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Writing a resume is much like writing a paper for school. Every detail contributes – positively or negatively – to your final "grade."

Like teachers, hiring managers look for a cohesive story; a persuasive argument; a neat, well organized appearance; and of course, perfect spelling and grammar. These lessons will help your resume make the grade with hiring managers.

Time was, a company would hire you and move you up the ladder once or twice, earning you the tag of “lifer.” You would toil for the same company from your 20s until you retired with a healthy pension. For sure, times have changed and it’s imperative that you learn how to make a resume as well as manage your own career, and figure out where your next job can take you. 

How Your Resume Limits Your Potential

-by Matthew V. Toone

Resumes are essential documents that communicate our past experience, outline our previous accomplishments, and even reveal a portion of our current character.

They are so essential that employers, educational institutions, and companies everywhere must require them in order to assess our abilities, compare us against other applicants, and determine which person applying will be the most successful. In fact, resumes are perhaps the greatest indicator of future performance, based upon our past experience.

However, as necessary as a resume is to our culture – a culture filled with people who don’t live up to their full potential – the reality is that far too often we wrongfully assume that the items listed on this silly document actually determine our potential.

Perhaps one of the greatest challenges on the ‘path to success’ is to learn how to not allow others to determine our potential, and to actually believe that the ability to become and accomplish anything comes from attributes within us – not from irrelevant acronyms, job titles, degrees earned, and company names listed on a resume.

I want you to do something that I hope will change not only your perspective, but your entire approach to life. Pull out the document we are referring to, called a ‘resume.’ Decide now to re-think the way you view that piece of paper, and commit to create your own potential and not let our culture define it.

First, look at the institutions you’ve attended and the degrees earned. Why should your potential and future success be determined by the name of a school? Is there a MBA, JD, M.D., PhD, B.S., or any other acronym that really means nothing when determining who you are and what you can achieve?

Do you really believe that the awards won, extracurricular activities participated in, titles held, or skills obtained will somehow eventuate into your dreams and goals being realized? The majority of those who believe that the experiences and skills displayed on a resume will result in eventual success will most likely be those who will continually get excited about pay raises and promotions, be content with mediocrity, and never reach their full potential.

Being blinded by the Rat Race, developing the typical employee mentality, not learning how to dream big and think differently, and never taking risks because you continually listen to your fears and doubts – the result of such actions might produce a good life, but good is the enemy of great.

This is not to suggest that the degrees we earn, the institutions we attend, the work experience we have obtained, or even the resume we have built is irrelevant or unnecessary in any way; in fact, these very things are absolutely vital to achieve and experience in order to realize success.

The reality is that when people do accomplish or become anything great in life, it was not solely as a result from the things listed on the resume, it was because the very laws of success were understood, believed, and implemented.

Barack Obama, as perhaps the most modern example of one who epitomizes this concept, was in no way qualified to be the President of the United States based solely on his resume. While it is true he had the likes of Harvard University, the acronym J.D., as well as State Senator listed on his resume – these alone, at that point in his life, would never have qualified him to have the knowledge or experience necessary to be the most powerful man in the world.

However, Barack Obama possessed the very attributes that every successful person has obtained – regardless of what their success was in life – and those attributes include: a strong desire, belief in himself and his dream, the ability to overcome fear and doubt, not worrying about what other people say or think, a plan and a goal, not letting circumstance or uncontrollable barriers (race) dictate his potential, daily action and a lot of hard work, learning from failures and persisting, and never quitting until his dream was realized.

Were the items listed on his resume helpful? Of course. Were they the reason why millions flocked to the poles in astounding support of the first African-American President of the U.S.? Not at all!

The moment we start to understand, believe, and implement these very same laws of success, and stop allowing the culture and resume’s of life to dictate our potential – then at that insightful moment, it is then that our dreams and goals become achievable, that our desired successes become possible, and we start to realize the power and height of our unlimited potential.

Author's Bio
Matt is the founder of Awaken Your Potential – a website focused on inspiring people to achieve their goals and dreams, live up to their full potential, and learn the secrets for success in anything. As a successful entrepreneur, Matt recently accomplished one of his dreams – to write a book! His book is entitled: “Great Games! 175 Games & Activities for Families, Groups, & Children.”

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