99% is Not Complete

checklistOh, how much easier life would be if it were true that 99%, even 95%, was complete. Those last little touches would be unnecessary and the excited momentum you began a project with would carry you through.

If only.

But that is not the case. No matter how much you have completed, until the job is done, 100% done done, the job is not done.

My bedroom is a perfect example. I am redoing my bedroom. I have ripped up the carpet and padding, scrubbed all the walls, refinished the bed frame and side tables, cleared clutter, painted all the trim, doors and walls and put down new flooring. I am at 99%.

I still have to do the paint trim around the ceiling and baseboards, cut 1 ¼” strip of flooring for a 12’ wall and reassemble the bed frame and baseboards.

I have come to hate that 1%.

But it is the push that matters. The final details that put it all together and make it complete. I would love to just forget that 1% and say good enough, but I don’t really want to sleep on a mattress on the floor and have two-tone walls with wayward baseboards. The dogs would not mind, but I do.

I literally have to talk myself into that last 1%, as ridiculous as that sounds. Of course I want a beautiful new bedroom, all bright, shiny and relaxing. So why would I have to force myself to finish? Human nature.

In job searching the 1% push comes into play. All too often a resume is 99% complete, but it is not done. That 1% can be the factor taking you from a yes pile to a no pile.

Some 1% factors include:

Spelling and grammar check – do not rely solely on the little red and green squiggly lines.
Contact information – make sure the most appropriate email and phone number is listed.
Visual check – print it out and looking at it capitalizing on white space, bold and fonts.
Fact checking – are your dates and titles correct?
Consistency check – Have you listed all your positions the same way, if you list the year of graduation for one degree, have you done it for all?
Relevancy check – remove the “References available upon request” is not needed, does it still appear, are you listing personal interests or other information not supporting your value?
Cover Letters – The company and contact information is correct for each position (I have received cover letters with the name of another company or position listed)

It is the small details that set a room and a candidate apart. Muster that energy to complete the project in entirety before you send it out for the world to see.


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I help people identify and set a path to achieve their career goals by using the V Formula:

Your Value + Your Voice = Visibility

Visibility is the leverage to move in, move up or move on in your career; expand your book of business or territory, grow your company and strengthen your team.


Lisa K. McDonald, Owner and Principal of Career Polish, Inc. is a favorite speaker and seminar facilitator at colleges, professional organizations and companies around the US speaking to leadership, sales and athletic teams; transitioning/downsized employees and networking groups about personal branding, networking, creating executive presence and achieving career movement success. To find out more, visit Career Polish, Inc.

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