January 14, 2015
Pinch Of Salt
If you were looking for a job, you would want to know Dawn McKenna, the Founder
of ResumeSalt, a unique resume writing company. Dawn is one creative lady who
looks for that metaphorical “pinch of salt” to add to the usual bland resumes of
candidates to make them and their applications more appealing to employers—even
when the fit is not perfect.
A little salt goes a long way…
The Utility Infielder
Situation: My client, a senior level Risk Manager for a
global bank had asked me to recruit a VP level credit professional who could
“step in and step up” to various roles as demanded by the tenuous circumstances
the group and the bank were enduring at the time.
Winning Metaphor: Presenting this candidate was a stretch
as he did not have all of the requisite experience my client wanted. However,
having written his resume the year prior, I knew him very well and was confident
in his abilities. Knowing that the hiring manager was a baseball fan, I profiled
the candidate as a “Utility Infielder”--- a utility infielder is a baseball
player who can play multiple positions equally well. This metaphor worked
because while the candidate did not have everything the hiring manager was
looking for, he appreciated the fact that not knowing where his group or the
bank would be in six months, this individual could successfully cover a number
of important roles within his group. He turned out to be a fantastic hire.
The Symphony Conductor
Situation: I recently re-wrote the resume of a senior level
insurance executive who had left the company after 15 years. During the re-write
process, I learned that the individual was charged with consolidating six
business units into one centralized regional group. As the process continued, I
came to understand that she had a gift for visualizing the end result of large
scale projects, understanding how all of the moving parts needed be synchronized
with one another to make the transition seamless.
Winning Metaphor: In preparation for an upcoming job interview
with a company who was in the midst of a merger, we came up with the “Symphony
Conductor” metaphor as a way of describing her ability to unify a team, set the
tempo for the organizational change, execute plans effectively, and shape/guide
the outcome for both the senior managers and subordinates affected in the
process. Using this metaphor, she was able to demonstrate how and why she was a
great fit for a senior leadership role without going into long and detailed
descriptions of what she did in her prior role. They were intrigued by her
description which led to a highly productive conversation about how she would
enact change given the circumstance they were about to face.
Behind Dawn’s Thinking
best metaphors leverage the other person’s interests or
experiences. In the first case, it was the Risk Manager’s love
of baseball that helped close the deal.
Appreciate that the right metaphor can trump initial
requirements or specs. Again, in the first case, the hire was
not 100% qualified, but the associative strengths and emotional
appeal of an infielder overcame that obstacle.
Listening carefully to the facts makes it easier to step back
and seek parallels in other worlds for the best metaphor. Dawn
got her ammunition for the symphony conductor metaphor because
she listened very carefully to the insurance executive’s
How Did Dawn Find Her Own Corporate Metaphor?
My former Executive Search Manager was amazed at my ability
to quickly gain the confidence and trust of perspective candidates and clients.
Soon after I met them, they felt quite comfortable divulging very personal
information about themselves to me over the phone.
He once told me, I was like a “Pinch of Salt”, I had the ability to enhance the
natural flavor of candidates -- similar to how salt brings out the natural
flavor of food. In coming up with the name for my resume writing business, I
recalled that conversation with my former boss and the phrase ResumeSalt
appeared in my mind.
When writing an individual’s resume, I immerse myself into their situation,
background, and ultimately help them rephrase themselves in conversation and on
paper by demonstrating their inherent value to an organization. Essentially, by
adding a pinch of salt to their bland resumes, I am making them and their
candidacy more appealing.
I use metaphors constantly in my practice. They ignite the visual in an instant!
(I could not agree more)
I hope Dawn’s story inspires you to use the
beautiful and powerful tool that is metaphor to build your business in 2015
Make What You Say Pay — With Metaphors.
Dawn Mckenna places finance professionals in major domestic and global banks,
finance companies and investment banks. Her specialty is filling mid-to-senior
level positions for Lenders, Risk Managers, and subject matter experts in
Quantitative Analysis. For more information visit
Below is her brief history of salt and how she ties that back to her brand.
The word “salary” is derived from the word “salt", a good person is "the salt of
the earth”, and a successful person is often referred to being "worth their
More than the white granules we use to enhance the flavor of our food, salt is
an essential element in our diet. We need salt to regulate the exchange of water
between our cells and their surrounding fluids. It is a vital part of our
ecosystem; humans, animals and many plants must have salt to survive.
This simple molecule launched wars, built monuments like the Great Wall of China
and sparked revolutions from India to France. New York City wouldn't be the city
that it is without salt. Moreover, salt helped determine the road system of
America. Without it, civilizations would never have thrived and technology would
be stuck in the Stone Age.
A "Salted" resume is also so much more. This essential element is crucial to
your resume, to how you are perceived and to achieving the next step in your
--- Excerpts compiled from “Salt: In the Oceans and in Humans” by Prentice K.
Stout P955, “Salt: A World History”, by Mark Kurlansky, "The Superpower of Salt"
by H2, and “A Brief History of Salt” by TIME
|If you liked this newsletter, please share
with friends and colleagues. Thank you!
Need Some "WOW" in Your Presentation or Demo?
Call today and turn your information that tells into a story
"I sing your praises every opportunity I get."
Partner Regent Atlantic Capital LLC
“I still use what you taught me thirteen years ago!”
CEO, #1 luxury website
“Thanks to you, our presentation went very well…I am in awe
at how you are able to analyze a situation and help me focus in on the key
points that need to be clarified and emphasized. You make it look easy, but I
know it is not! Lynn Hutzel-Visel, VP, Comerica
“Anne understands what audiences look for and pushes you
beyond what you thought you were capable of... A real pro who will help you hit
it out of the park.” Mary Anne Doggett, Partner,
Perfect Pitch 24 delivers a centralized content management system that places
all sales and marketing videos, images and documents right at your fingertips
making it easy and seamless to present the right message to the right customer
at the right time. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I am an affiliate.)
Click 30 Day Free Trial - Start Now!