Transformative resume building and interview coaching for college seniors

Developing Your Resume from a New Point of View

Helen Koster

Why is it really important to know yourself and be able to feel secure in an interview speaking about who you are?

What can you learn about yourself by developing your resume from the point of view of who you are rather than from the perspective of what you did?

Without self-knowledge the tendency in an interview is to try and figure out what the interviewer wants to hear and respond with that thought in mind. That tend creates a problem called circular speaking resulting in the sense that you didn’t really answer the question. Those interviews usually don’t go well.

It’s important to know yourself because employers over time have learned what causes people to fail in their jobs. It’s not because their hard skill sets don’t measure up. It is because they believe they hired one kind of person who turns out to be another kind of person.


Think about it this way. You don’t really know someone until you live with them. You think you do and then you discover they leave their dishes in the sink and that’s just not you and what you want to see when you get up in the morning. They don’t see the problem.

So, hiring managers try to assess who you are before you begin employment. Asking an array of behavioral questions, they want to gather information about you to determine if you will be a fit with their way of doing things.

They are looking to answers that help them know: how do you manage work stress; how do you manage time; how do you deal with unexpected problems; how do you work with peers; how do you work clients; do you mentor others; are you aggressive; are you persuasive; are you a team player; are you a manager or an individual contributor; do you like to set goals and move toward them or are you a problem solver.

Develop Resume from Point of View of Who You Are

Are you who you say you are?

Here’s an initial bullet from a student’s resume. He liked working by himself but thought he needed to present as a team player.

That’s easy to understand since the word “team” is such a big part of our culture. But, he was a very strong individual contributor. And, there are lots of jobs for individual contributors!

Here’s his initial bullet:

  • Active internship with California-based alternative energy company specializing in wind turbine manufacturing, power production, and maintenance.

What he actually did was:

  • Analyzed wind patterns and recommended a reconfigured turbine park to maximize efficiencies.
  • Proposed and implemented technology updates to streamline data collection.

And, when he wasn’t on the analytical side of his internship, he:

  • Climbed three wind turbines a day to evaluate their motors and blades and perform required maintenance.


By knowing himself as an individual contributor, he began to see his accomplishments in a different light.

Most importantly, he wasn’t trying to be someone else and now was able to pass the real, not spoken, interview question:

Are you who you say you are or are you really good at projecting who you think I want you to be?

Please pass this along to your college friends who you think might be helped by this. And, visit again next month to learn the most important question you can ask yourself to learn more about who you are.