Prepare for This One Interview Question

Jeff Haden has published another great article on conducting interviews.* Just in case the person who is interviewing you has read his article, I want to share the question he’s proposed every interviewer should ask.

“What one skill do you possess that will most impact our bottom line?”

When an interviewer asks this question, it’s a guaranteed way to identify several things about you.

  • Have you researched the company well enough to know what “truly drives value for” their company?
  • Do you have a clear picture of what your strengths or weakness might be in meeting that employer’s needs?
  • Do you look beyond the surface to those things that really impact that business financially?
  • Are you the type of person who looks at your job as a “series of boxes to check” or one who looks beyond boxes to the “broad impact” your decisions make upon the business’ success?

Even if you are never asked this question, preparing for it will empower you in every interview. Here’s why. Continue reading »

Should You Include Your Address on Your Resume?

One of the hottest topics I’ve ever seen in a LinkedIn resume group circles around this topic. I prefer to leave the name of the recruiter who claimed 30 years’ experience out of my comments. My seven years as a resume writer may not compare–yet some of her reasons for keeping an address on your resume don’t reflect the growing trend away from this practice.

This individual blasted all of us who don’t put graduation dates on the resumes we write as fools who are announcing that our clients are very old. I could argue that a resume with graduation dates says you are very young. Sometimes that’s not a positive thing to emphasize either. Just as the consensus is that you no longer put graduation dates (unless you haven’t earned your degree yet), there is a growing movement to eliminate addresses from resumes as long as email information is large enough to be readable.

Reasons Your Address Is Less Necessary Today

1. Employers very rarely use mail to communicate.Continue reading »

Self-Employment Resume – Do It Right.

Self-employment is often considered a negative by potential employers. I never include “self-employed” on a resume. It was used too often against me when I first sought to move back into the workforce after years working out of my home. I’d been an active volunteer, so participating in team efforts in one of the most difficult environments possible had honed my skills.

How to Write a Self-Employment Resume

Don’t Announce Your Self-Employment

I use the position held by my self-employed client. If they didn’t have a DBA, then I will use the person’s name plus the type of business they had. For example, if I didn’t have the DBA name of Land the Interview Resumes, I would use Denise Rutledge Resumes on my resume.

The real key is to develop the resume’s content so it demonstrates what you have to offer as a self-employed individual in the same way you would if you worked for a company. Continue reading »

Adding Interests to Your Resume

I love the discussions raised by other members of the LinkedIn Resume Writer’s groups I participate in. As we share with each other, it helps us stay current with resume writing trends.

A recent discussion asks the following question: “Should I include my client’s interests on his/her resume?”

The consensus is that including your extracurricular interests can be beneficial, yet you must be careful. The key is context primarily and space secondarily.

To determine whether adding ‘Extracurricular Activities’ or ‘Extracurricular Interests’ will benefit my client I ask the following filtering questions.

Will my interests add value to the application?

For an older applicant, exercise or health-related interests could be the deciding factor, especially after the interview reveals your age.

Involvement in an aligned organization could tip the scales by showing your active involvement in your industry.

Continue reading »

Writing a Resume When You’ve Changed Jobs Frequently

Are you someone who has changed jobs frequently? Writing a resume in this situation is a challenge. When I first started looking for W-2 based work, WorkSource recommended I use a functional resume format. While I did have more success with that format than the chronological resume format I had been using, I’ve since learned that most hiring managers and recruiters hate functional resumes. It’s a format that is only popular in government and with some small business owners.

Most hiring managers want to see your work history. There’s no reason to squirm though. There are creative ways to overcome the appearance that you aren’t a stable worker. Here are some tips I’ve learned from participating in resume writer’s groups on LinkedIn.Continue reading »

Resumes That Get Results

Denise Rutledge - Resume WriterWhat value does a resume have if it doesn’t get results? Absolutely none! No matter how little you paid, you wasted your investment.

You deserve a resume that sets you apart from your competition. It should make your best qualities shine, whether you’re looking for a new job, seeking advancement with your current employer or re-entering the job market.

There’s only one kind of resume to write.

A results producing document. A powerful marketing tool. A job-finding magnet.

Your Resume Written Out of Experience.

I know what your job search challenges are from personal experience! I began writing resumes and cover letters for individuals who are seeking to reenter the job market or change their field because I was that person in 2006. I was applying for jobs every day, but I wasn’t getting any calls. That changed when I learned how to write catchy cover letters and tailor my resumes to the jobs I was applying for.

I’ve expanded my skills to embrace all kinds of careers. Sales and marketing resumes, medical resumes, entry-level resumes and mid-executive resumes are just some of them.

As a professional, I work until I help you gain a new perspective on what you have to offer employers. So many of my clients come to me failing to recognize the skills they already possess—skills that fit their career goals.

You are somebody!

Let’s build a ‘brand’ that impresses employers.

Continue reading »

Why Doesn’t It Cost Less When I Already Have a Resume?

Much as I would like to charge less for clients who come to me with an earlier resume, it isn’t practical. Here are some of the reasons.

Most clients have a ‘parrot’ resume.

When I first started out, this is the type of resume I wrote. I took the job description and made sure the resume reflected some, and sometimes all, of the points listed in the job description. I reworded them of course, yet they essential parrotted back to the employer what was in the job description.

It’s no better if your resume sounds like you went to your employer and copied your job description. While this does show the skills you have, it fails completely to highlight those details that make you stand out against your competition. Continue reading »

LinkedIn Profiles are Social NOT Biographical

When you write your LinkedIn summary, it’s vital that you remember you are writing in a social environment. The whole purpose of your summary is to provide an overview of who you are, not just your skills. You want to give potential employers a sense of what it would be like to have you on board.

This means that you must avoid the “bio” approach to your summary. “What is the bio approach?” you may ask. Let me describe it.Continue reading »