Archive for March, 2008

The Exercise Quick Fix

March 28, 2008

It turns out there is a quick fix when it comes to exercise. That’s right — a short jolt of exercise is great for regaining focus and sharpening attention.

So what kind of exercise are we talking about here? Kids’ stuff — a handful of jumping jacks!

According to Dr. Edward Hallowell, world-renowned psychiatrist, educator, and author of Crazy Busy, when your mind starts to wander or you get drained mid-day at work, doing 25 jumping jacks can provide a short boost to the brain to help you get back on track and refocused (not to mention, the silly-fun factor).

A few less conspicuous “quick focus boosters” include: doing a set of push-ups, walking up and down 3 flights of stairs, or taking a 5-minute walk outside. (As with all exercise, make sure your doctor gives the okay first).

While exercise is great for our hearts and our waistlines, it’s equally good for our brains. And, we’re not just talking the familiar mood-boosting endorphins that come with lengthier and more intense exercise. Chemical changes in the brain, which result from even fairly quick exercises, have a profound effect on our executive functions — our abilities to focus, prioritize, memorize, and maintain alertness.

…And, heck, if you’re caught doing jumping jacks by co-workers who look at you funny, tell ’em this crazy coach you know suggested it.


P.S. There are so many more great tricks for boosting focus, attention, and memory! One of my areas of specialty as a personal coach is working with adults who have symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD) — helping them to make their lives easier and more fulfilling. If you’d like to learn more, please don’t hesitate to reach out. It would be a delight to talk with you…and it could make a real difference in your life or the life of someone you love.

The Resume Profile: A Mock Example

March 14, 2008

Joe Smith

123 Sunshine Road, Pleasant, MD 12345 (321)555-6789

Senior Marketing & Sales Executive

Accomplished management professional with 25+ years of experience in sales/marketing leadership positions. Record of success in developing campaigns, strategies, and solutions that have generated 6- and 7-figure revenue growth. Recognized for ability to build relationships with key personnel and close large sales in heavily competitive markets. Well-versed in sales lifecycles and skilled strategist/negotiator. Exceptional trainer and mentor with skills to motivate peak individual performance from team members while driving sustained forward growth momentum. Areas of expertise include:

High-Impact Presentations/Brand Strategy Implementation/

C-Level Relationships/Strategic Partnerships/

Product Line Development/Team Building

(Resume would continue from here…)



Sound familiar?…You write your resume, and then every so often, you go to dig up the last old, dusty version and find yourself re-writing it…all over again.

While there are lots of pointers about resume writing out there, this ZoomLetter focuses on the most important part of any resume — the first few lines (the part just below the header containing your contact information). Not only is this THE MOST-READ SECTION of the resume by hiring managers, but given that most decision-makers spend about 30-seconds scanning any given resume, it may be the ONLY section that gets read. The trick to getting your resume noticed lies in making this valuable space work for you…and in not letting it go to waste.

You may have noticed in the last several years a quiet “revolution” taking place in this top section of the resume. It is official — The era of the Objective Statement is over, and in its place has emerged a new animal (and a much more useful one). Generally called a PROFILE or SUMMARY, this section is very often the #1 enhancement you can make to your resume. A Profile can best be thought of as a synopsis that immediately answers every employer’s main concern: “What does this candidate offer me?”

If you already have a Profile Section (sometimes called a Qualifications Section) on your resume, you’re ahead of the game. If instead you jump right in with your “Employment History”, you may be missing a HUGE opportunity. Leaving off the Profile, you launch the reader into a chronological rundown without providing a reason to bother or a roadmap of what to expect. Especially in today’s super-charged market, we all love a good “hook” and a quick summary (look no further than reviews on Amazon or profiles on Employers are no different — they have limited time, and they respond to being enticed upfront. A good Profile Section gives them a reason to want to read further.

Notice that the Profile Section is quite distinct from an Objective Statement (the latter usually addresses our own desires and interests). The best case for using a Profile rather than an Objective is that a hiring manager will have much more interest in reading about the VALUE you can provide, as opposed to what YOU hope to gain. Here is where it’s important to note that far from being an archive to detail the past, your resume is in fact a marketing tool meant to attract a buyer — by illustrating what you can do for that buyer in the future. If you think of the prospective employer as that buyer, then the resume is meant to speak directly to the needs and interests of the employer, just as an advertisement details the benefits of a product to a consumer.

So, how to write a good Profile Section? There is no one-way-fits-all here, but there are some useful rules of thumb:

1) Keep it succinct and specific. Consider writing the Profile in paragraph form in a few short sentences. Include keywords that can be picked up easily through a database search. You may also choose to include a quick list of bulleted highlights conveying specific areas of expertise.

2) Consider the employer’s perspective. In looking over the job listing, consider what challenges the employer is facing. How might you craft your Profile to convey to the employer that you can provide solutions to those challenges? The more closely you address the employer’s needs, the better results you’ll experience.

3) Provide focus. Especially if your experience and job history are diverse, use the Profile to make the case that you are an ideal candidate for this particular position with a concise, hard-hitting illustration of your transferable experience, skills, and achievements. Don’t shy away from revising your Profile to fit each new position.

Colleagues, friends, and family can be great resources for suggestions when it comes to writing or re-crafting your resume. Interested in receiving professional feedback on your resume? I’m a phone call or e-mail away.



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