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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Finding Your Perfect Place!

What a great, thought-provoking article from Money this morning. While it seems counter-intuitive, metropolitan areas are not the best places to go for work due to the high cost of living. Time to begin considering the lifestyle you want and where that means you need to live, prior to your career search. Read the article to learn more – >




People, we have lost the art of true relationship building. In the professional world, we call this networking. While nothing can take the place of face-to-face relational exchange, LinkedIn is a powerful tool in any career search. Many people tend to overlook the power of LinkedIn (and a strong social media presence/personal brand) in searching for a new career. I have heard that LinkedIn is dying out… Yet, I continue to receive job offers and clients through it, as do my clients.

In point of fact, prior to launching Your Resume Writer, I was recruited away from my last three brick-and-mortar positions through LinkedIn. One, after the other, after the other. Particularly for those that are short on time, LinkedIn is a tool you should make a point to invest that little time in. Complete your profile. Be thorough. Build your skills section. Ensure your profile matches your resume – with the exception of the “summary” statement. (Your summary statement should now be written in the first person and highlight your most prominent achievements).

Most important of all, connect, connect, connect! Connect to your counterparts, past and present. Connect to your clients, vendors and supervisors. Don’t be afraid to “invite” them to complete a recommendation for you. Once you have taken the time to do these things, you can choose to sit back and let the tool work for you –  Or, take a proactive role in searching open positions and keeping an eye on organizations and opportunities that are attractive to you.

Finally, we all know we can join local chamber and business networking groups for opportunities to develop relationships. We have talked about this before, but as a reminder, don’t forget about the power of becoming a volunteer. Volunteering is such a strong opportunity. Not only do you have the potential to gain new skills, you gain new (and sometimes, influential) contacts. Let’s not forget the real possibility of sliding into those open positions as they come available.

Please remember to make networking a part of your career path and career search plans.

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I don’t know about you, but this week has been a total loss, professionally. Typically, I can crank out project after project and adhere to a timeline with respective deadlines and revisions without breaking a sweat. This week, not so much.

Once I realized that I had a backlog, I took a closer look at those backlog items. Most were simple revisions. They would take time, research and, possibly, re-formatting, but each one was a handful of hours, each. There were just so many. Additionally, we are in the middle of several home improvement projects. So, multiple, simultaneous client projects at the same time as multiple personal projects.

Today, however, I am killing it! What changed, you ask? I did. I changed my location. Clearly there are too many distractions at home right now. So, I am at the coffee shop, producing like crazy. Three client projects. Done! Three blogs and vlogs. Done!

I share this with you today because I believe we all reach these seasons in life and work where there is just too much. Too much clutter, disorganization or work itself. Taking the time to analyze the bottleneck in productivity is critical but was something I never used to take the time for. In my time at brick-and-mortar positions, I was pretty good about asking for one or two days a week to work from home or the coffee shop. Those were days I prized, because my productivity doubled – if not tripled. Not to mention the enhanced quality of my work on those days out of the office because I could give laser-focus to my work.

Are you having trouble with productivity? Try changing something about your work routine, location or environment. You will be surprised what taking a deep breath, analyzing the problem and making a small change will do for your results.

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This Memorial Day I want to depart from the usual “Tips N Tricks” videos and instead extend a huge thank you to the men and women that have laid down their lives for our nation. It is hard for me to fathom the sacrifices brave men and women have made throughout our country’s history. The sacrifices their families made by making due without them while they fought for the many freedoms we enjoy – and then learning to navigate life after learning their loved one would never return home again.

While Memorial Day is the day we reserve to honor our fallen Veterans, I do want to take a moment to show our living Veterans appreciation. Our living Vets are among the humble and honorable in our communities. I would be remiss if I didn’t take every opportunity to say “Thank You” for what you have done for our country, our world and for what you continue to do after you leave the military. You come into our organizations and make sense of crisis’. You problem solve and create order and structure. You improve business processes. Your leadership is invaluable.

Heartfelt thanks to our Veterans. Those that have made the ultimate sacrifice, those still fighting for our freedoms and those that fight to improve our communities every day. You bless us.

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The Job Market – Looking Good!

I know. I know. It’s been a while.

I can’t think of a better reason to break my blogging hiatus than to take these few stolen moments to share with you the latest “jobs report”. For those of you looking, this should hearten you. There are more jobs available, in more industries – and these numbers continue to climb. As do wages.

So, while it never feels good to be at that in-between place where you are out of work and looking, or just looking for a better opportunity, the opportunities are out there.

Remember, don’t grab at the first offer you receive. Test the waters, vet the employer and DO NOT SETTLE for less than you deserve!

Here’s a snapshot from the USDOL, Bureau of Labor Statistics “Employment Situation Summary”:

Total nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 103,000 in March, following a large
gain in February (+326,000). In March, employment grew in manufacturing, health
care, and mining. (See table B-1.)

In March, employment in manufacturing rose by 22,000, with all of the gain in the
durable goods component. Employment in fabricated metal products increased over
the month (+9,000). Over the year, manufacturing has added 232,000 jobs; the durable
goods component accounted for about three-fourths of the jobs added.

In March, health care added 22,000 jobs, about in line with its average monthly
gain over the prior 12 months. Employment continued to trend up over the month in
ambulatory health care services (+16,000) and hospitals (+10,000).

Employment in mining increased by 9,000 in March, with gains occurring in support
activities for mining (+6,000) and in oil and gas extraction (+2,000). Mining
employment has risen by 78,000 since a recent low in October 2016.

Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in March
(+33,000) and has risen by 502,000 over the year.

Retail trade employment changed little in March (-4,000), after increasing by
47,000 in February. In March, employment declined by 13,000 in general merchandise
stores, offsetting a gain of the same size in February. Over the year, employment
in retail trade has shown little net change.

In March, employment in construction also changed little (-15,000), following a
large gain in February (+65,000).

Employment changed little over the month in other major industries, including
wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities,
leisure and hospitality, and government.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged
at 34.5 hours in March. In manufacturing, the workweek edged down by 0.1 hour to
40.9 hours; overtime edged down by 0.1 hour to 3.6 hours. The average workweek for
production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by
0.1 hour to 33.7 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In March, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
rose by 8 cents to $26.82. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased
by 71 cents, or 2.7 percent. Average hourly earnings for private-sector production
and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $22.42 in March. (See tables
B-3 and B-8.)


Where Does Your Experience Come From?

The answer to this, as with most things, is varied. I would love to tell you that I knew what my calling was from the beginning and followed it doggedly. In truth, I started down the path to resume writing when I was laid off. My experience with resume writing and the ever-changing standards began when a dear friend helped me write my resume in the, then, current standards.

From there, I gained a position with the local workforce board. In that role, I met with hiring managers and executives to uncover their hiring needs to facilitate filling their open positions with quality candidates. After a short time, it became clear that our experienced professional candidates were being underserved within the existing programs. That is when I developed a professional candidate program. In this program, we invited these professionals to meet at coffee shops and book stores to learn how to write resumes in the new standard and how to develop their personal brand on social media, like LinkedIn.

Writing my friend’s and family’s resumes began around this same time. Thanks to LinkedIn, I was recruited away from my position with the workforce board. And then I was recruited away from that position. So, big fan of LinkedIn here! All the while, I continued writing resumes for friends and family.

After my husband and I made the life-altering decision to home school our son, I began contract work with an online resume company. It was great experience, but I wanted to be in control of the process with my clients. Time and again, I had unsatisfied clients added to my docket as a result of first trying the 24-hour turn around. I wasn’t allowed to interview clients unless they paid extra, and I felt pressure to begin accepting 24 and 48-hour projects. This simply isn’t enough time to turn around a quality resume – most times, 24-hours isn’t even enough time for the client to respond to the questions you emailed them.

My husband, knowing my struggle and seeing all the bonuses I was receiving from happy clients, encouraged me to officially go out on my own. No more working for only family and friends. I launched my Facebook page and now enjoy running my business, helping people and doing the job the way I feel it should be done for my international client base. I still may not get to meet the majority of my clients, but I get that all-important interview, which allows me to get to know them and mine all the golden nuggets they don’t independently remember from their career history.

Finally, I am constantly researching the latest trends and all things relative to resume writing. I have to do my homework because the standards and trends are forever changing. What was the benchmark two years ago is now obsolete. My membership with the NRWA also helps me stay abreast of the current standards and hone my craft through ongoing classes and webinars.

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Please, DON’T Settle!

Departing from my usual tips, I want to answer a question I get asked pretty frequently. That is, what is the biggest obstacle people encounter in their job/career search? The answer is, essentially, themselves.

Not to stereotype or generalize, but I find that my female and military clients are the humblest. A beautiful quality, except when it comes to negotiating position, salary and/or promotion. In the case of my very high-achieving, top-performing clients, this is a tragedy.

Time and again I see employers negotiate down a salary, promise a promotion that never comes, or promise eventual additional pay for double the responsibility and headaches, that also never comes. Many times, I see clients get stuck in roles they hate – because they settled. We are all guilty of doing so at some point in our career.

Know your worth! Be your own solution to your negotiation problems. You can be sure the employer is going to look out for their bottom line. That’s their job. Your job is to provide for your family and lifestyle. Do NOT settle! – and the employer that asks you to do so, is not the employer for you.

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How Do I Know If I Have A Good Resume?

To answer this question, I have to ask a question. Are you getting interviews? Is there any interest at all in your resume? This is the best measurement tool to determine the quality of your resume. If you aren’t getting any social messages, emails, phone screens or interviews, you likely have a problem somewhere in your resume.

The most likely reason you aren’t getting any bites on your resume is that you are getting filtered out of ATS – those electronic applicant tracking systems. While ATS are a necessary defense for any HR department, ATS systems filter you based on specific (position or industry) keywords. If you have the proper keywords populated throughout your resume, you should make it through to the hiring manager for consideration.

If you are making it through ATS to the hiring manager and still not being contacted, you may want to review the visual appeal of your resume. Did you balance white space against text – meaning, have you been brief as possible while adequately demonstrating your expertise? Do you have a clean format? Do you have a header that ensures you are the central focus of your resume? Keep in mind, hiring managers average less than 60 seconds on the initial review of a resume.

The question isn’t whether you have a good resume or not. The question is, are you getting asked to interview.

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