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Pink Tennis Shoes and Resumes

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

I recently bought a pair of (hot-pink) Nike tennis shoes. I researched, consulted with the sports store pros and tried on several pairs to ensure a confident purchasing decision.

On the heels of a focused 12-month exercise and fitness journey that has reinforced the value of strong, capable footwear, I needed to ensure a thoughtful investment. This decision would impact my five-day-per-week workout regimen involving 50-minute sessions lunging, jumping and bending where my feet took on the brunt of pressure. This was an investment in future health.

Similarly, when careerists decide to invest in a new resume and career portfolio, they should understand and research the value of hiring a strong, capable writing strategist who will design muscular stories that will sustain them during an active, often rigorous job search. The resume is the foundation for a healthy future career and shortchanging on that critical communications content will weaken future initiatives.

After narrowing down my purchase between two pairs of Nikes, I strove to convince myself that the navy blue pair were a better fit. In reality, the brighter, hot-pink shoes were more amenable to comfort and long-lasting, enduring support. I based this on feel as well as listening–really hearing–what my fitness professional was telling me.

With one eyebrow raised,  I succumbed to the brighter duo. It didn’t take long for me to embrace my new colorful feet; in fact, they have added a bit of a bounce to my step and attitude, and I actually prefer these more animated shoes to my prior, boring set. [Side note, as I’m writing this post, my friend and resume writer, Julie Walraven’s post that emphasizes the value of color in resumes floated by. You’ll want to check it out, HERE.]

Similarly, careerists, when vetting out a resume partner, consider fit first and foremost. What, or who, will serve your foundational needs? Step outside the box of traditional beliefs as to what your resume should look like, the content should sound like, the length should be like, and succumb to what is presented to you as the optimal solution to your burning career needs.  Step outside of your frame and allow yourself to feel a bit vulnerable.

Now, after I introduced my new, hot-pink shoes to my work-out, doubts crept in. They didn’t feel the same as my last pair. My feet hurt. They were slipping off of my heels during critical movements and lunges. I adjusted the lacing; I tried different socks; I complained to my husband. But I didn’t want to give them up. Something told me–intuition, I guess–that these were my new workout partners, and to continue adjusting and adapting.

Careerist, does this sound familiar? Have you hired a professional resume writer only to later squirm at the results, doubting your decision? The verbiage is too colorful (e.g., ‘Captained’ vs. ‘Directed’); it’s not how “I” would speak about myself; it’s too long; it hurts to think about using this. I want my old, comfortable resume back, even though it was worn out and no longer performing.

So, a couple of more weeks passed, and I still was unclear if my new shoes would break in and become a permanent fitness fixture. Discovering better ways to lace them up; finding  an overlooked hole in the top of the shoes that would help bolster the fit; and simply allowing time to soften the structure up a bit and mold the tennies around my feet and toes made me a believer. Patience was key in allowing my shoes time to meld with my feet and body and their new, active role.

I love my new, invigorating shoes now, and I am well on my way to shaving off more inches as I build new muscle. Letting go of control, stepping outside of my comfort zone and building my momentum with the best tools available are integral to my future fitness success. It also required patience, and giving my new shoes time to perform.

Likewise, careerist, if you want to steer your career forward, you must consider a more contemporary, rejuvenating route to get to your destination. Invest in what fits your future, not what is dragging down your present. Then, apply patience, giving your new, disruptive marketing vehicles opportunity to perform. Instead of lulling the reader to sleep with the same old, cardboard, plain-vanilla message, mobilize your goals by trusting–and displaying confidence in–a fresh, value-focused message that energizes the reader!

To read how others have invested themselves into my revitalizing professional process and their record of results, click HERE.  My team and I are available to help this be your year of career transformation!

Unraveling the Resume Keyword-Packing Myth

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

Analyzing applicant tracking systems and stuffing your resume full of keywords are popular activities right now. In reality, the purported “science of resumes” and the idea you must perform a hairsplitting task of gaming your resume to meet algorithmic settings are both exaggerations, in my experience.

While you certainly must sprinkle words (nouns, verbs, adjectives and such) into your resume that reflect the target audience’s (company, industry sector, job description) requirements, focusing heavily on this task will shift your focus away from what really matters: focusing your resume and job search.

In my latest post over at U.S. News, I unravel the keyword-packing myth with five key points, including:

1. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) vary.

2. Not every company uses ATS screening.

3. Human beings read your resume.

4. (You should instead) Net-weave your way into an interview.

5. You have a story to tell.

I hope you will read the full story, here: You Don’t Need to Pack Your Resume with Keywords.

5 Tips to Increase Your “Star Power”

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

Have you ever watched a particular performance and then wondered how that person became so popular? After all, you may have thought, there is nothing exceptionally astonishing about the way they sing, dance, act, play a musical instrument or tell a joke. You know for a fact that there are likely thousands of individuals who could perform at least at the level of what you are witnessing, yet none of them have achieved even a smattering of the acclaim this person has.

One word can typically sum up the reasons for this: marketing!

If you want to be a star, you must create buzz. This is true whether your sights are on Carnegie Hall or the next job opportunity in your chosen career.

For five great ways to market yourself in the workforce to help you become the “next big thing,” click here: 5 Secrets Revealed to Land Your Next Job.

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