Archive for the ‘Resume Advice’ Category

Top 10 Skills


posted by | on Article, Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Top 10 Skills

Top 10 Transferable Skills         

We have talked at length in several articles about presenting transferable skills on your resume as opposed to always listing job duties and responsibilities.        We have also discussed how important this is if you are attempting to transfer from one type of career or field of work to another.

There is however a certain set of skills that once mastered can be transferred from one job to another with ease. These are also the skills that are most in demand at any time by most New York hiring managers. No matter what field you are in and no matter what field you might like to migrate into next, these skills will always be at the top of the list for any hiring manager. Let’s look at the top ten of these.

  • Communication: This can be verbal or written. It can and should encompass different types of communication such as negotiation, public speaking, persuasion, counseling, training and coaching. Without good listening skills you cannot claim to have good communication skills.


  • Interpersonal: This includes a lot of the skills inherent in good communication and in good listening skills, as well as things like patience and honesty.


  • Leadership:  One of the most important transferrable skills anyone can have. Leadership skills do not mean that you are now or going to be a supervisor or manager. Leadership skills are needed whether you are going to be in that type of a position or not. You can be a leader without having the supervisory role. To be a leader you need to be able to give instruction, be accountable, and be able to inspire others to follow your lead. If you have these skills make sure they are highlighted on your resume.


  • Listening: This is one of the more important skills as well. Active listening means really listening. It does not mean pretending to listen while you decide what you are going to say in response to whatever that person is saying. You can’t be actively listening and thinking at the same time. All your abilities need to be focused toward what the other is saying,


  • Teamwork: One of the most transferable skills of all is teamwork. It is also an essential skill for anyone who wants advancement in their career. You have to be able to work with others. Whether those others were difficult or easy to get along with you need to be a team player. The true team player is able to work with just about anyone.


  •  Computer Skills of some sort are critical to the potential of transferring from one field to another these days as the ability to use technology to collect and analyze both data and numbers is essential in a wide range of job fields.


  •  Time Management is a vital transferable skill for anyone in any role to conquer, but it is particularly important to supervisors, managers, leaders and project managers. Getting the most out of the time you have without burning yourself out or wasting time is critical.


  • Creativity is not always a skill you have or need to have in order to move from one career field to another. Your ability to think creatively is a major plus. Thinking a situation through from many different angles is a major plus in terms of transferable skills.


  • Problem Solving is always a transferrable skill. Problem solving skills allow you to take advantage of situations that come your way. There are a multitude of jobs waiting for those who are able to effectively problem solve,


  • Learning: Finally the ability to learn, coaching ability you might say, is a crucial transferable skill. Learning is something we will be involved with all our lives if we are open to it and have the right attitude. You might be good at one thing and not another, but if you have the ability to learn, you can be good at everything.


All of these are also skills that can have a lot of value for you in your personal life as well as your professional life. Many of these skills are really intertwined as good communication skills require good listening skills and good interpersonal skills. The more of these skills you can conquer and integrate the more value you will have to any employer.

Grad Resume


posted by | on Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Grad Resume

(By – Staff Writer)

The Resume Series: Recent College Graduate Still Searching after 18 Months

Welcome back to the resume series where we are looking at 5 different people and the kind of resume they might need to get the best possible job. At the same time we are reviewing the resume writing process for this individual. Today we have candidate number three.

Candidate: This candidate graduated from New York University with a 4.0 in Organizational Development and an internship in Human Resources. She has been looking for a job for 18 months.

Questions to Ask about Resume Format

•           What resume best suits this candidate? Given her best trait is her education and her volunteer experience should it be chronological? Most new graduates will use a chronological resume even though they do not have a lot history to share. It is a format they are familiar with and that HR personal and hiring managers expect from them.

•           What is the critical information for this candidate’s resume? The emphasis will be on educational experience, volunteer and internship experience. What skills does she have at this point?

•           What type of accomplishments should be listed? At this point there are not going to be a lot of accomplishments but look at her GPA – look at any awards, scholarships, grants etc. that she has earned over her time at Stanford.

•           Let’s take a look at any hobbies or outside activities she has done that might influence a hiring manager.

Obviously if she has been looking for 18 months with the kind of academic credentials she has, either her resume does not present her well, or she does not present herself well in the interview process.

Given this information this is how her resume might look.

Mary Jane Dole

Email Address

Phone number

Web address



2012   New York University

New York, NY

Bachelor of Arts, Organizational Development   Summa Cum Laude GPA 4.0

Internship: Human Resources Department


Experience:  Google Internship Program 2010 – 2012, New York City, NY

18 month Human Resources Internship covering all departments and all aspects of Human Resources including: Recruiting, Hiring, Training, Termination, Layoff, Personnel Issues, Performance Management, Organizational Structure and Strategic Planning, Succession Planning.

MSD Company Summer 2008-2009, New York City, NY

Administrative Assistant in Personnel responsible for word processing all meeting notes, all job descriptions, performance improvement plans. Sat in on employment hearings and dissemination of information to the employee. Assisted in recruiting and job fairs.

Skills: MS Office – Word, Power Point, Excel

Social Media – Twitter, Facebook, Linked in, Pintrest

Online HR Blogs – have written articles for several sites on various HR topics (would then provide some links to articles)

Developed entry level job descriptions during internship at Google

Assisted in development of Employee Performance Improvement Plans during summer position at MSD Company

Other: President of the University of New York Human Resources Student Association 2011-12

President Sigma Sigma  Sigma (not a real sorority – add own) 2010-2012

Valedictorian Class of 2012

Member Association of Young Business Professionals 2012

That completes candidate number three in our resume series. Our next article will highlight the very interesting case of the management candidate who has spent 20 years working for non-profit organizations looking for a better paying opportunity in the business world.

Writing HR Resumes


posted by | on Article, Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Writing HR Resumes

(By – Staff Writer)

Hello again. If you recall we are exploring the best possible resume for 5 different people. We are also looking at the process for decision making in respect to writing their new resume. Today we will look at the second candidate in our series.

Candidate: John Doe is a Human Resources Manager/Director from New York City with 24 years’ experience. Due to health issues he has not worked for 28 months. He was injured on his last job and had spinal surgery. His company let him go on short term and long term disability insurance. He is well now and is beginning a job search. This 28 month gap is the second long gap in his work history. He is 56 years old and would like to work another 15 years at least.

Questions to Ask about Resume Format

  • What type of resume format is going to be the best for this person?

With two major gaps in his resume, it would seem that the functional resume would serve him best. This is also true because he spent the 24 years working for 3 companies in New York. Outside of the gaps he has a very solid work history. Because of this you could do a chronological and explain the gaps.  However I think the Functional Resume is the best way to highlight his skills and accomplishments.


  • What is the critical information that must get into his resume?

The fact that he has had only 3 employers in 24 years is significant and should be stressed not just mentioned. The fact that he was injured at work is not good so it might be necessary to explain what happened.


  • Should any hobbies or outside activities be listed in his resume? While on disability he took a masters level class and taught an online class.


  • What are the types of accomplishments a prospective employer might want to see? What programs has he instituted? Has his organization saved any company money? Has he streamlined or reduced staff? Cut costs?


  • How has he used his recovery time in the past 2 years? Already answered in outside activities.


Given this information this is how her resume might look.

John Doe

Email address

Website Address

I have a 24 year successful career in Human Resources Development and am seeking to help a small start-up type company to develop and organize their human resource personal.

Looking for a company where my expertise can make a difference to their success and their bottom line.


  • HR strategist with ability to develop long and short term Global HR strategies in line with the Business Plan/Strategy.
  • Ability to conduct change management and develop and execute succession strategies.
  • Manages and grows Stakeholder Relationships
  • Assures HR organization supports each Business Unit in meeting the overall Business goals.
  • Leads Cultural and Organizational Change Strategy and Initiatives.
  • Promotes Best Practices in Recruitment, Performance Management, and Employee Relations.
  • Skilled Negotiator, Driven to deliver, personally credible – integrity and discretion


  • Helped to improve the bottom line by 32% by assuring that all departments ran smoothly and everyone in the company worked in an environment conducive to success.
  • Retention rate of 89% for a period of 3 years during major organizational change.
  • Cut recruitment, hiring and training costs by 35% and saved in excess of 1 million dollars through automation of recruiting process and emphasis on retention.


Masters in Human Resources Management and Organizational Management 1982

Stanford University, Palo Alto California

Bachelor of Arts Human Resource Management 1980

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan


24 years’ experience at three companies.

1999 – 2012 MFG Company

1985 – 1995 KRF Company

1983-1985 TIR Company

2012 – current : Disability leave back injury – had spinal surgery cleared to work

1995-1999: Contract Dengy Fever during business trip to Haiti. On LTD for 4 years


Served as Chair of the National Human Resources Directors Association

Served on Board of Directors Local Professional Symphony Orchestra


That completes the second in our series. Next we will look at a new college graduates resume.

posted by | on Article, Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Writing a Management Resume

(By – Staff Writer)

The Resume Series: Management Professional with 20 Years’ Experience with Non-Profits Looking for an Opportunity with For Profit Business World

Welcome back to our resume series exploring the best resume for each candidate to use in theirs specific situation. We have tried to select candidates with something a little out of the ordinary so we could look at a variety of resumes and situations.


Today we will look at a management professional with 20 years of experience. The issue she has is that she has worked all those years in the non-profit world. Now at age 47 she wants to move into management in the business world. In addition to wanting to better her income and her retirement, she also wants the challenges of transferring hers skills to the for profit world.

Questions to Ask about Resume Format:

  • Which of the resumes is best suited for this candidate? Since she is looking to transfer her skills from one area to another the first choice might be a functional resume. However with a solid 20 years of experience, the combination resume is most likely the best choice.
  • What information is critical to go on her resume? The skills that she has that she feels will transfer and how will it transfer? Can it be presented in such a way that it simply appears to be a movement from one industry to another? She has raised large sums of money for her agency. She has recruited, hired, trained and fired staff. She has project management experience, has developed and managed budgets. She has developed programs.
  • What type of accomplishments matter most in the business world? How can these be presented in a way that impresses business people not nonprofit people?
  • Any outside activities that should be listed? President of Fundraisers, Board Member of Training Association.
  • Any special training that should be listed? Taking classes toward an MBA

Given this information this is how her resume might look.

Ginny Doe

Email address

Phone number

Website address

Searching for a management opportunity in for profit environment

Skills: (Because you are changing fields, it is good to explain how the skills will apply)

IT: Social Media: Linked-in, Pintrest, Facebook, Twitter, MS Office – Excel, PowerPoint and Word, Online Blogs in Fundraising, Public Relations, Board Development

Marketing and Sales: Building relationships, presentation, identifying prospects, pitching the cause and asking for the donation.

Consultation: Research, analytics, client management and project management. Stakeholder management.

Writing/Research: Grant writing, report writing such as FY Report, project overviews,

Communication Skills: Oral and written; ability to listen well. Ability to point across.

Finances: Revenue generation, Budget development and accommodation.

Entrepreneurial type experience with XDF Agency, Inc. self-managed, self-starter, collaborative and resourceful

Cross departmental project management to meet organizational goals.

Strategic Planning and Team Building and Organizational Development


Raised $3.5 million dollars as head of XDF Agency, Inc. through hand holding of high level donors, presentations to groups and basic fundraising

Cut overhead by 35% or$300,000 through a planned all department programs.

Authored grant proposal that garnered $400,000 for XDF client transportation need

Education: Classwork toward MBA

New York University

Expected graduation 6/14


University of Illinois


1994-Present XDF Executive Director


President of Fundraisers Association 2010 – present

Board Member of Training Association 2004-2010


This concludes our 4th example of out of the norm resumes. The next one will be our last one and our candidate will be the Call Center Manager.

Law Resume


posted by | on Article, Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Law Resume

(By – Staff Writer)

Welcome back to the Resume Series that I introduced with yesterday’s article. In this series we are looking at 5 different people and the process for writing their new resume. We will also review what that resume might look like.


Our first candidate is: A lawyer with ten years defense counsel experience. She wants to get into New York based Personal Injury Law Firm. Let’s look at the questions she will need to answer before committing to a resume or CV.

Questions to Ask about Resume Format

  • What type of resume will be best suited for this career change?

Chronological: This is the traditional resume that most of us have been familiar with for years. It lists each job held in chronological order with duties and responsibilities. Gaps in employment are obvious. This is a resume for someone with a solid work history.


Functional: This is a skills based resume that never gives a chronological view of one’s career. It is only defined by the skills acquired and used. This type of resume is actually intended to hide any gaps in employment. It is also common among people who are changing careers.


Combination: This is what it sounds like. A combination of the chronological and functional resume focuses on skills but has a list of jobs and dates worked. This resume highlights the skills needed for a job change but gives the employer the history that is traditionally preferred.

In this case we have a strong ten plus year solid work history as a defense attorney. This might lead you to think the chronological resume is right for Jane Doe. However remember she is changing careers and needs to show the skill set. This might lead you to think the functional resume is the correct one. If you think about it though you will see that what is needed here is a combination of chronological and functional. We will choose the Combination Resume.

  • What Information needs to be in lawyer Jane Doe resume? What are the basic skills she possesses that need to transfer to a personal injury law career?


She would have skills in argument techniques, negotiation, interrogation and deposition skills, written and oral communication skills and MS Office products are all skills a personal injury lawyer would need.

  • What accomplishments will best represent her skills and readiness to be a personal injury attorney?

Accomplishments would come from winning difficult defense cases and negotiating pleas.

  • Hobbies or outside activities that lend themselves to her new field of practice?


She volunteers for ACLU. She works pro bono on personal injury cases.


  • Any special training she has taken that will lend itself to Personal Injury Law?

Nothing extra


Given this information this is how her resume might look.

Jane Doe

Email address

Website address

Ten years successful practice as a Criminal Defense Attorney endeavors to bring these skills to a Personal Injury Law Practice.


Strong ability to gather evidence through interrogation and deposition of   witnesses

Complete knowledge of negotiation and argumentation techniques

Ability to negotiate pleas and reduced charges

Outstanding written and oral communication

Familiar with all aspects of MS Office


Won 80% of all criminal defense cases over a ten year period.5/12

Won 75% of all plea offers to reduce charges and/or sentences.

Defense Attorney of the Year 3 times in 10 years.

Revenue for firm in excess of 15 million dollars

Experience: DHR&J Criminal Defense Attorneys

2004 -2014 Served as primary criminal defense attorney

Offered partnership in 2013 and refused based on desire to pursue personal injury law.


Volunteer Pro Bono ACLU

Volunteer Pro Bono with N&H Personal Injury Lawyers


There you have it. Next we will tackle what the resume of an entry level graduate might look like.

Writing Your Resume


posted by | on Article, Blog, Resume Advice, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Writing Your Resume

(By Staff Writer –

This is the introductory article in a series we will do for the next week or so called The Resume Series. In this series we will go through the process of writing a resume for a specific situation – as each of these situations is very different – the resumes are also very different.

This series will consist of two parts for each candidate we consider. Part One will outline the process for writing a resume for this candidate. It will consider:

  • What type of resume best suits this candidate? Should it be chronological, functional or a combination of the two?
  • What information is critical and must be in this person’s resume?
  • What type of accomplishments should be listed and how should accomplishments be presented?
  • Are there any hobbies or outside activities that should be listed?
  • Is there any special training that should be listed?

Part Two will be the actual template for this resume.

We will cover 5-6 different types of candidates over the next week or so. Here are the types we will start with.

  • Lawyer with ten years defense counsel experience. She wants to get into Personal Injury Law.
  • Human Resources Manager with 24 years’ experience who has not worked for 28 months due to an injury and surgery. This is the second long gap in his work history.
  • This candidate graduated from Stanford with a 4.0 in Organizational Development and an internship in Human Resources. He has been looking for a job for 18 months.
  • Management candidate who has spent 20 years working for non-profit organizations looking for a better paying opportunity in the business world
  • Call Center Manager recently laid off when her center was closed. She has worked 12 years in call centers and has been a manager for 3years.

We start with these 5 profiles and cover each one in depth. Each article will have a process profile and a resume profile. Here is an example of what we are going to do. This resume is a person who has spent her career in fast food management and would like to change fields.


Jane Doe


Challenging position in management utilizing proven skills in leadership, customer service, people management, training and development and HR/Payroll


Here’s my University                                                           here, New York City

Coursework toward BS degree 1997

John Smith High School                                         here, New York City

Diploma, 1996


Mexican Grill                                                                        2/2008 to Present

2/2009-Present                                                          here, New York City

General Manager Store

Responsible for oversight of all Managers, Assistant Managers, Shift Managers and team members. Responsible for all activities directly impacting store profitability and the overall operations of the store including extensive P&L, knowledge and execution.

Manage all aspects of store business including profit growth versus previous year, weekly and monthly reporting of profitability indicators. Performed and assisted with weekly scheduling of managers, assistants, shift manages and team members. Lead and assist with store marketing, P&L statements and team members’ individual performance appraisals.

6/2009 – 2/2012                                                                   here, New York City

Training Manager

Successfully completed T3 or Train the Trainer Course – training new salaried managers and executed the training plan.

11/2008 – 2/2009                                                       here, New York City

General Manager Town Center Store

Responsible for oversight of all Managers, Assistant Managers, Shift Managers and team members. Responsible for all activities directly impacting store profitability and the overall operations of the store including extensive P&L, knowledge and execution.

Manage all aspects of store business including profit growth versus previous year, weekly and monthly reporting of profitability indicators. Performed and assisted with weekly scheduling of managers, assistants, shift manages and team members. Lead and assist with store marketing, P&L statements and team members’ individual performance appraisals

4/2008 -11/2008                                                                    here, New York City

General Manager Clay Store

Responsible for oversight of all Managers, Assistant Managers, Shift Managers and team members. Responsible for all activities directly impacting store profitability and the overall operations of the store including extensive P&L, knowledge and execution.

Manage all aspects of store business including profit growth versus previous year, weekly and monthly reporting of profitability indicators. Performed and assisted with weekly scheduling of managers, assistants, shift managers and team members. Lead and assist with store marketing, P&L statements and team members’ individual performance appraisals

Arby’s Restaurant Group 1995-2007               New York City

Progressing from team member to General Manager


Team Member 1995-1997

Responsible for customer service, food preparation and store upkeep.

Shift Manager 1997-1998

Responsible for team members’ performance with customer service, food preparation and store upkeep.

Assistant Manager 1998-2002

Responsible for Shift Managers’ and team members’ performance with      customer service, food preparation and store upkeep.

Responsible for current year’s Profit & Loss VS previous year Profit & Loss

General Manager 2002-2007

Responsible for oversight of all Managers, Assistant Managers, Shift Managers and team members. Responsible for all activities directly impacting store profitability and the overall operations of the store including extensive P&L, knowledge and execution.

Manage all aspects of store business including profit growth versus previous year, weekly and monthly reporting of profitability indicators. Performed and assisted with weekly scheduling of managers, assistants, shift managers and team members. Lead and assist with store marketing, P&L statements and team members’ individual performance appraisals


This is exactly the kind of resume we will want to “fix”. Here are some of the ways we would fix it.

  • Remove the Objective and replace it with a statement of skills that can help the company this person wants to work for.
  • Add a section at the top before Education listing transferable skills. This is the most important section of this resume.
  • Reduce the “responsible for” and emphasize skills and accomplishment. There are no accomplishments at all in this resume.
  • Delete References Available Upon Request

This gives you just a taste of what we will cover in the next 5 articles in this series.

Resume Pharases


posted by | on Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Resume Pharases

(By – Staff Writer)

Outdated Phrases in a Resume

As I have discussed in several other articles, the purpose of a resume is to get an interview with the person responsible for actually hiring for the position you are interested in. As a retired manager, I can tell you that even in my time there could be a hundred resumes to filter through before setting up any interviews. Today’s hiring manager see hundreds of resumes and your needs to stand out if you want an interview.

So instead of looking at what should be in your resume, we will look at what should not be there. There are certain phrases that if you use them in your resume, they indicate to the hiring manager that you are not current in your understanding of the job seeking process. In other words, these phrases ‘date’ you.

Outdated Phrases

Be creative but professional as you replace these outdated phrases with more current and more meaningful ones.

  1. Career Objective: I have spoken about this in several other articles. Hiring managers are no longer interested in what you want to do with your life. Today’s hiring manager is focused in on what you can do for them, not what they can do for you.
  2. Team Player: No one uses this language anymore. Yes you want to show that you were a productive member of the team and got along with everyone else. Instead of just saying you were a team player, explain how you contributed to the company bottom line while working closely with your peers.
  3. Successful Track Record: This one really dates you. I am not interested in the fact that you had a successful track record. Tell me what you were successful at. Tell me what your successes were. Did you save the company money? Did you make the company money? This is what the hiring manager wants to know.
  4. Results Oriented: Well you better be results oriented and why do have to tell me you are. I expect that you are. This is a given. Like your successful track record tell me what your results were.
  5. Excellent Work Ethic: Don’t use this unless you give me examples of what it means. Show me something that you did that exemplifies this otherwise it is just an empty phrase.
  6. Dynamic, Enthusiastic, Energetic: This is too much self-promotion that cannot be validated by work results. Leave these kinds of self-descriptive words off the resume and let the hiring manager decide in the interview if you are dynamic. If you say on your resume that you are dynamic and you have a down day and interview poorly, you are worse off than if you did not say it on the resume. Don’t box yourself in to having to exhibit those traits in the interview.
  7. Experienced: Everyone is experienced in something. Being experienced does not mean you can do the job as the hiring manager wants it done. This is a word we used to use all the time in resume but we have learned that it does not tell the reader anything about us. The purpose of the resume is to tell the hiring party enough about yourself that you get an interview. Just saying you are experienced does not do that.
  8. Expert Businessperson: See number seven above. Again this does not tell the hiring manager anything. What is a businessperson? If you put this on your resume, be prepared to tell the interviewer just what a businessperson is when she asks about it.
  9. People Person: This is outdated language. Talk instead about your communication and interpersonal skills. Again give clear examples

10. References Available Upon Request: This phrase really dates you. The hiring manager can get references themselves as the ones you would give them are bound to be biased.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but these are some of the most important words and phrases to leave off your resume if you want to impress the hiring manager.

posted by | on Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Are You Overqualified?

(By – Staff Writer)

Are You Overqualified?

What are your choices if at age 32 with an MBA and 4 years executive management your company leaves the country and you do not go? How many jobs are out there for you and are you overqualified for most of them? How do you deal with being overqualified and still get interviews for the available jobs in New York?

Overqualified and the Resume

The first challenge an overqualified applicant faces is the resume. The resume is designed to show off you qualifications. So what do you do if you don’t want to show off you MBA and your executive management experience? It is possible to downplay the qualifications that are more than the job requires while still remaining honest about who you are and what you have done in your career.

If you are overqualified you absolutely want to use a functional resume and start with a skills session that emphasizes the skills that the particular job you are applying for needs. You will need to focus even more than ever on the specifics of the job you are applying for. Each job you apply for needs to have its own personalized resume with the information geared to that job.

Altering Your Resume

Do not misrepresent who you are. You will include all the information about your career it is just a matter of how and where you will present it. There is a school of thought within the career counseling and human resources field that says it is ok to leave information such as your titles and advanced degrees off resume entirely. However as a hiring manager, I would very unhappy with any candidate that presented on their resume as having a BS when they actually have an MBA. I would feel that they were intentionally trying to deceive. Not everyone is going to react that way, but the question is – is it worth the risk? I don’t think so when there is a way to deal with it honorably.

Presenting Your Information

So how do you go about presenting your information without altering the facts by leaving things out? Start with a Functional Resume that follows this format.

Professional Profile: Don’t use any titles in this section and don’t mention any level of education that is higher than the job requires. Instead make this a short and concise statement of skills, education and experience that fits what the job asks for and nothing more.

Core Qualifications: Again just pick 3-4 skills and education that fit the job you are applying for. Focus strongly on how your skills meet the job requirements. This is a critical section for convincing the hiring manager or recruiter to interview you.

Accomplishments: Remember to quantify these. Your accomplishments have nothing to do with your job titles, levels or your academic credentials. Here you can just lay it out. Be strong with this section and list as many quantifiable accomplishments as you can. Try to tie them into what the job is asking for.

Experience:  In this section do a chronological review of your career. List the company you worked for, the years you worked there, and your title. Nothing else.

Education:  Be honest and list you real credentials here.

Cover Letter

I have not talked much about the cover letter but in this circumstance it just might be more important than the resume. Use the cover letter to tailor all of your credentials to the job you are applying for. Go into depth about how you are the best person for this specific job and why. Do not mention salary in either the cover letter or the resume.

Make it clear why you want this job and show how your skills, experience and successes can work for this employer and in this particular job. It is here in the cover letter that you have to sell yourself to the recruiter or hiring manager in order to get the interview.

Resume Formatting


posted by | on Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Resume Formatting

(By – Staff Writer)

Formatting Your Online Resume

If you are preparing a resume these days, you will be formatting it to be posted online. This will be true whether you are posting generically on job boards, or responding online to a specific job posting. Given this it is important to know what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in formatting for an online resume.

Most of us have become very familiar with formatting paper resumes. We know what the style should be, what font is acceptable for the most part, the kind of paper to put it on and what the length should be. On the other hand a lot of current New York job seekers might not have any idea how to format a resume for online posting.


The major issue of an online resume is readability. If I as a hiring manager cannot follow the formatting of your resume in such a way as to not find it readable, then you have a problem. The important point of readability is that your resume must look good on a tablet, a phone, a laptop, a desktop or on paper.

What makes a resume readable and good looking regardless of the instrument it is read from? For one thing you want it to be clean – not too crowed and not too much white space and as professional as possible.

The Challenges

There are several major challenges every candidate faces when posting their resumes online and sending them by email or even paper directly to the company.

Applicant Tracking Systems

The biggest and newest of these is the applicant tracking system. These software programs take your resume and search it for keywords that describe what is needed for the job. These programs also take your resume and change it into some basic formats as opposed to the professional look you think you gave it. These systems often leave your resume looking like scrambled eggs and not at all readable if you have not formatted it properly to start with.

Given this you need to format your resume to accommodate these applicant tracking systems. Often when you upload your resume directly to the company, it is going into an applicant tracking system. When software reads your resume before any human being reads it, then you have to write it to satisfy the software.

Formatting for Applicant Tracking Systems

If you write your resume in a word processing program you are going to have to change it for the applicant tracking systems and in order to cut and paste it into an online application from a company. The way to fix this if you start with a word processor is to cut and paste your Word resume into a plain text editor like Notepad or Text Edit.

This will show you how your word processed document is going to translate into the applicant tracking system or an online company application. You will be surprised by what you see. There will be spacing issues and characters that you did not enter. These programs use HTML or ASCII and only recognize these certain characters. It is also important to use character returns to separate sections of information as this will add to the resume’s readability in these formats.

Fonts – Use Calibri, Times New Roman, Arial or another basic font so that you get clean formatting and improved readability. The font size should be 10-12 except for your name which might be a 14. DO NOT CHANGE FONTS THROUGHOUT THE RESUME.

The only exception to this is if you are applying for a specifically design creative job and then you want your resume to show some of that skill while still maintain readability. You can do this with fonts.

Margins and Spacing – it is very important to get your margins and spacing correct. Remember when you use a program like Word this is mostly built in. With the applicant tracking programs it is not. You want enough white space on every page to make it readable and to make it attractive at first glance.

Your margins should be at least 1” all around. Never make the margins less than ½”. You want to avoid crowding the page with text. It is ok to center headings but the majority of text should be left aligned. This will keep your resume laid out well and looking professional as well as readable.


Your contact information is usually left aligned as well and should include an address, email address and mobile phone number. Make sure you include a ‘resume headline’ or a short statement telling the hiring manager what you can do for them. Make sure this section is short. Next you want a branding statement that expresses what differentiates you from other candidates. Make this short, concise and powerful.

Length of Resume

This is a critical factor, especially when dealing with computer generated software programs reading your resume. The more concise the better as long as you still get all the information in that is needed. This will depend upon your work history. There are some guidelines for this but they are only guidelines. Just remember you want readability and professionalism in every format.

  • Entry level experience: One page
  • Five – ten years of experience: Maximum of two pages.
  • Senior or Executive level: As many pages as needed but I recommend never going past three if possible. Two is still best if you can cover all your experience. However do not skimp on your experience in order to get it into two pages.


Once you have your resume in this format you can easily make it into a Word document. You will use the formatted resume more than the word processed one over the long haul so make sure you always have a ‘plain text version’ from a text editor available.

If you do this, you will not have to recreate it every time you want to post it online or respond to a specific online job posting. So save a Word copy and a plain text copy every time you update it.

posted by | on Article, Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on 10 Things Not to Say on Your Resume

(By – Staff Writer)

Ten Things Not to Say on Your Resume

If you are looking for a job or looking for advancement from your current job, your resume is your calling card. Without a professional, readable, well written resume, you are not likely to achieve either a new job or a better one. There are many things that go into the making of a good resume. There are just as many that should not go into your resume and it might be more important to your chances in respect to what is not in your resume rather than what is.

In that respect let’s take a look at some of those things that you should not say in your resume.

Ten Things Not to Say on Your Resume

1. “I was fired from that job.” Never, ever acknowledge on a resume that you were fired from any job. You will not get an interview if you do. Now if you are asked in the interview or on an application tell the truth. If you were let go say so and explain why in the best possible terms. If you cannot explain it to your benefit than tell the interviewer what you learned from the experience, what you have learned since and why that will never happen again.  Just do not offer this information on the resume. That section we used to require on resume called “Reason for leaving” is no longer something you need to or should include on your resume.

2. “I had to go on six month medical leave and I am still not feeling too well.” This might explain a gap in your resume, but it will not get you an interview. If you have to reveal this again try to do it in the interview or on the phone, not in the resume. In addition end your sentence after the word ‘leave’. Do not indicate that you are still ill. Two things will be planted in the hiring manager’s mind if they see this on a resume. One is that you will be missing substantial time from work and their health care cost could take a hit. You will be too big of a risk.

3. “I like to go have a good time with the guys on Friday night at the bar”. You might be wondering why this is an issue. Lots of folks like to have a beer with friends once in a while. The problem is your are telling your potential employer that you like to engage in potentially dangerous or troublesome behavior. This is unnecessary information and you want to keep all unnecessary personal information off the resume.

4. “I have been married 3 times and all of my husbands have been deadbeats.” Again this is unnecessary personal information and it makes you look as bad if not worse to the potential employer than the ex-husbands. They don’t care about your ex-husbands but they do care about your judgment and this information makes it look like you have very little.

5. “I had a paper route in grade school and sold Christmas cards during high school. I have a real entrepreneurial background.” Whether you are 35 years old or 21years old, this is irrelevant information. The hiring manager is not interested in what you did in grade school and high school beyond knowing that you had the initiative to earn money. The statement about being an entrepreneur actually makes you look a little foolish.

6. “I am a strong conservative and I am not afraid to talk about politics.” It is never ok to discuss politics, religion or other personal beliefs on the resume. In addition the second half of this statement could indicate to the hiring manager that you are a potential ‘hot head’. He has hundreds of resumes. Why take the chance that you would cause problems?

7. “I expect to be paid more than the average because I am better than average at the job” These statements may be true and you may have the information and achievements in your resume to back it up. However it is poor form to talk about salary requirements in the resume. You don’t even talk about them in the interview unless the company brings it up. Wait for an offer and then you will have something to negotiate.

8. “My current employer’s top clients are willing to follow me to your firm.” You might be thinking what could possibly be wrong with this sentence. Quite simply it is about loyalty and integrity. If you are willing to take clients from your current employer, why wouldn’t you do the same from me if I hire you?

9. “My email address is” Again you are giving a very poor impression with this email address. If I think you are going to party all the time, I may decide you are not worth the risk and you will never get an interview with me.

10. “I missed three months from this job because I was incarcerated for DWI.” This one is similar to #9 but it holds two problems for a hiring manager. First you were incarcerated and missed a lot of work. Second you were drinking while driving. As a hiring manager I would never trust your judgment. On the other hand if you are asked on an application or in the interview if you have ever been arrested and/or jailed, you must answer honestly and take the consequences. Again turn it your way by explaining what you learned from it.

By now you are laughing and saying what kind of person would put these things on their resume? Believe me, over the course of the past 30 years as a hiring manager, I have seen every one of these statements on resumes. However if you want an interview avoid these missteps on the resume.

Multiple Resumes


posted by | on Article, Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Multiple Resumes

( – Staff Writer)

How Many Resumes Does One Person Need?

So how many resumes does any one person need? It seems these days that you need a multitude of resumes in order to land the ideal job. Why will you need multiple resumes? In today’s job market you need every advantage you can get and that includes personalizing your resume to fit as many opportunities as possible.

Does this mean that you write a new resume every time you apply for a job? Does one size fit all or do you really need several formats? I would maintain that you do need at least a few basic types but you do not have to reinvent the wheel every time you want to apply for a job.

Types of Resumes You Need

  • General resume in functional format as a template. This is your basic resume that you will want to save as the template for all others. It is also the copy that you will provide to hiring managers in paper form. It is a functional style resume, not a chronological one. In fact you probably never need a chronological resume.


This resume can be tailored to showcase your skills and achievements in respect to the job you are applying for. This is the resume I have discussed in most other articles. This is the resume you use to showcase your sales skills when applying for a sales job. You will tweak this resume to showcase your managerial skills when applying for a manager job.


This is also the resume you will use when you are applying for jobs in more than one area or field of expertise. If you are an engineer and want to apply for design jobs you will want your resume to focus on those skills and that expertise. If you also have a history of leading design projects and are certified in project management, you might want to pursue project management jobs. You will need separate functional resumes to showcase each of those skills and achievements.


So your best bet in this respect is a generic functional resume that you can tailor to the specific openings you are interested in. Keep this resume on file as a template. This is needed even though you want to show your skills as a multi-tasker as well.


  • Resume formatted for computerized applicant screening programs and formatted for online posting in real text style. This resume could have the same information as the generic one mentioned above but instead of being written and formatted in a word processing program, it is formatted in a real text editor such as Notepad.

This resume is essential in that every time you want to post a resume online, upload one to a company site or email it to an employer you will want it to be done with a real text editor.

If you are not familiar with this type of formatting write your resume in Word as usual. Now bring up your real text editor and paste your resume in. Print out a copy of each and compare. You will be surprised by all the differences between the two. You need to save a copy of each type.

The other thing you need to be aware of when writing the real text edition of your resume for applicant tracking systems is that these systems are designed to rate your resume based on keywords. The keywords will be those associated with the job opening. You want to be sure those words are in your resume.

  • Resume written for professional recruiters. Is the resume you provide to a professional recruiter really different from any of these which we have already discussed? Many if not most professional recruiters are going to re-write your resume before presenting it to their client. This is so that your resume fits the job opening as closely as possible. But what about the resume you give the recruiter?


This resume should include all of your experience and all of your accomplishments from high school to the present. Your recruiter can then choose the items they want to put in the resume they write for their clients. Remember we are only talking about professional recruiters here not in-house recruiters. Treat the in-house recruiter just as you would the hiring manager.


In conclusion you need more resumes if you have more extensive goals that you wish to achieve in your career. If you are seeking jobs in various industries or roles you need more than one resume. You need separate resumes in word processing and in real text. Also have a more complete resume for working with professional recruiters. You might want to label this one for the recruiter.

Finally keep a record of the different styles of resume that you have and who your sent it to and when. In this way you can track which resumes are bringing you interviews and which ones are not. Update your tracking every time you update your resume with a different version number. This will give you the best possible analysis on the success of your resumes.

These days when it comes to resumes, it is like that Lay’s Potato Chip commercial and “nobody has just one.”

Resume Gaps


posted by | on Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Resume Gaps

By Writer

For so many of us there are now gaps in our resumes. These are times that we did not work and with the economy the way it has been the last ten years, there are many more than there used to be. So what do you do with this information? How should you address the gaps in your resume in order to keep the hiring manager from just overlooking you because of them?

Good workers can have gaps in their resumes. However I had learned from experience that 90% of those with gaps in their resumes had been fired or walked off jobs and could not get another job. I did not take the chance.

This was prior to 2006 through the present. Now there will still be people with gaps in their resume for those reasons. However there will also be maybe 20-50% of the candidates with gaps due to layoffs and downsizing in a bad economy. Keep in mind though that when a company has to downsize or lay off some employees, they do not layoff their best employees. As a hiring manager, I am still going to be skeptical of those gaps in your resume.

So what to do? You have a couple choices. You can present a chronological resume with the gaps filled with some form of information or you can present a functional resume that does not deal with the gaps at all. Again I will tell you that as a hiring manager, I like functional resumes and I have a healthy skepticism about functional resumes.

So what do you do about these gaps in your employment on a conventional resume?

  • If there is a legitimate reason for the gap – you were laid off, you had surgery, your parent was terminally ill – just be honest and upfront about it.
  • Only list the years you worked on a job not the months. Example Instead of June 2005- May 2009 and then the next job is not until Dec 2009 don’t list the months. Say job A 2005-2009 and job B 2009 – present. Now there is no gap in your resume. Be prepared to answer any questions you receive about this at the interview though.
  • Say you were fired in 2005 and did not work again until 2008 because you were taking training courses towards a certificate and an associate degree. The fact that you were let go never has to come up. Put the time you did not work – 2005-2009 in the education section at the top of the page and in the chronological section put one line that says you were pursuing additional training and education.
  • Just leave the gap there and explain it in the cover letter or the interview. Never tell the interviewer you were fired unless specifically asked. Tell them the job was not a good fit for you which it obviously was not if you were fired. On the other hand do not lie. Do not say you were laid off if you were fired. Remember that the hiring manager can call your previous employer for a reference check.
  • If worse comes to worse and you were fired and have to admit it, tell the hiring manager what you learned from the experience and how much more mature you are now.

Just remember that gaps in your resume don’t have to be job killers. They just have to be ignored or explained. I can live with your not working for 6 months while your mother was dying or you were laid off. I can’t live with your lying about it.



posted by | on Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Accomplishments

If you wanted to impress me with your life’s work on a couple pieces of paper, you had better have listed your accomplishments and they better be impressive and match the job you are listing them for.

Now most of you reading this will say “of course”, while a handful might say “accomplishments?”. We are very used to writing resumes that follow the same basic format. You have an objective at the top of the page, then you list your education, then your jobs and for every job you list what you were “responsible for”. You might also list additional skills if you felt they were relevant to the job you were applying for or if you thought they were impressive enough.

We’ve all followed this format for years. For years it worked also. Now however the employment situation is different. The New York  market is flooded with experienced people who were “responsible for” a wide variety of things. As a hiring manager my desk is flooded with those types of resumes. I will go through them. I will “thumb” through them.

However I am looking for the resume that stands out. I am looking for the resume that includes accomplishments. That resume will jump out of the pack and into the “call for an interview” pile. In this way I will pare down a stack of hundreds of resumes to a few dozen. Still I am not going to interview a few dozen people just because they listed accomplishments on their resume.

So now how do I select who I am going to interview? I will read through these couple dozen resumes with great care. I am looking for accomplishments that match responsibilities and the goals of the company. I am looking for accomplishments that tell me what you did to make your company better. How did you leave your company better than it was when you went there?

What Are Accomplishments?

So how do you display your accomplishments in your resume so that you can be sure I put yours in the interview pile? Because most of us grew up being told to be modest, not to boast about our accomplishments, make the other guy feel good too; we are not even sure what our accomplishments are. If we do know what they are, we do not know how to present them on our resume.

Accomplishments can be measured and quantified. Accomplishments answer the “What have you done for me lately?” question. Think about this question and then ask yourself:

  • Did I save the company money?
  • Did I make the company money?
  • Did I increase participation in a program?
  • Did I greatly improve the safety or quality record of the company?

Once you know what your accomplishments are, now think about how to display them on your resume. You have a few choices. You can have a section entitled Accomplishments at the top of the page right after your education. If you have multiple jobs you can still do this. Just list the company were the accomplishment happened. The other option is to list the accomplishments right after listing the name, address, dates worked and job title. This however is not your optimal listing. It is better to list accomplishments up front where the hiring manager can see them right away. It would look something like this.


Jane Doe                              555 Somewhere St.                        Any city, Any state zip

Email address                     888-888-8888

Education: B.A. Anything 2000

                     A UNIVERSITY

                     Anywhere, US


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

In this way you will draw the eye of the hiring manager to your resume and accomplishments. If the accomplishments are good and match your work history, you can bet you will get an interview.

Excellent Resumes


posted by | on Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Excellent Resumes

By Staff,

In my years as an Executive Recruiter, I was often asked by New York candidates about the value of the resume in the job hunt. I would be the first to tell them, it is the key that opens the door to the interview in 90-95% of all cases. Sure there are a few referrals that get you right into an interview without a resume, but those are rare and depend on who you know.

For most of us it is the resume that is that key. The resume that New York hiring managers like myself are going to spend maybe 10-20 seconds evaluating. That’s right. I am only going to review your resume for 10-20 seconds, yet it is critical to my decision regarding who I will interview. What this means is that your resume better be excellent. It better be head and shoulders above the rest.

Tell me again why you are presenting a resume instead of just filling out an application?
– Your resume is in truth your commercial about yourself. It is a marketing tool and like any commercial or marketing tool your resume is meant to say, “Purchase this product and you will get the benefits this person has to offer”.
– Your resume will tell the employer that you meet the basic requirements for the job. You have the degree required and the number of years of experience. It gives the employer contact information for you.
– It will show the employer how well you write and how well you can present yourself.
You have 10-20 seconds to make an outstanding impression. One that is good enough to get you an interview. How good is your resume? As an Executive Recruiter I never allowed a candidate to send their resume to an employer. We re-wrote every resume with an eye toward the job we were presenting the candidate for. We did this because we were professionals and we wrote resumes every day of the week and we knew how to get a resume noticed.
We knew how to present you in such a way that the employer has just a taste of what your work might be like, and is left wanting more. It causes the employer to do more than just put you in an interview pile. It causes them to call you right now and set up an in-face interview.

Given this what goes into that excellent resume?

• Presentation- your resume needs to be well organized and easy to read. Use a font that is easy on the eyes.
• First Impression – are you neat, conscientious, hardworking and committed? Does your resume say this at a glance? Is it neat or is it sloppy? Is it well organized or is it hard to follow at a glance? Is there attention to detail or do sentences ramble on?
• Relationship of your skills and experience to the job you are applying for.
Your well written, well presented resume tells the story of who you are, what skills you have mastered, what knowledge you have, how much you understand you industry, how you handle people and how you respond in a crisis. All that in a one-two page document? Yes you should be able to see all of that at a glance to the hiring manager can make a decision to interview you.
Think like a hiring manager. Think about how busy your hiring manager might be. Think about the hundred resumes on her desk. Now think about what information is most crucial that you share with her and make sure that information is at the forefront of your resume.
An excellent resume is your credibility, your integrity on a piece of paper. You can enhance this with an online web portfolio that gives more well-written, concise detail on your accomplishments, your mission in your career, your values, your ambition and leadership ability. A website is almost expected these days if you want to get the interview. It sets you apart.
Include the URL for your webpage but do not include your Twitter or your Face Book page. Remember you are making an impression. Remember the value of your resume to the recruiter or the hiring manager. You are potentially worth thousands of dollars to them or you are worth nothing to them. Make you resume sing for those 20 seconds they are going to be looking at it.

posted by | on Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Why Your Resume Didn’t Get You an Interview

By Joni Wamer (Guest Writer)

I’ve spent well over twenty five years in management and hiring in that time I must have reviewed hundreds of resumes. Over the years the styles and formats of resumes have changed but what is important in respect to the content has not changed. I have passed over many candidates who may have been qualified and might have done a terrific job, because their resumes were not acceptable.

If you want to get the interview with New York city employers, you need to get the hiring manager to notice you through your resume. If you fill it up with a lot of empty words and catchy phrases, you can bet you will not be interviewing with me. So what is it you should not put in your resume? What should not be missing?

Leave these Out of your Resume
• Long Paragraphs – don’t format your resume like you would a cover letter. Resumes should have short, bulleted points that attract the eye and get the attention of the reviewer. The resume is not the place to tell your life story.
• Information that is too personal should never be in a resume. Don’t tell me who you are dating or even married to. There are laws about that and I’d rather not even know. It has nothing to do with your ability to do the job. Remember what I care about at this stage is the job not you.
• Do not put an Objective at the start of your resume. I know everyone has been taught to do so, but it puts limitations on what I think you can or want to do. Just leave it open.
• Your resume does not need a picture of you. This makes it look unprofessional and cutesy. Just don’t do it.
• Don’t use generic resumes. Tailor your resume to match the job you are applying for. This will capture the attention of the hiring manager and just might get you the interview. If they see hundreds of resumes, yours needs to look different from the rest.
• Don’t put references in the resume. Wait for me to ask for them.
• Don’t use a quirky, unprofessional email address. If your main email address is zombie2@aol, develop a new one that is Keep it professional at all times.
• Don’t clutter your resume with links to other sites with the exception of you web portfolio.
• Make sure you do not have any spelling and grammatical errors. Check and double check this. Don’t rely only on your device’s spell check. Check it again yourself.
• Never, ever, ever lie. Don’t say you have a Master’s Degree if you don’t. I will find out.
What Was Missing from Your Resume
• Quantitative data – I really don’t want to know what you were responsible for in your current and past employments. I want to know what you accomplished. What were your successful at? How did you either make or save your company money?
• If nothing in your resume relates to my job opening I will discard it. Tell me what your skill set is and tell me what your skill set has to do with my job.
• A link to your web page with your exceptional portfolio. Now make sure you have an exceptional portfolio.
So the next time you think you are a perfect fit for a job in New York and you don’t even get an interview, you might want to take a look at your resume. It may be your resume that is holding you back.

posted by | on Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Did They Get My Resume

Have you been sitting around, wondering if that employer got your resume? Here is a way to find out. READ MORE

posted by | on Article, Resume Advice | Comments Off on 10 Verbs for your Resume

You can improve your resume by using action words. Here are 10 Verbs that will increase interest from New York employers. READ MORE

posted by | on Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Constructing Great Resumes

Wondering how to write your resume? Here are 6 concepts to focus on. READ MORE.

posted by | on Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Resume Result Statements

Do you find writing accomplishment driven statement on your resume challenging? Here is some advice on how to impress a New York employer with your accomplishments. READ MORE.

posted by | on Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Objective Statements

Do you need a resume objective section? Here are some things to consider. READ MORE.

posted by | on Resume Advice | Comments Off on 4 Resume Tips to Stand Out

Do you think your resume is getting lost in the crowd of New York applicants? Here are 4 ways to make your resume really stand out. READ MORE.

posted by | on Article, Resume Advice | Comments Off on The Resume of the Future

What does the future hold for the resume? Here are some possibilities. READ MORE.

Your Resume & Brand


posted by | on Article, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Your Resume & Brand

In today’s employment market, New York companies like to hiring individuals that are specialist in their selected field. What does your resume say about your personal specialized brand? READ MORE

posted by | on Article, Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Resume and ATS Systems

So you’ve heard of computers scanning your resume but don’t exactly understand how it works. Here’s some deeper insight into ATS Systems. READ MORE

posted by | on Article, Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Copying Online Resumes

When building your resume avoid copying information directly from online resume samples. READ MORE.

posted by | on Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Resume Age Discrimination

Here’s some advice on how to avoid age discrimination by New York employers. READ MORE.

posted by | on Article, Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Uploading your Resume Online

Are you searching for a job? Here is some advice about uploading your resume to social media websites. READ MORE

Resume Keyword Tips


posted by | on Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Resume Keyword Tips

You’ve heard about computer scanning software reading resumes. Here’s some advice about how to approach a keyword strategy in your resume. READ MORE

posted by | on Article, Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Get a Resume Before a Job

Do you have a current job but think a chance might be ahead? You should considering having your resume ready before you need to start searching for new work. READ MORE

posted by | on Article, Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Drop your Resume Objective Section

Do you have an Objective Section in your resume? Here are some reasons why it may not be suitable for the New York employment market. READ MORE

Resume Optimizing


posted by | on Article, Blog, Job Fair, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Resume Optimizing

Here is some advice about selecting keywords for your resume. This process will help to computer optimize your resume for scanning software. READ MORE

posted by | on Article, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Four Key Resume Components

Do you need to improve your resume? Do these four things to your resume to increase your New York job opportunities. READ MORE