What a Middle Reliever Can Teach You About Resumes

Recognize the guy in the picture above? Probably not, but we could all probably learn a thing or two from a guy who has a multimillion-dollar contract but only “works” about 80 hours a year.

randy choate2

Randy Choate is a left-handed relief pitcher for the Miami Marlins who is primarily called upon in the seventh or eighth inning of a close game to face one or two of the opposing team’s left-handed hitters. In other words, he is the epitomy of a specialist, and has made a career out of doing one thing extremely well. How have the Marlins rewarded this guy who may only pitch 60-70 innings per year? They pay him a salary of $1.5 million because they know that in the right situation, he is the best person suited for the job.

What in the world does this have to do with resumes?

Companies are looking for specialists – people who can handle specific functions and perform them extremely well. If your resume presents you as somebody who is a “jack of all trades”, you’re doing more harm than good. When applying to different positions, think about the one thing that they really want you to be able to do well, and make that the focus of your cover letter and the Summary of Qualification of your resume. Show them that your background and skill set uniquely position you to help with the problem that they need solved.

Now, I guess I should go back and say that with off-season work-outs, spring training, in-season practice, traveling with the team, sitting in the bullpen, etc., Randy Choate works way more than 80 hours a year. But come on, he’s a baseball player. Who pitches a max of 70 innings per year. And makes well over $1 million a year.

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