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December 14, 2012
Unveiled: Your Most Precious Career Asset...Ever
 
Most of us would argue about what exactly tops the list as to what constitutes THE top career asset in a job-search arsenal. 
 
Some might say it’s your résumé, which is a very valid argument. Others might insist that it’s having a robust network of contacts. Another camp might think it lies in your accomplishments and what you’ve contributed to the company.
 
True.
 
But recently, after LinkedIn unveiled their latest and greatest feature of skill endorsements, I got to thinking about the bigger picture. 
 
What REALLY does make the biggest impact on your career?
 
I became convinced that your biggest career asset is one thing and one thing alone: It’s how people perceive you.
  • People who think highly of you are going to be your references.
  • People who think highly of you are going to make and write recommendations.
  • People who think highly of you are going to endorse your skills.
  • People who think highly of you are going to make job-opening referrals to and for you.
  • People who think highly of you are going to pick up the phone call and tell the hiring manager how awesome you are.
  • People who think highly of you are going to be your mentors. 
It’s a precious thing, this perception that people have of you. It’s tender. It’s kind. It’s generous. And it can be fleeting, if you don’t treat it right.
 
How you treat others can have a huge, far-reaching impact into areas of your career that you haven’t even yet begun to contemplate. How you treat someone now doesn’t simply end.  As we all know, the world is an ever-increasingly small place. What seemingly doesn’t matter now could be excruciatingly important in the future. 
 
So think about how you treat others every single day. You never know when it may matter in the future.

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Dawn Rasmussen, CMP, is the president of Portland, Ore.-based Pathfinder Writing and Careers, which specializes in mid- to upper-management résumés. She is an active volunteer in her community and donates her time teaching a résumé writing class at the Oregon Employment Department every week to help empower unemployed professionals and workers.
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