Expert Advice

Full-length articles, listicles, videos, and other resources to guide you in making great decisions in terms of your resume, interviews, job search, and overall career trajectory.

Archives for the 'Career Transition' Category

Cliff Talking Resumes on NPR/KQED

What fun!

KQED called me up to be the San Francisco Bay Area career hero on the California Report with Scott Shafer. Scott let me use his own career as an example for how to find a strength in seemingly irrelevant work experience. We also discussed taking a different approach to networking, and some things that employers look for in job candidates.

Check out the podcast; they even included the original take which has plenty more advice for people looking to beat this tough job market.

Comments welcome. Also, let me know what you’re looking to hear more about. In other words, what should Scott and I have been talking about?

Career Transition, Job Market, Networking, Resumes | No Comments

Empathy for the Impacted

I was on a business development call with some colleagues and one of them brought up a difficult client. Someone else chimed in with one of their tougher clients. Then another. The focus of our call became the complainers with impossible demands and shifting expectations…

I admit I’ve had a couple of challenging clients through the years. It’s easy to write them off but it’s always best to look inward before casting blame.

So what’s going on?

We’ve got a rockstar team. Our resumes are the best in the business. People would be amazed at how much thought and time we put into a 1-3 page document. Continue reading this entry »

Career Transition, Job Market, Resumes | 5 Comments

Resume Tips For Overcoming Recession-Related Challenges

Give employers the real scoop, not just your work history.

Recessions tend to push hardworking people into two groups. On the one hand is the layoff survivor handling the load of multiple former employees. On the other is the hyperqualified job seeker who nevertheless remains overlooked. Both types of people often need to write a new resume, and neither can afford to do it the same way they might have in the previous millennium. Continue reading this entry »

Career Transition, Job Market, Resumes | 2 Comments

Career Advice for Older Workers

As a seasoned professional, you have much to offer but remember to make room for new experiences as well.

An effective résumé for will balance your strengths (i.e. what you can teach) with your areas for growth (i.e. what you can learn). In regards to the latter, I’m certainly not suggesting you claim ignorance. Rather, consider showing a recently developed interest in a new industry or field.

This is best done by illustrating how you’ve already Continue reading this entry »

Career Transition, Mature Workers, Resumes | No Comments

Are Job Gaps A Good Thing?

Recently, a resume client of mine forwarded a newsletter article from job board discussing ways to overcome “job gaps” of 3-6 months.

Here’s a snippet from the article, and my subsequent retort as to why we should redefine the criteria for a job gap: Continue reading this entry »

Career Transition, Interviewing, Job Market, Resumes | No Comments

Is A Cover Letter Really Necessary?

Truth be told, some hiring managers will never read your cover letter.

I know screeners who delete the cover letter immediately, some who forward it on to others but never read it themselves, and others who print it out only to staple it behind the resume.

But you know what else they tell me? Continue reading this entry »

Career Transition, Cover Letters | No Comments

HR Directors Speak Out About What They Want

In Sept. 2008, I had the privilege of attending an HR panel who took the time to share what they wanted to see (and did not want to see) on a job candidate’s resume. Here’s what they had to say: Continue reading this entry »

Career Transition, Resumes, Uncategorized | No Comments

The Most Common Question About Resumes

1 or 2 pages?

This concern is valid, especially since lengthy resumes can make an applicant appear arrogant, unfocused, anxious, old, or overqualified.

So how do you know when to stop writing? Continue reading this entry »

Career Transition, Resumes | No Comments

Should I Lie On My Resume?

After sending out 1000+ resumes with not a single job offer, a job seeker concluded that he needed to lie on his resume. In his case, he felt he was overqualified and therefore needed to dumb down his resume to get some interviews. It’s my estimation that he’s looking in the wrong place Continue reading this entry »

Career Transition, Mature Workers, Resumes | No Comments

How Do I Get a Management Job If I’ve Only Held Positions As An Individual Contributor?

A software developer was looking to move further into management but had no idea how to build a resume to support this transition. I told him about some of the things I’ve done in the past to help clients do just that…”] Continue reading this entry »

Career Transition, Resumes | No Comments

How To Make Your Job Better

A lot of us hate our job or at least see it as a grind. Getting up in the morning is a chore, there’s not much we look forward to. We become dichotomous in our thinking: “Maybe I should quit.” In other words, it’s either this crappy job or nothing at all. And leaving is often too big of a hill to climb. There’s another way.

Make your job suck less.

1. Find people who don’t suck, and hang out with them. Ask them what they do and what they like about it. They don’t have to be in your discipline, in fact, it might be better if they’re not. Most important, make sure this new alliance doesn’t turn into a venting session (for either of you).

2. Start a pet project. What change do you wish to see at work? What would give you energy if it was there waiting for you every day? Maybe it’s about addressing the culture of the company, maybe it’s about changing a process, or rearranging furniture. Own something and chip away at it. Create something to look forward to.

3. Expand your perspective. Pull back and look at the whole organization, the workflow across the entire enterprise, no matter how big. Which parts light you up. Are you touching them? How can you make it so that you are?

4. Harness your negativity in a positive way. Determine what’s frustrating you, get to the heart of it. If it’s mostly about you, that’s good news. That means you can change it. If the problems lie with the company, think about an alternative way of doing things. If it really catches fire with you, turn it into a proposal and bring it to a supervisor. Share it in earnest but as a proposal, not a demand. You may be surprised by the reaction.

5. Give yourself something to get up to. Try not to have your first thought be about the job you hate. Have your first thought or activity of the day be something good. This will shift your perspective for the rest of the day, including your perspective at work.

Sometimes, it’s not about leaving. It’s about tweaking. Change is at hand.

Career Transition, Job Market | No Comments