Branded resume

Peek behind the Door: The art of Modern, Custom Resume Writing

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What does it take to write a modern, custom resume that is both ATS and human-friendly? Take a peek behind the door of the art of custom resume writing. Know what it takes to DIY or for your resume writer.

Gather materials + stories. The very beginning of the process is time-consuming work and not for the faint at heart. Collect performance reviews, recent assessment results (DISC, MBTI, etc.), client/colleague feedback, reflect on professional achievements and recall stories of how you faced a challenge, strategies you used to overcome them and quantifiable results.

Direction. Find job postings that represent your career goals going forward. Note the language and keywords in the postings.

Distill value. Marinate in the materials you've collected. Synthesize themes of your professional narrative to create a professional brand.

Write + design. Focus on the story of YOU. Showcase professional achievements over lists of job duties. Guide the reader's eye to what YOU want them to see through formatting and design elements.

Edit ruthlessly. Continually review how you can write more succinctly explaining what you do simply with industry keywords. Check spelling and grammar.

As both a stay-at-home parent and certified resume writer, I block my time in 30-minute chunks. I run from task to task in the early morning and evening hours and during nap-time (my three-year-old is currently partying in his room over resting these days;) to craft your professional narrative.

Your story shapes my story. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Be YOU in your resume - Choose your words Wisely!

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Mind the language you use to describe yourself in your resume. It matters. Language is powerful. Wisely use a mix of words that describe only YOU. No one should be able to lift content from your resume as their own because it should describe only YOUR story, not solely the responsibilities of your job title.

A branding statement is key in articulating who you are on your resume. I use a three-step process when writing branding statements for my clients focusing on:

1. The distinguishing factors of WHO you are.

2. The WHAT of unique professional achievements


3. the WHERE of career direction.

What method(s) do you use to make your resume stand out and really describe YOU?

Need resume branding help? Grab a DIY mini-workbook here.

Showcase your Difference in your Job Search

I lived in Sweden for a year after I graduated college. I learned a lot that year and was introduced to many wonderful people and Scandinavian treasures – Fika. H&M. IKEA.

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The most interesting was a Swedish cultural concept - “Lagom.” It comes from the phrase “laget om” (correct me if I am wrong, Swedes, as I struggled in that 6-week language course!) which means middle, median, appropriate.

While this concept permeates Scandinavian culture from social interactions to what you wear or eat, it won’t do you any favors in an American job search. In fact, if you stay on middle ground in your job search, you will be anchored there. 

Most people who are applying and networking for your new job of interest, typically have a similar degree, qualifications and skill set. Don’t stay similar. Be different. 

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Identify your competitive edge. 

✪ What are you known for?

✪ What strengths do others consistently acknowledge in you?

✪ What are you really good at?

Leverage what sets you apart in your job search and career documents. Need help discovering your 'difference'? Find resources here.

Ensure your Communication Sticks: 3 Resume Tips

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Leaders fail in communication two-thirds of the time. 

According to Tim Pollard, author of “The Compelling Communicator,” executives’ perceived overall leadership ability and critical thinking skills are undermined by poor presentation delivery.  

Additionally, data suggests that 80% of what leaders share in a presentation is instantly forgotten. 

Could these statistics translate similarly to your resume? 

Take a look. What is your resume communicating about you? Is it memorable? Will your resume stick in someone’s memory long after you click APPLY? Keep your resume sticky with:

🍯A simple structure: Make it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to discover who you are and the value you bring.

🍯Tailored content: Write toward the pain points of your prospective employer. Clearly illustrate why YOU are the solution to their problem.

🍯Specific accomplishments: Lead with your results in your bullet points instead of getting bogged down by mundane job duties. Explain the challenges you faced, how you addressed them and then, share your results.

Wake up your Resume: 3-Steps for Powerful Bullet Points

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When you look at your resume do you want to take a nap? Most people’s eyes glaze over and droop to a close at the look of black font, dreary design elements and lackluster employment information.

Wake up your resume! It is about YOU after all! Your life. Your professional accomplishments. You aren’t boring so don’t let your resume be.

An easy way to infuse personality into your resume is to showcase your professional accomplishments, not just routine job duties.

Think of a notable professional win. Do you have it?

OK. Let’s break it down using the C.A.R method: Challenge, Action Result.

Challenge ➝ Identify the challenge you faced.

Action ➝ How did you address the problem?

Result ➝ What was the outcome?

Then, quantify. Here’s an example:

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Show off your professional wins to indicate your future value to a prospective employer. Lead with your impact.

Need further guidance? Use our bullet-point resume writing formula here.

Give Career Fulfillment This Christmas

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Happy Cyber Monday! As you sift through the deals of the day, consider giving the long-lasting gift of career fulfillment and hope (for under ten bucks)!

Grab our resume branding mini-workbook ($8.99) to guide you or a loved one through our branded statement writing formula, that ensures you can:

➝ Communicate the best blend of your skill set to win interviews.

➝ Infuse professional accomplishments into your resume.

➝ Locate keywords in a job posting to tweak your resume for your application.

➝ Craft a statement that showcases your value and sets you apart from the crowd.

Take charge to hone your professional value and lead a friend to theirs! Career fulfillment belongs to those that do the inner work to get there. Buy your copy here.

There's Still Time to Job Search in 2018

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It’s not too late to job search in quarter four!

Most companies that have job openings now want to fill them before the new year. Grab that leftover turkey, make a sandwich and get to work showcasing your value on your career documents:

📌 Know your unique value proposition (UVP) and capitalize on it. Articulate what makes you unique compared to other applicants.

📌 Don’t just say it; prove it! Avoid copy and pasting your job description and instead state and quantify your accomplishments in each role.

📌 Use the job posting as a keyword map. Focus on the repeated themes and qualifications found in the posting as a way to organize your resume.

Don't want to go at it alone? Download our resume branding mini-workbook for guidance here.

Make the best of the rest of 2018. Go for it!

Develop Skills With Intentionality

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Nothing like a snow day in central Indiana to slow you down.

While I take stock of ingredients today to cook up a baked treat with my kids, it reminds me what I’ve been reading regarding “deliberate practice” in Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit.

I’ve never been good at baking and honestly, getting out and dirtying all the kitchen things to do one of my most dreaded chores (washing dishes) always sways me to another activity despite a sweet reward.

But this holiday season, I’m aiming to establish traditions around baking with my family that I have yet to create. “Deliberate practice” is more than just logging hours and hours of a new skill, but in being intentional in the practicing of it.

With baking it might be trying a recipe a few different ways, adding a smidge here or there of an ingredient, commenting on a recipe noting what worked and what didn’t and having honest taste testers (I have three little ones of those;) reflect which was the most successful.

What skill do you want to improve or add to your skill set? What deliberate measures can you take to practice honing it? Mastering a skill adds to your value and brand.

Need help articulating it on your resume? Invest in our mini-workbook.

Chaotic To Straight: Your Professional Narrative

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Does your career path seem chaotic rather than intentional?

Yeah, mine did too.

My college degrees have little to do with what I am doing now.

Nonprofit management? Nope. Not anymore.

Higher education? Still no.

Even if your career path isn’t straight, you can still craft a professional narrative that IS! Even though I started in Sweden working with college students and now certified to write resumes professionally – my focus hasn’t changed – only my assignment.

I’m passionate about connecting people to their passion.

What themes do you see in your career journey? Dig deep. They are there.

Once you discover them, tell your story in your career documents and your LinkedIn profile.

If you can’t seem to connect the dots, check out our six free tips to clarify your focus and your job target here.