Tag Archives: resume

The most dangerous high value resume twist

If you are very focused.  If you are determined.  If the hiring manager is really missing out by not talking to you.


It can be really personal, calling him by name.

Why not record a YouTube video.  Use your webcam, cellphone, or digital camera.  Upload it to YouTube.  Make it private.  Send it in an email embedded and as a link.

You could even put one on your resume.  Why not?

Why not is because you will be judged by that video.  You will be remembered by that video. It should be short, very focused, and make the hiring manager feel good when he sees it.

Be very careful. Consider it. Especially consider it where you just haven’t been able to get your foot in the door.  In that case, it can’t hurt since they already are not calling back.

Dangerous.  Potential high reward. Are you going to try it?

9 ways a recruiter can help you

I was talking to a job hunter who said, “Recruiters have never done much for me.” I understand the sentiment. It depends on what you expect.

As a recruiter I help people get jobs, but only a few people. I also prepare a bunch of people to get jobs on their own.

Some things I can do for you are:

  1. I help you get your resume to look good enough to get you interviews.
  2. I find jobs you didn’t know about and submit you for them.
  3. I talk to hiring managers and try to give you an unfair advantage.
  4. I give you guidance on better interviewing.
  5. I remind you to send a thank you note after the interview.
  6. I follow up and follow up and follow up with hiring managers.
  7. I negotiate a higher salary.
  8. I help you resign successfully.
  9. I smooth the way into your new job.

Now, you’ll notice that a bunch of those I do whether you get the job or not. As a recruiter I may not directly get you a job. I may just help you learn some job hunting skills even if I am not paid for it.

One more thing. If I find a better candidate anytime during the process, I will present him to the company. My driving loyalty is getting the best person for the job. I am absolutely committed to avoiding second best. I’ll help you, but you need to be the best candidate for a job. Live with it.

I help people get jobs. I help a few people get the job I submit their resume for. However, I have a huge impact on a lot of job seekers as I help them to become more employable.

Something To Do Today

Make a list of suggestions you have received from recruiters that have helped in your job search.  Make sure you remember them for the interviews where the recruiters are not involved.

How not to be a liar in resumes and job apps

I thought not lying was easy.  Then I got good questions from people who want to tell the truth, but don’t know what it is.  So let me help you tell the verifiable truth.  Here is how to tell the truth and stay out of trouble in question and answer format.

Q. I was laid off, but given three months of pay after I stopped working, and was allowed to use my office too.  When was my last day of work?

A. Call up the HR (Human Resources) Department and ask them when your first and last day of employment was.  Use those dates.  It doesn’t matter what you think is honest, a misrepresentation, or a lie.  The companies who check your resume will be given those same dates by the HR department.  Use them.

Q.  I was a temp worker at Boeing, working for McGraw Engineering, and paid by Kelly Services.  Who should I put down as my employer?

A. The company whose name was on your contract or paycheck was your employer.  You might want to put the job on your resume as:

Boeing, reporting to McGraw Engineering, contracted by Kelly Services.

Q. Can I leave out a job?

A. If it doesn’t apply to the job you are trying to get, maybe you can leave it off the resume.  A resume is an honest ad, not a confessional. You don’t HAVE to put every job on it.  However, it is safer to have one line on your resume where the job or jobs you don’t want to mention should go. Put:

Transportation Jobs 5/1999 – 8/2003

That way you account for the time.  You also make it so short it does not force the hiring manager to think about it.

All jobs must be put on the job application, even if they are not on your resume.  You can put that same single line about Transportation Jobs, but on the job application every single job must be accounted for.

The only exception is if you have 20 years of jobs, and the first 10 years don’t apply.  Then you can truncate, or cut off the oldest jobs.

The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has. (Will Rogers)

Something To Do Today

Sit down and think.  Are you leaving something out in your resume to simplify it, or are you lying?

Your resume is not an FBI background check.  It is an honest advertisement.

There is no reason to disqualify yourself.  There is no excuse for lying.


Later:              The incredible strength of weak connections

How many times do I have to tell them

The most critical part of a relocation resume

You want to move to a different area, but you want to have a job before you go.  Good idea.  So, you put together a resume and put on your real current address and phone number. You are 1000 miles away from where you want to work.

No one calls.

Can you blame them?

You have basically announced that hiring you will be a problem.  It doesn’t matter what your cover letter says.  You may have a place to stay there and be willing to pay for your move yourself.  It doesn’t matter until they actually talk to you.  They immediately assume they will have to pay for you to fly in and interview, pay for a relocation, deal with the first two months of lack of productivity while you settle in to a new home, and put up with you getting homesick.

The answer: Get them to see how good you are before they notice you are from out of town.

You have to get past the screener.  The screener is a computer or a human who is wading through 100 resumes, trying to find the 2 or 3 best ones.  Your phone number and address may be getting you excluded without any review.  So change them.

Get a local phone number at the very least. Try Google Voice.  Or, you can get a Vonage internet phone for $10-$25 per month.  For $5 more per month you can get extra phone numbers that have any area code you want.  You can have the Vonage phone automatically forward to your regular home phone or cell phone and never use the internet line if you want. You can switch where it rings as often as you like.  With Vonage, you can have a local phone number for your job search no matter where you really live.

Getting a local address for your resume is also a good idea.  You can use a friend’s house,  rent a Post Office Box at the Post Office, or get a box at a UPS Store or some other mailbox forwarding service. Put in a change of address form. Any letters sent to you may be delayed, but they will get to you.  More important, your resume will not get flagged for deletion merely because of your address.

If you have a specific place you want to move to, it may be worth your time to camouflage where you currently live.  You will have to deal with the relocation issue during the phone interview, but at least you will have a better chance of actually talking to someone instead of getting screened out by a computer because of your zip code or area code.

Something To Do Today

Try to figure out what may be keeping you from getting a call when you apply for a job.  Can you overcome that problem?  Do you need camouflage, better writing,  or stronger experience?


Later:              Hiding real problems

When is your resume being thrown away?


Your resume should twinkle

Boredom gets many resumes thrown away.

What makes a resume boring is that you write it like a job description instead of an advertisement.  Boring resumes hide the most important information.  They are written the way HR forces managers to write job descriptions.  Let me show you what I mean.

Like HR or Like a star

There is a hiring manager in with a problem.  That’s why he spent hours writing a job description.  He could have sent a 3 sentence description, but HR wouldn’t let him.  HR said, “We need to really define what is needed here.  Can you be more thorough?” To be honest, HR really needed to know more to do their job.

So instead of a 3 sentences telling what would describe the job to an expert, you see a laundry list of 40 things that would be nice to have.  There are entries like: “Does not drool while typing”, or, “Shows up for work.”

You can’t afford to put the same boring and useless descriptions on your resume.  You ARE an expert.  Don’t let your resume say, “I showed up for work.” That is HR language.  That is not what you accomplished.  It is what anyone would do.

Your resume as a Star

A star is a point of light in a vast sky of bleakness.  Our eyes are attracted to stars, not to the inky places in between. You only need to shine like a star to attract attention.  You don’t need to shine like the sun.

So, make a list of things that are better only because YOU did them.  What did you do better than anyone else?  What did you do to get official recognition?  Did you win a contest at work? How did you make things go faster?  How did you save money or make more money for your company.  You don’t have to shine like the sun, only twinkle like a star.  If your resume is short but has irresistible sparkle, you will get an interview.

The way to shine is to talk about a specific thing that got done better because you were there.  If you talk about five things that only got done well because of you, you will shine like a constellation.  Hiring managers  will pay attention to your resume and give you a call back.


Coming up

Back to job hunting

What to do about serial disasters in your job search

I lived a couple of summers on a dairy and hog farm.  There were only two things to do with manure, put it on the fields or in the creek.  Yes, once it went into the creek. The manure that went on the fields helped grow more corn and alfalfa.  The manure that went into the creek was a shame, dangerous, and very easy to get rid of. Dumping in the creek eventually became illegal.  It’s a good thing.  That was a bad choice.

The difference between fertilizer and pollution was not the ingredients, it was what we chose to do with our time and resources.

When you spend your time job hunting poorly, you flush your work down the creek.

You can be getting killed before you are interviewed, after the first interview, or when references are checked.

Killed before you are interviewed

If you make one poor resume and send it out 500 times in a year with no interviews, you are polluting, not fertilizing.  That resume goes on file at many companies and keeps you from being hired for job after job.  If you are getting no response, either:

  1. you are not qualified for the jobs
  2. the resume is not working
  3. you have a bad reputation

In any one of these cases, you need to change what you are doing.

If you are not qualified, get experience and certifications, or lower your sights to the jobs you really are qualified for.  If the resume is not working, you need to fix it.  Go to www.dilts.us/books to get the best resume book ever written. If your reputation stinks, you may have to move or try a new field of work.

Stopped after your first interview

If you are getting interviews every week, but never being called back for a second set of interviews, you are polluting.  The companies you are interviewing with are putting you on their “Not Good Enough” list for some reason. You need to do some practice interviews on camera, and practice with managers who can’t hire you but will critique you. You need interview help. You also need to get back with every interviewer you can find and beg them for honest feedback.  If they consider you a really bad match, they will often hide that for fear of angering you.  When you ask for feedback, listen meekly and probe.

Ruined by your references

Does your job search fall apart every time it gets to the reference check phase?  Someone or something in your background is killing you.  You may have a reference who is polluting your job search.  It could be a lukewarm or hostile person who smiles at you and moans during a reference check.  Some people are just negative.  They hedge and hold back and wouldn’t give Superman a good reference because of his “Kryptonite problem.”   If you know a credit check or criminal background check is stopping you, you may have to back down your job aspirations or get to know which companies will hire you anyway. Sometimes an industry change is necessary.  Changing states may help.


If your job search is not working, there is always a reason.  Always.  Where your search is falling apart may tell you what the problem is and how to fix it.  Getting to the same place over and over only to lose out because of YOUR problem pollutes the job market against you. Find out if you have a problem.  Honestly work to correct that problem and you’ll find a job.

Something to do today

Keep track of where your job search is falling apart.  Figure out if it is your resume, interviews, or reference checks that are killing you.  Now, start researching ways to overcome that problem.  Work at it.

3 examples of thrift that ought to go on a resume

Here are 3 examples of thrift that should be on resumes.  They are examples of being thrifty that can get you interviewed and hired.

One change that Laura suggested allowed her company to lay off 3 data entry clerks.  That paid for her salary for the rest of her time at the company.  But, she never put it on her resume.  She never mentioned it in future job interviews.

Bob renegotiated several software maintenance agreements.  He called up some other companies with the same software and asked for information.  Then he called up the salesmen and asked why they were paying an extra $300,000 per year for licenses. Those savings never made it onto his resume.  He did write, “renegotiated software licenses”.  If he had written, “saved $300,000 each year by renegotiating software licenses”, it would have had a lot more impact.

One mechanic I know saved his company $1,200,000 each year by suggesting they use different light bulbs in their plants.  He got an award for the suggestion.  Would you rather hire him or a mechanic who just tightened bolts on machines?

Make sure ways you saved money and time show up on your resume.  Mention them in every interview.  A thrifty reputation can be very enticing.  Every dollar saved goes right to the manager’s bonus pool.  That should help in your next job search.

Something to do today

Go back through your job history.  In your job journal write down everything you have done that saved money.  Getting a project done ahead of schedule or under budget counts.  Make guesses at how much money you saved.  Figure out how many people were shifted to other areas because of your improvements.

Now put those numbers in your resume.


Later: Interview like an Eagle -11

Start a salary bidding war

Top secret job hunting

Read want ads even if you are NOT job hunting

Free career intelligence

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What can get you a job, that you learn from spammers?

For your job search you have to learn a very important lesson from spammers.

How do they get people to pay attention?

Here is how they get ME to pay attention.  Learn from my weakness.

I never get less than 60 spam emails in a day.  Over a weekend it is always several hundred.  Every once in a while I see a word and phrase in the subject line that I have to investigate.  As a recruiter, one irresistible word is “resume”.  Others are CPA, VB.Net, Senior, relocating, or proven.

Think about people you send your resume to.

Every time a job ad is placed online, someone gets spammed.  They may get 50 to 1000 emails from people wanting a job.  At least half will be totally unqualified.  So the hirer or their receptionist has to skim through them and delete all but the top 10 or 20. While doing it they will delete the resumes of highly qualified people who weren’t careful.

A little carefulness will at least get your resume glanced at.

Take the job ad you are replying to. What are they key words for the ad?  Are there one or two things that appear to be the biggest and most important skills?  You need to figure out the keywords that will force them to open your resume and read it.

Let’s go one step further.  Make sure your resume fits the job ad.  Put those keywords in bold typeface in your resume.  Have 3 or 4 different resumes available to send for slightly different jobs.

Spammers are experts of single words and simple phrases.  They suck their target into their ad.  They know who they want to impress and what they want their victim to do.

Be careful. Figure out who you want to impress.  What keywords can you highlight that will make your ad, your resume, irresistible?

Something to do today

Today take every job ad that interests you and WRITE DOWN the keywords in the ad before you send your resume.  Then highlight the keywords in your resume and in your cover letter.


Later: The rubber band solution for nervousness

Make an incredible standout resume adding a new reference format

We got a resume that was 30 pages long.  It included a CD with all the documents and even more information.  Karen and I laughed about the ego of the guy who did it.  We looked through it to see why he thought he needed so much information.  We called and talked to him and told him it was too much. In short, it was the perfect resume.

The perfect resume gets read, discussed, carefully checked and finally gets a call to the person who sent it.  It wasn’t until a year later that I realized just how effective that huge resume had been. I had called and discussed a lot of details with the owner. Perfect.

Enterprising job searchers have come up with a lot of ways to set their resumes apart.  Different kinds of paper, a CD, a business card sized CD, audio, video, youtube, a 5 word cover letter, photos, a sculpture included in a box, candy, and a singing delivery person have all been used. The idea is to do something that sets you apart in a positive manner.  It also has to be something that does not diminish your printed out email resume.

Adding audio or video is relatively simple.  My next two letters will detail different ways to add references you can see or hear.  One is using a telephone.  It is extremely easy.  The other requires a recorder, software and a website.  If you want to make a real audio or video production, it is the way to go.

Is audio for you?  Do you want your references to be instantly available to anyone who gets your resume.  Will your own voice get you calls for interviews?  You’ll have to decide.  I’ll show you how to do it.

Something to do today

Are your references willing to be recorded?  Find out.


Later:             The easy way to add audio to your resume

Show you are the “big bear” on your resume

I have been around a lot of big bears in Pennsylvania. It is exciting.  Still, I have only seen one bear in Pennsylvania.  Bears leave behind footprints, scratched trees and scat (the polite way of referring to bear excrement).  As a matter of fact, some bears try to impress other bears by showing how high on a tree they can scratch the bark away.  They may never see each other, but bears know who is the “big bear”.

In  job hunting you need to let people know you are the “big bear”.  Don’t tell them everything you did at your last job..  Show them signs of your size and impact.  In your resume do not give every detail of your jobs.  Show the things that prove you are the “big bear” now.

Are you a Controller or CFO?  How much money did you save your company?  How much new revenue did you personally drive to the bottom line?

If your title is manager, assume that people know you hire, make budgets, and write reports.  Increased revenue, how much money you saved, and faster execution are things that show how high you reached.

As a programmer you need to have a list of languages you know somewhere on the resume.  That’s necessary but it doesn’t make you stand out.  The fact that your last five projects came in on time and under budget will show you are a big bear.

Don’t hide what you accomplished in a forest of petty details.  Make the things that prove you are a big bear unmissable.  If you have ten bullet points about one job, get rid of half of them.  A five line paragraph will hide a lot of accomplishments.  Make three short bullets instead or put a couple of keywords in bold font.

Show you are the big bear.   Stretch up high and scratch that tree where the other bears can’t miss it.

Something to do today

Hand you resume to some friends.  Give them 45 seconds to read it, then ask them what your biggest accomplishments are.  45 seconds is a very thorough read for resumes, most only get 10 seconds.  If you can’t get your point across in 45 seconds, getting hired will be pure luck.


Later:             Get references on the company

Get references on yourself