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Frequently asked questions:

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Worksheets Results and Numbers

People often ask, why do you need numbers? Well first, numbers tell a powerful story. Anyone can see that if you increased sales from $400K to $3.5M in six months, then that’s an impressive story to tell. And in roles such as sales, marketing and finances, you should be able to provide that information—or at least if not accurate numbers then a good ballpark estimate.

If you were a decision-maker, would you prefer to interview a candidate who “Increased sales by 50% in three months”? Or would you be drawn to a resume that said “Managed contracts and developed substantial new business”? Obviously the person who gives the numbers is going to be more impressive.

But what about if you are in a role that is not so easily quantifiable? Well, you’d be surprised. You can still explain to me how well you did and let me work out how to tell the story.

This answer is hard to work with: “Increased staff buy-in”.

This answer is much easier to work with: “The transformational change project was tricky. Some people continued to work in silos and heavily resisted any efforts to integrate the two teams. Other people really rose to the challenge, accepting work assignments, stepping forward and taking leadership roles, and really buying into the new processes that became so important in the merge. In fact, two of my staff were promoted into supervisory roles and that became a good launchpad for their careers as they are now senior managers in the company.

I’m going to be able to write something amazing with the second answer. You’re going to save time writing the first answer, I’m going to sweat for a long time on trying to make something out of that. And no matter how creative I am, it undoubtedly will fall a little short due to a lack of core information.

So numbers are the gold standard, but if we can’t get that, I’ll settle for a silver in solid information!.


Are these questions you ask a bit negative?

“You seem to put a lot of emphasis on finding out what the problems or challenges I had in my role. Do I really want to rabbit on about what sort of a terrible place I work for? Won’t that sound really negative and reflect badly on me?”

No, it won’t reflect badly on you. There are a couple of reasons for asking about the challenges you face in your job or in specific projects. First, it provides context to the reader. It says, that despite this all going on, you broke through and triumphed. It means that if you are in a workplace that is resistant to change, or in a culture of fear and hostility, you were able to excel in such a way that you weren’t hampered by the challenge. That provides people with context. In fact, it is a well-established style of questioning at interviews too, so if you become comfortable with telling your story during your resume development, it’s going to become a lot easier to communicate how you made a positive difference at interview.

Again, context is important. Results on their own are not necessarily indicative of job performance. For instance, say you were in sales and this year, you increased sales by 2 per cent. Now at first glance, that isn’t going to set the world on fire. However, if the background is that your firm has had 5 years of progressively declining sales (which was the challenge you had to overcome), then your 2 per cent increase looks pretty good! That’s what we have to communicate and what all the questions are based on. What challenges did you have to overcome, what action did you take to overcome those challenges, and what was the result following your actions? All together you have C.A.R. (And that’s going to get you somewhere!)


My resume isn’t up to date!

That’s ok! I don’t work from your resume anyway (if it was great and you loved it, you wouldn’t be coming to me!)
The reason I ask for it is just to do a quick check to sync up with the worksheets you fill out to ensure that dates and position titles are all in furious agreement!

And occasionally, there will be something you refer to in your existing resume but you haven’t made mention of it in your worksheets. I may raise that with you if that happens, or make a judgement call on whether the old information supports your current job search goals.


May I add another service now my work has commenced?

Generally speaking, yes. If I’m currently working on your resume package and you would like to order another service, I’ll be happy to add that on. Please note that timelines may have to be adjusted as there will be extra work to do and I’ll have to slot in the time to do it!
The only time you won’t be able to add on services is when you are updating your resume and you are offered at checkout, a one time only, significant discount on LinkedIn and a cover letter. If you don’t take advantage of that at the time of purchase, you can add these items on later, but not with such a large discount (but we will give you something!). One-time only actually means one-time only!


Best practice for completing worksheets

You will be completing individual, cloud-based worksheets, that are accessible by a smartphone, iPad, laptop or desktop.
The worksheets are cut into each section and sub-section of your resume and estimated times are provided for completion that will allow you to plan.

Please note: you will need to have an internet-enabled device as these are cloud-based forms.

There are no trick questions and the questions are linear; so one question will take you nicely into the next.

Talk about each role—not each employer. If you’ve had three positions with the current employer, then talk about each role separately.
When the worksheets refer to previous “job”, they are referring to the previous role.

Don’t try to make it perfect; it is my job to interpret and write. Whatever comes out front-of-mind will be the best and right response.
I work almost exclusively from your cloud-based worksheets. Your original resume is used only to align dates and names with your worksheets. If what you want to say is in your worksheets, and it’s important, then it’s in your resume. Please do not accompany these with other documents such as PowerPoint presentations, budgets, marketing brochures, or send charts or links to websites. These are outside the project scope and are costly and time consuming for you. If you think something included in any of these additional documents is important then kindly summarise what you want to say in the worksheets and it will be included.

Please don’t outsource this information gathering to your spouse or your Executive Assistant. When it comes to your resume, it’s your career, your future, your livelihood and your reputation. You simply must have skin in the game.

Any situation can be explained in a few sentences or if you feel comfortable telling a story in bullet points, you may do that. Think of these questions as an interview answer. You wouldn’t take half an hour to answer each question! Keep your answers brief yet thorough enough to communicate the story and remember that 50, 60, 70 or 80 pages of content means that 99% of what you have provided will not appear in the resume. It also makes it difficult to prioritise the key content you want to promote.

If you have problems attacking a question and need help, email me or catch me on Live Chat in your client portal.

I do try to keep up naturally, but there are a lot of people sending a lot of forms every hour, every day.

A quick note to say you’re done means you don’t have to wait for my weekly audit and you can get on the writing schedule quicker!.


Can you go faster, please?

I’d love to go faster. But I can’t!

I always have a full calendar of work at any time of the year, and I just don’t have the heart to ask people who have been patiently waiting two weeks to step aside for you because you’ve just fallen over a job with a closing date of two days from now. It’s really not fair to anyone, so the answer, unfortunately, must be no.

What I suggest you do, however, is apply for the job anyway. 

Regardless of how your existing resume may be—old or poorly executed—there is a good chance that it still may be better than the people competing against you.

And, despite its flaws, perhaps they will see that you’ve worked in just the right industry, or have the right product knowledge or experience, or know an influential someone, and offer you an interview anyway!

Now, you may not get an interview with your less-than-stellar resume, but sending nothing because you’re waiting in line, will guarantee you won’t get an interview at all.

So… isn’t it worth a try anyway?