Common Sense Wisdom Volume II: The Unwritten Resume

Drawing upon more than 30 years of experience advising senior executives around the world and almost a decade living and working in Central and Eastern Europe, Pepper de Callier, Founder of The Prague Leadership Institute, shares what he has found to be the most powerful force behind career success. It’s not intelligence or experience, as most people believe; it’s what he calls The Unwritten Resume.

Unlike the written resume, it is the collection of impressions we all leave behind after every interaction we have with everyone we meet. “Hundreds of interviews with leaders over the years have taught me that the unwritten resume is, in the eyes of those evaluating someone, the most powerful influence on decision-makers as to whether someone will be hired, promoted, or fired. To them this is who someone really is and it can’t be faked or embellished as easily as elements of one’s written resume,” according to de Callier, whose client list reads like a Who’s Who in business with companies like Microsoft, SAB Miller, T-Mobile, Boeing, Merck Sharp & Dome Idea, Inc., Ceska sporitelna, McKinsey & Co., Emerson, Hitachi, Vodafone, Heineken, Japan Energy, Zentiva, Oki Semiconductor, RaiffeisenBank, Office Depot, Telefonica, Ceska pojistovna, and TV Nova, among others, who have regularly sought his advice over the years on coaching and leadership issues.

In his book, which is the second volume of a three-volume set on personal and career development, de Callier explains the common mistakes people make when “writing” their unwritten resumes, all of which can send a completely different message than what was intended and many of which can be the career equivalent of a suicide bomb. “The unusual thing about the unwritten resume is that, like it or not, we all have one, we all leave one behind after every interaction we have, and it affects everyone from entry-level employees to executives at the C- and Board-level. “No one escapes the impact of their unwritten resume,” cautions de Callier, “and in my book I explain how to manage and construct one’s own personal, authentic version of an unwritten resume, from the very basic elements to the very subtle, in order to get their intended message across in the most compelling and effective way.”

The Unwritten Resume is written in a unique style that is easy to read and understand, maximizing its benefit to the reader. “de Callier’s concept of The Unwritten Resume and his advice in this book is career management at the highest level,” says Ronald E. Gerevas, former CEO of one of the largest and most respected global executive search firms, Heidrick & Struggles.

“The data about the global workforce are alarming. We now know that 80% of the global workforce is either actively or passively disengaged from their jobs. In the 21st century, more than any other time in our history, the challenge for leaders is to find ways to fully engage the people who work for them. And, in order to do that, leaders will have to go beyond the day-to-day transactional nature of 20th century leadership to establishing a human-link with all their stakeholders, if they are to increase effectiveness, efficiencies, and out-perform the competition and, building that foundation of trust and understanding that a leader must have begins with her or his unwritten resume,” says de Callier.

Based upon de Callier's research and experience, the follow excerpt from Chapter One of the book sums up the importance of the unwritten resume: For those who know how to construct, polish, and present their unwritten resume and understand the powerful lasting impressions it creates, the future is bright no matter what economic cycle they find themselves in. For those who don’t understand The Unwritten Resume and the power of its subtleties, the future will be made up of what is left over.