Expert Advice

Full-length articles, listicles, videos, and other resources to guide you in making great decisions in terms of your resume, interviews, job search, and overall career trajectory.

Archives for the 'Resumes' Category

The Difference Between Responsibilities and Accomplishments, and Why You Should Have NEITHER on Your Resume

As a former recruiter and professional resume writer, I’ve looked at a lot of resumes. I can tell you this: people seem to struggle with knowing how, where, and to what extent to include Responsibilities and Accomplishment on their resumes.

Most people have one or the other, the coffee or the cookie. Some have both, a 2-course delivery. Neither of these strategies is optimal.

To show you why Continue reading this entry »

top Executives, Job Hunting in a Recession, Resumes |

Why Won’t You Just Die?! The Stubborn Immortality of the Resume

What is it about resumes that they’re still around? Aren’t we well past the era of using 1- to 2-page documents to represent ourselves?

I’m a professional resume writer and I’ve been ready for the traditional resume to die for a while now, like a king in his castle looking down onto the battlefield at his battered and bruised knight, so proud but bracing for the inevitable.

But the knight just won’t go down. Despite all the swords blazing and shots being fired, the trusty-rusty resume keeps swinging.

There have been numerous attempts to take down the resume, to relieve it of its decades-long tyranny over the job search, but nothing has been victorious.

Here are some of the more modern sharpshooters that have promised to dethrone the chivalrous resume: Continue reading this entry »

top Recruiters & HR, Resumes, Uncategorized |

5 Things Your Resume Can Do For You Beyond Just Getting An Interview

There is a common misconception that the only purpose of the resume is to get you an interview. You’re short-changing yourself if you believe this.

I’ve watched resumes do many more things for job seekers, time and time again. Here are some of those things. Continue reading this entry »

top Job Hunting in a Recession, Resumes |

How to Keep Your Career Alive Through Coronavirus

Is anyone hiring?

Not really. There are, indeed, industries and companies that are going strong, but they’re not necessarily adding to their headcount right now. Everyone’s in waiting. HR departments are in an Arctic freeze. People with jobs are clinging to them like driftwood in the cold open sea. Unemployment numbers are rising, which means the competition for life rafts is growing.

It’s hard to be cooped up in your house, knowing all of this is going, feeling like you should be “out there” looking for work.

Still, it’s always better to take action during a crisis. Action delivers a sense of progress. It fans the flame of hope in the night while we pray for the sun to come back over the horizon.

Here are some ways to stay productive and generate your own warmth in this time of uncertainty: Continue reading this entry »

top Career Transition, Interviewing, Job Hunting in a Recession, Networking, Resumes |

HR Directors Speak Out About What They Want

I had the privilege of engaging an HR panel who took the time to share what they wanted to see (and did not want to see) on a job candidate’s resume. Here’s what they had to say: Continue reading this entry »

top Career Transition, Recruiters & HR, Resumes |

Resume Tips For Overcoming Recession-Related Challenges

Recessions tend to push hardworking people into two groups. On the one hand, is the layoff survivor handling the load of multiple former employees. On the other is the hyperqualified, abruptly laid-off job seeker who needs to explain the abrupt ending to their tenure. Different destinies but both types tend to struggle with how to present these career changes on their resumes.

Here are some tips: Continue reading this entry »

top Career Transition, Job Hunting in a Recession, Job Market, Resumes |

Cliff & Scott Shafer Talking About Resumes and Hiring on NPR

Had to dig this one out of the archives…

KQED called me up to be the San Francisco Bay Area career hero on the California Report with Scott Shafer. Scott let me use his own career as an example for how to use seemingly irrelevant work experience as an asset, not a liability. We also discussed taking a different approach to networking, and some of the things that employers look for in job candidates.

Check out the podcast; they even included the original take which has plenty more advice for people looking to beat a tough job market. Continue reading this entry »

top Career Transition, Job Market, Networking, Resumes |

Resume Advice for Recent Grads

Here’s an interview I did for a blogger, asking me some popular resume questions on behalf of her fellow graduates-to-be.

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Let’s start with the most common Resume question: Continue reading this entry »

top Recent Graduates, Resumes |

Not Going Down Alone

I admit I’ve had a couple of challenging clients recently. It’s easy to write them off but it’s always best to look inward before casting blame.

So, what’s really going on? Continue reading this entry »

top Career Transition, Job Hunting in a Recession, Job Market, Resumes |

Career Advice for Older Workers to Prevent Age Discrimination

As a seasoned professional, you have much to offer but remember to make room for new experiences as well.

An effective resume will balance your strengths (i.e. what you can teach) with your areas for growth (i.e. what you can learn). In regards to the latter, I’m certainly not suggesting you claim ignorance. Rather, consider showing a recently developed interest in a new industry or field.

This is best done by illustrating how you’ve already Continue reading this entry »

top Career Transition, Job Market, Mature Workers, Resumes |

Are Job Gaps A Good Thing?

Recently, a resume client of mine forwarded a newsletter article from a job board discussing ways to overcome “job gaps” of 3-6 months.

Here’s a snippet from the article, and my subsequent retort as to why we should redefine the criteria for a job gap: Continue reading this entry »

top Career Transition, Interviewing, Job Hunting in a Recession, Job Market, Resumes |

Let the Government Pay For Your Career Development

One of the best kept secrets in job-hunting: The government has offered to pay part of your expenses!

You read correctly: Career expenses, including fees incurred for career counseling, professional resume writing, and job-search coaching, are tax-deductible for everyone with only a few exceptions: Continue reading this entry »

top Career Transition, Interviewing, Job Hunting in a Recession, Job Market, Mature Workers, Resumes |

How Do You Become the World’s Best Resume Writer?

What does one have to do to be deemed the World’s Best Resume Writer? lol

Here’s a press release explaining how Cliff won the title: Continue reading this entry »

top Press, Resumes |

3 Reasons to Invest More Than You Think You Should In a Resume Writer

In the past two days, three job seekers have complained to me about their experience with resume writers:

“This resume doesn’t say anything about me.”
“They left out the most important part.”
“They just didn’t get me.”

The common thread? Each of these three people Continue reading this entry »

top Networking, Resumes |

How to Get Hired After Age 50

I’m getting tons of clients coming to me with this question.

First off, it’s unfair.

Now that that’s out of the way, how can you overcome the stigma?

The key is recognizing and remembering that your work experience Continue reading this entry »

top Interviewing, Mature Workers, Resumes |

Do I Have to Say When I Graduated?

Is a Graduation Date Necessary on a Resume?

Hiring managers love the math of graduation dates. It’s an easy way to figure out your age.

To be clear, you should never list your graduation date, unless Continue reading this entry »

top Interviewing, LinkedIn's Best Answers, Mature Workers, Resumes |

LinkedIn URLs on a Resume

Assuming your LinkedIn profile is completely error-free, always professional, and in line with your current job pursuits, then I suggest including it on the resume. It shows you’re a proactive job-seeker, you’re technically adept, that you know people, and (if you’ve taken the initiative to get some recommendations) that at least some people like you.

I can think of at least 3 things your LinkedIn website offers that a resume does not: Continue reading this entry »

top Networking, Resumes |

The Most Common Question About Resumes

1 or 2 pages?

This concern is valid, especially since lengthy resumes can make an applicant appear arrogant, unfocused, anxious, old, or overqualified.

So how do you know when to stop writing? Continue reading this entry »

top Career Transition, Mature Workers, Recent Graduates, Resumes |

Should I Lie On My Resume?

After sending out 1000+ resumes with not a single job offer, a job seeker concluded that he needed to lie on his resume. In his case, he felt he was overqualified and therefore needed to dumb down his resume to get some interviews. It’s my estimation that he’s looking in the wrong place Continue reading this entry »

top Career Transition, Mature Workers, Resumes |

Giving Your Resume a Soul

There’s a widespread frustration held by people that their resumes’ cannot adequately describe “the real me”. I’ve challenged this notion with the following comments and suggestions: Continue reading this entry »

top Interviewing, Mature Workers, Recent Graduates, Resumes |