I recently read an article on LinkedIn entitled THINGS YOU SHOULD REMOVE FROM YOUR RESUME IMMEDIATELY. If you want to read this article, simply click on the article title. I provided the hyperlink to take you to the article.
When I cut and pasted the text of this article into a Word document so I could read it later, it came out to 12 pages. While I agree with some of the article’s points, I don’t agree with every point.
Instead of arguing over opinions, know that my resume writing opinions come from results, results and only results. Here’s what you need to know about what I teach my clients about resume writing.
Not long ago, one of my 30ish year old coaching clients brought something to my attention that he encouraged me to ponder and to take action on. I’ll call him Bob.
Bob told me that he wished I’d been available to him 5-6 years ago as a coach when he was a Team Leader for the first time in his career. Because he knew more about a particular technology than everyone else in his company, he was asked to lead the team that was implementing a new version of the technology.
Knowing a lot about technology and leading a team are two entirely different skill sets Bob told me.
Bob told his story as if it had happened yesterday. The memory of being asked to do something he was not trained to do was fresh in his mind. In the end, he admitted that he did a great job of leading the technology side of the project but he also admitted that he didn’t do so well when it came to leading the people side of the project.
I sensed that Bob wasn’t happy with his previous boss for putting him in this situation without giving him proper preparation.
Bob continues to rise in his career. Today he is a Vice President. The training he didn’t have around people leadership 5-6 years ago still isn’t part of Bob’s skill set. That’s why he came to me for help.
I’m working with Bob at his request to help him develop people skills or soft skills as Bob called them so he can deliver his best possible performance as a new Vice President.
Bob is a gifted technologist but he admits to not being a gifted people person. He has to be one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met. His high IQ unfortunately doesn’t translate into naturally having exceptional soft skills.
In Bob’s current role where he routinely works with his company’s leadership group and he routinely meets with his company’s customers, Bob has come to the realization that the technical skills that propelled him to where he is today are not enough.
It was the President of Bob’s company who told him he needed to develop better soft skills. This comment captured Bob’s attention.
If you’re a rising technologist who is gifted with high IQ and you’re great at all things technical, the sooner you start developing soft skills like Bob is developing, the better.
Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.8810
While reading an article in the New York Times, I ran across a sentence in the article that grabbed my attention.
“In a capitalist economy, the market rewards things that are rare and valuable.” CAL NEWPORT
Last week I was privileged to have coached four women who all work in the cyber security profession. They are all exceptional in their own ways.
One of the tools I use in my coaching practice is the Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment. In less than an hour, this tool shows me exactly and precisely how each of my clients are uniquely built. Every time I review a new client’s StrengthsFinder results, I get to look at traits that are both rare and valuable.
One client in particular whom I worked with last week has more than one trait in her top 5 Traits / Strengths that are both rare and valuable. When these traits are weaved together, she is a special person.
By the way, the Clifton StrengthsFinder is made up of 34 traits. Each term that describes a trait belongs to the Gallup Organization and is Trademarked. Traits near the top of one's Clifton StrengthsFinder report have the potential of being turned into Strengths. This is what Strengths Coaching is all about.
Command is my client's number 1 trait. Out of 34 traits that make up the Clifton StrengthsFinder, Command is the trait that comes in at number 34 in terms of how often it is found in the top 5 on a StrengthsFinder report.
The Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment has now been taken by more than 15,000,000 people around the globe.
- For men, Command shows up in the top 5, 3% of the time.
- For women, the Command trait shows up in the top 5, 2% of the time.
To say that my client who has Command at the top of her Strengths profile is an anomaly is an understatement. The reason I say that is that our traits / strengths do not work by themselves. They work with the other traits / strengths that surround them.
Also showing up in my client's top 5 traits is Self-Assurance.
- For men, Self-Assurance shows up in the top 5 traits / strengths 6% of the time.
- For women, Self-Assurance shows up in the top 5 traits / strengths 2% of the time.
Is my client starting to look like a rare and valuable contributor to you? She is!
One more trait that shows up in my client’s top 5 traits / strengths is the Competition trait.
- For men, Competition shows up in the top 5 traits / strengths 16% of the time.
- For women, Competition in the top 5 traits / strengths is much more rare showing up only 2% of the time.
What does this picture tell me as a Strengths Coach? My client’s top traits / strengths are both rare and valuable. The client described above has huge up-side potential that is virtually limitless.
The company that hires this naturally gifted leader will see multiples on their return on investment.
Your last 3 job descriptions describe what you were hired to do in your last 3 jobs. If a resume writer could simply compile the descriptions of what you were hired to do to create your resume, there would be no skill involved in the process of writing a resume.
A great resume is far more than a record of what you signed up to do in past jobs. A great resume shows a record of what you signed up to do, what you actually did and the value that was created as a result of your efforts.
It is your Accomplishments, Contributions and Results that need to be demonstrated on your resume in a language that aligns with the language of your resume’s audience.
While your resume is always about you, it is for your audience 100% of the time.
What you were hired to do in previous jobs should actually be allocated the least amount of real estate on your new resume.
Resume writing is difficult because when it is done strategically and correctly, it is a mix of technical writing, business writing and creative writing. Many people do well with the technical writing piece. The business writing piece of a resume is still within the grasp of some. It is the creative piece of writing that is outside of most of my client’s skill sets. Too much of any one of these elements will upset the delicate balance of a great resume.
Finding just the right balance of Technical Writing, Business Writing and Creative Writing is required to build a resume that will be most appreciated by the resume’s audience.
Not long ago, a really bright converged security professional came to me for resume writing help. After sharing a phone call with this person, I was convinced that he/she was extremely articulate. After a short amount of time on the phone, I saw a serious disconnect between the person portrayed on the resume that was in front of me and the person I was listening to on the phone. This happens all the time by the way.
There was no doubt at all that this caller needed help from a professional resume writer but that’s not all they needed. I sensed that I was listening to a Security Rock Star who didn’t know they had a future as a Security Rock Star.
Here’s how it works and here’s what my clients can expect in terms of results after the coaching program is has been completed.
1. The beginning of the program focuses on learning. After my clients take a Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment, our first two phone calls focus on me helping my client to understand what their unique talents are, how they operate, how they come across to other people and what the powerful edge and potential pitfalls are that are connected to each of their unique talents.
2. In the second phase of this program, my clients begin to understand their unique talents. At this point they can claim what is naturally theirs and they can choose to own the gifts they have.
3. Once my client decides to claim and own their gifts, then I’m in a position to help them to properly aim their gifts. What this means is that some people are gifted to be the most brilliant architects and engineers in the building. Other people are naturally gifted to manage people and some people are naturally gifted to learn how to lead. At this point, I can step in with my 26+ years of experience in recruiting and I turn to my top strengths. My Futuristic strength combined with my Strategic strength and my experience all work together in helping my clients to build unique strategic career road maps that align with their unique giftedness.
A Strength as defined by the Clifton StrengthsFinder is the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance in a specific task.
The good news is that every human being has talents that can be turned into strengths. All of our talents are different; making us unique individuals. Once talents become strengths, the sky is the limit when an individual can deliver a near-perfect performance over and over and over again.
I was recently asked why I offer both Strengths Coaching and Emotional Intelligence Coaching.
Strengths Coaching focuses on what a person has potential to be great at based on their natural giftedness. Because I work heavily with people who are gifted technologists, I have built up enough data and experience to understand the uniqueness of the gifted technologists I’m privileged to serve. When I get to pass this understanding on to the gifted technologists who trust me to coach them, I get to help my coaching clients take their personal game to a new level.
This work taps into the Maximizer (one of my top strengths) in me. By default, my Maximizer causes me to focus on taking good to great all the time. I love to show my clients how they can turn their good performance into a great performance.
My work goes beyond working with gifted technologists. My unique experience also enables me to show some of my clients how their unique giftedness sets them up to either become or to fine-tune their leadership abilities if they're already in leadership.
The days when I get to coach someone who has potential they didn’t know they had before we got together are some of my best days!
Because everyone I coach is a human being, there is a 100% chance that every one of my coaching clients have weaknesses. As a Strengths Coach, I have determined that it makes no sense at all to try to help my clients turn their weaknesses into strengths. It simply doesn’t work.
What does work is the effort I invest with my clients to strengthen their strengths while showing them how to build strategies around their weaknesses so their weaknesses don’t get in the way of their strengths. Strategies can’t be built around topics that are not clearly understood.
It was my observation that everyone has weaknesses that led me to discover a way to become trained and certified in Emotional Intelligence Coaching.
Emotional Intelligence shows me how my clients perceive themselves. Sometimes this self-perception is right and sometimes it is wrong. I can also see how my clients are likely perceived by other people. When there is a gap between how my clients perceive themselves and how they come across to other people, there is work to be done.
The good news here is that a person’s Emotional Intelligence can be improved upon. In my coaching practice, these are the Emotional Intelligence skill we measure and work to improve based on each coaching client’s unique needs.
Self-Regard, Self-Actualization, Emotional Self-Awareness
Emotional Expression, Assertiveness, Independence
Interpersonal Relationships, Empathy, Social Responsibility
Problem Solving, Reality Testing, Impulse Control
Flexibility, Stress Tolerance, Optimism
Working with my clients as an Emotional Intelligence Coach to improve their Emotional Intelligence is the most difficult and the most impactful and rewarding work I do. When a person works to improve their behavior, the behavior that impacts other people and progress is made, this is the most impactful work I do and it is one of the greatest personal and professional investments my clients can possibly make.
Better behavior leads to all kinds of positive results. When my clients are focused on doing work that aligns with their top strengths and they are focused on delivering their work with their best behavior attached, the result for my clients is their best performance.
Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.881
My Resume Writing Service
I have been assisting people with resume writing since 1990. In 2008, I turned my pro-Bono work into an active part of my business. I didn’t go out and study other people’s approaches to resume writing. Rather, I collected thoughts from several of my clients as well as from many of my colleagues and peers; people who have reviewed tens of thousands of resumes in their careers.
From there, I set out to build a resume writing methodology from scratch. I started with my own thoughts, the information I’d collected from my colleagues and peers as well as information your audience told me they wanted to see in a resume and began building from the ground up.
What I created is a proprietary resume writing methodology that has opened interview doors for my clients around the globe since 2008 and continues to open interview doors today. My clients have included Analysts and Engineers, Architects, Managers, Directors, VPs and “C” Suite Executives.
Hiring a Resume Writer
Here are a handful of suggestions with regards to how you might want to go about selecting a resume writer or a resume coach.
- Hire a resume writer who understands your profession and the audience you’ll be sending your resume to.
- Hire a resume writer who can demonstrate client results as a result of their clients using their resume writing approach.
- Be ready to roll up your sleeves to partner with your resume writer or resume coach.
- Don’t approach a resume writer with this mindset:
“To be frank, I was really looking for someone just to write my resume. I was not looking for guidance. As you may have noticed, I am Director of Information Security and have very little time to devote to resume writing.”
You’ll Have To Participate
Understand that you are the only person on the planet who has walked in your shoes. Nobody knows why you are unique or special other than you. Nobody knows how to tell your stories of Accomplishment, Contributions or the Value you’ve created for previous employers other than you. The best any resume writer can do is to meet you half way. If they claim to be able to do more, I suggest that you turn around and run away.
A great resume is a forward leaning document. This document cannot be written by you handing a resume writer your last three job descriptions. Job descriptions talk about what you are hired to do. They never talk about what you did or how you did what you did. This by the way is what employers told me they want to see in a resume.
You have to participate in the resume building process.
My Resume Writing / Resume Coaching Options
I offer a 1 Hour Resume Coaching program for my clients who are confident in their writing skills. These clients are people who want to learn my proprietary resume writing methodology. I’ve boiled this knowledge transfer down to a 1 hour coaching call.
For my clients who are not as comfortable with their writing skills, I have a service that I refer to as my Full Resume Writing Service. My 1 Hour Resume Coaching program is so effective because it addresses both auditory and visual learners, so I deliver this program to my Full Resume Writing clients before I take over as their editor.
I my Full Resume Writing clients to the drawing board to build their raw resume material based on the methodology I have taught them. When my clients are ready for me to jump back into their resume writing process, I do so as their personal editor. I take their raw material and turn it into a polished, professionally written resume that is then ready to open interview doors.
Nobody on the planet can write your resume for you from start to finish. Regardless of how busy you might be, you have to slow down to participate in a knowledge transfer process.
There is no other way to end up with a great resume.
LinkedIn's New Feature
First, understand that your Resume and your LinkedIn profile both make first impressions in a matter of seconds.
Second, explore LinkedIn’s new feature that lets you tell visitors to your profile that you might consider a career move.
Third, don’t turn on the new LinkedIn feature unless you have strategically optimized your LinkedIn profile to show the best version of you. You are making a first impression when someone visits you on LinkedIn.
Fourth, don't turn on the new LinkedIn feature unless you have a stellar resume that can be visually scanned in a matter of seconds. You are making a first impression when you send a resume.
Here’s How to Unlock the New LinkedIn Feature
- Go to the top of your LinkedIn Profile and click on JOBS
- Click on PREFERENCES
- Set yourself up to be contacted for opportunities based on your parameters.
That’s what my caller told me during our conversation. I’m not sure how you define “Alpha Male” so here's what came to my mind.
I interpreted the comment in context of this conversation to mean that the person on the other end of my phone had a need to tell me he was a “Big Dog” and he was used to being in charge.
The Alpha Males and Alpha Females I know who are impressive leaders may feel the need to tell others they are “Alpha” but they turn on their Impulse Control and they don't say what might be on their minds.
The "Alpha" leaders I know through my leadership coaching work more often than not possess the Command strength near the top of their StrengthsFinder report.
Command as defined by the Clifton Strengthsfinder: People exceptionally talented in the Command theme have presence. They can take control of a situation and make decisions.
Only 5% of the +-15 Million people who have taken a Clifton StrengthsFinder have the Command trait showing up in their top 5 traits. Out of 34 traits that show up on the StrengthsFinder report, Command comes in 34th in terms of frequency. Command is rare.
Successful "Alpha" people tend to operate with these characteristics:
- They inspire trust by being honest and by demonstrating high integrity
- They are decisive
- They have vision and they are able to clearly communiate their vision
- They are people whose words you might not like but you always know where they stand
- They are humble
- They’re leaders
Leaders don’t need to tell others that they’re leaders. They simply do what leaders do.
Are you an aspiring leader? Have you ever wondered where you could get coaching and training to understand how to present the best version of yourself? Do you have a game plan that will get you from where you are to where you want to go? Are you ready to be in charge and to lead? I can help you to discover and to develop what's in you that would translate into you becoming a leader that others want to follow.
When you're ready to figure out the difference between what you "Can" do and what you "Should" do with your life, give me a call. I help my clients to find Clarity. Clarity leads to personal Confidence. Clarity also makes Direction clear.
Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.8810
Get a new resume and get interviews. Is that all there is to it?
Having a clean, clear, logical resume that can be scanned by a human being in a matter seconds is absolutely a requirement in in the world today where attention spans are short.
But is a great resume alone a strategy? Not so much. It’s only part of a well-thought-out job search strategy.
Recently, I saw something on one of my client’s on-line applications that you should know about. Next to the place on their application where a candidate could upload a resume, the on-line form asked for a candidate’s LinkedIn URL.
This was a new request that I hadn’t seen before. I knew that companies were looking candidates up on LinkedIn but I’d never seen a company directly ask for a candidate’s LinkedIn URL.
What’s The Big Deal?
Employers are looking at job candidates on LinkedIn. When your LinkedIn profile is reviewed by anybody, you’re making a first impression in a matter of seconds. I don’t know exactly how many seconds it takes to form a LinkedIn first impression but I can tell you from my own experience in searching for talent on LinkedIn that most of my LinkedIn visits aren’t long visits.
- If you’re not currently leveraging what I call the header portion of your LinkedIn profile, the space above your name and your photo, consider doing so. Here’s what leveraging the header looks like. This move alone will differentiate you from the crowd.
Tips For Building a Great LinkedIn Profile
- LinkedIn is a business platform. For best results, your LinkedIn photo should be a business photo that presents the best version of you.
- If your LinkedIn profile can’t be visually scanned (not fully read) in a matter of seconds in order for the visitor to your profile to determine who you are, where you are, what you’re great at, what kinds of problems you solve, what kinds of opportunities you create and what kind of value you create for employers or clients, it should be built to do so.
- If the message on your LinkedIn profile isn’t strategically built to align with the message carried in your resume and the message you’ll share when you interview, it should be aligned.
- Just like writing a great resume, writing an effective LinkedIn profile requires a blend of business writing, technical writing and creative writing combined with strategy. If writing in this manner is not your gift, consider asking for help from someone who does LinkedIn Profile Optimization Coaching. Be sure that this person actually knows what a recruiter looks for when they visit a LinkedIn Profile.
What Else is Part of a Job Search Strategy?
If your resume or your LinkedIn profile grab someone’s attention and you’re invited to a telephone interview or a face-to-face interview, be sure that the message you’ll share when you interview aligns with your resume’s message and your LinkedIn Profile’s message.
For over 26 years working as a recruiter, it is common that the verbal message a job candidate shares with me tells one story and the story I read on their resume is another story.
Today, LinkedIn plays a part in a person’s messaging. More often than not, I see a gap between a job seeker’s resume and their LinkedIn messaging and I hear another disconnect when they pick up the phone to call me.
This alignment I’m referring can and should be addressed.