Here is a great question from Colin Haas sent to me on Twitter:
As a leader, I love this question. Because, really, what Colin is asking is, “How do I stand out bigger and better than anyone else in your HR inbox?” That’s the kind of Go-Getter attitude I like to see. So I want something that makes him stand out so HR doesn’t miss him when he comes through our pipeline — a pipeline that had 3,000 resumes in three months.
So is a bio better than a resume to stand out? Well, I think we first have to look at the difference between the two. Barbara Sudquist says it this way:
A bio is a short summary of the most impressive highlights of your background, whereas a resume gives a comprehensive picture of your education and work experience year by year. Both describe your background but the intended purpose, level of detail and presentation are different.
With that understanding, it makes sense to send a bio of the great things you’ve done instead of a list of jobs on a resume. However, as a leader, it’s not enough for me. If I personally saw just a bio, I would immediately think this person was very arrogant to send me something showing how great they are. I want to know more than that. I would also suspect they were hiding something if that’s all they sent.
So what I would like to see is…both! Yep, send me the resume because I want to see your work history, and I want to dig into it if I like you. But a bio would be a great opportunity to show me what else you’ve done, as long as it has something to do with impressing me in a way that makes me want to hire you. If you share how you made it to the last round of the kite surfing finals, I’m probably not going to care. But if I’m hiring for a sales position, and you won a sales competition in your local market, now I want to talk.
Keep in mind, not all leaders are as progressive as me. So if you don’t explain why you’ve included a bio, they might think it’s an action of arrogance. Let them know you added the bio to show how great a fit you’ll be in their position.
Question: Would a resume and bio catch your eye in a good way?