The Résumé Up-level You’ve Been Looking For

Does anybody else have those times when your greatness is called to task?

This just happened to me and I wanted to share because it wasn’t but a few hours after the first inquiry for my expertise, that I got a 2nd, then a 3rd. Inspiring me to share this résumé with the world.

The greatness part seems dubious but in a life that is part expertise and part joyful fun and play, sometimes the expertise takes precedent and the fun comes along for the ride. Still fun mind you. I am taking the lifetime fun challenge. I just made that up.

I won’t keep you in suspense any longer: This is the art of up-leveling. Mainly through wanting to work with great people and sometimes wanting to find great new people to work with. Surround yourself with people you think are amazing. It’s so contagious and can all be launched (for the time being) with a great résumé.

The art of up-leveling - I love that writing up-leveling tickles at one of my career secrets - this is all but a game. Tickled as well by recently hearing a successful business leader yell that life is supposed to be fun! Fun! I’ve slipped into this idea of putting on fun like a fine business suit and experiencing my life according to embracing the fun. It’s such an easy gauge; is this fun? Yes. Keep doing it. Not fun? Make it fun! Either that or get it over with fast, make a plan to make life more fun, and get back to the fun.

Is this really an article about writing a résumé?

Yes! It is!

With this résumé it is so much more because the person that asked me for résumé assistance is my mom. The retired doctor of plant pathology. I’m not going to share her age. She’s 75. That’s a lie. She’s older but I promised not to tell. It’s in the ballpark though. She loved her career until she didn't. She stayed to maximize her retirement and then when she hit the magic number she left. I'm caught in-between shocked that she stayed in one job that long and shocked that she actually retired!

Her asking this simple question only raised all kinds of stuff that raced through my brain because I am in the process of building a new business and she is helping me financially do that so if she thinks she needs a job, I might need to rethink this whole Creativity Unleashed with Radical Freedom Empire! Instead, I used every moment of my training to get out of my own head and be present with her in order to best help her. Whew! Close one! We’ve come a long way, baby! Coaching is the shit! Get a coach. Get a mentor. Find people that are making the most of their time in alignment with what they most want to do and make a b-line to them. The résumé is (for the time being still) a must in making some of these connections.

Recently, a good friend decided to change careers and go back to school at 52 so it shouldn’t have surprised me that my mom, a dedicated scientist that loved what she did wants to up-level her retired experience while at the same time being somewhat confused by the reality. Admittedly, she's been looking a bit bored the past few weeks, the thrill of chilling is wearing off.

She’s taken some quality time for herself after retiring from a career that spanned 40 years total and is in a serious transition that she is definitely not alone in. She retired, sold her house, traveled the country, found a new place to live, and moved far away from where she was. What she’s suffering from I’m going to diagnose as: retirement is stupid. What the hell am I supposed to do with myself now?

Which is irony at its finest because I’ve been touting for years that there is no such thing as retirement anymore. I think I came to this conclusion in response to one of my Dad’s dad jokes, “get back to work Sam, you’ve got to pay for my social security before it runs out.” Thanks Dad. If I never retire, I don’t have to worry about it.

As an artist, entrepreneur, and coach, I don’t ever want to retire because I want to do what I love doing until I’m done on this earth. Besides that, I’ve already retired from more careers then I can count along the way. Another expertise just now dawning on me! To the extent it took me a bit to meet my mom where she is in her experience outside the 9-5. I'm so glad she asked me for guidance because I had the perfect résumé lying in wait.

The exercise this resume brings to the experience of keying into what you love to do, what you want to do, and what you are good at is priceless.

“You want a résumé mom! I’ve got you! This is going to be fun!”

The cool thing about my mom asking for my help in this is; I am a résumé expert. I started building my résumé when I was still living with her. I’m living with her now but we took a long hiatus along the way. I’ve been perfecting my résumé, tweaking, and rebuilding it as trends change, my skills change, and my jobs change.

In my illustrious career as a manager, I collected the best and the worst. I will never forget the pizza artist from Dominos and ice cream artist from Marble Slab Creamery. Still making me laugh with a little snort! You will notice I do not add "people artist" to my résumé - even though most of my jobs moved into management and I love to quote Gary Hamel from the book What Matters Now, “management is the technology of human accomplishment.” Never did a statement make me feel so good about a job that gets so much flack.  

After a layoff, retiring, or even getting sick of the current job because you’ve taken my advice on adding more fun, and where you find yourself now feels like it’s sucking your soul away. Writing a new résumé can help not only get a new job but this one in particular seems to open up the exploration of both what you want to do and what you are really good at.

I love things that cut to the chase, except this story, it’s taking forever to get to the goods but the journey is the fun! Stick with me.

In perfect conjunction with the times my mom doesn’t want to retire either. She’s bored. She wants to meet new people. She wants to do more with her time. She wants to continue to build on her experience. She’s also running out of science fiction to read. "Is that George R.R. Martin ever gonna finish Game of Thrones?" 

When I told a couple friends that I was going to help my mom with her résumé, they also had been thinking about up-leveling their résumés which is what led me to sharing this with everybody that might be interested. It shouldn’t be a secret. There are now people that have the career of writing résumés so you can go directly to an expert for help which is fantastic. This service was not around when I began creating my résumé, I’m guessing I went to the library for examples, or the tables were turned and I asked my mom for help. 

To my mom and everyone that will listen, the world has changed and it is fun to change with it.

Let’s get started with two important things you’re going to want to keep handy and updated.

  1.  Get your LinkedIn on. 

    1. Sign-up

    2. Build your profile - look for people that have pages in your job scope for inspiration and networking.

    3. Interact by commenting on other posts and responding to them.

    4. Do have a picture that expresses you in your desired job. Take that picture, even if it’s a selfie, or your mom takes it, or your daughter, which will be the case on my mom's page.

    5. Check back regularly. LinkedIn has made this more appealing over the years to encourage you to do so. Take them up on it.

  2. Always keep a ONE PAGE résumé at the ready.

    1. I don’t mean a paper résumé because I got rid of my printer years ago to save the planet! I think the last time I printed résumé’s, it was for prospective employee interviews.

    2. Saved, easy to find, and ready to send. More on that in a few paragraphs.

A subcategory of always keeping a ONE PAGE résumé are 2 additional documents to have in association with the résumé.

  1. A few references, testimonials, and/or letters of recommendation on hand.

  2. Addresses and contact information from previous employers.

What I love about LinkedIn, other than the blatant hyperbole of the statement, is that it is a great long form résumé. Both my mom and I started our LinkedIn pages at the request of our previous employers. How great is that! It is the place I now house my career history and connect with others,  as a networking platform, in my new business. For instance, I will be sharing this article there. I’ve decided to make it a fun place to visit and connect with others in my industry, as well as, leaders that inspire me to up-level my own game.

Now the ONE PAGE résumé. When I found this résumé, I was honestly blown away by it’s genius. Of course Business Insider would oblige. They are insiders after all. (Links to both Business Insiders Article and my résumé example are at the end of the article.)

Having sifted through piles of résumés as a manager and applied for countless jobs through either company job sites that can be frustrating because the system is set-up to weed out prospects instead of funneling them effectively into the perfect job. Such is life in this technological age.

This is important: KEYWORDS. It is about getting crystal clear on accurate descriptions of what you do as it reflects in the job posting. This is why creating a base résumé that is most true to you is important. You can put it up against your idea of the perfect job or the job staring you in the face in the interim and see how it matches up. From here you can either use it to apply for this perfect matching job - cheers! - or what’s the best next step in the direction of your perfect job.

When I first started working in restaurants I wanted to be the owner and eventually I was, but first I took the dishwashing job and worked my way up from there.

Mom wanted help and I started by pulling up my most recent résumé and once again discovered the collection I’d amassed over the years. For my convenience, I’ve transitioned to Google docs where I house a current base résumé with a folder of all the various forms it’s taken.

Setting up the perfect system to conveniently(as conveniently as possible) create and keep track of your résumé(s):

  1. Create a base résumé and name the document: your name - job you want - date. Example: Sam Shearer_Creativity Unleashed & Radical Freedom Coach_2018

  2. Copy it to personalize it toward the job you want to apply for with your name 1st, the job and company applying to, and the date sent out: Sam Shearer_Corporate Wellness Coach_Tao of Transformation_932018.

  3. Read the instructions carefully on a job post and send in format requested. Commonly in PDF format so I save a copy of my resume as a PDF to attach via the application site.

I’m not super organized but having survived a brief stint receiving unemployment benefits, I learned the importance of keeping a running tally of job application details. Now I have a library of them that helped tell me I’m pretty good at this and I can say with confidence my many résumés helped get me where I am today. 

I really appreciate the genius of this résumé building article from Business Insider(again, not a sponsor!):

I used it to build my latest résumé:


I feel the fun of greatness in the making! If this encourages you and helps you to create a résumé that gets you working in the industry you want with the people you want to be working with, I want to hear from you.

If you find yourself stuck in your next step, I'd love to hear from you because if I can help and I don't offer, I'm not really helping. Please reach out and let me know. 



Hamel, Gary. What Matters Now. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2012. Print. pp. 245

Cain, Åine & Gal, Shayanne. “17 Things that Make this the Perfect Résumé.” Business Insider Inc. 5 Aug. 2018. Web