Top 8 Resume Faux Paus

Posted: April 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Top 8 Resume Faux Paus

In my line of work I talk Resumes and Job Search tips like Starbucks Baristas talk lattes and drip coffees. It’s likely why I blog, write and offer advice on this topic so very often; that and the fact that I love it so much. I know, call me sick but it’s true.

This week alone I’ve seen more resumes than I care to remember and I see the same Resume Faux Paus over and over again. Viola! Inspiration for a new blog post – Top 8 Resume Faux Paus:

  1. Spelling Errors
    Ahh, the #1 error remains on top year after year. Spell check only catches so much. Use your eyes – and a 2nd set of human eyes – to catch spelling, and grammar, errors.

  2. Story City
    Bullet points were created for a reason people. Use them, please. Creating a story on your resume is a terrible idea and will get it one place – the garbage.
  3. Photos
    I don’t know who came up with this idea in the first place but I wish I did. Please never put a photo of any kind (especially not bare body parts – yes, I’ve seen legs, feet and much more) on your resume. Never.
  4. Crazy Contact Info,,, – all so cute and none belong on a resume. Have a professional email address ( for your resume and job search.
  5. Defunct Details
    Ensure all contact information is relevant, and working, on your resume. It’s surprising how many times contact information is inaccurate or phone numbers don’t work.
  6. Irrelevant Info
    If you’re a Marketing Executive now and you were a waiter in college 10 years ago, it’s time to leave it off your resume. Include only relevant information to your profession and professional life on your resume.
  7. Too Personalized
    Coaching your kid’s little league team or volunteering at your church picnic is nice – but not on your resume. It’s too much information, too personal and gives away illegal information about you (parental status, religious affiliation) that can be used for discrimination.
  8. References Required
    Include a statement that lets an employer know you’ll furnish, or provide, references upon request.

If you’re thinking that you are the only one who has one of these 8 Resume Faux Paus on your resume, you are not. 85% of the resumes I review have at least half of these 8 Resume Faux Paus and that includes professionals up to Senior Vice Presidents and “C” level officers. The best advice I have is to avoid these 8 Resume Faux Paus and put your best foot forward in today’s crowded market.

Go get ’em,

10 Tips to Ace the Phone Interview

Posted: April 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Acing the Interview, Interview Tips, Phone Interviews | Comments Off on 10 Tips to Ace the Phone Interview

The dreaded phone interview has become a regular part of today’s hiring process. Why? Employers have quite a few reasons why the do phone interviews, here are a few:

  1. Efficient Use of Time – 15 to 30 minutes per candidate vs. 60 minutes for face-to-face
  2. Fiscally Responsibly – interview out-of-town candidates without travel costs
  3. Highly Effective – screen candidates that are “maybes” and move them to “yes” or “no” status quickly

While these benefits are nice for prospective employers, the phone interview can cause anxiety for many candidates. If you have a phone interview coming up, use these 10 Tips to Ace the Phone Interview:

  1. Prepare.
    Do the same preparation and research the company just as you would if it were a normal, face-to-face interview at the company.

  2. Avoid distraction.
    Keep yourself free of any other distractions during the entire interview. Turn off email, your laptop, get a sitter for the kids, etc. Focus entirely on the interview and the interview alone.
  3. Quiet is key.
    Take the phone call in a quiet location such as a private office or conference room. There’s nothing more distraction than being in an interview and having background noise – for either party.
  4. Take Notes.
    Keep a notepad and pen with you during the interview and take notes on questions, answers, job description, follow-up interview dates/times, etc.
  5. Have Your Calendar Handy.
    Imagine the best case scenario – you’re asked to come for an in-person interview next week. Great news….if you have your calendar and can schedule it right away!
  6. Ask Questions.
    It’s a sign of a smart candidate when they prepare with questions. It’s also a reason to bring you in for further interviews – to answer your questions. Prepare a list of 3 to 5 relevant, company-specific, position-specific questions to ask the interviewer.
  7. Respect The Time.
    Your interviewer likely has quite a few phone interviews scheduled. If your time is nearing an end and you have questions to ask simply mention that you’d like to ask a few questions and that you also want to respect his/her time; allow them to take the lead.
  8. Dress Nicely.
    Studies prove that if you dress nicely, you feel better. Don’t believe me? Google it. Dress nicely like you would if you were meeting for an in-person interview. Afraid it will call attention at your casual office? Put on a blazer and dress shirt with your jeans. There’s always a way to kick it up a notch so you feel more professional – it will show in your voice.
  9. Smile, Smile, Smile.
    One of the oldest ‘tricks’ in the book is to smile. Any good salesperson will tell you that you can hear a smile on the other side of the phone – think of the last conversation you had with your best friend – can you tell if they’re smiling or sad? Gotchya. Remember to smile; people like to hire happy, positive, smiling employees.
  10. Send a Thank You Note.
    This is the #1 thing candidates forget to do with phone interviews. Whenever you interview, phone or in-person, send a thank you note. It’s a simple touch that goes a long way. Yes, email is fine. Handwritten is much better.

Pick up the phone, call your best friend and test out #9. It’s always nice to say “Hi” to a good friend anyway.

Go land that job and kick ass in your interview!


3 Strategies to Successfuly Accept Resume Feedback

Posted: April 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Resume Advice, Resume Feedback Advice, Resume Review | Comments Off on 3 Strategies to Successfuly Accept Resume Feedback

When people find out I’m a career coach I tend to get asked quite a few questions – which I’m okay with since I love what I do. The most difficult question is if I’ll “take a look at their resume and let them know what I think?”

This year I launched a Kick Ass Resume & Cover Letter Review Session because of how often I was asked this one question. However, this post is about how to accept feedback. Why?

Because the #1 thing I hear from recruiters and other career-industry professionals is that when they (and me included) give people feedback on their resumes it’s either not integrated or they take it very personally. That’s why I chose to write this post – to help out those of you who ask for resume feedback. Here are 3 Strategies to Successfully Accepting Resume Feedback:

  1. Check Your Ego At The Door.
    Think of your resume as a marketing brochure and you as the product. The more information, data and ‘stuff’ you put on it the more overwhelmed the buyer (recruiter, hiring manager) becomes. Marketing experts know to KISS (Keep It Simple & Short) their customers; the same goes with your resume. Check your ego at the door, let the expert determine which accomplishments to keep and which ones to remove – remove your ego from the process to increase your chances of success.

  2. Consult An Expert.
    If you need to buy a house, you get a realtor. If you need sugar, you go to a neighbor. When you need resume advice, go to a career industry expert – not your friends and family. They’re great for potlucks but not resumes. We live, eat, breathe and sleep industry statistics and see hundreds of resumes a month – sometimes more. It’s our job, literally, to know what works, what doesn’t work, and how to market you to land a job. As an example, a career coach and industry expert will know that nearly 80% of recruiters and hiring managers only read the top 1/3 to 1/5 of the first page of your resume. More importantly, we know the recommended information to put in that part of your resume.
  3. Apply the 2:1 Principle.
    I developed what I call the 2:1 Principle nearly 8 years ago after people asked for advice that would fall on deaf ears. We all have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason, listen twice as much as you question. Listen carefully and thoughtfully to what the career expert’s advice and recommendations are for your resume. Listen to why they recommend you adjust your resume in the manner they are advising. After their suggested feedback is finished, then ask thoughtful, intelligent and relevant questions. Great questions can take your resume to the next level.

These 3 Strategies to Successfully Accepting Resume Feedback will give you the winning advantage to integrate any resume review. Your resume is the first impression a potential employer has of you – shouldn’t it be the best?

Go get ’em,

Top 9 Salary Negotiation Tips

Posted: April 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: job offer negotiations, job offers, salary negotitation | Comments Off on Top 9 Salary Negotiation Tips

When it comes to negotiating salaries, candidates leave over 30% on the table. These 9 Salary Negotiation Tips give you the leverage you need to win the salary negotiation battle in todays’ tough job market!

Hiring Managers report that new hires consistently leave an average of 33% on the table during the job offer negotiation process. Put your job offer negotiation skills to use today with these 9 Salary Negotiation Tips and start your first day at work with confidence.

  1. It’s Not Personal, It’s Business.
    Keep the words of Don Corleone (aka The Godfather) in mind. This is a business deal and the offer is based on the company’s budget and your skill set. Your personal needs – that you want a 3Bd/3Ba or a new car – have no relevancy.
  2. Do your research.
    Find out what skills the position requires, what the industry average salary is for the position and market demands for your location. The more research you do and the more you know, the better you can negotiate.
  3. Know your worth.
    Understand your previous compensation, education and skills to determine your current market value. Knowing your value in today’s market and your industry makes you a savvy negotiator.
  4. Understand your minimum salary.
    It’s great when an offer comes in and it’s what you want but what do you do when it’s lower than expected? Knowing what your minimum acceptable salary is will give you the freedom to say yes, or no, to the job offer.
  5. Alternatives to base salary cash.
    Think outside the box when it comes to negotiating your salary and job offer. Although less common in the job market of today, these ideas are still found in offers and worth negotiating:
    a. Signing Bonus – Sign On, 30 day, 60 day or 90 day
    b. Profit Sharing
    c. Performance-based Bonus
    d. Mid-Year review with raise (6 mos.)
  6. Sell yourself.
    Be aware they’re shopping for the best candidate and the best deal (like you would house hunting in today’s foreclosure filled market). Be ready to sell them on why they need to hire you.
  7. Avoid conflict.
    Be friendly, easy-going and loose in your exchanges. Let things flow easily. You’ll be surprised at how this approach gets you what you want.
  8. Be calm and in control.
    No one wants to hire a toddler that throws fits as a new employee. Prove to them you’re capable of keeping your emotions in check, even when you don’t get your way.
  9. Roll with the punches.
    Employers are often unprepare for candidates to counteroffer in today’s market. If they respond with surprise, simply roll with the punches and stay collected.

Taking salary negotiations seriously can be the difference between driving a Smart Car and a Mercedes. Congratulations on your new job and enjoy the negotiations.