Step One: Initial Contact
Call us at 214.750.4781.
Step Two: The Deep Background Interview
Within the first two minutes of talking with me on the phone, you'll hear me ask: "Are you any good at what you do?" And when you say "Yes," I'll follow up with "OK, make me say 'Wow' about your career three times." Those are the two key questions that form the backbone of your résumé's story, and the foundation of how professional resumes are written.
The key to a successful résumé writing lies in these intake interview strategies and questions. Without this -- a firm documentation of your excellence on the job and in your profession, the résumé may read well on the surface, but it will probably lack the mental image that makes you, well, you.
At the Employment Coach, I conduct all interviews by phone or one-on-one. No Templates, No Questionnaires. It's all about you. We offer one of the most in-depth career interviews in the industry and each document is custom-written to address your career and your goals. Period. Anything less is a secretarial service.
Step Three: Getting Prepared
I love hard facts and numbers. Your résumé is all about "Highlights" "Successes" and "Achievements" and you will have them. Here are some places to look: Annual Performance Reviews. They always say something nice, somewhere. And...
Ask yourself this:
- What can I point to with pride?
- What did I accomplish, however small it might seem to me?
- Were you ever given a special project?
- Did you make anything better, more efficient or more effective?
The word is quantification meaning how much better, bigger, faster, cheaper, more effective, more.... You get the idea. Quantify your roles and your jobs. Show me the answer to: "Are you any good at what you do," and then "make me say 'Wow' three times."
Different résumés have different strategies. Here are just some overall comments:
Despite what most résumé books on the market will tell you, the Executive Résumé is dramatically different than any other type of document. It is narrative and tells a story. It does NOT dwell on tasks and duties. To create the story outline, I use the acronym S.O.A.R. which stands for:
S = Situation (What was the situation on day one in this job)
O = Opportunity (What opportunities were before you in the marketplace)
A = Action Steps (What Action Steps did you Take?)
R = Results (What were the results of your efforts)
We've also seen the acronym CAB (Challenge, Action, Benefit), CAR (Challenge, Action, Result) for Executive Résumés, and we don't disagree. However, the key to Executive Résumé is to describe the situation or challenge (I think identifying the opportunity is critical), then showing action steps and results. As author Martin Yates once opined “Don't tell me what you did, tell me how you did it.” We agree.
Executive Résumés are about understanding business situations, identifying opportunities in the marketplace, developing strategic plans, orchestrating the implementation strategies and then measuring the results.
Like Executives, Line Managers also need to convey an image of excellence. However, Line Managers deal more with Areas of Responsibility as opposed to the executive strategy S.O.A.R. The message should be one of competence within a well-defined scope of authority.
For those of you in management, the questions will revolve around achieving goals, managing budget, maintaining or increasing productivity, leadership, developing and empowering teams, resolving conflicts, ensuring efficiency and, finally, training and developing manpower.
If you're still in the ranks, your résumé will still be primarily involved with what Qualifications you have, which are a basic summation of your previous Tasks and Duties. However, the story still needs to be one of excellence. I develop the story of your excellence, and prepare you for the next step in your career with clear and concise language that identifies your skills, knowledge, capabilities and, of course, why you are ready for the next step in your career.
The preparation for a federal résumé is the same as an executive or manager, with one exception: You must write a federal résumé for an explicit job posting. They cannot really be generalized. If you are applying for numerous positions that are nearly identical, then, yes, we can recycle lots of information and formatting, but that said, each one must target a specific job announcement. No exceptions.
Our turnaround time is three-to-seven business days, depending on the scope of the project.
You should plan on 90-minutes-to-two-hours for the initial interview, and, as I said, I love facts and figures. Be prepared to be challenged on details, and be prepared to be asked for them -- even as a Worker Bee candidate.
Once you've received your first draft, it's your turn to make comments, edit, change and so forth. I continue with you until you are completely satisfied - no questions asked.
We strongly recommend Indeed.com for help in your job search.