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Melbourne, Australia

Why you should let your mum write your CV

May 6, 2016

 A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be coaching a young software engineer who wanted to move into a product role. He was bright, educated and worked on the first mapping application for mobile phones in the early naughties. However, he was truly sorry to be asking for an opportunity outside of his assigned box. His CV lacked confidence and he asked for forgiveness for all his weaknesses. As a hiring manager, I would have skipped straight over from the first page.

 

I didn't know where to start with feedback, I'd have to re-write the whole thing. So I asked him to describe himself as his mother would to her friends in her mothers group. Now bear in mind his mother is from India and I already knew she was immensely proud of him and had built up a good relationship with him. So, I took my best shot and demonstrated what she might say in her own accent (which sounds Welsh when I do it):

''my son Pranav practically invented the mobile internet, he put the first maps on the mobile, even a candy bar phone like mine. He is so smart and funny, he is doing an MBA in his own time and even runs an event for Indian testers to help them get settled in Australia, he likes coding but has such a desire to run businesses, he wants to know how things work and how they make money. He wants to put to use with his technical skills, he will be a truly unique product owner because he gets the technology as well, amazing...."

 

He got it, his re-write took on a much stronger tone, he didn't apologise and still had the humility that is such an important part of his nature and culture, it still represented his personality, but more accurately represented all that he had to offer.

In some of our worlds, she might not really understand, but let's just imagine what amazing things your Mum or Dad would and probably do say about you.

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