This Is Rutherford
This is Lisa Rangel
Updated: Apr 19, 2019
By Jennifer Ersalesi
As an extremely successful business entrepreneur, Lisa Rangel understands what it takes to create goals and reach them. Not only has Lisa’s company been recognized by Forbes as one of the Top 100 Career Websites, she was also named as one of NY Business Journal’s “People on the Move” in January 2019. As her career has skyrocketed and continues to grow each year, Lisa has also found a way to be an incredible friend to many and an active supporter of community projects within Rutherford.
Danielle Sette told TIR, “I met Lisa Rangel in 2009 when I was a product of corporate downsizing. A mutual friend referred me to Lisa when I needed help revising a dated resume. From our first meeting, she was warm, engaging, and completely relatable. Most of all, Lisa is one of the most intelligent people I have met. On a personal level, we have become friends through the years. She introduced me to a wonderful organization in our town that has been a pivotal part of my life (Junior Woman’s Club). I am grateful for her friendship. She is truly an asset to her clients and the community!”
TIR: What made you interested in creating a business aimed at helping individuals find careers?
LR: I was a search firm recruiter for 13 years prior to starting Chameleon Resumes. I was writing and tweaking resumes through that work. I found myself laid off and burned out on recruiting in early 2009, 6 months after the financial crash when many people were out of work. I started writing resumes at that point after I was laid off and incorporated in June 2009. It’s grown ever since then and in June 2019, we will be in business for 10 years. Chameleon Resumes is a comprehensive executive resume writing service and job landing consulting firm. We train executives and professionals, making $100,000+ who have been recruited and promoted their entire career, how to land their next role when they now need to do an active job search. This is Chameleon’s main mission.
TIR: As a graduate of Cornell University, what did you study there that enabled you to start your own business?
LR: I entered Cornell as an engineering major but quickly realized it wasn’t for me. I then transferred to the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, which is essentially a business school focused on the hospitality industry. What the Hotel School taught me was how to manage time effectively, how to prioritize often conflicting priorities and how to develop a plan to make a goal come to fruition. So I started my business in a rather reactionary manner (basically I decided not to go back to another recruiting job after getting laid off and started writing resumes). But once I set my sights on not getting another recruiting job, I mapped out how many resume clients I would need to land to make what I used to make and did what I had to do to make that happen.
TIR: You founded your business, Chameleon Resumes, in 2009. What was that process like?
LR: In the beginning, it was just me. Selling the projects and fulfilling them. It was like that for the first 4 years roughly. As I grew, as awesome as it was to grow, it became exhausting doing it alone. Then in 2013, I started hiring the right professionals in a strategic manner, investing in systems to automate processes and implementing plans to scale. The process is more cohesive and thorough for our clients now that it isn’t all resting on me.
TIR: How many people are on the Chameleon Resumes team? How do you all work together to aid your clients?
LR: We have a team of 9 professionals who partner with me to work with our clients and help me on all of our marketing efforts to create the free information we provide. When our clients hire us, our clients have three of us, or as I like to say, three brains working for them...not just one. We write our clients resumes, LinkedIn profiles and cover letters to target the jobs they want next. We also then train them how to land their next job faster. Most people spend most of their time on job boards submitting resumes and it’s a mistake. Only 15-20% of hires happen through job boards. And less than 10% of hires happen through third-party recruiters. We spend our time training clients on how to land a job through the ways 70-75% of hires happen: employee referrals, social media connections and personal contacts.
TIR: Nancy Zwemmer shared, "Lisa never ceases to amaze me. She's grown an incredibly respected and high-visibility business from the ground up--and I love seeing how she continues to expand. Her podcasts are awesome--they're always like mini pep talks for me--with actionable info. And, you get Lisa--her authenticity and her genuine desire to help you 'be a better you' in the job market. That's what I love about her--she's incredibly real, both professionally and as a friend--and she's an incredible inspiration to me as someone who's also self-employed." To what do you attribute your success and the success of your business?
LR: I take risks to stay ahead and stay current. I don’t rest on my laurels. I have tried different systems to streamline processes and make improvements for our clients. Thankfully, many times the choices work out—sometimes they don’t. I just keep moving forward. The way you searched for a job 3-4 years ago is different than you do now. If you are doing the same things as you have always done them, you will die on the vine. I have a podcast, the PretendYoureFiredToday.com, where I tell job seekers to pretend you’re fired today, make a list of what you would do to start landing a new job (I give you a list on the podcast), and start doing those things now bit by bit while you are employed.
Well, I try to follow the same advice for myself. I never take my current success for granted and I am always looking for new ways to not just stay afloat, but continuously reinvent and thrive in change. Lisa Rangel
TIR: Recently, Chameleon Resumes was accepted into the Forbes Coaches Council. How did receiving this honor make you feel?
LR: I was grateful to be recognized and accepted by Forbes again this year. I was originally recognized in 2013 as a Top 100 Website for your Career by Forbes.com, the last year they did the award. So I was thrilled to be recognized again and now allowed to publish with them.
TIR: You have also been the Expert Moderator for LinkedIn’s Premium Career Group since 2012, what does that role entail?
LR: Over the last 7 years, I have watched the group grow from 99,000 members to now 1.5 million members. I answer member questions on how to land a job faster and how to advance their career. It’s been an amazing experience to work with job seekers at all levels through this LinkedIn group for so long.
TIR: In addition to Chameleon Resumes, you are working on something new. Tell us more about your new adventure.
LR: In June 2019, I am launching a new business, JobLandingAcademy.com. My mission for JLA is help develop the skills everyone needs to know to land a job in today’s world. We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on education, certifications and professional development to improve our position—but people don’t know how to land a great job at a phenomenal employer. School alone won't find you a great job. I created JLA for the professional making under $100,000 to learn how to land their next job faster.
TIR: When you are not working hard in your career, what do you enjoy doing?
LR: I love hanging out with my family. I am a Jersey Shore girl and love Asbury Park, so I try to spend my free time at the shore as much as I can. And I love going to CrossFit at CrossFit Steam. Been doing it almost a year now and I love it!
TIR: How are you involved in the community?
LR: Currently, I am on the board of the Rutherford Community Food Pantry and order the food we need to stock the pantry each week. Additionally, I am a member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women, where we raise money to fund initiatives led by women faculty, graduate students and undergraduates. In the past, I have been active in Rutherford School PTAs, The Willams Center, and The Junior Women’s Club of Rutherford. I tend to do other behind the scenes work to support organizations that need it, but you can’t / shouldn’t put on a resume.
TIR: How long have you lived in Rutherford and what do you enjoy most about this town?
LR: We left Park Slope, Brooklyn and moved to Rutherford in 2002 when my daughter Nina was nine months old. I grew up in Union City, so Rutherford was like the country to me (laughs). My husband Dave and I decided to move here for many reasons: the proximity to NYC, the fact that there is so much to do in this small town for families with young children, and it is a very involved community.