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The Informational Meeting, Job Offer Connection

Not all of us are born "schmoozers," but it's a skill that we should all learn as best we can. From a career skills perspective, schmoozing refers to relationship building, a skill that is in high demand. If you are serious about landing your dream job, faster, don't ignore the power of the schmooze, which from a career building perspective is more commonly known as networking! This article delves into a specific aspect of networking: the informational meeting.


The goal of the informational meeting is to meet with a company insider, or with someone who does the job you would like to have. The intent is to gather information, not ask for a job.

Be aware of protocol and don't overstep social boundaries. Accosting a company's VP as he grocery shops is not recommended. Business protocol means sticking to business hours, and behaving in a business-like manner. Politely asking for an informational meeting is okay; hounding is not!

Identify your ideal employer for optimal results. A romance novelist wouldn't land a new contract by targeting a publisher of mysteries. And an innovative IT software developer is unlikely to be happy in a stodgy innovation-shy corporate environment. Schmoozing with an ideal employer will be easier as you'll both be on the same wavelength.

Identify a target again, for optimal results. Contacting the wrong person is poor strategy; the target's disinterest will stop the reluctant schmoozer in her tracks! And the lack of influence of a poorly chosen target would be a waste of effort. Rather than a Human Resource recruiter, arrange a meeting with the person two steps above the position you want. If you are a front line staff, aim to chat with your future supervisor's manager. If your goal is a Director level position, then aim for a meeting with the CAO.

Want to talk money? Salary is not a topic for the schmooze. It isn't even a usual interview topic. It becomes a topic whenever the potential employer brings it up.

Name dropping is quite acceptable in schmoozing. Hiring a known entity is preferable to hiring an unknown, and sharing a respected name-in-common establishes a valuable connection.

But don't expect a job. Even if someone reputable referred you, don't think a job is a done deal. The astute networker shares the value of his skills by relating these to revenues earned, costs saved, and reputation or brand built on behalf of past employers.

And don't overstay your welcome. Once you've been granted an informational meeting, you should stick to the agreed-upon time, perhaps 15-20 minutes. Ask your questions, share your value, and ask if you may leave your resume. Keep in mind that relationship building skills include reading body language and intent and adjusting your expectations accordingly. So do allow your contact to steer the meeting's length.

You must ask good questions. Which questions you may ask? Too large a topic to tackle in a short article, but the key question is "Can you recommend someone else that I should speak with?" the answer to which will, of course, lead to more schmoozing, which may indeed lead to a new job!

About the author

Stephanie Clark, a respected leader on the resume scene, is owner of New Leaf Resumes. Recipient of four awards for outstanding resumes in the Career Professionals of Canada 2008 and 2010 Awards of Excellence. Cover letters in print in Joyce Lain Kennedy's latest book on cover letters (2009).

New Leaf's clients, serious about managing their careers, appreciate working with a leading professional. Stephanie invites you to visit her website at for more information.

Should You Call a Company After You Sent Your Resume?

You’ve been looking everywhere for, not just a job, but a career, you want to do something with yourself that enables you to pay your bills but also provides a purpose. But, that’s harder than you imagined in an economy that is only slowly making its way back.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question, and there are numerous variables at play that can affect the outcome, and every employer is a little bit different. It seems like it’s impossible to know if you are wasting your time by following up on a resume you have sent, but maybe it’s the thing that will give you a leg up over the other candidates.

It really depends…

In general, it really does depend according to some experts. It depends on how you sent in your application, if you know or can find a contact person, and just how much you actually want the job – is it really worth all the effort you put in? Here are some suggestions that may help when deciding to follow-up on a sent resume.

How did you send in your resume?

How did you get your resume to the prospective employer in the first place? Did you have a contact person or did you send it in through an online contact form, or did you send it through the company website job page? If you know someone in the company, you can get help with contacting HR or you can find someone from the company Facebook page and get in touch with them that way. You’re not being creepy, you’re being resourceful.

When should you follow-up on your resume?

Some recruiters and placement agencies will advise you to submit a resume, and then follow-up with a phone call or email. It can show ambition and enthusiasm, as well as set you apart from other candidates who do not bother to follow-up. Employers will like that you are eager to get started and are interested in the position.

But, it is certainly appropriate to send a letter or an email a week or so after you submit your resume, especially if you have not heard anything from the company. Who knows, your resume may have fallen through the cracks and a phone call is just the thing that they need to know how interested you are. But, if you have done a follow-up phone call or email after sending a resume, and you have not heard anything for a few weeks, it would be best to conserve your energy and not waste time on something that probably will not happen. There are other opportunities out there for you, so you just have to go and find them.

When you follow-up make sure that you are polite. Polite messages reinforce your strong interest in the job, as well as showcasing your ability to handle important topics. Every day people get jobs because they stayed the course and fought for what they wanted, maybe today is your day.

Erin Kennedy, CPRW, CERW, BS/HR, is a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant and President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She is a nationally published writer and contributor of 9+ best-selling career books. She has achieved international recognition following yearly nominations of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Erin has written thousands of resumes for executives and professionals.

As a proud member of PARW, CDI, AORCP, Erin also sits on CDI’s Credentialing Committee for new certification candidates and serves as a Mentor for CDI’s Member Mentoring Committee. She also is a featured blogger on several well-known career sites. Reuse of this article is encouraged but must include a link to Want to know more about Erin Kennedy, CPRW? Read her LinkedIn profile at:


Job Hunting on the Sly – Finding a Way Out of That Dead-End Job

Despite what you tell your colleagues, you’ve looked online for work while at work. It doesn’t matter if you say it’s only happened during your lunch break, sure thing, or you admit to taking an entire morning to peruse the job market. Everyone has killed some time looking for that dream job, while your current one takes a back seat. No one is here to judge you. Instead, why not find some ways to make your job hunt easier? After all it’s your life and if you find a way to make it better, why not leap at that chance?

If you’ve ever looked for a job while at work, it’s probably not the smartest move you can make. You don’t have to be an Einsteinian genius to know that looking for work while on the job is a bad move. But, people do it a lot and employers are not oblivious to it. The key is being able to look for a job and keep it on the down low. You don’t want some work place colleague to go back and spill the beans to HR or your boss.

What are some things you can do to continue your job hunting without getting the hook from your boss?

Maintaining productivity

One of the earliest signs of a distracted employee is loss of productivity. Excessive job hunting on the clock can kill productivity and make managers look for replacements before you’ve even found your new job. Managers can monitor computer habits so make sure that your job search stays within an appropriate amount of time. You don’t want to get fired and your work computer is one hundred percent the property of your employer, so be careful when looking for another gig.

Examining repercussions

Even if you do your search at home, make sure you’re using your personal computer. If you use a work related computer, there could be active monitoring software installed, which is completely up to the company. Make sure that nothing you do can be traced back to you. And always remember that US companies have the right to fire an employee for any reason. If they are not just, then why should you be? There are plenty of opportunities out there and all it takes is you applying yourself to get them.

When is it appropriate?

Even if you’re browsing out of casual curiosity, it can send the message that you’re ready to leave your current job. About the only time it is acceptable to look for work while at work is in the event that you have all ready been terminated and you need the time to look for another job. Employees can spend some time job hunting if they’ve already received a notice saying they will be laid off, just don’t abuse the situation. Know the laws in your state and always have a way to fight your employer.

Erin Kennedy, CPRW, CERW, BS/HR, is a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant and President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She is a nationally published writer and contributor of 9+ best-selling career books. She has achieved international recognition following yearly nominations of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Erin has written thousands of resumes for executives and professionals.

As a proud member of PARW, CDI, AORCP, Erin also sits on CDI’s Credentialing Committee for new certification candidates and serves as a Mentor for CDI’s Member Mentoring Committee. She also is a featured blogger on several well-known career sites. Reuse of this article is encouraged but must include a link to Want to know more about Erin Kennedy, CPRW? Read her LinkedIn profile at:


Guerilla Job Hunting – Give Yourself an Edge and Get the Job

Have a plan

A job search is about marketing yourself and, just like any other marketer, you need a marketing plan that will take you from where you are to where you want to be. In order to build a plan, you must first determine your goal-What sort of job do you want? I know, you are tempted to say, any job that pays. But, think of it this way. Just like a marketer will pick a target audience in order to refine and deliver a message with the most impact, you will gain an advantage over the competition by creating a resume and an interview strategy that specifically targets your ideal job. On top of that, by targeting your dream job, you may prevent going through this whole process again in a few months. Now, realistically, finances may dictate that you take whatever you can find most quickly for now. But don’t give up there. If you have to take a job that is less than what you really want, look for something that will allow you to continue your search until you find what you’re looking for.

Then, examine your strengths and weaknesses. What makes you uniquely qualified for the position you want and where do your skills need some work? Your strengths are your selling points and you should be prepared to set employers at ease when they ask about your weaknesses by showing how you have successfully overcome them in the past and what steps you have taken to correct or minimize them.

Your plan should include measurable outcomes that you can control. For example, how many calls will you make a week? What steps will you take to strengthen your network? How many resumes will you send out? Do you have a cover letter that you can use a template and customize easily to fit each position that you apply for?

Prepare for your search

There are all kind of resources out there to help you get ready for your job search. Your local library can recommend good books to help you and you can search for resources online. There are five critical components of your job search: your resume, your cover letter, your interview skills, and your follow up/thank you letter. So, stay in touch with your contacts, make sure that your written communications are up to snuff and practice interviewing. Be ready for the behavioural interviews that are so popular today. Do an internet search for job interview questions, think about what you would ask if you were the hiring manager and be prepared with great answers.

Keep Track

Track every part of your job search. I like to keep an Excel spreadsheet with the dates that applications or resumes were submitted, follow up dates, and offers received. If you track your job search, you will know when it is time to follow up with a potential employer and can get a feel for what is working and what is not. For example, if you send out a lot of applications but get no interviews, you will want to work on your cover letters and resumes. If you get interviews, but no offers, brush up on your interviewing skills.

Follow up

Use your tracking system to help you keep in touch with potential employers. Stand out from the crowd by taking the time to follow up on your application a week or two after it is submitted. Send a follow up letter to each person that interviews you to thank them for their time, express your interest in the job, and comment on some aspect of your conversation.

Dig Deeper

One technique for effectively answering behaviorally based interview questions is the SMART technique Following the guidelines in this article may help you avoid awkward follow up questions by the interviewer.

Your Resume Tells A Lot More Than Just Your Work Experience

Over my career I have probably screened thousands of resumes and they still fascinate me. Resumes are representations of ourselves and the first thing that prospective employers see. That is why I am amazed at some of the resumes which cross my desk – they just scream “I don’t care about my professional reputation”

Here are some examples that I have seen of bad resumes:

– Poor formatting – Whether its wrapping bullets, inconsistent punctuation or bad alignment I usually can’t get past bad formatting to read the content. By the way, good spelling is mandatory

– Putting salary expectations – I think this is bad form because we haven’t even discussed your candidacy and you already are making demands? I recently read a resume where the bullet right under their name said “Salary Expectation >$150k” – I didn’t read any further

– Being too self promoting – It seems that everyone is a “Senior Leader with extensive IT delivery experience” and a “strong communicator with interpersonal skills” based on their first paragraph

– Playing “acronym BINGO” – Please do not list every technology, version number and acronym that you can think of on your resume. This isn’t Scrabble and you don’t get points per acronym

– Employment consistency – Red flags go up if I see long periods of time with no work experience or having many jobs over many years

My recommendations:

– Focus on formatting – Keep bullets succinct and relevant but distinguish sections and key points. Make it look like you spent time on the resume

– Tailor the resume to the role you are applying for – If the job is a Project Management job then make sure to call out Project Management experience. There is nothing I hate more than a resume that appears to be sent in mass to many positions and not tailored to the role. I have received resumes before for Leadership roles where the objective will say “to become an engineer”

– Quantify the benefits of your work – Don’t just say you managed work, rather show the value of the work to the organization. This demonstrates value and shows that you understand the business impact of your work

In this economy there is certainly more supply than demand, and your resume is the representation of yourself and tells a lot more about you than just the words in the bullets. OK, time to get back to work being a “Senior Leader with extensive IT delivery experience and strong communication skills.”

By Kerry R. Wills at

Are Paper Resumes Dead?

Today’s world is basically run via e-mail, text messaging and instant messenger. The advancement in such technologies has turned things that were traditionally printed on paper, like resumes, into digital forms as well. Most large companies even bill their clients via the internet, also known as online billing. According to a recent national survey, the majority of Americans say that they receive a significantly less amount of “paper” mail, in their mailboxes, than they did 10 years ago. It is important to note the fact that paper resumes are definitely less popular in today’s world, but their decrease in popularity and made them an even more effective tool in the job marketplace.

With this being said, paper resumes have become significantly less popular among employers looking to hire new employees. People tend to ask, “Why is this?” Let’s take a look at why paper resumes have become less popular among people on the job hunt, but actually more effective in landing that job of your dreams.

It is obvious that uploading a digital resume to ten different online job applications is far easier than addressing ten envelopes and mailing them to different companies with you resume inside. This is one of the reasons that many people seeking a job have turned to digital resumes. They don’t require a printer or paper and can be uploaded to a job application in a few seconds time.

After looking at the increase in convenience of digital resumes it is a wonder that anyone would send a traditional resume to a potential employer. If you take the time to send a paper resume to a potential employer you may very well benefit from the effort put forth. Most CEOs of large companies say that receiving a paper resume, among the hundreds of resumes submitted online, is a refreshing and eye-opening event. Basically, a paper resume can cause an applicant to stand out from the large crowd of other applicants.

You must remember that most business owners and heads of the hiring departments have been in the business for years, meaning they tend to be old-fashioned. Just because technology has advanced far past their technical skills doesn’t mean their mindset has advanced at the same pace. The bottom line is that, in general, employers love to see something traditional, like a paper resume.

Tips for Sending a Paper Resume

If you feel the need to set yourself apart from the competition, in regards to other applicants, then there are a few things that you should consider before mailing a paper resume to a potential employer:

1. Don’t get fancy with the font. Picking a fancy or unique font will often times act as a detriment because of the fact that they are not typically easy to read.

2. If your cover letter and resume combined are more than two pages then you shouldn’t fold them up in a traditional envelope. Buy an envelope that allows the papers to lay flat.

3. Use a high quality type of paper to give your resume a better sense of credibility and prestige.

Jason Kay is a professional resume writer and regular contributor to, which provides job search tips, interview advice, and resume builder reviews.

Cover Letters and Resumes – Does Paper Really Matter?

Okay, you’ve updated your cover letters and resume. Now they are polished, bright and terrific. You’ve paid your local resume guru a few bucks to make sure you’ve got smooth sailing to your next job or career. He wrote you a killer objective statement and put the latest buzz-words into these finely crafted pieces of literary art.

You’re ready to go out and conquer the world now, right?

Not so fast…

There might be a few details you didn’t quite get to while preparing to conquer the Earth. Let’s talk about paper first. What is the first hurdle you’ve got to overcome in this process?

It’s not a tough question, but this one gets many job seekers right out-of-the-gate.

You’ve got to survive the beauty pageant.


This is the first glance and looks are everything. Pretty, “conforming” submissions make it – ugly ones don’t. You’ve got to survive that first, potentially fatal gaze. At this juncture, employment pros aren’t looking to find qualified people – it’s far easier to find the ones that sent in cheap photocopies or had their masterpieces printed on chartreuse-colored paper.

This is a time you DO NOT want to stand out or be noticed. If you get noticed now, it isn’t for a good reason.

So, what kind of paper are you submitting your presentation on?

Are you using an original, laser-printed document? How about paper quality and color? These are small points, but critical ones. You should see what HR and other hiring specialists get every day. They receive some wild submissions from “serious” candidates. Let’s not make those same mistakes.

First, we need to get your presentation past the reviewer who will toss your Picasso in the not interested pile as fast as you can say: rejected. They don’t need a good reason to dislike your documents. If they don’t look “worthy” of consideration, they will get tossed. That’s what these people get paid to do.

This isn’t personal, but it is life, reality and the way it is in the business world.

These are things that speak volumes about you without you ever being seen or heard. Use cheap paper and the consensus will be that you are not a serious candidate. So, use the highest quality paper you can afford. Ideally, a 25 lb. bond with high cotton content and watermark says you’re serious and a winner.

By the way, make sure the printing is on the correct side of the watermark and that it is right-side-up. It is easy to print on the wrong side or upside down.

Color choices are white, white and – oh yes – white.

You never know when the person doing the initial culling is a guy with a crew-cut, glasses and wearing a button-down shirt every day. ANY color other than pristine white is a mistake, simply because you don’t know the details about who is reviewing your submission.

Using another color means you’re choosing to allow a super-conservative type to pass judgment and decide you don’t need to work there. In some professions like health care, accounting and legal, there has never been any other color but white for cover letters and resumes.

Preston Mars is an award-winning career strategist and employment writer. In 23-years, he has authored professional, job search documents for over 14,000 clients.

Would you like to write cover letters that get incredible results like Preston Mars? Easily and quickly – with no guesswork? This is his personal, secret weapon to writing cover letters that get read and produce interviews. 93.7% of his clients will tell you this is an absolute must have! Click here to find out:

Want a Job? Ignore These Outdating Job Hunting Beliefs

Despite a wealth of great job-hunting advice, many prospective job seekers are still clinging to outdated job-hunting and resume writing guidelines that hinder their search for a job. If you’ve been sending your same old resume from 10 years ago with a “Dear Sir or Madam”, then you’ve probably learned that these methods have become obsolete.

If any of the following job hunting problems match you, then you need to implement corrective measures as soon as possible if you want to achieve success in 2011:

1. Not studying your competition

Candidates fail to check out their competition when they start their job search. They reason that their generalized resume worked in the past and that it will continue to work in the future, but that just is not the case any longer. You resume will be stacked against incredibly high skilled competition who probably have seen and done things that you present as standout attributes on your resume.

If you have a diverse set of skills, you’ll need to go the extra mile to get into your chosen career. You’ll need to establish connections and contacts with people in the industry to help fill in any career gaps you have and to boost your education and work experience. And you’ll need a compelling resume that clearly develops a connection to your prospective employer.

2. Not caring about your online identity

Social media is the way of the world now, and like it or not, it’s not going anywhere and people pay a lot of attention to it. Who do you think an employer is going to choose, the guy with the drunken Facebook profile picture or the business professional LinkedIn page? 10 years ago no one thought about having themselves Googled, no one really even knew what Google was but now you have to have an online profile to get noticed. You have to make yourself an online brand and highlight yourself above the pack.

3. Disregarding trends in resumes

If you can’t get past the old resume template with your list of qualifications, then you are going to find the job market in 2011 to be very harsh. Companies receive hundreds of resumes a day, so it becomes critical for potential employees to document the impact of their work and to back up their accomplishments through quantitative means. For a business to hire you they want to make sure that you are going to positively impact their business, and that means on the bottom line, are you going to make their business more profitable.

You have to have something on your resume that shows how you have positively impacted growth in one way or another. For executives or senior-level employees, personal branding has become the newest trend in the job hunt. This is a delicate process and you will need someone who understands developing a branded persona. You have to become the expert in your field.

Hopefully these tips will help you get past anything that was holding you back and put you on the road to new employment!

Erin Kennedy, CPRW, CERW, BS/HR, is a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant and President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She is a nationally published writer and contributor of 9+ best-selling career books. She has achieved international recognition following yearly nominations of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Erin has written thousands of resumes for executives and professionals. As a proud member of PARW, CDI, AORCP, Erin also sits on CDI’s Credentialing Committee for new certification candidates and serves as a Mentor for CDI’s Member Mentoring Committee. She also is a featured blogger on several well-known career sites. Reuse of this article is encouraged but must include a link to

Job Hunting 101: How to Write Your Social Media Profile to Get Hired

Social media is a resource that is used by at least 75% of all hiring managers to pre-screen or pre-qualify job applicants. Hiring managers and employers are searching for you online before they contact you for the first interview. Do not let your social media presence ruin your chances of getting an interview or getting hired for your dream job. My seven tips below will help you create your social media profile so that your phone rings inviting you to a job interview.

1. Keywords – Identify the keywords that hiring managers are using to search for applicants. You will find the keywords in job announcements. They will be industry specific.

2. Remove offensive pictures, posts and friends – Do not post pictures that you would not want grandma to see. This means no drinking game photos from your graduation party or photos from your bachelor party. You will also want to alert your friends and family that you are using social media for job hunting and that you do not want them posting offensive content. If they do you must be prepared to hide the post or unfriend the person. I recommend unfriending the person because you may not see the offensive post before a future employer sees it.

3. Write your profile – Write your profile as a word document so that you can edit it as needed. Also, write it as if you were writing a paper. Capitalize words that begin a sentence. You will want to end your sentence with a punctuation mark. Use correct grammar and spell words correctly. Do not forget to run spell check. Use keywords in your profile so that when a hiring manager or employer is conducting a search they will see your profile.

4. Share your expertise – When you post status updates you will want to share content related to your industry so that you are showing future employers you are staying abreast of your industry trends. Your updates may be links to articles, websites or videos. You will want to add a few of your own thoughts or ideas to supplement the link.

5. Network – Do you know what companies or the industry you would like to work? If so, start following the company and connecting with the hiring managers and employees. When networking with the employees ask why they like working there. You may find out that many of them are not happy and they will share that secret with you. Also, look to see where people leaving the company are going. This may provide valuable information too. You will also want to connect with these people and ask why they left. Networking with the hiring mangers is a great way to find out more about the jobs and to build rapport. Do not immediately begin asking these new friends about job openings. You will want to make time to establish rapport first. You establish rapport by finding a common subject to discuss i.e. pets, sports or military affiliation.

6. Get Recommendations – Now is the time to get your present and previous coworkers and supervisors to write recommendations for you. When hiring managers see these it will help them know why they should hire you and what to expect out of your performance.

7. Post a Profile Picture – Do not forget to post a professional profile picture. This is not the time to have a picture of you on your boat or with your pet. Post a picture that would be appropriate to put on your business card. A photo allows people to see you and feel a connection. It makes you real.

These seven tips will help you create a social media profile that will get you noticed and begin the hiring process. Job hunting is serious business. When you have a social media profile you will be able to share your expertise with hiring managers so you stand out amongst the competition.

Dream Catcher, Business & Life Coaching is a Veteran Owned Business. Coach Jaynine is a retired United States Marine and former psychotherapist who works with Veterans and those on Active Duty. Jaynine will show you how to increase your visibility while developing your expertise. Whether you are a Veteran Business Owner or still on Active Duty, Coach Jaynine is the coach for you. She will teach you the systems and strategies needed to grow your business, have a successful military career, or transition into civilian life. You can start turning your dreams into reality by downloading her free 15 Resume Success Tips

Irene's Resume Writing Tips

3 R’s-Relevance, Research and Readability

Relevance….Focus on what the employer is looking for, not on yourself, your work history and skills. An excellent resume is not about giving the employer every detail, it is a marketing piece to intrigue, a marketing piece that positions you, brands you as the ideal candidate by giving details that will be most relevant to the employer. You need to determine which of your qualifications, skills and experience are the best match for the employer, and highlight them in your resume.

Prioritize the information on your resume so that the most important or relevant skills and achievements stand out on the first page. You want a resume that will position you, brand you properly at first glance. The reader should not have to spend a great deal of time, other than a few seconds looking at your resume to know why you will be of benefit to the organization.

Research: You must match the required job qualifications, because in a candidate rich environment a machine or an employee who is not necessarily invested in finding the right candidate is scanning resumes, eliminating candidates. Scrutinize the job posting, make sure that you meet the requirements and that your resume mirrors key words in not only the job posting but in the organization’s mission or vision statement.

Research the company! Go to their website, use online tools to find out about key players, new mergers and acquisitions. Gain an understanding of the organization, its culture, values, goals and objectives. Pay attention to the words being used, and mirror them in your resume and marketing materials.

Readability: This is job search for dummies, and YOU are not the dummy. The marketplace is highly competitive, and your resume is a tool to help you get through the elimination process, to the first telephone and then face to face interview. It must be executive looking, simple, clean with no spelling errors. Make sure your contact information is on every page, and that there is enough white space to draw the eye of the reader to important key strengths, skills and experience. Use bullet points, key words and action statements. Prioritize information on the first page of your resume so that skills and achievements that will be relevant to the job posting and the employer stand out.

The first page of your resume should highlight key strengths, skills and achievements that speak that stand out at a glance. Page two,a chronological history of your career and brief synopsis of education.(dates or no dates in education background depending on whether ageism is a factor)

Things Not to Include on a Resume

The purpose of writing your resume is to get the prospective employer to invite you to an interview. However, even people who think this, persist with their belief that a resume has to capture their entire career-life history and say everything, good or bad about them. The fact is that your resume is simply an advertisement that gets you the click. It needs to ‘sell it’, and not just ‘tell it’ about yourself. You want to honestly up-sell your achievements and leave out the information that does not contribute to you looking like the perfect candidate.

In my experience of writing resumes, I have come across a number of rules about what should go in and what should stay out of a resume. So let me share with you here the things not to include on your resume. They are:

– Anything You Cannot Provide Evidence For: This is the polite way of saying don’t tell lies. You may tell your story in different ways, but any you select must be true.

– Anything Not Directly Relevant to the Job: Everything you say should support your claim to be the best candidate for the job. Anything that does not do that should be considered strongly for removal.

– Salary Information: It’s just another means to exclude you from the interview. Even if the job advertisement asks for this information explicitly, don’t do it. You will want to go through salary later, in a face to face negotiation at the interview stage, but not now.

– Pictures/Photos: Don’t add any pictures of yourself unless you are absolutely required to do so. It is yet another way to exclude you from the running. All employers have their own personal stereotypes and opinions about how you should look. Don’t pander to this idea at this stage. (Unless of course you are going for a modelling job or similar, in which case you would be adding full-sized studio photographs, not resume pictures)

– Gimmicks: Don’t add cute gimmicks or graphics or unnecessary ornamentation if you want to be taken seriously. Anything that takes the employer’s attention away from your qualifications to do the job should be omitted.

– Reasons for Leaving Jobs: Any excuses or reasons or whatever as to why you left previous jobs should be avoided. It may indeed be obvious from your resume that you have stayed a very short time in your previous job or that you have had many jobs in a very short time. Your best course of action is let the facts speak for themselves and simply never raise the issue. However, you can expect a few questions in the interview when you get there, but leave it till then.

– Personal Details: Leave these out to avoid any possibility of discrimination. You don’t need to put your age, marital status, ethnic origin, excellent health statements, etc. If any of these factors are a requirement for the job then let the issues get raised in the interview, and deal with them there. Also be aware of possible identity theft issues. Here is a security reason for leaving out many personal details. Consider instead, leaving out your street level address, and use a free email address (like Google, Yahoo etc. but do use a professional sounding email name!). You could also list a mobile phone number rather than your house phone.

– Reference Details: Leave out any mention of references and never put reference contact details on your resume. The reason is that people, who you have asked to be references for you, want you to treat their privacy with a lot of respect. So don’t splash their contact details around. Also, prospective employers don’t actually want to see your references at this stage. I recommend that you only provide references when they specifically ask for them and after at least one interview, so you can have had an opportunity to check the prospective employer out as being legitimate.

Remember that with stacks of resumes to read through, the prospective employer is trying to find reasons to exclude your resume from the selection process. Any information you do record on your resume must enhance your status as the perfect candidate for the job, and not detract from it in any way.

Peter Draper is an expert in resume writing. Further information available at

Executive Resume Insider Secrets – 7 Resume Tips For Executive Eyes Only

Rules for executive resume writing are different than those followed by candidates targeting an entry- or mid-level position.

Unfortunately, most high-level executives produce resumes that are no better than the rest.

These tips will show you how to make your executive resume stand out from the crowd.

Prove Your Worth

With any resume, it is important to highlight your accomplishments, but it is even more important for an executive resume to demonstrate results. By the time you have climbed the ranks of the corporate ladder, you are expected to have won a lot of battles — you should literally have dozens of success stories.

So, when you list job descriptions, don’t just plop down a bunch of bullet points detailing your job responsibilities. Provide detailed examples of the situations you were in, the solutions you developed, and the success that resulted from the solutions you put in place.

Remember that you are asking hiring managers to give you a larger salary than 95% of the rest of the company — and almost certainly more than the HR people that are reviewing your resume — so you must show them you are worth it.

Demonstrate Leadership

An executive resume should ooze leadership. Brag about the teams you built and the successes those teams achieved.

Speak graciously about your subordinates — a gracious executive is a welcomed asset to any organization.

Flaunt Your Network

If you have built a strong professional network, you should mention it. In fact, if your LinkedIn profile is strong, consider including a link to it on your resume.

If not, build out your LinkedIn profile and then include it near your email address and phone number at the top.

Use More than One Page

Executive resumes should almost never be limited to a single page. Two or three pages are usually best.

Lie About Your Age

Age discrimination is a real thing in the United States. More often than not, it is unintentional, but it occurs regularly.

The prevailing attitude among hiring managers and recruiters is that executives should not be fresh out of college and they should not be too old either (it sounds so bad when you say it out loud, but it is true).

Your executive resume should focus on your experience without an unnecessary emphasis on items that reveal your age.

Consider grouping the early portions of your career chronology into an “early career” section where you summarize what happened long ago without listing dates. Also, eliminate dates from other sections that might reveal your age.

Bury Education

News Flash: By this point in your career, you need to have much more impressive things on your resume than where you went to school.

Yes, you spent a lot of money earning those credentials, but they go at the bottom of your resume now.

Simply list the college you attended, the degree you earned, and your area of study.

There is no need to list your graduation date — it will show them how old you are (or how young as the case may be).

Get Professional Help

More than ever, you need to have a professional look at your resume. Errors that would have been forgiven earlier in your career will make you look sloppy and amateurish now.

A professional editor will be able to tell you what mistakes have made on your executive resume and how to fix them.

To learn how to strengthen your resume and fix your mistakes, get a free 51-point critique here: Executive Resume.

Jeremiah Allen is the managing editor at where he provides executive resume writing services.