What’s on your alternative resume?

I have this idea I like to play with which I call the “Alternative Resume”.

Everyone we meet in business has a resume. It’s normally a very dry, three to six page document that lists your contact details and all your achievements, in chronological order. Every item on it has been phrased to make you look your best. The only point of this document appears to be getting you a job.

All of us have another resume though, I call it the “alternative resume”. It’s terrible for getting you a job but its absolutely fantastic for networking.

The alternative resume is all about the stuff that makes you interesting, but isn’t a self-promoting achievement. For instance:

  • For the life of me I can’t figure out why the square root button is on every single calculator, despite the fact that less than 1% of the population knows how to use it.
  • I have fair skin and grew up in Perth so I know what the dermatologist’s scalpel feels like.
  • I met a guy who worked for Telstra, whom I can’t remember anything else about other than he went to school with Elle McPherson.
  • I went to school with Darren Bennett, who was famous for clocking the P.E. Teacher while playing footy.
  • My moral dilemma in March was accusing, then convincing, an old flatmate that he had stolen my wetsuit 15 years ago. A week later my brother in-law gave it back to me (because I had loaned it to him 10 years ago). I haven’t told my old flatmate though because I was embarrassed.

A strange group of things to disclose about myself, however they all share one attribute. They are interesting little bits and pieces about me.

You see it’s not the size of your network, or who you know, it’s whether you have mind share that matters. When I meet new people, the easiest way to have them remember me is to make them feel comfortable, as if I were an old friend. So unless there is a good reason not to, I like to share details from my “alternative resume”. It’s the easiest way to “get to know someone” and have them remember me.

I don’t think I’m mechanical or insincere when I do this, because I am genuinely interested in getting to know people. I also avoid over-sharing, which is why I haven’t told the “stinky suit story” today.

To read more Brendan Lewis blogs, click here.

Brendan Lewis is a serial technology entrepreneur having founded: Ideas Lighting, Carradale Media, Edion, Verve IT, The Churchill Club, Flinders Pacific and L2i Technology Advisory. He has set up businesses for others in Romania, Indonesia and Vietnam. Qualified in IT and Accounting, he has also spent time running an Advertising agency and as a Cavalry Officer with the Australian Army Reserve.


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