Add Time Spans to Your Resume to Reflect Your Requisite Level of Capability

By Michelle Malay Carter on January 16, 2010 

Show Requisite Work Levels on Your ResumeI answered a question on a LinkedIn?Management Consulting?group from a person?inquiring about how to ensure you are being considered for roles at the right level.?

Assuming you have been employed at full capacity in your previous work, adding a time element to your resume’s bullet points is one of the best ways to demonstrate your level of capability, and there is plenty of research to back up my assertion.? Below is the question and my response:

“I get calls on my resume but they aren?t for the right level job. What am I doing wrong?”

What Adds to the Weight of a Role?
One of the key items that adds weight to a role is time (within managerial hierarchies – not necessarily associations or independent consulting roles).? Any given type of work can exist at a variety of levels.??For example, sales work can range from “Do you want fries with that?” to determining whether a potential market overseas is viable.

You Know This in Your Gut
If the longest deliverable in your role is 2 months, your role is fundamentally different than one that carries a longest deliverable of 2 years. So when describing your experience, specifically state some of your longest term deliverables as a way of indicating the level of complexity you can handle.

Amazing Research Correlations
Research by Elliott Jaques, validated at least six times, has shown that time span of discretion (aka the length of the longest task in a role) is the king kong indicator of what people will say is felt-fair pay for a particular role. I believe 30 potential variables were evaluated and the correlations between time span and felt fair pay ranged between +0.84 and +0.95.

Another Look at the Same Issue from Requisite Reading
This same phenomenon is why your former salary is a proxy for your ability, and recruiters and prospective employers are always curious about it.? My colleague Forrest Christian details this in his blog post, Why Recession Grads Make Less Over Time.

This Doesn’t Help the Underemployed
Unfortunately, if you have been underemployed, time spans and former salaries are going to work against you, since they reflect the level of capability you’ve been in a position to exercise, not your potential capability.? Behavioral-based interviewing has this same issue.

What does your resume say about you?

I’m OK. You’re OK.? Let’s fix the system.

Filed Under Felt Fair Compensation, Requisite Organization, Talent Management, Work Levels

Comments

2 Responses to “Add Time Spans to Your Resume to Reflect Your Requisite Level of Capability”

  1. Forrest Christian on January 18th, 2010 4:36 pm

    Great suggestions, Michelle! The flip is that if you are desperately trying to get a Level 2 job because of the bad economy but are capable at Level 4, you need to shorten the time-horizons. That includes implicit time horizons, which are usually shown by complexity of the task you are claiming.

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