Trust a Pro

Recently I stumbled upon this link that I’m sharing with you here. Rather than paraphrase it, I’m going to copy the pertinent portions here. The message is simple: trust the pros to do what they do best; the results of which will have you looking your very best and thus reflective in your level of confidence:

“Some things are better left to the pros.

There are lots of things you wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) do on your own. Would you fly your own plane? No, better off leaving it to a trained pilot. Do your own taxes? No, not much point in that with the wealth of affordable tax software and abundance of accountants out there. How about taking a crack at operating on yourself or a loved one? You get the point: There are a lot of situations where a trusted professional can get the job done and where mistakes can be fatal. Writing a resume is no exception.

When it comes to writing your own resume, there’s an unlimited number of things that can go wrong, and the cost of those mistakes can be a missed opportunity to secure your dream job — or at least your next job.

Here are a few common mistakes that a professional resume writer can help you avoid, aka the reasons you shouldn’t DIY when it comes to your resume.

Formatting errors

A staggering 75 percent of resumes will never be seen by human eyes thanks to the automated applicant tracking systems that have become common among larger employers in the last decade. Formatting a resume so it can be read easily by these scanning bots is a science, and it’s something our professional resume writers are well versed in. Their expertise can ensure that you don’t lose out in this critical step of the application process.

Incorrect data

Contrary to popular belief, a resume should not contain your entire life — or even work — history. Resumes that focus on day-to-day responsibilities and role-related tasks are sure to end up in a trash folder. Employers care about accomplishments — especially accomplishments that can be quantified. Your resume should highlight the types of results that set you apart from the average applicant and will serve as examples of what you can do in your next role.

Typos

A recent study found that 78 percent of resumes reviewed by hiring managers include some form of typos or grammar mistakes. Imagine the red flags a typo sends to an employer! If you make mistakes in your resume, what will you do with client contracts or pitch presentations? Whether you were in a rush or aren’t comfortable writing, these mistakes always seem to crop up. Hiring a professional resume writer to write and edit your resume will give you a professional polish and put you one step ahead of the majority of resumes a hiring manager will look at on a given day.”

At Perfect Executive Resumes, I’ve been performing resume upgrades and grooms for more than a decade. I’m always happy to endorse your career endeavours from a no-obligation standpoint.

Best in career,

Liane

In Positive Light

What better time to write a new post than the first day of a new year. Moving forward into this clean space affects us all uniquely and differently from year to year. Personally, 2018 has been a real mix of positive and negative – a new career role, the ending of a long-term relationship, completing my next novel manuscript, improved health and wellness regime, the ending of the same career role and the reunion of four dear friends with whom I’d lost touch with over the past 5-6 years.

One of the aspects I’ve embraced with much seriousness this past year is daily mediation. In doing so, I have come to be a more accepting person of what the universe brings me. Whatever we endure we choose to embrace it in either a negative or positive light. Some of the challenges I’ve endured this past year, such as ending a seven-year relationship as well as being terminated from my career role, have actually been gifts granted. Toxicity is something we may not directly seek to attain, but we all deal with it at some point and in many situations. For me, both these scenarios were highly toxic and I had merely found ways to manage them. Coming to terms with the fact that I actually had a choice not to endure these matters was hugely empowering and relieving.

Despite the fact I am starting 2019 single and unemployed, I am not daunted. I’ve decided to focus on the forward steps of allowing myself to vibrate in positive energy and view these circumstances as opportunities to open my self and spirit to attract new and brighter situations.

May you go into this new year feeling empowered and excited about all the great choices you have and how much potential there is to bring into your realm whatever you require to be successful.

Happy 2019,

Liane

Contending with Change

Three months ago I accepted a full-time role that requires me to work in an office environment. After a decade of independence as a freelancer working wherever I needed to or wanted to (and sometimes that was on a beach), I had a much harder time adjusting than I’d expected I would. I struggled with the obvious differences of working in an unfamiliar space versus my home office, conforming to rigid hours, as opposed to whenever I wanted or needed to. The list of things I had to adjust to became very long and after a week or two at my new role, I was feeling quite overwhelmed.

One would guess that the challenge might be predominantly in the job itself, the tasks, the demands and the learnings required to perform my duties. In truth, that was the easy part. I am an excellent editor, qualified for the position and given a large element of trust by my team, so that was not the issue.

As the days and weeks expanded and I successfully published my first issue of the magazine, I realized I needed to make some changes in order to be more content and ideally more excited about going to work than I actually was. Added to the demands of going into the office each day were evening events and travelling. As a daily meditator and yogi, I spent a good amount of time thinking about how I was going to do this. One of the largest elements missing in my day had become solitude. As a creative mind and someone who values silence and unstructuredness in order to be creative and productive, I knew I needed to carve more solitude into my workday as well as more time feeding my spirit and health. My weekends quickly became opportunities for me to hide away from others. I would serial watch European futball, knit like a maniac and cook large meals to freeze or eat for lunches the following week.

My life was out of balance.

When our lives are unbalanced, our bodies are the first to react: lack of sleep and a busy mind, bloating and skin breakouts, mood changes and tension in the muscles.  So I booked my first massage in months, got myself to a spin class and rode my bike on warm days through the forest near my home. I went to the market and bought healthy fresh food and planned meals in advance. I set out my supplements so I would not forget to take them and I decided to spend more time working from home and less time conforming to rigid office hours.

I’ve noticed the biggest change in my attitude; it has relaxed. I feel less resentful for the loss of my liberties that I’ve worked for so long to achieve. I am embracing the self-gift of sleeping later if my body is tired, attending a noon spin class because my fav instructor teaches it and working later in return, and saying no to evening events if I feel attending might cause imbalance the next day.

Plugging into your self is the key to recognizing a need to change in the face of change. The solutions are not always easy to establish, but if you can identify for starters the things that provide balance and nourishment you’re well on your way.

Namaste,

Liane

Lose the Bra!

On my commute home this week during the home rush traffic, I spotted a black bra in the gutter beside where I was stopped at a light. I was en route to a speaking engagement that evening to deliver a motivational speech to a room filled with professional women whose careers were steeped in the construction and design industry. An environment I would easily label as ‘a man’s domain.’

Seeing this bra cast off into the street brought images to mind of a woman having reached her maximum and removing the constraints of social norms and protocols. Aspects of my speech came to mind: gender wage gap, ageism, conformity and denouncing scripts.

How do we know when we’ve reached our limits?

How do we know when to pull out and cut our losses …and metaphorical ‘burn our bras?’

In the moments where we realize we are not voiceless or at the mercy of others’ dreams and career objectives is precisely THE moment. As soon as we realize this, the invisible (or physical) constraints can easily be tossed away …or at minimum, this is our urge.

I liken a career to a financial investment: astute investors do a lot of research to find the best type of fund, or best and most trusted advisor. And, like investments, we typically lock in our careers for the long haul and weather the bumps as the external factors influence the ride. When we realize the investment is no longer serving us (this can also be in the form of a relationship), we sever the commitment and cut our losses. This analogy is all fine in theory, but often not practical when more than the actual investment is involved (emotions, children, income, logistics, etc.). Despite the added layers of challenge, therein exists the power to make changes of some format. For example, you may want to quit your job because your boss is a tyrant, or your life partner hogs the bed leaving you sleepless most nights. While you may not be in a position to completely evacuate, you can ask for a transfer to another department …and maybe sleep in another bedroom in the house.

While those examples may be superficial, the point I’m impressing is that once you’ve made the effort to establish a difference, or change the circumstances (ie: status quo) is the moment that the ripple of your efforts imparts results that affect others. Indeed this may cause conflict, but awareness, questions and a shift may also be the results. Nonetheless, if we don’t make the first motion, we may be wearing the same black bra ten years from now.

Namaste.

From “Lux Time” to “Lull Time”

I recently commenced a new full-time corporate role as editor-in-chief of a longstanding (nearly 30 years!) national fitness magazine. On a personal and professional level, this is a dream career role, one I’ve vied for numerous times, came close, missed, marked  ….and have now secured.

I am excited, indeed! Competitions run high for these rare positions and I, being the lucky successor to the previous editor who dedicated eight years to the role, feel elated and empowered. Now, all gloating aside, I wish to digress ….

Inside the past decade of hard-carved freelancing, I pimped myself for every single contract I secure, and many I failed. This new role, being very different, in that interested parties lay out their wares, skills, wishes and products to me  ….without even an ask. The difference of which (is obvious and) has rapidly become a measure of the ‘odd space’ where in which there is currenly only a mild version of static, zero activity and an option for productivity (which may, or may not, arrive in a timely manner), and thus forcing me to prove I am an excellent manager of my time.

As a freelancer, I learned to embrace those voids (if you will) and fill them with other means of work, play, sourcing, rest, vacation ….or whatever, in order to maximize the potentials that the uncontrollable rhythms or off-beat syncopations running your own business hurl at you. Case in point: as I write this blog, I am toggling my yearning to blog, versus my need to eat healthy food, lacking the long-standing luxury of having any moment in the day to prepare a healthy meal. My normal is different now as I depart my home (office) at 7:30am and do not return until after 5pm. Nowhere in that period exists 30 minutes to get a jump on dinner — a healthy dinner — or take the dog, or me for that matter, on a rip around the parkway paths. Nope.

What I am learning is the fine art of multi-tasking-by-prioritization …..if I am not the first one to coin that term, I now own it. Fact being, laundry tonight is not essential, nutrition is — for tonight’s meal and tomorrow’s lunch. To prove my point, I stomached Costco on a Sunday so I could ensure healthy nutrition for me and my family for the week ahead. Seemingly, long gone are those days where I laced up my leathers, revved up my cruiser (or mountain bike, or road bike, or convertible) midday and took a breather from the stresses of the office to run a few errands while traffic is calm, dinner is on the simmer, and my workout is complete and ….oh, and my clients are satiated.

Enter the zone where my time is that of my new boss, a great boss I must say, but a boss all the same. To ensure my next paycheque and the satisfaction of my soon-to-be adoring readers, I will now learn the necessary (new) skills of maximizing lull-time and learn to transform it into the most productive time of my every day.

 

Posing as the Anti-Roman

Recently I co-wrote a best-selling career handbook in which I developed the chapter titled “When in Rome.” The notion of the chapter was about working in an unfamiliar environment and fitting in with the culture and new surroundings in order to maximize your efforts and time invested.

I conducted my own personal ‘Roman experiment’ a few years ago when I moved to Montreal from Calgary to live and work. Feeling confident in a general sense, with a solid grasp of the language, I felt assured I’d be successful, minus a few expected hitches.  I was not successful. Not at all.  Not even in the least, truly. What endured was a hostile experience that reminded me I was simply not from there and shouldn’t really try to be there. Eventually, I crawled back to Western Canada – tail tucked between my legs – where I celebrated what was my normal and gained a new appreciation for my home.

Fitting in is not always the best remedy to being displaced. It might well be, however, when you get hired to be part of a powerful team (corporate, athletic or other), but if you are hired for your uniqueness, then it’s best to celebrate your own differences and how they will be measured and marked when you stand out!

This month I am living in Arizona while I work on my next big career project. Survival in the desert in the heat of Summer may seem cruel and impossible to many. For me, it truly is a delight. Firstly(and yes, of course!), I love the heat. Secondly, I am not here to fit in. Hence, I am the anti-Roman, so to speak. I’ve transplanted myself into a place I am not legally allowed to stay; with this comes restrictions, but with it comes so many liberties. For example, this morning I woke four hours before my usual wake-up time just to go for a gargantuan hike in the Sonoran Desert. When I returned, I indulged in an abnormally large and heavy (guiltless) breakfast as I celebrated the four miles of trails I ground beneath

my heels. Then I headed to the pool for the next two hours where I slept and swam and even sat in the hot tub – yes, it’s 40 degrees Centigrade here!

Sometimes survival is about balking the normal and inviting the unusual. Tomorrow, following my work commitments, I plan to do what nary any Arizonian will do: golf at 2 pm! Oh, the joy when I show up and have the entire golf course (hopefully) to myself; I can’t count the mulligans I’ll be pulling!

Where there is a difference, there is survival. Out of abnormal, comes something fresh and new.

Peace, joy and difference,

Liane

Subtle Changes

Experts of every kind will tell us that subtle positive changes are better than no changes at all: health, finance, relationships, etc. So, in my plight to learn how I can improve upon the frustrations and adjustments of my shared co-existence with my rescue dog, Daisy, of the past nine months, I recently subscribed to a pet health blog featuring ex-bodybuilder, Texan, christian and tax guru, Ty Bollinger. This week he is featuring an entire series on how we can make subtle adjustments to our pets’ environment to improve their health, reduce cancers and by effect, our own …and yes, he is using this as a foundation to make money.

As I contemplated how small things are an easy place to start, I moved around my kitchen searching for something to eat, with Ty’s podcast playing. I skipped the leftover pasta casserole in exchange for a fresh tossed salad with a homemade vinaigrette, tossed a few bits of finely-chopped broccoli into my dog’s bowl, to which she turned up her nose, and poured us both a glass of filtered water, not from the tap. What’s motivated me to share this with you is that while I was going about my day, there was a migraine brewing (the bright stars and fading vision, pressure in the temples). In the podcast Ty interviewed a well-known musician, Michael Tyrrell, who seems to be the re-igniter of wholetones –a blurry sort of classical music that has apparently proven to heal …dogs, cats, peeps with its precise frequency levels that create a physiological soothing effect upon us and thus drastically reduce our stress levels, and apparently even taking away what may have manifested into a monster migraine.

This past week has been one of my busiest weeks ever (as a freelancer) as the economic landscape in my city (Calgary) transitions itself slowly into a new frontier of hopefulness and out of the ashes of what was the past four years of the fall of the energy industry. I’ve been constructing resumes, bios, articles, presentations and even completed the first draft of my erotic novel, all at a rabbit’s rate and smiling all the while. The stress of it all, nonetheless, prevails, causing muscle tension, irritability, poor diet, minimal sleep.

While I write this post, I’ve issued a subtle change in my habits: I’m sampling the offerings of Ty Bollinger’s recommendations to integrate wholetones (and whole grains) into my (and Daisy’s) lifestyle by listening to a free YouTube version of wholetones.  It seems to be working: Daisy has folded herself contentedly at my feet, my headache is long gone, thus allowing clarity of message and productivity as I share my findings with you …and pour myself a glass of wine …subtle changes, remember?

Wishing you all the positive benefits of subtle change,

Liane

Resisting Negative Thoughts

As I construct this blog post, outside the snow is falling; it’s been falling non-stop for twenty-four hours now. Just days ago, the sun was making a slush pile of what little snow was left, but you know what they say about the month of March ~~ With no option otherwise, we must re-don the cold gear and shovel ourselves out again, if we simply wish to leave the house, or let the dog outside. Having no choice in matters forces us to accomplish the necessities. It seems that when we have the option to consider a selection, we will most often take the easy route or the most pleasurable one. Not so, in the notions of how our memories work when we encounter a negative experience. Quite the opposite, actually! According to many neurological and sociology experts, our knee-jerk tendency is to side with the negative and stay that way. Our natural tendency is to linger in negative thoughts, much more so than positive ones.

Many individuals I deal with in my line of resume construction are moving in negative spaces, since many of them are out of work, actively seeking work, too depressed to get out of bed or, quite frankly, angry about their circumstances. I don’t have to tell you that these levels of negativity are unhealthy and refute the necessity at hand, which (in these cases) is to establish positive changes. According to Dr. Rick Hanson, a psychologist and expert of well-being, our bodies are wired to pick up on and retain negative experiences and impressions much more effectively than positive ones. He explains in his blog that the neural substrates of the mind are fully capable of being retrained to counter this effect, but we are genetically positioned this way so that we can deal with threats quickly (ie: fight or flight).

So, when we are let go of our job, or our boss gives us ‘positive criticism’ what resonates loudest is the negativity of the experience, rather than the potential that may evolve from the circumstances that are out of our control. Dr. Hanson’s blog explains the science of this theory, but for the sake of this sharing, the point I’m trying to enhance is that although we may not always be able to contro

l the circumstances we are forced into (ie: snowstorms or sh*tstorms), we actually do possess the ability to control our emotions, especially if we are aware of how we are wired by nature.

I challenge you to embrace a new strategy of positive thinking, if for no other reason than to reduce stress and alter how it suppresses progress. If knowledge is power then together we are already two steps ahead of negativity. For me, it’s time for to go skiing.

In a positive light,

Liane

11 things to remove from your resume

I read the following on a career support website (Nexxt.com), written by John Krautzel.

I do not necessarily believe that all of these are ‘gospel’ per se, as every resume must be approached in a customized manner. I.E.: there are no templates, but there are guidelines.

These may help some of you who are doing some house cleaning of your document or prepping it for a resume specialist like me:

 

“When preparing your cover letter and professional resume during your job search, it’s important to stay on top of industry trends. Employers usually look for something different in resumes and application materials that go beyond what a general template includes. Craft a resume that captures the attention of hiring managers by removing these 11 things from your document.

1. Non-Industry Jobs

When crafting your professional resume, only list jobs and duties that are relevant to the position for which you’re applying. Include detailed achievements and skills directly related to the job to keep the employer’s interest.

2. Clichés

Stand out from other candidates by eliminating clichés or overused phrases, such as “team player” or “enthusiastic worker,” from your resume. These phrases don’t mean anything to the employer and take up space you can use to provide more detailed examples of your work.

3. Abbreviations

Avoid using acronyms or abbreviations that are not well-known within the industry so that your professional resume is concise and clear.

4. Bulky Paragraphs

Offer information about your qualifications and experience in a format that is easy to absorb. Instead of writing lengthy paragraphs, use bullet points so the key information is easy to identify.

5. False Information

Employers do check references and perform background checks, so make sure your professional resume and cover letter includes details that are accurate, honest and free from exaggerations.

6. Complex Words

There’s no need to impress an employer with an expansive vocabulary. Keep your wording concise, and avoid words that are complex, especially if you can use simpler words.

7. Objectives

The days of including an objective on your professional resume are long gone. Clearly, if you are applying for a position, your objective is to get the job. Use this space to expand more on your qualifications.

8. Unprofessional Profile Names

Prior to crafting your resume, change your email and web addresses to names and domains that are professional. Try reserving your first and last name versus including an odd-sounding email on your application materials that could taint your credibility.

9. Hobbies

Stick to professional skills and experience when submitting application materials versus including personal information, such as hobbies. Unless the hobby is relevant to your ability to complete the job duties, leave it off of your resume.

10. Salary Information

Discussions about salary requirements should be reserved for after you are offered or a job or at the end of an interview. Avoid including your current or former salaries on your resume, as this might disqualify you for consideration.

11. Job Loss Details

Never include details or explanations about why you left a previous position on your professional resume. An interview is the appropriate time to offer such explanations.

Concise application materials help to increase your employment opportunities. Refrain from including irrelevant information on your professional resume, and stick to concrete examples of your success in the industry.”

 

Good luck and reach out with any comments or indicate how my services may benefit your efforts.

Best,

Liane

 

Changing our ways

Several months ago, I adopted a three-year old dog from the Humane Society. Well, they told me she was three years old … she’d been seized by the police from her previous home and kept in protection for a month prior to her adoption. The past five months have been a real challenge for both of us, adjusting to each other and trying to harmoniously mesh our patterns to share a living space. I needed help.

My research led me to a national breeder and head of the Chinese Crested Club of Canada, who happens to be a judge and has many CKC championships to her name and her dogs. She has helped me immensely to shed my previous methods of house training, obedience and cohab-ing with my new addition. I had viewed myself as a confident, loving and life-long pet owner, but this dog had suddenly robbed me of all my confidence and replaced it with incredible frustraIMG_4453tion and despair. I’ve agreed to surrender all my earlier beliefs about crating, pee pads, house training and resist my engrained ‘instincts’ to embrace some hard-nosed approaches to making this dog not only more comfortable, but providing her the parameters that I had not realized she was missing. If this new relationship was going to work, it would be me who needed to change my ways.

It’s a real grind, but I’m hopeful that with my new ideologies and methodologies, we will find a way to grow and value our mutual existence for a long time to come. My goal is to evolve my dog into a wonderful pet, rather than this animal she currently seems to be. This analogy made me contemplate how many of us go through our lives as an expert in our professional field, always having done certain things a certain way, because that’s how we were trained, or that’s what’s always worked …this goes for our personal relationships also. Often we force what might be best left alone, or fail to see other means of reaching successes. There may come a time when we may be forced to examine just how good (or expert) we really are, when the factors around us shift wildly and our ways no longer work.