Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Case Study: Shortcuts in Resume Writing



A client called me yesterday to tell me he had a first interview on Monday with one of his Top 4 Target Companies and that it went well. He’s been asked back for an in-person interview next week. 

There were a couple of tools I used on his project that were helpful “shortcuts.” This client isn’t my “ideal” client these days. (I work mostly with Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations, and Sales – or “MAPS” clients — but he was a returning client from 2014, so I was happy to work with him again.)

His previous resume (2014) had focused on his role as Warehouse Manager/Shipping & Receiving Manager (that resulted in him landing a job initially as Maintenance Technician with his current company). I did an update to his resume in 2016 for an internal role and he was promoted to Warehouse Manager. He was then promoted to QA Inspector/Lead Technical Writer (without a resume update). Unfortunately, last year his employer lost a major contract. He was given the opportunity to switch to a manufacturing position or be laid off. He decided to change to the manufacturing role (with a pay cut), but wanted to start looking for new opportunities. That’s when he reached out to me.

Quality Assurance is the focus for his current job search, but it required completely overhauling his resume. (Which was necessary anyway, with the 7-year timeframe between his last work with me and this job search.)

To gather information for his new career focus, I used one of Evelyn Salvador’s Career Worksheets. The “Documentation: Manufacturing and Production” worksheet provided insightful questions to gather information about his most recent relevant role (2019-2023). I provided him with a checklist to identify the keywords relevant to his experience, and incorporated some of the Documentation questions into my questionnaire. 

Once I had his information, it was time to tackle the resume writing. Lately, I’ve been starting the writing process by browsing Michelle Dumas’ Distinctive Resume Templates to find one that feels like a fit for the client, job target, and industry. I decided on the Blue Collar Resume Template (with Blue Collar Coordinating Documents – resume addendum, cover letter, and references templates). The templates are visually appealing and ATS-friendly and I find it easy to populate them (changing the color scheme with an appropriate color for the client — in this case, blue to denote “trust, security, and stability.”

I also had this client take a DISC profile assessment (I’m a DISC administrator through Jane Roqueplot and Profiling Pro), which I culled insights from to include in his resume. 

He used his new resume to apply to a handful of positions last week and got a call last Friday to set up a phone interview on Monday (yesterday). Because it had been a while since he had interviewed (especially for an outside role), I sent him a couple of resources over the weekend to help him prepare. One was my “Pre-Interview Worksheet & Checklist” (a Fillable Worksheet). I also sent him my guide to Virtual Interviews (based on this Pass-Along Materials document: Jobseeker’s Guide to Virtual Interviews). 

I had previously sent him my “Be the STAR of Your Career Story” worksheet to put together a couple of accomplishment stories while I worked on writing the resume. He reported back that he had used a story about reducing production time from three months per unit to three weeks and said the interviewers were impressed. 

In the phone interview, they basically offered him the job (they asked him how much it would take to get him to move on from his current employer), so his next step is doing salary research and prepping for the in-person interview. I’m going to be sending him some resources to help with that later today.

Resources mentioned in this case study: 
Evelyn Salvador’s Career Worksheets 
Distinctive Resume Templates 
➡️ use promo code 50offbearesumewriter on the Distinctive Resume Templates website to save 50% on your first purchase of any amount.) 
DISC Testing 
Tools for Job Search 
Pass-Along Materials Archive 2011-2020 

What did you think of this case study? Are
 there resources you use as shortcuts? What are they? Comment below!

Monday, January 8, 2024

Mindset Mondays: Exercise to Practice Gratitude


Practicing gratitude can go a long way to helping you feel happier and more successful in life. The most interesting thing about having a success mindset is that it is indeed a mindset. Studies have been done on numerous people throughout history that show that even people you may not see as successful can feel successful if they have the right mindset

  • Write It Down. Keep a small notebook by your bedside, your desk, or in your glove box. Whenever you feel a wave of gratitude, write it down. This helps you to remember the experience and even relive it when the need arises.
  • Record It. Almost everyone can record themselves today with smartphones and tablet computers. If you don’t want to write down your feelings, you can record them. Whenever you feel grateful, or need to feel it, make a short two minute recording to document it. 
  • Focus on It. Allow your mind to focus on all the gratitude you feel, but in a tremendous way. Amplify the feeling by describing it as fully as possible. How does your morning walk feel? How does your morning coffee smell? What do you feel when you watch your sleeping child?
  • Say It Aloud. Even if you’re not writing it down or recording it, you can still state your gratitude out loud. 
  • Feel It. Don’t just write down or record and state your gratitude. Take a moment to feel it. Focus carefully on how it feels to breathe in the fresh air, and take the moment in fully. Immerse yourself in the feelings as much as you can. 
  • Share It. When you are feeling gratitude, it’s a great time to tell others about it. When you share your feelings of thanks to the world either by calling someone and telling them that you’re thankful for them or by sharing on Instagram or Facebook or X/Twitter your gratitude, you’ll feel it more fully. 

Focus on what makes you happy and less on what makes you unhappy. It may seem silly, but it’s backed by science. Your thoughts control your feelings, and you control your thoughts. It’s that simple.

We’re expecting our first big snowfall of the season today … they’re saying 4-7 inches – so I’m going to be grateful for the moisture … and that Jon and I work from home! 

What are YOU feeling grateful for today? Comment below!

Monday, January 1, 2024

Mindset Mondays: The Importance of SMART Goals


Today’s tip is using GOALS to direct your MINDSET. After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. Right?

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times, right? Everyone you know — at least all the life coaches and teachers — want you to learn how to make your goals so that they’re manageable and do-able. Learning how to create goals correctly will change your life. 
The best-known method for creating goals that you can achieve is the SMART goal method. 
The SMART acronym stands for:

  • Specific. State what is precisely required to meet your goal. 
  • Measurable.  Include a number that enables you to measure the results. 
  • Achievable. Set goals that you can realistically accomplish in the time set using the resources and methods you have available. 
  • Realistic. The outcome must be truly possible. Some people like to use the word relevant here because the goal must be relevant to the big picture you have in mind
  • Time-Bound. We all expand our time to match what is allowed, so setting a time limit is essential to realizing your goals. 

You can even expand this acronym to the acronym SMARTER and add two more criteria, if you want to be great at making goals that result in success. These two additional letters stand for “evaluated” and “reviewed,” — which makes sense because the only way you can know for sure if something you do works is to evaluate it and review it. 
Once you do that, you can tweak and change things to improve your goal setting for future goals. The practice of using the SMART goal method for all your goal setting needs will improve every time you start setting up your goals and objectives because you’ll be able to use past experiences to guide you. 
No matter how small your objective is, try using the SMART goal technique to help you create goals that really can be reasonably met by you.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Mindset Mondays: Practice Positive Thinking

Negative thoughts can affect your ability to see your success — as well as make you feel bad about yourself and the world around you — and can lead to poor choices. Thankfully, you can turn yourself around by focusing on positive thinking.

  • Create a Minimum “To Do” List. Each day, look at your calendar and schedule and see what you need to do for the day to be a success — but just for that one day. It shouldn’t be 12 hours of work either. It should be a realistic depiction of the minimum necessary tasks to experience success.
  • Keep a Gratitude Journal. Every evening, write down three things you are thankful for in general and for that day. Then, the next morning, read those three things before you start your day. When you focus on the good in your life, you’re going to feel more successful.
  • Meditate Daily. Take time out of your day to mediate. You don’t have to meditate for a long time to see results. Just five minutes a day can make a big difference in your mood and your thoughts. You can also meditate in different ways, such as by walking in nature, lying on the living room floor listening to music — or the typical way most people think of it. But clear your mind so you can reset and start fresh.
  • Time Limit Your Negativity. When you allow a negative thought to enter your mind, instead of dismissing it, try stopping and doing something else that makes you feel positive. Five minutes watching babies laugh on YouTube can pay off in numerous ways.
  • Practice Changing Your Thoughts. When a negative thought enters your mind, you can practice changing it. If you have a negative thought, think it out, and then turn it around to something positive. With practice, the negative thoughts will resolve themselves.

You don’t have to be overly positive for these tactics to work. If you have trouble turning a negative thought into a positive one, use a neutral thought instead.