Tuesday, February 26, 2008


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

At first glance, your resume should answer two important questions for a hiring manager:

1. Who You Are
2. How You Can Be Contacted

Who You Are

This includes your name and any professional designations you have obtained, such as an MBA, Ph.D., RN, MD, or any of a number of professional distinctions. By including these designations with your name in the header you are providing the hiring manager with immediate and valuable data regarding your candidacy and career level.

The manner in which you present your name is also important. Including familial designations such Joe Jones, III may very well be seen as pretentious by a hiring manager. Using a “Jr.” after your name may be applauded by your family, but it could give a hiring manager the wrong first impression – that you are young and inexperienced. Caution is always advised in these instances.

A word about nicknames:

Nicknames can work for you or against you given the circumstances.

If you were named “Kendrick,” but go by “Ken,” use of your nickname would be appropriate as Ken is more modern and sounds more youthful than Kendrick.

However, if you were christened “Barbara,” but are known as “Babs” - even at work - it would be best to err on the conservative side during your job search, especially if the targeted industry is a traditional one such as banking, accounting, or education. Once hired, you can then decide whether using your nickname is appropriate.

How You Can Be Contacted

This data should be instantly obvious to a hiring manager.

Your phone number and email address are your most important contact data. For easy access by hiring managers, phone numbers and emails should be bolded and in a larger type than the physical address, as hiring managers rarely, if ever, contact a successful candidate by “snail” mail.

A word about phone numbers:

Although you may be tempted to list numerous phone numbers, including fax numbers, don’t.

Work Numbers: Never include a work number even if your boss knows you’re searching for another position as this sends the wrong message to a potential employer. He or she will wonder about your loyalty and whether you’ll be using company time at your new job to speak to prospective employers.

Cell Phones: Never include these because you may just be contacted while you’re in traffic with its intrusive background noise, or where the phone signal is weak which could irritate a busy hiring manager when neither of you can hear each other speak above the static.


· I have numerous professional designations – should I include all of them after my name at the beginning of the resume? What is too much?

The key here is to target your approach and to include only what’s germane to your current job search. If you have a Ph.D. in Biology and an MBA, you would only list your Ph.D. in the heading when applying for an academic position.

· I’m planning to relocate to Georgia from California and am currently seeking employment in the Atlanta area. Should I list my California address on my resume?

As previously stated, physical addresses aren’t as important to hiring managers as phone numbers and emails. In your case, your physical address should be removed from the resume and replaced with “Relocating to the Atlanta, Georgia area.” It would be well advised for you to provide a time frame for this move so that a hiring manager knows you’re serious.

· My name is foreign-sounding and it’s not immediately apparent to a U.S. hiring manager whether I’m a “Mr.” or a “Ms.” Should I just use an initial for my first name?

Use of an initial would do little to clarify the matter for a hiring manager. Many overseas clients use their given names. then add - in parentheses - the U.S. or European equivalent - eg: Étienne (Stephen) Dore.

· Is there a negative connotation to using a P.O. Box rather than a street address in the heading of a resume?

Absolutely not, especially in these days of heightened security and when responding to “blind” postings on Internet job sites.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


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

Traditionally, job seekers have answered newspaper and online job postings, used networking contacts, or have simply submitted their resumes to large companies, hoping that something will be available that matches their skills and needs.

In today’s tight employment market, an additional option that may quickly maximize your search is the job fair.

Job fairs are usually held at major hotels or convention centers and offer a prospective candidate numerous opportunities in various industries. For example, a recent job fair in Boston showcased these fields:

· Accounting
· Banking
· Finance
· Insurance Sales & Marketing
· Healthcare & Human Services
· Retail
· General

The advantage to having numerous industries represented is that a candidate in career transition (accounting to sales) or one at the entry-level stage (newly graduated with an accounting degree, but willing to accept a general office position) may find employment faster through a job fair than sending out resumes to numerous postings in one industry.

An additional advantage is personal contact. A firm handshake, engaging smile, and winning personality cannot be translated through a resume attached to an email. If you’re able to spend some quality time with the company representative, your resume may very well merit additional consideration.

How can you make the most of a job fair? By being well prepared.

It’s not enough to simply show up in appropriate business attire, resume in hand. Once you’re committed to attending the fair, draw up a list of job-related questions that can be asked of the company representative. These questions should focus on what you can do for the company rather than what the company can do for you.

For example, if you’re an accountant a good question would be, “What is your company’s time table for staff accountants to become CPAs? I plan on taking the test this June.” (That data should also be on your resume). Not only does this show that the candidate is interested in industry certification, but that a timetable has already been established. This is far better than saying, “I’m applying for the staff accounting position. How much does it pay?”

Additionally, weave into the conversation as much as you can about your qualifications and accomplishments. It’s never enough to say that you know the field – many candidates know the field. It’s those individuals who have excelled professionally or academically who are offered the position.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


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

Because internal promotions and lateral moves involve individuals that are already known entities, the key is to come prepared with proof of past job performance and answers to any objections that might be made.

Of course, this process of rating one’s worth should begin the very first day on a new job and continue until a promotion is offered or a lateral move requested.

1. Keep Detailed Records of Your Job Performance to Justify a Promotion:

No matter how fair an employer tries to be, they don’t have the same vested interest as you in personal career progression. What’s more, they have many staff to consider, while your focus is understandably personal in nature.

Therefore, don’t assume that an employer will recall the good you’ve done for the company. Keep detailed records of past projects, ideas, and successes in which you were directly involved. Quantify all accomplishments with dollar figures or percentages and time periods. Specify what you’ve done to improve work performance, whether that involves continuing education or learning a new technology.

In other words, prove your worth on paper and be certain to provide copies to those involved in the interview process. Once the interview begins, be well prepared to speak about what you’ve already written down.

2. Create a Proposal of How You Can Contribute to the Company in a Lateral Move:

Whatever the reasons are for a lateral move (eg: a more personally rewarding position, moving to a more profitable division, a chance to get away from an intolerable manager or co-worker), you should be prepared to state how the move will benefit the company.

Detail in writing and verbally your transferable skills and what a good fit you would be with the new department. No company will move an employee from one area to another if major training or adjustments have to be made.

3. Overcoming kneejerk objections:

Few managers like change, especially when you’re a good fit within a certain part of the organization. Some of the objections you may have to overcome are from those who like things just as they are (eg: a manager who knows you’ll get the job done) or those who don’t want to rock the boat (management that is skeptical of how you can positively impact their division).

The key is to always be prepared, and be proactive about what you have done. Additionally, presentation is everything. When providing details about your accomplishments and qualifications, be certain that your work is flawless, easy to navigate, and showcases your talents.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


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

Whether you’re just starting out in your chosen profession or you’ve been forced to transition to another career because of the fluctuating needs of the economy, there may be times when you’re faced with having little professional experience to offer an employer. However, there are ways to maximize what you do have.


Rather than placing education or training last, as is the case in most resumes, move that section directly beneath the Opening Summary (and before Professional Experience). Within that section, (whether you’re a recent graduate or a seasoned professional transitioning to a new career), list all coursework that is relevant to your new profession. For example, an aspiring Accountant would list tax courses, finance, bookkeeping, and computer proficiency in Quicken, Excel, and Peachtree software. If you’ve excelled academically in your chosen field, and have been granted a scholarship or won a school award, this should also be mentioned.


Instead of listing everything you’ve ever done in hopes of impressing a hiring manager, you should prioritize and showcase past skills that are relevant to the new career. For example, you’re a newly licensed Real Estate Agent, but your past experience has been as a Marriage and Family Counselor. What seems disparate on the surface, could very well work to your advantage. Showcase your people skills, including the ability to listen and to provide expert advice, which are all important in a sales-related career.


Although most employers do prefer a reverse-chronological format (that is, your most recent experience detailed first, followed by your next most recent, etc.), there are times when a functional format is best. Functional formats showcase professional skills such as negotiating contracts, dealing with unions, administering multi-million dollar budgets, etc. that may have been used in the previous career. These formats can also stress pure academic experience – in the case of an entry-level Accountant that would mean listing coursework taken or specialized training under the subheading of Accounting Skills.


Match up any qualifications the hiring manager wants that you also have, whether you gained those skills professionally or academically. Then use those matches as proof that you have what it takes to get the job done.