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Disrupting Divorce: Conversations for Women

Nov 22, 2019

In today's episode, we discuss:

  1. Identifying your strengths and how to position them
  2. How to handle time away from the traditional workforce
  3. The importance of shifting your mindset and how important it is when you are putting together your resumé 


Rhonda: All right. Well thank you so much for joining us. Welcome to this episode of Divorce Conversations for Women. I'm your host, Rhonda Noordyk. You know there's one common thread facing everyone that's going through or contemplating divorce and that is you don't know what you don't know. So, I want to make sure that I help you ask the tough questions to get the answers that you need.

Rhonda: In today's episode, we're going to be diving into the topic of... resumé writing, right? And what do you do if you need to go back into the workforce or you need to up-level your skills to be able to really live the life that you have been wanting to live during or post-divorce. So, this episode is sponsored by Courageous Contemplation. It's our online course. So, if you find yourself contemplating divorce, please check out

So, I am here today with Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish and she is, not only the owner of Feather Communications, but she's also a professional resumé writer and has been doing this since 2008. So, thank you so much for joining us today.

Heather: Thanks, Rhonda. I'm glad to be here.

Rhonda: So, tell us a little bit about... Before we dive into the tips that we have for our listeners today, if there are women that are listening, what are some of the things that you've seen as far as trends in resumé writing, basically, and let's let them know that they're not alone.

Heather: Okay. Yeah. First of all, you are absolutely not alone. One of the trends that I've really noticed, whether I'm working with somebody that is getting divorced, maybe just stayed home raising kids, and is now entering the workforce, is probably 15 or 20 years ago. It's almost like we tried to hide that information, like, "Oh, I don't want them to know that I wasn't doing anything." Which by the way, we know you were doing a lot of different things, but now we address it. We just flat out address it in the resumé and say, "These five years, two years, whatever it was, here's what I was doing." And I think there's some value to that because people feel like they don't necessarily have to hide it and they can use those skills that they built during that time.

Heather: Another trend that, you know, if somebody hasn't looked for a job for a really long time is understanding how the job search works today. It's important to know that resumés go through applicant tracking systems. You're not going to be physically handing your resumé to somebody anymore, so just understanding the different tips and tricks and ideas and being smart about how you're putting together your document to best identify your strengths and your skillset.

Rhonda: I love that. And if you are listening, I hope that you find encouragement in that because things have shifted, and even in previous episodes that we've recorded, we've been talking about the importance of flexing. Like, hey, it's not that you have to be working in the nine-to-five jobs anymore in the corporate space. People are really starting to recognize, "Hey, what is it that I'm passionate about? What skills do I bring to the table? Gosh, could I turn that into a business?" Or, "Can I leverage some of those skills in the career space?" So, I love that.

Rhonda: I remember... So, in teaching in higher education, I was teaching PowerPoint classes and Microsoft Office classes. And as part of that, I was encouraging my students to put together a resumé because I said, "You know what? The best time to put together a resumé is when you don't need one and you're not stressed-

Heather: Exactly.

Rhonda: ... and you're not feeling frustrated or bitter toward the employer that maybe had to part ways with you for various reasons." And so, I put as part of that process, I put together mine, and I thought, "Okay, I've got this really great chronological resumé." And the gal who was reviewing it at the college, their professional onsite resumé writer, said, "Yeah, Rhonda, I mean good information, but, man, this is an old-school format." Feeling like we need to put everything in chronological order and put as much as we can on there. And I want to say that I was clustered. But I think just also recognizing, what is it that really, we need to be putting on there and also realizing that we have control over what we put on there or don't put on there. Right?

Heather: Exactly. And I always tell people, your resumé is meant to put enough out there that somebody is interested enough to call you for an interview to find out more. It's not your entire life story. It's not every single job that you've ever had since high school. Because people do it. It's not every single thing. It's what's relevant and thinking about what's relevant over a quantity of information is really, really important. And I think once people know that, once they realize that, "Oh, my gosh, you don't have to tell everybody every single thing. I can pick and choose what I want to share?" It changes how you look at the document, too.

Rhonda: Yeah, absolutely. Well, so let's dive in a little bit. First of all, I would love for anybody that's listening to know, how do they identify really and document the skills and abilities that they have? How do they pick what cream should rise to the top, if you will?

Heather: Well, the first thing I would tell you is that often when I'm working with clients and I say, "Oh, tell me your top three skills," or "Tell me your top few strengths." The typical response is, "Hmm, I don't know. Well, let me think about it." And they don't know. So, I think just getting into the mindset of thinking about, "Hey, what are my strengths?" And so, what I tell people is to look at some job postings. Figure out, "Hey, this job sounds kind of interesting." Don't even worry about the title of the job at this point. Just look at the job description and then look at the skillsets and the responsibilities that they're requiring of that candidate. And I bet you will find that those are some of your skills.

Heather: So, it's really important to align your skills and your abilities and what you list on the document towards each job opportunity. A lot of times people will think that they have to reinvent the wheel every single time that they're sending the resumé out. And it's like, you don't have to start from scratch every time, but you might need to tweak some of those words. So just thinking about that, and then the one tip that I have found really, really works, works with myself, you can play a little mind trick on yourself, is instead of thinking about, "What are my skills? What are my strengths? What am I good at?" Shift it in your mind and think from the perspective of, "I wonder what my coworkers would say about me? What does my last job review say about me? What would my best friends say that are my top skills?"

Heather: And all of a sudden you come to a place of, "Wow, that person would say I'm organized. I'm a good leader. I get along well with people. I have good communication skills," and all of these skills start tumbling out. So, sometimes it's just kind of thinking about it a little bit differently, too. But it's really, really important that you look at the skills that are required of the jobs and then match those skillsets to your resumé.

Rhonda: Yeah, I love that. Well, and are there any assessments, third party assessments that you encourage people to take?

Heather: Oh, my gosh, there are so many that are out there. One of the assessments that I'm sure a lot of your listeners have heard of is StrengthFinders.

Rhonda: One of my favorites.

Heather: Yeah. Mine too. Mine is actually sitting right over there. I think sometimes we think we know what our strengths are, but then when you see it worded from a third party, it's like, "Yeah, that is what I'm good at. That just totally describes me." So that would be one of them that I would recommend for a lot of people. There's also one of the places that I used to work at and we would give our interviewees a DiSC profile. So, D-i-S-C. Again, not that any of these tell you everything about yourself, but it's really nice to find some words that kind of describe your personality style.

Heather: So that's another one. There's like three versions of it. They're not like super in-depth, but it gets you started on that path.

Rhonda: Yeah. I think the self-awareness piece is huge, right? I mean, if you're somebody who is a D, a very direct person in the D for DiSC, and you're applying for a support role, well, depending on the dynamics and the culture, there might be a little bit of tension there because you're going to want to take charge and get stuff done, versus somebody who's maybe an S or a C, and more of, by nature, more of a support role, loves the analytical detail stuff, maybe a little bit more behind the scenes.

Heather: Exactly. Exactly.

Rhonda: I love the-

Heather: It's funny that you said D because that is mine. And so, it's like sometimes I have to remember, "Okay, this is not the point to bring some of these things up." Or, "This is not a good time for the D part to come out". Yeah.

Rhonda: Well, and I think, too, I encourage if you are listening, gosh, look up these assessments. The StrengthFinder is a Gallup poll assessment. It's so awesome. Of the 34 different themes, it's going to give you your top five so you can really start to internalize what you're good at and how you're wired. And then also, for the DiSC profile, I love that, too. And also knowing that, hey, we can flex that because there we'll have our dominant one and then one under stress. So, for me, I'm an "i", influencer, pretty outgoing, all that kind of stuff. Love getting people together. But then when I have to be, I'm a D. When I have to get stuff done or the hammer has to come down, I can be a D.

Rhonda: But the nice thing is, once you become very aware of how you are and you can operate consistently in that, the other people around you also know what to expect from you. So, I think it can give you an added sense, from my perspective, an added sense of confidence when you're not only writing your resumé but if you get to the point where you're doing interviews where you can really walk in and say, "Here's who I am. Let's find out if this is a good fit or not."

Heather: Right. Exactly. And I think there is something to be said for just being aware of it yourself, and just recognizing some of those traits in other people who, like, "Oh, I can tell from having a conversation with this person, this person is much more of an i, or a C," and you can kind of adjust. Not that you have to change everything, but you can kind of adjust your communication style to align better with that individual also.

Rhonda: Yeah. Absolutely. I love that. So yes, so identifying their strengths. So, once they've identified them, how do they document them?

Heather: So, your skills and strengths, what I tell people, is like on your resumé at the top, obviously we'll have your name, your contact information, and that sort of thing. Then I typically have a career summary, but immediately after that, so in the top third of the resumé, I put the skills section or the strengths because when you're going through these online applicant tracking systems that companies utilize on websites, you have to make sure it's frontloading the information. Make sure that you're dropping in all of these words at the beginning so that the software likes your document. That's important.

Heather: And why would we want to bury our skills and strengths at the bottom anyway? Especially if you haven't been in the traditional workforce for quite a while, let's focus on those strengths and abilities and accomplishments, boom, right up the top, so that somebody is hooked enough that they want to keep reading about you. So, I definitely, definitely, consistently put it in the top third of the resumé.

Rhonda: Awesome. And can you just share a little bit about how those systems work for... If you're listening and you're like, "Okay, what is she talking about?" Picking out keywords or whatever. Share with us a little bit about that.

Heather: Yeah. So, a lot of people that I work with are 40 and up and they're like, "I don't even know exactly. I don't know what you're talking about." So, what happens is, on company websites instead of paying me or some other HR person to sit there and just sift through a hundred resumés or 200 or whatever, they have software on their website. So as soon as you click Upload, boom, there goes your resumé, like, what happens to it? I always joke, like does it just go into some abyss somewhere? Like what happens?

Heather: Well, those companies have the software that as soon as the documents are coming through, it's scanning them and it's scanning them for a word match percentage to the job posting. So, for a lot of these different systems companies can set up, they have to match whatever, 50%. They have to match 60%. Whatever they decide they need. And if your resumé doesn't have enough of those same words in it, you're out. You're out before a human being even gets your document.

Heather: So, the point is, is when you're reading an ad online, when you're reading something on Indeed or any of the other job boards, pay attention to the bullet points in the ad. Pay attention to the list where it says, key skills required, or applicants must have... And then there's a bullet list of 10 bullets. Those are the keywords. Those are your skills. And it can be something as simple as, let's say, you decide to put project management as one of your skills, and you read the job posting and it says you must have project leadership abilities. Then put project leadership.

Heather: It can just be something as small as that. And I always caution people, within reason, obviously, you can't just throw stuff on there just for the heck of it. Cross your fingers to get through the system because anything that you put on there is fair game for them asking you about it during an interview, and you have to have something to back it up. You can't just say, "Oh, I'm a good project manager," and then they say, "Give me an example." And you're like, "Well, let me think." You have to have an example. So, it's just being smart about using a lot of the same verbiage that they have in their job posting and utilizing that on your document.

Rhonda: Awesome. That's awesome. So, we've covered how to identify some of those skills and then really how to position them within the document itself. Talk to us about, for anybody who's listening. So, if you're listening right now and you say, "Hey, I've been away from the workforce for a while in a traditional sense." What is the, I guess, right way and what's the wrong way to address that time away?

Heather: One of the things that I've seen a lot lately is, and maybe your listeners are familiar with it, but it's like the sandwich generation. It's the generation of people that are either A) taking care of kids, they're now they're returning to work, or they're taking care of kids and/or also taking care of a relative, an ailing parent or something. So, there's a lot of people that are out of the workforce for a couple of years, maybe 15 years, who knows? Instead of, again, ignoring that and not even addressing it, I will put a simple one-line line item on the document that says, "Stepped away from the traditional workforce from 2010 through 2015 to care for an ailing relative," or, "To provide healthcare for a parent," or whatever. Again, you don't have to go into drastic detail. People know that other people have lives, like things happen.

Heather: You have kids. Our parents get sick. You have to take a year off; you have to take two years off. I think what's really changed in the more recent years is that there is a level of understanding that stuff happens, and you might have to step away for a while from the traditional workforce. Does that mean you weren't doing anything? Absolutely not. And so one of the things I'll do is, again, just put that one little sentence on it saying, "Cared for children from 2007 to 2017," and then go back into other things like maybe you were the fundraising chair at your kids' school. Maybe you volunteered at the nursing home 20 hours a week, whatever.

Heather: One of the things I always tell people is, just because we're calling it professional history or work history or professional experience, it doesn't mean that it has to be paid work where you're getting a paycheck every other Friday. Like, this experience is experience. So, the volunteerism, put it in there because guess what, that shows you're organized, you can work with different team members, you can organize projects, coordinate things, all of that. So, don't be afraid to put things in there that aren't necessarily kind of that traditional work history.

Rhonda: Awesome. Yeah, I think that's really great advice because there is value in those things and I think there has been this level of, "Okay, well, I don't want to lie and say that I was working when I wasn't, but I think there's value in that," and there's usually a good reason. So, what you're saying is, hey, just put it out there.

Heather: Yep, exactly. Exactly.

Rhonda: I love that. So, we have talked about some of the strengths and how to position those and then, also, how do you handle that time away? I want to take a brief break and then we'll come back and then we're going to talk about shifting your mindset. Okay? So, you want to make sure that you stay tuned for our third and final point together.



Rhonda: So, I am so excited to be able to share with you that today's show has been sponsored by Courageous Contemplations. It is our online course. It is perfect for women that are contemplating, "Should I stay, or should I go?" Right? And so, you have an opportunity to walk through eight modules, privately, without anybody knowing, so you can gather the information that you need to make a good decision. And at the end of that you will have an opportunity to decide, "Hey, do I need more time? Would I love to be able to connect with Rhonda and move forward, or am I just going to wait? And, you know what, maybe I'm going to stay in this relationship." So, if you have an opportunity to check out, make sure that you visit Courageous Contemplations to learn more.



Rhonda: So, let's jump back in. And, Heather, I want you to share a little bit about the importance of shifting your mindset and how important that is as you're putting together the resumé.

Heather: Yes. Oh, this is my favorite topic, Rhonda. Oh, it's my favorite part. Okay. So, when I work with people, they are always concerned that I'm bragging. Oh, my gosh, I'm talking myself up so much. I talked to a lady last week and she said, "Oh, listen to me, talking about all these certifications." And I stopped her. That's probably my D coming out, but I stopped her in her phone call, and I said, "Is this a fact? That you have these three certifications?" And she said, "Well, yeah." And I said, "Then why do you feel bad about it? You're just simply stating a fact."

Heather: So that's what I tell my clients, is like, you're not bragging if you're simply stating a fact. If you earned these three awards last year, okay, then it is what it is. You are stating a fact. It's just like saying, "I'm X, Y, Z years old." That's a fact. So, stop thinking about it as if you're bragging or that you're being boastful, because you're not. You're just saying what happened. And the other thing is, if you don't say what happened, if you're concerned that, "Oh, my goodness, I'm going to come across as being conceited and bragging," I guarantee you, I guarantee you that somebody else is putting their stuff on their resumé and they're going to get the interview and you are not, because you are so afraid of sounding like you're being boastful.

Heather: If it's a fact, if it happened, put it on there. That's how I look at it. If it's something that actually happened, then why are we concerned about bragging? And, maybe I shouldn't say this, but I'm going to, whenever I've worked with a guy, they don't have that issue.

Rhonda: Yeah, you read my mind. That was my follow-up question.

Heather: No man that I have ever worked with has ever said, "Oh, my goodness, I probably shouldn't say that because I sound like I'm bragging." Not one in all of these years. So, I don't know, it's ingrained in us as women, whatever it is. But get over it because if it happened, it's a fact, and you're just putting that fact on paper.

Rhonda: That's right. So, Heather and I, okay, ladies, are giving you permission, to state the facts and own how awesome you are. Right?

Heather: Exactly. Exactly.

Rhonda: I'm so glad that you addressed this because you're right. And then don't apologize for it. You've worked hard for the certifications, you worked hard for those awards, you worked hard for the experience and the time that you put in in whatever capacity that is. Let's just own it. Right?

Heather: Mm-hmm. Exactly. Exactly. And so, my favorite thing is whenever I coach somebody and they say, "Oh, my gosh, I got my resumé, I would hire myself." That's how you have to think of this. Like, I want to look so awesome that of course people are going to call me. Why wouldn't they? Because I've done all of these things. And I think as the more you do it, you kind of think of that first, you probably will feel a little odd about it. But again, you're just saying what happened. It is what it is.

Rhonda: And I think, too, it is hard to take a step back and really, even take an inventory of all the things that we've done, because sometimes in the midst of it, they either don't seem as important or we're emotional about certain aspects of it or whatever. And I remember one time I was talking to a friend; we were actually doing a similar exercise but for a different purpose. And the purpose was to put together a speaker profile and to say, "Okay, what experiences have I had and where have I spoken before?" And stuff like that.

Rhonda: And one of the women in there said, "Well, oh, my gosh, I forgot about the fact that I was on the radio once a week for like eight years or whatever. And it was many years ago." And I'm like, "Who cares? You can still put it on there. You don't have to put a date and the fact that..." I mean, but until we went through that prompting exercise, I said, "Let's think about some of these things." And we were like, "That's totally cool." Clearly, I mean, you had something to say. You still have something to say. People recognize that. They invited you to be on their show. We need to highlight that kind of stuff, you know?

Heather: Exactly, exactly. And the other thing too, is, when you're thinking about your jobs and taking care of your kids and being out of work for a while, one of the other things I'll hear is like, "Oh, well, I just did this," or, "I just did that." Like stop “justing” yourself. You did this. It's not, "Oh, I just stayed home with three kids for 15 years." Like, hello. That's a lot of work. So, yeah, don't use... If you catch yourself starting to use the word "just" in your vocabulary, even in your mind, stop doing that because you're minimizing whatever it is that you did accomplish. You're minimizing it to yourself, so you need to stop doing that and get the word "just" out of your vocabulary.

Rhonda: Totally. Oh, my gosh. High five. I agree. It's like, yes. And any of us who have stayed home even for a short period of time, know that going to work is a far easier gig.

Heather: It's a treat. It's like, I get to go to work.

Rhonda: It's a treat. Oh, my gosh, yeah. Totally. Yeah, it's hard work. Right?

Heather: Exactly.

Rhonda: So, I love where we have been able to take our time together and a couple of things. I always say that the intention with this is to leave women with a couple of tips or tools or thoughts that they didn't have before they hopped onto this podcast. But I also want to keep it in bite-size pieces so they can listen while they're either on the way to work or scrubbing the floor or working out or whatever. And so, it has come time to what I call kind of land the plane, which means I always like to end our podcast episodes with two things. One is your favorite quote related to the work that you do. And then, lastly, a client success story. So, let's start with, what is your favorite quote?

Heather: My favorite quote is actually a quote from Thomas Edison, and it says, "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." So, I actually toured his estate in Florida many years ago and I bought his biography and then I saw that quote and I was, "Yes. I love that quote." So that's kind of my motto, absolutely. So, it is work, but the thing is that it's also opportunities, so you need to take advantage of it.

Rhonda: Awesome. That's awesome. Love that. And share with us a client success story.

Heather: Sure. So, I worked with a lady that, she lives in the local area to me, so Northwestern Wisconsin where the weather is potentially less than desirable about six months out of the year. And she had gone through a divorce, she had raised her kids, and she was looking to get back into the workforce. She was very timid and almost afraid, again, of sharing her successes. And so, I worked with her, we went through this whole resumé process, building it from scratch because she didn't have one, she didn't need one. And to make a long story short, she actually got a new job and she now lives in California. So, she moved, which I think I should probably visit her, like in January. But, anyway...

Rhonda: That's a good business right off. Right? Woo-Hoo.

Heather: I know. I know. Yeah. But anyway, I mean, that changed her life. She moved. So, it had a really big impact. And if I even had a tiny bit of that, I love it. I absolutely love it.

Rhonda: Oh, I love that story. And I think the thing that I was thinking of, that the whole essence of this is, yeah, it's about having something practical and tangible at the end of this process, but it's confidence.

Heather: Mm-hmm. That's right. Exactly.

Rhonda: I mean, you are a professional resumé writer and confidence builder, right? Those two things together are so important. And I know that as women have gone through divorce or going through divorce, I mean, the one thing that gets probably impacted the most is their confidence for a variety of different reasons. And so, if you're listening to this podcast, I want to encourage you to take that step and start doing some of the things that we talked about in this episode to move you in the right direction of rebuilding your confidence, taking some time to become aware of what are your strengths and what am I good at and shifting your mindset. And then certainly, we'll include Heather's contact information in the show notes, Heather, and they can reach out to you for some additional support.

Rhonda: I know that you have a special offer here, which I'm super excited about. And so, for anybody that is listening, Heather has graciously offered to do a free resumé review. This is awesome. Thank you.

Heather: You're welcome.

Rhonda: So you can send your resumé to her, she'll provide you some information, tips and improvements so that you can move forward with your job search, and Heather's website …you know why don't you go ahead and share with us the website or the best way for them to contact you for the review.

Heather: Sure. So, my website is feather. So, it rhymes with Heather, but,, and there is the hyphen between feather and communications. But my email address is on there, my phone number, they can connect with me. I have a Facebook business page as well if they want to send their resumé. I love giving people advice. And so, if your resumé is one year old, six months old or 16 years old, I don't care. Send it to me, I will look at it and say, "Here's some ideas for you, make the changes that you want." We can talk further if you want, but either way, I want to give them helpful, concrete tips so that they can move forward.

Rhonda: Thank you. It's women like you that I'm so grateful that we have in our community. It's like, "Hey, I'm going to give first and I know that women need what it is I have to offer and I'm willing to help them." So, thank you.

Heather: Sure. Absolutely.

Rhonda: Thank you for being one of our guests on the Divorce Conversations for Women podcast. And today's show has been sponsored by Courageous Contemplations, our online course. So, if you find yourself contemplating divorce, please check out Thank you for listening to this episode. I'd love for you to be part of the conversation. So simply comment on this episode, drop us a review on iTunes or get involved anytime at I'm Rhonda Noordyk, and I hope you know what you don't know about divorce.


Contact Information and Other Resources

Our guest today was Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish

Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish has a BBA in management from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, an MBA from Lakeland College, and a Ph.D. in Organization and Management from Capella University. She LOVES helping people position themselves for today's job market. She can help boost your confidence by creating a resumé that helps you land your DREAM JOB.


Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish

PhD, MBA, and a Certified Professional Resumé Writer

Owner and Founder | Feather Communications | (715) 559-6378

Facebook | LinkedIn | YouTube


Resources Mentioned:


DiSC Assessment


Our host of Divorce Conversations for Women Podcast is Rhonda Noordyk, CFEI

Rhonda Noordyk's relentless pursuit of financial justice for women going through divorce drove her to leave the financial industry in 2014 to open The Women's Financial Wellness Center. She was in search of a better way. She used her knowledge, passion, and experience to build a leading-edge business model. The intention was to create a business that provided a safe place for women - especially those in a vulnerable position - to find their paths, find their voices and find the financial confidence they need to lift themselves out of seemingly hopeless situations. Since starting the Women’s Financial Wellness Center, after a 10+ year career in the financial industry, she has helped alleviate financial vulnerability for thousands of women.

​In addition to being the Founder & CEO of The Women’s Financial Wellness Center, Rhonda is also a professional speaker. While her platform is women’s money wellness, it is not just about money. Her topics include: assertive communication, boundaries, leadership and overcoming financial myths. Her speaking experience includes: GE Healthcare, UWM Women’s Leadership Conference and Marquette Law School. In addition, she has appeared on Fox6 News, Real Milwaukee, and Morning Blend. Her dynamic and inspirational style leaves women with a sense of empowerment.


Rhonda Noordyk, CFEI 

CEO | The Women's Financial Wellness Center | (262) 522-1502

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Schedule a FREE 30-Minute Phone Call


Sponsored by: Courageous Contemplation (online course)


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