BrightSide Blog

Archives for the 'Career Transition' Category

BrightSide recruited by NPR/KQEQ

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, Get To Know Cliff, Job Market, Networking, Resumes | No Comments

Uncover The Job Trends in Your Field is not just good for reviewing job listings. They have some really cool analytics tools as well, including this one ( – which enables you to look at job trends by plugging in a key word or phrase. For example, type in “Twitter” and watch the line graph shoot off the page. Conversely, type in “COBOL Programming” and see the line zig zag downward.

This is a great way to see what kind of keywords show up most in resumes, and therefore, what keywords you should think about having in your resume and what skills you should have in your repertoire!

Career Transition, Job Market, Resumes | No Comments

How To Choose a Career Counselor

I started writing an article on how to choose a career counselor and then, in my research, came across these excellent guidelines for job seekers, written by Sally Gelardin, former President of the California Career Development Association (CCDA).

Enjoy! And remember to take your search for a career counselor seriously!

Career Transition, Job Market, Uncategorized | No Comments

Delayed Gratification With Degrees

It seems like degrees, especially non-professional degrees are on a “lay-away plan” these days: you don’t really get to use it until you’re about 3-5 years into your career Continue reading this entry »

Career Transition, Job Market | No Comments

Real Market Pain

This month’s already been a rough one.

One client, upon receipt of her resume, wanted to forgo the revision process, wanted a partial refund, and asked to “end this relationship” with no further explanation. Wow.

Another resume client refused to do career counseling despite her being completely at a loss for where to go next.

One job-seeker sent us a list of demands and concerns a mile long, and hadn’t even placed an order yet!

A valued former client threatened 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

Mature Workers And The Fountain of Youth

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

Gen Y’ers Create New “Happy” Unemployment Group

The CBS news covered an interesting story on a support group that promotes the positive side of being unemployed. Recent generation-Y layoff victims claim liberation and relief from their jobs. With their new-found freedom they’re joining a different kind of support group Continue reading this entry »

Career Transition, Networking, Uncategorized | No Comments

“Is A Cover Letter Really Necessary?”

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

According to a 2008 focus group of 150 senior recruiters*:

  • only 23% said a cover letter was absolutely mandatory;
  • 63% said they could go either way; and
  • 14% gave an emphatic “nay” to this age-old document.

These findings are right in line with my conversations with hiring professionals.

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

Is An Online Job Search Enough?

Everyone would like to think they’ll find the ideal job from the comfort of their living room, or while they sip lattes at Starbucks and troll through listings on their laptop. However, research shows that Continue reading this entry »

Career Transition, Job Market | No Comments

Career Fields That Remain Strong During a Depression

The number one request of job seekers during these challenging economic times is “Find me a job with some stability”. A tall order but famed careerist and radio personality, Marty Nemko, has some great ideas on depression-proof career fields. He covers everything from utilities to prostitution.

Career Transition, Job Market | 1 Comment

Human Resources Speaks 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

As an ex-recruiter, career counselor, and résumé-writer, I’m often asked the ever popular question: “Should my résumé be 1 or 2 pages?”. This concern is valid, especially since lengthy résumés 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 To Recharge My Job Search?”

[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. My response includes a detailed explanation as to what I’ve done in the past with clients in this position.] Continue reading this entry »

Career Transition, Resumes | No Comments