Friday, November 13, 2009

Resume Tip For Font Size

I can't tell you how many resumes I have seen and currently see when the font size is too small, thus making it challenging to read a resume. As a previous hiring manager in Human Resources, I typically only took about 5 seconds to first glance over the resume- sometimes 10 seconds MAX before I decided if it the candidate was going to go any further in the process. One of the largest mistakes people make is making their font size smaller to fit everything on the first page. As a rule of thumb font should never be smaller than 11. Ideal would be font size 12 as it is easy to read. Always keep your type of font the same such as all Arial or Times New Roman. I would recommend also making your name at the top stand out in 16 font size because it grabs the hiring manager's attention verses trying to make it jazzy or funky to stand out. Last but not least - do not use a lot of italics and underlining!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Submitting Resumes via Email

If you are seeking a new career and you do not see a position advertised online or in the paper, it is time to take the next step and proactively market your resume. I have a quick tip that will help you get started with this process if you are new to marketing your resume.

Always research online or call the company to get the name of the hiring manager for the department in which you would like to work with. Company websites usually have the "About Us" page with links to different departments and names of contacts. Once you have a name, type the name into a search. Most likely, you will find some contact information through one of the search results.

If you cannot get their email but you have their name, try to call the front desk and ask for their email. I also always recommend when you send your online application or resume electronically and if you feel "unsure" if the hiring manager received it, send it both via fax and regular mail!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Top Interview Tip

I want to encourage everyone who gets an interview to make sure you dress your absolute BEST! I always recommend wearing a pant suit (black, tan or navy) or if you can not, try invest in a plain pair of black wide leg dress pants for females and dressy black pants for men ( You can always wear them at other important functions in your life). Even if the work environment is not a "suit" type of place, you want to impress. I remember at an HR training course, they said when someone comes to an interview, that will most likely be the very best you will see them! If you think about it, that probably is true. Five years ago, maybe even 3 years ago it was always recommended to dress according to "the organizations dress code" for the interview. However, the economy has changed everything about the interview process. So once you get that interview...make sure you look nice, clean and dressed professionally. Another quick tip...always wear closed toe shoes and keep cologne to a minimum. As you meet the interviewer greet them with a warm smile, initiate a firm hand shake and look directly in their eyes! First impression is everything!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Chronological or Functional Resume?

Another tip I would like to offer everyone is the explanation of the different resume formats. There are three different resume formats. Chronological, Functional and a combination of both.

  • A Chronological Resume will describe who you are but the main section of the resume will show your work history with the most recent position listed first. Most employers, recruiters and hiring managers prefer this type of resume because it is easy to read and clearly defines the type of positions you have held with dates.
  • A Functional Resume will focus more on your accomplishments, experiences and skill set rather than the traditional format of listing job positions first. This type of format is excellent when you are changing careers or entering a new field.
  • A Combination Resume will combine both formats above. This a excellent type of format but please be advised, if this is not done by a professional resume writer it can look messy and confusing so my recommendation when using this format would be to research samples and seek advice. It can make a very bold and creative statement, thus selling you and getting the interview, however it can be tricky.
I like to use all three depending on the clients situation. No matter which format you may choose, as I talked about below you do not just want to ever write your work history...always be creative and write all your accomplishments rather than your responsibilities!

I wanted to share with you an example of a quick success story in carefully writing a resume. My mom who is just re-entering the job market after essentially taking off 15 years to raise all her children asked me to write her resume for her last week. Of course the pressure was on...this was my MOM and I wanted it absolutely perfect!! All my heart and soul went into this. We really targeted all her past working accomplishments she had when working with GE and I also focused on the accomplishments and difference she has made in all her charity organizations she stayed active in. I felt we made a resume that sold who she really was and it was strategic. In her case it was a Chronological Resume. Her resume was finished last week and I am happy to report she had her first interview today with a bank in the finance department working on spreadsheets and administration! Keep your fingers crossed she gets the job!! I feel this goes to show, even in this market, whatever your experiences may be can get a interview with the right resume!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


From my experiences working as a recruiter and a human resources manager, I feel the biggest mistake individuals make when writing a resume is that they think of their resume as a "history of their past or as a personal statement. Yes, most of the content of may resume should be focused on your job history however; the intention of a resume is to create interest, to sell yourself to persuade the employer to call you! Currently, in 2009, research is showing that typically only one interview is granted for every 200 resumes received by the average employer. Leaving them approximately ten to 20 seconds reviewing the resume! My point is time to get creative and build a resume specific for the job!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Many of my clients that I write resumes for always ask me advice on job search engines. I decided today I will put down my top five favorite job search engines that I like because even though I love Monster, CareerBuilder and Yahoo... I feel that you have to look further. These sites below are not specific for one industry so anyone can use them. It continues to amaze me how far advanced technology is and how many resources there are for job seekers.

1. - This is my favorite job search engine because it aggregates material from all other sites like Monster, Career Builder , your local paper, company websites, associations and more! All you have to do is put in your location and key words.

2.) - This website also aggregates material from all other sites but takes it a step further and allows the job seeker to send their resumes out on posting 5 other sites for free.

3.) - This website is like the above mentioned but it hooks different organizations together in your community. This makes it easy to find local leads for job searching. This site claims to be the " largest network of niche career communities".

4.) Craigslist - This site basically is the " Grand-Daddy" of all online classifieds. It will give the job seeker an easy way to search their local area. It is not the "best" looking search engine but millions of companies post to this website because it is so cost effective and so many people use Craigslist!

5.) Hound - This site is like a gem waiting to be discovered among the job search engines. This site aggregates jobs posted on employer's websites which is great because it will pull more jobs as it is not "Pay to Post" for employers like Monster or CareerBuilder.

Below are also some excellent job search engines. Looking for a new career can be a lot of work but with a great resume and the ability to use all of these websites it gives you a great start!

JUJU- (Job search engine)
Ladders - This one I think has a fee of $30.00 per month.

Monday, April 27, 2009


On many of the resumes I am asked to edit and reformat, I generally see that they are focused more on the actual job responsibilities rather than the achievements they have accomplished in the position. It is okay to have "some" of the responsibilities listed but you absolutely need to back it up with the achievement! The resume is only the first part of your marketing tool to get your foot into the door and you HAVE to wow them with how good you are at your job and do this in the first few statements!

Most people do not think in the terms of quantified achievements when they are in their position at work, but on the resume, that is the ONLY part that matters to the hiring manager.

For example if you only state:
  • Managed all recruitment activities for a Financial Staffing Division. This is only a job responsibility.
  • Instead state : Responsible for growing staffing revenue as Manager from a -14% profitability to a +12% revenue profitability in two months through internal team building and development of strong external business relations with financial hiring managers.
  • Then in the next sentence you could state exactly how you developed these relations.
Remember to cite specific percentages, figures and/or results instead of broad generalized statements. You want to be able to market your value to an employer so be proud, own your accomplishments and sell yourself!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Writing a Great Cover Letter

Writing a great cover letter takes patience and lots of time. The cover letter is what I like to call the "Icing on the Cake". Here are a few tips to get you started.

1.) Take the time to do some research on the company and investigate who the hiring manager may be. This may involve a few phone calls or simply looking at the email address. When you find out who the hiring manager is, include their name in the opening salutation. This makes a great first impression that you took the time to research (and believe me, it does take time- especially if you do this for each job that you are applying for).

2.) Keep the resume between 3-5 paragraphs long with short sentences and to really make it stand out, bullet the second paragraph that what you can do for the employer. You must actively describe how you meet these needs in quantifiable results.

3.) Tell them why they should hire you and give an example or two of what you did in the past and how it relates to their organization ( I always recommend including something that is NOT on your resume). Try to make it flow naturally.

4.) Try to make the cover letter reflect your attitude, personality, motivation communication skills and enthusiasm!

5.) In your last paragraph, always include at least these three important things:
  • Explain how they can reach you
  • Thank them for their time and consideration
  • Request a meeting/interview.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

5 Tips To Get Started On Your Resume

Here are a few tips to help you with our resume writing:

1.) Think of yourself as a mini profit-and loss center rather than just a prospective employee. I know it sounds terrible, but employers today buy results and are less impressed with candidates promoting a laundry list of skills.

2.) Write "Power Statements". Develop specific examples of how you benefited your company by making or saving them money and PUT it on your resume! This statement below is an example of a results driven human resource resume:

"Increased employee retention by 60% in 2001 through new training and development incentive programs. Increases internal employee staff referral by 29%.

3.) You must have a resume that is designed to catch their attention. Employers make a snap decision when glancing at a resume if they want to pursue it further (usually within 60 seconds)! Always use bullets/short sentences as the employers have no time or patience to read long paragraphs. Especially in this job market where the common open position gets over 400 resumes!

4.) Learn how to analyze the key words that the employer is advertising for the open job descriptions. Use these words in your resume, especially in the top few sentences as it is a key element in creating a powerful resume! You may have to change your resume wording for EACH POSITION that you are applying for.

5.) When you write your power statements in your resume ( refer back to # 2 above) always include "how" you did it! It's one thing to say you increases sales by 80 % but another thing to say how you achieved that!