Going for the Gold….Girl Scout-style

If you were an Olympic gold medal winner – or even a team member – wouldn’t you include that on your resume?

Particularly for those transitioning to a new post-sports career, it would telegraph a powerful message:

  • High performer
  • Dedicated, disciplined
  • Mentally and physically strong
  • Can go the distance/extra mile
  • Battle-tested

When evaluating early career stage candidates, hiring decisionmakers look for examples of leadership and personal distinction.   Since there is less actual work experience to evaluate, it’s important for young talent to showcase other examples of achievement that lead to future potential.

Young men who achieve the Eagle Scout award typically add that bullet on the resume – even if it is in the tiniest font at the bottom of the page.  It’s a known milestone of achievement – and offers a value-added level of assurance:

  • Cool-headed, diligent
  • Can fix things, finish a project
  • Relishes a challenge

Did you know that there is a counterpart achievement for Girl Scouts? It’s called the Gold Award.

During ten years in executive search, I reviewed thousands of resumes and never noticed this designation on a C.V. –  even though I had a NextGen CEO specialty practice targeting best-of-the-best young talent for clients focused on long-term bench strength and succession planning.

In the 100 Year Anniversary of the Girl Scouts, we should incorporate the Gold Award into the vernacular of excellence.

“This is our time,” said Colleen Walker, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, the largest girl-serving organization in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex — encompassing 35,000 girl members, 17,000 adult members, 8 service centers and 6 camps. “Preparing and propelling girls to be future leaders is a mission that will make the world a better place. We are the ones who have to stand up, advocate and make a difference. ”

Here is a call to action for headhunters, corporate recruiters, troop leaders, high school counselors, college admissions offices and career centers, newspaper editors, parents and Girl Scouts everywhere.

Let it be known that:

  • The Girl Scout Gold Award is an equal counterpart to the BSA Eagle Scout designation.
  • Gold Award winners are equally proud of their accomplishments.
  • It is important to encourage girls to take credit for the hard work expended and showcase achievements that have been earned.
  • The Gold Award is an impressive addition to one’s resume.
  • Achieving the Gold Award is worth an announcement in the newspaper.

If we don’t elevate awareness of the Gold Award as an early career accomplishment,  what message are we sending to our young women?  Some very unhelpful, old-fashioned attitudes of gender inequality.

What can you do to help?

  1. Send this blogpost to someone who can favorably impact the career of a Gold Award winner — HR leader, recruiter, hiring decisionmaker, local news editor, blogger, etc.
  2. Encourage the Girl Scouts in your circle of family and friends to showcase the Gold Award on the resume – particularly during the first ten years of a career.
  3. Share this post on Facebook or Twitter
  4. Do your own blog or tweet about Going for the Gold!
  5. Word-of-mouth.  Mention the Girl Scout 100 year Anniversary and the Gold Award at your next business meeting or Book Club!
copyright 2012 Nancy Keene All Rights Reserved

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Copyright © 2012 Nancy Keene