Tuesday, December 25, 2007


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

A tag line can say so much more than an Objective and in a minimum of space. In today’s time intensive workplace, hiring managers appreciate information that’s delivered in a concise and well-prioritized fashion. Tag lines do just that whether they are specific or general.



Oracle Database Administrator
Elementary Teacher – Grades K-5
CPA – Tax Planning
Immigration Attorney
Portfolio Manager


IT Professional
Financial Services Professional


1. Use specific tag lines whenever you’re applying to a job posting.
2. Use general tag lines when you’re distributing many resumes to numerous industries.
3. If you’re new to the field, it’s best to use a general tag line to increase opportunities.
4. If you have specialized expertise and want to remain in that niche, use specific tag lines.


QUESTION: I want to keep my resume as general as possible to apply for all opportunities, so isn’t it smart to use “Profile” or “Summary of Qualifications” rather than any tag line?

ANSWER: Not really. In the modern workplace there are no “one size fits all” jobs. However, many jobs require multiple talents beneath one job heading. This would include:

Administrative Assistants who handle reception, word processing, mailing, and in many cases, bookkeeping.

Communication Professionals who are charged with marketing, public and media relations, graphics, and website design.

Sales Professionals experienced in inside/outside sales, B2B sales, consumer sales, etc.

In each of the above, a general tag line covers many opportunities, while also being specific enough to engage a hiring manager.

QUESTION: What if I’m transitioning from one career to another? How do I reflect that in a tag line?

ANSWER: Your best bet would be to use the word “Candidate” before an actual job title as listed on a posting (or for the general industry), while also indicating past experience that can be transitioned towards the new career. For example:

Candidate: Commercial/Individual Insurance Sales - B2B/B2C Sales Experience

Candidate: Insurance Sales - B2B/B2C Sales Experience

QUESTION: I’m looking to apply for a position within the federal government. Are tag lines the same for those postings as for private sector resumes?

ANSWER: Tag lines for federal positions are far more specific and should include the agency and the vacancy announcement number. For example:

Legal Secretary – State Department – Vacancy Announcement # 20057



Physician: Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
Law School Candidate: Intellectual Property Law Experience
Manager – Telecommunications
Vice-President - Academic Affairs
Business Developer - Entertainment Industry
Graduate School Candidate: Mathematical Finance Program


Senior Project Manager
Sales Professional

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


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

With non-traditional interview methods being employed more and more for telecommuting and other jobs, it’s important to know appropriate and effective conduct that will enhance your candidacy.

1. Always use a landline, not a cell phone during these interviews:

Why? Because cell phone signals have a tendency to cut in and out. Additionally, poor reception will not only distract from the interview process, it will certainly aggravate the employer. The best advice is don’t risk it.

2. Always use a phone that’s in a quiet area:

It’s unprofessional and certainly not conducive to impressing a potential employer when there are children crying or shouting in the background, dogs barking, trash being picked up or a TV/stereo blaring away. You wouldn’t conduct an interview in an office in this manner – don’t do it that way at home.

3. Speak clearly and loudly enough to be heard:

If an employer is forced to say, “Excuse me, I can’t hear you,” several times without the problem being rectified, you can be assured that person will stop listening. Additionally, never eat or drink anything while on the line. This can clearly be heard, and it’s not something you would do if you were face-to-face with that person.

4. Never interrupt:

Many individuals feel that their behavior can be more casual when using the telephone. Nothing could be further from the truth. You wouldn’t interrupt the interviewer in person – don’t do it by phone.

5. If this is a videoconference:

Dress in appropriate business attire. What’s more, make very certain that the area behind the video monitor looks professional. Don’t make the mistake of having clothes and dirty dishes strewn about, or inappropriate posters hanging on the wall. Everything, right down to what’s on your desk, should look orderly and professional.

6. If you are asked a question and don’t immediately know how to answer, don’t keep quiet while you think of a response.

This is especially true of telephone interviews. After several seconds of dead air, an interviewer may very well think that you’re no longer on the line. Instead, preface your coming remarks with, “That’s a good question. I want to answer it fully, so please give me a second.” That gives the interviewer a cue as to what’s happening on your end.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


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

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not necessary to have completely different resumes for each career goal. After all, your professional and academic experience doesn’t change. That said, how you construct an effective resume for multiple career goals does depend upon prioritization and organization of data, and answers to these questions:

1. Are the career fields similar?
2. Are the career fields diverse?


Let’s say as a Registered Nurse you’ve taught nursing students, you have served as an administrator of a nursing home, and you have worked in a hospital. Three careers, but all basically related. A resume in this instance can be both general (for application to many jobs) and specific (targeting one job) – it’s all in how you organize and prioritize the information.

For example, your Professional Experience can be broken down into three categories on your resume – Nursing Experience – Administrator Experience – Teaching Experience, with the appropriate employer and daily duties listed within each section (in a reverse chronological format). When applying for Nursing positions, that section would be listed first. When applying for a Teaching position, that section would be listed first.

In this way one resume, with minor modifications, can be used for many postings.


You began your professional career in real estate sales, but then transitioned to the paralegal field, and finally chose yet another career in bookkeeping. Three very different careers that would seem to require three separate resumes, but that’s certainly not the case.

To avoid producing resume after resume for each job, and if at least some of the skills are transferable within different industries, then a functional format is best for you.

Functional formats stress professional skills, rather than employers or industries. So, instead of providing a reverse chronological resume that clearly shows you’ve been moving from career to career and back (which some employers might find troubling), a functional resume states core qualifications beneath varying subheadings. The example given above would warrant three or more subheadings, namely: Contract Negotiation (Real Estate); Sales (Real Estate); Contracts (Paralegal); Payroll (Bookkeeping). These subheadings can be organized in order of importance to the targeted position (eg: if Sales interests you, then you would list your Real Estate Experience first, followed by your other experience). The subheadings can also show broad experience that could very well be valued in an economy where employees are expected to wear many hats and to perform many functions.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


by Lynne Rhys-Jones, JD, CPRW, ResumeEdge.com Editor

You’ve got a great resume, and you’re starting to get requests for interviews. As an ex-lawyer who got plenty of practice doing the Big Firm Law Clerk Interview Tango (an intricate and frenzied succession of 15-minute interviews lasting as many as 12 hours at a time), I’ve become something of an expert on talking my way into jobs. I’ve also been on the other side of the hiring table, asking the hard questions. Based on my experience, I’ve developed some interviewing guidelines, and I offer them to you here:

First, research the company and the relevant industry. If you’re hungry for a job, you may not really care where you work. But your interviewers are looking for someone who wants to be there and can be passionate about their mission. Knowing about the company can help you convey the interest that will help you stand out from the crowd.

Second, have some questions of your own to ask. As you’re researching the company, look for things to ask about: “I saw your press release about your expansion into the micro-widget market. What has the response been from your competitors?” Or more generically, “How do you think this company differs from your competitors in terms of work culture?” Asking questions of your own accomplishes three things. First, it shows your interest in the company. Second, it kills time. And third, it helps put you in control of the interview.

Third, think of the hardest questions an interviewer might ask. Think out your answers and rehearse them until they flow easily. Don’t forget about questions like “what are your weaknesses?” and “what do you want to be doing in five years?” As you’re pondering, consider what the interviewer might want to hear. Then, craft honest answers that will address the interviewer’s concerns.

Fourth, dress up. If you’re not sure what to wear, it’s better to over-dress than to under-dress. Doing so lets the interviewer know you understand business culture, and conveys that you really care about being there.

Interviews can be stressful, but they’re simply conversations with other human beings. Prepare thoroughly, clean yourself up, and relax. Even if it doesn’t go as well as you hope, you’ll learn from it. Over time, you’ll gain skill and confidence that will land you the job you want!

Lynne Rhys-Jones is a Certified Professional Resume Writer who specializes in legal, entertainment, and management resumes. A freelance writer and musician, she holds a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard School, a Master of Science in Information Studies from Florida State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Philosophy from the University of New Mexico. Request Lynne for your ResumeEdge.com product by keying in her last name only, no caps (rhys) in the 'request your editor' field of the ResumeEdge.com online form. http://www.resumeedge.com/

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


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

Few things are as disheartening to a professional as being fired from a position. But there are ways to minimize the damage on your new resume, and make it an effective marketing tool.

1. Let the resume format work for you in downplaying the loss of a job.

Instead of using a reverse chronological format that accentuates employment dates, use a functional format that showcases what you know rather than where you attained that expertise. For an accountant that would mean highlighting skills in reconciling accounts, generating tax returns, implementing internal controls, etc. The fact that these skills were attained at XYZ Company is minimized as employer names are not mentioned until the very end of the resume.

2. Use dates of employment to your advantage.

If you were fired from a job of short duration that fell within the same year as your last position, it can be completely excluded. For example – you worked at ABC Company from March to September of 2007. Before that, you worked at DEF Company from July of 2002 to February of 2007. Simply list the second company (DEF) with the years of employment (2002-2007). This will show an unbroken employment record.

3. Never explain on a resume that you were fired.

As much as hiring managers want to be fair and open-minded, they are only human and will tend to dismiss any candidate who admits to being fired. No matter how you try to explain your dismissal (i.e. “It was office politics.” “My manager didn’t like me; I have no idea why.” “It’s because I’m old; they wanted someone younger.” “They didn’t want to pay me a living wage so they hired someone less expensive.”), the explanation will still sound negative.

4. Don’t confuse being laid off or let go due to downsizing as being fired.

If your company was bought out by another firm and you were let go, that’s not the same as being fired. If your position has been eliminated (for whatever reason), you weren’t technically fired. Hiring managers tend to look at “being fired” as a negative that was caused by the employee (eg: they stole company funds, they were always late to work, they didn’t fulfill their daily duties, etc.) It’s important to note the distinction and to list those jobs on your resume when economic conditions, beyond your control, were a factor.

5. When there’s no way to avoid the fact that you’ve been fired.

If the industry you’re working in is a small one and everyone knows about your job loss, then it’s essential to showcase the positive (what you achieved at the job or what you learned), and to minimize the negative (confrontations with management or co-workers). A job search is not the time to prove that you were treated unfairly at the last company – rather, it’s the time to prove to the new company that you can excel because of your unique set of skills and qualifications.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


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

Temporary (contract) employees are the wave of the future. Companies no longer have to worry about benefits or keeping someone on who doesn’t fit in with the corporate culture. Of course, that leaves many individuals with ten or more short-termed positions to detail on a resume. Although it seems daunting and impossible to attract a hiring manager’s attention with that kind of data, it can be done.


Technically speaking, the agency – not the company where you actually do the work – is the employer and should be listed as such. If you’re like most contract workers, you do the same job for a number of companies, and you should detail those duties one time only beneath your job title, which will also include the employer list. For example:

FIRST STAFFING AGENCY, White Plains, New York, 2001 – Present
Administrative Assistant
(XYZ Company, RRT Company, ABC Company, & CDF Company)
* Generate correspondence for staff and senior executives.
* Answer telephone inquiries.
* Maintain inventory of office supplies.

The above is organized and provides relevant data without repetition.


Showcase your time management skills (especially if you’ve been asked – at the last moment – to accept a position because of an emergency staff shortage), how you thrive on change and meeting new people, what a quick learner you are (every company has its own policies and procedures that new staff must adhere to), and the range of your skills, which have to be comprehensive in order to move from company to company on short notice. In other words, show the hiring manager that you can make a quick, seamless transition from your contract job into a more permanent position at the targeted company.


Detail why you were offered a permanent position, and where it led – either to a promotion or to increased responsibility. The key is to show the new hiring manager that you have what it takes to get the job done.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


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

In our youth-oriented culture many workers, some as young as 40, worry that their employment options diminish substantially with each passing year.

To avoid the potential for age discrimination even before you’re invited to interview, make certain that your resume showcases your unique talents and qualifications, rather than your years in the industry. This can be accomplished in three ways:

1. Use a functional format to market your unique skills and qualifications:

Unlike a reverse-chronological resume that stresses dates and employers, a functional format emphasizes what you know and what you can do, rather than how long you’ve been doing it. For example, a business analyst would have a “Career History” section with the following subheadings and bulleted information:

Financial & Business Analysis
· Performed complex analyses for system-wide negotiations, projections, and line-of-business reviews in addition to analysis of population distribution, claims/utilization, and cost.
· Identified, collected, and organized data from multiple sources for input into monthly, quarterly, annual, and ad hoc reports provided to contracting/finance departments and senior management.
· Designed and implemented database applications used in contract rate and risk management analysis as well as the identification and correction of data errors and discrepancies.

Management & Supervision
· Analyzed, interpreted, and resolved claims with authorization for payments up to $75,000.
· Directed activities of 40 claims analysts at a large project site.
· Interacted daily with enrollment, claims, utilization/quality management, and customer service to resolve provider issues.

Nowhere in the above are years specified or emphasized.

2. Exclude early positions that do not enhance your candidacy, especially if you’re in the IT field:

Modern resumes generally do not go further back into employment history than 15 years. For IT professionals, no professional history past 10 years should be included. Why? Industries change so rapidly, early skills are replaced with more current methodologies. And most employers want to know what you’ve been doing recently, not what you did when you first graduated from college.

3. Exclude dates of college graduation:

Although it’s considered unorthodox by some, excluding dates of graduation, especially if you left college in the early 70’s, will minimize the risk of age discrimination. For seasoned professionals especially, college graduation is not the hook it might be for an entry-level candidate. If what came before your educational data is stellar (i.e. career history, accomplishments, unique skills), then few hiring manages will notice or care about this omission.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


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

When competing against hundreds of other applicants for limited seats in degree programs, it’s essential that your resume quickly conveys what you can bring to the program in terms of academic abilities, special talents, or real-world experiences. Below are general guidelines as to what admissions directors seek in application resumes. Be advised that it’s always wise to first check with the targeted school for specific guidelines that will help in creating your new resume so that it gets noticed.

Should you use a Resume or a CV (Curriculum Vitae) for Admission to Schools?

Generally speaking, if you’re applying to college or a university for an undergraduate degree program, or to a law/business/medical school, a resume should be employed.

If you are applying for a medical fellowship and have numerous publications, presentations, and abstract submissions, the preferred format is the CV. CVs, unlike resumes, may be longer than two pages in length, and often exceed ten pages when the candidate has numerous publications.

Guidelines for resumes used in application to Colleges or Universities for Undergraduate Degrees:

1. Opening Summary: This should provide an admissions director with a “snapshot” of you as a candidate, and your most relevant accomplishment. The achievement may be academic in nature (a perfect SAT score, selection as Class Valedictorian), may involve a specific talent (awards for art work or in drama competitions), or be focused towards athletics (member of football team that won division championship). The idea is to show your skill and potential.

2. Education: In addition to listing your high school, include any relevant club memberships (National Honor Society, Gold Key Club, Art Club for an aspiring artist – Language Clubs for an aspiring Linguist/Interpreter), honors (dean’s list, etc.), and anything else that made your work in high school special.

3. Volunteer Work: List first that volunteer work that coincides with your future goals. For example, if your intent is to study sociology or psychology in college, then detail volunteer work done at homeless/battered women shelters.

4. Hobbies: List first those hobbies that coincide with your future goals. (i.e. working with fabrics and sewing if you’re interested in becoming a Fashion or Interior Designer).

5. Length: No more than one page
Guidelines for resumes used in application to Graduate Schools:

Many schools will have their own requirements. It’s best to follow those directives in constructing your resume.

However, some general components are:

1. Education: List only the Bachelor’s Degree, not any Associates Degrees leading up to it. Include coursework that is relevant to the graduate program (i.e. Banking coursework for Finance programs), and any academic honors such as scholarships, dean’s lists, honor societies.

2. Professional Experience: Your employment and relevant daily duties presented in a reverse chronological order – that is, your most recent employment first, followed by the next most recent, and so on. If the school requires it, include full dates of employment – that is, both months and years. If no such requirement exists, then only provide years of employment (i.e. 2001-2004).

3. Volunteer Work & Hobbies/Interests


1. A Qualifications Summary: These are optional. Some schools may even require that they not be included. It’s best to check with the school to which you are applying to determine if inclusion of an opening summary is appropriate.

2. Career Accomplishments: Professional achievements can be showcased in their own section, or as a part of the employment listing. It’s best to check with the graduate school to see which is preferred.

3. Length: It’s best to check with the targeted school to see if any length restrictions exist.

Guidelines for resumes used in application to Law Schools:

The specific requirements for most law schools are:

1. List all academic and non-academic honors and awards received, including fellowships, prizes and memberships in honor societies; list and/or describe the basis for your selection.

2. List your extracurricular activities since entering undergraduate school, the hours per week devoted to such activities, and the dates of the activities.

3. List your positions of employment since high school (either full or part time), the number of hours per week devoted to each position, and the dates of employment.


1. Length: Generally speaking, most law school resumes are no more than one page in length. However, some law schools have their own length restrictions and/or requirements. It’s best to check with the school to which you are applying to determine what is most appropriate.

2. Opening Summary (also known as Qualifications Summary): These are optional. Some schools may even require that they not be included. It’s best to check with the school to which you are applying to determine if inclusion of an opening summary is appropriate.

Guidelines for resumes used in application to Business Schools:

Unlike other graduate school programs, Business Schools are seeking candidates that have real world experience. Therefore, in applying to this type of graduate program, the resume should resemble, as closely as possible, one being sent to a hiring manager.

The components of a Business School resume include:

1. A Qualifications Summary: This brief paragraph should provide relevant and recent data that enhances your candidacy. This would include an overview of your professional experience (i.e. “Internet Entrepreneur with a successful background in founding and operating two websites specializing in. . .”), a recent/relevant accomplishment (i.e. “Increased sales at Bank One by 40% within six months of hire by implementing a unique bank card program targeted towards college students.”), and your goal in applying to Business School (i.e. “Currently seeking admission into the MBA program to enhance business skills for a future as a venture capitalist.”)

2. Career Accomplishments: When competing against countless other candidates with similar backgrounds, the only thing that sets you apart is what you achieved during your professional career. These accomplishments should be showcased in a separate section, directly beneath the Qualifications Summary. They should be quantified with dollar figures, percentages, and time frames, if possible (i.e. “Reduced costs 35%, representing $4000 monthly, by outsourcing all publishing work.”)

3. Professional Experience: Your employment and relevant daily duties, presented in a reverse-chronological order – that is, your most recent employment first, followed by the next most recent, and so on. Accomplishments that have been previously provided should not be repeated here.

4. Education: List only the Bachelor’s degree, not any Associates Degrees leading up to it. Include any academic honors such as scholarships, dean’s lists, honor societies.

5. Length: Business school resumes generally can be two pages in length as long as only relevant data, as it pertains to the application, is included.

Guidelines for resumes used in application to Medical Schools:

The components of a Medical School resume include:

1. Education and Training: List here GPAs, honors (dean’s list, scholarship), memberships in relevant honor societies, relevant coursework (Biology, Labs)
2. Professional Experience Related to Medicine
3. Other Professional Experience
4. Volunteer Work Related to Medicine
5. Other Volunteer Work
6. Hobbies & Interests – if relevant to medicine


1. Opening Summary: It’s best to check with the selected medical school as to whether a Qualifications Summary is allowed. If not, exclude.

2. Length: This can vary from school to school. Therefore, it’s best to check with the selected medical school as to the appropriate length of the resume.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Professional Touch: Experience – Responsibilities

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

Responsibilities are the daily tasks an employee is charged with. In many cases you can cull information from your job description, but to create a truly effective resume you must go several steps further and include within these responsibilities:

1. Data that is unique to your career, field, or industry to indicate your expertise.
2. Information that relates to your job search or a particular posting to dovetail your experience with the targeted company’s
3. Special projects to illustrate how you went beyond a mere job description to become an integral staff member.

Many job seekers mistakenly believe that all duties must be listed in a resume so that a hiring manager gets an accurate picture of previous jobs. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What Should Be Included:

1. Those tasks that directly relate to your current job search.
2. Those tasks that enhance your candidacy.

For example:

You’re a Senior Accountant at XYZ Corporation, having worked your way up from bookkeeper to junior accountant, then to Accountant, and finally to your current position. In the process you’ve become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), and are ready for a Senior Management or Executive position.

To list the daily duties you performed while a bookkeeper (posting to the general ledger, preparing bank deposits, etc.) does little to impress upon a hiring manager why you are now prepared for career advancement. Hiring managers assume that as a Senior Accountant you know – or should know – how to do entry-level tasks.

So How Do You List Your Entry-level Experience?

One way is to simply state your job and the dates you held it:

Bookkeeper (1991-1992)

Another is to give a brief overview of what you did:

Bookkeeper (1991-1992)
- Charged with general ledger duties.

The most effective is to also include any improvements you made to the process while in the position:

Bookkeeper (1991-1992)
- Instituted additional internal controls to minimize fraud and potential loss of revenue.
- Charged with general ledger duties.

If you can quantify – with a dollar figure or percentage – how much your internal controls aided the company, then this would be an accomplishment.

Presentation of Material

Your Professional Experience should include:

1. Name of Employer (in the case of mergers, both the current name and the previous name)
2. Company Location (the city and state where you worked – not company headquarters)
3. Dates of employment (years only)
4. Your Job Title (and division, if applicable)
5. A bulleted listing of your duties (ordered by level of importance, with the most important listed first)

All data on resumes – including job titles – should be structured in such a way to accentuate the positive and minimize the negative, while also being accurate. Therefore:


Misrepresent your role in a company.
- If you were the “Assistant Editor,” that is your title, unless you prefer “Editor.” To indicate that you were a “Senior Editor” or a “Managing Editor” can easily be checked out by prospective employers and could harm your chances for the position.

Consider Using:

An enhanced version of your title. For example:

Mixologist can be used rather than Bartender

Child Care Worker rather than Babysitter

Owner/Operator rather than Self-employed


- I have had numerous jobs within the same company. Do I keep repeating the company name and then the job titles?

No. Not only is that an ineffective use of space, it’s repetitive. Hiring managers soon grow weary or cautious of data that repeated again and again as it appears that the candidate has little to offer and is padding the resume. Instead, format your data like this:

XYZ COMPANY, New York, New York 1988 – Present
Senior Accountant (1995-Present)
• Most important task
• Next most important task
• Next most important task

Accountant (1992-1995)
• Most important task
• Next most important task
• Next most important task

Junior Accountant (1989-1992)
• Most important task
• Next most important task
• Next most important task

Bookkeeper (1988-1989)
• Most important task
• Next most important task
• Next most important task

Not only does the above offer data in an easily understandable and well-prioritized manner, it also shows a steady upward progression in the candidate’s career.

- How many bulleted job duties should go beneath each title?

At least two, but no more than six. Remember, a hiring manager wants a snapshot of you as a potential employee, not an exhaustive study of everything you’ve ever done. Always exclude duties that do not enhance your candidacy.

- How long should bulleted sentences be?

No more than three lines, though two are preferable. If you submit a document with large blocks of text, the hiring manager will feel daunted while scanning the document, and may choose not to read it. Bulleted sentences should be concise and to-the point. They are employed in the modern resume, rather than paragraphs, because they provide data in quick, easy-to comprehend portions.

- Do I write these sentences in the first person as if I’m talking to the hiring manager?

No. Use of personal pronouns (I, my, etc.) is not considered professional.

Bulleted sentences, within the Professional Experience section, should begin with strong action verbs (which make for more lively reading) and should provide only the most essential data to give the hiring manager a clear picture of what you do or what you have done.


• Recommended new internal controls to minimize fraud risk, which were implemented by management.

Rather Than This:

• I was on the job for some time when I noticed that the internal controls could be improved, so I set up a meeting with my supervisor, and at that meeting I told him that we might be facing some problems in regards to people stealing company funds if we didn’t have better internal controls. After a few weeks, my supervisor put these controls into place.

- Should I list all of my jobs since I got out of college thirty years ago? If not, then how do I let employers know that I’ve been working since graduating from college?

The general rule is go back no further than 15 years. For IT professionals, it’s not necessary to go back further than 10 years as the industry has changed so rapidly.

Rather than providing details for numerous jobs that have little to no bearing on your current search, the earlier positions can be briefly mentioned at the end of the last detailed job listing using the following format:

Additional Experience as a Bookkeeper for Jones & Co. in Manhattan, F.W. Schwartz in Queens, and at Macy’s in New York.

The above informs a hiring manager of your work history without including unnecessary details.

- I’m still at my present position, but some of my projects were completed months ago – how do I indicate this?

Continue to list your most important tasks first, while also ordering them so that present tasks take precedence over completed tasks.

For example:

XYZ COMPANY, New York, New York 1988 – Present
Senior Accountant (1995-Present)
• Oversee a staff of 13, including an office manager, bookkeeper, and 10 junior accountants.
• Generate financial statements for management use.
• Assisted in first quarter audit; recommended additional internal controls.

The first two tasks are written in present tense as these are on-going duties. The third bullet is written in past tense, as this project has been completed.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

If You Do Not Have The Required Education for the Desired Position

by Darlene Zambruski, ResumeEdge.com Managing Editor, CPRW

No matter how well you prepare for a career, it’s rare when your professional or academic background perfectly matches all of the employer requested qualifications.

Despite this, there are ways to overcome perceived deficiencies in your academic history, while proving you are a good match for the position.

1. If you have some college, but lack a degree: These days most positions require, at the very least, a bachelor’s degree. However, life experience can be as important. If you ran your own business or have a stellar work history, showcase that. After all, that’s what college is preparing you for.

Equally important is specialized training. In some industries, this may be far preferred to a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts. Be certain to list the names of courses, sponsoring agency, and the dates of completion.

Last, but not least, it would be wise to list some of the coursework you took while in college, so long as it’s related to your current career goal.

2. If you have a Bachelor’s degree, but lack a Masters: Again, the hiring authority may very well consider a candidate who has real world expertise, rather than an academic degree. This is especially true if your work history had been unbroken and has shown a steady progression to positions of ever increasing authority.

Also, be sure to showcase quantified Career Accomplishments as these provide ample evidence that you are skilled in your chosen profession, and can get the job done for the new company.

3. You have a Masters, but lack a Doctorate: In some instances, a PhD will be a requirement that cannot be overlooked. However, if you are currently pursuing a PhD, and expect to receive it within the year, you might be able to convince a hiring authority to consider you for the position. Hiring managers, especially if they are interested in a candidate, are generally willing to be flexible.

4. When specialized training is required: Before passing on these positions, research what the specialized training entails. It could very well be that your experience and academics is a close match. Just be certain to make that connection in your resume and cover letter to the employer.

Another option is to consider signing up for the training course, and including that bit of information in your documents.

The key is to always showcase what you have in a way which proves to the hiring manager that you can get the job done, and do it well.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


by Darlene Zambruski, ResumeEdge.com Managing Editor, CPRW

Recent high school graduates, some stay-at-home moms, and those individuals who are just starting trade school or vocational college are faced with extra challenges in creating a resume that will prove their worth. As with all resume content, it’s imperative to focus on what you do have to offer, rather than what you lack. All it takes is a creative approach in putting your best foot forward.


Unlike the popular reverse-chronological format that details employers, titles, dates of employment, and job duties, the functional format showcases what you know.

For a recent high school graduate or those just entering trade school, that may mean clerical skills such as typing (including words per minute), computer proficiency (list software), data entry, 10-key, some bookkeeping, tailoring (sewing), cooking (home economics skills), or whatever was learned in high school that can be applied to a real job.

In the case of a stay-at-home mom, everyday tasks such as managing a household budget, paying bills (bookkeeping in the corporate world), childcare, scheduling pediatrician visits (appointment setting in the corporate world), planning children’s birthday parties or family get-togethers (event planning in the corporate world), can all have value in a professional environment, especially in an administrative assistant role.


Many individuals erroneously believe that if they weren’t paid for work, then it has no value in the corporate world. Nothing could be further from the truth. Skills in fundraising, event planning & coordination, media relations (either speaking with the press or authoring newsletters), activities planning, and community outreach (providing after school activities for at-risk youth, organizing a soup kitchen, etc.) can be stated as skills on a resume so long as the volunteer work is relevant to the current job search. It’s equally important to indicate how these skills transfer to a corporate environment – i.e. event/activities planning may be valuable in an administrative assistant position when clerical support is needed to make travel/lodging arrangements for an executive or when a corporate party needs to be organized.


Even a basic entry-level position such as reception requires skill in answering phones and greeting the public. Determine what employers generally want in an employee, through online searches, then dovetail your strengths with their needs.

For example, a recent high school graduate is seeking a job as a receptionist. The information to highlight on this individual’s resume is any school activity that would tell the hiring manager this is a people-person, with a pleasant demeanor, who is always willing to help. Information that might relay this would be functioning as a hostess at a school-sponsored Las Vegas night or a fundraising supper, or perhaps this individual represented the school to prospective students during campus visits and tours.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Professional Touch: Maximizing Computer Skills with Specifics

by Darlene Zambruski, ResumeEdge.com Managing Editor, CPRW

All too often data in resumes is presented quite vaguely, leaving the hiring manager to wonder what the candidate really knows, and what skills they actually have. This is especially true in regards to Computer Skills, whether the applicant is an office worker or an IT professional.

For example, an office worker may feel it’s enough to list skills in this manner:

Technically proficient in Microsoft Office and other software.

After reading the above, the hiring manager may very well wonder what other software? What part of Microsoft Office – all or only Word & Excel? And what version?

When your data raises more questions than it answers, it’s no longer effective. To maximize your information, include specifics. For example, the previous statement should read like this:

Technically proficient in Microsoft Office (Premium 2000), including Word, Excel, Outlook, Publisher, Access, PowerPoint, Front Page, and Photo Draw. Additional expertise in Word Perfect, Quicken, Peachtree Accounting, Lexis-Nexus, and Westlaw.

At a glance, the above provides instant and specific data to a hiring manager.

However, a candidate – especially in the IT field – should go one step further and provide years or months of experience.

A Word About Including Years (or Months) of Experience for Technical Skills

In today’s competitive job market, hiring managers demand that information on resumes be well-prioritized and specific. It’s not enough to state that you have proficiency in Microsoft Word. You must state how many months or years of experience you have or your level of expertise, whether it’s beginner, intermediate, or advanced. Hiring managers will not call you in for an interview, nor will they test your skills unless they are first provided this essential data.

Presenting Technical Skills for IT Professionals

The nature of IT is ever-evolving. Therefore, an IT professional should showcase relevant skills as specifically and completely as possible.

This includes organizing technical data into subheadings, which include:

1. Software
2. Hardware
3. Operating Systems
4. Programming Languages
5. Software Packages
6. Databases
7. Any other technical proficiencies

One way to present this data would be a simple listing. For example:

Computer Skills

- LAN Administration: Windows 2000 Server, Windows NT 3.51/4.0, Novell 3.12/4.1.
- Operating Systems: Windows 2000/NT/XP, Windows 98/95, Macintosh OS.
- Software: Microsoft SQL, SNA, SMS , Site Server & IIS, CA XCOM, SAS, Microsoft Visual Studio, Source Safe, Cognos Enterprise Server, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange, AS/400-Windows Connectivity Applications, cc:Mail , Multiple Windows Communications Applications.
- Productivity Software: Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Project.
- Hardware: PCs, Compaq Servers, HP NetServers, IBM NetFinity Servers, AS400 20, SCO Unix OpenServer, Macintosh.

- Certifications: Candidate for MCDBA, Candidate for CCNA/CCDA, Candidate for MCSE, Microsoft Certified System Administrator, Novell Certified Administrator, Novell Certified Engineer.

A more effective way to maximize technical data is to provide specific information in an easy-to-read format. For example:

Technical Skills


Oracle 8/8i/9i, 4 years
SQL Server 6.5/7.0/2000, 6 years
Microsoft Access, 6 years
MySQL, 6 months

Operating Systems:

UNIX , 4 years
LINUX, 4 years
Windows Operating Systems, 12 years
DOS, 12 years
Macintosh, 4 years

Programming Languages:

ShellScript, 3 years
PL/SQL, 4 years
ASP, 5 years
JAVA/JSP, 1 year
JavaScript, 5 years
DHTML, 3 years

Oracle Utilities:

SQL Navigator, 4 years
TOAD, 2 years
Oracle *Net, 4 years
Import/Export, 3 years
SQL *Loader, 3 years
Enterprise Manager, 3 years
Performance Manager, 2 years

The above example has easily obtainable and understood data that is specific and enhances an applicant’s candidacy.

Another way to maximize technical information is to include projects in which expertise was applied. For example, a Senior Infrastructure Consultant had this experience:

Representative Projects:

Multi-protocol LAN. Designed and launched $2 million, multi-protocol, multi-domain LAN for 5000 employees, focusing on speed, fault-tolerance, and redundancy. Implemented array of Cisco 6509 switches, Cisco 3600 and 7000 routers, and Cisco PIX firewalls. Configured WAN protocols (FrameRelay, ISDN), routing and encapsulation protocols (STP, HSRP, EtherChanneling, EIGRP, OSPF, IGRP, BGP), and routed protocols (IP, IPX, Vines, and DLSw).

Upgrade from legacy LAN. Developed and implemented a layer-3 switched LAN to upgrade existing network for 1200 employees, targeting improved performance and security. Installed/configured collapsed backbone, using Cisco 6509 Catalyst core switches and Cisco Catalyst 4006 edge switches (multi-homed to core). Re-designed IP schema to optimize communication and routing. Created per-floor VLANs. Implemented Cisco PIX 520 Firewalls (including fail-over) to segment public, private, and DMZ networks and provide VPN access. Installed/configured Cisco 3600 routers, using FrameRelay (ISDN as backup). Configured WAN protocols (FrameRelay, ISDN), routing protocols (HSRP, EIGRP, OSFP), and routed protocols (IP, IPX, DLSw).

Co-Lo High-Availability. Engineered fully redundant, fault-tolerant, high-availability network. Researched and advised on co location site and T-3-leasing (two T-3 connections from separate ISPs). Installed/configured Cisco 6509 switches to segment VLANs and provide gigabit throughput to dual-homed server farms. Provisioned A/19 address space and AS number. Implemented Cisco 7000 routers, providing full BGP routing tables and peering with ISP routers. Installed Cisco PIX 525 firewalls (load-balanced and fail-over) to control ingress/egress traffic and provide VPN access for technical staff.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Professional Touch - Objectives

by Darlene Zambruski, ResumeEdge.com Managing Editor, CPRW

In today’s competitive job market, Objectives have mostly been replaced by the far more effective Tag Line, which is your professional title or goal, and Skill Set, which lists your qualifications to fill the job. Each should provide concise and specific data to the hiring manager in terms that emphasize what you can do for the targeted company.

However, there are times when an Objective should be included in a Summary of Qualifications, or even be showcased in the Tag Line.

When to Include Objective Statements Within a Summary of Qualifications

1. You are transitioning from one career to another and want to make clear to a hiring manager that you are currently seeking a position in the new field. That statement is your objective.

2. You are using the resume to seek admission into a graduate program (i.e. MBA).

3. You have specific needs that you want to address. This would include that you would prefer a telecommuting position or part-time versus full-time employment.

When to Showcase Your Objective in a Tag Line

1. If you are entering a new career field and have an academic, rather than a professional background in that industry. In that case, use of the word “Candidate” before the Professional Title in the Tag Line quickly tells a hiring manager your Objective.

A word about Tag Lines:

By using a professional title at the opening of your resume, you will be stating who you are and what you want in terms of your career.

Tag lines can be:

Specific: Telecommunications CEO
Generic: Accounting Professional
Showcase an Objective: Candidate: MBA Program; Candidate: First Grade Teacher

A word about your Skill Set:

This would include specific qualifications that you have and which are required in the job posting.

An example for an Accountant might include:

Accounts Payable/Receivable ~ Audits ~ General Ledger ~ Reconciliations

An example for a Teacher might include:

Grades K-5 ~ CBEST & MSAT Certified ~ Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential

By including your Skill Set directly beneath your Tag Line at the beginning of your resume, you’ll be providing the hiring manager with invaluable data.

Objective Statements to Avoid

- Ones that demand a certain salary.

- Ones that address your needs – i.e. “Seeking an interesting position in the Accounting field with great growth potential.”

- Vague statements that fail to target specific industries or jobs – i.e. “A full-time position with benefits.”


Question: If I’m applying for a specific position, shouldn’t the hiring manager know that the job opening is my objective? Why do I have to provide anything other than my educational and professional history?

Answer: In the past decade, resumes have evolved from a simple listing of candidate’s expectations and qualifications to savvy marketing pieces that showcase what you can do for the targeted company. If a hiring manager has to guess at what you can do for them or where you might fit into their organization, you won’t be called in for an interview. An additional consideration is that many large companies have numerous openings. If you want to be considered for the one that best fits your background, it’s wise to include who you are (Tag Line) and what you can do (Skill Set), which is far stronger than an ordinary Objective.

Question: Isn’t it redundant to write an Objective that addresses what I can do for a company, when all of that information is already in my Professional Experience?

Answer: Not at all when you consider that a hiring manager might not get that far. Remember, you have less than 10 seconds to capture a hiring manager’s interest. You do this by prioritizing data, and by addressing the needs of the position as they relate to your unique qualifications. A modern resume can be likened to a news story – the hiring manager wants to know who, what, where, when, and why at the outset. Once you secure the reader’s interest, then you provide details in the Career Accomplishments, Professional Experience, and Education sections of the document.

Question: Since I don’t have any experience, as yet, in my chosen career won’t using the word “Candidate” really make this stand out and hurt my chances?

Answer: Although “Candidate” may not be a perfect word when it comes to a job search, it’s far stronger than the use of the term “entry-level” even though it indicates the same thing. One trick to minimize any entry-level thinking on the hiring manager’s part is to include a strong skill set that showcases those skills you do have that will meet the qualifications for the job.

Question: I want to apply for numerous positions that are not at all similar. Do I have to tailor the opening of each resume for these jobs?

Answer: No one ever said getting the job you want would be easy, so the answer is an unequivocal yes. Within each job posting are keywords that should be peppered throughout the opening of your resume. Keywords for an accountant might be AP/AR, audits, reconciliations, etc. By employing these in your Skill Set and Summary of Qualifications paragraph and by using a Tag Line that is similar or identical to the job that’s being posted, you’re showing the hiring manager that you are the ideal candidate for this position.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Senior Executive Service

by Robin Schlinger, ResumeEdge.com Editor and CFRW

Senior Executive Service (SES) personnel lead the continuing transformation of the Federal government. Leaders chosen to SES positions possess well-honed executive skills and share a broad perspective of government and a public service commitment which is grounded in the Constitution. Per the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the SES was designed to be a corps of executives selected for their leadership qualifications.

SES personnel serve in the key positions just below the top Presidential appointees, and as such, are the major link between these appointees and the rest of the Federal work force. They operate and oversee nearly every government activity in approximately 75 Federal agencies.

SES positions are the equivalent of Vice Presidents, Presidents, CEOs, CIOs and CFOs in civilian positions. If you are transitioning from the Military, typically you would have to be at the O-6 (Colonel in the Army, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard - or Captain in the Navy) to consider applying at this level. Occasionally, personnel retiring at the O-5 level can qualify, depending on your background and number of years at that level. If you are already in the Federal Government, SES positions require you are at the GS-14 or GS-15 level to apply.

If you are not at this level, FederalResumePros recommends you look at lower level positions, where your leadership and background will give you a better chance at success when applying for positions.

How to apply for SES positions:

Step 1:

Find the announcement - search at
www.usajobs.com - select Search Jobs and you can select the SES tab.

Step 2:

Read the job announcement. Make sure you have done most (at least 90-95%) of the duties. Also look at the Job Requirements. You MUST meet ALL of the job requirements, or you will not be considered for the position.

Step 3:

Create the application package. Read the announcement for application requirements.

Generally, SES applications consist of four or five parts:

- Federal Resume - see our Federal Resumes page
- Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) - See additional articles
- Required Factors - not in every announcement - these are written like KSAs and you MUST be able to address ALL of them
- Managerial Technical Qualifications (MTQs) or Professional Technical Qualifications (PTQs) - these are similar to KSAs [put in link to the KSA page]
- Cover Letter - recommended for paper-based applications

Other documentation may be required. You may need to send in several copies of the announcement.

Robin Schlinger, a Certified Federal Resume Writer, specializes in writing Federal resume packages for all levels, from entry to SES. Her expertise is adding value, based on over 20 years in senior level engineering andbusiness positions for Fortune 500 companies. Robin holds a BS in ChemicalEngineering from MIT. Request Robin for your Federal product by keying her last name only, no caps (schlinger) in the 'request your editor' field of the ResumeEdge.com online form.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Using Accomplishments to Set You Apart from Other Candidates

by Darlene Zambruski, ResumeEdge.com Managing Editor, CPRW

Work- or academically-related accomplishments are what set you apart from the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other candidates vying for the same position. Hiring managers know that past achievement is indicative of future performance. They also know that achievers are self-starters, motivated, and an asset to their employers.

Remember, a hiring manager will afford no more than 10 seconds to a candidate’s resume, unless they are compelled to read further. Accomplishments are what capture and retain their interest.

What is an Accomplishment?

1. Any results-related activity that goes beyond your general job description.
2. An achievement that is quantified with dollar figures or percentages, and time periods.
3. Upward progression in your chosen career:
A. Being recruited into the company to achieve specific goals (i.e. cost containment)
B. Being promoted to positions of ever-increasing authority
4. Work-related awards
5. Academic scholarships
6. Industry-specific certifications or licensure (i.e. CPA, RN, MD, bar admissions)

What is NOT an Accomplishment?

1. Completing work you are expected to do and have been hired to do (daily tasks).
2. Promptness.
3. Being congenial.
4. Any activity that cannot be quantified by dollar figures/percentages/results, attainment of an award, scholarship,
certification, or other means of recognition

Do’s and Don’ts of Accomplishments:

1. Don’t write vague statements such as:

Self-starter known for completing projects on time.

The above sounds self-serving to an employer. Instead, quantify what you’ve done (using dollar figures/percentages, and
time periods) and for whom.

The same accomplishment strengthened with quantifying data:

Saved Marriott International $150,000 within eight months of hire by successfully completing a reorganization plan that
eliminated three unnecessary positions.

In the above, there’s no doubt about the employer (Marriott International), the cost-savings ($150,000), the time period
(eight months of hire), or the means by which this was achieved (…by successfully completing a reorganization plan that eliminated three unnecessary positions.)

2. Don’t keep where you achieved these results a mystery.

All too often candidates will have superb accomplishments, and will list each and every one of them, but fail to
include where they took place. Nothing is more exasperating to a hiring manager than to have to guess the where and when of an accomplishment. Nothing diminishes the effectiveness of an achievement faster than withholding important data.

Don’t write:

Salvaged a multi-million dollar account by traveling to London and resolving a large bank’s networking issues.

With the above, the hiring manager may very well wonder – what large bank? – specifically, what networking issues is this
candidate referring to? – for what company was this activity undertaken? – why was travel to London necessary or required?

When an accomplishment raises more questions than it answers, it’s no longer effective, and should be revised using
specific and quantified data.

3. Don’t include accomplishments that have little to do with your career goal and do not enhance your candidacy.

For example – if you were awarded an academic scholarship for the study of journalism, but are now moving into
pharmaceutical sales, the inclusion of the academic award will do little to impress a hiring manager.

However, if you received a research award in Biology at the Masters’ or Ph.D. level, this will enhance your candidacy for a career move into pharmaceutical sales, especially if you have little to no professional experience in the field.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Resumes for the Entertainment Industry

by Lynne Rhys, JD, ResumeEdge.com Editor, CPRW

You sing, you dance, you act, and you’re great behind the camera too. But can you write a good resume? Let’s face it: jobs in your industry are extraordinarily difficult to land, and a good entertainment resume looks very different from one, say, for an accountant. Luckily, there are ways to pump up your resume that can help you stand out when you’re going for that big break.

One important key to a great show biz resume doesn’t have a thing to do with writing. It’s all about record-keeping. You’ll need three lists. First, keep track of every gig you have, even if it’s not in your usual field and even if you didn’t get paid. You may end up with a wild set of credits as a production assistant, writer, director, best boy grip, singer, dancer, set designer, and animal wrangler, but that’s all right – it shows versatility! Get yourself a spiral notebook and keep track of each production, with a description of the production type, director, theater or production company, dates, and your job or role.

Second, keep track of any awards won by you or by the projects you did. You may have played a bit part in a bad movie, but its selection for a film festival looks good on a resume!

Third, keep a list of classes and seminars you’ve taken, because there will probably be some you’ll want to include. For example, master classes can add credibility.

Of course, you probably won’t include everything in these lists on your resume – nobody really cares that you played Martha Washington in your elementary school play. And of course, how you organize your credits will depend on your job goals. But with a full list of credits, an expert can create a resume that really struts your stuff!

Lynne Rhys-Jones is a Certified Professional Resume Writer who specializes in legal, entertainment, and management resumes. A freelance writer and musician, she holds a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard School, a Master of Science in Information Studies from Florida State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Philosophy from the University of New Mexico. Request Lynne for your ResumeEdge.com product by keying in her last name only, no caps (rhys) in the 'request your editor' field of the ResumeEdge.com online form. http://www.resumeedge.com/

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs)

by Robin Schlinger, ResumeEdge.com Editor and CFRW

The ECQ essays are required for entry into the SES and are used by many departments and agencies in selection, performance management and leadership development for management and executive positions. The ECQs define the competencies to build a Federal corporate culture to drive for results, serve customers and build successful teams and coalitions with and outside the organization. Typically these essays are 1-2 pages each. FederalResumePros writes ECQ statements using examples to show how you uniquely add value.

There are 5 ECQ essays to be written:

ECQ 1 - Leading Change
ECQ 2 - Leading People
ECQ 3 - Results Driven
ECQ 4 - Business Acumen
ECQ 5 - Building coalitions

Each ECQ must address the subject of the ECQ and the competencies under each ECQ. In addition, SES candidates must show the following Fundamental Competencies:

Competencies are the personal and professional attributes that are critical to successful performance in the SES. The fundamental competencies are the attributes that serve as the foundation for each of the Executive Core Qualifications. Experience and training that strengthen and demonstrate the competencies will enhance a candidate’s overall qualifications for the SES.

Definition: These competencies are the foundation for success in each of the Executive Core Qualifications.


Interpersonal Skills: Treats others with courtesy, sensitivity, and respect. Considers and responds appropriately to the needs and feelings of different people in different situations.

Oral Communication: Makes clear and convincing oral presentations. Listens effectively; clarifies information as needed.

Integrity/Honesty: Behaves in an honest, fair, and ethical manner. Shows consistency in words and actions. Models high standards of ethics.

Written Communication: Writes in a clear, concise, organized and convincing manner for the intended audience.

Continual Learning: Assesses and recognizes own strengths and weaknesses; pursues self-development.

Public Service Motivation: Shows a commitment to serve the public. Ensures that actions meet public needs; aligns organizational objectives and practices with public interests.

More information on each ECQ is below. The competencies under each ECQ need to be addressed in the ECQ essays:

ECQ 1: Leading Change

Definition: This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.


Creativity and Innovation: Develops new insights into situations; questions conventional approaches; encourages new ideas and innovations; designs and implements new or cutting edge programs/processes.

External Awareness: Understands and keeps up-to-date on local, national and international policies and trends that affect the organization and shape stakeholders' views; is aware of the organization's impact on the external environment.

Flexibility: Is open to change and new information; rapidly adapts to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles.

Resilience: Deals effectively with pressure; remains optimistic and persistent, even under adversity. Recovers quickly from setbacks.

Strategic Thinking : Formulates objectives and priorities, and implements plans consistent with the long-term interests of the organization in a global environment. Capitalizes on opportunities and manages risks.

Vision: Takes a long-term view and builds a shared vision with others; acts as a catalyst for organizational change. Influences others to translate vision into action.

ECQ 2: Leading People

Definition: This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.


Conflict Management: Encourages creative tension and differences of opinions. Anticipates and takes steps to prevent counter-productive confrontations. Manages and resolves conflicts and disagreements in a constructive manner.

Leveraging Diversity: Fosters an inclusive workplace where diversity and individual differences are valued and leveraged to achieve the vision and mission of the organization.

Developing Others: Develops the ability of others to perform and contribute to the organization by providing ongoing feedback and by providing opportunities to learn through formal and informal methods.

Team Building: Inspires and fosters team commitment, spirit, pride and trust. Facilitates cooperation and motivates team members to accomplish group goals.

ECQ 3: Results Driven

Definition: This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.


Accountability: Holds self and others accountable for measurable high-quality, timely, and cost-effective results. Determines objectives, sets priorities, and delegates work. Accepts responsibility for mistakes. Complies with established control systems and rules.

Customer Service: Anticipates and meets the needs of both internal and external customers. Delivers high-quality products and services; is committed to continuous improvement.

Decisiveness: Makes well-informed, effective and timely decisions, even when data are limited or solutions produce unpleasant consequences; perceives the impact and implications of decisions.

Entrepreneurship: Positions the organization for future success by identifying new opportunities; builds the organization by developing or improving products or services. Takes calculated risks to accomplish organizational objectives.

Problem Solving: Identifies and analyzes problems; weighs relevance and accuracy of information; generates and evaluates alternative solutions; makes recommendations.

Technical Credibility: Understands and appropriately applies principles, procedures, requirements, regulations and policies related to specialized expertise.

ECQ 4: Business Acumen

Definition: This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.


Financial Management: Understands the organization's financial processes. Prepares, justifies, and administers the program budget. Oversees procurement and contracting to achieve desired results. Monitors expenditures and uses cost-benefit thinking to set priorities.

Human Capital Management: Builds and manages workforce based on organizational goals, budget considerations, and staffing needs. Ensures that employees are appropriately recruited, selected, appraised, and rewarded; takes action to address performance problems. Manages a multi-sector workforce and a variety of work situations.

Technology Management: Keeps up-to-date on technological developments. Makes effective use of technology to achieve results. Ensures access to and security of technology systems.

ECQ 5: Building Coalitions

Definition: This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.


Partnering: Develops networks and builds alliances; collaborates across boundaries to build strategic relationships and achieve common goals.

Political Savvy: Identifies the internal and external politics that impact the work of the organization. Perceives organizational and political reality and acts accordingly.

Influencing/Negotiating: Persuades others; builds consensus through give and take; gains cooperation from others to obtain information and accomplish goals.

Robin Schlinger, a Certified Federal Resume Writer, specializes in writing Federal resume packages for all levels, from entry to SES. Her expertise is adding value, based on over 20 years in senior level engineering andbusiness positions for Fortune 500 companies. Robin holds a BS in ChemicalEngineering from MIT. Request Robin for your Federal product by keying her last name only, no caps (schlinger) in the 'request your editor' field of the ResumeEdge.com online form. http://www.resumeedge.com/services/federal-resume/index.php?nav=se.fed

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


by Darlene Zambruski, ResumeEdge.com Managing Editor, CPRW

The Professional Touch – Qualifications Summaries

A Qualifications Summary is your first and best chance to make a favorable impression on a hiring manager. It is a marketing tool that sells your unique skills to the targeted company.

To be effective, a Qualifications Summary must

1. Provide a snapshot of you as the ideal candidate for the position.

2. Be concise and to the point, addressing what expertise you can bring to the job to benefit the prospective employer.

3. Address pertinent qualifications in the job posting.

4. List your most stellar and recent quantified accomplishment that pertains to your current job search.

5. Provide additional data that enhances your candidacy, including:
A. Linguistic capabilities in foreign languages
B. Certifications
C. Licensure
D. Willingness to travel or to relocate for the new position

6. State specific skills, such as computer proficiencies (if applicable)

7. List your past employers if they are well known, i.e. Boeing, Wall Street Journal, Macy’s, AT&T, etc.

8. Work Permits or Green Card data for foreign nationals.

What to Avoid in Qualifications Summaries

1. Use of personal pronouns such as I, my, me, we, us, etc. Resumes are business documents that should employ a
conservative tone.

2. Soft skills – i.e. being personable or trustworthy – unless they are backed up by specific data.

Soft skills presented in a weak fashion: “Personable individual with proven “people” skills.”

Soft skills that are effective and strengthened by quantified results: “Salvaged $6 million VIP account with Pepsi-Cola, Inc. through superior communication and client relations skills.”

3. Objectives that are vague and self-serving:

“Currently seeking position in which to grow with dynamic organization.”
“Want to use creativity and skills learned in college.”

4. Any data that is superfluous or does not enhance candidacy for targeted position or career, including:

A. Outdated computer skills for an IT professional.
B. A listing of word-processing skills for an executive who would most likely have an administrative assistant to do clerical
C. Academic data (i.e. GPAs, Dean’s List, Scholarships) for a seasoned Professional or an Executive.

5. Number of years of employment in the field, unless the job posting specifically requires a set number of years of experience.

To avoid age discrimination or the perception of being over qualified for a particular position, it’s always best to state
“comprehensive” or “significant” experience, rather than the exact number of years.

6. Laundry lists of skills that are assumed for the position – i.e. a CPA is presumed to know AP/AR, bookkeeping, general
ledger, reconciliations, taxes, and the like. Providing this data is not telling the hiring manager anything new or relevant.

Before writing your Qualifications Summary determine:

1. What makes you unique in your given field – i.e. accomplishments, achievements, post graduate degrees, certifications,

2. What you have to offer the targeted company in terms of past experience.

3. How you meet their qualifications.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Don’t Look for a Job

by Jeri Hird Dutcher, ResumeEdge.com Editor, CPRW

You have your bright, shiny new ResumeEdge resume. What are you going to do with it? If your answer is, “look for a job,” consider this: You need to be looking for a company.

When you look for a job, you’re taking a chance that it’s with a company that offers no advancement or chance to improve your skills. You may find a job you love to do in a culture that doesn’t fit you at all. You may enjoy the tasks of your job but find the people impossible to work with. To avoid those pitfalls, don’t answer ads for jobs.

Instead, determine the company and or person for whom you’d like to work.

Warning: This means homework.

First, decide what is important to you:
· Do you need a company to be family friendly?
· Is your main goal a high salary?
· Is diversity an issue?
· Is skills development important?
· How much creativity do you need to be able to use?
· How much do you want to be challenged?
· How much job security do you need?
· Do you need recognition of your accomplishments?
· Are titles and status important?
· Is working with certain people or certain types of people important to you?
· Is the size or reputation of the company important to you?
· Need the company be “green?”

Then, find out as much as you can about companies and people in your industry. Match your values to the company and people you would be working with:
· What are the opportunities for advancement?
· Do they demand 24/7 availability?
· What is their training budget for your department? Do they spend it? On training?
· What is the turnover rate at the company?
· What do employees at your career level say about working there?
· How often do they promote people from within?
· Do they have hiring programs for minorities and women?
· What is their management style?
· How does the company perform compared with its competitors?

When you’ve found your answers, compare them and decide which two or three companies rate highest in matching your values and needs. Focus your search on these companies.

This homework also prepares you nicely for an informational interview. (See How to Work a Resume). You’ll be able to impress the hiring manager with how much you already know about the company, its culture and background.

Jeri Hird Dutcher is a Certified Professional Resume Writer from Minnesota with a BA in English and concentration in writing. She started writing resumes professionally in 1987 and enjoys writing all types of resumes. Her background includes journalism, higher education, public relations and freelance editing. Request Jeri for your ResumeEdge.com product by keying in her last name only, no caps (dutcher) in the 'request your editor' field of the ResumeEdge.com online form.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

KSAs / PTQs / TQs / MQs / Selective Factors - Essay Questions

by Robin Schlinger, ResumeEdge.com Editor and CFRW

Federal resumes applications are very different than for most companies. Not only do you need to submit a resume - you may need to answer questions about your experience which matches the skills required to be successful on the job.

If asked on the announcement, you will be required to answer Essay Questions, Knowledge Skill or Ability Statements (KSAs) or other questions. On QuickHire and USAJOBS applications, these are known as essay questions. For some online formats, including USAJOBS and QUICKHIRE, you will not find these questions until you actually try to apply for the position.

If an announcement says the essays are required, they are required. Once you are qualified for a job (have the experience) per your resume, the statements are read to further grade your application.

These statements detail one to three examples addressing the question. The length varies as designated by the announcement – generally these are 3/4 page to 1-1/2 pages in length. Some online formats and announcements restrict the length of these statements by character count or number of words. You may want to use a CONTEXT-CHALLENGE-ACTION-RESULTS type of format to answer the questions. The statements are written in first person.

Note, your answers to the questions critical – if the essay questions are not addressed, the application will not be considered. You will need to include quantification and how your leadership led to results - using the skills asked for in the question. For each example, include your relevant awards and training to further show how you meet the requirements.
Robin Schlinger, a Certified Federal Resume Writer, specializes in writing Federal resume packages for all levels, from entry to SES. Her expertise is adding value, based on over 20 years in senior level engineering andbusiness positions for Fortune 500 companies. Robin holds a BS in ChemicalEngineering from MIT. Request Robin for your Federal product by keying her last name only, no caps (schlinger) in the 'request your editor' field of the ResumeEdge.com online form. http://www.resumeedge.com/services/federal-resume/index.php?nav=se.fed

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

ResumeEdge.com, a leading provider of resume writing services posted a free e-book recently on its Web site that includes before and after resumes to help job seekers see what elements on a resume make a hiring manager take notice.

Lawrenceville, NJ (PRWEB) August 7, 2007 -- ResumeEdge.com, a leading provider of resume writing services posted a free e-book recently on its Web site that includes before and after resumes to help job seekers see what elements on a resume make a hiring manager take notice.

Each resume in the e-book is an actual sample of a ResumeEdge edited document that was transformed by a professional resume writer , who specializes in a given industry. To date, more than 6,000 job seekers downloaded this one-of-a-kind electronic publication which is designed to help people in the job search process identify the key elements of a job-winning resume.

The examples in our e-book contain excerpts from actual resumes that resulted in job offers
“The examples in our e-book contain excerpts from actual resumes that resulted in job offers,” said Michael Fleischner, Managing Director of Marketing for ResumeEdge. “Whether you’re looking for that all important first job or trying to move up the career ladder, it is important to know how to get your resume from the bottom of the pile into the hands of the decision maker.”

The new e-book at ResumeEdge.com includes industry specific examples from the fields of banking, bio-technology, engineering, finance, healthcare, human resources, information technology, and sales. These industries are very competitive, and an expertly written resume helps differentiate candidates from others applying for the same position.

To download the e-book "10 Resumes that Got the Job" visit www.ResumeEdge.com.

ResumeEdge.com, a site powered by Peterson’s, a Nelnet company, is a leading resume writing and editing service specializing in 40 different industries to provide job-winning resumes and cover letters. ResumeEdge is a proud member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and the National Resume Writers Association.

More about Peterson’s, a Nelnet company
Peterson’s Nelnet, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nelnet, Inc., is a leading provider of online and print educational solutions for students, families, schools and educators in the areas of test preparation, admissions, financial aid and career guidance.

How to work a resume

by Jeri Hird Dutcher, ResumeEdge.com Editor, CPRW

You have your new resume, and it’s hot. You know who you want to work for. Now, you need to get an interview.

Don’t worry about whether there’s a job opening. Even if there is, just sending your resume to the name in an ad won’t necessarily make you stand out. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Find the person who makes the hiring decision. This is not usually the Human Relations person listed on an ad. It is usually a department head or team supervisor.

2. Ask for an informational interview, even if no job openings exist.

3. Send a thank you letter confirming your appointment when you get one.

4. Dazzle them with your knowledge of the company because you’ve done your homework.

5. Leave your resume with the person after you chat.

6. Send a thank you letter repeating a few of your stellar qualifications and express gratitude for his or her time and willingness to see you. Ask to be considered when a job becomes available.

Even if you don’t get to talk to the head cheese, the mice can make your visit worthwhile. I wanted to find out more about a position I was considering, so, I visited the office. The executive director who was leaving wasn’t in, so I talked with the secretary. She happened to be writing some descriptions for a brochure, and I offered to help. She loved what I wrote and sang my praises to the board for the next two weeks. I got an interview – and the job.

Jeri Hird Dutcher is a Certified Professional Resume Writer from Minnesota with a BA in English and concentration in writing. She started writing resumes professionally in 1987 and enjoys writing all types of resumes. Her background includes journalism, higher education, public relations and freelance editing. Request Jeri for your ResumeEdge.com product by keying in her last name only, no caps (dutcher) in the 'request your editor' field of the ResumeEdge.com online form.