Do you have all your ducks in a row?

Photo by mikebaird

It has been a very busy January and though I like adding new content to my blog regularly, this was one of those days when I couldn’t get a post started before the first client was here and then all the ideas I had, flew the coop so to speak.

Sometimes when I am looking through Flickr for a photo for whatever post I am writing, I save photos to my favorites. As I looked at them today, the one above caught my eye. It made me think about having all your ducks in a row, you know, that old saying.

To get one’s ducks in a row essentially means to ensure all of the small details or elements are accounted for and in their proper positions before embarking on a new project.

It’s a bit problematic because those are not ducks, they are avocets. No, I didn’t know what those were either. “The four species of Avocets (pronounced /ˈævəsɛt/) are waders in the same avian family as the stilts. They are typically found in warm climates.”

But you get the idea. When I am working with clients, we talk about this often. This morning’s client mentioned that he had no idea that creating a resume could take so much energy (from him, not me) or be so much like being in school. To create a resume that sells you, you need to define your value to the next employer by demonstrating what you did for that last employer.

Listing your duties will never get you hired because the employer is left wondering what is the reason to hire you. Just a few minutes ago, I told the last client who called to schedule, “Just remember that you need to think about all the things that make you valuable.

Think in terms of Challenge, Action, Result. (CAR) What challenge did you have to overcome, what action did you take, and what result did you end up with? She was a nurse so I gave her this example:

Another client had told me that they had struggled with the patient’s with Alzheimer’s being all over the facility. As part of a committee, they brainstormed a way to consolidate those patients into one wing. After they implemented this change, the patients were happier, more manageable, and there was more control of medications so they wouldn’t be accidentally taken by a patient with Alzheimer’s.

When you are starting your job search, you need to have all your ducks in a row. You need to remember the CAR examples which will serve you well in your resume, in your cover letters and when you are challenged in an interview to come up with examples.

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

Here are ways I can help you land your dream job.

You may be halfway across the country or the world. When you work with me, we share coffee, laughs, and concerns. This turns the scary job search into creative, consultative writing and learning sessions.