Your Resume Is Useless Without These 3 Things
The Entrepreneur Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question, “What are the top three things you look for on a resume?” is written by Gary Miles, general manager at Amdocs.
One of the most difficult jobs for any entrepreneur is hiring the right team to properly balance strengths and weaknesses. The first rule of startup life is that if you go at it alone, you’re doomed to fail, making the interview process critical when hiring new talent.
If you’re interested in a new startup opportunity, here are three tips to get you noticed:
Show tenacity, but that you’re not afraid of failure
Entrepreneurs by nature are persistent and will pursue an idea long after others would have given up. However, tenacity can be both a strength and a weakness—you need to demonstrate that you won’t be blinded by a belief that your offering is in the right place at the right time. If you’re in a situation where your idea isn’t working, you have to allow yourself to quickly put it to rest. A good leader who creates an environment of innovation will not see this as a weakness, so don’t be shy to list key examples on your resume. Just be sure to couple the failed attempts with lessons learned during your in-person discussion.
Failing fast and jumping on the next great idea is a virtue, and much better than holding onto something well into expensive losses. On the same note, I like to see that potential candidates have flexibility to evolve an idea and pivot from where they originally started.
Show you’re a team player
In a startup environment, it’s all about the team and the ability to work in a fluid, less hierarchical environment that encourages and safeguards collaboration. Being a team player is key. Show that you’re willing to surround yourself with the right talent, trust others, and not be intimidated by conflicting ideas. You won’t succeed without positive leadership and attitude, or by getting territorial. You can showcase this flexibility on your resume by highlighting that you’ve worked in different types of work environments.
In my early startup days, I used to struggle more with conflict at the management level. I felt like I was a frequent arbitrator between managers, roles, responsibilities, and creative friction, and I can see now this wasn’t the right approach. Now, in my current role at Amdocs, I make it a public point not to get in between my managers, and make it clear that I expect them to collaborate and find a solution.
Show you can scale with confidence
To pique my interest, I need to see that a candidate can scale their business when the time is right. A lot of good entrepreneurs have some initial accomplishments, but how do you expand your organization into a commercial success and size? Through your resume, show me good ideas you’ve had, how you harnessed them, and how you attracted the right people and capital to make bold growth steps forward—whether through organic moves or inorganic ones. Use this as an opportunity to demonstrate some quantifiable results—like increased sales or leads, or new partnerships developed—and further expand upon why you made specific hires or decisions during your in-person discussion.
Keep in mind that you can use these key skills at larger companies should you shift careers, or if the startup you’re working for should be absorbed by another brand. There is a lot to be said for keeping entrepreneurial values in a large corporation as a way to foster innovation.