Thanks to the expert help of Kim Woodbridge, this blog has moved to my website, www.designresumes.com/blog Please change your bookmarks and subscriptions and I will be trying to be more diligent in blogging. If you ever need a WordPress expert or web designer, contact Kim who is great to work with and knows exactly how to resolve issues. I met her through her blog, AntiSocial Development.
Tags: Careers, credit, Design Resumes, economy, finances, pinkslipparties, pinkslipparty, Resumes, Twitter, Wausau Whitewater
People have told me I was born with a helping heart. I am not so sure I was born with a business heart. If I see a need I can help with, I am so there. I don’t do it for attention, though by blogging about it, someone is sure to say that.
I am implusive and complusive. Right now I am trying to help @dendari who I met on Twitter with his Chicago Pinkslipparty for Friday. He doesn’t have a place for it. My two hat personality jumps right in there and says who do I know? I’m reaching out on Twitter, by e-mail, and to e-lists… I am an event organizer at heart who has put things together and been amazed when they worked.
I work long hours for my non-profit, Wausau Whitewater, because I believe in the gem of a whitewater course in downtown Wausau and want others to know and I also believe in the power of the whitewater community’s mindset. I don’t paddle (and for the last three years, I’ve added the word, yet!) But I love the goal-setting mentality. They set their mind to getting better at a skill and they do it. I see it expand to their lives. See this except from an article that Ben Peters from Hudson, Minnesota, a now 16 year old competitor wrote with me for the 2008 issue of Wausau Whitewater:
“Paddling has taught Ben so many things that affect him in everyday life. Paddling has taught him determination, concentration, maturity, wisdom, respect and how to wake up in the morning and keep on going no matter how wet and smelly his river booties are. Asked how paddling relates to the rest of his life, Ben said, “Paddling helps me in all of my others sports like ski racing, pole vaulting, running, road biking, weight lifting and soccer. I always give every sport that I am in everything that I have to offer both physically and mentally. It also plays into my education in high school. Paddling stories are my main topic for English assignments and discussions because of the life lessons I have learned in my paddling excursions. It also give me drive to get above a 3.8 GPA because if I don’t meet those standards, no paddling for me.” Ben realizes it is important to have an education because if his future job doesn’t have to do with kayaking, he needs something to fall back on. Though his teachers might think otherwise, Ben says “Paddling also helps me in class when a topic is a bit dull, I can always daydream about sticking that perfect air loop or pivot turn.
“Ben’s current goal for paddling is to compete in the 2012 Olympics in London for slalom and maybe freestyle if it becomes an Olympic sport.”
Yet, of course, it is really my Design Resumes side that pays the bills, the contract with Wausau Whitewater is a great base but only covers about 1/4 of our monthly expenses. This economy has affected many of the resume writers across the country as people delay buying decisions. Everyone thinks I should have clients pounding on the doors but it hasn’t been that way at all. I am busy but more busy with Wausau Whitewater projects and the “helping” projects that catch my heart and move me into trying to see if I can make a difference.
In the past, I really was frightened about finances and in order to keep my credit report pristine, I borrowed from Peter to pay Paul. But since then I have been working on trusting God more so I don’t panic and borrow and been coached to look at every expense very critically. As I started writing this post, the phone rang with a new client who will be here at 2pm. Back to trusting that God will provide. I focus on the goal setting of the paddling community and continue to strive to reach my goals while following my heart to the next project that needs my help.
Tags: 89Q, breakfast, Careers, challenging, Cinnamon, economy, Jason Alba, Lunch, Michael Schroeder, Pecan, The Filling Station, yummy
One of my goals with this blog is to highlight people who are successful in their careers in these challenging times as well as post about things that make me think. In the past, I have focused on my friend, Michael Schroeder’s new music CD in the post, Postcards on the Road, I talked about my connection with Jason Alba in My Journey with LinkedIn, and today, I will share one of the businesses in Wausau that I frequent.
On the last Wednesday of every month, I meet with a group of Christian Business Leaders to discuss things that affect our Christian witness in the workplace. The group was originally started by Coy Sawyer, from 89Q radio. We meet pretty early in the morning for breakfast at The Sixth Street Filling Station, located at 1314 North Sixth Street in Wausau.
I met the owner, Joan Schnitzler, when I’ve paid my bill and chatted a bit. Joan bought the restaurant from the original owners in March of 2008. I asked her how it felt to have just bought a new business in this economy. She said that though it is challenging, by encouraging more groups like our group to meet at the restaurant, she has been able to sustain business.
It is a smart strategy but one that many restaurants don’t go out of their way to encourage. Groups like ours of 20+ people meeting can disrupt other customers but we have found that most people still come in for coffee during our breakfast and some even stay and have their own breakfasts. Our group has an open session when we discuss the topic at hand and respond to the questions by the leader or spin off of each other’s comments. We’ve become a very bonded group even though I didn’t know many of the participants when I started.
We all enjoy the Filling Station, in January, we had their Cinnamon Roll French Toast and it was delicious! The Filling Station has great prices, the unique french toast is only $3.79 unless you want bacon, sausage, or ham with it for $5.69. I had their 5oz Grilled Chicken Breast for $4.74 on a visit with a friend. They serve breakfast and lunch, opening at 6am on Tuesday through Sunday. I never tried their Flurries (M&M, Cookie Dough, Oreo, Snickers and more ) but I bet they would be yummy.
They make all the breads there … with my February breakfast, I had a cracked wheat roll and a sample of the carmel pecan rolls… very yummy!
The decor is really fun. It has all these very old gas station related signs and decorations. It fits the theme of Sixth Street Filling Station. Joan seems to be doing okay in this economy but I think that is because she focuses on giving great food at great prices. I’ve never gotten the Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls for $1.89 or the Jumbe Caramel Roll for $3.32 but I have watched them walk out the door. My favorite word, yummy!
If you are in the Wausau area, I think you would have fun at the Filling Station. Tell Joan I sent you!
Tags: blogging, blogs, Career Management, Design Resumes, Kim Woodbridge, Wausau Whitewater
If you had been following this blog, you might wonder why I have been so silent for more than two months. You might think I abandoned the blog or that something happened to me but really neither of those would be right. I had plenty of blogging ideas and overall I’m fine. I did get amazingly busy though because of multiple factors.
I must have mentioned Wausau Whitewater somewhere in this blog before. I play so many roles that sometimes I lose track. As the Operations Coordinator for Wausau Whitewater, I am very involved in almost every aspect of the non-profit. The month of December was filled with budget item reviews and bids for vendor services and calculating how we will survive in this economy. But though the new President, Mike Schroeder, and I worked very hard, we now feel very positive about the upcoming season. Though Wausau Whitewater has its own blog that I have also been absent from, I will from time to time report on the Wausau Whitewater happenings because it represents a huge part of my life. We’ve been working steadily for the last few months to get ready to launch the season. I have spent incredible amounts of time creating brochures, fliers, and handouts. It won’t go quiet on the whitewater front until at least October but some things are in place and I can see daylight again.
Then there was the website. I planned to do a blog post about Design Resumes website launching. There’s a story there too. I was so stuck trying to figure out how to write the pricing page that I stalled that project until it made me so uncomfortable that it showed. In between whitewater assignments, Mike wondered why I was uptight. Once I admitted that I was stuck, he challenged me to finish up that project so I would be able to move forward on others. In three days, I wrote the rest of the missing pieces to www.designresumes.com and my awesome web designer, LB Whaples, let the site go live. It launched on January 6 and started another amazing journey that has changed so much about how I do business.
After we launched the site, I got this bright idea that I wanted this blog to be part of the site. I enlisted the help of Kim Woodbridge from her Anti-Social Development, http://www.kimwoodbridge.com/ to help me port the blog to the site. I found Kim sometime ago when I was reading someone else’s blog, I think it was Kristen King with Inkthinker, http://inkthinkerblog.com/ I liked Kim’s communication style and I learned so much from her WordPress blog posts that I knew that she was the one to move the blog. Kim is all done with her part of the project and I love the fact that she rethemed the blog to match the site but at the moment, LB is both buried in work and having an issue with my server that seems to not want to make the blog porting project work right now. Kim told me I could keep blogging but I just had so much going on that I keep putting writing my posts as the last thing on my list. Kim is awesome and if anyone needs a WordPress blog assist or tips, you should contact Kim!
This post is simply a catch-up post for anyone following this blog and wondering and then I shall begin with a more dedicated posting schedule and the articles that are still in my head waiting to come out.
If you haven’t visited www.designresumes.com to see what it lo0ks like, head over there now and let me know what you think. I finally figured out that you can edit a website and you don’t have to be perfect to launch one. Thinking you have to do things perfectly really slows your progress. So from now on, you will hear from me, it might not be perfect, but I will not wander away… at least for awhile. 🙂
Tags: Christian, freestyle, Fuel for the Soul, Michael Schroeder, Midwest Freestyle Championships, Postcards from the Road, professional resume writer, river, The Reason for the Season, The Way, Wausau Whitewater
Sometimes we are blessed to have someone come into our lives who changes it and then we can’t find enough ways to say thank you. Today I want to introduce you to one of those people in my life.
Though I’m a professional resume writer with 25 years experience, 11 of those years have also been tied to Wausau Whitewater as the Operations Coordinator. It was through Wausau Whitewater that I met Michael Schroeder (Mike). He came first as a freestyle competitor in the days when Wausau’s freestyle events were mainly Pro Rodeo events around 1999 – 2001. Pros such as Eric Jackson, Jimmy Blakeney, Tanya Shuman, and Eric Southwick put on a really good show and I just figured that was the way freestyle events were meant to go. But Mike and other paddlers really wanted to have an event geared for citizen level freestyle paddlers. Mike lobbied me and the board of Wausau Whitewater and before I knew it, he was running the first ever freestyle citizen’s event in 2002. He followed that up with the freestyle side of Wausau Whitewater Weekend and then in 2004 founded the Midwest Freestyle Championships. Along the way, we grew to be good friends.
I was really fuzzy about what Mike did for a living for awhile. Normally, I’m pretty curious about occupations. It just never came up. At some point though, I learned that he was a professional musician. During our many conversations, I did find out that he was a Christian. In 2003, he recorded his first CD, A Witness. My life had more downs than ups back then and his music as well as his phone calls helped me turn the corner.
Mike continued to expand his contemporary Christian music with more projects (Fuel for the Soul, the Way, and the Christmas release, The Reason for the Season) as well as tours throughout the country, www.michaelschroeder.com
It has been fun being his friend through all of this, watching his career grow. This summer we were taking virtual walks together, he was in his city walking in the woods and I was in Wausau walking to the river, and we would meet on the phone to walk and talk about Wausau Whitewater projects and some of our own endeavors. It was during those walks that he told me about this new project, a total instrumental project inspired by a trip he took to Europe some years ago. He called it Postcards from the road and promised I could have a demo of it when it was ready.
I’ve always loved the contemporary Christian music and didn’t know how I would feel about a project without any vocals. But I love this one as much as any of the others. My friend’s musical voice comes out just fine without any words. The jazzy selections like Amsterdam make me smile. Ones like Nadine made me relaxed and thoughtful. You can hear some of the selections from his MySpace page for the project, http://www.myspace.com/michaelschroeder2
Perhaps in another post I will share some of the lessons I learned from Mike. For now, it is enough to say that meeting him blessed my life.
Tags: attitude, Career Builder, career development seminars, client, dental, graduates, interviews, job boards, network, networking, Resume
A resume client called in this morning to gave me a recap of her interview yesterday. She has agreed to let me share her story. I’ll let you know how the interview went soon, but first some background.
How it all Started
We updated and refocused the client’s resume on Monday afternoon and submitted her resume for two positions in the dental field. I’ve worked with this client previously for positions in other industries so I had already gained her trust. I coached her that she should be prepared that the dental field in our area is fairly saturated and many of the new dental hygiene graduates from the area will apply for dental assistant or lab positions to get their foot in the door. (I have done resume and career development seminars to the students in the dental hygiene program for the past 7 or 8 years, so I understand the market.) My client has 11 years of prior experience as a Chairside Assistant but it isn’t within the last 10 years. The positions were advertised on Career Builder and I train my clients to network whenever possible, so I cautioned her to understand that it might be challenging to get an interview. I have had clients with success on Career Builder, I just don’t want the job boards to be their primary source for positions and I want them to work on actual networking whenever possible.
Amazingly, she called Tuesday to say she was scheduled for an interview at one of the two targets. We agreed she would stop by yesterday morning for new prints of her resume and references. We talked about her objectives. She was nervous but determined to make a good impression.
This morning she called to share what happened. The interview scheduled at 11am with an orthodontist was very detailed. After meeting with him and answering a battery of questions, she went to work with the dental assistant and go over instruments, procedures, and other details of the job. After that she was asked to return to the practitioner and he expanded on some of the prior information and then asked her if she would like to return in the afternoon to observe. She agreed she would do that and spent the afternoon watching the staff work directly with patients. This interview ended up to be about four hours of her day yesterday but she left feeling as though it would be a great place to work.
I am well aware of team interviews and detailed company tours for many positions as well as multiple interviews for a position, but this was still unusual from my experience. My client’s attitude was excellent. We discussed many of the questions and her answers and agreed that it went very well. She also shared that the dentist from the other position also contacted her and gave her a phone interview.
She was off to write a thank you note next after I coached her on what content she might like to include.
What did I learn?
Career Builder postings can result in quick responses and interview requests. Interviews can surprise you, so be prepared for longer time commitments.
What I knew already
Interviewing styles differ from position to position, company to company.
What can you learn
Be prepared for the unusual and stay positive throughout the experience. Each interview opportunity is the chance to learn more about interviews in general, build confidence, and grow in industry knowledge. Practice good business etiquette in every phase of the job search. Never forget the thank you note.
Tags: blogging, Daytimer, discipline, disciplined, organize, priorities, Twitter
The word “discipline” means different things to different people. Personnally, I like the word! Yesterday, I used the word “disciplined” in Twitter without even thinking about it. Almost immediately I got a reply from a someone I follow in Twitter teasing me for using that word, “@JulieWalraven did you just use that disgusting swearword “disc*****d”? GO wash your mouth out lol.” At the time, I was talking about needing to be more disciplined in writing my blogs but overall, I really have been on a constant search for a more disciplined life style.
When I started blogging, I knew that I would sooner or later have to become disciplined in that area too. Blog topics aren’t a problem for me. They float through my head all day long. If I could transcribe straight from my thoughts, I would be fine. It’s the practice of actually selecting one of those blog ideas and writing the full post that gets difficult for me.
I can always find something else that needs doing more. When I was talking about needing discipline to blog, that’s what I meant. I need to actually sit down and write. In my life, there is always something that needs doing. Boredom doesn’t ever kick in. I just have to be disciplined enough to organize my priorities.
What about you? Do you like the word discipline or does it scare you? And would it help you in your career to be more disciplined? Time for me to write my list for tomorrow!
Tags: burdens, Coaching, crush, Design Resumes, economy, election, Flylady, Jonathan Roche, Resume, test
Tested but not crushed… I’ll explain where that phrase comes from in a bit.
As you get to know me, you will find that I become very passionate about people or things that help me grow. In about 2003, a friend e-mailed me and her group of friends a link to Flylady (www.flylady.net) and said, someone might find this helpful. That was an understatement for sure! You’ll have to check out Flylady for yourself but she has definitely changed my life. A life coach could probably describe her. Yes, she’s a life coach to about 500,000 people around the world right now.
A brave woman, also known as Marla Cilley, she has steadily expanded her network of helpers to include a wide range of individuals specialized in areas that can help anyone. She teaches babysteps and connects you with her base of contacts. You can find all about Flylady’s friends by going to her website but the one that got me started on this blog topic today was her virtual personal trainer, Jonathon Roche, who has become my virtual personal trainer too.
I waffled about getting Jonathan’s Momentum Weight Loss System and have now found it to be right up on one of the best decisions I ever made. His heart rate monitor and the encouraging DVDs make me realize why I reached a plateau with my fitness goals. I wasn’t working hard enough! My target heart rate this morning was 153. Jonathan teaches how to use intervals (working for 3 to 5 minutes to get to a specific heart rate and building those incrementally through a 30 minute workout with recovery time between each 3 – 5 minute build up). On non-interval days, he advises you to do his No Excuses Workout which works on strengthening your muscle groups. Throughout the workout he is coaching and encouraging. His pet phrase is “We want to test you but not crush you.” He encourages you to work to meeting the goals of each session but not to the point of hurting yourself.
As I think about those words, “test you but not crush you”, it reminds me too of a Bible passage which talks about not giving you more burdens than you can bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13). “He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to see you through it,” is how my Message version of the Bible puts it.
With the challenges of the economy, Wall Street, election, and everything else happening on the news these days, I think many of us relate to feeling crushed. I’ve been in business for 25 years as a résumé writer and never have I seen my new résumé client numbers for Design Resumes drop as low as it has for the past month or so. I have to cling to both Jonathan’s advice and the Bible’s advice and know that I am being tested but I am not meant to be crushed.
I pull all my resources together at times like these. I read the Word more, I network with friends both to stay positive and let them know I am looking for business, I work on learning new marketing strategies, and I catch up on all the projects that got stuck while I was so busy for years. I use strategies Flylady has taught me, like using her timer, “You can do anything for 15 minutes” to keep working toward goals. Don’t forget to check her out on www.flylady.net!
My business contracts with Wausau Whitewater so my résumé writing side is not my only source of income. As the non-profit’s Operations Coordinator, I stay busy working on marketing and planning for the next whitewater season on the downtown whitewater course in Wausau, Wisconsin.
Tags: career, Career Management, Careers, economy, employer, Jason Alba, JibberJobber, jibberjobber.com, job search, networking, proactive, professional resume writer, Resume
The other day I had a client call for an appointment. In the process of setting his appointment, we talked about how the economy is affecting people’s choices for everything they do. Investing, purchasing, or scheduling appointments, it seems like people are holding back right now. He said that he believed that could change on November 5 (the day after the election) but at this point, he was going to be proactive. He wanted to get his résumé updated so that when the tide turns; he is ready for whatever opportunities materialize.
His strategy is one that I have shared with clients for years. If you continuously update your résumé so that the content is fresh and reflects your newest and strongest accomplishments, then you will be ready when that networking opportunity surfaces and you find a potential opportunity that matches your skills. Many people wait until something catastrophic happens, either they are terminated from a position, permanently laid off, or the company goes out of business. At that point, the emotions are running so high, a range of being angry, depressed, lost, or sad that you are not in the frame of mind to think of accomplishments. My client’s strategy of being proactive meant that he could clearly assess what he wanted to talk about on a résumé and share with the next potential employer.
Clients that take this proactive strategy are able to use the tools I and other professional résumé writers provide to select keywords that match their skills and remember stories about their accomplishments that can be transformed into “résumé speak” for them. They are better able to retrieve testimonials or endorsements from their employee evaluations or client thank you letters which can be incorporated into the résumé to demonstrate their value to future companies.
In addition, clients who are proactive are also generally better networkers. They maintain a presence on LinkedIn and are actively building their contacts and connections. They may be using a tool like Jason Alba’s JibberJobber, www.jibberjobber.com to track their network connections and start building a list of companies that they might like to approach for their next career move. Jason has labeled the difference career management versus job search. Today in his blog, Jason invites you to play fill in the sentence comparing the two. Check out www.jibberjobber.com/blog to see if you can find more comparisons than he did.
In this entertaining exercise, Jason is pointing out how career management is critical in today’s world. It is increasingly obvious that nothing is forever these days. You can’t expect to have a job for 20 or 30 years the way that prior generations did. You can expect that you will transition to new jobs and possibly new careers multiple times in your working lifetime.
A professional résumé writer can certainly work with clients who are pushed into action by sudden job loss but clients who are proactive in their career management will be able to feel more in control if they suddenly find themselves in the job search mode. Which would you prefer to be? Proactive or reactive? If you want to be proactive, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your appointment to get your resume ready for your next career move.
Tags: career, conviction, ethics, faith, honesty, values
Conviction, a creed to live by, putting your faith in God’s hands, a code of honor… where do values fit in with business and where do values fit in with your career?
Everyone has to make a decision about how they form their values. You might as well learn early on the source of my values. As the song says, “I’m A Believer.” This is what forms how I look at the world, how I have always looked at the world. But I firmly believe everyone has to make their own choice and develop their own set of values and their own source for their values.
I’ve been thinking extra hard about this values thing a lot lately. It’s all over the news, Wall Street, Main Street, Elections… but in my case it comes from something else. It is stewardship time at my church. I understand the need for stewardship campaigns. I should, as a one-time committee chair who created the campaign materials. This year is different. A new pastor is in place and I am sensing change in not just the type of campaign or how it is promoted. It feels different. I’m fully invested in hearing every word. I don’t think I’m alone either. I see the people around me wiping their eyes. Me too.
Today’s lesson was on the widow’s mite. It carried the theme from prior Sundays one step further. The lesson is about faith. Pastor Tim explained that we are willing to sacrifice for the things we value. In the widow’s case, she so valued the kingdom of God that she was willing to give all she had. So I am thinking about my faith and my values. As the pastor said, these are tough times. Could we be like the widow?
I think this is a time when we need to examine our values, whether they come from believing in God or some other source. Employers are going to be looking values, especially honesty and ethics more than ever before. Companies have fallen because of poor choices, poor ethics, and the willingness to look the other way.
If you have waffled in your ethics or values, one set at home and one set at work, or even another set at church perhaps, you might find yourself needing to think about how your values impact your future.
Is it different now? Where does honesty and ethics fit in your career?
Tags: Career Management Alliance, Careers, CMA, CPRW, PARW, PARWCC, Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches, Resumes, Susan Guarneri
Once upon a time, way back in 1983, I entered into the world of resume writing. It was so long ago and such a very different world than it is today. The journey continued with me building an understanding of what was needed to create a strong resume bit by bit.
The love of writing anything has been a part of my make-up for as long as I can remember. I stumbled on writing resumes in the beginning on a whim and found a market. I started finding out that it was a much bigger world than I thought. In the 1990’s, I started getting invites to a group called PARW and was curious but not enough to actually join the group. Professional Association of Resume Writers sounded impressive but what if they just took my money? It took until 1999 for me to take the chance. What a world that opened up! Instead of being a lonely resume writer in Central Wisconsin, I found that there were many people just like me. They were all over the United States, but even better, they were all over the world. The Internet opened up so many new opportunities. I could talk to those writers on the e-list. I could see how they were managing their businesses. I could make friends! I didn’t take long to join a second group in 2000. Now Career Management Alliance (CMA), it was then the Career Masters Institute.
In 2003, with the encouragement of a resume writer and career coach, Susan Guarneri, who moved briefly to Wausau, I took the exam to become a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW). It was another move I should have done long ago.
This journey now has placed amazing resources at my fingertips from the greatest career management specialists in the world. My career friends are amazingly generous and willing to share their knowledge.
I’m not anywhere close to the end of my journey. I suspect that my journey is not unlike many peoples. You make choices, you hold back, you take a chance, and often you find that in taking that chance, you are blessed.
I will be sharing my knowledge and pointing my readers to knowledge from the masters in the career field and together I hope we can make your career and life journey better.