The CEO put down the resume of a potential chief operating officer candidate and said, “This guy has worked for some of the top organizations in our field, but I don’t think he’s ready for this job.” She explained, “I see he launched new initiatives, but he did not indicate what the impact was … was it $10,000 or $5 million?” In his resume, the COO candidate had mostly listed his responsibilities, but not the impact of his accomplishments. It was easy to see that his experience was relevant, but without knowing the scale of his accomplishments, it was impossible to see the significance of what he had achieved. So he was passed over for other candidates who demonstrated tangible achievements on their resumes.

This COO candidate felt sure he was qualified for the job, but he never even made it to the interview. His 50 years of knowing himself was irrelevant to landing the interview. All that mattered was the CEO’s opinion that she formed in 10 seconds of reading that resume.

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