BrightSide Blog

Archives for the 'Resumes' 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

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

What Are Resume Writers Really Offering?

It never ceases to amaze me how many people argue against hiring a resume writer.

I’m one myself–the world’s best in fact–and though I know my resumes are well worth the $1,000 people pay for them, I understand that my services are not for everyone. Continue reading this entry »

Resumes | No Comments

Video Resumes: Yea or Nay?

This question was posed on LinkedIn, receiving unanimous “no way in web 2.0 hell” 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. Continue reading this entry »

Resumes | No Comments

Brazen Careerist’s Compelling Argument for Hiring a Professional Resume Writer

It’s often hard to justify spending money on a resume writing when you’re already out of work. Isn’t money supposed to be flowing the other way?

The Brazen Careerist makes a compelling argument for hiring a pro, using the analogy of a haircut to drive her point home. Continue reading this entry »

Resumes | No Comments

Answers To Popular Resume Questions From Recent Grads

Here’s an interview I did for MadGrad blogger and recent graduate, Ashley Mittman, asking me some popular resume questions on behalf of her fellow Millenials. Continue reading this entry »

Resumes | No 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

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

Headhunter Reveals The Ladders scam

Looking for $100K+ Jobs? You might want to look somewhere other than TheLadders. According to this in-depth exposé by Nick Corcodilos, one of the industry’s most trusted voices of recruiting, TheLadders is making promises they’re not even coming close to keeping.

More and more career professionals and job seekers are making complaints about The Ladder’s resume-critique and job-posting services, often claiming this household name in job boards to be a scam.

As you’ll see, his article evokes equally frank reviews and experiences from resume-writers, career counselors, coaches, recruiters, and regretful clients of TheLadders. The message is clear: TheLadders came up with a concept on which they can’t deliver.

Job Market, Resumes | No Comments

3 Steps to Make Your Online Resume A Winner

* Voted “Best Answer” in LinkedIn Discussion: Is Applying for Jobs Online a Waste of Time?

I agree with the overwhelming response of careerists to spend time networking and doing company research as a job seeker, instead of posting resumes. The facts are there: online job applications account fro 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: Continue reading this entry »

LinkedIn's Best Answers, Resumes | 1 Comment

BrightSide places 2nd in Jobacle’s Resume-Writing Challenge

Jobacle, an innovative career development portal led by Journalist/Writer/Podcaster/Blogger Andrew G. R., invited resume writers to compete in creating a resume for his job-search arsenal.

Although we didn’t take home the gold, instead placing second, a case could be made that BrightSide got the most positive and enthusiastic commentsfor from both the staff at Jobacle and the general public, including a podcast declaration from Andrew himself that he’ll definitely be using his new BrightSide resume if and when his search for work commences.

Check out all of the entrants in this one-of-a-kind contest to read about the diverse range of resume writers’ processes, qualifications, and perspectives. This is perfect cross-section of our industry, a rare insight indeed, into how we work and why we do what we do.

Stay on the BrightSide.

Resumes | No Comments

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

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

“How Do I 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 By Leaving Off My Graduation Date?”

* Voted “Best Answer” in LinkedIn Discussion: 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 2002-2004

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

“Should I Include My LinkedIn URL On My 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 | 2 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