Posts Tagged ‘write’

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.



Visit Jen on the web at

Tales of a First-Time Novelist…

January 31, 2008


On January 28th 2008, twenty-eight days after putting hands to the keyboard, I met my personal goal of completing the first draft of my very first novel in one month’s time!

During the wild ride, I vacillated between times when I marveled at my own elation (quite literally, I was nothing short of shocked at how much I could enjoy the process) and times when I would have preferred to rub my palms against sandpaper than stare at the screen and wrench another 1,000 words from my constipated brain.

That’s the experience in a nutshell, but it leaves so much out. The takeaways for me were the lessons I learned about how to approach and enjoy any meaningful undertaking that starts out feeling daunting.

I found a few things to be extraordinarily helpful along the way. I figured it might be valuable to share the three BIGGIES:

1) WRITING IN JANUARY: Although NaNoWriMo takes place each year in November, I found January to be an ideal writing month for the following reasons: It’s a long month (31 days); it includes a 3-day weekend (ideal for catch-up); it’s cold and dreary where I live (so no problem missing the outdoors, as long as skiing isn’t your thing); and it’s still football season (which, if you’re the wife of a JETS fan, makes the play-offs less painful).

2) TRUSTY WRITING COMPANIONS: Mine are (and its cousin;; and

3) A FOCUS ON ACTION OVER CONTEMPLATION: Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo, calls it “exuberant imperfection”. As the NaNoWriMo website states, “The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly…By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.” And, I found it to be TRUE. The relentless drive towards quantity took my focus away from perfecting each line, and kept my sights set squarely on the action I had set out to do — WRITE.

Some reflections on writing a novel in one month:

What I come to love most about writing my novel “NaNoWriMo-style” (i.e. in one month flat) is this — AGONIZING is not an option. On days when I’m not “feeling it,” I simply don’t have the TIME to feel sorry for myself, get angry, give up, or (the deadliest time-waster of all) RE-READ what I have already written. I know that to do so means not finishing by the end of the month — not meeting my personal goal — and in effect, sacrificing however many days I have already committed to this insane project in the first place. I am not about to let all that prior labor and elation (not to mention, word-count) go to waste. And so, what I realize by Day 5 is that it isn’t the BIG GOAL (a 50,000-word finished novel) that keeps me going; rather, it’s the DAILY GOAL (of writing 2,000 words/day) that keeps me motivated. On the practical side, I have incentive to NOT GET BEHIND for even one day, as 2,000 words are more than enough to shoulder each day.  While maintaining my full-time coaching practice, I am writing anywhere from 2-5 hours per day (depending on the muse’s whims), pulling early mornings or late evenings before and after clients.  On the more emotional side, I come to see that while the big goal (50,000 words) continues to feel overwhelming (most of the way through), the daily goal (2,000 words) continues to feel doable — and MORE DOABLE each day I do it!

But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it is harder to write on Day 5 than it is on Day 1. Even though I begin Day 1 without so much as an outline or a plot (appropriately, I might add, as the NaNoWriMo book written by founder, Chris Baty, is after all, titled No Plot? No Problem!), I find myself flying through Days 1-4, charged up on adrenalin as well as Brie, hard salami, and imported olives (which I spy at the grocery store and jokingly fancy might make me feel a cosmic connection to one of the “Lost Generation“). I keep a log of REFLECTIONS as I write. Reflections from Days 1-4 include: “Getting such a kick out of the fact that as crummy as the sentence may be, it has never been written before!” “The best part of writing is losing all sense of space and time — when I turn around and 2 hours feels like 20 minutes,” “I’m enjoying laughing out loud as I write (nothing new here, as I’m always laughing at my own jokes)”……..and so forth. A plot starts to emerge slowly, and then…Days 5-8 HIT like the 20-mile “wall” in a marathon (many miles short): “Having trouble, words don’t flow easily,” “I’m dragging my carcass behind the keyboard,” and “It feels great afterwards, until I think, I have to do that all over again tomorrow.”

And so, as with most things in life, this one comes in spurts and drags…and spurts again. Allowing myself no weekends off is one of the toughest parts, and Day 10 marks the first time I miss my self-imposed 2,000-word daily quota, but I manage to make it up quickly. On Day 13, I reflect with joy, “I crossed the half-way point today with just over 26,000 words!” and by Day 20, I write for the first time, “I have a strong feeling that I can do this.” On Day 22, I reflect on the physical “toll”: “Exercise has suffered, as have the eyeballs…I’m trying to remember to blink as I type.” It is towards the very end, Days 24-27, that I pull back some, missing the daily quotas. In one reflection, I wonder at my reasons for slowing down, “Could it be I’m really going to miss this?…I think so.” At 3:23pm on January 28th, I type the final two words — THE END — and instead of what I anticipated (jumping up and down, painting the town red), I enjoy some quiet moments of feeling very lucky to have experienced something I’ve always wanted to do AND some twinges of sadness that this part of the journey is complete.

So what comes after writing a novel in a month? Some rest & relaxation, some enjoyment of weekends again, and one quiet afternoon I have planned to read the first draft from start to finish for the very first time. I have been told that a good re-write can take upwards of a year to pull off, so my work is cut out for me if I decide to continue this extraordinary process. And not least, I look forward to giving back. One of my favorite things to coach around with my private coaching clients is “how to effectively take on a challenging personal goal — something bigger than ever before.” I feel more energized than ever to coach others to GO FOR ACTION and enjoy the messiness of the ride…

Personal Coaching is an incredible asset…If you’ve ever thought about writing a novel of your own — or taking on another wild adventure that more closely suits your personal style — I am enclosing my loudest cheer of support and a warm welcome to reach out. I would love to hear from you!

To learn more about personal coaching with Jen, visit

To adventure!

jen signature