Don't be just another resume.

Standing out in a crowd can be difficult, no matter whether you are a job seeker or a small business. A resume can share who you are, it is a great introduction and door opener. It is, however, limited in how big it can be. A resume is "flat." A forum like your LinkedIn profile provides the way to be dynamic, to be alive. You can link to videos or other documents that speak to who you are and what you offer. You can link to presentations that are available online. You can provide details on projects and volunteering that you work on.

In most areas, a 1-page resume is recommended. It can be hard at times to craft a resume that is differentiating. It can become very tempting to try to cram that resume with every detail, relevant or not. A resume that is the result of cramming is not very strategic. It looks like many others.

When you have a well-crafted LinkedIn profile, well crafted both in quality and in details, you have the freedom to let go of trying to fit the unnecessary details in your resume. Knowing the details reside somewhere, there is more freedom to speak to the opportunity to which you are applying in that resume. You can leave details out and refer to your LinkedIn profile for those who want to see more.

Choose your words wisely, know who you are and communicate that in your LinkedIn profile and then craft the resume to the particulars of the job to which you are applying!

Originally published on LinkedIn on June 6, 2018. Link in title.

Speak to be Understood

Have you ever been put off by someone dropping into jargon? It could be in print or in talking. It doesn't matter the subject. It's could be just beyond your understanding or beyond your caring. I get that.

Here's a secret, there may be times you created that reaction in someone else. I'll give you a moment to get over your shock.

Think about it for a moment. Have you ever noticed that blank look on the face of the person you're speaking to? Have people suddenly excused themselves from a conversation?

Two groups come to mind as being particularly guilty of speaking in jargon, medical doctors and scientists. In listening to them you may suddenly feel the glaze coming over your own eyes and the hair on the top of your head moving as what they say goes straight over your head. You may be like me and want them to share what they're saying in a way you understand. Melissa Marshall did a great job talking about this desire in her TED talk, "Talk Nerdy to Me."

In deciding what to say, think about your audience. What do they need and what do they want? Some people want the full story, others want to know the ending before you begin. Starting from these questions, dive into your content. Along the way, check in with your audience to see if they've kept up and take responsibility if they haven't.

In the end, don't you want to be heard and to be understood? Think about your audience. Ask questions yourself. You may want to ask for support.

Originally published on LinkedIn on June 6, 2018. Link in title.

Why hire a life coach?

Let me tell you a story...

One day I was walking to the elevator of my building, my arms full of shopping bags. I was determined to make only one trip from my car to my place. When I got the lobby door, I was stuck. The door that was normally propped open was closed. I stood there - feeling stuck.

I started scenario planning on how to open the door without putting down a bag. God forbid that I do that! Wasn't it a competition? I was determined to hold onto those bags!  

Thankfully a neighbor came along and opened the door for me. She had a free hand to open the door because she was carrying her bags in a shopping cart. She smiled and shared how she used to do what I was doing until she got her cart. Doh!

What a brilliant idea! My mind was so caught in the struggle in my head that I got in my own way. I could not see that there was another way to approach it. The insight provided by another, someone without an agenda about my life, was what it took to help me see another possibility.

In this parable, the neighbor played the role of a coach.  Have you ever found that sharing your troubles with a stranger can help you find clarity?  Someone who simply cares and listens. Someone who has your back.  It might be the bartender, your seat mate on a plane, whomever. 

You may be saying - "Hey that's what my _____ is for! I don't need a coach!" with the blank being your best friend, your mother, someone in your life now. If that works for you, great!

You may want to consider working with a coach if this does not work for you or if you need space to discover what you want. Maybe you should explore working with a life coach. 

Different coaches approach their clients differently. I can really only speak from my own philosophy: 

  • a coach has your back,
  • a coach helps you get out of your own way,
  • a coach helps you build the life you want, and
  • a coach helps you reconnect with yourself.  

This is what my coach offered to me when I first began working with her about 15 months ago. It is an approach I want to pass along to those with whom I work.

If you choose to work with a coach, I hope that you find one that helps you build the life you desire and deserve!

Copyright 2016 by Helen M Wilfehrt. Originally appeared on LinkedIn.