Not so long ago I had a conversation with an HR colleague that was looking for a new opportunity. We were talking about resume strategy and I asked her the following question:
What is your goal? Do you want to look like everyone else in the candidate pool and hope you stand out based on your skills? Or can you risk being uniquely you in the way you present yourself? That question completely derailed our resume writing efforts, of course, and forced us to tackle a fundamental question in the way we approach many things in life, including her job search - “Go Wide or Go Deep?”
My favorite singer/songwriter, David Wilcox (http://www.davidwilcox.com), perfectly frames the idea of going wide vs. going deep in this video (taken from a documentary about the Canadian Island Music Fest) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=786oilGgfc4 .
The following is a quote from David taken from the 1:10 mark in the video: “…instead of trying to go wider with what you do, go deeper. Be more uniquely yourself and know that the people you do reach, you’ll reach at a deeper level.”
Think of the person who gets glasses for the first time. Many get the safest pair of glasses possible in an effort to try not to be noticed – “Who me? What glasses?” But a smaller number go the other direction…they get the biggest frames or the coolest or most colorful pattern and they embrace their new outward identity. Those folks have an inherent understanding that by accepting and being true to who they are, the glasses become just another part of what makes them unique – “Yes, I do have rocking new glasses, thanks for noticing!”. As a recruiter, do you gravitate to the candidates who play it safe or do you seek out those who dare wear unique glasses?
The same question holds true in our use of social media and it will be a challenge I face here as I settle into my blogging identity. Should I blog or Tweet to engage as many potential readers as possible? Or is it more important (and ultimately more fulfilling) to be more uniquely myself in hopes of more deeply impacting a smaller niche of readers - and to be more deeply impacted by them? And if I do miss some, won’t another Tweep or blogger connect with them instead, as David Wilcox suggests?
“And the people that you miss? Don’t worry about ‘em because there will be somebody there to catch them…somebody whose music is just right for them.”