There is More Than One Right Way – But Can’t You Just Tell Me Which One?!

I had a client pretty much apologize to me last week for changing some of their bullet points on their resume, just a bit of the verbiage.  I was thrilled and excited for her!  Not that she was apologizing, but because she changed her own resume.


She embraced it, she took ownership, she was making it even more her own.  When you do that with your resume you are more engaged and more likely to sell it.  Hooray for her!!


I tell every single client I am not the coach who will tell them that they need to use exactly what I wrote because I am the professional because it is not my resume; therefore I want them to have some skin in the game.


There is more than one way to present information; more than one way to communicate a message.  There are always options, and it is the mere fact of having these options that sometimes overwhelms people.   I get that – truly I do.  It’s like feng shui for me.  I think feng shui is a great tool in clearing clutter – and my house needs a lot of clearing!


There are basically two schools of thoughts with feng shui – traditional and western.  Traditional utilizes compass readings and defines areas in correlation with geographical location of the space – southeast is money and abundance, southwest is love and marriage etc.


The western school of thought maps out each area based upon the entrance to the space, without consideration to if you are facing east or south, the entrance is career, the back left is wealth and prosperity, the back right is love and marriage etc.


You cannot use both philosophies at the same time because in most cases they do not match up.  So which one do you choose?  The experts answer: whatever feels right for you.


Well, that’s just frustrating!  You want someone to tell you: “Use this one – it is the best” but no, they tell you that you have to figure it out for yourself.  So does that mean that if I do a compass reading (which in itself is actually frightening considering how directionally illiterate I am) and I organize based on this that I could actually be screwing up my career area by now making it the center of my spiritual growth and self-cultivation?!


But whether it be clearing out the guest room, scripting your resume or cultivating your networking speeches – it takes time, dedication, practice and trial and error.


Decide on a direction; literally just pick one, than go with it.  Put your focus on that direction, research, practice, gauge how you feel when you present it and then make appropriate changes.  It may feel like it just needs a bit of tweaking or you may get the sense that it just doesn’t feel right.  Then choose another option and start over.


Trial and error is a remarkable process.  It helps us refine, grow, understand, explore, discover, fail, recover and move forward.  Do not be afraid of “doing the wrong thing”.


You see as long as you are trying you are doing the right thing.


The worse thing you can do is nothing at all.  Inaction is a killer.  It kills your spirit, your opportunities and your drive.


Sometimes I will create a resume and it does not work for the client.  I do not see this as a failure, I see it as a good step because we know not to take that direction.


I understand the concept of trial and error and can easily navigate to the next option and help the client transition.  They do not get frustrated because we discuss how the “wrong” step was actually an empowering step – they went from not knowing what direction they want to take to being able to eliminate something.


Sometimes it is powerful to know what you don’t want even if you do not know what it is you do want.  It is all about trying; success isn’t guaranteed with each attempt but failure is certain with each inaction.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.



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