April 10, 2011

"Are You a Resume Builder?"

You know the type. This is the person who signs up for everything yet does nothing. In the HBA world we refer to this type as a "resume builder." Looks great on paper but no substance in application.
The best way to earn a reputation as a resume builder is to volunteer for the sole reason of self promotion. Think hard for a moment or two. Can you visualize the person (maybe more) within your group? I know a few myself.
In sales, the professional will under promise and over deliver time and time again. The professional knows that the opposite will have a "kill shot" effect on his/her career. Volunteering within the HBA is absolutely no different. While the resume builder may think that they are something to behold the fact is all they are doing is earning a reputation that will not gain them any friends. When you volunteer for something others are relying on your "word' that you have your area taken care of. When you are all boast and no sweat your are causing a potential crippling effect to the initiative. Others will know it was that lack of commitment that caused the "domino effect."  

domino effectDomino Effect: 
Noun 1.
domino effect - the consequence of one event setting off a chain of similar events 

Domino effect meaning that others have to pick up the slack or take away from their efforts, on behalf of the initiative, because of your lack of action.

I have always asked builders to work with active associates and what I mean by that is associates who actually do things to help their local or state HBA become a little bit better, not just their careers. The associates who have served in this manner have had their careers enhanced because of their selflessness, because the laws of reciprocity do apply. I don't consider associates active by the amount of times their names appear on a committee roster or volunteer list for an event. I'm sorry, I just don't and never will. 
The purpose of this post is to get you thinking "am I doing 'this' for the right reasons?" By "this" I'm talking about the reason you volunteered. The right reason is because you have a skill or a thought process that can help with HBA initiatives. You have a desire to help the association because you know that it is truly better to give than receive. Again, the laws of reciprocity apply. 
If you are currently a volunteer I want you to look at your HBA accomplishments. Can you honestly say that they were ALL for the benefit of the HBA? 
I will be honest with all of you. In the beginning of my HBA career I was a resume builder. My sole purpose was to have my name and company name mentioned as many times as possible. A few things happened between then and now: I found a wonderful mentor, I became involved on my local's board of directors and I became more involved with the political process in my home state. I placed the pieces together and came to the realization that my efforts, if given sincerely, will help the HBA and I very much value the HBA and its role in protecting the building industry, my industry. This association has given me a wonderful career in a noble profession because of its purpose.

Take a look at what you are doing now. Are you giving it your best or are you just happy to have your name listed? Only you can answer that question and if the answer is "just to build your resume" know that you can change that answer very easily by action. 

There is no shame in saying you can't take on the responsibility but there is shame in taking on a responsibility and not doing anything or accepting recognition for others efforts. 

Submitted by Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP
2011 NAHB Associate Members Committee Chair


Dianne D. Beaton said...

When I joined the HBA in 1998 I never thought of it as "something" to put on my resume! My goal was to provide the company I was workinng for more visibility by being an "active" participant of the local association, never did I dream that I would be as active as I am at the National level. Being a member means to help open doors to home ownership, helping each member achieve their goals and making long lasting friendships.

Molly said...

This was a great topic to bring to light, I am just concerned that the people who need to read it most won't. Over the years I have found that many members treat their very membership as a "resume builder". They fail to take advantage of the many benefits of membership such as access to educational opportunities, networking events and community service projects. My local chapter as well as National have served me well and I am only too happy to give back.
Molly McCabe
Member of the Home Builders Association of Kitsap County

Associate Members said...


The best way to have people read this article is to make sure you send link to blog out to your members. Also, take the article and post it in your HBA's publications. Or have your associate committee work on ways to highlight the message. There are so many ways to take action but only one thing in common; the act of the action itself :)