It Is Your Resume – So Why Are YOU Not In It?

why aren't you in your resume

You found the perfect job to apply to. You meet all requirements and can do the required duties in your sleep. This is a no brainer. You submit your resume and wait for that phone call.

Surely they will call you immediately upon reading your resume and offer you the job. It is all there in black and white – you are the perfect candidate.

But they do not call.

And don’t call me Shirley. Showing my age on this one, but darn it, that was a funny movie and I couldn’t help myself.

Why did they not call? Did some cataclysmic event happen that prevented your resume from being received? How could they not see you were the perfect candidate? What gives?

Perhaps they did not see the full you, the one that is a perfect fit for that position. How is that possible? Because you were left out of your resume.

Let’s try an experiment. Take out your resume and read it from a hiring manager’s perspective, not as the author.

Read the entire thing, top to bottom, read every word. Now, describe the person that you just read about.

Can you?

Or can you just give a list of duties that the person on that paper was hired to do?

That is how the most important element of your resume may be missing – you.

There are two important elements in putting you back in your resume: your value and your voice.


If your resume is structured in a manner that simply gives job descriptions of your current and former position you are not representing yourself. You are giving a dissertation on the jobs accepted by that candidate in your hands.

Detailing job duties is not conveying competence or value. It is simply telling the reader what you were hired to do. No one cares what you were hired to do; they care what you did.

Why is it important that you performed those duties?
How did you perform them better than anyone else in that position?
What value did you add to your team, company, clients or stakeholders?

When you describe how you did what you did and how others benefited you are demonstrating value rather than stating duties. Employers are looking for value, not bodies.


Who are you?

The next step is putting a “face” to the person. Think of it this way, when you read a book, you mentally create an image of the characters based on the words the author chooses to use. This is why I can never watch a movie of a book I have read: The Firm and One for the Money are perfect examples.

Choose your words carefully. They should resonate with you as a person and your work style. Use these words when you describe how you did what you did:

How did you work with the people you work with?
How do you perform your duties?
How do you approach new tasks or challenges?
How do you complete or overcome them?

Have you ever been in a crowded room not knowing a soul? By the end of the event you find the one person that you have something in common with? You seem to be drawn together. Using words that accurately describe you and your working style will draw organizations that best support you to you.

Bringing It All Together

Bring you back into your resume to give the reader the full picture of who you are, what you have to offer and the value you bring to teams, leadership, stakeholders, clients and organizations.

To bring your voice and value to your resume, take each duty or bullet point and think about:

Who did you work with?
How did you work with them?
What did you do?
How did others benefit?

This will open up the thought process to go beyond a job description into the full breadth of what you bring to an organization, team or clients. From there you can then paint the full picture that is you and allow the reader to truly see how you are that perfect fit for the position you desire.


As the Founder and Principle of Career Polish, Inc., a national career coaching and practice firm, I am a Brand Strategist, Professional Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, sales teams, leadership and companies to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging LinkedIn, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.

I help people get from where they are in their jobs to where they want to be in their careers.

Click here – – to find out more about Career Polish and what we can do to help you.

Why Your Employees Are Calling Me To Help Them Leave You

desparate phone call

If you are any way responsible for employees at your organization, I have a truth you may not want to hear: either you take care of your employees now or I’ll be taking care of them soon.

I am a Professional Resume Writer and Career Coach, I help people find the jobs they want rather than the ones they have. Your employees may be talking to me now and you do not know it; you probably will not know until it is too late.

According to Gallup Workforce Panel study 51% of employees were considering a new job, 2015.

There are severe consequences to losing an employee including major costs. According to a, employee departures total costs can reach as high as 90% – 200% of their annual salary. This includes time, money and resources. A departure can also significantly impact engagement within remaining employees.

They are not all leaving for promotions; many are leaving for a lateral move.

It is not just about money. It is about personal satisfaction.

You could be losing your staff and it can be avoided.  Employees leave for a variety of reasons; however, they can generally be categorized within five areas, which may overlap:


According to the Gallup study, 58-60% of individuals said the new job allowed them to do what they do best, as opposed to 41-49% that left due to a significantly increasing their income.

This is a sentiment that is becoming more and more common. A client perfectly illustrated this point by saying, “I can go anywhere and make good money. Where I am, I am bored. I need to be challenged. I can do what I do where I am with my eyes closed. I hate it.”

Broken promises

This can come in many different forms:

A promise of advancement or pay increase after a probationary or specific time period.

A misalignment of what they were told they were going to do and what is being asked of them.

The company culture is not at all what was represented in the interview.


Employees know they bring value to the table; it is nice to be recognized for it. They do not want to feel like a nameless face. One of the worst feelings for an employee is to know that their leadership not only does not know anything about them, they do not care.

An employee may go the extra mile to make something happen for a client and never hear a word from their leadership.  It is worse to hear that that is their job, they should go the extra mile.

They have strengths and ambitions that they have tried to discuss with their leadership only to be responded to with brush off comments.  Now is not the time, we really can’t spare you right now or I don’t know why you would want to do that, it’s not your job.

Pay that does not meet industry or market standards is another form of lack of appreciation.  Income is a motivator, it may not be every employee’s primary motivator; however, it is a significant factor.


Leadership diminishes the value of their employees when an employee volunteers or requests to take on additional responsibilities or learn new tasks and is met with, “I know you could do more, but we really need you to just do what you are doing right now.”

Another form of under-utilization is not listening to employees.  They know.  They know about the clients, failings in the processes or opportunities to improve service or products.  By failing to ask and worse – listen – to employees leadership is under-utilizing its most valuable asset.


The gamut of bad environments include being unclear of what is expected of them (and worse, getting bad reviews because of it), favoritism, bullying, strong-arming them to stay, increased responsibility without increased pay and sabotage.

What You Can Do Now

  • Talk to them – make it a two way conversation. Do not assume that everyone is just fine because they do not complain. Not complaining does not mean they are happy.
  • Make sure their compensation is right. Throwing money at them when they are on the way out is not the time.
  • Find out what excites or motivates them: opportunity, income, growth, personal fulfillment, empowerment or stability.
  • Find out what frustrates them and what can be changed. Have an honest conversation about this.
  • Discover their strengths, find out their ambitions and help them align the two areas.
  • Help them grow: develop a plan that meets their personal learning style and strengths – one size does not fit all.
  • Treat them as a treasured, valuable employee that you are grooming to leave for a higher position. They may get recruited for another position, but if they feel valued where they are and the rest of their needs are met, they will stay with you, because you value them and allow them to grow.
  • Have continual conversations, set benchmarks, establish deadlines, follow up and ask them for their feedback.

There is a theory that for a successful long term personal relationship, you should treat your partner the way you did when you were dating; the same could be applied to your employee work relationship. You should view them as a valuable investment worthy of your time, attention and mentorship.

We have all heard the saying, “Nobody is irreplaceable”, that holds true for employers, as well. If a company does not create an environment that fulfills them, they will replace that company.



As the Founder and Principle of Career Polish, Inc., a national career coaching and practice firm, I am a Brand Strategist, Professional Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, sales teams, leadership and companies to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging LinkedIn, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.

In other words: I help people get from where they are in their jobs to where they want to be in their careers.

Click here – – to find out more about Career Polish and we can help you.

But I Worked Really Hard On This

Letting go can be one of the hardest yet most critical step in moving forward.  Whether it is ideals, actions, tools or simply mindsets – the more we hang on to anything that is old, outdated or unproductive the more harmful they can be in reaching our goals.


I make it a policy to always provide a free resume review.  I am not redoing their resume at that point simply giving my opinion.  Pointing out positives, challenges and suggestions.


If someone is interested in hiring me then the review allows them the opportunity to get a feel for how I think, how I communicate and what type of service they will receive.  It is very important that we are able to communicate openly, they are able to trust me and they feel comfortable with the entire process.


Sometimes during this review I come across individuals who are a bit attached to their current work.  With that mindset it becomes more of a debate and justification: why can’t they keep using theirs, it isn’t that much different than what I have said or they do not agree with my assessment.


It doesn’t matter that they are not getting calls or interviews, or that others have told them they could really use some professional help.  Nope, their way is the only way, period.  And I become the target.


It is ok, I raised boys I can handle it.


They are very emotionally attached to this document which they created giving it a lot of time, consideration and effort.  They worked really, really hard on this and that emotional attachment creates the feeling of come hell or high water you will live and die by this.


During the review I really think they are hoping that I will agree and tell them it is fantastic, and I wouldn’t change a thing; which would be much better and less of a blow to the pride.  I can understand this.  I take a great deal of pride and ownership in my work so I really can relate.


It is comfortable, it may be dysfunctional, but it is still comfortable.  You are in a bad relationship with this mindset, tool or actions but by golly, you know you are still in a relationship and isn’t that better than being alone?  NO!  Duh.


I once had a client who was a contractor that pretty much hated the new branding piece I created.  He was so attached to his old one that he was just beside himself with what I did because it was so different.  It was new, it was untested, it was unfamiliar it wasn’t comfortable or “safe”.  Oh, he hated it.  And he let me know.  Then he told me out of spite he was going to use it, with the undertone of “I’ll show you!” hoping it would fail so he could say “I told you so”.


He got hired for a new contract.




With glowing reviews about the piece.


Then he got hired again, and again….


Yup, he sure showed me.  But that was ok, I understood where he was coming from and could empathize with the fear and anger.  So I let him vent and was gracious when he came back and said, “I was wrong.”


I told him he was just afraid and there is nothing wrong with that as long as he moved forward anyway and that was exactly what he did – leading to success.


Luckily he had an awesome coach that helped him move through the fear of letting go.  Yes, that would be me.  Allow yourself to listen to others if you are stuck.  Just stop for a moment and detach.


Because even though you may have worked really, really hard on this if it does not truly represent you then it is not working in your best interest.


Are you banging your head on that wall because it feels so good when you stop or because you are too afraid to turn around and move forward freely?  Give yourself the opportunity to divorce yourself from your old ways and entertain the possibility that something new and better could be right around the corner.


You will never see it if your emotional attachment has you blindfolded.  Once you remove it you might just find that there is a big, huge world out there just waiting for you to join it!



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.





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