Avoid Making Resume Mistakes : Make Sure You Land Your Interview

July 13th, 2016 | Interviewing | No Comments »

How to Talk Yourself Out of an Interview Without Talking at All

During the interview process, everyone knows there are a lot of “Do Not Mentions” to be aware of in order to avoid a bad first impression; however, what most of you don’t know takes place behind the scenes before you’re even been offered an interview! Let’s take a closer look at two tiny details hiring managers use to determine if they want to meet you: your resume and your application. Specifically, what not to write on them.

How NOT to Write a Resume:

  • Include a full six pages of text, front and back: Employers want to know if you really are the super genius you claim to be, but they will hear that from your mouth in an interview. Do not write a dissertation of what you did from 9-5 at your first job circa 1992 up until your most recent position. This will guarantee your resume a one-way ticket into the trash. Instead, try to keep your resume down to 2 pages. Remember: your resume is a snapshot of your experience – not an album.
  • Detail irrelevant positions: If you’re newer to an industry, that’s completely understandable. Employers will enjoy knowing that you were dedicated enough to hold a job as a full-time student. However, if you’re applying for a Chemical Engineer position, the hiring manager doesn’t care about your knowledge of saucing wings at a pizza shop in college. Keep the irrelevant work experience details to a minimum and focus on mentioning your experience that applies to the position you’re applying for.
  • Describe each position held in full paragraph form: Hiring managers will immediately see your wordy resume and only imagine the next 10+ minutes of their time that is about to be consumed reading it. Can you say: “recycling bin”? Instead, use bullet points to emphasize important details of your past positions, while using action words such as “Managed”, “Developed” or “Prepared”.
  • Forget to include your contact information: “People forget to include their contact information?” Yes, all the time! Writing a resume is a big deal, which makes it easy to overlook the little things. Just like remembering to write your name on a test in high school: everything you just spent all of your time on is for nothing if the person receiving it doesn’t know who it belongs to. Simply put your name, address, phone number, and email at the top of your resume – it doesn’t need to be fancy!

How NOT to Fill Out an Application:

  • Write a specific acceptable salary range: Employers will automatically rule you out if you are outside of their budget. This rule gets a little bit murky because you don’t want the employer to offer you a salary less than what they would have because they know you will accept it, and you also don’t want to get your application thrown out because you requested too much money. The best solution in this situation is to write, “Open”. You and your potential employer can discuss salary once you have both determined if the position at hand is really an option.
  • Write “See Resume”: This is almost the same as turning in a blank application: its pointless, and just makes you look lazy. A lazy applicant translates to a lazy employee, while showcasing that getting an interview for this opportunity is clearly unimportant to you. Completing an application isn’t some attempt on an employer’s part to be cruel. In fact, most employers are working to shorten the application process as much as possible in order to grab quality candidates without wasting a lot of their time. If you are truly interested in getting the job, take the time to fill out the application This could make or break your chances at getting an interview, no matter how fantastic your resume looks.
  • Include inaccurate or dishonest information: It is common for applicants to have gaps in their job history or to have a Bachelor’s Degree instead of a Master’s. These could be insignificant details for some positions, but for others: devastating. Lying about how long you worked for a company, the terms on which you left an employer, or a college degree might not seem like a big deal -but the truth is bound to come out. When the truth does rear its ugly head, you could be on the edge of losing a brand new job or getting a nice felony stamped on your record for forgery. No really – we have seen both happen!

Stay Smart: Boost Your Brain and Keep Up Your Intelligence

April 12th, 2016 | Resume | No Comments »

Do you want to get smarter? Do you feel like sharpening up your intelligence to feel your brain working each day? You are in luck. A recent article explores this idea of sharpening your intelligence daily. The article, “7 Daily Habits to Sharpen Your Intelligence”, gives you tips to work your brain daily and feel smarter every day. While the article shares 7 habits, we want to focus on the habits that we find to be the most important to us. But, feel free to click the link to the article to see all of the habits.

  1. Consider scenarios and use your brain to think of all of the outcomes that your ideas could have in your work life. Visualizing ideas can be truly beneficial. Think things through. This helps us all be less stressed and less overwhelmed. It is helpful to consider the impact of our decisions and to think about the future.
  2. Exercise daily…get moving! This is mentioned in multiple articles on how to boost energy and productivity and maintain your happiness. Exercising your body helps your brain. Sweating it out can help you feel less overwhelmed. Walking or working up a sweat doing cardio exercises can help clear your head. It also helps reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s.
  3. Practice a hobby. Having a hobby can help you feel focused and this can sharpen your intelligence. Book club is a great hobby to have and it also boosts your vocabulary at the same time. Playing a musical instrument is a good activity to boost your brain activity, so practice your instrument or jam out with some friends when your brain needs some recharging.

Ways to a Balanced Life

February 18th, 2016 | Food for Thought, Resume | 1 Comment »

What is the key to a happy and balanced life? How can you solve all of your problems and be happy and relaxed all of the time? Well, these are questions that do not have answers…well not definitive answers. But there are some ideas on how to achieve a happy and balanced life. There are ways to organize your life in order to obtain your ideal balance.

We all have different strengths and weaknesses. But we all seem to be striving for our own unique version of balance.

What secrets are there to help us all achieve balance? A Quora article “unlocked” the secrets to balance. Let’s see what the hidden secrets are to finding balance and happiness in life…

  •  Prioritize your health…this should be step one to reaching your balance and being happier in your life. You need to focus on your health routine. This routine needs to be something that gives you energy and boosts your spirit on a daily basis. Discover a new exercise class or try to run outdoors more often. Track your food more regularly and focus on buying healthy foods on your weekly grocery runs. Make sure to get a decent amount of sleep. You deserve it. Treating your body well is step one to being the best version of yourself and the happiest that you can be in life. Drink water…it matters!
  • Take time to disconnect…this can be by actually disconnecting from your smartphones and computers when you do not need to using these devices. Spend more quality time talking to others when you are in a room socializing with friends or family. Schedule time to unplug. Complete all tasks that involve your devices  during regular work hours and take some time each week to unplug at home and just breathe and feel the energy around you and your family.
  •  Allow yourself some creativity…make time for the things you love. Express yourself. Take an art class or learn a new instrument. If you don’t have time for something complex, discover a new book or musical artist and take an interest in something new.
  •  Meditate…it matters. Make sure you learn meditation techniques so that you can decompress and meditate after a long day or a long week. Schedule time and plan out your times to meditate. Make sure you make the effort to meditate and reflect on your busy life. Applaud your successes and reflect on theses successes while taking time to process the world around you everyday.

Listening Matters on the Job and in the Job Search

February 9th, 2016 | Food for Thought, Hiring Resources, Interviewing, Job Search | No Comments »


Listening is sometimes an underrated concept. There has been much focus on making yourself heard and having a loud presence and so on and so forth…but what about listening? Have we forgotten that listening matters also? When it comes to doing well in a team setting at the office listening matters. When it comes to interviewing for a new job…you guessed it…listening matters. You get the point.

We have conversations everyday and we are all very busy people with busy minds and a long list of things to do. With busy lives comes distractions. Think about this concept…do you really listen when people are speaking to you? Maybe you get so used to your home life and the people that are around you everyday that you don’t need to REALLY listen. But this is not a good thing to do…you need to listen! So listen up now…well read up and pay attention.

The interviewer in your next job interview will want to know that you are listening intently. So, look them in the eyes and focus and pay attention. Do not look at the plant on the file cabinet in the corner of their office. Do not look out the window in the conference room you are in and start seeing what birds you see in the sky. To listen you need to focus your eyes. Listening intently involves your eyes and your ears.

Let’s look at some other expert tips on how to listen with purpose so that you can accomplish more of your personal and professional goals and be the best version of yourself.

  1. PURPOSE – It matters – think about the purpose of the conversation you are having…why are you having the conversation? What project are you discussing? What job are they talking to you about and why is it important? 
  2. PAY ATTENTION – This is self-explanatory, but it is true. You need to focus. Having eyes open and ears open is what matters to really pay attention.
  3. EXPRESS THAT YOU ARE CURIOUS – You should be interested in the topic you are discussing and listen when the other person is talking about the key points to the topic. If you are truly interested in the project at hand or the position you are interviewing for, you need to show to you are truly curious and that you want to know the details.
  4. DO NOT INTERRUPT – Be considerate. Practice good manners. Listen and do not speak until it is your time to speak and the other person is done talking.

Some information and listening tips taken from/inspired by this article by Inc. Magazine


What Do Hiring Managers Look For When Hiring?

November 11th, 2015 | Food for Thought, Hiring Resources, Interviewing, Job Search | No Comments »


Business Insider  looked at this topic of hiring managers. What exactly do hiring managers look for in job candidates? In the Business Insider article they specifically looked at what skills and traits employers seem to value the most when looking at new candidates. What are the findings on this? We agree with the article that the traits and skills can depend on the industry, but we also agree with a key finding in the article…that personality matters. Today, more than ever before, personality can make or break your chances of landing the job. According to the expert in the article, Lynn Taylor, “When you reach a job posting, you’ll see many adjectives that will seemingly clue you into the ‘right’ personality to project.” She says that in order to give off this trustworthiness you will need to do certain things in your interview:

  • Listen, pay attention, show that you care
  • Be human, show your human side
  • Be confident
  • Show curiosity and interest
  • Be yourself

The expert says that “The overriding super trait that supersedes all others in countless studies is trustworthiness.”

Being trustworthy is key to getting the job. Hiring managers obviously want you to have skills that the job requires, but they also need to be able to trust you, and the team you get places on will also need to be able to trust you. 

Phone Interview Tips So You Can Make The In-person Next

October 27th, 2015 | Food for Thought, Interviewing, Job Search, Resume | No Comments »




Want to really rock your phone interview? Even if you aren’t sure whether or not you would be good in your phone interview, phone interviews are often times unavoidable. So, let us look at what you can to make sure you are comfortable in your phone interview. Being comfortable in your phone interview can help you ace the interview and move on to the in-person interview

What can you do to do have a successful phone interview?

You can…

Make sure you have a good location to have a call. It needs to be a quiet area where you can focus. The area that you do your call in needs to be somewhere you can pay full attention to the call

You can…

Conduct research. Know your facts. Make sure you know do extensive research on the company and role. Knowing more than you need to can only benefit you in the long run

You can…

Make notes. Write down some things you want to be sure to mention on your call. These notes can be about you and your resume but they can also be about the position you are interviewing for or just notes about the company

You can…

Rehearse, but only a little bit. You don’t want to sound like you are reciting a scripted answer

You can…

Have your resources in front of you so you can use them during the call

Keep your resume and cover letter out on the desk or table you are sitting at for the phone interview

You can…

Ask your interviewer if they have any specific questions about you

You can…

Send a follow-up/thank you email

Productivity Tips…From a Billionaire

October 16th, 2015 | Food for Thought, Resume | No Comments »


Ever wonder how some of the world’s billionaires maintain productivity? What do they to do to be the best they can be everyday? How have the billionaires of the world been so productive and managed their time so well? I think we can all learn from these billionaires. They know first hand what it takes to be the best you can be to make the company you work for the best it can be. 

In a new article  we get some great tips from a pretty cool billionaire…he did start a beer company and become a billionaire making beer. We are talking about Jim Koch, founder of Sam Adams. Let’s see what his top productivity tips are and what he does to stay productive and on top of his work.

These are our favorites of his tips:

  • Live your business from the moment you wake up.

Koch said in the article that he’s remained driven by not losing touch with his product…ever; despite how big his company has become, he tastes his product every day. Koch said he starts his day with a beer sampling each morning to ensure quality consistency.

Know your product, your company’s product, what you are selling…know what your work is about. This is key to success in maintaining productivity.

  • Pick three things that must get done each day, and put them on a Post-it note.

He stays on top of things to be organized. Every morning before leaving his house, he checks his calendar and email, and then writes three things onto a Post-it note that he must accomplish that day. You need to know what you have to do in order to do it, so make lists. It really does help. You can ensure your organization is on top of its goals if you are on top of yours; this ensures you are contributing to the success as a whole and staying up to date.


Shine Bright in Your Interview

October 6th, 2015 | Interviewing | No Comments »

Group Of Businesspeople Analyzing Graph

Shine bright like a diamond. A little humor to start off this post. But, really, you should shine bright in your interview. You want to be the shiniest diamond in the pile of diamonds to choose from…stand out in that pile of potential employees. First, you need to narrate your story. Explain in an articulate manner why you rock as an employee and a person in general. You are hardworking but explain how and use examples of major projects you have completed and how you done this etc. What has made you a better employee and past jobs and what expertise are you bringing to a new company. How will you bring your best self to this organization and make it the best it can be; explain to your interviewer your strategies for success.

Here are some other tips on shining like a diamond in your interview:

  • Values matter!

Show that you have leadership/communication skills. Show your people skills. You have good character and know how to make decisions that will help all parties involved…so show your interviewer this side of yourself! Show that you care about the people you work with and you care about the organization as a whole.

  •  Don’t just repeat all the info from your resume…that is SO boring!

Highlight strengths in depth by describing a big project you headed or completed. Show how something on your resume helped you grow to be a better worker with more skills. Discuss a major accomplishment in depth and show your strengths verbally.

  •  Weaknesses?

Think deeply about a weakness you have that you can discuss in your interview. They will ask. Show how you have overcome a weakness or are overcoming a weakness and how this “flaw” helps you be a stronger person and better employee.


Land the Job This Fall

September 12th, 2015 | Job Search | No Comments »


pile pebbles stone and green leaf in garden


Fall is when we no longer can go to the beach in our free time and we don’t seem to have that free-spirited summer attitude among us any longer. So it is a time to get serious. If you are looking for a job, now is the time to land that job! Let’s look at some tips on how to get your search going and land the job this fall.

1. See the fall as a time with new opportunities for a fresh start. 

2. Take a fresh look at your resume and rework it a few times taking into account any wisdom you gained over the summer. Maybe this summer you gained some insights about yourself and your job aspirations? If so, translate these insights into your resume.

3. Spruce up your online presence. And if you don’t already have an online presence, consider making one. LinkedIn is a great way to highlight your accomplishments on your profile page. Also, some people feel that personal websites are helpful in showing off their work – portfolios etc. This can be helpful. 



An Article We Wanted to Share on Job Search by CareerBuilder

September 4th, 2015 | Food for Thought, Job Search | No Comments »

5 common pieces of job search advice you should ignore

  • Aug. 31, 2015, 11:12 AM


There’s lots of advice for job-seekers out there, but not all of it is worth heeding.

Whether you’re a recent graduate, in between jobs or just casually browsing to see what’s out there, you’ve probably gotten no shortage of advice from all sides on how best to find a job.

With so many pieces of advice out there, it can be difficult to determine what’s worth listening to and what isn’t.

To help you separate the wheat from the chaff, here are five common job search tips that you may want to avoid.

1. Use lots of buzzwords

One of the biggest challenges in writing a resume is to find a way to get employers to actually notice it. A common suggestion to achieve this is to use attention-grabbing buzzwords — but this can actually have the opposite effect.

“Job seekers are often told to pack ‘buzzwords’ into their resume. Unfortunately, words that soundgreat like ‘results,’ ‘optimized,’ ‘detail-oriented,’ etc. often don’t actually mean anything,” says Brette Rowley, CEO and founder of personal branding agency Top Seed. “It’s more important to demonstrate the effect you had on your previous workplaces through metrics and plain language that anyone can understand.”

2. Plan it all out

Every year we hear about candidates who came into an interview and didn’t know something as basic as what the company does or even the company’s name. It’s clear that doing some prep work beforehand is a good idea — but did you know it’s also possible to have too much of a good thing?

“My greatest piece of advice would be to lose the over-preparation and instead arrive with self-worth, a listening ear and a candid approach,” says Julieanne O’Connor, author of “Spelling It Out for Your Career.”

“What employers care about is hiring someone who is malleable and willing to give their personal assets/value. So the more a person can arrive to an interview grounded in self-worth, and the more they can listen, the better. Listening is the No. 1 greatest skill.”

3. Apply to as many jobs as possible

Most people are familiar with the phrase “quality over quantity,” but many forget to apply it to their job search. “While there can be strength in numbers, this is faulty logic,” says Andrea Berkman-Donlon, founder, The Constant Professional. “Over-applying may get you an increased number of interviews, but what percent of those meetings will be worth your time? Make sure you read the job descriptions before you send your resume.”

4. Take a day off

While sending out resumes and applications willy-nilly may be inadvisable, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be constantly putting effort into your job search. Whether you’re making calls to recruiters, keeping up with industry news, researching top companies in your field, attending industry events, or exercising your skills with online courses, the important thing is to stay active.

“When you are not working, your primary job is to get a job. Therefore, wake up each day with a goal and stick to it,” says Berkman-Donlon. “Staying with a routine will also ensure you are proactive about the search and will keep you abreast of changes to your industry.”

5. Make your biggest weakness a backdoor positive

It should go without saying that giving a straight answer in a job interview is typically a good idea. Still, many people ignore this when it comes to the dreaded “biggest weakness” question, instead trying to paint a positive attribute as a negative.

“This is a terrible suggestion, as the interviewer is looking for you to honestly appraise your faults and talk about how you’ve worked to overcome them,” says James Rice, head of digital marketing at WikiJob. “Saying that you too often work late, or that you’re too much of a perfectionist, fails to demonstrate any real self-awareness and makes you come across as fake.”

Seeking out advice and adapting your search habits can be enormously beneficial to your job hunt. But it’s just as important not to blindly accept any old advice as gospel.

Read the original article on CareerBuilder. Copyright 2015.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/5-common-pieces-of-job-search-advice-you-should-ignore-2015-8#ixzz3kkEouJ37