You've got the whole resume thing behind you, yeah you! The rest of your marketing materials will be easier because of all of the work you've already done.

You will need a generic cover letter that is ready to adapt as needed for each job application.

Depending on your
profession, role, or industry you may need an addendum to your resume and/or a bio. Let's take them one at a time.


How can I create a
powerful cover letter that's easily adapted?
Here's a
format I recommend.
Here's how to address your cover letter.

Follow these basic tips on writing your cover letter.

Words to avoid in 2015
BUT do read your job posting carefully and integrate keywords from it (subtly and naturally!) into your cover letter.


What's an addendum and how do I know if I need one?

You may or may not need an addendum. An addendum is a page or two that expands on your resume. You can submit it with your resume or at another time or occasion.
An addendum does not have the same format as a resume. It's a list of extra items a prospective employer needs to know but, if included, would make your resume too lengthy.

Format your addendum to the subject matter.  As with your resume, balance comprehensiveness with brevity. Maximize clarity and white space.

View an example of an addendum.

You would not typically send an addendum with your resume when applying for a job. It won't get the attention it deserves. I've found that you can create the most impact from an addendum is by either sending with your portfolio to an internal recruiter for distribution to interviewers or referring to it in your interviews. If, for some reason, your addendum is not seen by interviewers, it makes a great attachment to your post-interview thank you notes.

You should consider creating an addendum when: 
  • You have extensive experience in a certain skill or type of work.
  • Even though you are new to a role, you have skills and/or experience relevant to the new role.
  • You have diversity in your work experience.
  • You work in a profession where a list of your work product is expected.

Here are some examples:
Role: Writer
List of published works

Role: Psychologist
List of courses attended

Role: Artist/Photographer
List of showings or works

Role: Project Manager
Brief listing of projects led (budget, goal, result)

Role: Training Facilitator or Instructional Designer
List of topics taught or curriculum developed

Role: IT
List of systems and applications with level of mastery


Do I need a biography?  What does a bio look like?
You'll need a very brief bio for profiles on sites such as LinkedIn, Levo and about.me. You'll also need one if you publish works or for speaking engagements.

Before you write your bio, think about who you are, about factoids that might help your audience relate to you, and the tone you want to adapt. While it's important to state your credentials, give the reader a peek into what drives you.

A social media bio should reflect your personality and may look like this one:
     Hi! I'm a former CPA, author, and employee performance consultant who has left
     corporate America to focus on helping someone you love find a job fast. I've never met
     an infographic, haiku, or mindmap I didn't love. If I'm not with the kids or grandkids
     or working online, you can usually find me walking on the beach.

Many professionals and senior executives use a bio as a occasional substitute for a resume. It should be part of any professional portfolio. Tip: Ask someone else to write the first draft as it may be difficult to write glowingly about yourself in the third person. Here's an example of a professional bio:

Jane Arthur

Jane Arthur, senior employee performance consultant with RTRN, a financial services firm, has helped numerous businesses and teams around the world develop their employees and implement and achieve their business objectives. 

She has designed curriculum and led learning projects in every training medium including: classroom, webinars, link-accessed narrated slide shows, web-based interactive training, and one-minute clickable tips.

Her ideas for capturing virtual audiences, tracking training effectiveness, and developing business processes to achieve learning outcomes have been published in online learning publications and have led to measurable results for internal and external corporate clients. 

She is the former Training Manager of North American Operations for ASMCO, a global outplacement firm. Her business acumen is a result of fifteen years of experience as the CPA/owner of both public accounting and business consulting firms and her success in developing an award-winning team as Managing Consultant of the ASMCO Burlington office – the most profitable in company history at that time. 

She is the mother of four and a longtime business leader who is widely published, the author of two books, and a sought-after speaker on every aspect of communication, change management, leadership, business and financial management, and career transition. Ms. Arthur has served on numerous educational, professional, and charitable boards. She has received awards for her leadership, creativity, and performance and for her achievements on behalf of charitable and business organizations.

How do I write a bio for Twitter? 
Here's how to write a bio for Twitter.

Don't let anyone convince you that resumes are not relevant, because, unlike other job search elements, resumes are as important today as they have been in the past.    Videos, mind maps, and other "gimmicky" resumes, won't cut it in most cases.  (There are exceptions, of course, but they are rare enough to be omitted from discussion here.)

Here's the bottom line on resumes: 
A resume is a teaser, a provocateur, a hook, that is designed, or SHOULD be designed, for consumption in the shortest amount of time AND compels the reader to want to know more.

How can I make sure I emphasize what I should on my resume?
First, your resume needs to reflect your Ideal Work Situation Statements. Be sure you review your Job Search Datasheet and at least ten job postings for your desired role. Select the knowledge, skills, and experience that overlap.  Then, emphasize these in two places: your resume summary AND your accomplishment statements. 

[By the way, since you will be telling the stories behind your accomplishments in your interviews, you will have another opportunity  to emphasize these same knowledge, skills, and experience.  It's all about congruency.] 

How can I make sure that my resume fits with the job I want?
When you have completed your resume, compare it to a job posting of your desired position using Jobscan.  If you don't have at least an 80% match, either you or your resume is not ready for a successful search for that position.

What format do you recommend for my resume?
While I don't want to be overly dogmatic about all aspects of your job search, I do have a preferred format because it has proven itself so often for my clients.  It seems to be timeless.  Maybe that's because it's easy to read with adequate white space and no gimmicks.  Now this doesn't mean that your resume should be exactly like this, but it should be close. 

Don't get creative with your resume! You'll have lots of opportunity to show off your creativity in a job search, but your resume is not one of those places.  Your potential boss is rarely the first person to see your resume. Your goal is to make it through that first hurdle.

Check out this JOBquest-recommended resume format.  
Here are some great sample resumes for a number of different industries

What shouldn't I do on my resume?
What not to do on your resume
What should be at the very beginning of the resume?
Here are a couple of resume summaries you may want to use:

Example #1:

Example #2:
How can I display my career at its best?
After you have listed your work experience on your resume, review it holistically and carefully.  Ask yourself: Does it tell a story of a career that has progressed appropriately (or even spectacularly!)? 

If there are any "off-notes" or entries that take away from your story, minimize them or re-word carefully to show how they fit into your story.
Ex. you had a title in between two other positions that sounds like a demotion.  Lump the three positions together on your resume, instead of separately.

What do I do about jobs that don't fit in or that I did long ago, but I want to highlight?
You have to be totally honest on your resume and that means including all employment within the last 10 years or so.  You'd prefer, however, to omit jobs that don't add to your "career story", like that six weeks you spent selling used cars for your brother-in-law because you were unemployed and desperate.  Or, you have the opposite, but equally challenging, situation.  You want to include relevant, but ancient, experience without listing the three irrelevant jobs in between.

The solution in either situation?  Create a new section on your resume: "Previous Positions Held" for jobs you want to de-emphasize and pull out of the chronological resume.  Or, in the latter situation, create a "Notable Experience" section to highlight a particular job from the past.

Example:  I moved into learning and development, then employee performance consulting after successfully practicing as a CPA, first with KPMG, then my own firm.  I feel that my financial background and consulting experience add to my "street cred"  for current work, so I want them on my resume.  But they are now almost 20 years old.  So I aggregate my CPA experience into one entry without accomplishments, etc.  like so:

KPMG/Salazar Bourgeois PC, Houston, TX                              1977 – 1995
CPA, co-owner of public accounting firm

What is the difference between job descriptions and accomplishments?
The job description is a summary of the job as you were hired to perform it.  Accomplishments are how you did it faster, smarter, or at less expense or time.

What are the basics of creating powerful accomplishments?
Here's how to know if your accomplishment statement is ready for "prime time":
     Tell them you oversaw the construction of a $3M factory and sure, that sounds impressive. 
But most of your resume readers will have been in business long enough to ask, "What if it was supposed to cost $2M?" 
     Tell them you oversaw the construction of a $3M factory
in less than one year at $.5M under budget and now it's sounding even more impressive.  But those same readers, who are longing to throw at least one more resume in the "NO" pile, ask, "What if it was supposed to take eight months?"
     Tell them you oversaw the construction of a $3M factory on deadline and $.5M under budget, which operated at 95% capacity within two months increasing market share by 10%.

No more questions.  They're too busy listening.

            Ex. if you are a Project Manager, enter Project Manager in the search box  or
            go to groups that would include project managers to find names of peers.

Look for well-articulated accomplishment statements and follow their lead.

What are some tips for listing for my education and professional development? 
Here you want to keep it simple so the reader can easily track what education and training you have had:
  • List your degrees first
  • Include your GPA only if impressive
  • Add in any scholarships you earned
  • For professional development, omit dates and names of training suppliers

What words are currently recommended for inclusion in resumes?
While resumes are not "over", boring, generic, over-used words and details best left for the interview are. 
Words to dump and words to use on your resume
Power words to use on your resume

What if a recruiter wants to adjust my resume for a particular job?
Say, Yes". The recruiter knows what the prospective employer wants.

Please share this post with someone who is in a job search!

    Submit your resume for a free makeover! If you'd like an opportunity for your resume to be selected for a free makeover, enter your email address and industry (in the Comment box).  I'll send you instructions on how to send it directly to me. 


    Submit your resume for a free makeover! If you'd like an opportunity for your resume to be selected for a free makeover, enter your email address and industry (in the Comment box) and I'll send you instructions on how to send it directly to me.

Every so often I'll show you how a few tweaks (sometimes a lot of tweaks) can make a significant difference in the positive impact a resume has on prospective employers. A resume is a two-page (one-page if you are a newbie) opportunity to present the sum total of who you are and what you offer to a skeptical stranger. And you have only have six seconds to achieve this amazing feat. 

Yeah, that’s worth a little time and effort!

Today's resume is designed to attract a marketing position.  Terry's broad experience and his well-developed community relationships would have impressed prospective employers if it hadn't been buried under so many words.  The result: no interviews in four months of searching.

After you review the before and after resumes, scroll down to the end of the post to see how it all turned out for Terry. 

[Bear with me on the long post.  I want you to see the details on how this resume was completely transformed!]


      Desired position: Senior Marketing or Public Relations Associate
      Key skills: Building relationships, organizational leadership, community outreach
      Focal points: Experience in healthcare, established community affiliations 

This resume was originally designed to appeal to employers in the oil and gas industry.  It needed to be trimmed down considerably, re-chunked to make it readable, and re-focused to encourage prospective employers to learn about his skills and interests.

P.S. As always, I’ve changed names, dates, etc. slightly to provide anonymity. 
To upgrade this resume, I:

  • Targeted the summary to the job match Terry's desired role. 
  • Pared down the accomplishments and re-focused on results.
  • Moved the two types of extra information to separate addenda so Terry can include or exclude in initial contacts (and to enrich his portfolio). 
Terry was in a job search due to layoffs in his department. Because he enjoyed working for his current employer and he and his family didn’t want to move to another town, he swallowed his pride and applied for a lesser position in another department of the healthcare system. 

so impressed his interviewer for the lesser job that he was asked to apply and interview for a much higher position - Marketing Director of the healthcare system.  Whoa!

He got the job, which was a level above his expectations.

Looking back, I realize that Terry's new resume was used solely for that one job application.  Sometimes once is enough.

Please share this post with someone who is looking for their ideal job!

This is the third of a series of three blog posts with 20 tasks in each…

Some job search tasks require a little time. It will take more than five minutes to create your Job Application Summary and your Job Search Datasheet, for instance. Other tasks, however, can take just a few minutes. The fact that these tasks can be completed in a short period in no way diminishes their importance. And while each task requires a brief amount of time, it does demand intense focus. 

Job search stale and lacking meaningful activity? Each of these tasks has the possibility to truly jumpstart your search. Plan to spend some time following up with the activity you will generate!

The time you take to complete any one of the five-minute job search tasks on this list could be the most important five minutes of your job search.

How to make this list work for you
Here is the list. Most of the tasks are appropriate for any point in your job search. No task on this list should take more than five minutes (unless you decide you want it to). There are as many ways to use the list as there are personalities and priorities. 

Here are a few tricks my clients have used to ensure they kept up with these tasks:
  • Use the old “Dr. Pepper” schedule. Complete an action on the list at 10am, 2pm, and 4pm
  • Arrange with a buddy to text each other on a schedule or at random times complete a task.
  • Start and end each day with a task.
One more thing! You won’t need to do a few of these tasks for one reason or another. If that’s the case, simply duplicate a task that is particularly critical to your search and is best done repeatedly. 

Got five minutes? Do this!
41.  Send a direct message to the author of a tweet that you liked.

42.  Call a friend who is struggling with a personal or professional issue and listen.

43.  Update the list of companies you are following on glassdoor.com.

44.  Email an article of interest to a new Linkedin connection.

45.  Tweet an industry article or an article from an industry influencer.

46.  Google “[your industry] influencers in 2015.”

47.  Start a discussion in a Linkedin group.

48.  Change your status in Linkedin.

49.   Ask for advice on an aspect of your job search in one of your Linkedin groups.

50.  Review opportunities to volunteer in your community.

51.  Review, and update as needed, your Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter pictures.

52.  Post one of your job search challenges on a Facebook group and ask for help. 

53.  Research industry, role or business-related books to read in Amazon.

54.  Create reminders to re-tweet daily and follow up on Linkedin discussions.

55.  Text or email your Board of Advisors a job search-related question that can be answered 
        with a word or phrase (example: what one skill do you think is most important for
        [your desired new role?]. 

56.  Develop an email template for contacting recruiters in your industry or role.

57.  Contact a recruiter.

58.  Congratulate someone on an accomplishment with a meaningful note. Finish the note with a
        question to keep the conversation going.

59.  Thank someone for something with a meaningful note. (Ex. a Linkedin recommendation
        or endorsement, insights shared in a Linkedin group discussion or in a local job search group

60.  Write and send “by snail mail” a thank you note to someone who helped you get your new job.
       Offer to support him or her. 

What I hope you learned from this post:

You can get a lot done in five minutes.  What you do in those five minutes may be more critical to your job search success than tasks that take considerably longer. 

What you should do:
Take advantage of small amounts of time to accomplish big results.

Please share this post with someone who is looking to find a job fast!