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Success Stories

What Our Clients Are Saying

David Greene came to me a pretty scared man. He had been unemployed for about 14 months, and the cause just baffled him. He was a smart, accomplished professional that had successfully climbed the corporate ladder of a well-known local company here in Kansas City. His last position was Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, but he had found himself applying for commission-only sales jobs, and not even getting calls back from those applications.

“Tammy, I don’t know if you can help me,” he told me over lunch. “I’ve had my resume professionally written three different times, and every time I’ve paid more and more for it, but none of them get me any phone calls. I’ve always considered myself very successful, and extremely good at what I do, but now,”

I could hear the desperation in his voice, and I could see it in his eyes. He was starting to doubt everything he built his career on; his ability to sell himself, his keen relationship building skills and networking abilities.

He handed me his three professionally-written resumes. “What is it that I’m not seeing here? What’s so wrong with these documents? What’s so wrong with my career?”

It took me about two seconds to diagnose the problem, and I immediately pointed it out. “Well, David, let me put my employer glasses on,” I smiled, “These resumes are beautiful – well formatted, five dollar words, the whole nine yards, but they’re all chronological. The first thing I see is that you spent the last 17 years at Interstate Bakeries. You’ve got about five seconds of my attention before I decide whether or not to read the rest of the resume, and I’m thinking to myself, “do I need a Twinkie sales guy?” and honestly, David, the answer is no, I don’t really have a use for a cupcake salesman in my organization.”

He tilted his head a little. “But that’s where I worked. I’m not going to lie about where I worked. How do you get past that? I’m not just a Twinkie guy. I did a lot of really great things at Interstate. I built that inside sales force from the ground up, and it now accounts for 80% of all the sales of the company. You can’t tell me that doesn’t count for something to somebody reading my resume.”

“That’s a fantastic achievement, David,” I said. “And of course that counts for a lot, but I’m not hearing that story because I’ve already put your resume down and moved on to the other 599 resumes in this stack I have to look through.” I hated to be so blunt, but I had to tell it to him straight.

“There’s actually a pretty easy way to overcome being defined as ‘just a cupcake guy.’ If you use a one page functional or skills-based resume, you actually focus the page on your strengths – what you bring to a new position, and your achievements – how you”ve affected the bottom line of the company you’ve worked for. You never mention Hostess or the industry you worked in. By the time the hiring manager gets down to the part about who you worked for, they’re already pre-sold on calling you.

“Don’t feel too bad, though. Almost everyone who is looking for a job at your level has some sort of liability, some sort of obstacle to overcome, like switching industries or being older or being unemployed for a long time.”

“Stop, Tammy – every single one of those things describes me, and I don’t think I want to hear the rest of that list!” Though he was rolling his eyes, his grin showed a great amount of hope.

“But David, it may not be all your resume’s fault. Let me ask you, How are you using it?” I asked.

“What do you mean?” He looked confused.

“Well, what’s been your plan? How are you getting it in front of the right people that can make the decision to hire you?”

He looked like a deer in the headlights. “Um, I guess I’ve just been applying when I see a job that I know I can do. Online mostly. CareerBuilder mostly. And I’ve sent it to a couple of recruiters in the last couple of months. And I suppose I’ve given it to a few friends who are looking out for me.”

I could have pretty much guaranteed that was going to be his answer. “There lies a big piece of your problem. At your level, only about 15% of jobs are ever publicly posted. And because nearly everyone mainly uses the job boards, each one of those jobs get between 600 and 1000 resumes. I can write you a Rock Star resume, but if it comes in as number 201 and they’ve decided to look at the first 200, there’s not a whole lot that stellar resume can do for you.”

“I’m listening,” he continued to smile.

“Well, my clients have had great success by ignoring the job boards and not even looking online, not even at employer websites. I’ve found that if you proactively contact companies you would want to work for, along with companies that are growing – whether or not you know they’re hiring – you get a much better response rate than if you apply online.

“But the contact needs to be in hard copy, delivered by the good old US Mail, and not by email. Your resume will stay on someone’s desk much longer than it will stay in somebody’s inbox. Couple this with networking the right way for executive job seeking, and you have a winning combination every time.” I was checking for understanding in his face, but what I saw was more like amazement. A true Eureka! moment.

“That’s not the only key to it, though,” I continued, “your level of activity has to be incredibly high because of the current job market. You can’t expect employers to be beating down your door if you send 10 resumes out a month. Since you’re unemployed, you’ll need to send out 40-50 resumes a week to get one phone call each week.”

I saw his jaw visibly drop. “Is that even physically possible?”

“It sure is, it really only takes about 10-12 hours when you know how to do it right – and that includes finding the right people in your target companies.”

“What does your schedule look like tomorrow?” David said. “I’d like to talk about this in more detail. I need to something drastically different than what I have been doing.”

David signed up with my firm’s Six Figure Solution executive search program the next day.

Two weeks after receiving his new functional resume, he called me immediately following his first phone interview. The head of a mid-size technology company called him in response to a hard copy resume David had sent.

“It went great,” he told me. “I barely had to do any talking. The resume really spoke for itself, and the CEO was really excited to tell me about his company. I could barely get a word in!”

We spent the next two weeks preparing for the three face to face interviews that resulted from that phone call.

In the middle of his fourth week of searching, I got a call from David at the end of the day.

“Well, I got the job offer. I told him I’d like to think about it, just as you recommended. But I can’t believe he’s offering me well over six figures as a base. And the commission schedule is nearly double that. I really want to call him tonight and take the position.”

“That sounds like a great package,” I said, “but let’s take a look at what they can give you in a signing bonus. And let’s see if they”ll be willing to work with you on increasing the vacation to four or five weeks. Do you have some time to go over the details with me now?”

David received a $12,000 signing bonus and an extra two weeks of vacation, and accepted the VP of Eastern Division Sales position that Friday. He started at his new position the next Monday.

“I just got laid off or I see the writing on the wall with my current employer, and I haven’t had to look for a job in many years. I know the job market is completely different than when I last had to look for a new position, and I don’t even know where to begin. I don’t want to waste my time with activities that won’t get me any results.”

Robert C., Blue Springs, MO

During the 6th week of Bob’s search after receiving his new resume, he was contacted by one of the decision makers Career Resume Consulting supplied him during his first week in our Six Figure Solution search program. By the 8th week of his search, he received an offer from that employer for Chief Operating Officer of a healthcare company. We secured a compensation package for him with a base salary that was $30,000 more than the very top dollar the CEO said he could offer, along with a bonus potential that is expected to double his base salary. These increases were gained during a 20 minute conversation with the employer, but were as a result of intensive preparation and scripting provided by Tammy Kabell.

Before hiring Tammy and her team, my view of the job market was extremely negative. I had been burned by another executive search firm that didn’t deliver what they promised. Their resume and the lack of response I saw in the market motivated me to seek additional assistance. My new resume is very upbeat – reads with more ‘excitement.’ And Tammy has introduced several websites and options for a job search that I had not encountered before. She has injected some energy and hope into my job search with her multi-faceted approach.”

Sherry B., Baldwin, KS

Within a week after starting her new career change search, Sherry was approached by several recruiters for their open VP of Operations positions, and was contacted by her dream company within her 4th week of searching for a Divisional President position.

Before hiring Tammy, my search was somewhat pessimistic and not at all focused. I was switching industries and knew I needed help in putting a resume together that translated my past success into language any industry would understand and value.

My new resume got immediate attention from employers and boosted my personal confidence in my value proposition. To prepare me for my new search, Tammy was very thorough – she really dug into my experience.

So today, what can I say? Wow! I start a new job today and there are at least two other employers in the wings. It’s good to be me right now.

Tammy has a very effective service. I’d recommend her highly – it’s been a pleasure working with her!”

Tom A., Overland Park, KS

Tom started his next position during his 6th week of searching. He was able to leverage his involvement in two other hiring processes to secure a position very quickly with the employer that offered him the best potential.

What I was doing wasn’t working. I needed to change my resume. With my old resume I felt I was ‘fishing with the wrong bait.’

I now have a resume that is better suited to the type of position I am seeking. It documents my achievements and the results I brought to previous employers in a way that a prospective employer can easily translate into benefits for his/her business.

The process was very thorough and prompted me to dig back into my work history, resurrect experiences, and see them for the employer-beneficial, cost-saving achievements they were, instead of how I previously viewed them as just stuff I did to do a good job. I felt I had an expert working with me and guiding me through the right process to achieve the result I needed. And I appreciated the flexibility in being able to do this during my lunch hour.

The design and content of this resume are now aligned with where I’m going with my career and the type of job I am seeking at this stage. Also, I now have an expert coach who is attuned to searching in this current market/climate to guide and advise me through this process.”

Randall M., Kansas City, MO

Randall was able to successfully transition from a six figure technology position to a high profile project management position while fully employed and spending 5-10 hours weekly on his search.

I had fallen into a shallow rut, finding other things to occupy my time rather than effectively looking for potential employers. I didn’t have a focus or goal other than to find any job available, if something happened to find me. Finding a career is now the focus of the start and end to my day. I have a specific level of employment targeted and have the methods by which to let people know what I am looking for. Portions of each day are set aside for the specific purpose of reaching my goal.

I now have a resume that gets noticed and talked about, whereas what I was doing before was not generating any results at all.

I believe that I don’t know everything about everything and it is important to rely on people that know about those things with which I have no experience, such as job searching. I had listened to Tammy on a couple of conference calls and her knowledge and enthusiasm were just what I was looking for. That indicates professionalism and approachability.

A lot of questions are asked during the resume writing process that I would not think of on my own. The questions generate more in-depth thought, provoking memories of activities and important accomplishments that had been previously overlooked.

Tammy’s experience is evident in the confidence she demonstrates while talking and asking the questions. She has obviously performed this service for a while and know what works and doesn’t work. She is not easily swayed from her missions by people who think they know what they are talking about. I am not as impressed by people who always agree with me as I am by people that can convince me that their way works. Tammy has done that consistently.

Compared to other services on the market, this is a real bargain. It is worth a lot more than she charges. However, it is sometimes hard to justify the cost of something like this when a person is not in the best frame of mind. I’m glad I made the leap.

I am enjoying the process we are working through and feel this is the best use of my time right now. I can’t imagine anything else that would go so far to help me find a new career. I know adjustments will be need to made in the process but feel confident this is what is going to work for me.

Tammy, thank you for being in the right place at the right time for me.”

Michael S., Lee’s Summit, MO

Michael landed the job he had been pining over for two years, as an Executive Director for a new location of a national nonprofit that he had been volunteering in for years.

I knew I needed a professional search firm because I was not current with the latest trends in terms of search efforts, formatting of resumes and the importance of each communication piece to a targeted audience. I did not need for years to have a resume, and needed to find a job. And I knew that the jobs market and economy were horrible.

My perception of the job market after working with Tammy has changed considerably. People move faster so the message needs to be targeted, compelling, short and sweet. There must be a purpose as opposed to information dumping, both in my resume and in interviewing. The resume communicates a purpose, skills, measured achievements, actions etc. in a very effective one page format. In addition, the cover letters are excellent.

I cannot say enough about the results!”

Keith F., Broomfield, CO

Keith went from $400K position to the President of a global land development company with an $800K+ annual package within 16 weeks.

After being employed for 20+ consecutive years I was just thrashing around in the waters of unemployment. I started looking earnestly for about 6 months with very, very few responses. The job search was depressing, daunting and fruitless. Tammy immediately had me engaged, optimistic and confident. My job search instantly had direction, purpose and focus.

I compare job searching to football or playing the guitar. Sure anyone can play football or guitar, but only with coaching from the experts will you excel. That is why I retained the professional experience of Tammy. The offers I was receiving came with a 20 year pay cut. I now know why. I was not presenting myself in the proper image, I had no brand. Humility has no place when looking for the perfect job.

And I have to mention my resume, THE NUMBERS, THE VERBS and THE ADJECTIVES. I had no idea I achieved such monumental successes! Tammy’s resumes shine with the brightness of the sun. My old one was like a 2 watt night light. Her process was very in-depth and comprehensive. Questions were worded such to expose even the tiniest of details and achievements. And our resume preparation conversations were very engaging, insightful, and thought provoking.

I saw an immediate impact in my search in the number of calls, prospects, my visibility, my brand and my noticeability. I was now cut out from the herd.

I contacted other career services that charge less and some much more. I’ve seen others who had retained their services and all they did was re-format the information they gave them and gave them some interviewing tips. With Tammy”s program, it paid for itself in one paycheck.

And I have to mention my resume, I had no idea I achieved such monumental successes! Tammy’s resumes shine with the brightness of the sun. Tammy was fantastic, a true magician extracting the best out of you, plus it is all business with Tammy.

Tammy Kabell is professional, personal, humorous, determined and caring. She projects genuine heartfelt qualities that are missing in today”s entrepreneurs. Her philosophy is on target, filling the need of her customers; not focused on the bottom line of her own profit, which is where it belongs, on the bottom.”

Bob N., Granbury, TX

Bob went on to receive three offers in the next seven weeks. He accepted the third. He was looking for an excellent package, plenty of potential, and a good personality fit with the company.

Tammy, you can turn a phrase in a way that keeps the information genuine but actually makes the point more clearly stated than I could ever say. I like that it is authentic but elegant at the same time. But what I like most is the conversational style and the use of a testimonial. I would have never done that on my own.”
She also went on to say, “It is a ‘cut to the chase’ document and in these times that is vital. I feel like a ‘rock star’ and never thought that could happen!”

Marsha R.

Marsha R. started a position with a Chicago-based business consulting firm this past summer.

I was just tired of redoing my resume and having to be continuously checking keywords, trying to second guess what the potential employer was really looking for in a role that I had interest in applying for. I now have a resume that will fit for most Project Management opportunities.”In addition the career survey will provide me with some great life stories around my experience. I now feel much more comfortable in being able to readily adapt to the ‘key words’ potential employer may be using. This delivers exactly what I was looking for in revising my resume.”Ralph S.

Ralph S. got his first interview for a Project Management position in the first 4 days of using his new resume.

Wow!! I am so happy! It is SO worth the wait. I love it! Words cannot express how happy I am with the resume. I can’t thank you enough, Tammy. You are simply the best.”

Sue A., Overland Park, KS

Sue A. after receiving her resume for a Business Writer position.

The resumes are a success with about 3 return phone calls or emails this week. Tuesday is my 3rd stage interview with the (Bay Area government agency). Looks like they made a position for me – I was interviewed before the position was made and posted! And it should be the final interview with an HR assessment test!”

Paul H. of San Francisco, CA

Paul H. of San Francisco, CA, a month after receiving his resume.

Tammy: The interview went very well this morning and honestly, I don’t think that I had to say a thing! They are very backed up and behind schedule and wanted me yesterday, if not sooner. As soon as I got home, the president (of the potential employer) called and put on the hard sell. He wants me to come in tomorrow morning and sign the dotted line. Money is good, but the real issue is the people. They all seemed like family which makes sense because there are only 22 employees. I played the (2nd potential employer) interview against them and that made them want me even more. The one funny thing to add was that the company president said, “I love your resume, it shows that you are hands-on and proactive. I thought that I was getting a love letter!”

David H., Lee’s Summit, MO

David H., Senior Mechanical Designer in Lee’s Summit, MO, who started working for this employer within 10 days of sending out his new resume. David had been out of work for 14 months, and we were able to negotiate a 16% increase in salary plus two extra weeks of vacation with his new employer.

I was tired of the black hole that occurs when applying to jobs. And of not getting any interviews. I knew I was capable of getting the interviews – I came in 2nd more than once. I felt I needed a document that would get me in the door (so to speak) outside of my industry. In addition, I wanted someone else’s opinion of me. Someone who was not afraid to boast about me I guess.”“What I like best about this resume is that it makes me feel like I would be an asset anywhere, not just in my industry. I know this about myself, but could not convey it well on my own. In addition, it was like a practice interview without the stress of being on the spot and with a job on the line. The way you asked questions helped me in interviews – I could get to the point quicker.”Jennifer H.

Jennifer H., who started her new Director of Marketing position 4 days (not a typo!) after receiving her functional resume. Not wanting to “lose her to another company,” they created this position for her, and with negotiation assistance from me, she was able to get an 11% increase from her initial offer and from her previous position.

She also had an interesting take on the career change process after she found her new position, with this to say:

“I think that searching for a job is definitely a process with some emotional aspects involved. In my case, I don’t know that I would have come to you any earlier in the process. However, in the future, I will likely use you again to refresh my resume and continue the job search coaching if needed. I think sometimes as professionals we forget to ask for professional help when we need it because we were raised or expected to just ‘know’ what to do as business people. Looking back, it really isn’t any different than going to the doctor if you are sick.”
Coach, I am sooooo pumped. I used your resume for job searches I have to do to continue receiving unemployment and received a call just a minute ago. Although the company was looking for a person with more sales experience, (After receiving a call from a hiring manager), he indicated that my resume stood out from the hundreds that he receives through CareerBuilder. Said he has never seen a resume formatted like yours. It had all he needed to see in the first paragraph to pick up the phone. We had a pleasant and positive conversation, however it would not have been a good fit for me.“Put me in coach…I’m ready to play !!!!!!!”Bob N. from Garland, TX

Bob went on to receive three offers in the next seven weeks. He accepted the third. He was looking for an excellent package, plenty of potential, and a good personality fit with the company.

In his last email to me, he ended with,

“I love my job! God has truly blessed Nanette (his wife) and me.”

Land your next six figure job in weeks, not months.

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