Jeff Lipschultz’s Blog

I Think, Therefore I Blog

Can You Go The Distance?

Collaborative, creative, team player.  Self-motivated, quick-learner, top communicator.  Do these terms describe you?  Well, they should because apparently they describe just about everyone based on the resumes I’ve seen.  For certain, these terms are not original.  While discussing your talents within a resume or interview, you need to convey you possess these attributes.  However, job seekers should keep in mind these are not enough.

There is one attribute I don’t hear much about from candidates that I think may be more important than the others: ENDURANCE.  As an avid cyclist, this word comes up often for me, especially around the discussion of long-distance rides and races. 

In the working world, what connotations come to mind?  If an employee has strong “endurance,” he or she typically:

  • Do not shy away from tough assignments and gets them done on time
  • Is politically savvy and can manage through controversy
  • Can set action plans in place that are achievable (often times with limited resources)
  • Leverages constructive criticism to make themselves better
  • Sticks around for a while and looks to get promoted from within
  • Does not get bored easily
  • Takes few sick daysturtle

I’m sure the list goes on and on.  As employers look to bolster their teams, they want strong contributors.  All the common qualities mentioned at the top are important, but frankly, they are expectations of every candidate.

Endurance is something that is proven and displayed through solid examples.  The best examples relate how an employee rose above the rest to accomplish big things during tough times.  In my opinion, endurance is a differentiator.  It enables you to go the distance.


Related posts:

Resume Writers- Keep Your Plate Out of the Boiler


October 27, 2009 - Posted by | Candidate Selection, General Musings, Interviewing 101, Resume Writing


  1. Endurance – Good one! I also like RESOURCEFUL…also a differentiator.

    Comment by Chris Havrilla | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  2. More great information Jeff! Thanks for the post!

    Comment by Justin ( @justinthesouth | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  3. Having just written a resume for an executive in a university setting where leadership turnover was rampant, I can relate to bullet point #2: Is politically savvy and can manage through controversy.

    This executive’s value drivers include leading through sweeping change, influencing organizational buy-in where skepticism and distrust of leadership ran rampant and deriving high-value, return-on-investment results.

    None of these initiatives are easy, and all require endurance, even under the best of circumstances. My client assumed a role that had experienced 4 turnovers in 4 years, and her endurance was proven by her not only tackling the position for 8 long years, but by her successfully rallying change and converting a disparate organization into a communicative, cooperative and productive environment.

    Another on-point message, Jeff that focuses on just one word, “endurance” around which meaningful, rich and moving career stories can be shaped.


    Comment by careertrend | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  4. I love this term, not only because I’m a cyclist, but because (as a business owner) if someone said that to me, I’d naturally drift toward asking them goal-oriented questions. Our culture here is about the marathon and setting sprint goals to help us achieve the vision. If an interviewee says they have endurance, I’m immediately interested in learning more.

    Comment by Gini Dietrich | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  5. Very savvy set of uncommonly found defining behaviors. I know I would love to see some or ALL of them and then discuss them in the interview šŸ™‚ U rock yet again!

    Comment by Karla Porter | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  6. Hi Jeff – Love the term Endurance and the importance of providing readers with what they want to see. Should show the skills, achievements and experience but also the quality of character and drive to succeed.

    It ties in with branding and fit, and whether the job seekers will be a good employee or a great employee.

    Great post!

    Comment by Kris Plantrich | October 28, 2009 | Reply

  7. Love the word endurance, Jeff. Now that you’ve written about it, I wonder how long until it becomes a commodity? Over-used, but not illustrated. The last paragraph of your post sums it up perfectly … “proven and displayed through solid examples.”

    Regardless of the attributes a candidate uses to distinguish themselves, unless they “walk the talk,” those words are nothing more than meaningless generalities.

    Comment by Cindy Kraft | October 28, 2009 | Reply

  8. Jeff –

    The timing of this post couldn’t have been better. I was writing a resume for an investigative reporter yesterday who frequently spent many months researching and gathering information for articles. Endurance and tenacity perfectly described his commitment to gathering data at a granular level and providing impeccable, accurate reports for his readers. Inspired by your post, I was able to better weave the demonstration of those skills into his resume.

    I’ve learned something from you … yet again. (What does that make — the millionth time?) Keep writing. I’ll keep reading. Thanks for being so generous.

    Comment by dawnbugni | October 29, 2009 | Reply

  9. A real insightful post, Jeff. Thanks for bringing this term more to the front.
    I can still remember being impressed when a job candidate told me “I never f$@%^@^@ quit.” A bit crude, perhaps, but darned effective to me.

    Comment by glhoffman | October 29, 2009 | Reply

  10. Another great post, Jeff. I always enjoy your point of view, the way you add fresh information with a creative twist. With cut-backs and extra work loads, employees will need the stamina to perform to the highest standards despite the conditions……endurance, I like that.

    Comment by Diana Lewis | October 29, 2009 | Reply

  11. Endurance is a million dollar word! It’s unique and covers so much ground.
    I also enjoyed how you pointed out that those all too common terms merely describe minimum requirements.

    “All the common qualities mentioned at the top are important, but frankly, they are expectations of every candidate.”

    The ideal candidate, the one who sticks out and sticks around, is the one who possess more than the bare minimum and the aren’t afraid to write about it either.

    Thanks for keeping us all thinking!

    Comment by Career Sherpa | October 30, 2009 | Reply

  12. I do like the point you are making, but the problem I have with the blog is that on the surface it seems to advocate the wrong kind of resume-construction: non-contextual keywords.

    As they say in the publishing biz, *show, don’t tell*. This means give me CONCRETE examples of what you are trying to portray instead of just some vague instances of skills or attributes you have.

    I tell people: don’t tell me you are a “great communicator”. Tell me you are “Bilingual HR professional (Spanish/English) giving training presentations to groups of 200 or more on a weekly basis”.

    Comment by Kristen F | October 30, 2009 | Reply

    • Kristen, I couldn’t agree with you more. Candidates must give concrete examples that provide depth to any “attribute.” Simple words are just that. I definitely advocate the same advice: have a story to tell that shows you have “endurance.” The bullets I provided are examples of high level situations–candidates need to come up with their own specific ones. This isn’t just for resumes–this is for interviews, too.
      Thanks for the comments!

      Comment by jefflipschultz | October 30, 2009 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: