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.

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 23 January 2020 | Networking, Resumes

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 16 January 2020 | Interviewing, Mature Workers, Resumes

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 9 January 2020 | Interviewing, LinkedIn's Best Answers, Mature Workers, Resumes

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 2 January 2020 | Networking, 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 19 December 2019 | Career Transition, Mature Workers, Recent Graduates, Resumes

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 12 December 2019 | Career Transition, Mature Workers, Resumes

Your negotiating power stems from your ability to demonstrate how your contributions will increase revenue and productivity and/or decrease costs and stress for your employer.

Therefore, the earlier you talk about salary (without having first addressed the employers’ concerns), the worse your negotiating position. Here are some winning answers Continue reading this entry »

top 5 December 2019 | Interviewing, Salary

Ultimately, the choice is yours as far as who should speak on your behalf. However, here are some guidelines to help you figure out who are the best people to approach when searching for references. Continue reading this entry »

top 28 November 2019 | Interviewing, Networking

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 14 November 2019 | Interviewing, Mature Workers, Recent Graduates, Resumes

A software developer was looking to move further into management but had no idea how to build a resume to support this transition. I told him about some of the things I’ve done in the past to help clients do just that…”

As luck would have it, I’m currently helping a developer transition into management — and he came to me because I helped his friend do the same thing (successfully) just a few months ago. Here’s what we did: Continue reading this entry »

top 7 November 2019 | Career Transition, Mature Workers, Resumes

Online profiles (posted on networking sites, your own job-search site, and social spaces) are an excellent complement to your resume. Just be sure to leave at least a few questions unanswered. Continue reading this entry »

top 24 October 2019 | Interviewing

Looking for feedback on my work, I sent the exact same resume to 2 trusted recruiters and got the following 2 gut reactions:

– “Great format but the writing could be more salesy.”
– “Compelling content but the format is bland.”

The take-home message: You can’t please everyone.

That said, you can still win interviews from hiring managers whose resume preferences differ from your own.

Just make sure you cover these “bases” within the first third of page one: Continue reading this entry »

top 17 October 2019 | Recruiters & HR, Resumes

In my experience as a recruiter, career counselor, and professional resume writer, there’s no such thing as “no experience” — even for recent graduates and current students.

There’s plenty of other ways to fill space on a resume aside from listing paid work experience. Continue reading this entry »

top 10 October 2019 | LinkedIn's Best Answers, Recent Graduates, Resumes

An aggrieved job seeker, sick of hearing that functional resumes are the scourge of an HR person’s day, asked why this type of format is unfavorable. Here’s my response: Continue reading this entry »

top 3 October 2019 | Career Transition, Executives, Job Hunting in a Recession, Mature Workers, Recent Graduates, Recruiters & HR, Resumes

Executive résumés should be distinguishable from lower-rung résumés, even at a glance. However the differences don’t stop at appearance. There’s much to consider when developing and positioning content for senior-level résumés. You may be surprised at how many “golden rules” of résumé writing I’m about to break. Continue reading this entry »

top 26 September 2019 | Executives, Mature Workers, Resumes

A lot of us hate our job or at least see it as a grind. Getting up in the morning is a chore, there’s not much we look forward to. We become dichotomous in our thinking: “Maybe I should quit.” In other words, it’s either this crappy job or nothing at all. And leaving is often too big of a hill to climb. There’s another way.

Make your job suck less.

1. Find people who don’t suck, and hang out with them.

Ask them what they do and what they like about it. They don’t have to be in your discipline, in fact, it might be better if they’re not. Most important, make sure this new alliance doesn’t turn into a venting session (for either of you).

2. Start a pet project.

What change do you wish to see at work? What would give you energy if it was there waiting for you every day? Maybe it’s about addressing the culture of the company, maybe it’s about changing a process, or rearranging furniture. Own something and chip away at it. Create something to look forward to.

3. Expand your perspective.

Pull back and look at the whole organization, the workflow across the entire enterprise, no matter how big. Which parts light you up. Are you touching them? How can you make it so that you are?

4. Harness your negativity in a positive way.

Determine what’s frustrating you, get to the heart of it. If it’s mostly about you, that’s good news. That means you can change it. If the problems lie with the company, think about an alternative way of doing things. If it really catches fire with you, turn it into a proposal and bring it to a supervisor. Share it in earnest but as a proposal, not a demand. You may be surprised by the reaction.

5. Give yourself something to get up to.

Try not to have your first thought be about the job you hate. Have your first thought or activity of the day be something good. This will shift your perspective for the rest of the day, including your perspective at work.

Sometimes, it’s not about leaving. It’s about tweaking. Change is at hand.

top 19 September 2019 | Career Transition, Job Hunting in a Recession, Job Market, Navigating Work Stress