In my first career job, I was a recruiter, or today we would say I was a “talent acquisition specialist.” I interviewed candidates, scheduled them to meet a supervisor, did the background screening (reference checks – which we could do back then) and made recommendations to hire. My first supervisor would have me bring all my recommendations to her and would review my work. After her review, I often had to go back and dot an “I” or cross a “T” I missed, because she had a knack for finding what I had missed. She expected thoroughness because you never knew when an employee you recommended for hire did something bad, and the CEO wanted to see why we hired them.

My perfectionistic tendencies kicked in and I got exceptionally good at checking and double checking my work, as well as anticipating her questions. One day, she asked, “is there anything else you could or should have done?” I thought for a moment and then responded, “no” I don’t, to which she responded, “me either”. She then followed up by telling me I no longer had to bring candidates for her review.

Attention to detail is a hallmark of those who are perfectionists. Perfectionists get a bad rap these days, but it’s not a bad thing. Every team needs some perfectionists. In my career I’ve seen many people not check the details on something and pay a price for their carelessness. I never wanted to be one of them.

The danger for those of us who have perfectionistic tenancies, is trying to be too perfect. We have a difficult time accepting our mistakes, always believing we “should” have noticed something or anticipated what happened.

Perfectionists can often be procrastinators, holding off decisions or moving forward until every little detail is covered.

Put a perfectionist into a job search and they often struggle because they want to make perfect a process that is anything but perfect. In fact, a job search is out of control for the job searcher, it’s in the hands of others. The only thing they control is their effort.

Perfectionists want a “perfect resume”, causing them to wait (procrastinate) until they’ve made every tweak possible to their resume until they believe it’s perfect. They will research, research and research until they think they have found the perfect companies. Then, they are ready to start looking for a job. When they network and receive a resume suggestion, they immediately want to react and make the change, so they are constantly changing their resume, again trying to make it perfect.

Here’s the challenge:



The job search journey is unique for each person. Your resume is an important tool to provide some key information to that will make someone want to talk. Yes, there are changes that can make it a little better, but it still needs to be you. It must show the things you want them to know about you, why they will hire you.

Listen to suggestions people make, then decide if the change is right for you. Your resume will evolve during your job search, that’s part of the process.

Just keep active, keep moving forward. As a former co-worker Lisa used to always say, “you are better off moving forward at 80% than trying to wait until you are 100%.”

And she’s right. Get started and God will direct your steps.

If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. Ecclesiastes 11:4 (TLB)

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