C.G. Merlo Consulting
MY TRANSITION FROM THE MILITARY
My biggest break came when I told a friend I wanted to re-enter the job market, but knew I was going to have problems because I didn’t want to work full-time and didn’t want to move from my ranch in West Texas. She said, “Become a consultant.” I asked her, “For who and doing what?” She said, “For the company I work for. We need proposal writers.” I told her I didn’t know the first thing about putting together a contract proposal. She replied, “You’re a great writer. We can’t teach people how to write but we can teach a good writer how to prepare a proposal.” She arranged interviews with the appropriate proposal managers and vice presidents, and soon I had my first consulting contract.
RESUME AND CAREER TIPS TO CONSIDER
Any employer, especially in the corporate world, is focused on results. What proven talent and energy do you bring to help their bottom line? For example, in discussing management of media operations at a NW Florida fighter base, I added:
“Instituted a media outreach program focusing on television production companies rather than strictly news organizations as most public affairs offices have done. Using innovative packaged video releases and personal contact with producers, secured an agreement with ESPN to air coverage of the USAF Fighter Competition. The hour-long broadcast became one of ESPN’s highest-rated shows aired more than 25 times. HQ Air Force Public Affairs calculated the positive depiction of AF operations to our prime recruiting audience was worth millions of dollars.”
This statement shows “out-of-the-box” thinking producing tangible results and will encourage an employer to want to know more about your efforts and ideas.
The next statement shows the public affairs officer has the confidence of senior leadership to handle an explosive issue, exhibiting knowledge of both operational requirements and the public relations tools to defuse the situation.
“When an air base wing commander decided to close a section of the base long available for use by local sportsmen, public outcry was immediate and intense, including political cartoons, editorials and interviews of enraged citizens. I was personally selected by the two-star division commander to assume management of the closure, including a review of the effectiveness and timing of the proposed restrictions. I instituted a three-pronged campaign to modify ill-conceived closure restrictions, personal contact and letters to community leaders explaining the action, and media day for local newspapers and television stations to show critical facilities requiring enhanced protection and new steps to allow controlled use of wilderness areas by sportsmen. Media coverage was 100 percent positive. Public outcry immediately evaporated while security and base operations were enhanced.”
While it’s important to show the range of jobs and responsibilities you’ve held, action statements to show your effectiveness are absolutely critical if your resume is to stand out from others. If you are selected for an interview, they encourage the employer to ask questions, allowing you to further discuss your strengths and capabilities.