Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Importance of Focus

A client came in recently with a resume that was four pages long -- plus a half-page "addendum" that covered his current job. The resume was on in true "obituary" form, dating back to his experience teaching junior high in 1973. He was now in sales. My number one challenge with this client? Focusing on what was relevant to the position he wanted.

As I sat down to tackle the rewrite, I was reminded of the story of the sculptor who, when asked how he created such a magnificent piece of art said, "I just started with a block and chipped away at everything that didn't belong."

So it was with this client. His original four-page resume had been created by a professional resume writer, so it was full of accomplishments -- and a "summary of qualifications" that took up half a page. The problem was, that resume writer hadn't forced the cilent to focus on the things that would be important to a prospective employer.

So I did what the sculptor suggested: Looked for things that didn't belong. The result was a concise, focused resume that helped prospective employers quickly identify how this top-producing salesperson could be a valued asset to their company.

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