Does Your Resume Have ‘Curb Appeal’?

I just read a great post by Tim Suddeth of Suddeth shares the following story:

Susan had just returned from her lunch with a former supervisor and she was so excited. A position had come open for her in his department and he wanted Susan to give him her resume. She has all the skills and experience required and he was sure she would be a great fit. She assumed that she would just go home and make some changes to her old resume that she used five years ago, and that should be good enough. (I hate those words, good enough.)

I’ve also had clients come to me who just want a resume that’s ‘good enough.’ Sorry, I don’t produce those. If you’re looking for ‘good enough,’ find another resume writer. My work is about excellence, and I want clients whose work is also about excellence.

That ‘good enough’ attitude suggests two things.

  1. The client overlooks the value of his or her resume as a sales tool.
  2. The client isn’t motivated.

My perception could be inaccurate, so here are the questions I ask: Continue reading »

3 Ways to Connect in Every Job Interview

It’s always nice in a job interview to find yourself facing someone who is good at putting you at ease, yet that’s not the norm. Many interviewers feel as nervous as you do. You may find yourself facing an ice cube.

Regardless of the personality or interview style, you can instantly connect with the person conducting your job interview if you consider the following three communication principles.

1. Mirror.

From the moment you meet your interviewer, reflect his or her demeanor. For example, if the handshake is firm, return it with a firm grip (though don’t crush your interviewer’s hand). If your interviewer leans toward you and speaks with intensity, do the same.

Like attracts like, so mirroring allows your interviewer to perceive you as someone who is like him/her. It reduces that friction which often occurs when opposites repel each other.Continue reading »

The WYSIWYG of Resumes

I bid on a resume job on one of the online work-for-hire sites. My analysis of what this potential client needed immediately sold him on using my services. Yet, there was one issue that came up immediately. “I was hoping to find a lower price. Would you be willing to work on this for less?”

I wanted to respond with “What you spend is what you get.” I resisted the temptation, because I was once one of those resume writers who charged very little and delivered a lot. I know there are good resume writers who are proving themselves competent through taking on work at a lower rate than I charge. Yet this doesn’t change the general accuracy that you don’t get more than you invest when it comes to resumes.

So what are you “spending” when you pay $150.00 for a single page resume from Land the Interview Resumes? Continue reading »

7 Resume Mistakes That Prove You Don’t Have Strong Writing Skills

There are writers in the workplace who never earn a living for their writing skills. Yet their daily communications impact the business significantly. How often have you seen a job posting that requires strong written and verbal skills? It’s a common requirement. This is one of the main reasons that you need to strengthen your writing skills for any job.

Writing skills enhance promotion in every type of job from auto mechanic to Wall Street financial analyst, especially in today’s world that depends so heavily on email communication. Those who can write well, find it easier to climb the ladder of success.

Amazingly enough, one of the most common faults in writing is one of the easiest to overcome. It’s not difficult. It just takes time. To look like a good writer, you have to pay attention to details.

Here are seven mistakes that commonly trip people up in their resumes and other written communication with potential employers. Continue reading »

HaveYou Optimized Your LinkedIn Profile?

Marketing yourself is one aspect of the job search you can’t afford to overlook. LinkedIn needs to be a part of that marketing strategy. I set up my LinkedIn profile several years ago. When I expanded my services, I created a second profile. I revisit my profile at least once a month. My goal is to continue developing it as I engage with new clients and have positive experiences with them.

I remember a great article on BNETm published in July 2011. It sent me to my LinkedIn account to see if my summary measured up. I thought, it didn’t look too bad, though I decided to streamline it a little based on Jeff Haden’s recommendations.

I eliminated some unnecessary information so the summary was more like an elevator pitch. I wrote in the first person. I streamlined the keywords I used. I tightened up the two to three paragraphs adding bullet points to make it easier to scan. Then I read it through and revised again.

Jeff Haden included five examples in his post. On the very first example I saw something that had nothing to do with writing. Yet, it was something so vital I had to take immediate action. Continue reading »

Post-Interview Thank You Letters – Why Write Them?

We live in a day and age where receiving a thank you almost comes as a surprise. We all crave appreciation, yet we seem to dish out very little of it. Far too few job applicants realize just how much a thank you means after a job interview. Often the individual who has interviewed you is performing a thankless task. Taking the time to say thank you is an opportunity to make a difference in that person’s day.

Other Benefits From Writing a Post-interview Thank You

1. You can turn what seemed like a disastrous interview around.

Your perception of how an interview went isn’t always accurate. Especially when you are interviewed by a team, one person can dominate the room. Yet that person might not actually be the decision maker.  Here’s the type of information you want to include in your thank you letter. Continue reading »

Resumes and Job Interviews – Using One to Prepare for the Other

Having a professional resume is the first step toward securing job interviews. To be the most effective, your resume should be job focused. It should be targeted to a specific job. Doing this will help you prepare for your job interview at the same time.

Many of the same steps used to target a resume develop the type of information you need to share during an interview. It streamlines interview preparation once you recognize this. Continue reading »

Job Interview Tips – How to Describe Yourself In 5 Words

Five words may not seem like many, yet they may be enough to help you land a job during that all-important interview. In fact, the ability to get straight to the point is often a deciding factor.

Learning how to develop answers that wow is one of those job interview tips that I need to practice all the time. An interview isn’t like writing. You can’t go back and edit things out. Once its been said, it’s on record.

1. What is Your Work Style?

Words that describe your personality don’t show your assets as an employee. Words that describe the way you approach the challenges of the job do. At the same time, avoid overworked terms. Creative. Team player. Collaborator.

Instead go for words that have a lower cliché factor. Focused. Team oriented. Consistent.Continue reading »

Showing Rather Than Telling on Your Resume

Ghostwriter, speaker and Inc. columnist Jeff Haden published a blog on LinkedIn that I must comment on. He opens with two hypothetical conversations. In one, you keep things very simple. You describe yourself in three words. “I’m an architect.” In the other, you use 24 words to describe yourself. “I’m a passionate, innovative, dynamic provider of architectural services with a collaborative approach to creating and delivering outstanding world-class client and user experiences.”

Which one would you respond positively to?

Haden’s point is this. It’s always better to show rather than tell.

16 Never Use Words for Resume Writing

He gives a list of 16 words you’ll see commonly on resumes, in cover letters and on websites. While some of Haden’s choices may reflect personal taste, it’s far better to provide examples that prove you have these qualities.Continue reading »

Prepare for This Interview Question

Lou Adler, a seasoned recruiter posted a blog on LinkedIn that I encourage you to read. (See link at the end of this blog.)

In the article, he shares a question he uses to screen potential hires. It’s a question you need to prepare for.

“What single project or task would you consider the most significant accomplishment in your career so far?”

What makes this one interview question so important? It’s a set up for a series of additional questions that help a potential employer evaluate your ability to perform.Continue reading »