The cover letter/resume combo pack is a tedious relic, providing only the factual framework of a person’s accomplishments and features. Of course, most of the time, this is no indication of whether or not the person will be a good fit for your team. Some of this “fit” is really about identifiable characteristics like “outgoing” or “thorough.” But most of “fit” is hard to quantify. If you are the type of manager who never thinks about these things, please do not hire me. If you are, please proceed.
Let the listicle begin.
- Words that rarely describe me: wallflower, detail-oriented, tidy, uncaring, disengaged.
- Words that frequently describe me: innovative, knowledgeable, funny, empathetic.
- Environments that make me want to check out: rigid, boring, incurious, resistant to fixing problems, tolerant of bullies and promotion of micromamagers.
- Environments in which I excel: flexible, open communication, appreciation of employees and commitment to the community and diversity.
- Hidden skill: I tend to remember people’s names. Usually I remember the names of their dogs and kids too. I learned this teaching in colleges. Students notice if you know who they are…see them as individuals, it helps them learn and reach out when life deals them a wallop (which gets in the way of learning). This also applies to clients and customers.
- Under-appreciated skill: I will tell you your ___________ sucks in a diplomatic, but straightforward way. But, if it is your website and/or digital presence, I may be more on the blunt side. It really is that important.
- Superpower: I’m a Connector of people and of ideas .
- Weirdest Title Ever Won At Work: Voted The Einstein Award. AKA: I am a smartypants, who speed-reads ‘round the clock. Because my brain is restless and I am a perpetual student.
- Skill I Wish I Didn’t Have Sometimes: I can deal with difficulty. So, more than once…there was a client/customer that was annoying or dangerous or drunk and I capably went into the fray. I can de-escalate nonsense.
- Best Job I Ever Had: producing ongoing digital content for small businesses.
- Most Fun Job I Ever Had: Being a Probation Officer for teenage felons.
- Worst Job I Ever Had: Telemarketing (although I made almost as much money in six months as I did in a year as a Social Worker)
- Professions most highly suggested by a majority of my peers, former coworkers, students and family: Writer, Advocate, Motivational Speaker. When the campus I taught at for seven years was slated for closure at the end of 2012, I asked everyone I knew what they thought. Over three hundred people replied. The above-stated responses were the top recommendations.
- Proven fact: I can explain anything to anyone.
- True more than false: Almost always in a good mood.
- Thing learned the hard way: work/life balance is essential for long-term survival…and sanity. Beyond what you do at work and at home, some of us need to insist on a creative outlet. Or three. Currently, I write for my personal blog and tell true stories on stage.
- Thing I love that most people hate: Public speaking.
- Thing that may be most valuable to your company/nonprofit/campaign: I never just do my job and go home. I commit, dig in and look for ways to make myself useful. Usually, I can convince others to do the same.
- Thing that makes me a rare commodity: I can take constructive criticism as a gift and nonconstructive criticism as a challenge. I don’t fear mistakes. Or growth. I fear stagnation. And most ventriloquists.
Interested in having a conversation? Find me:
Facebook: Kristen Chapman Gibbons
LinkedIn: Kristen Chapman Gibbons
Google +: Kristen Chapman Gibbons