jim had spent his time trying to get it “right,” changing his resume every time anyone did not like it, he might have missed out on applying for a job he wanted.
We have a winner!
These stories prove that no matter what decisions you make with your resume, personal statements or written documents of any kind, some people will like the finished product and some will not. The best advice I can give is to create a document that you feel best represents who you are; the right company, school or client will appreciate the way you present yourself and act on their opinion!
Sometimes sticking to your guns–and not striving for impossible perfection–takes courage and patience. Sometimes you might discover after a period of time that you truly have missed the mark and need to do something differently. But if you give your best shot a chance to reap rewards, you have an excellent chance of coming out a winner.
Do you have a story of a time when one person criticized your document or presentation and another person (besides your mom) loved it? Please share below.