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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

Downplaying Leadership

"You should downplay your leadership on your resume."

Um... excuse me?

Earlier this week I had a virtual meeting with a student I'm mentoring for the year as part of the American Marketing Association (AMA) Toronto's Career Accelerator program.* She's looking for a co-op placement at an agency in August/September as part of her studies.

Here's the thing: she told me her school's guidance councillor said she should DOWNPLAY her leadership experience... because she's applying for entry-level jobs, and "companies looking for entry-level people don't want to see leadership experience on a resume."

I told her I thought that was terrible advice.

Here's what I know from all the really great companies I've worked for in the past: great companies want employees who will act as leaders, regardless of their actual level or title.

You need to be able to work effectively as part of a team when you're NOT the leader, of course.

But if a company really won't consider you for an entry-level role because you have "too much leadership experience"...

... do you really want to work there?

* Disclosure: I have served on the AMA Toronto Advisory Board since 2013 and was part of the team that developed the idea for the Career Accelerator program.


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