Baby You Gotta Toot It

Part of my job is giving permission.  Last week I was at a job fair reviewing resumes for attendees and the most common piece of advice I gave was, “You have to tell the reader how great you are!”


More often than not we are hesitant to really showcase ourselves – especially on a resume.  I hear all sorts of resistance from the feeling of bragging to fear of not having hard numbers to support the statements.


Let me first preface this by saying simply you have got to toot your own horn because no one is going to do it for you.  So take a deep breath and get ready to blow….


First of all, if you have done something and you tell me about it stop looking at is as bragging; rather if you did it then it is stating facts.  Period.


Secondly, not everything can be measured.  Value can be defined by not always measured in a quantitative manner.  The most important aspect is to communicate the value that you brought to the position.


Sure, it is easier to say that you improved efficiencies which decreased turn around time from 7 days to 4 hours; but life isn’t always that neatly packaged for us now is it?


What are some of the intangibles that you brought to the job?  Did you improve communications, team moral, provide leadership, mentor – there are numerous ways that you were valued for what you did – stop foo-fooing them.


That’s another thing – stop foo-fooing your job.  Stop thinking that how you did it was “no big deal” – it is a big deal.  Think about it, there were probably other people that did a job similar to yours but they did not do it the same way.  So, how did you do it better – why did you team or company benefit because of the way you did your job?


These are important factors that an employer needs to know – and they never will unless you tell them.  Not just tell them, but tell them with pride and with confidence.


I know what I am good at and what I pretty much suck at – and I don’t shrink from the challenges, nor do I apologize for my strengths – neither should you.


I am terrible with directions.  This is a major understatement.  In fact, it is so bad that the other night I was attending a networking event downtown and was telling my friend about it and one of the first things he asked was, “do you know where you are going?”  By the way, I used to work downtown – doesn’t mean anything, I can still get lost anywhere.


But I am damn good at my job in coaching and writing.  I was talking to a prospect last week and I gave him an example of one change I wanted to make with his resume and why.  After I finished he said, “Wow, you are good.”  And I replied, “Yes, I am – this is why I do what I do.”


Thank goodness I don’t have to give him directions to my office.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.

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