Musings on a Resume with Wings

When a client returns to me for a resume update, I have each complete a catch-up questionnaire to begin the process.

A recent client wrote this in his homework questionnaire:

"Work willingly at whatever you do as though you were working for the Lord." (Colossians 3:23)

This was in response to my question "Do you have a quote by which you live?" It sure explains this client's amazing ability to conduct his work on his employer's behalf. His resume gently proclaims his exceptional performance.

Now, I am no longer a religious person, but I remain a strongly spiritual one. I believe, to the core of my being, in the existence of God. My God happens to be non-denominational and I'm quite willing to accept that in God's heart,each faith and denomination are equal, and even those who proclaim to be agnostic, still welcome in Heaven. (My proof comes from a personal experience and no amount of religious dogma will ever sway my conviction. Besides which, my logical brain will not accept the argument that one denomination has it "right" at the expense of all others.)

Today I read Seth Godin's blog, which speaks to the marketing dilemma of shouting louder as in more ads, using more power, vs taking a lighter touch and a more elegant approach by using wings.

And some of his words - Wings use finesse more than sheer force ... Wings work with the surrounding environment, not against it. Wings are elegant, not brutal - spoke to me. Stay with me as I muse aloud.

As a job hunt is a self-marketing exercise, I find many parallels between advertising and my work. I help sell not products, but skills and knowledge. In writing people's resumes, I have to connect their work to the bottom line. In order to get a prospective employer to pay attention, my client's resume must demonstrate how his or her productivity and performance helped in the chase for revenue creation and retention.

However, my constitution bristles, at times, on this results-focused, money-dependant attitude. I know that business depends on profits, but more and more we hear how employers are looking for employees that "fit the culture." Values that come through in personality, motivation, and methodology ... these are equally important (or should be, I would suggest).

For many years I have ensured that each client's ideal employer's values are refelcted on the resume. I want to help each client not only land "a job," but a great-fit job! That way the client is more likely to succeed and to be happy.

Yes, it means that some employers will pass my client by when they note a discrepancy between my client's values and their own, but that's fine! Another and more suitable employer will select my client's resume for an interview, sensing some sort of connection, as well as appreciating the client's skills, knowledge, and proof of productivity and performance.

I feel that adding touches that are super-authentic to the client adds the wings as described by Seth Godin. The "heaviness" that I sense from the focus on "bottom" line results is balanced with the lightness that comes from infusing the values that bring the client joy and give his or her work wings.