In this blog I’m sitting down with an amazing colleague and recruiter Kimberly Wilson, owner of TLR Search.  Kimberly has over 25 years’ experience as a recruiter based in Houston, Texas.  For this blog post, I’m asking her a number of questions I get asked a lot as a career coach, “What makes a resume stand out?  What if I don’t meet all the criteria for a role?  What if I just need to get something?”

About Kimberly

Kimberly Wilson enjoys helping energy and chemical company hiring managers gain talent market share by bringing strong diverse talent to their attention and guiding them through any unconscious bias during the search process. Kimberly is the Managing Director/CEO of TLR Search, a recruitment firm she started. Kimberly began her career in retail management learning about customer service, people, and business. Taking that experience along with her education in psychology and sociology, she set out to help companies attract the best unique talent to align with their initiatives and to help individuals/candidates to see potential possibilities in their career.

 What makes a resume stand out?

 People usually just read the first section of a resume.  Then they read on if the story is interesting.

Tell a good story

It’s all about sharing what you’ve done in a previous company and how you added value.  It’s looking at your career and the key highlights and being able to clearly articulate that story.  “Here’s the value I created at my last company.  Here’s the legacy I left.”

If you think about a resume that read, “I’m a forward-thinking engineer that’s been able to save my company x amount year over year.  I’ve had several people promoted underneath me.”  That’s a story that a hiring manager will read and will want within their organization.  But if it just says, I’m a hard-working engineer that is focused on leading my team to success,” what does that really tell me?

With the former you’re telling me why you need to be in my organization.  With the latter you’re telling me nothing.  If you say you’re a strategic business leader, so what?  Anyone can say that.  Prove it with the story you tell.

What would you say to someone who doesn’t think they meet all the criteria for a role?

It’s about understanding the value you bring and understanding your gaps.  There is no person who is going to be 100% for a role.  If that is the case, they should be doing something else and have moved on to the next challenge.

It’s about capability

It’s not about meeting 100% of the criteria, it’s about your capability.  It’s about showing that you’re driven to learn.  If you put your resume forward for a role and you don’t think you’re super qualified and the company doesn’t think so either what’s the big deal?  You won’t get a call back.  But at least you tried.  Leave no stone unturned. But of course if you clearly can’t do the job don’t apply.

Do you think the “meeting the criteria” thing is more of an issue for women?

It’s proven.  Catalyst has done research on this.  Men think they are great for the job if they have 20% of the skillset.  Women think they need to have 80-100% of the skillset to be a candidate.

I’ve been a recruiter for 25 years now, and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard from women, I make x, but it’s okay if they want to pay me less.

It hurts when people don’t value themselves at a higher level. Now, there will be some companies that can’t pay more, but then that is a choice to make after going through the process and sharing your true value.

I just need to get something, what would you say to that?

Don’t think about it just as a job, think about it as your career.  If we’re looking for a career this is a proposition that sets us up to have a strong relationship with ourselves.  To know ourselves, to know what we want.  There are too many people who make a jerk reaction.  Then if they had just waited, something better might have come along.

Think about your perfect day

If you visualize what your perfect day would look like, what would it be?  This is a powerful question to ask yourself.

Then you know exactly what your next role should be.  And it’s never going to be 100% of that and that is also the reality of life.  When have you gotten into a dating relationship and it’s 100% perfect?

But if you’re settling, it’s the same as settling in any relationship, then you end up in a bad situation you need to get yourself out of.  And it’s much more painful in the long run.


Shelley Pernot is a leadership and career coach who is passionate about helping her clients discover their strengths and talents and find a career that utilizes them.  Reach out to me here for a free consultation to learn more about the coaching process and how it may benefit you!

I’ve recently been featured in Feedspots top 50 career coaching blogs.  Check out what other career coaching experts have to say here!

  1. Marsha August 4, 2022 at 1:39 pm

    Great article.