I’ve mentioned before that I’m deeply and equally passionate about gardening, cooking, and resume writing (and my business in general). I plan to continue blogging about how these 3 things interweave throughout my days when the garden is producing.
I’ve hesitated, because I don’t know how interesting and worth reading you’ll find it. Hopefully this will come together well enough to hit home and be relevant, because it’s too important to me not to write about it, at least from time to time.
A few days ago I dedicated an hour or so to finishing up planting my herb and vegetable garden. I had a few things left to pot up and add to the fairly extensive offerings already neatly positioned for appropriate sun exposure on the deck. I was thrilled to find some new things to grow this year, including a Japanese Truffle purple tomato, and to locate some hard-to-find herbs like lemon grass and Thai basil.
It was a perfectly glorious day and, while I was enjoying the weather and the tasks planned, I mulled over what it is about these 3 things I love doing that bring such satisfaction. What are the similarities?
Of course, whatever is in the garden drives what comes out of the kitchen. No surprise how these two endeavors commingle. I should say that the way I cook is fairly straightforward, usually Italian (or Mediterranean) home style cooking, based on only a few of the freshest, most pristine ingredients. No heavy sauces and rarely any involved techniques.
But what makes the actual execution of writing a resume similarly satisfying? Are the same actions involved? Then it hit me. The thing I love is relying on an economy of ingredients to create an enticing final product and making the best out of what’s at hand.
Just as good cooking is based, in my opinion, on an economy of great ingredients, powerful resume writing is driven by an economy of words, necessitated by the 2 page imperative for today’s resume. It’s a challenge that requires precision and frugality.
In cooking, I carefully select the best ingredients available (from my garden, when in season) to achieve the right balance of flavors while allowing each one to be evident. I want to bring out the unique qualities of each while blending them harmoniously for the good of the whole.
When I’m crafting a resume, I have to decide what will work best to differentiate my client, carefully selecting from many pages of information supplied by them and the information gathered in consultations. I pick and choose from all they have to offer, determining which are their defining contributions, unique brand attributes, and key strengths. Each word has to be carefully considered and assessed.
Similar to cooking, I ask myself if each ingredient is necessary and whether it will improve the whole package. I throw in some powerful turns of phrases, robust verbs and key words, then package it all together in a way that distinguishes each component, illuminates the client’s promise of value to their next employer, and authentically represents (or brands) them. If there is leftover key information I can’t fit in the resume, it can go in the collateral companion documents or it can be tapped into at interviews. Nothing is wasted.
So there definitely are similarities. All 3 undertakings offer the great satisfaction that comes from economically making the best use of what is at hand. And there’s nothing like the pure pleasure that comes from a job well done, surveying a thriving garden, savoring the food that comes from it, and admiring a compelling resume that I know will help my client land where they want to be.