Almost everything that experts tell you about putting together a résumé falls apart for hidden high potentials (2HiPo’s) because the same rules don’t apply. A great example is the advice these “résumé / CV” experts give you regarding your work history: “make it in bullet points!”
Which is fine if you are at Stratum 1 or Stratum 2. But the bullet points approach totally fails for jobs at Level 3, the first Real Manager position.
Stratum 1 thinking looks a lot like a bulleted list when you hear it. Things are just stated:
- I’m a good worker.
- I worked on Chevys.
- I made the garden look great by planting flowers.
Stratum 2 thinking and jobs look like 1 but with “and-ing”:
- I’m a good worker and I come in on time.
- We worked on Mercedes, Volvo and GMC trucks.
- I made the garden, sidewalks and yards look great by planting flowers.
- I wrote a dissertation on post-modernism, modernism and pre-modernism in teaching.
- I bought and sold stocks and commodities on the CSE and the Mercantile Exchange, and made $500k last year.
I have seen the transcript of an actual interview with a Stratum 2 PhD. That’s right — you don’t need a high stratum to get a PhD. Work at Stratum 2 can include stock trading and some folks apparently can make a great deal of money at Stratum 2. Also celebrities.
The normal bullet-list résumé works well for Stratum 1 and 2 jobs because it mimics the mental processes that the hiring manager will want to see.
The problem is with Stratum 3 jobs.
(All this gets frustrated even more because technical experts at Level 2 often have the same type of job title as one at Level 3. Take, for example: “senior programmer” and “lead programmer” and “developer”. Can you figure out which needs a Stratum 3 résumé)
A Level 3 résumé has to be written differently.
If there is such a thing as a Level 3 résumé.
It’s common in the career counseling biz to say that there is no such thing as an executive résumé. I’m figuring that this means Level 5 and above, with Level 4 being a weird, résumé-unfriendly but not totally hostile place.
Here’s my thinking on this:
Level 3 résumés / CVs include directed series of events leading to some outcome.
Write a Level 3 résumé like a Level 3 worker to argue a point: in a series. The outcome would be “profit went up 30%” or “sales of $5M” or “enabled $145B of trades in first nine months”. (The last one is from my own CV, natch.) The precursors would the decisions that you took to get to that.
Put large lists of “skills”, such as the variety of programming languages known or accounting applications used, in less prominent positions.
I’m also betting that the HR departments are very, very poor at getting adequate Level 3 candidates, since most HR folks are clueless about what a new hire needs to succeed in a role.
(I’m not that thrilled with what I’ve seen out of hiring managers, either.)
image: Luis Enrique Osorio at his typewriter. From the Osorio family album, via Wikimedia commons. Creative Commons Attribution 3 license.