Welcome to the Plan B Communications Blog

Welcome to the first posting of the Plan B Comms Blog. When I thought about the theme for the initial series of blogs, I asked myself what can I contribute that would have relevance and the answer is, hopefully, a meaningful one: to dissect a job search. From a recruiter’s perspective, I may have insights that will help job-seekers during one of the most trying economic times that most of us have experienced. So let’s get started . . . at the beginning.

A fan of Saturday Night Live since its beginning, I’ve hung in there through the good times (casts) and the bad. Every few years a character emerges that saves it for me. I have a new favorite. I am hopelessly devoted to Nicholas Fehn, political comedian who provides “his own take on this week’s top stories.” Played brilliantly by Fred Armisen, Nicholas is one of those characters, like Cheri Oteri’s cheerleader, Arianna, who makes you want to put your head through a wall by the end of his skit. Watch this . . .
(and forgive any commercial introduction):

Why highlight Fehn and what’s the connection between the well-intentioned Nicholas and the inaugural blog of an executive recruiter? Well, it’s all about having a point. There’s a strong link between Nicholas Fehn and searching for a position. Without having a point, it’s like sending your resume to resume limbo; what can we do to prevent that from happening?

With the thousands of resumes I’ve received in response to the specific searches I conduct, it is obvious that there can be a disconnect between what you, the candidate, are looking for, and the message your resume is sending. In a time when the candidate supply by far outnumbers the hiring demand, a well-tuned resume should be one tool in a quiver of many needed to find your next career adventure.

What makes me swivel three times in my much-loved office chair and say ding, ding, ding . . . I think we have a winner? To start, a resume that makes me believe the candidate has read the position description. If I am searching for a Director of Internal Communications or a Vice President of Public Affairs, do NOT send me a resume that says what a successful marketing guru you have been. They’re ships that will pass in the night and right into an Outlook folder that says “Future Marketing Searches.” Now, if you are a marketing genius who also has made significant contributions to a company’s internal communications effort, or you’ve got terrific public affairs experience as part of a broader role, your resume should send that message loud and clear. If you’ve been fortunate enough to wear many hats throughout your career, and many of you have, your resume should reflect that.

Your resume needs to be nimble, particularly when the going gets tough. In short, invest the time in creating a library of resumes tailored to the specific search or discipline you’re interested in pursuing. I’ve met many professionals who have built diversified yet connected careers and tailored resumes can highlight areas of strength and, therefore, have relevance to the recruitment effort (whether it’s conducted by an internal recruiter or someone like me). I know this may be eliciting collective “well, duuuuh . . . tell me something I don’t know” from readers, but you’d be surprised. This is an effort that requires commitment and an investment of precious job search time, but I believe it’s well worth the effort.

What we’re going to do, over the next several postings, is deconstruct a resume. Ten recruiters will likely provide ten different opinions so I am not holding myself out as the world’s authority on what your resume should look like, but what I do know is what gets me to take a second look.

Talk to you next week,


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3 Responses to “Welcome to the Plan B Communications Blog”

  1. richard grenell says:

    i like the advice. keep it coming…..

  2. Gordon Curry says:

    Susan, I like your point of view. I will watch for you next blog.

  3. Marsha Portnoy says:

    Good to have a perspective from the inside, Susan, especially for those of us out here in freelance-country.

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