In the mid-1980's,
researchers at Cleveland State University made a startling discovery.
They conducted an
experiment by creating two fictitious job candidates: David and John. These
candidates had identical resumes and letters of reference. The only difference
was that John's letter included the sentence, "Sometimes, John can be
difficult to get along with." They showed these resumes to a number of
Which candidate did the
personnel directors overwhelmingly prefer? The difficult-to-get-along-with
concluded that criticism of John somehow made the praise of John more
believable. Admitting John's wart actually helped sell John.
As counter-intuitive as
it seems, admitting flaws apparently provides greater credibility. And
this may be an important key in selling.