The Super-Secret Answer You’re Looking For To Do That Thing You’ve Been Unable To Do

Do you know that you can talk yourself into anything? You are the biggest influencer of any of your decisions. Groundbreaking, I know.

From the mundane, like for me: why did I think a horizontal stripe top and cropped pants were a good look on me? I have a freakish combo of short torso and super long legs – it is definitely not a good look.

To the deep of thinking: why don’t I write that blog, why won’t I change jobs, or why can’t I be happy?

Good or bad, inconsequential or life-changing, you’re going to have that conversation. Self-talk is important. And it is influential. But it isn’t the secret to doing.

In all that self-talk or thinking it over (seeing other people look cute in stripes and cropped pants) you’re not looking for reasons to support your decision. You can make those up all day long.

Nope, what you’re looking for – and here’s the super-secret – is permission. If we could get permission before beating ourselves up, yeah, that would be great.

Like seeing a pair of to-die-for shoes and trying to justify the price by number of wears….

Here’s a career / job search example. I spoke to a woman who has an amazing career. Stellar in her field. Very unhappy with where she is now. Nearly 45 minutes on her cool stuff, her not so great employer, an employer she wants to target and work for.

Then she mentions that someone in her network works for ideal employer and has been trying to recruit her for a long time.

She has had the answer the whole time, but she got stuck in justification mode. That was the self-talk.

Once I heard that, it was guilt-game over. I told her “you got this”. Her contact has offered to help, so call them up, tell them you’re ready and ask what’s next.

She needed permission. She wasn’t giving it to herself, so she was needing it from someone else – not connected personally to her or the situation.

I don’t know about you, but I spent way,  way too many years of my life seeking validation and trapping myself in the self-talk guilt-game. I still have to remind myself that I give myself permission without having to justify it.   Let’s stop it now. This is for you:

I give you permission!

Now go do it, go try it, go have that conversation, test it out, look stupid, feel awesome, fall down, get up, do it again. Who cares! Do you! If you fail – who cares! Try again. You learned, you tried, you’re well beyond where you were yesterday. Go!

Here’s the thing, I know I’m not an influence on your life. I don’t matter. That’s ok – you’re looking for permission (unwilling to give it to yourself first) and I’m filling that need!

You have permission!

Think that super-secret of giving permission without justification doesn’t work? Yeah, say that to my sexy pointed toe, teal croc pumps or black leather three-inch dress booties now residing with me (as the striped top and cropped pants have found a new home).  

✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰

I help amazing people get career happy and client-centric companies stay true to brand.

Coaching: Career, Business, Brand, Yoga

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.

All opinions and views expressed in this article are my own, unless attributed. They’re normally pretty spot-on (because I’m obsessive about career topics and communications). The humor sprinkled in is Mr. B approved, my dog who thinks I’m hilarious (and not because I’m his meal ticket).

Pay Attention to a Company’s Courting Style

I’ve always found there to be great symmetry between job searching and dating. Actually, I think dating would be a lot easier – or quicker decision making – if you just handed the person your life resume and cut to the chase.

The two processes really are similar, so is the anxiety. When you are going through the interview process and wondering about every little thing, like you’re completely exposed and vulnerable. Like that terrible dream where you’re naked in front of you high school or college class.

Oh, and the rejection – let’s not forget about that. The  friend zone. We really like you, just not for this job. Even better, the ghosting and catfishing! It just gets better and better!

A lot of those decisions and actions taken by a potential employer you have no control over – and most don’t even have anything to do with you.  But this doesn’t mean that you are powerless here.

Your best weapons are your power of observation and intuition.

One point that I want you to especially pay attention to is the courting phase, i.e. interviewing.  Like a client of mine who was just given the phone screen questions (literally labeled this) to complete and email back to the internal recruiter.

Wow.

Here’s the thing, if a company isn’t very nice or respectful to you during the interview phase, what do you think they are going to be like if you take the job?

Think about it – the interview phase is when everyone is trying their best to get the other party to like them. You and them. So if a company is treating you poorly, how much worse will it be when you join?

If they are going to require you to complete a 10-page document with detailed questions  – but not read it and make you repeat everything you wrote during a 15 minute follow up call, well, that’s just rude. They are being disrespectful, dishonoring your time and those actions scream out that their time is way more valuable than yours. Is that the kind of environment you want to be in every working day?

What about the company that gives veiled threats to pressure you to hurry up and answer or return information only to ghost you for weeks with a response or what’s next?

Some companies treat you as though you should be thanking them for talking to you. Really?

If you are going through the process and you’re getting the ick feeling in your stomach, listen to it. If something feels off, it very well could be. At this point, remind yourself that this is a two-way process. You want to make sure this is a good fit for you.

And, I know there are some people out there that are just not great at interviewing or following up. If you are interacting with a few people and all are great except that one – then you need to take a step back. Look at the situation – is that one person just a bit of a ding-a-ling? Are you going to report to them? Do they really reflect the organization or team as a whole?

But if it is a vibe or treatment from everyone you interact with or really strong from one person you’re dealing with,  nope.

If their courting (interviewing process) is disrespectful, the marriage (working for them) is probably going to be miserable.

Run, baby, run. There are more fish in the sea and you deserve better than Charlie Tuna.

✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰

I help amazing people get career happy and client-centric companies stay true to brand.

Coaching: Career, Business, Brand

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.

All opinions and views expressed in this article are my own, unless attributed. They’re normally pretty spot-on (because I’m obsessive about career topics and communications). The humor sprinkled in is Mr. B approved, my dog who thinks I’m hilarious (and not because I’m his meal ticket).

Stop Decapitating Family or Making People Look Up Your Nose (Profile Pictures)

I don’t know about you, but I hate getting my picture taken. It is sheer agony trying to decide which one I detest the least for my profile picture. I don’t like any picture of myself. Yeah, I’m that person that can find something wrong with every single one. Seriously. It’s a nightmare.

What I find is I normally sorta-kinda like a picture of me that has someone else in it. Especially a pup. But I can’t exactly use Mr. B in my profile picture. I think a lot of people are with me on this. They find a picture they are okay with, they just happened to be snuggled up next to another person. That’s why I see a lot, lot, of profile pictures that are super zoomed in (we could count nose hair) and yet, we can still see the scalp of that other person.

There’s a better way.

If you have Paint 3D in Word, there’s a much better way. You erase them. If you don’t have Paint 3D – I’m all ears to hear of another solution. I’m checking into it myself.

Here’s a visual step by step to help you with this so you can have that great picture you want without having to have a profile picture that is your floating head with a partial scalp of a friend.

If you think I’m going to use my own photo so it appears multiple times in this article, you’re nuts!  Let’s use my old gang. This was my last pack. Meet Luke, Lexi, Brutus, and Mr. B:

That lawnmower in the back just takes away from the ambiance, let’s take it out. First, copy and paste that picture in Paint 3D.

Great, now click on the three dots on the upper right corner (view more options):

Click on “Canvas Options”

And turn “Transparent canvas” ON:

Now on the top left menu, click on “Brushes” then the eraser:

And erase!  I start with a larger thickness to get the bigger pieces:

Then zoom in and a finer thickness for the small, close spaces – like around Brutus’ ears:

When you’ve erased all you want, save that sucker! If you copy and paste, it will look like this:

Cool, right? But I think that’s pretty bland for my pups, so I think I’ll add another picture behind them to create a new vibe, look, underwater dogs!

Oh wait, that bench just isn’t cutting it. Let’s erase a bit more, maybe a different background, bring Luke in a bit more with the bunch….

Oh yeah, that’s it.

Again, if you have found a way outside of Paint 3D or any easier way – do share!

✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰

I help amazing people get career happy and client-centric companies stay true to brand.

Coaching: Career, Business, Life

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.

All opinions and views expressed in this article are my own, unless attributed. They’re normally pretty spot-on (because I’m obsessive about career topics and communications). The humor sprinkled in is Mr. B approved, my dog who thinks I’m hilarious (and not because I’m his meal ticket).

The Response That Could Silence Macy’s

I was taken to school at Macy’s last weekend. My teacher was a petite, mature woman with a slow gait, quick smile and soft, gentle voice.

Our classroom was the Men’s Shoe Department. Ms. Sondra alone tended to each person in the very long line.

Someone asked her about being busy, noting the number of customers. She said she was even busier yesterday.

That set up the lesson.

She was given the opportunity to complain. They tossed her the softball: “I bet it was a madhouse, people are just crazy around this time.” 

She didn’t even step up to the plate. She didn’t even bat an eye. Not the slightest hesitation when she responded:

“It’s wonderful, I met so many beautiful people yesterday and today.”

That is perspective. That is joy. That is goodwill toward men. That was beautiful.

If the rest of Macy’s could have heard that, I imagine the entire store would have fallen silent.

Most would see crowds, rude or impolite people and complain.

Ms. Sondra saw beauty, and expressed gratitude.


Thank you, Ms. Sondra, for that lesson and sharing your beautiful soul with me. With us.

✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰

Help Your Team Grow By Not Listening To What They Say

As a leader or team lead, have you ever been in the position to facilitate a change? An improved process, a new system, a change in procedure. Did you get resistance from your team or a person about this change?

Have you heard, “I don’t want to”? Or “I’m not going to”?


You just might be able to turn that around if you don’t listen to what they say.


The words they use more often than not don’t represent the real issue. The words sound like they are being obstinate, willfully defying your request out of malice, stubbornness, or something stuck in their crawl.

But what if that wasn’t the case?

What if the true statement were: “I don’t want to …. because I don’t think I can.” What if they don’t know this is the reason behind their resistance?

Stay with me for a minute:

  • We have millions of bits of information assaulting us all day, every day
  • To filter all that data down into understandable pieces, we delete, distort, or generalize. We take a boulder and make a recognized pebble.
  • Think of a boulder as a bit of external data. Internally, we go at it with several chisels. These are thoughts, beliefs, values, identity, behaviors, skills, experiences, reactions, attitudes, memories, language, and more. We whack the heck out of that boulder using all these chisels to break it down to a pebble we recognize.
  • We’re made up of a big ol’ pile of pebbles – our foundation for how we act and see ourselves/the world.
  • Our chisels are not the same size.

Your person may have a massive “I’m not smart enough” belief chisel. It overshadows all the other chisels. This means that every boulder you throw at them will be shaped primarily by that chisel.

Any change is going to be met with resistance. Because behind the defiance is fear. Fear of looking stupid, fear of failure, fear of the unknown. But the first and strongest reaction is simply no.


They may not know their own real driver because that pebble is buried at the very bottom of their pebble pile.


So how do you help them help you?


With a beautiful dance of communication. The steps are: go general, go detailed, and back and forth we go.

Don’t challenge, it will raise their defenses and shut down communication. Start by asking their thoughts. Start with the problem this new process is going to fix. What do they think of that problem?

  • Go detailed. How has it been detrimental to their work, performance, customers, team, etc.? How has it affected them personally?
  • Go general. Can they remember another time when there was another hindrance in the process? How did it impact the work?
  • Go detailed. With that other issue, how was it resolved? What was put in place? What kind of changes were made? How did they integrate those changes into what they did?
  • Go general. How did it make their job easier? How did it improve performance, service, quality, etc.?
  • Stay general. If we could make that same type of transition, wouldn’t that be helpful? Do you see any connection between this process and the last successful one?

The issue could be they don’t think the solution will work because of their expertise. Listen. You might get valuable insight to improve the process.


When you can guide them to see another time when they did, it will help get that pebble out of their shoe and step forward.

This is a free-flowing conversation. Be engaged. Be interested. listen and watch for verbal/nonverbal. Follow your intuition to pick up the revealed threads. You’re not going to get it right every time. You’re not going to make a 180 change every time.

You may have to respectfully say, this is how we’re going to do it.


Even so, with these conversations, you’ll prove you’re listening, they’re important, they’re heard, and they matter. You will also learn something.

That’s the real win-win.

✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰

I help amazing people get career happy and client-centric companies stay true to brand.

Coaching: Career, Business, Life

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.

All opinions and views expressed in this article are my own unless attributed. They’re pretty spot-on (because I’m obsessive about career topics and communications). The humor sprinkled in is Mr. B approved, my dog who thinks I’m hilarious (and not because I’m his meal ticket).

Stop Over-Thinking You

One of the truest quotes is from French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal. Written in 1600’s: “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.”

This is often attributed to Mark Twain. He did write something similar in 1871: “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter”

History lesson aside, this is a very important concept in communication. Especially your personal brand communication, i.e. your LinkedIn and resume.

I am a wordy person in my first drafts. I warn every single client when getting their rough cut that it is long and wordy. I like words. I like embellishing. I like feeling out different words and phrases to get the feel and sense of them.

People are natural storytellers, even if they don’t realize it.  They have accomplishments they are rightly proud of.  They like to explain, relive, recreate, and discuss. It’s a feel good and can be a wealth of information.

Yet, all my words and people’s stories don’t always meet the needs of the audience: the reader of your profile or resume.

The truth is, what you write isn’t about you, it is about them. You are speaking to their need and how you are a solution. All those words and stories don’t mean anything if they don’t prove that you are their solution or savior.

That’s why the real fun and love comes in the slashing and dashing. Oh, the joy of taking a draft and cutting, slicing, dicing ruthlessly! It’s a game: how can I say all that the reader needs to hear in as few words as possible?

You see, we also need to keep in mind attention spans. No one likes reading long, boring blocks of text. It has to mean something to them or they will gloss over it.

This takes me back to my title: stop overthinking you. One of the most powerful and simplest questions I can ask you is: “what do you want your reader to know?”

We want simple. Simple is powerful, even simple words can be powerful.  A good example is an amazing executive client of mine. He snatches companies from the jaws of death and jettisons them into industry trendsetters. He would never let me put that in his resume or LinkedIn, it sounds awesome, but too bragging for him (although I will run it by him….).

Not my point. He has a hiccup with the word ‘expertise’. The Skills section. Now he’s strong in each one listed, but uncomfortable with that word as a title. He gave a lot of thought to this and was coming up with several phrases as alternatives. 

My advice was this: let’s keep it simple. We can use ‘Proficiencies, Qualifications, Key Strengths”.  ATS recognized any of these as headers.  Each is innocuous to the reader which allows them to focus on the words following the title. 

Mr. Sullivan gave me a great piece of advice that rings true still today. He was my boss from 20+ years ago and an 86-year-old attorney. His advice: “KISS: keep it simple stupid”.

Tell them what you want them to know about what they need to hear.

✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰

As an award winning, published, Resume Writer, Career & Business Coach, I help amazing people get career happy and companies stay true to brand.

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.

All opinions and views are my own (unless attributed). They are also normally spot and have a touch of humor because I’m obsessive about career topics and my dog thinks I’m hilarious, not just his meal ticket.

The Why Doesn’t Matter Except To Get You To A Better What

Do you ever feel like you’re in the movie Groundhog Day? But only with certain situations? Like there is a lesson you need to learn and it’s not sinking in so a certain type of events keeps reoccurring?

I can’t be the only one.

My repeated events center around patience. So many opportunities to learn patience. My biggest problem is my incessant need to know why.

Why did this happen? Why didn’t that happen? Why? Why? Why?

But here’s the thing I’m finally getting through my thick skull – the why doesn’t matter much. It doesn’t change the what. Focus on the why and you miss the opportunity.

If you start asking why, let it be your trigger to think, “Uh oh, I’m going down the dead-end of why – let me change that to what.” One big what:

What are my opportunities to:

– Learn

– Grow

– Prosper

– Pivot

– Share

– Inspire

– Appreciate

This is how you take a bad break up with a job and turn it into something life-giving. It’s going to help you in those interviews, too. Even in a fired situation. Being able to turn around a negative to get them to see the positive is huge

Let’s be honest, sometimes getting fired is a blessing in disguise. It doesn’t mean you are a failure. It means it was time for you to move on – there is something better for you out there! I learned this both professionally and personally.

Years ago, I launched my business and got engaged to my childhood sweetheart. Life was all hopes, dreams, rainbows, and lollipops. I was a business owner and a fiancé; he was a cheating bastard. So that ended that.

By finally getting over the why and looking at my what, I let go of all that baggage and be grateful for the experience. Without it, I would not have started this business and be living my passion and purpose. Without it, I would not have met Chief, my better half.

The quicker you can thank the bad situation, the sooner you move on to better opportunities.

✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰

As an award-winning, published, Resume Writer & Career Coach I help you get career happy.

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.

All opinions and views are my own (unless attributed). They’re usually spot-on and a little funny. Because I’m obsessive about career topics and my dog thinks I’m hilarious, not a biscuit dispensing machine.

Throwaway Resumes Don’t Give a Reason to Care

I have the blessing and curse of being the blunt one in the family.

Thus, my lifelong lessons in communication balancing blunt with tact, effective with clear, empathy with accountability.

It is a driving factor in being a Career Coach and Resume Writer. I love positively challenging people to think differently and remove their blocks through words, storytelling, and the unexpected.

Bluntness is a great tool to craft a powerful brand and career story. Because it gives you the reader’s bottom line question: “Why do I care?”

The reader is the hiring manager, recruiter, etc.

This question can sound short or even rude. But there is something worse.

All too often, the reader throws away your resume without even asking this question. They cut through all the minutia, ending the review with an “I don’t care.”  

That’s worse.

Your resume is about them. Their challenges, problems, and goals – and how you are a solution to their critical needs. This is your focus.

Put another way: it’s not what you want to tell them, it’s telling them what they need to know.  Stick to the parts of the story that are relevant for them.

Do you know a bad storyteller? Someone who insists on peppering a 30 second story with unimportant, mindless details that drags it to a 5 minute story? All the while you’re screaming in your head: “cut to the chase!” – yeah, that’s how they feel reading a resume with every detail of each job from day one. They just don’t care.

Here’s how you change that attitude: write to what is important to them. Be clear, be direct, be demonstrative, be the solution.

The reader cares only when what is in your resume directly relates to them.

Be kind to your reader – and get an interview – by being rude to your resume. Splice it down to the critical “this is why you should care because it makes your life easier.”

Or, send that fully loaded resume and risk the reader saying “I don’t care” and missing out on a call.

✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰

As an award winning, published, Resume Writer & Career Coach I help amazing people get career happy.

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.

All opinions and views are my own (unless attributed). They are also normally spot and have a touch of humor because I’m obsessive about career topics and my dog thinks I’m hilarious, not just his meal ticket.

Avoid Being An Interview Hostage-Taking Talker

I’m at the gym six days a week. I don’t consider myself a gym rat, I do what I’ve got to do to overcome the “…for/at your age….” thing.  If you are over a certain number, you know what I’m talking about:

“You look good…for your age”

“You should expect not to ______ at your age”

Screw that, I want to look good for me, not some expectation. And having a birthday this month, I don’t give a darn what the stupid number is, I’m stronger, healthier, more tone and defined than I was 20 numbers ago. So take that “for/at your age”.

This wasn’t the point of this article, just a side rant. 

Back on track: while I’m at the gym, I don’t talk. I’m not a mean person, I’m not a rude person. I like to do my thing and really, I don’t want people coming that close. I mean, c’mon, I’m there sweating – gyms are not full of pleasant aromas.

Anyway, I’m at the gym this morning on the treadmill, Boo doing his weights and I noticed as soon as he stepped up to a machine, he got the attention of a talker.

If you’re a gym person, do you have one of these at your gym – the person who starts talking and won’t let you go? They are the hostage-taker talker.

This one was a pro. I mean he never stopped!  Boo would go to another machine, kept talking. Walk across the gym, kept talking.  For a good 45 minutes – kept talking.

By the way, if you don’t know if your gym has one of these, you might want to see if it is you.

I know some people like to converse between reps. Cool. But seriously, I think the gentleman burned more calories talking than he did working out.

And just because my mind works this way, it got me thinking about interviewing.

Hang with me here.

All too often interviewees become talker hostage-takers. They get sidetracked from a question, go down a rabbit hole, and then end up taking the interviewer hostage on a rampage for a long, long time which leads to nowhere.

I’ve done it. I think it is a nervous thing. But more importantly – how do you stop it?

  1. Recognize that you’re going down that path.
  2. STOP.  Stop talking. Right now. Stop the momentum.
  3. Collect yourself. Breathe.
  4. Look the interviewer in the eye and smile.
  5. Tell them “I’m sorry, I have no idea how I got so far off course, let me go back and answer only what you asked”
  6. Give a short, concise answer.
  7. Let it go.

Here’s the thing – unlike at the gym where you might be avoided like the plague – if you move on, this incident will, in all likelihood, be forgotten by the interviewer.

We have all said something stupid or gone down a rabbit hole, so don’t beat yourself up about it. The trick is to stop the train and regroup quickly without batting an eye.

It’s even better if you can add a bit of humor or self-depreciation – just a bit. I’ve started my back-on-track with “Wow, not sure how I got here!” or “The blonde went a little too deep this time….”

A bit of humor (if appropriate) gives the appearance of confidence and humility that you can laugh at yourself but get right back on track.

On your next interview, be the hero, not the talker hostage-taker.

✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰

As an award winning, published, Resume Writer & Career Coach I help amazing people get career happy.

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.

All opinions and views are my own (unless attributed). They are also normally spot and have a touch of humor because I’m obsessive about career topics and my dog thinks I’m hilarious, not just his meal ticket.

Simplify Your Story, Don’t Dummy It Down

There are three times when there is too much talking going on in your resume or LinkedIn profile:

–         You feel the need to tell the reader absolutely everything you’ve ever done

–         You don’t know what’s important to the reader

–         You have no idea how to tell your own story

One of these is enough to spoil the stew, but add in that special spice of tenure and it can become a train wreck stew.

This is a nice way of saying experience. I’m in that category. I’m over 50 with a lot of experience. I’m what some might consider old – they would be wrong, but hey, I’m cool with it. Although there are potential employers that may not be now or in 10+ years from now.

The problem – or fault – is a feeling of being over-qualified or discriminated by age.

“The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars but in ourselves…”  Cassius is basically telling Brutus, hey man, we’re in control here – take control of your destiny.

I’m not saying age discrimination does not happen. What I am saying is let’s take a more positive, optimistic, we’ve got some measure of control here approach.

Instead of assuming someone is discounting you, what if you were discounting yourself? Maybe you are not being discriminated against because of your age. Maybe you are being passed over because you aren’t telling them what they need to hear?

There’s a thought.

It seems to be almost a knee-jerk reaction to assume you’re overlooked due to a long career history. Then to think the answer is to “dummy down” your resume or profile.

“Oh, well if I sound like less than I am, surely someone will want to hire me.”

Stop it. Never, ever, ever devalue yourself. Not for a job, not for a person, not for anything. Period.

Okay, off my soapbox.

Instead, let’s simplify your story, and tell it the right way, where you’re speaking their language and getting their attention.

Let’s work through this in three steps, because we want simplifying to be simple!

1. Them

Who is them? The reader: who your resume and LinkedIn is all about. Them. The reader, not you. They don’t care what you want, they care about how are you going to make their life easier. If you are dying to tell them 15 things but they only care about 2 of them, how much time do you think they are going to spend listening to you?

Right.

2. Target

Second, what to say. For this, you have to know your target. What job or position are you targeting? Once you have zeroed in on this, let’s simplify it and get a framework with three questions:

  1. What is the bottom-line purpose of the job?
  2. What activities (main) do I need to do to achieve #1?
  3. How do I prove I’ve achieved #1, how is my performance measured?

The answers to these questions are the outline for your resume and LinkedIn. Focus 80% of your content on what supports these questions. The other 20% is your differential that you bring to the table. Those things that make you more awesome than any other candidate.

3. Story

Your story. This is important because now you get to paint the picture. I tell everyone who will listen: the point of your resume is to tell your story the way you want the reader to understand it, not how it looks on paper. (The purpose is to start a conversation – that’s another article…)

Maybe you want to take a step back. Maybe you have run big teams or your own business and now want to go back to corporate. These can trigger the ‘dummy down’ response.

Don’t do it….

Tell the story the way you would to a real person. If you were a business owner, you know what a pain some aspects were. Taxes, filings, blah, blah, blah. So if you were in an interview, wouldn’t you stress that you want to get back to doing that part of the job that you love?

Okay, say that.

This brings up a good side point. We get in stuck in our head somehow that there is a specific decorum to resumes. Stuffy (nope). Distanced (no). Can’t be a real person (wrong). Can’t say certain things (yes you can).

I’ve used “herculean effort” and “Sherpa” in resumes. So yes, you get to have some fun.

We don’t need to focus on everything you did. Not everything adds value to what you are targeting. We need to maximize that finite amount of valuable space available to you.

Think of CIA: keep what is Critical and Important, ditch what the Assumed (not important). Focus what you did – based on the answers to those three questions. Anything outside that will fall into assumed, not important, or differentials.

Owning a business gave you ‘where the buck stops’ perspective allowing you to better support your leadership team. That’s a differential.

Lastly, let me just say one thing: you’re not the only person who has wanted or done this. It does not look like a demotion, step down, or a negative. Many people step back, go back, change it up. It’s all good. How many managers out there remember before they were managers and sometimes wistfully think, oh, for it to be like that again…

Regardless of the length of your tenure, there are plenty of opportunities out there for you. Simplify your story around your audience. Before you know it, you’ll start getting some phone calls!

 

✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰

As an award winning, published, triple certified Professional Resume Writer & Career Coach I do what I love – help amazing professionals get career happy.

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.