The Value-Add of “Supplementals”

I was interviewed for an article in Forbes magazine, Get Hired in Four Easy Steps .

In a tight market, why not go beyond the traditional two-page resume to showcase your background and the kind of deliverables you could bring to a new position?

Supplementals provide a key advantage. It’s a concept we introduced in the MBA Edge program at TCU’s Neeley School of Business in the midst of the last economic downturn.


  • News articles about projects and initiatives
  • Examples of “dashboard” metrics that you created to track results
  • Case studies that highlight situation/analysis/results
  • New product pitches
  • Research projects
  • “Get started” business plan– how you would approach the new assignment
  • “Deal sheets” that list business/financial transactions

Submit them along with the resume as separate attachments. Or create an additional page to the resume and embed weblinks that can take the reader to the content. Or take them to the interview and use them as a “talking piece” at an appropriate interval.

Supplementals are ideal for those in early career stage with fewer years of experience. A standout accomplishment in college or graduate school can still be appropriate content as an illustration of your track record of excellence.

It can also an effective strategy for more senior level candidates, if there is a high level of competition for the position you are seeking. (i.e., just about any open position in today’s economic environment!)  Just be sure you don’t share anything that is proprietary or considered a company’s intellectual property.

Some success stories:

  • A young MBA was a near Perfect Fit for a search assignment I was handling, but had fewer years of experience than the client required for a managerial slot. During the phone screen, the candidate casually mentioned some news stories in which she had been featured. It was pre-YouTube, so I suggested she digitize the TV clip. I created a word doc/reprint from the newspaper website. (Another tip: capture news/blog items while they are still available on-line!) I submitted the supplementals to the client along with my recommendations and comments. They still didn’t hire her for the position where there was an experience shortfall, but they were impressed and created another role for her inside the company!
  • A second-year MBA student had a long tenure in retail but wanted to move into another sector. He had been a store manager and turned a loser location into a top sales and profit leader. I probed how he did it. He was modest and an introvert. “Oh, it was nothing,” he protested, then told an impressive story of targeting, measuring and rewarding incremental improvements. All with minimum wage staff, many part-time. Wow! He still had the paperwork to create and track the program. He took it to all of his on-campus interviews and won a role at a top consulting firm.
  • In my own experience, I was asked for a Who Do You Know roster of VP level and above officers of high tech companies for a business development role at PricewaterhouseCoopers. In lieu, I created a series of Relationship Roadmaps — org charts that illustrated executives and advisors from key tech clients of mine and where they had migrated. They were populating many target companies of the firm. I explained: “It’s not whom you know. It’s who knows whom and how the relationships work together.” I bested the other candidates and won the job.
  • In targeting the executive search profession as a late-career move in the last downturn, I created a ramp-up plan: Achieving Growth in a Down Market. It showed I was serious and had a step-by-step approach to winning business. At a time when firms were downsizing, I was possibly the only person in America to get a foothold in retained executive search in 2002!

In the current market, we’re seeing C-level executives creating blogs and websites that detail their expertise, track records and thought leadership.

Get creative. Go the extra mile. Build a case. Sell yourself.

You can do it!

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Copyright © 2012 Nancy Keene