More than just a Resume Writer….

 

I was so thrilled by this feedback from someone that found me online, I have to share:   

Frankly, I am intrigued by your method of presenting yourself.  Might be an odd way to say this.. but, I felt you weren’t presenting yourself just as a resume writer who will write a resume, get paid and move on.  Seems you approach your job more like holistic medicine…  wanting to help a person not just get something done but help the person help themselves get the job done…”   

YES!  

Job searching is challenging.  I believe it’s a combo of concrete work on marketing materials like resumes AND addressing our fears, insecurities & building confidence that together make for a successful job search!

7 Transferable Skills – and How To Talk About Them

Regardless of your field, there are several key skills that almost any job requires or values.  They are skills that translate from one type of job into another, regardless of the industry or type of environment.

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Here are a few examples of what are often called ‘transferable skills’ that are valuable to most any employer:

  • Written and verbal communication
  • Computer skills – general familiarity with the internet, a Windows environment, and well known software such as the Microsoft Office products
  • Problem solving ability
  • Ability to change and adapt to change
  • Ability to learn new skills
  • Customer Service experience
  • Management/Supervisory experience

 

Although you do want to make sure you also communicate specific technical skills and concrete accomplishments on your resume, being able to demonstrate your ability to talk through a conflict constructively with a client, learn Power Point to create a slideshow for a presentation, or navigate a corporate merger and it’s multiple changes to policy and staffing are all a part of the core skills and adaptability that many employers expect.

 

Because these skills are less concrete, it’s often easier to explain your knack for problem solving, for example, with stories from past experiences that prove how you creatively found and implemented solutions to challenges.

 

Share these examples during the interview, or in brief in a cover letter ‘teaser’ story.  If you have experienced a restructuring of your department, or been in a company bought out by another, including a story of how you successfully adapted to those changes is usually quite valuable to a new employer in this ever changing, shifting new working world.

 

Employers want employees that are flexible and willing to change and grow with their organization, especially since human nature is to resist change and fight for stability.

 

Computer experience is necessary in almost every field nowadays, so demonstrating any and all computer software programs you know and to what level of proficiency is important to most employers.

 

During your job search if you have the opportunity to take a class to increase your computer skills, or practice your skills using tutorials at temporary agencies, a local community college, or local career center, by all means, do so.  Investing in relevant education is always a good value.  Showing you have learned a new program recently also communicates your willingness and ability to learn new skills.

 

Remember to mention the other transferable skills that may be relevant to your new job and employer:

Customer service skills, leadership, organizational skills, initiative on the job, creating more efficient systems and processes, relationship building, and sales and negotiating skills are among the traits and experiences that have value in most any position.

 

Make sure you have example stories of when you demonstrated these skills and qualities to ‘prove’ your experiences.  Just because you say you can doesn’t mean much – showing how and when you did in the past is much more persuasive and impressive.

 

Feel Free to Quote Me . . .

 

How about a collection of my favorite work/career/right livlihood/follow your passion quotes? I collect quotes.  I find so much inspiration in them.  Hope you do, too.

And please, add your favorites in the comments area!

 

 

Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life!”— Confucius

Don’t let the noise of others opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

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To love what you do and feel that it matters, how could anything else be more fun?” ~ Katharine Graham

Let the beauty we love be what we do.  There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” ~ Rumi

When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” — John Ruskin

Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.” ~ Rumi

‎”You’ve GOT to find what you love . . . work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to find what you love . . . if you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it . . . Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs

“What I know is, is that if you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come.”~ Oprah Winfrey

“Somewhere someone is looking for exactly what you have to offer.” ~ Louise Hay

 

 

Part IV: What I Learned From Applying for (and Turning Down) a Job Offer to be a Contract Resume Writer for a Large Job Search Website

 

Part IV:  How and Why to Turn Down an Offer When You Could Really Use a Job

Recently I stumbled upon a job posting for a Contract Resume Writer position with a large online job search services website that shall remain nameless.  Find out how I came to find this opportunity and why I went ahead and applied for it  by requesting the cover letter (as a sample with strategy commentary just for you!) I sent in for this position.

This experience was really just a strong, first-hand rerun of things I already knew but just hadn’t had happen directly TO me in awhile.  I’m so glad I did this because it turned out to be a great way to keep myself in my clients shoes, feeling what many of you may feel during the job search process.

I’m sharing all about my experience in a 4-part blog series:  Part I – Applying, Part II – Interviewing (and Interview-ers), Part III -3 Steps to Evaluating a Company & Job Offer and Part IV- Turning Down a Job When You Could Really Use One.

This week:  How and Why to Turn Down an Offer When You Could Really Use a Job

 

Think it’s certifiably C.R.A.Z.Y. to turn down a job offer, any job offer, when you really need one?

I would like to get you to at least consider thinking it’s just the opposite – that it is in fact, okay, maybe not CRAZY, but just not a good decision to take a job you don’t feel good about, ever, even if you feel like you really need one.

And I’m going to be completely & maybe unnecessarily honest about why I both refused this job offer, and why it was difficult financially and personally to do so in the hopes this honesty will really get to you.  It’s that important to me.

I wrote to a friend who is healing from cancer, about my decision to not take the contract job offer:

When you say cancer is ‘simple and honest’ my opinion would be that extreme circumstances strip away the superfulous & leaves us to really see and prioritize the essentials, and yes, those are really quite simple.

I’m so not willing to put up with “less than” anymore; I am only following the good and the love and the sense of possibility and WHAT I WANT in my life, not what I feel I HAVE to do out of fear or obligation or a sense of lack & that I have limited choices — hell no! Enough of that!

My heart and life have been ripped open & somehow that means no more settling, it’s time for trust & knowing I know what’s best for me intrinsically, and Life itself, Spirit supports us in knowing and following that — our BEST life for US according to what makes our hearts sing and is full of love and laughter — so just DO THAT.”

You see, the reason I could really use another source of referrals and clients (that of course would not be appropriate to tell the employer in my cover letter!) is that I’ve barely worked in the wake of losing my life partner, my beloved, to a drunk driver.

My sweetie was on his way home from work – from a job he did NOT like when he was killed (though, I am happy to add, was a conscious stepping stone to the life he & I envisioned and work he would love.)

My emergency fund, like many of you who are suffering a sudden job loss and had to rely upon your savings, has been more than strained from my deep need to honor my grieving process and significantly scale back my work for awhile.

I share this with you all just so you know that I *understand*, first hand again, how challenging a job search and the decisions, financial and personal, that come with it and losing a job (or any loss, for that matter) can bring.

I share this because it is the truest reason of WHY I turned down this less than appealing job offer when I could really use one– because losing the most important person in my life has eventually brought me to simply INSISTING on a creating my life the way I want and need it to be.  You see me say this candidly to my friend who said the same to me (in a section of our email I didn’t share here), that he feels that way, too – that in the wake of him surviving cancer (we are both around 40, by the way) – there is a freedom, even a demand that comes on the other side of surviving the seemingly impossible, the freedom of ‘nothing left to lose’.

This is the life we all have – NOW.  Right now.  This moment.

How do you want to spend the time you have?  What do you want it to feel and look like?

Our choice of jobs and work life are such an integral part of our whole life experience!

Choose wisely.

Be EMPOWERED in those decisions to believe in yourself and your abilities, including your ability to find and be wanted by a company that offers what you deeply want and seek in your life, and your work.

Go towards THAT.  The offers, the companies, the people, the experiences that inspire and excite you.

Do your VERY BEST to trust this CAN and WILL happen and to not choose from a fear based place of lack and limitations (like, “what if I don’t get another job offer anytime soon?  What if this is about the best that’s out there & I reject it? Then what?”)

Believe me, it can be CHALLENGING to do this, I get it.  I took some serious time to grapple with myself before I turned down that offer!

But I have learned to be honest enough with myself that I recognized early on that I didn’t feel good about what I perceived about the company and their processes – so the grappling was really with becoming strong and confident enough to turn it down (and not about whether to take it or not).  I wanted to decide and act upon that decision from a place of gratitude for having the offer/the option in the first place, and with the renewed intention to find and create the types of opportunities that I just KNOW are good ones for me.

Please at least consider doing the same with your job options.  And if you decide it is right enough for you to choose as a “for now” job (I wrote recently about Surviving the “For Now Job”), and/or a stepping stone to what you really want (as my beloved was doing when he passed), then do that consciously from a sense of choice and empowerment, and not feeling or acting as if you are a victim of lack of a better option.

The late Steve Jobs said, “Your time is limited..don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

Don’t waste it working somebody else’s job, either.

What’s right for you?  Do THAT.

 

(Dedicated to my beloved, Kelly, whose motto has always been “Love and Laughs“)

 

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Read the previous three posts of this series “What I Learned From Applying for (and Turning Down) a Job Offer to be a Contract Resume Writer for a Large Job SearchWebsite“:  Part I:  Applying Online, Part II:  Interviewing and Interview-ers, Part III:  Evaluating the Company and Job Offer

 

Resume Reader Pet Peeves

“We ought to be able to learn some thing second hand.  

There is not enough time for us to make all of the mistakes ourselves.”  – Harriet Hall

Here’s just a sampling of some real life, straight from employers/recruiters – the Real Resume Reader Pet Peeves & “Oh, Please Don’t Do This” stories . . .  the job search version of “What Not to Wear” – the don’t do’s, turn-offs and professional faux pas.

Employers get so many applicants, they need – and look for – reasons to not consider many of them.

Don’t make it this easy for them!

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A non-example of what not to put in a cover letter: “I am going through a terrible divorce, foreclosure and then got laid off from a well paying job after more than a decade there.”  Employer’s response: “It’s amazing, what are people thinking? I’m gonna pity hire them?”

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An example of literally what NOT to wear:  “Her resume was decent, but she dropped it off in shorts and flip flops, and we clearly aren’t that kind of company. NEXT!”

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Your resume is the first representation of your work:  “I couldn’t believe it – she pulled her twice folded and worn resume out of her back pocket.”

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Other Common Employer Pet Peeves:

** Mass emailed resumes
** Applying for things you aren’t even remotely qualified for
** Candidates that won’t take “No” for an answer
** Applicants that clearly don’t take the time and effort to customize their cover letter

 

Any of you have hiring experience?  

Please add your own “Oh no they DIDN’T!” applicant stories in the comments below!