What resume formats do hiring managers like better?

What Resume Formats Do Hiring Managers Like Better?


The Four Basic Resume Formats, and Which to Use at the Right Time.

There are four basic types of resumes: Chronological, Functional, Combined (Chronological/Functional), and Targeted. See examples of all four below, but note that these are typical examples and should only be used as a guide to see how the formats differ from each other.


What is a Chronological Resume?

The best-known resume format, favored by recruiters and hiring managers because of its simplistic style and layout. 

The Chronological Resume is considered by most as the safest resume format to use that almost everyone recognizes. Let’s talk about what it is. The Chronological Resume is the most traditional resume format also known as the reverse-chronological resume because of its structure and how work experience is listed, starting from your most recent employer or work history to your earliest or first job.

The main parts of the chronological format consists of a timeline or body of work at a specific time in your career, highlighting job duties, responsibilities, achievements and accolades for each of your positions.

Depending on your preference, some may include more sections about their professional experience that relates directly to the role. Some people even include personal experience such as volunteering work with non-profit organizations as well.

In a chronological resume the structure is as follows, an objective or summary statement, a list of positions held from the most recent to the last, and finally the educational section with academic accomplishments, special training, etc.




The chronological resume structure is the most traditional resume format. The experience section becomes the focal point of the resume because each of your past jobs is described in detail, along with sections of skills and/or accomplishments at the beginning of the resume. This format is primarily used when you are staying in the same profession and in the same type of work. The chronological resume should always have an objective statement or summary section to grab the reader’s attention. 

Advantages: Traditional, conservative readers like this format best because it’s easy to understand your current and former job duties, it doesn’t require much analyzing of the resume, and this format highlights the employer, especially if this past position was impressive.

It allows you to highlight all your various job responsibilities and accomplishments from your current and past positions. This can be highlighted in bulleted form describing each job duty or responsibility.

This also allows the person reading your resume to see all the relevant details about your company, title, work history, dates of employment, and accomplishments.

Disadvantage: This format is rarely appropriate for someone making a career change. It’s also more difficult to highlight what you do best in the chronological format.

This might work better for job seekers who have gaps in their employment for various reasons. This format focuses heavily on what the experience that the candidate has, and what they can bring to the table.

One more disadvantage of the chronological resume is that it might look like all the rest of the resumes that a hiring manager or someone in human resources might receive. This sometimes presents a challenge when you want to make your resume stand out.




The functional resume is a highlight of your major skills and accomplishments from the beginning. This helps the reader to clearly see what you can do for them, instead of having to read through the job descriptions to find out. This format is best if you are planning on going into a new career direction or field because it focuses on key skills and qualifications you have from past employers.

This shows a prospective employer that you are a successful applicant in your field. While the functional resume is a must for career changers, it is also appropriate for those with divergent careers, those with a wide range of skills in their profession, military officers, students, and for homemakers returning to the job market, etc.


Advantages: It is a very effective type of resume, and is highly recommended. It can help you reach a new goal or direction. This format starts with the job seekers contact information followed by a summary of qualifications or objective that relate to the job opening.

The summary section of this format is typically where you would highlight your skills. The skills could be listed as simple bullet points or a bullet points with a number rating of each skill (1 being the lowest, and 10 being the highest competency level), for example: Microsoft Word: Expert Level 8, Mac and Windows OS: Expert Level 9, etc. 

In the bullet points, you should try to be creative and write about how you were able to achieve desired results, or were able to accomplish a goal for your company.  

A well know method that is used for this format is listing work history by years worked, and not listing the specific months you worked. This works well if you had gaps in your employment or took time off for school, traveling, parenting, etc.

Disadvantages: The functional format makes it hard for the employer to know exactly what you did in each of your jobs, which could be a problem for some interviewers. It is not the easiest format for applicant tracking systems. The reason being is the applicant tracking software scans the resume, then it’s available to view by a hiring manager or recruiter.

In some cases, if they have problems viewing it, they could simply discard it and not even give you consideration for the position.

When writing a functional resume, always keep in mind that an employer might view it as a way of hiding work history gaps which you might not want to share. It’s always a good practice to be honest about any gaps in employment so that there’s no mistrust or any discrepancies that may come up with the hiring manager.



A combined resume has elements of both a chronological and functional format. It’s typically a shorter chronology of job descriptions followed by a brief skills and accomplishments or qualifications section. It may also be a standard functional resume with your accomplishments for the different jobs held.

One of the most notable is that you can group skills and abilities according expertise. Employers don’t like this format for several reasons. The main ones are its harder to follow the chronology of employers, skills, accomplishments, etc., and not so easy to read.

Advantages: The combined format shows advantages of both kinds of resumes, avoiding the potential negative effects of either type. If you happen to have little to no work history, this format highlights your skills without focusing on the lack of work history.

If you’ve made a career change into a completely different industry or line of work, this will help to show you have some work experience.

Disadvantage: The combined format makes for a longer resume. It can also be repetitious: You can highlight your accomplishments and skills in both the “functional” section and the “chronological” job descriptions.

If you are trying to avoid showing your age, this format will probably reveal your age to the employer. In the case where you have changed jobs or are considered a “job-hopper”, this will also alert the hiring manager as well.

Targeted Resume

This is a customized format that specifically highlights the experience and skills you have that are relevant to the job you are applying for. When you are writing a targeted resume, you need to know what audience is going to read your resume (general manager, senior manager, CEO, etc.). The key here is to match up your real skills and experience to the position for which you are applying.

If you choose this format, it’s important to emphasize or even bold some of the specific keywords on the resume that relate to the position. Since many resumes these days go through a screening process by a software application, you want to give yourself as chance by at least meeting the minimum skills qualification to be considered for an interview.  

The job market is ultra competitive, and a resume that isn’t written professionally doesn’t stand a chance. For a targeted resume format, you probably want to customize your resume for each position you apply for especially if you are considering applying to several jobs.


4 Steps to Getting Hired

4 Steps to Getting Hired

4 Steps to Getting Hired

Start by Creating a Winning Cover Letter

The success factors for scoring your dream job are broken down into four elements:

  1. Winning resume and cover letter
  2. The follow-up phone call
  3. The interview
  4. The thank you letter

Hardly any job search experts focus on writing solid cover letters, focusing instead on resumes. It’s true that a resume can certainly make an impact, but if the reader has to go through dozens of resumes, he or she will see a lot of similar experiences, skills and accomplishments on your competitors’ resumes. So what sets you apart from the rest? A good cover letter.

Be sure your cover letter is custom-tailored to the position at hand, your accomplishments, objectives and skills, and give a strong case as to why you believe you are a great fit for this position. Do your homework on the company, and be prepared to mention how you will be able to help them achieve their goals, issues and concerns.

You can get some of this information from their corporate Web site and typing industry keywords into online search engines. You might get lucky and find out some common concerns, issues, and problems in your potential employers’ industry. The more research you do, the better you will be able to state these items in your cover letter. Some attention-getting items include education, accomplishments, career highlights, and company terminology that apply to the prospective company.

4 Steps to Getting Hired

Following Up With a Phone Call

Call the prospective employer after you send out your resume. The phone should be just as effective a tool for you as it is for companies that use it for interviewing. Remember to keep a record of all the positions you applied for, who you talked to, and what the next step in that process is. These notes should be reiterated in your follow-up cover letter correspondence. It will show your initiative and commitment to your job search.

Always answer your phone in a polite and courteous manner. Never answer your phone while eating, or while dogs or children are making noise in the background. Likewise, your answering machine or voicemail is a direct reflection of you. Keep your greeting short and to the point in order to project a professional image when a prospective employer calls you.

A greeting with loud music or a lot of people talking at the same time is not going to score you any points with the caller. If someone else is answering your phone, instruct them to give only specific information that you want to share with the caller. They should know you are job hunting and need them to act in a professional manner as well.


You’ve made it through the first two steps in the job search process. Congratulations! But don’t get too excited, you still have a long way to go.  

Here’s a to-do list to help you ace the interview:

  1. Unless you have a closet full of suits, jackets, shirts, and skirts (for women) or ties (for men), you need to go shopping. First impressions will go a long way.
  2. Make sure your shoes are clean and polished. Same goes for women’s shoes.
  3. Your clothes must be pressed or dry cleaned if necessary. Clothes that appear wrinkled, dirty, or smelly will have a negative effect on the interviewer.
  4. Make sure you are well groomed. Pay particular attention to your hair and face.
  5. Do not use any perfume or cologne. You never know if the interviewer is allergic to certain scents. Deodorant is necessary.

Now that you have the grooming part down, you need a strategy for what you will say and how you will say it.

A good start is a firm handshake, and then you might start off with small talk.

Example: I have heard great things about your company, I understand that ABC Company has 46% market share of widgets being made in North America.

Another Example: I read the article you wrote in healthcare weekly magazine about ways to minimize emergency room wait times and personal care to patients at your hospital. It was very enlightening.

If you plan on small talk, choose a topic suited to the prospective employer’s industry to show the interviewer that you keep up with industry trends and news. All it takes is a visit to the Web to learn about the company and the interviewer. Remember, always maintain eye contact.     

In your face-to-face interview, don’t come off too cocky or overconfident by giving an impression that you’re too good for the job or that the interviewer should feel privileged that you came in to interview with them. This sends a negative message to the interview.

During the interview, pay close attention and have your list of researched questions ready to ask at the appropriate time. Just remember that as you are being interviewed, you are also interviewing the company to make sure it will be a good fit for you.

Writing a Thank you Letter

Once the interview is over, the next step in the process is to write a thank-you letter. Choose your words wisely. Be sure to mention a few key interests, your experience, and the value you will bring to the company. Finish the letter by thanking the interviewer for his or her time, and express interest in the company and position. Write and send the thank-you letter as soon as you get home from the first interview. 

A hand-written letter shows a personalized touch. If you don’t have good handwriting, a typed letter will do. You can mail or hand-deliver your thank-you letter to the interviewer’s office to his/her assistant. It is also becoming increasingly acceptable to send the letter via e-mail.

If the interviewer’s hiring decision came down to you and another candidate with identical backgrounds and experience, and you were the one that sent a thank-you letter, I would bet money you would get the job.

You are your own advertising billboard, so go out there and advertise your skills and abilities.





12 Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid 

Make a good first impression that gets you in the door, and avoid these mistakes at all costs.

1. Comparisons and clichés: Avoid overused clichés because such expressions distract from your letter’s purpose. You want to showcase your most impressive skills and accomplishments.

2. Unrelated or unrealistic career goals: Tailor your cover letter to the specific position for which you are applying. Hiring managers are only interested in what you can do for the company, not what you hope to accomplish for yourself. Your letter should convey a genuine interest in the position and how you will fulfill your duties. Example: “I am very interested in this executive assistant position, and I am confident in my ability to make a long-term contribution to your staff.”

3. General form letters: This is mass mailing in which you send a general form letter to a large number of employers. This is not recommended because this approach does not allow you to personalize each application. Every cover letter you write should be tailored to the position you are seeking and demonstrate both your commitment to a specific industry and particular employer. Mass mailings might indicate to a hiring manager that you are not truly interested in joining his or her organization.

4. Wasting space: Cover letters are generally just a few paragraphs long, and every word of every sentence should be directly related to your purpose for writing. In other words, if you are applying for a position as an engineer, include only the skills and experience that apply to that field. Any other irrelevant information weakens your application.

5. Incorrect or erroneous company information: Verify the accuracy of any company information that you mention in your cover letter. If you haven’t researched the company, don’t exaggerate. Saying something like: “I know about your company” or “I am familiar with your products” signal to an employer that you haven’t done your homework. Be specific when citing information about a company such as product or service offerings, locations, news and events, etc.

6. Personal photos: This is the no-no you most want to avoid. Adding a photo to your cover letter or even resume is a sure way of eliminating you from consideration for the position advertised. One of the reasons is you might remind the interviewer of someone he or she does not like, or had a bad experience with. You don’t want to eliminate yourself right off the bat without being given a chance.

7. Mentioning shortcomings: This is a big mistake because you’re emphasizing your flaws rather than your strengths. For example, avoid statements like, “Although I don’t have related experience, I remain very interested in the store manager position,” or “I’m not qualified for this position, but I always wanted to work in the dry cleaning field.” Instead, emphasize your strengths, including valuable skills, related experience, and company knowledge.

8. “Amusing” anecdotes: If you want serious consideration from a prospective employer, your cover letter should present a serious, professional tone. Let’s imagine you’re in an interview setting. Since you do not know your interviewer, you would not joke with him or her until you have determined what demeanor is appropriate. Likewise, when writing to a potential employer you never met, you should remain professional.

9. Misrepresentation: At any point of a job search, NEVER ever misrepresent yourself. Erroneous claims in a cover letter or resume could be grounds for dismissal as soon as the inaccuracy is discovered. Stick to the facts. You are selling your skills and accomplishments in your cover letter. If you achieve something, say so, and put it in the best possible light. Don’t hold back or be modest.

10. Personal information: Do not include your age, weight, height, marital status, race, religion, or any other personal information unless you feel that it directly pertains to the position that you’re seeking. If you are applying for an athletic sports team, height and weight may be important to include. Similarly, you should list your personal interests and hobbies only if they are directly relevant to the type of job you are seeking.

11. Demanding statements: Your cover letter should demonstrate what you can do for an employer, not what he or she can do for you. Instead of saying, “I am looking for an opportunity in which I will be adequately challenged and compensated,” say, “I am confident that I could make a significant contribution to your organization, specifically by expanding your customer base in the Midwest region and implementing incentive programs for new accounts.”

12. Typographical Errors and Signature: It is very easy to make mistakes in your letters, especially when you are writing many in succession. But it is also very easy for a hiring manager to reject any cover letter that contains errors, even those that seem minor at first glance. Here are a few common mistakes to watch out for when proofreading your letter. Provide pertinent information in your cover letter. If you forget to communicate something to your addressee, you can easily retype the letter in Microsoft Word, Including a supplementary note, either typed or handwritten, will be viewed as unprofessional or, worse yet, lazy


7 Resume Writing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

7 Resume Writing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

7 Resume Writing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Here are seven mistakes that ruin most resumes, and what you can do to prevent them:

Mistake #1: No Objective or Summary

Start your job search off on the right foot by describing the job or field in which you want to work. Otherwise, you force the employer to read your entire resume before figuring out which position best suits you. This creates unnecessary work for your reader.

If you already know the exact type of job or title you’re applying for, mention it! You can start the resume something like this:


Detail oriented Engineering Manager with 10 years of design experience seeking to bring value and expertise to an organization.

What if you don’t know the job title? You can start your resume like this:


Engineering Manager with 10 years of design and manufacturing experience who knows how to add value to operations.

By starting your resume with a clear objective or a focused summary, you tell the reader exactly what you want to do for him or her. This establishes a rapport and sets the stage for the resume, which will greatly improve your results.

Mistake #2: Focusing on Your Needs

This is the biggest mistake you can make. Your resume must quickly answer the one question on every employer’s mind: “What does this applicant bring to the table?”

Unfortunately, most resumes don’t even come close to addressing this question, instead including statements such as, “Experienced Marketing Manager seeking a position where I can utilize my skills in an environment with potential for career advancement.” While a statement like this might accurately describe your motives for applying, it makes your potential employer less interested in your resume.

Employers hate to hire new people. The only reason they need to hire someone is when they have a problem and need to solve it. Typically, they are very busy and can’t spend a lot of time in the hiring process.

Writing about yourself and not including what the employer wants. Your resume should be a marketing tool addressing the needs of the potential employer reading the resume. The employer looking at this resume should be saying, “This person has exactly what I’m looking for” as they read your resume.

The success of your resume depends on making it clear to the employer how you can contribute to the efficiency of the organization. Notice this opening summary again:


Engineering Manager with 10 years of design and manufacturing experience who knows how to add value to operations.

It’s enticing for a manager to hear upfront that you can add value to the organization’s operations. You can also say you will contribute to the efficiency of the organization or make the company more profitable, if in fact the job description calls for it and you’re capable of reaching these goals. The fastest way to advance your personal goals is to help your employer achieve his or her goals.

Mistake #3: Focusing on Responsibilities Instead of Results

Stress what you’ve accomplished and how invaluable you are to your current employer, instead of telling the reader what responsibilities you’ve held at each prior job.

Make a list of your daily duties and activities at your current or previous job, and brainstorm how fulfilling those responsibilities made a positive impact on the organization. Focus specifically on results… the more the better – because this is what the employer will want to see.

Mistake #4: Using Too Many Big Words

I have seen this way too many times. Applicants use terminology, jargon, or fancy words that really don’t have any value for the employer. The message you want to convey in your resume should be clear, concise, and to the point.

Simple is best. Use this mantra followed by national newspaper journalists: Write at a fifth-grade reading level. For example, try “organized” instead of “administered”.

Mistake #5: Spelling and Punctuation Errors

I cannot overemphasize the importance of using your word processor’s spell-check. Submitting resumes with grammatical errors, spelling errors, typos or poor formatting will not help you. A potential employer will look at the resume and think that an applicant who represents himself or herself poorly on paper will not represent the organization well in person.

Almost every hiring manager I talk to says they consistently see resumes with spelling or punctuation errors. In addition to using spell-check, read through the entire resume at least twice. Focus on making sure dates, titles, and numbers are correct.

Show your resume to a few friends and have them read it out loud so you can hear what it sounds like. Tweak the parts that don’t read well.

Mistake # 6: Too Much Detail

Providing too many details about older jobs that don’t apply to the job you’re seeking. Including a 7 page resume with too much detail about the progression or regression of your career will give the manager a high level idea of where your career is heading. Any employer who feels your career is on the decline will consider other candidates.

Mistake # 7: Formatting

Formatting your resume in a confusing manner. A potential employer will spend about 15 seconds doing a quick scan of your resume. Using an easy-to-read format allows him or her to spend more time reading your resume in detail. The common resume formats are reverse chronological, functional (skill based), and a combination format (or what’s referred to now as hybrid). 

For other job related statistics and relevant data, you can visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website at  


12 Social Media Career Ending Mistakes to Avoid

12 Social Media Career Ending Mistakes to Avoid

12 Social Media Career Ending Mistakes to Avoid

Play it smart with Social Media, and don’t make these mistakes when it comes to putting your career at stake.

Social media if used properly could mean the difference between getting the job you want, or making a mistake that could prevent you from getting the job you have applied for. Here are a number of social media mistakes that you should steer clear of.

We are more electronically connected than ever before, and with connections come the responsibility to be wise about what you post, where you post, and how you are viewed on social media platforms. Here are some examples:

1.) Be careful what you say

It’s easy to get caught up in a discussion or post about an incident that happened where you might vent or post a derogatory opinion about a race, religion, nationality or political group that might be sensitive to a lot of people.

Whether you meant to post it as a joke or a prank, a lot of people might see it, including your employer or prospective employer, and they might have a negative opinion about your post or opinion, and they might take it the wrong way, which could mean your job.

2.) Watch what and where you post

Be mindful of what you post, and where you post it. Posting an inappropriate photo of yourself in a compromising situation, for example, will land you in hot water if someone you work with, or someone you interviewed with sees it.

Also, stay away from posting photos of yourself while intoxicated. These types of behavior might not be what the company wants in their candidates. Also, don’t assume a potential employer is only checking one of your social media profiles.

They check LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, and other public profiles they may find online about you.

3.) Badmouthing your company or boss

Negative venting about your job, company or boss is never a good idea. Remember the world-wide-web is open 24/7, and you never know if a colleague knows the person you may be badmouthing. Negative talk almost always gets back to people in no time.

You don’t want it to come back and haunt you if you’re about to get a job offer or promotion. This badmouthing might also affect future job opportunities too.

4.) Poor use of spelling, punctuation, and grammar in your posts

This will give the reader an indication that you lack the ability to clearly communicate your message and ideas effectively. You don’t want to get written off before you have a chance to prove your worth to a company because of typos or poorly written posts or comments.

5.) Posting personal information about job offers, interviews, income, etc.

Personal information is simply that. Personal. Confidentiality is critically important when it comes to your livelihood and how you earn a living. With increased risks of personal accounts getting hacked, and personal information stolen, we should be even more protective of our personal information.

If you post that you received a job offer, and criticize the offering party because it wasn’t exactly what you wanted or they tried to low-ball you, don’t resort to any disrespectful comments. It’s just not a good idea.


6.) Plagiarizing

I can’t stress enough the importance of using your own content, material, and voice. Plagiarism is most definitely frowned upon in any shape or form. It has no place in the business world. It is wrong at many different levels, and speaks volumes about the lack of creativity, integrity, and business morals and ethics.

If you’re quoting an article, posting a photo or tweet, give credit where credit is due, and cite the source and author.

7.) Badmouthing your customers

We all have days where things don’t go as smoothly as we would like. Maybe your customer is giving you a hard time about an order or complaining about your product or service, or how you delivered it.

Whether you work in the corporate world, retail, or a service industry, it’s never a good idea to badmouth your customers, especially if you post it on social media. It shows your company or business in a negative light. Don’t make these mistakes, because they could be detrimental to your career or job.

8.) Zero presence on Social Media

Not having a presence on any social media platforms could hurt your chances if a potential employer is looking to find information on your character, background, history, education, charity work, or general information that may help them to see what kind of profile you may have.

If they don’t find anything on you, they may get suspicious, and decide not to pursue you as a future employee.

Participating and being active online shows that you are serious about contributing to meaningful conversations. Following links is a good way of staying on top of industry news and topics of interest. Establish yourself as an industry expert by commenting on questions with relevant answers and following links and posts.

After spending some time on several social media platforms, you’ll get an idea of which ones are used by industries you are interested in. Also, be sure to make connections with industry leaders to increase your chances for job opportunities.

9.) Add your website URL

If you don’t have a personal website, it’s easy to set up. Many hosting companies offer it for free if you host with them, or you can search online for free website templates. If on the other hand you do have a personal website, make sure you showcase your resume and work experience on your website. Be sure to add your website address to your other social media profiles too.

Keep it professional like LinkedIn and Twitter, but not your personal Facebook profile. It shows a potential employer that you are connected to social media, and serious about presenting your professional profile in a positive light.

This also demonstrates that you know your way around the world of social media, and it also helps if an employer wants to connect with you.

10.) Start connecting with the right people

When researching who to connect with, LinkedIn would be one that I would start with first. Sometimes there are job opportunities that aren’t advertised on job boards, and finding contacts at organizations who have openings that are not advertised might take a little work.

When putting together a list of prospects, look at individuals who are connected with mutual contacts, and maybe people in the same industry as you, and even people who could recommend you to someone who has a job opening.

You can find information about an individual and their role at an organization on LinkedIn by doing job title searches within a geography or by a specific company name.

Once you have identified your list, start connecting with them, follow them on Twitter, and share and repost their tweets as well.

11.) Start a blog

Blogging is a great way to start getting exposure to new contacts and showcasing your knowledge to a potential employer. If you’ve never considered starting a blog, you might find that your posts might catch the eye of an important hiring manager or recruiter with an opening that may fit your background and experience.

12.) Keep your profile up to date and accurate

Consistency is key here. If you have multiple social media profiles, all of them should be updated with current information. One of the most important aspects of managing your personal information on social media accounts is to keep that information private.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others allow you to manage what you want to share with friends and the general public. If a potential employer does a search on you, they won’t be able to see personal details that you don’t want them to see.


How to Ace Telephone Job Interviews

How to Ace Telephone Job Interviews

How to Ace Telephone Job Interviews

Getting past an interview screener so you can be invited in for a face-to-face interview is what you want at this stage.


A good resume with impressive credentials may not be enough to get you the face-to-face interview that you want.

Most companies will probably have you go through an initial phone screening interview to make sure you meet the minimum qualifications and requirements that the human resources recruiter or hiring manager has specified in the job description.

Based on the way I do pre-qualifying phone screens, I normally shortlist ten to fifteen candidates who best match the job requirements, then I invite about five of those candidates in for a face-to-face interview who have exhibited the qualities and skills needed for the role.

It’s important to know that the goal of the interviewer is to gather enough information to determine whether or not they want to pursue you as a serious candidate, and take the next step in the interview process with you.

Here are some helpful tips that should help you ace the telephone interview, so you can be invited to a face-to-face interview.


Pre-Interview Preparation: You will typically have one of two phone interview scenarios. A scheduled interview and an unscheduled interview. If you have already scheduled and confirmed a phone interview, then that’s great!

The unscheduled interview might come in the form of a call to ask if you have a few minutes to talk about the job opportunity you applied for. This type of call might also come at a bad time when you can’t talk because you’re not in a place where you can talk comfortably.

In cases like these, it’s best to politely ask the phone screener if you can schedule the call for another time that works better for you and them.

Make sure you are in an environment that is comfortable to talk in, and that you have no distractions or background noise.


Do your homework and research the company: The most efficient research tool is the internet. Visit the employer’s home page, read articles written about the company, and go to forums, blogs or video stories that list the company with related articles about how they do business, etc.

A good source I would recommend is LinkedIn. It is likely that they will ask if you know anything about their company or what they do. Having relevant company information in front of you will help if they ask any questions.


Keep a positive attitude: Maintain a high level of energy throughout the phone interview. You don’t want to put the person on the other end to sleep. Start with proper posture while you’re speaking on the phone. Smile when you ask and answer questions. Keep a bottle of water handy in case you get dry mouth. Relax and take a few deep breaths before the interview starts.


Take Notes: Having notes with answers to certain questions should help you breeze through some of the recruiter’s questions. When answering their questions, make sure you don’t sound like you are reading from a script. It will sound obvious and they can pick up on things like that.



Listen carefully before you speak: Make sure you speak directly into the telephone and avoid using the speakerphone on your home phone or cell phone. You want to make sure you hear things like the persons first and last name, the company name or division they work for, their job role or title, why the position is open, and other important information that you will need to know.


Be ready to spend fifteen to thirty minutes on the phone: A typical phone interview will likely last between fifteen to thirty minutes. An interview phone screener will have a series of questions that they will ask you to determine if you are a good fit for the role.


How to address the Interviewer: Address the interviewer by their last name…..Mr. or Mrs. unless they say it is OK to call them by their first name. If you feel a connection on the phone, you can politely ask if you can address them by their first name.


Interview Focus: You should be focused on the interview. Don’t eat or chew gum, or have any other distractions that will not allow you to be laser focused on the interview. If you are near your computer or any device that gets notifications or pings of any kind, you want to turn those off, or be in a room or area where they will not distract or disrupt your call.


Ask clarifying questions: You should be able to learn the correct spelling of the interviewer’s name and everything you wanted to know about the position by the end of the interview.

Make a list of questions before the interview to make sure you fully understand the role, the position expectations, schedule and reporting times, compensation, and other related questions.


Turn off call waiting on your mobile phone: If you knew they were going to call, make sure to turn off call waiting. Distractions from other people calling your phone will give the interviewer the impression that you didn’t care enough to take this preventable step. You might want to make sure your mobile phone is fully charged as well.


If you are calling from a landline: Be sure to turn off your mobile phone. I would recommend you completely turn it off, or put it in a room where you are not able to see any calls coming in.


Give accurate and detailed contact information: This information should be clearly displayed on your cover letter and resume so your interviewers can easily connect with you.


Make sure you know which job and company you applied to: I see this all the time. I call someone to talk about a position I have open, and they mistaken my position for another one that is similar to mine. Don’t get confused between the different jobs for which you’ve applied.

Keep track of all the positions you applied to, when you applied, what was the specific title of the position, and the company name. Make sure you have the correct job description, company and contact person’s name in from of you so you know exactly who you are talking to, and the position you are talking about. It would help to do a LinkedIn search to find out a little more about the person, their title/role, etc.

For other job related statistics and relevant data, you can visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website at



Career Job Boards and What Every Job Seeker Should Know

Career Job Boards and What Every Job Seeker Should Know

Career Job Boards and What Every Job Seeker Should Know

After you post your resume, it is usually out of your control. Generally, job sites do not have the ability to track or control how a recruiter or employer uses your resume after it has been downloaded. Most sites are pretty good about watching for problems.

These practices are frowned upon and enforced by the terms of use agreements with employers and recruiters. But keep in mind there are risks involved in posting a resume in a database.

Watch out for job scams
The job offer you see might not be for a real job. After you post your resume, you may be contacted by someone trying to scam you with a fake job offer. This is becoming a very serious problem in online job searching. Here are some red flags that should alert you to these scams.

Have you been asked for your social security number? Have you been asked to scan your ID or driver’s license and send it in? Have you been asked to do a money transfer as part of your duties? Have you been asked to respond to e-mails that describe high-paying jobs that require you to sign up for an eBay, PayPal or Western Union account, and to transfer monies in any one of these modes?

If you answered yes to any one of these, then this is likely a scam. It is best to report them to the job board where it was posted.

General job descriptions usually don’t offer much of an opportunity

After posting your resume, you should start getting responses. Be wise and selective about offers, because not all offers are worth your time.

If you get an e-mail that asks you to send a resume to a new email address or to “update” your resume on a new job site, think twice, especially when you do not see a credible job being offered with a verifiable company. Some companies get you to send a new resume just so they can put it in their resume database.

Resume posting options

You have a few options when you post your resume. You can do an anonymous posting, which lets you hide your contact information or e-mail address when you post a resume. This resume posting option allows you to control who contacts you.

You can also get selective and only post information about your background that specific employers are looking for. Unfortunately, few job seekers take advantage of this option. You can also post your resume online for the world to see.

This method is normally used by job seekers who are not working and would like to explore opportunities by a variety of companies.

Some resume job boards are better than others
You’ll find a variety of job boards and resume databases online, and some only serve specific industries or occupations. Before you post your resume to any database, read the site’s privacy policy. This will tell you if your information is being protected and how your information is being used.

Some of the better job boards will state that they do not sell your private information to marketing companies. If you post to boards that sell your information to marketing companies, you will probably start getting bombarded with spam soon after.

If the website does not have a privacy policy posted, you should be especially cautious about posting a resume to that website.

How frequently should you check the website where you have your resume posted?
You should pay attention to how long a resume website says it will keep or store your resume. Many job seekers overlook this.

Some sites state their retention time in their privacy policy, usually between one and six months, after which the site will delete your resume.

Without specific written statements about how long your resume may be kept, your resume can be searched for years. Most job seekers do not want resumes circulating after they have secured a job, so check to make sure there is a limited posting time before you post a resume.

If you are not sure about how long it will stay on the website, contact them to ask. You should have the option to delete or change anything on your online profile at any time.

Keep good records of your job search
Make sure you keep a record of where you have posted your resume online. Include in that record all e-mail correspondence and any online profiles you compiled.

You should print out a copy of the posted job advertisement, save a snapshot, or cut and paste to a Word document so you can refer to it if you are called for a phone or in-person interview. Don’t be in a hurry to delete old correspondence from your record.

Some employers keep resumes on file for a period of six to 12 months in case new positions come up.

Different e-mail addresses for website posting advertisements
There are a few good reasons why you should have different e-mail addresses. You should set up an address for responding to “blind” career opportunities, or those from companies that post ads without their company information.

In essence, you are doing the same thing. Using an e-mail address that you can cancel anytime is a good way to keep your information private. Expect to be inundated with spam, so don’t give out your name, phone number, or home address when setting up these e-mail accounts.

Two important things to omit when applying online
You may end up going to quite a few career websites, and you will probably create resume profiles that can be searched by recruiting firms and employers directly. Never volunteer your social security number or references on any websites. These can be furnished at a later phase of the interview process.

For other job related statistics and relevant data, you can visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website at


Considering a Career Change? You Must Read This First

Considering a Career Change? You Must Read This First

Considering a Career Change? You Must Read This First

Supply yourself with the right tools to make an informed decision about a career change.

Many business-industry journals report that a number of Americans wish they could change their jobs. Those who take the initiative and plan their job search are one step closer to finding the job they enjoy. But give your current employer the benefit of a doubt.

Ask if they can make changes that will satisfy your needs at your current job. If positioned correctly, you might be surprised that your employer could accommodate your request. It could be the difference between being happy at your current employer, or deciding to make a move to a new company or find a new opportunity.

Before you rush to revise your resume for that career change, do your due diligence and be fair to yourself. Take a moment to review these questions and answers and what they might reveal about you.

1.) What is it about my current position that I like?

2.) What is it about my current position that I dislike?

3.) What is it about my current company that I like?

4.) What is it about my current company that I dislike?

5.) What is it about my boss or reporting manger that I like?

6.) What is it about my boss or reporting manager that I dislike?

7.) Is there anything I can do to change or improve current working conditions?

8.) If I am able to make these changes or improve these conditions, do I still want to stay in this job and industry?

9.) Can you translate your skills into your job function?

10.) Are you in an industry or occupation that has limited growth opportunities or advancement?

11.) Is compensation for your type of occupation low or not competitive in the marketplace?

12.) Are you working in an environment that does not utilize your full potential?

13.) Are there any continuing education/training opportunities offered by your employer?

14.) Are there growth or advancement opportunities into a management role within the company, and has that been explained to you by current management?

Answering these questions will give you an idea whether you need to reassess your skills to move on to a new career or add additional skills to improve your current job and increase your compensation, value to your current employer, and overall happiness with your current role.

Here are a few scenarios that may help you decide one way or the other:

1.) I feel like I’m not accomplishing anything important at work, it’s because:

(a) There’s a big gap between what I feel I could be doing and the job description for a typical employee in my field.
(b) My current job doesn’t allow me the help/resources or flexibility to accomplish what I want.

2.) When I first started looking for a job:

(a) This type of work was hard to find in the specific field that I was trained for, and I had to settle for my current job because it paid reasonably well.
(b) I easily found work in my chosen field, but have since become unhappy with my current position.

3.) I look forward to time off because:

(a) I have a chance to spend time on things I enjoy.
(b) I get to relax and not think about e-mail and phone calls.

4.) The hardest part of my job is:

(a) Translating my skills into productive tasks that actually relate to my work.
(b) Coping with either too few or too many challenges.

5.) My field of work:

(a) Has drastically changed within the past few years. My role within the company when I was hired is very different than what I’m actually doing now.
(b) Is pretty much the same as it was when I first started; however, with some continuing education, I could update my skills and possibly get a promotion and a raise.

6.)The number of opportunities for continuing education at work are:

(a) Very limited. I’ve exhausted all options for upward growth and career advancement; although I wish I could do more, like attend workshops, training and conferences. This would definitely allow me professional growth.

For other job related statistics and relevant data, you can visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website at


Social Media and your Job Search

Social Media and your Job Search

Social Media and your Job Search

Why Social Media has become one of the most important pre-employment research steps for companies for hiring employees.

Social media in its many forms has become an important element in our daily lives, both in business and private life. We have an insatiable need to be connected with each other at different levels. Fortunately for many of us, there are multiple venues where we can do this. The job search component is an important part of that connectivity.

Companies of all sizes have been using social media as a way to further screen applicants for their company positions for some time now. It’s sort of a new version of the background check method. Potential employers verify dates, employers, titles, roles, and other public information that they can find to verify information they have gathered about you.   

What is Social Media?

Social media is a collection of websites and application enablement tools that empower the public to participate in social networking to let their voice be heard. With the introduction of new technologies, platforms and websites that cater to social media, it’s becoming easier to communicate with recruiters, hiring managers, friends, family and various business contacts that may have job opportunities, or know of people who are hiring.

There’s the inherent human connectivity factor that allows us to express our opinions, thoughts, and ideas that some organizations might be attracted to and might consider valuable.

Why is Social Media so important to your job search?

Social media is one of the most important forms of communication available to the masses. It offers a vast array of platforms to communicate your message to let people know that you are the candidate they should hire. Recruiters and business professionals have been using social media for years, and rely on it to source candidates for their job openings. 

Here are some top social networking sites for job seekers

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest

Let’s look at some social media platforms.


Largely used by business professionals. LinkedIn is a large professional network where you can connect with other business professionals. You can create or participate in discussion groups, or interact at a social level. LinkedIn has over 500 million members (2018) and is widely viewed as a business/professional social networking site. Co-workers, friends, and clients are able to endorse the skills you list in your profile, and anyone who’s worked with you at your previous jobs are also able to leave you a review about the work you did for them or with them.

LinkedIn is being used more and more by employers to find qualified job applicants, and screen for potential contacts that could add value as a connection, and possibly a referral for a job applicant. Here’s how to get started.   

  • If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, you can go to to register and create a profile. Complete the basic and additional information sections of your profile.
  • Update your work history, experience, education, accomplishments, certifications, or other relevant skills you have acquired that will showcase your skill set. Keep it professional.
  • Start using job search tools on LinkedIn to generate interest from companies and recruiters.
  • Include a professionally dressed headshot photo.
  • Connect with business associates that you know, alumni, and new ones that you meet on a regular basis.
  • Post your best work. (If there’s no copyright restrictions).
  • Join groups in your industry, be active, follow organizations that interest you, and participate in discussions from thought leaders. The more connections you have, the better your chances of exposure to new opportunities.


A free microblogging service which allows registered members to stay connected via short posts with friends, family, co-workers, organizations, industries, and professionals. This form of communication is called “tweeting”, and you can include links, photos, and video. These short posts are limited to 140 text characters. Here’s how to get started.

  • Create a Twitter handle and professional profile. Keep it simple.
  • Build a respectable profile with your opportunity interests and any links to your website (if you have one), or social media accounts.
  • Establish connections with friends, co-workers, and high value people.
  • Share your content and expertise, opinions, industry knowledge, and samples of your work.
  • Upload a professional headshot photo.
  • Build credibility by answering questions or voting on polls of interest.
  • Look up articles and tweets of interest, follow, reply, and retweet.
  • Do a job search by title, location, company, or specific contact.
  • Follow hashtags. You can type in a keyword then add a hashtag at the end. Here’s what they would look like: #Example.  



Chances are, you probably use Facebook to connect to friends and family. Facebook has expanded its reach into professional networking, given it already has many of the professional contacts you would find in other social media platforms.

This is just another way to extend your reach out to professionals that could be of value to your network. When creating a Facebook account, you may want to keep your personal and professional profiles separate.

  • Look for positions that you can apply for through Facebook. This is typically done through links that take you to external career websites with job postings.
  • Most Social Media platforms have like buttons so you can like an article, photo, or posting. A good way to start is to “like” your own Facebook profile, and other social media sites where you are a member.
  • Post a video that shows your professional presentation, speaking, and problem solving skills.
  • Be real to your audience. Showing you are genuine and authentic shows character.
  • Start discussions, answer questions, offer links with informative content, and comment on posts where you can add value, and at the same time build credibility.
  • Customize your profile settings so you can have control over who sees personal content and professional content. This can be accomplished using the friend list feature in your privacy settings.



This platform is content rich in the creative marketing, graphic arts and visual display space. It provides a creative way to showcase your talents and exhibit your creative side. Postings on Pinterest are called “pinning”. These can be displayed as a collection of pins with a common theme.

  • Come up with a creative headline that highlights your top five accomplishments.
  • Draft an infographic resume that includes images or illustrations of your body of work, and visual graphics that help illustrate messaging. If you have a difficult time designing graphics for the graphic version of your resume, there are applications that can help you with that like Kinzaa,, Easelly, Visual CV, and CeeVee, just to name a few.
  • Add links to your profile like photos, videos, and professional information.

For other job related statistics and relevant data, you can visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website at


When and How to Use a Resume Summary or Objective

When and How to Use a Resume Summary or Objective

When and How to Use a Resume Summary or Objective

A resume has two sections: An Objective, and a Summary. Here are some tips to help you determine what’s best for you.

1.) Use the first section, the “objective”, to make clear your abilities, qualities, and career achievements. Write in powerful, but honest, advertising-style language that makes the reader raise their eyebrows with anticipation and realize that you are someone special.

2.) The second section, called the “summary”, is where you back up what you put into the first section with evidence that you actually did what you say you did. This is where you list and describe the jobs you have held, your responsibilities, your accomplishments and your education.

The Objective Section


Most resumes make the mistake of skipping the assertions and going straight to the evidence. The real “meat and potatoes” are in the assertions section. But don’t give away too much. The best thing to do this is to leave the reader wanting more.


A commonly used term in the sales profession for getting them interested without giving away way too much information is “Selling the Sizzle, not the Steak.” Leave them with a bit of mystery, so they want to inquire about you to see if you are a good fit for the position.


You start by naming your intended job. This may be in a separate objective section, or it may be folded into the summary. If you are making a change to a new field, or you’re young and not fully established in a career, start with a separate objective section.


Your resume should convey why you are the perfect candidate for a specific job, just as good advertising is directed toward a very specific target audience. Your resume should read as if you are absolutely clear about your career direction, even if you aren’t.


The first step is to establish a clear path for your future, if you haven’t already. It will be easier to meet and fulfill your goals if you have a clear target. Even if you are not exactly sure what you’re looking for, you cannot let your uncertainty show. A vague or broad objective will look like you don’t have a positive or confident career path.   

Example: Suppose the owner of a French fine-dining restaurant is looking for a gourmet cook, so he puts an ad in a local newspaper seeking an experienced cook with French fine cuisine experience. About a week later, he gets 100 resumes for this position from applicants who have experience with a variety of culinary ethnic dishes. The employer has no way of knowing whether any of them are really interested and qualified in French cuisine.

Your objective section can make your resume stand out from the crowd in the eyes of a busy potential employer. The employer is interested in hiring you for what you can do for them, not for learning as you go. So, you must keep in mind that your message has to tell the employer that you have something of value to offer that other candidates don’t have, or that you can do better. Remember, you are writing advertising copy, not your life story.



“OBJECTIVE” – Talented gourmet French cook seeking a position with a well-respected fine dining establishment to prepare appetizers, main course and pastry dishes.

An on-target objective statement like this will spark their interest. In this example, this sentence conveys very important and powerful messages: “I am interested, and want the job you are offering. I am the candidate you are looking for.”

Here’s how to write your objective. The first thing you should do is decide on a specific job title for your objective. Ask yourself how to best demonstrate that you are the perfect candidate. Think specifically about two or three qualities, abilities, or achievements that would make a candidate stand out as truly exceptional for that specific job.

Be sure you get to the point with the objective. But remember that an objective may be broad and somewhat undefined in some cases, such as “a mid-level management position in the medical industry.”

Here’s an example of a more general format:

OBJECTIVE: A management/entry level/mid-level position in an organization where “x” skills and “y” skills would be appreciated (or, in an organization seeking “x” skills and “y” skills.)

If you are applying for several different positions, you should customize your objective statement for each one. You may even want to change the majority of your resume for each job you apply for. There is nothing wrong with having several different resumes, each with a different objective, each specifically crafted for a different type of position.

Here’s another view on using an objective on your resume.

It is sometimes appropriate to include your objective in your summary section. Instead of this, create a separate objective section. The point of including an objective statement is to illicit a specific response from the reader.

If you are making a career change or have a limited work history, you want the employer to immediately focus on where you are going, rather than where you have been. If you are looking for another job in your present field, it is more important to stress your qualities, achievements and abilities first.

A few examples of separate objective sections:

  • Vice president of sales and marketing in an organization where a strong track record of expanding market share and advancing software technology is needed.
  • Senior staff position with a bank that offers the opportunity to use my expertise in commercial real estate lending and strategic management.
  • An entry-level position in the hospitality industry where a background in advertising and public relations would be needed.
  • A position in teaching mathematics where the ability to demonstrate easy to follow examples and exercises are needed.

The Summary Section


The summary consists of several statements that focus the reader’s attention on the most important qualities, achievements, and abilities you have to offer. Those qualities should be the most compelling demonstrations of why they should hire you instead of another candidate.


It gives you a brief opportunity to convey a few of your most stellar qualities. Here’s another perspective from another source on why a summary is better.


Gear every word in the summary to your targeted goal. First identify the qualities the employer will care about most. Then look at that list and identify why you are the perfect candidate to fill the need.


Pick out the stuff that best demonstrates why they should hire you and assemble it into your summary section. Your summary should showcase abilities instead of experience.

Here’s an effective outline for your summary:

  • A short phrase describing your profession/occupation
  • A statement of broad or specialized expertise
  • Two or three additional statements related to the following,
  • Breadth or depth of skills
  • Unique mix of skills relevant to industry or occupation
  • Range of work environments in which you have experience
  • A special or well-documented accomplishment
  • A history of awards, promotions, or exceptional performance commendations, and
  • One or more professional or career-related personal characteristics

A few examples of summary sections:


  • High energy, creative, and versatile real estate executive with nine years of experience in property acquisition, development, and construction, as well as the management of large apartment complexes. Especially skilled at building effective, productive working relationships with clients and staff. Excellent management, negotiation, and public relations skills.


  • Over 12 years’ experience as an interior decorating consultant working in a high-profile role with retirement communities to design living spaces that cater to seniors and surrounding community events. Motivated self-starter with excellent analytical, organizational, and creative skills.


  • Marketing management executive with nearly 12 years of experience in advertising, copywriting, media placement and selection, policy writing, and strategic market development. Innovative approach to creating marketing campaigns for corporate initiatives. Skilled negotiator with strong management, sales and marketing background.


  • Health care professional experienced in management and program development. Expertise in emergency medical services. A talent for analyzing problems, developing procedures and finding innovative solutions. Skilled in working with different cultures, and within a foreign environment with limited resources.

The Skills and Accomplishments Section

In this final and important section of your resume, you should go into more detail about your experience. You are still writing to sell yourself to the reader. Basically, do exactly what you did in the summary section, but go into more detail.

In the summary, your focus was on the most special highlights. Now you tell the rest of the story. Let them know the results you produced, what happened as a result of your efforts, and at what skills you are especially experienced.

Remember to write as if you were advertising a product. Tell the reader what benefits they will get from buying the product: you. Don’t include details unless they serve this goal.

Sometimes the skills and accomplishments section is a separate section. In a chronological resume, it becomes the first few phrases of the descriptions of the various jobs you have held. When it is a separate section, it can have several possible titles, depending on your situation:

  • Summary of Skills and Accomplishments
  • Recent Accomplishments
  • Areas of Expertise and Experience
  • Professional Career Highlights

There are a variety of ways to structure the skills and accomplishments section. Put your skills and accomplishments in order of importance for your career goals, regardless of which style you use. If you have many skills, the last skill paragraph may be titled “Additional Skills.”

For other job related statistics and relevant data, you can visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website at