A Resume with Fortitude

Last post I brought up the idea that creating a resume that focuses on the four classical virtues could be one way to differentiate you from the crowd. Today, I want to focus on the virtue of Fortitude. Let’s look at ways to naturally insert the concepts of courage, bravery and fortitude into your resume.

First, a quick definition of what is meant by fortitude in this sense. The strict meaning of the word is a mental and emotional strength when facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation in a courageous fashion. This brings to mind images of knights in shining armor battling to the death. However, when we are talking about the career setting we need to modify this somewhat, or at least re-frame it.

The adversity you face in a job setting comes in the forms of co-workers who may not be on board with your ideas or perhaps a business trend that you have to persevere against. Luckily, there are no real dragons to slay or enemies to vanquish in our day-to-day jobs ~ unless of course you work at a Renaissance faire, but then that’s a separate discussion.

So, you ask, how do I put this idea of yours into print on my resume?

There is more than one way to highlight Fortitude on your resume.

Let’s look at the four main sections of the traditional resume as our starting point. You should have an objective, a summary/profile, a work history and an education section. The places that would make the most sense to insert this information would be the summary and work history.

You could do this in a number of ways. Think of times you have had to stand against the crowd where it has lead to a positive outcome. Lists those as achievements in the history section. State your willingness to go out on a limb for a good idea in your summary. How you do this is dependent upon the types of experiences you have had. What is important is that you use this idea as a jumping off point for content for the resume.

Don’t forget about your cover letter.

The cover letter also is a great place to list these concepts, especially if you need a little more verbal freedom when describing it. The resume should be limited to bullet points, so if your example of courage needs a bit of explanation, see if it could better be told in the cover letter.

Now it is your turn. Before sitting down to write a rough draft of your resume, spend some time brainstorming a list of times when fortitude stood at the center of your experience. Whether you directly mention these instances or not, the act of starting from a place of strength will end up informing the entirety of your resume.

Stay tuned for the next post where I will be talking about the concept of Prudence and how to incorporate it into your resume and cover letter.