The “Ten Thousand Foot View”

By Linda Van Valkenburgh
For some of you, this may be the first time in many years that you have to create or update your resume.  At first,  it seems like an easy task.  After all, you have done so many things over the course of your career that you have a lot to say.  Your biggest problem, you think, will be to narrow down the things you want to highlight.  Then, all of a sudden, after researching how to write a resume in the new age of job search in a down market, you find out that it is not as easy as you thought.  A resume today is not a list of all of the things you did in the past, but rather, a selling tool that shows why you are the correct candidate for the job by showing all of your achievements in skill and metrics.  “What is that?” you ask, dazed and confused.  You thought you were just creating a resume for your career campaign as in days of yore!

One of my clients struggled terribly as I tried to help her morph the earlier version of her resume into a more current representation of the brilliant career woman that she is.  What helped her with the transformation?  She found it of tremendous value to think of creating her resume from what I like to call “The Ten Thousand Foot View!”  or the “10K View.”   The 10K View has you back away from writing a resume with lots of specifics about what you did in an outline format.  It has you look at the skills that you have in a more generalized view with the thought of describing them in a way that shows they are transferable to other firms or companies in other industries can see how you can solve their needs.  Here is a list of general phrases:

● Improved client service and retention rates

● Elevated positive company public recognition

● Trained, supervised and empowered staff members

● Improved processes and systems that increased efficiency and productivity

● Expanded marketshare by launching new products or starting up new operations

● Developed benchmarks and set quality standards that improved operations

● Turned around poorly run operations to improve profits

● Troubleshot and solved problems or resolved conflicts

● Estimated, anticipated, and forecasted future trends

After including some of the foregoing general descriptors, get specific by showing achievements that you created along with a metric of the result. Examples might include some of the following:

§  Introduced a new widget product that increased revenues 15% year over year from date of product launch

§  Established new purchasing program that decreased costs and saved the company $50,000 per year in the purchase of printing products

§  Elevated company positive public recognition when an article was published about the way the Company helped out during a time of crisis

§  Created a new training program that decreased the average staff training time by 10%

So, when you are sitting at your desk crafting the “New You” in resume format, don’t get stuck in the muck and mire of the old way of doing things, but rather keep in mind the “10K View” to present your strengths and accomplishments to prospective employers and recruiters in a way that shows that “YOU” are the solution they have been searching for! Please let me know if this has helped you by leaving me a comment. Thank you.

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