Friday, February 3, 2012

Start an Inspiration Book

I was stuck tonight writing a cover letter ... so I pulled out my trusty inspiration book. I started the inspiration book while I was subcontracting a few years ago. When you're writing 7-10 resumes a week, sometimes you just get "stuck." You look at the blank page and nothing comes to you.

I address the syndrome of the blank page in my "Write Great Resumes Faster" book. One of my best blank-page busters is an inspiration book. Divided into sections, it addresses the common challenges with a resume -- the qualifications profile, achievement bullets, core competencies (for keywords), cover letter openings, cover letter bullets, and cover letter closings.

Obviously, you don't want to just cut-and-paste into your resume and cover letter documents. But sometimes just reading through some of your previous work will help create the inspiration you need to break through the blank page.

How to create your own inspiration book? Cull through your past resumes and find turns of phrases that speak to you ... or, absent that, just copy and paste a variety of phrases and pieces. I find a three-ring binder works well to organize your information, although you may find that keeping a Word document or using an app like Evernote helps you access the information you want.

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