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Since my past works didn't require strategic planning skills much, I think than mentioning about my chess skills is a good example for it. What do you think?

Here is my draft:

Skills

Strategic planning: top 50 players in Chess Tournament for Students in City X (2012)

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    Aside from the other issues here, you're dragging up a student chess tournament from four years ago? It's time to let it go man.
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 7:28
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    Is there any reason to expect a correlation between chess skill and business strategic planning skill? Bobby Fisher excelled at chess, but some of his out-of-game actions were arguably not very well chosen and planned. Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 8:53
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    Only mention your mad chess skills if you're an IM or GM. Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 15:09
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    As a chess player I can say that your skills section tells absolutely nothing. Top 50 of how many? Out of 50, 51, or 10k people. How good are other people? I can win a first place competing with 10k people who barely learned how to move pieces. Your section does not show anything about your skill as a player and it is similar to 'a marathon runner sticker' that people who can't brag about anything else use to boost their self-esteem. Everyone can be a marathon runner: you just need to come and do a few moves. Everyone can even finish a marathon (some might need a week, but they still finished) Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 23:25
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    @PatriciaShanahan is there any reason to believe that a diploma from a university has any correlation with strategic planning? There are computer programs that have not finished even preschool and which perform better in strategic planning than almost every human. Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 23:27

3 Answers 3

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Strategies in chess boil down to memorising a set of patterns and using them in combinations against the set of patterns your opponent has memorised and combined, then hope they make at least one more mistake than you.

Strategic planning in a business is much more complex:

  • you don't have perfect and open and freely accessible information of the game state

  • the game is not remotely zero-sum

  • the rules are dynamic and with significant regional variation

  • you are not in sole charge of your resources or choice of plan

  • you are not seeking an endgame, but an open-ended improvement process

Each of these alone makes your chess experience not a brilliant starting point for business strategy planning. At best it will help when you begin learning, but there are other skills which would be far more important in a business setting, like the ability to manage time pressure or to self-develop your skillset for a task.

TLDR: don't bother.

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    I would actually say that all these variables make the decision less complex, as thinking ahead many steps is never going to work anyway, so why do it. Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 5:13
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    @StephanBijzitter Business strategy is to think ahead a few steps, such that each time you are optimised for any potential outcome (much more like backgammon, really). Chess strategy is to think ahead a large number of steps, such that each time you are optimised for one or two (perhaps, if you're brilliant, three) of the potential outcomes, and that is only possible because there are so few choices to make at each step, and an even smaller subset of them are remotely beneficial. The decision is not made easier by the fact that even more decisions must also be made.
    – user53718
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 7:54
  • I would also assume that there is no correlation between chess strategy and strategy required in most "real life" activities. Of course, I don't have proof, but the thought seems ridiculous to me. Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 14:08
  • Excellent on business strategy is to think ahead a few steps, such that each time you are optimised for any potential outcome. Chess strategy is to think ahead a large number of steps, such that each time you are optimised for one or two of the potential outcomes, and that is only possible because there are so few choices to make at each step
    – Ooker
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 9:46
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Since my past works didn't require strategic planning skills much, I think than mentioning about my chess skills is a good example for it. What do you think?

Unless you are planning to apply for a job as a chess tutor, then leave off your chess skills. The same would be true for other games - backgammon, bridge, poker, etc.

Your resume should reflect your abilities relevant to the job for which you are applying. While chess involves strategy, jobs in business requiring "strategic planning skills" are looking for something different.

Strategic planning is an organizational management activity that is used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, ensure that employees and other stakeholders are working toward common goals, establish agreement around intended outcomes/results, and assess and adjust the organization's direction in response to a changing environment. It is a disciplined effort that produces fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, who it serves, what it does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future. Effective strategic planning articulates not only where an organization is going and the actions needed to make progress, but also how it will know if it is successful.

See: https://balancedscorecard.org/Resources/Strategic-Planning-Basics

Writing something like "Strategic planning: top 50 players in Chess Tournament" would signal to the company that you don't really understand strategic planning in a business context.

If you feel you must mention chess, include it in a "Hobbies" section.

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  • maybe the recruiters will see me as a potential candidate? I have to be trained anyway
    – Ooker
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 0:30
  • Self-employed pro poker player should probably list it but at that point it's a job not just a hobby. That should probably be the metric for anything you're thinking of putting on your resume. And while the subtext of your last phrase is clear to me, it should be said that no one except perhaps graduates should ever include a hobby section on their resume.
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 7:23
  • "The same would be true for other games - backgammon, bridge, poker, etc." I'd say that poker skills are definitely usable in the real world as being able to read humans is really helpful during negotiations or a any pitch.
    – FooTheBar
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 8:33
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    During negotiations, once they figured out what you are doing, it's game over. "He can read what I'm thinking, so I say the price that I want, and I won't budge from it".
    – gnasher729
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 9:35
  • Poker skills can be viewed as much more useful in a professional context, but the gambling/risk taking part may not be to everyone's liking. Treat carefully
    – ero
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 9:40
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Even though I do, in your case I wouldn't. And certainly not in the Skills section.

I've always mentioned my chess skills on my resume, but in the Hobbies section. Feedback was never negative, ranging from one quick slightly intrigued question to a longer discussion with genuine respectful interest. In many people's mind chess is linked to intelligence (it's complete crap obviously, there are dumb people in chess as in any other part of the population), strategic thinking etc. It might also be viewed as a sign of nerdiness (again, cliches die hard) but hey I work in IT so I'm already assumed to have a 50% chance to be an autistic geek :) Seriously it's a good way to tell a bit more about myself in a way that is generally perceived positively, and several times served as an ice-breaker once we were done with the regular hr/technical questions. But it's not intended to prove anything regarding my skillset.

That being said, I would only mention playing chess, not that tournament. To be honest it's just not that impressive. If they show some interest and start discussing your hobby then you can talk about it.

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  • I have thought that mentioning hobbies is not really beneficial in the cv? But I agree that I can be use for an ice-breaker.
    – Ooker
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 9:50
  • Can't absolutely say it's beneficial, just that it has served me well. Might be because I'm closer to the beginning of my career (graduated 3 years ago) and since there are less experiences to discuss in an interview those other topics are more important
    – ero
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 10:12

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