If it matters 100 yrs from now... it was important.

 


I'm a sucker for a hidden message. The mysterious letter that shows up, a digital easter egg tucked away, geo-caching, a cryptic riddle...

6 years ago, we were changing out the original mirror in our bathroom and, prying it off the wall, found this message: If it matters 100 years from now ... it was important.

Weirdly, I'm finding myself giving similar advice to others as I review their resumes. I'll read through their professional experience - either a paragraph or bulleted list of tasks they performed - and I'll hit them back with: Why did it matter?

If it matters enough to include on your resume, it was important. State why. This is what it means to focus on your impact.

e.g. I would reviewed customer support cases each month, and was also responsible for keeping our technical documentation up to date.

Why does this matter? What makes it important? There's a hidden feedback loop in there that's not being called out, and the impact is lost. Typically, we review cases so we can make improvements - including with our documentation. If customers can self-help, that means getting unstuck faster, that means fewer support cases, that means savings for everyone.

Imagine if it read:

Reduced support cases by 20% by enabling customers to self-help, by ensuring technical documentation covered 80% of the most commonly raised issues.

Now the impact is known. It's clear why it mattered, and why it was important to be on the resume. 

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