My answer to this question is, “Yes.” I can say this without knowing what industry you are targeting for your career search, because I am confident in my ability to conduct quality keyword research and my knowledge of the resume industry. And really, in the resume game, keyword research is everything! Remember just a few blog/vlogs ago when we talked about the power of ATS as a first line of defense for hiring managers. ATS eliminates over 50% of candidates without their resume ever being seen.

Keyword research and inclusion in a visually appealing, well-formatted (in other words, professionally written) resume enhance your chances of being seen, therefore considered, by 40% by hiring managers. Beyond keyword research, you want someone who is going to make a deep dive into your career history. Learning my clients’ story is an honor that translates, for me as a resume writer, into a customized format and highest quality content for each client.

So, while a resume writer specializing in an industry – as long as keyword research is current and in-depth – can certainly be a benefit to a candidate, the better question to ask is, “How good are you at research?”

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What Is Considered Continuing Education?

What do we mean, in the hiring / resume/ career – world when we talk about continuing education? I am sure the answers vary from individual to individual, but for the most part, and in most cases, you will find that continuing education doesn’t just refer to degrees held. Stop underselling yourself relative to your training and lose the humbleness. Consider your career, past and current, as well as all those courses your employer may have required of or offered you.

When I begin working with a client I want to know every training, course, certificate and workshop they have ever taken. Sure, some of these will not make it to the resume, but you would be surprised at what “golden nuggets” people leave off their resume. For the most part, each of these courses will not only enhance the hard achievements included in your resume, but it communicates (subliminally) your commitment to ongoing learning and professional development. The subliminal things your resume communicates can be pretty important when it comes down to you and the average 4 additional candidates being considered for a given position.

My advice regarding continuing education? Soak it up! You invest your time, your talent and work product in your company, let your company, current or future, invest in you and your professional development. Take advantage of any training programs they offer. It looks great on your resume!

For those of you transitioning industries and worried that you don’t have every one of the certifications listed in the pie-in-the-sky position description? Or for those of you whose current employer does not invest in their employee’s professional development, consider the many free online learning courses out there. To help you along, here is a list, provided by Mashable, of free online resources available to you . Don’t be afraid to do your own research if these don’t appeal to you.

Bottom line, investing the time, if not the money, in your professional development is worth the investment. Every time.

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Keeping It Clean!

These days hiring managers must be savvier than ever. The hundreds of submissions for consideration for each open position posted mandates that human resources professionals use any and every available tool to help them manage the barrage. We know applicant tracking systems (ATS) are a wonderful first line of defense – eliminating over 50% of online submissions.

One of the most overlooked tools hiring managers have at their disposal is social media. Candidates need to be aware of, clean up, and manage their personal brand. More than 73% of companies are using social media to recruit, screen and hire candidates. Conversely, over 70% of employers turn down candidates due to something negative found online.

Employers need any edge they can get in the current hiring game. Social media allows them to further sift through and eliminate candidates from that extensive pile. If you want a shot at being one of the average 5 out of hundreds of candidates earning an interview, you need to make sure your online presence / personal brand is a positive representation of who you are as a person and potential candidate.

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(Credit to TopResume for statistics included in this article).


We know numbers are great to use in resumes for a plethora of reasons. Numbers demonstrate measurable results, showcase achievements and quickly communicate your abilities in a quantitative way that, hopefully, catches the eye of the hiring manager in that initial 60 second review of your resume – after it makes it through those pesky applicant tracking systems.

The numbers I want to talk to you about are the percentages. Out of the 20% of jobs posted online (that’s right, according to TopResume, 80% of jobs are not posted online), 50% of candidates are eliminated from consideration by applicant tracking systems. It’s all about keywords and quality keyword research, my friends.

There is a silver lining, however, for the more than 50% of people currently employed and considering a new career. A professionally written resume gives you 40% greater chance of being seen. Imagine that percentage increasing as you focus your career search and allow your resume writer to refine that keyword research… Not only that, but resume services are tax deductible. Win and won.

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(Credit to Wendi Weiner at Forbes and TopResume for statistics included in this article).

Document Format & Submission Requirements

You may not think format is an important aspect of your resume. Perhaps you think that format doesn’t really count in the overall scheme of the resume game. Believe me when I tell you that the format of your resume could be keeping you from consideration for various roles! I am, of course, talking about the format you use when sharing your resume – versus the formatting used to balance white space and content (words, text boxes and alignment) within your resume.

How can this be, you ask? Some people get tripped up by overlooking submission requirements. Submission requirements are those guidelines, checklists or overall instructions in a job description that indicate how to submit your resume for consideration. Take a close look at these requirements. Some organizations require more information on your resume than a typical employer may. Others require specific information in your cover letter.

Typically, these submission requirements will instruct you to submit your document in either a Word or Adobe (.pdf) document format. Whenever possible, and if not specified, I recommend that you convert your document to a .pdf prior to sharing. This helps preserve the formatting of the content within your resume. Be careful, though, there are some ATS that still only accept Word documents. Prior to submitting your resume, make sure you are meeting all submission requirements in your marketing documents (resume, cover letter, etc.).

As a final thought, prior to converting your document to a .pdf and sharing it, be sure to go into your documents’ properties and remove your resume writer’s name as an author. Whether you had help writing or reviewing your marketing documents, there is no need to advertise that fact to the savvy hiring manager.

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Great Article from Forbes for You!

Changing things up a bit today, sharing this article from Forbes with you and delving into what I like so much about it. Primarily, I love that the author, Liz Ryan, focuses on awareness from the start – before sitting down to have your resume written. As Franklin Covey says, “Begin with the end in mind.” This holds true for your career search and writing your resume!

Ryan asks you to begin by keeping a journal. I am a list girl, myself. However you choose to do it, write down your thoughts regarding your ideal career. The best advice she gives is “asking a friend.” YES! Our friends know us so well and frequently have that unbiased outlook that helps us carve out our direction and options. In fact, I encourage my clients to share the first draft of their resume with someone who knows them well. Friends and loved ones are not afraid to be your cheerleader and advocate for you when your humbleness might otherwise hold you back.

The great counsel continues with asking you to consider what you are truly good at. What are you passionate about? This can be a role you have played at work or as a volunteer, or even in your younger years. Then consider what your ideal job looks like. What are the things you can do for an employer that few others can? When your passion and career mesh, magic happens.

Finally, Ryan asks you to keep track of your “dragon slayer stories.” Again, YES! So many people overlook their achievements and accomplishment and just put a rote job description on their resume. For your benefit, as well as for your career, you should be keeping track of achievements and what they have meant for your employer, volunteer organization, etc. Quantifiable achievements are a direct way to demonstrate what you have and will bring to an employers table.

Read the article, here ->

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Can I Download & Use A Template To Create My Resume?

Absolutely! I am a big fan of using available resources and not recreating the wheel.

I would advise you to use caution when downloading templates from the internet. One of the advantages of hiring a resume writer is that you get fresh keyword research based on your industry and target position. If you don’t understand keywords and their importance in getting you through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), I recommend that you hire a resume writer.

As we have talked about, ATS is self-defense for hiring managers and the huge amount of resume submissions they receive. Their objective is to filter out unqualified candidates based on keywords. Your goal is to make it through ATS to the interview phase, where you win over the interviewer(s) and get the job. Keywords are critically important to getting your foot in the door. If you aren’t getting calls for interviews, there is a good chance you aren’t using the proper key words for the role you are applying for.

Another important word of caution is relative to formatting. Be sure that any templates you download are using current industry standards. The format, content and keyword standards are constantly changing. So, again, if you are not comfortable determining current resume formatting and relative keyword research, I encourage you to hire a resume writer.

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