Our 2017 Resolution

I spent the last week of 2016 on my in-laws ranch in Texas. I worked until 2 o’clock every day and then took the afternoons off to feed horses, scavenge for dinosaur fossils with my daughter, and watch the sunset over the rolling hills with my husband. I feel like I’d be lying if I didn’t also mention I ate roughly three dozen chocolate chip cookies.

If I didn’t tell you about the cookies, it wouldn’t really be a lie. I wouldn’t even characterize it as an omission. It falls more under the umbrella of oversharing. Over-sharers tell you more than you want, need, or have asked to know, whereas omissions usually occur in the context of an obligation to disclose. This distinction is important in legal recruitment, and I am constantly amused by the ironic contrast between my oversharing tendencies with the “under-sharing” habits of job seekers.

I usually refer to them as “intentional omissions.”

_“Well, I only worked at that firm for a month, so I didn’t think I needed to put it on my resume.”

“I didn’t put the date of my degree on my resume because I didn’t earn my degree yet. I’m only 2 credits shy so I didn’t think it mattered.”_

Omissions raise suspicions, and I coach my candidates on how and why full disclosure helps -- not hurts – even when it comes to potentially damaging information. No one has a perfect track record, and blemishes are to be expected, so covering them up is worse; it looks deceitful.

Fortunately, my oversharing has served as a tool to draw out these omissions before it’s too late. By sharing personal cautionary tales, candidates feel safe being vulnerable, and these omissions come to the surface so we can tackle them head-on.

This is the kind of transparency you can expect of my candidates and my approach, even when it means risking a placement. I’m not interested in the quick sale; I love what I do and want to build lasting and impressionable relationships based on trust and dependability.

Taking it a step further, my resolution for 2017 is to overshare with you in a consultative way. I will be offering tips, insights, and resources to improve the efficacy and efficiency of your recruitment efforts through email, when appropriate, in LinkedIn updates, and via this blog.

I guess I also resolve to eat less cookies. But nobody said anything about donuts. . .

Very best wishes for a healthy, fulfilling New Year.

Katie Rahill McMahan Legal Marketing & Staffing, LLC, a proud Mile High ALA Business Partner

Tagged: Resolutions, Resume omissions, Self-branding