Stop Trying to Please Everyone

square peg round hole

It does not work.  Period.


Well, this could be a short blog today…



Let’s just take a look at this in terms of communication – your business or personal communication.


By this I mean your resume or business communication, i.e. websites, promotional material, business bios etc.


Stop trying to herd the masses and focus on your intended audience.


One of the biggest mistakes I see with these types of communication is trying to make yourself a one-size-fits-all.




Let’s take someone in sales as an example.  This individual could take a position as a Sales Representative, a Sales Manager or a Sales Trainer.  They have the skill set and experience for all three positions, it is just a matter of opportunity.


They should utilize a different resume for each type of position.


Each resume should focus on the specific position at hand and speak directly to that position, even thought the resumes are going to be similar.


Think of the 80/20 rule.  If this person was targeting a management position then the resume should focus 80% on their management qualifications, value and deliverables and 20% on actual sales/training background.  Of course the training can be rolled into the management side.


If they want a Sales Representative job without the management aspect then the resume should focus 80% on their sales experiences, results and value and 20% on the additional value, skills and abilities from their previous positions.


The resume should speak directly to the position for which you are applying making it easier for the reader to see you in that role.  This makes them more inclined to call you.


Sending out a broad based resume is putting the work on the reader to try to determine where you fit in the organization.  Honestly, they do not have time to do this.  More importantly, if you don’t know what you want why is it their job to figure it out for you?


Business Communication


If you are in sales or running your own company you know your market.  If you don’t you better figure it out before you attempt to communicate with anyone.  If you don’t know who you serve then you don’t serve anyone.


People  hire you because the service you provide, value you offer and positive treatment of your clients.   Know your value, know your audience and speak directly to them.  Stop trying to sell yourself across all lines of business, groups, individuals and industries.


Be honest – not all prospects are ideal clients for you.  Know who your ideal audience is and address their concerns.  Let it go that you will not appeal to everyone, remember, you don’t want everyone, or just anyone – you want your ideal client.


I am not staying offend the unwanted audiences, but write your message in a way that does not engage them.  How: by not speaking to their needs.  Using broad, overall comments or proclamations gives the indication that you will take anyone on as a client.  Not true.


Let’s use the example of a Financial Advisor.  Their target audience is established individuals or couples in a specific age range in an income range who work in the health care industry.  If they presented themselves as the solution to everyone they might get a hit on their target market every now and then, but they will also get a lot of hits from a wide audience that does not fit this criteria.  This means a lot of time “weeding out” the leads that do not match their criteria.


That is a lot of wasted time, on both sides.


Writing their website, bio or promotional material in such a way that speaks directly to their audience helps them align with their targets because they are speaking their language, know their needs and demonstrate their expertise in being able to address, and solve them.


It will narrow down the number of contacts they receive, but it is worth it to get fewer, quality leads rather than numerous, dead-end inquiries.



You are a unique individual with specific skills, value and abilities.  Present yourself as the solution to the audience you want to engage rather than a possible fit for just anyone.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW




The Most Important – and Often Missing – Piece of Your Communication

finger pointingResumes, LinkedIn profiles, business biographies, “about us” website blurbs, networking elevator pitches – these are all important forms of communication when either looking for a job, looking for your next career move or building business.


As a writer and coach the one thing that I see more often than not that is missing in all of these consistently across all levels of industries, job types and personalities is the most important factor:




That’s right – I would be dollars to donuts that you are missing from your own resume, business bio, LinkedIn profile and networking speeches.


Now think about that for a moment – if these are the key pieces in building interest and engagement in being hired wouldn’t it make sense that you are predominately featured in each?


Yes, it would make sense, but it rarely happens.


You see, more people are focused on giving cliff-note version bullet points of their past rather than providing an accurate description of themselves including their value.


Giving me a brief summary of your past only tells me what you were hired to do – it does not tell me if you actually did it, did it well or how you did it.


Business is distinctly different from the stock market in the fact that past successes are an indicator of future successes.


But it is not just the success – it is how you did it.


Two people can be hired as a worker, manager or leader but that does not mean that they do things the same way, or get the same results.


What makes you different, who do you work with, how do you work with them, what is it that you do, how do you do it and what is the value that you bring in doing what you do?


If you are a manager are you a strictly by the numbers manager or a mentoring, team oriented yet encourage individual growth manager?  How would I know this if you don’t tell me?


I may be looking for a manager but I want one that fits my culture, therefore it is important for me to know just what kind of manager you are, not just what you can get done.


Talk to your audience.  Let them know who you are not just what your title is because frankly, titles mean nothing.


I own my own company so I could give myself the title of Queen, Supreme Ruler of Resumes, Career and Business Coach Extraordinaire – but does that tell you anything about what I do?  No.  You may have an idea, but coaches/writers each have their own style and that is the difference between whom you hire.


On my LinkedIn profile and website I go into a bit more detail of how I do what I do which allows visitors to get a sense of me, not just my skill set.


People will hire you for you.  You can be trained on certain widget skill sets, but the bottom line is the value that you offer is the gateway to engagement.  Once that door has been open you can then engage the right audiences.


Put you back in your communication to start opening those doors!



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW