The only one who expects you to be perfect is you. Oh, and that other guy. Does his opinion really matter? - Catherine Byers Breet
Some of us are so afraid of making a mistake that we're afraid to take that first step. I'm like that. Then, at the age of 33, a good friend (an older, wiser friend) gave me a tremendous gift. She looked at me and gently said "You really should learn to let go of perfect. Life isn't perfect. I'm not perfect. Ed's not perfect. None of us are. So stop trying to be perfect, and you will see: life will be much, much easier for you!"
This quest for perfection plagues job seekers all the time.
They're working so hard to write the perfect resume that they never send it out. Don't get stuck in that deep dark hole. Just do it! I promise: it's going to be okay! Furthermore, there is no such thing as perfect when it comes to a resume. So, when you think it's good enough, start reaching out to people! Vicky found this out the hard way:
Vicky's story: Her quest for the perfect resume lost her an opportunity
Brett (an old friend) called me a few weeks ago. He is CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of a really cool company. He desperately needed help finding a new marketing director. He'd been looking for over a month and could not wait any longer. As luck would have it, I had just met Vicky - a seasoned, talented marketing director with everything he was looking for. It looked like a perfect fit to me. I told Brett about her, and said I'd call her to find out if she was interested. he said "Fabulous! I look forward to speaking with her. Thank you!" Brett was not HR. He was not a rookie agency recruiter. He was the hiring manager, with money and headcount and an urgent need. I called Vicky right away and told her about it. She was very excited and said she would reach out to Brett right away. Then she hung up the phone and started working on her resume. Two weeks later, she finally thought it was good enough to send. She sent it to Brett. Then she called him. Then she emailed him again, because he was not responding to her. Two days later, she left him a snarky voicemail: "Brett. Catherine told me you were looking for a Marketing Director. Apparently it is not an urgent need, because you are not returning my calls. If you still want to hire someone for it, please let me know."
Brett was stunned, then irritated. He did not call Vicky. He called me and said "Catherine, I don't know how well you know Vicky, but you had better teach her a thing or two about manners and job search etiquette. You introduced us via email two weeks ago. I replied immediately to both of you, and told Vicky I would love to talk to her. I said "Please send me your resume and let's set up a time to talk." She said nothing again for two entire weeks. I hired someone on the meantime (I did tell you my need was urgent). I don't have time to reply to candidates with her kind of attitude. Please tell her I already filled the position and that next time someone introduces her to a hiring manager, she better move on it right away. Good positions don't wait around."
I was horrified ... and embarrassed ... and stunned. Vicky seemed professional and gracious to me when I met her. So, I called her to find out what had happened. Her reply was simple:
"I was working on my resume."
"For two weeks?" I asked.
"Yup," she said. "I wanted it to be perfect for Brett."
When I told Vicky that Brett had hired someone else, she realized a painful lesson: