What a ladder, hammer, and resume writer have in common


Once again, a pearl of wisdom from uber-marketer, Seth Godin.

In today’s blog, Go Find a Ladder, link above, he posits that it is more useful to use a ladder than no tool at all to scale a height and more useful to use a hammer than a rock when nailing. Even if you have to invest in the tool.

If I apply this maxim to my own work, it’s more expedient to hire a writer of resumes than try to cobble one together on your own - especially, I will add, if you have no training in the art and science of resume content development. And even more critically, if you have an obstacle that you feel is holding you back or has the potential to impede your job search. Obstacles like a gap in employment, a lack of “expected” educational credentials, a mix and match list of employments, “too many” years with one employer, a recent employment that feels like a step back rather than forward, or completely unrelated history of employment (as in military transitions).

You’ll note that I placed a few phrases in quotation marks. This is because these are not issues that I myself see as insurmountable, but many do feel their stigma. My experience has been that there are fewer insurmountable issues than most believe. But as the saying goes, “as I think, so I am” (or something along those lines). If you think something is hurting your career, your belief has a good chance of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You may be feeling that I know something you don’t.

It’s true; I do know something you most likely don’t.

I know resume strategy. How to overcome “stinkin’ thinkin’” that thwarts success. Specifically, I know how to position or frame experience so that what appears to be a drawback becomes a big plus. I am skilled at composing an achievement statement that flattens the argument of “lack of education.” Strategy, dear readers, is key.

I also have a talent for the written word. Although I cannot manage a large project nor work in any field of medicine (I cry far too easily), I was born with a sincere love of reading and writing. Thankfully, I found a way to use my gift for writing and now use it to better others’ careers. I live vicariously through my clients’ successes! It’s marvelous to learn that a client landed his or her “dream job", finally, after so many years of trying without success. I’m energized to hear that a client landed her or his first management or executive role, even though the person felt a bit junior yet. And, I must add, I always stick to 100% truthful statements and no embellishment of any kind.

There is power in the written word. Used well, your career soars; used poorly, your career stalls.

So how’s your resume working for you?

The Value of Narrowing Down Choices

Credit to Sue Stone, textile artist, Womanwithafish blog post.

Credit to Sue Stone, textile artist, Womanwithafish blog post.

Along with the craft of writing, I love to craft with a needle. In exploring various needle arts, I ran into a series of videos on a curious topic: the value of narrowing down one’s options. The videos were produced by the two sons of a textile artist from the U.K., Sue Stone. That is her work in the photo above.

Theirs was a compelling lesson in the trouble with overly broad choices. I shared that series with a friend who is a gifted fine artist and who finds it extremely difficult to focus on one medium. She sculpts, paints, faux finishes surfaces, and even crochets, taking that humble folk art form to a whole new level! But she cannot stick with one art form and thus brand herself and make her way as an artist.

There is a lesson here for today’s job seeker. Attempting to prove that you’re good at too many things is not effective today. The reason is simple: software is programmed to look for words - key words - related to one type of job only. Thus, if you can be a scientist, a researcher, or a supervisor, you’ll need three resumes. Each of these roles has a different set of key words/phrases typically associated with that role.

For those clients who could go in one of two or three ways, I suggest that to narrow down the focus - and save tons of time in job searching too - a prudent move is to select one. The choice can be based on fiscal need (lots of opportunities = faster time to a paycheck), great for an unemployed person. Or, it can be based on the desire to finally go for that “dream job.”

With my skill behind the resume’s content, my client can land more interviews for that quick turnaround job offer or finally land an interview for that career change or step up “dream job.” A well written, strategic, custom, and targeted resume simply gets results. It cuts through the applicant tracking software system “gatekeeper” role and cuts through the noise of the many applicants today’s job seeker is usually up against.

Since 2007, I recall only a few clients who elected to have me compose more than one resume, with two distinct targets. One client, as I well recall, had a resume selling her into a nurse educator’s role as well as a medical equipment sales professional/account executive role. She was equally qualified. But it was her choice to immediately go with both. Others, who have taken a chance on landing interviews with one resume only have not returned for a second version. They invested in one quality resume. In so doing, they invested in themselves, in their career, their earnings, their potential, their contentment.

Yes, narrowing down options is a good thing.

If you need help, New Leaf is here to be of service.