Tuesday, July 29, 2008


by Lou Huskey, ResumeEdge.com Editor, CPRW

Aside from having an effective resume prepared, one of the most important aspects of your job search will be knowing how to get ready for a face-to-face interview. There are several tips that will help you maximize your communications skills and leave the hiring authority ready to make you a job offer.

1. First of all, usually a telephone interview will be arranged by either the company representative or your personnel recruiter. You will want to be in top form on the phone, listening intently and giving enough information regarding your background to entice the hiring authority to bring you in and learn more about what you have to contribute.

2. When arriving for your interview, be sure to be on time, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. If you are late for your appointment, know that the prospective employer will see this as a sign that you will be late to work. Be sure to greet everyone you are introduced to with a smile and a firm handshake. Image is important, so dress professionally and remember that you get one chance to make a good first impression.

3. As the interview progresses, be attentive and ask questions in a manner that will keep the conversation balanced. The last thing you want to do is talk too long and go on about details the employer may not be interested in. Watch and listen to make sure you are holding their attention by offering answers that are brief and to the point. It is always an excellent idea to do research about the company ahead of time so that you can ask intelligent questions and make reference to information you have learned about your prospective employer. The interviewer needs to hear that you are impressed with their organization and the direction they are headed in the marketplace.

4. By searching on the internet, you will find possible questions that might be asked. This will give you a chance to think over how you will respond on the day of your interview. Study the job requirements and if there is something you are familiar with but not proficient in, you can search these topics as well to be sure you will have knowledge in these areas. By preparing yourself ahead of time, answers will come much easier and the conversation will flow without hesitation. Of course, you won’t know exactly what they will ask, but you can have a bit of a heads up on some things that might surface by doing a little reading before you meet with the company.

5. Before leaving, be sure to acquire business cards from the key people you interviewed with. It is crucial to have this contact information so that you can follow-up with a thank you letter when you return home.

Keep in mind that it may take several interviews before you find the right career opportunity that best suits your expertise and interests. When you do, be sure to let the hiring authority know you would like to have an offer and that you will prove to be an asset to their team.

Lou Huskey served over 25 years as a professional recruiter first with a private employment agency, then with Management Recruiters, and eventually as owner of her own recruiting and consulting firm. She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and has prepared thousands of resumes for candidates at all levels over the span of her career. Lou has a solid understanding of exactly what prospective employers are looking for in a resume and how to “sell” an individual’s background by creating effective resumes, cover letters, follow-up and thank you letters for each of her clients. Request Lou for your ResumeEdge.com product by keying her last name only, no caps (Huskey) in the ‘request your editor field of the ResumeEdge.com online form.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


by Keala Griffin, ResumeEdge.com Editor

In the wake of imminent layoffs and the newly created term of “right-sizing,” it is important to establish yourself as a much needed fixture for your organization. The company you work for should believe that they are unable to operate smoothly without you. Much like electricity, you want to be considered a necessary commodity.

It is imperative in this day and age that you remind the company of your talents and skills that you bring to the table. Everyone, at some point, operates on the premise of the WIIFM (what’s in it for me). Companies are asking that same question when they have to decide to retain you or your counterpart.

Here are a few key objectives you can incorporate into your repertoire to stay off the “right-sizing” radar:

Accentuate your skills: Management is inundated with meetings, reports and budget cuts. If you see a need that you can fill, utilizing your training and skills, approach your manager and ask to assist or take on a particular project. This will show management what you are capable of, setting you apart from your coworkers.

Become a leader: Spider-Man said it best, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Many people prefer to stay behind the scenes. However, often times, they are the first ones to be let go. Do what you can to step into any leadership roles.

Increase your knowledge: Take the time (on your own) to stay educated on your particular industry and your company. If there is an opportunity to attend any seminars or training programs, do so. The more you know the more you can bring to the table at the appropriate time.

Submit an action plan: It’s time to get aggressive. Develop an action plan with suggestions on how certain tasks can be done more efficiently. Or if there is a particular issue plaguing management, determine a problem resolution to that issue and present it. Include an updated resume and cover letter to complete this action plan, as you can remind management of your skills and experience. This shows management that you are thinking of the company and willing to go above and beyond the call of duty.

It has become apparent that these days, employees are vying for the same prize – retaining their position. Establishing yourself as a valuable asset will allow you to rise above the competition. Seize any opportunity to think outside the box and you will find that management will sit up and take notice.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


by Darlene Zambruski, ResumeEdge.com Managing Editor, CPRW, SME

As the world and economy changes so does the manner in which an individual completes educational requirements. To ensure that employers and interviewers give the same weight to an online degree as one received from a traditional school, include the following points on your resume or make mention of them during the interview process:

1. The Online School’s Accreditation. This, alone, should provide ample evidence to employers that the Bachelor’s or Master’s you received was not from a diploma mill, but from a legitimate institution of higher learning.

2. Quality of Education as Compared to a Traditional School: This can easily be proven by listing the coursework required for completion of a degree, including the required reading list for each course. These lists will most likely not differ from those in traditional schools. Mention can also be made that transcripts will be provided, upon request.

3. Does the Online School Have a Traditional Campus? If so, and classes are held there, mention that in the educational section. This lends credence to the school’s reputation.

4. School Instructors: Provide, if necessary, a listing of your instructors, their degrees, and the granting institutions.

5. Coursework Relevancy to Real World Practices: If your online coursework was specifically designed around ever-changing technology or the newest needs of an industry, be certain to mention that.

6. Are Graduates Recruited by Employers and Headhunters? If so, mention that in the educational section. Again, this lends credence to the school’s reputation.

7. Student or Employer Testimonials: If the online school provides these, include a link to that page in your resume.

One Last Point to Consider:

1. Showcase your multi-tasking skills in that you were able to attend school while continuing to hold a job. Employers are always impressed by self-starters that go the extra mile in educational and professional pursuits.

Working full-time while attending school online also gives employers the sense that you will remain at their company during new educational pursuits, rather than asking for time off.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


by Darlene Zambruski, ResumeEdge.com Managing Editor, CPRW, SME

Every professional designation that is germane to your career goal should be listed and showcased at the very beginning of your resume. Providing hiring managers with visual cues as to your professional level quickly and effectively captures their attention.

Methods to Showcase Your Certifications and Licensure:

1. Include the licensure after your name in the resume heading (eg: CPA, MD, RN, JD, etc.)

2. Provide a separate section directly beneath the Qualifications Summary with details as to where you are licensed to practice law, medicine, sell real estate, etc.

3. Use company logos to indicate certification (eg: Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator, Oracle Certified Professional, etc.)

A Word About Providing Details of Your Certifications & Licensure

Because hiring managers expect specifics in applicant resumes, you should:

1. Include ending dates of certification, when applicable.

2. States or countries where the certification or licensure is in effect.

3. Whether continuing education is being met or has been met in order to retain certification.

A Word About Data Security

If you are planning to email your resume or post it to a website, it is advisable not to include any certification or license numbers. In the past, individuals have taken these numbers and sold them on the open market. Your best bet is to list the licensing agency and date on your resume with the note that your license or certification number will be provided during the interview process.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

· Although I am an attorney, I don’t practice and am currently looking for work in the HR field. Should I still include those states where I’m licensed to practice law?

Yes. All industries have legal issues that must be addressed. In HR these might be employment law, union negotiations, and contracts (just to name a few). By indicating on your resume that you’re an attorney and licensed to practice in the states where your resume will be distributed could give you an advantage over less-qualified applicants.

· Since I’m targeting a job as an Oracle Database Administrator, should I exclude my Microsoft Certifications?

Certifications within a certain industry (in your case IT) indicate that you’re willing to remain current in your field and to excel. With new IT companies and products continually entering the market, your past history of certification (Oracle and Microsoft) will indicate to a hiring manager that you will be receptive to future certification, no matter the company. However, because Oracle Database Administration is your current goal, it should be showcased first.

· I’ve only passed two parts of the CPA exam so far, how do I include this on my resume?

You may include it in your Qualifications Summary, writing something like this:

“Seeking CPA certification; successfully passed two parts of the examination in January 2003.”
By adding the date the examination was passed or the date you expect to be certified indicates to a hiring manager that you are serious about obtaining this designation.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


by Darlene Zambruski, ResumeEdge.com Managing Editor, CPRW, SME

Initiating a successful job search and creating an effective resume if you have a criminal background will depend upon several key factors.

1. Was your offense recent or well in the past?

The laws governing employer inquiries into a candidate’s criminal past vary from time to time and could vary from state to state. If your offense was well in the past (15 or more years removed), and there have been no new offenses, and your work history since that time has been consistent, then your resume should be no different than one provided by a candidate without a criminal past.

2. Was your offense classified as an infraction, misdemeanor, or a felony?

Infractions and misdemeanors (eg: speeding tickets, disturbing the peace, etc.) will not alter your professional history (unless your speeding tickets resulted in a license suspension and you need a driver’s license to work). Therefore, your resume should be no different than one provided by any other candidate.

However, if your offense was for a serious felony, and you were convicted, there will be an employment gap on your resume. If the felony was well into the past and no criminal activities have occurred since that time, the professional history on your resume can begin after time was served. Another option is to create a functional resume where your skills and qualifications are presented first, while a listing of your employers is placed last. Such data organization helps to minimize gaps in employment that may have been caused by incarceration.

3. Was your offense substantially related to your past or projected career?

Convictions for offenses that cause disbarment, removal of licenses, etc., will substantially alter your chances to again work in that field. For example, if you were an accountant convicted of embezzlement, your best option is to transition to a new career in which your analytical and math skills are useful, but you will not be handling funds. Again, a functional resume format stressing capabilities, your intent of entering a new career field (in which you can use your past skills), while minimizing gaps in employment, is best.

4. Did you have consistent work history and performance before the offense?

If you were a valuable employee with numerous accomplishments, these should be showcased. Again, a functional format emphasizing skills and abilities is best

5. Are you about to be paroled?

Generally speaking, parole is contingent upon available employment. If you’re seeking parole, your resume should list work history before incarceration and any training or coursework taken while incarcerated. A reverse chronological format or a functional format is acceptable as your criminal history will be known to the potential employer.