“Because I Said So” Only Works Coming From A Mom

There is a reason that I only used a mom in the title of this blog.  I grew up knowing you did not give Dad the opportunity to use that phrase.  In other words – you didn’t question Dad or ask, “but why?!”  Never a good idea.  Mom’s on the other had we tend to push the envelope a little and get that response.


My kids hated when I used that as a response.  And when they would make some whiny comment about it I would tell them that when they had their own children they would have all rights and opportunities to make their life hell by using that exact phrase.  Yes, I was that mother.


I actually hear this phrase a lot in job seekers, even though it is not phrased in the same manner, the idea is the same.


When they are evaluating jobs they tell me that they can do that job even though they have had no direct experience before.  When I ask them why they think they can do it the response is somewhere along the lines of, “I know I can do it if they just give me a chance”.


In other words, I can do it because I said so.


Not enough.  As a job seeker or candidate blanket statements or proclamations are not enough.  They do not carry any weight or have validity.  You can tell me that you were the most amazing whatever title in the world but guess what – I am not going to believe you just because you told me.


You have to prove it.


In writing your resume you are a little behind the eight ball.  Realize that there are many, many unscrupulous individuals out there puffing up their resume with misconceptions and out right lies.


This is very tiring for the reader and frustrating; it also tends to desensitize them.  This is why it is important to demonstrate rather than state.


If there is a job quality that you do not have direct experience but know you can do you need to be able to answer the question: how do you know?


You have faith in yourself, great; but it takes more – I need proof, I need to be convinced.  You need to dig deep and be able to intelligently and concretely make the connection between your abilities, past experiences and prospective opportunity.


Did you use a same skill set in performing a different task in the past?  If it is incorporating a new software thing about a time when you learned a new system in the past, how quickly you picked up, the work you did on your own to become proficient and think of examples of other areas in which you learned something new quickly and effectively.


You will not find an exact match; however skill sets are what is important here.  Demonstrate it is your capabilities to learn and succeed as you have in the past that will allow you to be successful in this role.


The job market is not like the stock market.  In the job market past performance is an indicator of future success.  Play on that, build momentum on your past successes.


If I am interviewing two candidates that have no direct experience in a certain area I am going to depend on them to help me make a decision.


If the first one tells me that they know they can do the job if I give them a chance with no proof, no credibility, no back up case, no nothing other than sweet enthusiasm I will have no reason to believe them.  And I will be waiting for them to tell me that they are a people person.  I really hate that phrase – but that is another blog.


If the second candidate tells me that although they do not have direct experience they have done x, y or z in the past utilizing organization, prioritization, communication or other relevant skills to do a, b and c which resulted in m, n and o then guess what – I have something to think about here!


I pick candidate two.


It is a world of words – choose yours carefully to demonstrate rather than merely try to sell.  All the pretty packaging gets open and you want to make sure there is substance in that package.  Sell the substance not the bow.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.


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