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Resume Story – How to Emote Tenacity


How to Write Who You Are

Similarly, when writing your career story, you must, “Write who you are.”

As who you are evolves, so does your story.

While being authentic in expressing who you are is important, it is equally essential to be selective in what you parlay versus creating a tell-all story.

As in any marketing communication, your story must be choreographed with relevant moves for your target audience. Before you begin shuffling words across the page, you must understand the characteristics and needs of your focus industry, company and/or leadership.

Dive into and begin collecting nuggets of information about that audience, often buried among an ocean of Internet and news data. Sort through it. Create a loose map of requirements and soft skills you might need to appeal to them.

Next, open up a Word document or simply take a tablet and a pen, and start listing top-of-mind corporate war stories in which you participated that pained you at the time but which you are particularly proud of participating in, now.

Resurrect–with emotional vigor–your thoughts, feelings and intimate project details; remember the pain, emoting it onto the page.

If you saved the day, or were part of a team that did, jot it down. The time you talked another staff member down from abandoning a program ship, influenced a manager to buy-into a new idea or diplomatically and successfully pressed the owner that the marketing project he saw no value in was crucial–go there.

Revive your recall, in living color.

How to Woo Your Audience

As you go through this process, some of your stories may reach a dead end or feel lackluster by the time you’re through processing. Scrap those. Other stories may reveal powerful outcomes that you had forgotten. Keep those.

For some stories, the outcome may not be extraordinary, but the path getting there revealed something impressive or important (or both) about your values, your personality culture, your tenacity (or whatever), that you will want to keep. It adds texture to your story, enticing your reader to know more.

Finally, compare those stories to the needs of the target audience you so thoroughly researched earlier. Whittle down your stories a bit further, being careful you don’t cut out the meat or the heart of who you are.

Originally published on LinkedIn.

Copyright: Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, Partner/Owner,
I am a career writer hired by individuals and organizations to build game-changing stories for executives, professionals and entrepreneurs. To find out how I can support your personal or corporate storytelling goals, please follow this link:

Why Sacrificing Soft Skills Weakens Your Resume

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

International Talent Management Strategist Dorothy Dalton recently wrote a compelling blog post:“The Hard Truth About Soft Skills,” which absolutely nails the value of soft skills in a career story resume.

Dalton describes how resumes that come to her attention often do so based on the “high incidence of hard skills in the text,” but goes on to assert that “… unless the resume or professional profile tells an engaging account, the chances of the phone being picked up are slim.”

She continues to describe how articulating your success stories verbally is crucial to being able to continue through the hiring process, underscoring that “it is therefore imperative to bring clarity and show coherence around your career story as early as possible.”

Don’t Let Your Resume Be Ambushed by Less Important Details

So many resume writing blog posts focus on things like the demise of the Objective statement, formatting dos and don’ts, differences between the resume and your LinkedIn profile, whether or not to use color, charts or graphs and so on.

The problem with these types of messages is that careerists get mired in those details to the extent it ambushes their thinking from the most foundational issue: how and why they do what they do and why that matters to the target company. This relates to the what’s-in-it-for-me message that hiring decision-makers seek, but it goes even deeper. It requires a yawning reach into your career story, examining chapter-by-chapter things like your relationships with and influence toward bosses, clients, vendors and all other stakeholders.

Beware The Ineffectiveness Of Random Soft Skills

These soft skills often are omitted or, if included, thrown in randomly and ineffectively, resulting in an incoherent story.

Incorporating soft skills articulately means describing how you helped tame heated meetings and how your ability to communicate orally or in writing helped forge alliances, influence solidarity and/or move projects so they steamed ahead and achieved bottom-line goals.

In fact, your soft skills probably were most heavily relied upon when you first started your job. For each new position, you’ve either taken over after someone voluntarily left or was fired and therefore replaced an employee who was succeeding or who had failed. Perhaps even, you were recruited to pave the way for a new position. Whatever the case, you faced challenges to repair brokenness, expand on success, open new marketplace roadways – and so on.

To read the full article, visit my latest post at Glassdoor: Why You Need To Include Soft Skills On Your Resume. logo

Paralyzed By Resume Writer’s Block?

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

Just the idea of writing a resume paralyzes many careerists. The fear of writer’s block, the angst associated with offending someone’s ambiguous rules, the frustration in trying to recall what you did, and when you did it — all of these feelings mix and meld to create a strong dislike for not only the act of writing a resume, but also in the resulting resume. Thus, why so many people plot and scheme for the resume just to ‘go away.’

The reality is, without a foundational resume story, the walls of your career communications crumble and the spacious rooms in which interested hiring decision makers may wander and inspect your story will shrink. Instead of a required drudgery, the resume–if approached in a new light–should be seen as a brilliant opportunity to create a cohesive snapshot of your career. It’s also a chance to fluidly and artfully draw the reader in.

Moreover, resumes often get a bad rap when defined just by a recruiter’s needs. It has been estimated that less than one percent of jobs are acquired through recruiters, so I never advise customizing your resume specifically to attract recruiters. Doing so may actually winnow out other game-changing interview opportunities–because strategies to fulfill recruiters’ needs don’t always allow for the compelling marketing you need for captivating other readers. In most instances, an alternative, pared down version of your more creative, inspiring resume can easily be prepared to satisfy the occasional recruiter need. 

With that, I introduce you to my latest Glassdoor article on resume do’s and don’ts. I hope you enjoy further insights on the value of writing to capture interest, why boring and bland is out and why obsessing about ATS systems may actually derail your efforts. For the full post, visit: Do This, Not That: How To Make Your Resume More Effective.

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