We've all heard the truism, "if it seems too good to be true, it probably is."
I was reminded of this when a client told me about her experience hiring an unseen and unknown writer to retool her résumé.
When we first talked, she wanted to know more about working with me, then sheepishly admitted she was already working with someone she'd found on Thumbtack. If you don't what that is, it's a website through which you put out a call for a certain contractor, such as a plumber, painter, or writer, to do a project. Then a bunch of people tell you their prices, and you pick one. She liked the price. Seemed like a bargain! So she bought.
I asked if that person had interviewed her to find out details. No, she said. I asked if that person had talked to her on the phone. No, she said. She received a questionnaire, filled it out and sent it back.
What came back a few days later was a not-bad-looking document. It was nicely formatted; all the lines were straight. I thought, okay, maybe this is fine.
Upon closer inspection, however, I realized that all the writer had done was take the answers on the questionnaire and compose them into a giant list of all the different things she had done in various jobs.
Nothing stood out. There was no central "theme" to the résumé that aligned all of her work with a certain type of expertise aimed at certain employer needs. In fact, it was so jumbled, that it looked like the work experience of two or three different people.
She wrote me a text, "It's awful." And then she called me.
We are working together now to design something that truly showcases her talents and achievements. I'm quite excited about it, because she has moved mountains during her career and the world needs to know it! There's an employer who needs her.
Next time you need your résumé retooled, do me a favor. Do not go online and hire a person you haven't talked to, who hasn't asked you anything, and who hasn't heard your story. You will find a lot of companies that spit out résumés by the dozen. They use the same templates over and over.
Find a professional writer who is a CPRW or has a similar, recognized certification. Because here's what you don't want: to submit a document you've paid for, and hear nothing back. That will mean you've MISSED OUT ON AN OPPORTUNITY to interview for a job you probably took a lot of time to identify. There's no going back.
You've lost time and money!
YOU ARE NOT A TEMPLATE.
A certified, trained writer will interview you and find out why you shine, and then will work hard to showcase you on a document that is yours and yours alone. A credentialed and experienced writer will position you to attract interest.
Will the price probably be higher than on Thumbtack? Yes. In all likelihood. Because a professional résumé writer is not a clerical worker. We are artists of a sort, taking the material you have crafted during your career and creating a marketing piece that shares your genius with employers.
Isn't that worth the investment to get you a better, higher paying job?
If you're ready to get serious about your job search, tell me here.
An amazing guy I know - a friend for many years - just GOT HIRED by a great local company to do the work he loves! I have to share, because his job search followed a systematic path that I advocate to job seekers who hire me. It's top-secret! (Okay. No, it's not. But it does take work.)
He incorporated the following:
1. A résumé that showcases his value to the employer
2 A captivating story about his career accomplishments
3. Connections made through friends and colleagues
4. Personal contact with hiring managers
5. Multiple avenues to finding connections, including email! (old-school is new-school!)
6. In-person networking at local events, focusing on his industry
7. A schedule of activities
8. NOT QUITTING
Sound easy? It's easy to grasp. It's just challenging to DO. Consistently. But if you make a plan and stick to it, something's going to happen. Something good. That's why I'm here! Contact me and let's get your plan started. YOU GOT THIS.
I hear this a lot. And I totally get it. You just want to refresh the document you wrote a while ago, then roll up your sleeves and submit it to employers.
Guess again. Today’s job hunt is a lot more complicated than it was even five years ago.
Of course, you need a great résumé. Of course, you need to know about job openings, and you need to apply for them. But simply throwing your documents into an automated tracking system is not the best strategy for finding a job.
Today’s search is multi-pronged. It requires a combination of documented success and connections with people. In other words, your job search has to include networking. This is intimidating to many of us.
Where to begin?
Well, here’s one idea:
Go back through all your old emails, the directory in your phone, and your social media connections. Think about who know, professionally and socially. From church? From a volunteer activity? From your kid’s school? An event you attended? Make a list (Excel is great for this) of everyone you find who is still around and reachable.
Then start reaching out. Call, email, text, etc. Let your friends know you’re looking. You might be amazed at who some of them know.
Reinvigorate some of those old friendships or start new ones. Invite them out for coffee to catch up. Invite them to join you at a community event. Maybe you share an interest in crafting or bicycling or OSU sports.
Find out what people are up to now. As you talk, you can tell them about your search.
Many valuable connections with hiring managers come through people you know (and the people they know). Many great jobs are not advertised. You could find out about one of these!
But you won’t know where a helpful connection will emerge unless you ask, and today’s a good time to get started.
I get that a lot. When I tell clients that one of the key facets of their plan is meeting people, I see the dread and apprehension rise to their eyes. Introverts, especially, would rather hide at home and send online applications.
I try to break the news gently. Then I give them some tips to make it easier. I will share some of those with you! I attended a lunch-n-learn this afternoon and heard two people I greatly respect - Hannah Botkin-Doty and Chad Draheim, attorneys at Artz, Dewhirst and Wheeler - talking about this topic to a group of law students. Here's some advice from them and from me:
1. Set a goal before you go: how many people you will talk to, how many cards you will collect. When you meet the goal, you're free to go.
2. Ask the other person some questions about them. People love to talk about themselves. And they probably will ask you questions about yourself.
3. Save the cards you collect and write on each a few notes about the person so you don't forget who they are! If you don't exchange cards, then get on LinkedIn right there at the event, and mutually connect.
4. Bring a friend to the event. It will help you feel less conspicuous and give you someone to default to if you find yourself standing alone for a minute.
5. Tell people you're looking for work. You don't have to shout it to the room, or even make it the first thing you say. But at some point, let it be known. Because if you don't tell people, they can't help.
6. Don't talk too long. A few minutes is enough. If you need to, jump in to thank them for the chat and tell them, "I'm going to circulate now." Then step away.
7. After the event, message the people who met. Tell them how nice it was to meet them, and suggest having coffee.
For 1:1 networking:
1. Know the person before you meet. Look them up online, find out what they do, what their interests are.
2. Start the conversation by asking what they have been up to that day, or what they thought of the football or hockey game - or some other light topic. Then let the conversation flow from that. Ask them about how they got into their current professional role.
3. Answer their questions. Talk a bit about yourself and what you've been doing. Tell them you're looking for a new role, and for any recommendations of organizations you should be involved in, or people you should know.
4. Keep the meeting to an hour or less. Afterward, thank them in person, and later, via email or with a personal mailed note (ask for their card!).
5. Keep in touch by offering value: sharing an interesting article in their field area; congratulating them on a business award or promotion; etc. Don't overdo it, but don't merely abandon the connection, either.
6. Ask them if they can let you know if they hear about any openings in your area. This could lead to news about an opening at their company! You never know...
I hope this helps! Networking can be enjoyable. And you never know where it will lead. You could help someone else as much as receiving help.
You found your dream job.
For a while, it was wonderful.
Then a new boss took the helm.
A bully boss.
At first, you didn’t believe it could be true. But as time wore on, you realized that the way this person spoke to you, the judgment you received, and the demands on your time were beyond reason.
You tried to figure it out. You scheduled meetings with your boss. You asked for clearer direction.
Things got worse.
It wasn’t easy, but you quit.
Now, you’re looking for something new, a fresh start, a place to contribute your talents. The sky is bluer and the outlook sunny.
Or so you’re told.
But you still feel awful.
Everyone tells you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get your resumes out! Only, you feel completely discouraged and even though you smile and look busy, deep down, you feel that no one will hire you; that they will see what your boss saw and laugh at you.
What you’re feeling is normal. It’s the sort of PTSD that those of us who have lived through workplace bullying experience after leaving a toxic situation – and it’s real. Here’s some advice from the Workplace Bullying Institute that might help you recover:
I get this question a LOT. It seems that over the past several decades advice on the topic of resume length has varied. I've had clients absolutely insist that they must not exceed three pages. Others jump right in and write a novel
The truth is that length isn't the issue so much as quality. Your document should be a cohesive and succinct overview of your greatest accomplishments and most valuable skills. It should declare briefly and compellingly what you are known for and how you have demonstrated that in the jobs you've held.
Your resume needs an easy-to-read format. It should contain bullet points, used judiciously. The font should be easy to read. There should be enough white space to ensure it doesn't look cluttered.
It should say enough to communicate your point, without going on too long.
Keep in mind that you are in control. You can decide what to include and how to phrase it, and where to place the information. The goal is to ensure the reader can instantly see that you fit the company's needs and why. The goal is simply this: To show you as a candidate worthy of an interview.
It's not as complicated as you think. Give me a call and I can give you additional pointers.