Archive for the ‘Professional Resume Writer’ category

Equipped to Climb the Ladder

March 25, 2010

By Rob Poindexter, Writer and Sailor

“Wow,”  he thought to himself. The large indoor pool area looked immense as he stood there alone at the foot of the high dive. It soared some 25 feet in the air above the glassy pool’s surface, over 5 times higher then his own 8-year-old frame. Many times he had stood here, only to be told by his mother or some other well meaning adult that it was far too dangerous for him.

Well, none of those would impede him now. He had slipped into the pool area while everyone else had moved on to other activities at the club. He looked up the tall ladder leading to the lofty perch, and then allowed his eyes to trace the board out to the edge, and from there followed his imaginary line of descent down to where he supposed his body would make contact with the water’s surface. He had planned this scene many times in the past year or so, and now he was face to face with the reality of it.

He knew it would not be easy, but the thought that it wasn’t possible never entered into the picture. He let out a soft sigh as he reached for the ladder rail, rung by rung he hoisted himself toward the ceiling, stopping briefly about halfway up to check his progress, looking down first , then up at the board, then across the pool. Concerned, but undeterred, he continued his ascent.

He knew from this height, if he slipped and fell to the hard surface below him, he would be seriously injured, if not killed. For now, those thoughts had to be abandoned if he expected to succeed in this endeavor.  For even at this young age he knew what we all eventually come to realize, that, of course being that fear is usually the number one reason we fail so often in life.

Finally, reaching for the top of the rails, he stepped onto the board. He had two choices at this point, but only one option as far as he was concerned. “After all,  jumping from the board would certainly require less effort then climbing back down the tall ladder,” he thought to himself.

He stood , wide eyed, looking around the huge empty room. The ceiling was still no less then 25 feet above where he stood now, the pool although immense when standing next to it at ground level, didn’t seem to be as large a target from this new perspective. The hollow silence that can usually only be sensed in these large indoor pool areas, felt somewhat intimidating to him.

He walked cautiously to the end of the board, careful not to begin his jump before he was ready by slipping off the side of the narrow runway. Knowing that this may be the last time, for a long time, that he would get this opportunity again , he stood enjoying and taking in, his new vantage point. Finally, the time had come, so he took in a long breath, filling his tiny lungs to, what he hoped was full capacity, and without a second thought, leapt from the board, with no particular target other then the pool itself.

He broke the surface of the pool’s motionless water feet first and continued to slip below the new waves he had caused. Once downward momentum finally gave way to buoyancy,  he kicked his way back up until his mouth and nose were once again able to take in fresh air, and swam to the nearest pool ladder. Once there, he turned himself around and hoisted himself so that he was now seated on the top rung.

He had done it. He was thrilled and relieved to have finally accomplished that which had seemed so overwhelming until just a few short moments ago. What’s more,  he had survived.

Not unlike our little friend here, we have faced our fears at some time or another, and like him we had choices about how to best handle those challenges in order to achieve our goals.

Was he equipped properly to achieve his goals? I think so. He could walk, he could climb, he could jump, he could hold his breath, he could swim. Leave out any of those abilities and I dare say, he could not have jumped from that board with the same amount of success as he demonstrated.

We find the job we’d like to have, we make the proper connections to secure an interview, and then we make our way to the office to be measured by those who will have the last say on the success of this venture.

We are set to enter the ‘pool,’ if you will.

Very little, at this stage of the game, is as important as a well written, professional resume.  You may want to look at it as your life ring in the pool of the job search. For without it you are very likely to be drowned out.

Your Resume Is Not a Tweet

March 11, 2010

I read it, and I get it, and I buy-in to the 20-second ‘resume scan’ rule. Yet, I don’t  FULLY buy in. What I mean is, I don’t accept the implication by some that  your resume only gets a 10-, 20-, 30-second sweeping glance by the hiring manager, recruiter, HR. .. AND THAT’S IT (the end of the road for your resume).

I love how GL Hoffman discusses the lean resume concept by playfully experimenting with the idea of a  6-word resume over at his blog. I enjoy these thought-provoking experiments, and I believe Twitter and other social media vehicles are teaching us to write tighter and more thoughtfully. These exercises help us all do a better job of drilling down to our unique value statements for those quick quips and exchanges we ‘initially’ may have with someone in our networking group or during any aspect of job courting.

As well, your resume must be glimpseable and pithy to grab the attention of the reader so he will pluck yours from the stacks of lukewarm, unfocused resumes and call you in for the interview.

However, I fear we may get so caught up into thinking our resumes must be tweet-like and ultra-lean, that we miss out on an expanded opportunity to provide content- and story-rich value, with muscle and meat!

Job seekers, and those who are presently employed but actively engaged in their career management, let’s take a breath, please, and realize the value of your message, and the extended value of your words, moving from conversation to conversation and interview to interview, reinforcing and propelling your unique proposition of value.

Once it has reached the short stack, realize if written strategically and compellingly, the resume can and often WILL support your interview movement, represent your professional/executive presence and boost your momentum leading to the negotiation phases. Recently, one of my actively interviewing resume clients, expressed that value so well, saying this about his resume:  “It is absolutely a great presentation and value statement, and I love how it moves from all the lower level discussions to the higher level ones so quickly.”

If you honor the resume process, you will reap the return-on-time and intellectual investment deep into your interview engagements. The resume is your partner in the process of clarifying not only who you are but what you bring to the job-opportunity table. No longer a brief listing of where you were, when you were there and what you ‘did,’ the eloquent and compelling resume knits you intimately into the company’s story fabric.

Suddenly, they gasp, “Aha, I can no longer live without this person. He is the salve for our pain, the revenue driver for our lagging sales, the inspirer for our lackadaisical team …” (You get the drift).

Beyond that, once you’re contacted for the interview, your resume can guide the interview process (yes, it will not only land the interview, it will provide fuel for the interview conversation). As well, for group interviews, your resume is passed around among interviewers; and for deeper interview processes involving senior managers, executives and board members, their first impression of you is a read-through and sometimes, thorough examination of your resume BEFORE you walk through their doors for a face-to-face interview.

Yes, you heard right, a read-through: they are  actually reading through and scrutinizing your resume, judging you by your resume presence. Is it assumptive? Assuming they know your value? Tactical? Only providing the nuts and bolts of your career, but not really positioning you for their needs strategically? Is it boring? Yawn. Is it elementary in design? Again, like a pressed suit, polished shoes, coiffed hair and the tailored words that spew from your lips, your resume represents YOU at every critical stage of the interview conversation.

Sleeping Beauty

March 3, 2010

By Robert Poindexter, Sailor and Writer

For six long months she lay at rest in her slip.

Six long months of cold days, and even colder nights, her lines filled with pink fluid, running through her like the medication from an IV filling the veins of a coma patient. But soon she will be awakened from the deep slumber that winter forces on her every time summer’s warm breath gives way to fall’s chilly warning of cold north winds filling her berth.

But now, an early spring sun gleams off her bow pulpit and dances around its edges as her prow rises and softly falls like the chest of a sleeping beauty while muted waves lap at her water line.

I can scarcely contain myself as I walk to greet her. Like a long lost friend who looks so good after a long absence, I reach for her, grabbing a handful of shroud, I caress the wooden rollers and hoist a leg over her lifeline.

One by one, I ease around her decks, releasing bungee cords one at a time from the tarps that have been her blankets for the winter she has endured. Soon enough, they are folded and stowed. The usual inspections are done, the cleaning, leak inspections, hoses reconnected that need be, valves checked, opened, and cleared of anti-freeze, fresh water added to tanks, and the mundane, but necessary tasks that go along with bringing her back to life.

Now it’s time to turn my attention to the iron genny. With new filters and fresh oil in place, I climb into the cockpit and prepare to do battle.

Key on, choke pulled, throttle set, engine room fans on. I listen to them hum for a few minutes, then I bump the key – batteries are strong, and the little four gives it her all, but she needs time, she just needs to wipe the sleep from her eyes and clear her throat. A few more tries, and now she sits idling, water spilling from her stern, singing the sweetest song I’ve heard in ages.

While the melody continues, I move forward and hank the 150 in place, running the sheets to the cockpit, kick off the dock lines and pull away from the slip that has held her captive too long. We glide past the others in our little marina, waving at neighbors as we head towards the lake.

Once past the buoy that marks our harbor, I give the Atomic 4 enough throttle to take a bigger bite out of blue-green water. Looking up the mast, I turn the wheel to port and follow the windvane as it slowly reaches for the bow.

Ahh, there it is, now I cut back the throttle to a sweet idle, kick her tranny in neutral and let the forward momentum keep us moving as I head up and hoist the main. Once secured, I swing around to the port side and hoist the genoa.

Now, back at the helm, I spin the wheel to starboard and watch the sweet westerly fill her sails. As they billow, the smile in my soul makes its way to my eyes, my chest is filled with laughter as I reach for the key and silence the beast in her belly.

She heels slightly as we become one with the wind and waves as our only companions.

It’s only a small lake, in a small town in Kansas, but I couldn’t have felt more content than if it were the wide blue sea.

How like opening up a sailboat after a long winter is the person who is suddenly in a job search situation. Whether you are a new grad looking for the first time or a seasoned pro that has not been in the market for a while, there are basic tools and checklists that must be performed in order to properly launch your new career search.

The most important tool by far being the professionally written resume, which, like the sails on my “sleeping beauty,” when set properly, will catch the eye of the hiring manager to create that “whoosh” that propels your career across the lake of life.

Is your resume anemic?

February 13, 2010

Does the following describe your resume’s plight?

1. Anemic, weakened by lack of attention as it sits idly in your virtual computer drawer, untended and under-fed as your career purrs along.

2. Or perhaps, it was resuscitated by artificial means as a result of the panic you felt when you were suddenly laid off.

3. A heart stint strategically placed here to unplug a clogged resume artery, a pin there to bridge disconnected resume bones.

4. You gave it a quick facelift and a boost of botox to endear it to the modern masses.

5. As a result, your resume is an unwholesome reflection of its once healthy self.

Your resume is your career heartbeat. Feed it regularly, reevaluate and revisit your career health-care plan and reinvigorate your resume with fresh-from-the-vine, vitamin-enriched word stories to achieve a more robust career outlook and competitive edge.

Isn’t your career lifeblood worth the nurturing to boost your vitality in the career racetrack within which it will be expected to outperform other vital, story-enriched career positioning documents?

Due and Proper

February 3, 2010

Do you wake up every morning on time? Do you head to the shower and prepare your body with a cleansing for the work day ahead?

Men, do you step out of the shower and faithfully put your razor to work, ridding your face of offensive stubble that began creeping up on you around 5:00 the previous day?

Women, do you faithfully set about the task of applying make up and styling solutions to your face and locks, not to mention, working the curling iron, blow dryer and whatever other machinery produced by modern man to ready you for taking on the day?

And after these laborious tasks are completed do you not all head for whatever room contains your clothing for the day, and don the appropriate clothing, taking time to make sure this tie goes with this shirt and these shoes go with this skirt?

Day after day, week after week, those with deadlines and commitments pull ourselves from soothing slumber and stumble into our hostile environment. Maybe we’re not fighting a dinosaur for our next meal, but we certainly face our share of challenges that can make facing off with a tyrannosaurus rex seem like child’s play.

Eight, 10, sometimes 14 hours later, we head to our cars, or trains or cabs or whatever conveyance got us to work, and we head home. Beat up, bruised and battered by the events of the work day, we walk through the door of our homes, shoulders slumped, hair a mess, make-up in dire need of restoration, stubble on our chins that we know tomorrow morning will have to be removed, yet again.

Finally after years of toiling for the fire-breathing figure who sits in the corner office, you are called into said office where the figure bestows upon you a great honor.

You can hardly contain yourself.

The moment you leave the office you begin telling everyone how they gave you a promotion. You call your spouse, your best friend, your children , your next door neighbor, your mailman, the guy at 7/11 that you always thought was a little strange. You tell them all, “They gave me a promotion” , “ I’m the head of ——-“ .

Oh,boy, oh boy.

Now, wait a minute, you! They didn’t g i v e you that promotion.  You earned it by grinding whatever griss the mill required. You stayed late to finish the project; you fought bumper to bumper traffic to and fro each day, you showed up every day on time and took the lead when no one else would.

There was no grace involved by the powers that made the decision to promote you. They studied you, they watched you, and they knew by promoting you, based on your own hard work and self sacrifice, they would, in most cases, add to their bottom line. This is, after all, what the free enterprise system is all about. Is it not?

What a shame it would be to allow all that you’ve been through to go unappreciated because you felt it unnecessary to invest in a resume that shines adequate light on your accomplishments. That simple little form that lets the world know, “Hey, man I’ve been tried by the fire and not only survived, but thrived!”

There is a very high likelihood that someday you’ll leave your current place of servitude, and when you do, the next powers that you apply to won’t have the luxury of watching you grow into what you have become and base their decision on that when it comes to hiring you.

They will only have that all important document that you hand them.

So, when the corner office calls, will you be ready?

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Written by Robert P. Poindexter:  Blogger, Sales Executive and Sailor

There’s a Hole in Your Story, Sir

January 8, 2010

So on       morning, I got up around        , and decided it was time I finally took care of that        which had been bugging my wife and I for quite some. I fixed myself a couple of         with some        on the side, then headed out the           to pick up the items necessary to complete the         at hand.

Soon enough I found myself speaking with a knowledgeable            at the         store and he was able to give me some much needed            . I got the           back home and right away figured out the       was missing. So back to the         I went. I hate making more than     trip when I set out to accomplish something, especially something as important as getting the         fixed so we can finally start using the        .  I was able to locate the        that had helped me earlier and expressed my dissatisfaction with him by          in the          . Well that certainly got his attention, and  he was much more           this time . He wanted to be absolutely sure I got the         and wouldn’t come back to         him in the          again.

Long story         , I finally got everything set up right and wife and I can again           . What a           .

You may have noticed that a few words, a few key words were missing from the story above. If you went back and read it several times just to make sure you weren’t missing anything, you weren’t. Many of the words left out, most people could fill in themselves and come to the correct conclusion. Some of the missing words could only be filled in by the author for the story to make any sense.

How often people will turn in a resume that makes about as much sense to a hiring manager as the story above makes to you. Just one missing piece of information could very well send your resume to the land of no return; no matter how qualified you may be for the position.

Hiring a professional resume writer will help you fill in the blanks, making sure the reader is getting a clear and concise message of who you are and why you are the best candidate for the open post.

You’ve worked too hard for the awards and promotions you’ve earned to allow one missing word here or there to completely dive bomb your chances for success.

~~~~~

Written by Robert P. Poindexter:  Blogger, Sales Executive and Sailor