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How Your Failures Are Your Best Friend

When job-searching the first step is to revise your resume, listing your achievements and successes. Don’t be in such a hurry to present yourself in a good light you don’t put to use the hardships you’ve encountered and failures you’ve weathered. Those don’t belong on your resume, but should be employed in your interviews. People love stories of positive people who muddled through and triumphed over tough situations. Everyone wants to root for the underdog. Hiring managers are no exception. No job is perfect, neither is any person. Presenting yourself as perfect is counterproductive. Showing yourself as someone with the humility and insight to learn from your errors and persistence to overcome challenges is much more attractive. The key is not to complain about your situation or ruminate about how incredulous the predicament was, but to share what you learned about yourself, about the business, and how you are going to apply it going forward to breed success. When describing a negative or challenging situation, you always want to outline what you learned from it. That is what hiring managers want to hear from their prospective employees.

Three things to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t get mired down in details. Sketch a situation simply, boiling it down to it’s essential factors. This keeps the point clear.

  2. Don’t blame others. While it may indeed be your inept supervisor’s fault that the project fell apart, it will not be winsome to point it out. Strive to be gracious to everyone as you speak, not passing the buck.

  3. Demonstrate growth. Don’t just tell the principle you learned, but show how you went on to apply it in subsequent situations.

Why not practice on us? Join us on social media to share your tales of triumph through trouble.