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 'Resumes' 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

How to Pick a Good Resume Writer

There’s a lot of hacks out there.

Choose wisely when looking for a resume writer. They come from all walks of life, from secretarial word-processors to corporate recruiters to grammar nazis to marketing pros to career counselors to moonlighting novelists.

Whatever background your writer comes from, make sure they’re a good listener. One thing that’s often overlooked as a benefit of quality resume-writing services is the career coaching and interview prepping aspect of it.

I fold coaching into my resume development process, both in my in-person interviews and through my questionnaire.

It’s not just about a piece of paper. It’s about discovering and embracing your story.

Stay on the BrightSide.

Resumes | No Comments

Video Resumes: Yea or Nay?

This question was posed on LinkedIn, receiving unanimous “No way, Jose!” replies from recruiters and HR people. Among the top arguments against video resumes were viewing time, discrimination issues, downloadability, and storage, but I think there’s a much more important and insurmountable factor to consider.

As a resume writer, I’ve examined several companies doing video resumes and even considered starting my own company but after a few interviews with HR folks and some introspection (having been a recruiter myself), I realized that the #1 thing that’s preventing these things from taking off is that they force Continue reading this entry »

Resumes | No Comments

Answers To Popular Resume Questions For Recent Grads

Here’s an interview I did for a blogger and recent graduate, asking me some popular resume questions on behalf of her fellow Millenials.


Let’s start with the most common Resume question: Should the resume fit on 1 page or go to 2?

[Cliff Flamer] Ah yes…the eternal question. For recent grads to mid-level professionals I suggest 1 page. Also, career changers often benefit from a 1-pager; it helps them to avoid seeming overqualified with all the wrong qualifications. If you must go for 2 pages (and some recent grads certainly have the experience to warrant this) Continue reading this entry »

Resumes | No 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

Let the Government Pay For Your Career Expenses

One of the best kept secrets in job-hunting: The government has offered to pay part of your expenses!

You read correctly: Career expenses, including fees incurred for Continue reading this entry »

Interviewing, Job Market, Mature Workers, Resumes | No Comments

How Do You Become the World’s Best Resume Writer?

Here’s a press release explaining the World’s Best Resume Writer Competition and how Cliff won it out of tens of thousands of writers.


San Francisco, CA: Cliff Flamer, resume expert and career counselor, was just deemed The World’s Best Resume Writer after winning the public vote for the first-ever worldwide resume-writing contest sponsored by Career Director’s International (CDI).

So what makes his resumes the world’s best? Continue reading this entry »

Press, Resumes | No Comments

3 Steps to Make Your Resume A Winner

I agree with the overwhelming response of careerists to spend time networking and doing company research as a job seeker, instead of posting resumes online. The facts are there: online job applications account for 2-5% of job offers.

That said, if you find a suitable company through your networking and research, chances are they are going to ask you to apply online, even if you claim an inside contact. So you’re stuck being just one more needle in the hiring person’s haystack. Here are some quick tips to make your online resume stand out from the rest of the chaff:

LinkedIn's Best Answers, Resumes | 1 Comment

3 Ways A More Expensive Resume Writer Will Save You Money

Three job seekers (just in the past two days) have complained to me about their experiences with other resume writers:

“This resume doesn’t say anything about me.”
“They left out the most important part.”
“They just didn’t get me.”

The common thread? Each of these three people paid $150 or less for their resume. They went the inexpensive route, a seemingly smart maneuver when money’s tight. Continue reading this entry »

Networking, Resumes | 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

How to Get Hired After Age 50

I’m getting tons of clients coming to me with this very question.

The key is recognizing and remembering that your work experience can play a *supportive* role as well as a leadership role with organizations. The two need not be mutually exclusive.

If you’re over 50, you’ve probably had the experience of being labeled as overqualified. And in response to this unwanted job-search slur Continue reading this entry »

Interviewing, Mature Workers, Resumes | No Comments

Should I Hide My Age?

Is a Graduation Date Necessary on a Resume?

  • I am too old
  • I’ve never managed anyone directly
  • I don’t have Microsoft Excel experience
  • I have a job gap from 10 years ago

You’ll never see these above items on a resume because the purpose of the resume Continue reading this entry »

Interviewing, LinkedIn's Best Answers, Mature Workers, Resumes | No Comments

LinkedIn Urls on a Resume

Assuming your LinkedIn profile is completely error-free, always professional, and in line with your current job pursuits, then I suggest including it on the resume. It shows you’re a proactive job-seeker, you’re technically adept, that you know people, and (if you’ve taken the initiative to get some recommendations) that at least some people like you.

I can think of at least 3 things your LinkedIn website offers that a resume does not: Continue reading this entry »

Networking, Resumes | 1 Comment

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

Giving Your Resume a Soul

[There’s a widespread frustration held by business executives that their resumes’ cannot adequately describe “the real me”. I’ve challenged this notion with the following comments and suggestions:] Continue reading this entry »

Interviewing, 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