You know what is funny about life?  It seems like whenever you are getting ready for something big to happen, something ELSE happens.  Life happens.  Life doesn’t seem to work out the way you want it to ALL the time.  We try to control it, but we can’t.  Sometimes good things happen, sometimes bad things happen and sometimes things just don’t happen AT ALL!

Let me take you back to high school for a minute.  You are getting ready for prom and you have the right tuxedo.  You have the right girl on your arm.  You have the car.  You have everything you want to make it a perfect evening.  You wake up prom morning, look in the mirror and see you have a massive pimple in the middle of your forehead.  You look like you got hit in the forehead with a hammer and have the huge bump to prove it.  No amount of acne cream or make-up is going to fix it in  time.  Everyone if going to notice.  It is that obvious.  It sucks but unfortunately this kind of stuff just happens.

So, I get asked every day, “Will you review my resume”?  If I have time, I will take a look at it.  For the most part, with the caliber of people I am recruiting, the resumes I review look pretty darn good.  Understand that I recruit executives and senior level sales people.   The format is correct, the graphics look good on the resume, and individuals goals are clearly stated.  Then, I see it.  It is right in the middle and it is glaring at me!  Something just doesn’t look right.  It is that zit that can’t be overlooked.

Somewhere in our careers, something doesn’t go right.  It happens ALL the time.  In fact, I hardly ever see an unblemished resume.  Somewhere you have made a bad decision.  You have joined a company and things just “didn’t work out”.  It could be that you joined a startup and they lost their funding.  It could be that you didn’t get along with your boss.  It could be that you had a life changing event that forced you to make a change.

Adversity happens.   It is these defining moments in life that make us who we are as individuals.  What I want to know is what you learned from the adversity.  How have you changed as an individual?  What would you have done differently?

See, even having a pimple at your senior prom probably didn’t prevent you from going to the event.  Was it unfortunate that it happened?  I guess.  Your date probably didn’t even care and it isn’t something she remembers about the night anyway.  She was probably having such a great time that a silly pimple wasn’t even on her radar.

Companies aren’t any different. They are so consumed with the role THEY ARE TRYING TO FILL that they don’t have time to dwell on something that could potentially be completely irrelevant.

So- Don’t obsess about some moment in time where things didn’t go exactly as planned.  Talk about what you learned from the experience and that pimple may turn into the reason they hire you.  As a candidate, you are unique and have a different viewpoint than others.  Share it with the companies.  It will help you in the long run.

I would like to hear your story.  Why is there a pimple on your resume and what did you learn from it?