Separate Work from Who are Are: An Introduction Change

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You don't have to be defined by your work. When you introduce yourself to someone new replace what you do with who you are.

Our identity tie to work is strong. I realized this when I decided to quit my job to stay home with my third child. It never occurred to me how I relied on my achievements at work to define who I am. I found there are no performance reviews for a stay-at-home parent.

Does who you are change because of work? Most definitely, but WHO you are is separate from what you DO.

So instead of: Hi! My name is Meg Applegate. I'm a resume writer.

Let's replace the formality with: Hi! I'm Meg. A woman of faith, driven by even the littlest of goals. I'm lit up by connections with people and prone to giggling at the cheesiest of jokes.

It's your turn. Who are you outside of what you do?

Need help discerning what makes you unique? Check out Meg’s DIY branded resume statement mini-workbook to set yourself apart from the crowd.

Make a Difference in your Office: One EASY Way!

‘Tis the season to be thankful.

However, one gratitude project shows Americans aren’t grateful for their jobs or those in their workplace.

According to John Templeton Foundation’s Expanding Gratitude Project, 2 out of 5 respondents never expressed gratitude to their boss and 29% never conveyed thanks to their colleagues.

My husband snapped this photo when reading the Indianapolis Business Journal yesterday:

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What’s going on here? Are people miserable at work, despise colleagues or just self-focused?

According to the authors of The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins To Ignite Joy, Engagement and Creativity at Work, an employee’s perception, motivation and emotions of happenings within the work day directly affect work performance and behavior toward coworkers.

Perhaps Americans are lacking meaningful work or being stifled at the office in a myriad of ways. Either way, it seems lonely to be in management and tough to be part of an office team.

Consider being a gratuitous difference maker in your workplace. Try it on for size. Today thank, adore, appreciate and genuinely compliment. Look around and smile. Say I see you and the difference you are making around here.

‘Tis the season to buy a coffee for a colleague or write a quick note. Let’s appreciate each other.

Meaning in Momentum: Catalog + celebrate your Achievements

It’s year-end. Well, almost. Celebrate with me!

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My husband and I started a tradition when we were first married to sit down together each December and take stock of our year. It was my husband’s idea.

We take time to intentionally remember the ups and downs of our past 12 months. We catalog our highlights (and low lights) in a journal with happenings ranging from new jobs and babies to failed home projects and silly family moments.

I decided this year I will replicate this process similarly for myself professionally. Today, I will take an hour to write down my accomplishments and unexpected wins. I want to own and remember what I’ve done this year as I set goals for next year.

Celebrate with me by writing down what you’ve accomplished this year. Catalog and celebrate!

Reflect on what you’ve accomplished in order to articulate your value, most importantly to yourself and then perhaps to your boss, your team and/or even a prospective employer.

Are you job searching or freshening up your resume? Turn your momentum into meaning on your resume with accomplishment-driven bullet points. Grab our free writing formula here.

Flip the Script: 3 Ways to Create a New Narrative

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We tell ourselves stories. Are you familiar with yours?

Stories are powerful. They affect our day: how we engage with daily happenings, our relationships, how we approach our work and even our self-confidence. The stories we tell ourselves affect our behavior and decisions. What have you been telling yourself lately?

Perhaps work feels like a battlefield or you wake up thinking, “I can’t manage all of the things again today.” The stories we tell ourselves become truth in our brains even if it isn’t truth at all.

How can you flip the script for deeper fulfillment and energy to pursue your professional goals?

According to Monique Valcour and John McNulty, in their Harvard Business Review Article, “To Make a Change at Work, Tell Yourself a Different Story”, there a few simple action steps you can take to use your stories for your good:

Identify the stories you tell yourself. What thoughts are consistently on loop in your brain? It may take a few days to figure it out. What common phrases do you catch yourself saying in your head?

Examine how the story affects you. Do you feel free or limited by these phrases? Confident or the lack thereof? How do these stories affect your personal and professional relationships?

Flip the script with a new narrative. Once you identify the need for a different story - make new choices. Course correct! Tell yourself the truth over and over again.

Hayley Morgan, author of Preach to Yourself: When Your Inner Critic Comes Calling, Talk Back with Truth, identifies these bad news loops and explains that we can actually make new pathways in our brains, removing the old train of thought with the new. Therefore, choose to take a different path with new stories and beliefs.

Walk the pathway of freedom through daily course correction from limiting beliefs to liberating stories.

The Ordinary Overflow: Thanksgiving

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Let’s reflect on the significant and seemingly ordinary gifts in life today. Cultivating thankfulness for the multitude gifts in every day, as author Ann Voskamp describes the “life in between:”

My short list:

Messy rooms + fingerprints on the windows [kids at play]

Beard hairs in the sink [a loving husband]

An untidy kitchen [sharing a meal with friends and family]

May we overflow with thankfulness for the big events in our life but also for the ordinary in-between.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Name That Tune: A Mantra That Changes Everything

🎶 “Every day, in every way, we’re getting better and better…we’re getting better and better”🎵

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This was the theme song to my kids’ track team last spring. At the end of every practice, after the kids ran their laps and cooled down, the team would gather in a circle, put their hands in and sing this song.

You know the funny thing? My husband and I still sing it. We sing it to each other. We sing it over our kids.

We are all a work in progress. If the goal is just to aim a little higher, do a little better – we can win each day even when it seems we aren’t getting very far. And you know what? It keeps me hopeful!

Aiming higher in the short-term adds up to long-term growth. You’ll look back and see how each small aim led closer and closer to a bullseye.

So put on your proverbial headphones and hum this tune in your daily efforts and all the way through the finish line of your accomplishments.

What goals are you trying to achieve by the end of the year?

🎧 Need help owning your professional wins on your resume? Grab our free accomplishment-driven bullet point writing formula here.

An Exceptional Secret for the Job Search

“There’s nothing particularly special about me, I just do my job.”

I hear that a lot from my clients when we are discussing their current or past roles, but I want to bring YOU in on a secret.

Yes, lean in. Get really close. Hear this:

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You are unique! ONE OF A KIND! There isn’t anyone else like you on the planet.

No one does your job, just like you. Own it!

Still unsure? Use these questions as you reflect on your exceptionality.

✪ What strengths do others continue to acknowledge in you?

✪ What are you known for?

✪ What makes you come alive?

Don’t venture into the discovery process alone. Grab our mini-workbook to discover your unique value proposition.

Fling the Door Wide: What Do You Want Next?

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I get a lot of questions about the Hinge Resume name. How did you come up with it? What stirred within you to create your business brand?

The Hinge Resume Collaborative name is inspired by a saying (or proverb) in the Bible.

Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.
— Proverbs 8:34

Your resume is one of many tools in your job search that can open doors of opportunity. I like to say your resume is the hinge that opens the door.

[hinge: noun. (/hinj/) a central point or principle on which everything depends.]

As I dreamt up my business, I envisioned each of us closely hugging a doorframe, leaning in on the threshold, door slightly open, peering out in expectation of what comes next.

Steal away a still, quiet moment this Monday morning. Close your eyes and picture yourself at your doorframe. Feel the October wind hitting your face as you lean forward on your threshold.

What do you want next? What do you need to fling the door wide open?

New Perspective + Current Adventure

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This morning we took crocodile and lizard in the hands of my two-year-old to register Hinge Resume Collaborative as a sole proprietorship downtown Indianapolis.

Our little field trip was filled with unexpected wonder observing the tall buildings, busy traffic and pedestrians through his eyes. I saw the cloudy circle city from his 3-foot point of view.

His wonder and delight inspired child-like hope within me for the Hinge Resume adventure.

What can you see anew today by shifting your perspective?

It’s the Little Things

It’s the little things.

They can bring serious havoc or reap hope.

Last month, I was reminded of the impact of the little things. One little louse (lice) shared from my daughter’s school imposed on our home and heads. Then, one small part of my watch broke making my watch unwearable. But also…


How one baby giggle can bring a whole family that is grumpy to laughter.

A word of praise brings a smile.

A “thank you” leads to greater appreciation.

An “I’m thinking of you” diminishes loneliness.

A manicure adds to one’s confidence.

A morning workout energizes your day.

What little things encourage you? How can you be intentional to bring hope with the little things this week for yourself and others?