Archive for the ‘Resume Writing 101’ Category

Blog Articles Galore!

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

A few years ago, we decided to decentralize our blogging into our individual accounts.  For more blog articles on Careers, Resumes, Interviewing, Connecting with Recruiters, and plenty other related topics, please visit:

How The Best Candidates Get Picked

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Part of how recruiters earn their fee is by determining who are the best candidates for the client’s job opening.  Some candidates may feel a little put out when they are not selected to be presented to a client. 

Understanding what qualifies as the best candidate for a job may dispel any myths or mysteries about the selection process recruiters use.  An article I’ve written for gives an objective description and some guidelines for job seekers.

Click here to read the article.

Q & A with Jeff on Working With Recruiters

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Unlocking the so-called mystery of working with recruiters has been a popular subject this year.  Many folks I work with in the job search industry have asked me to shed some light on the in’s and out’s.

Meg Guiseppi, an Executive Resume/Branding specialist, recently interviewed me and covered a lot of ground on:

  • recruiting the recruiter
  • personal branding
  • social media
  • interviewing
  • executive resumes

You can see the article with all the insights on her site.

Tele-Seminar Recording: Working with Recruiters

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

listening_earIf you’re a books-on-CD kind of person or don’t like reading through lengthy articles on your computer screen, I’ve got good news!  On July 15th, I was part of a two-person recruiter panel providing advice on "Working with Recruiters."  A lot of good information was shared and all of it was recorded for your easy reference.

Here is the Intro to the Audio File for the tele-seminar moderated by Kristi Daeda of Career Adventure.

Some of the questions that were covered during the seminar include:

  • As an executive recruiter, what is your role in connecting candidates with potential employers?
  • For a typical job opening, how many candidates might you screen?  How many do you present?
  • What criteria do you use to select candidates to present to a client? 
  • What do successful candidates do that makes them more attractive to present to the client?
  • How often would you want to hear from a candidate?
  • After a candidate is selected to be presented, what are your expectations of them? 
  • How can a candidate find an appropriate recruiter to contact?

Also, I was fortunate to have a brand new friend on Twitter, @teenarose, simultaneously tweeting some of my quips.  Here’s the "Tweeted version" of some of the insights she shared:

Teleseminar: @jlipschultz states he leverages all info on candidates; i.e. resume, LinkedIn, social media

Teleseminar: @jlipschultz states spend time w/recruiter who want to invest time in you; build solid relationships

Teleseminar: @jlipschultz states F/U w/recruiters if something changes; i.e. your skill set. @jlipschultz provides great advice!

Teleseminar: @jlipschultz states "do your homework"; you never know when you’ll be called to the mat

Teleseminar: @jlipschultz states qualify recruiter based on word of mouth and their actions; use social media/learn about them

Teleseminar: @jlipschultz states qualify recruiter by asking about relationship w/the target company you’re interested in

Successful Interviewing: What A-List Candidates Need to Know by @jlipschultz, recruiter #freebook

Top 10 Things to Leave OFF of Your Resume

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Last week I asked this question on Twitter and LinkedIn, "What should job seekers leave OFF of their resume?"  As of this writing, this question has generated 44 responses from recruiting, career, HR, and resume professionals and hiring managers.  The number one thing that was suggested to leave off of your resume is something that most job seekers simply put on there because that’s how it has traditionally been done.  I’m talking about the Objective at the top of your resume. 

These days, if your resume is not laser focused on the job for which you are applying there is a good chance it will not make the cut.  An ambiguous Objective statement right at the top of your resume does nothing for that focus.  Career coach Ann-Marie Ditta suggested leaving off  "An objective that states "looking for a growth oriented opportunity where I can use my skills and experience" So what, it says nothing to the hiring manager other than you are desperate, self focused, or need a career coach. Avoid cutesy email addresses. "

Veteran recruiter Michael Kelemen, (AKA the Recruiting Animal) concurred with nixing the Objective, "I would leave off the OBJECTIVE or SUMMARY if they are just filled with hackneyed stuff like telling me they’re results-oriented, time-sensitive workers. I’ve actually asked people for evidence of these claims. They tend to be shocked and angered by the question – again because they just mindlessly put down what some ancient resume book tells them to."

David Graziano, Darryl Dioso, Michael Keane, Andy Lester, Eric Thomas, Courtney Wunderlich, Tiffany Skoog, and Mike Avillion all agreed on eliminating the Objective.  There were only a couple of respondents who disagreed.  One caveat may be for a new grad for whom it’s not obvious what they are seeking in a career.  But in general, I think if you are going to put anything in that top spot, it should be something of a positioning statement that speaks directly to the job description and includes every keyword in the employer’s requirements.  If you don’t have the background to back that up, you may not be a fit for the job.  Absolutely do not put anything there that is ambiguous.  When in doubt, leave it out.

The other main suggestion that was conveyed by the respondents is that job seekers should leave anything off of their resume that does not directly relate to the job at hand.  I think that is clear enough and covers quite a bit.  Less is more.  Bill Vick, author, and founder of ExtremeRecruiting.TV, suggests even that the resume itself is one of the smaller tools in a successful job search.    

"I think what should be included is as important to look at as what should be left off.

Too often smart, brainy and talented people forget what brought them to the party in the first place and spend so much time dinking around with their resume they seem to forget people hire people – not resumes.

Like driving your car glance in back of you as you drive down that road to your next job but concentrate on what’s ahead and tell ‘future’ stories of what you can do – not what you have done. Telling is not selling and ultimately over 70% of all hires are done because of a reference or relationship. Focus on those, not your resume."

Thank you to all those who responded to this question, making this great list possible.

The top 10 things to leave OFF of your resume. 

10. Religious or Political Affiliations

9. Toastmasters

8. Hobbies

7. Photos


5. Compensation

4. Family Info (Marital Status, Children, Pets)

3. References Available Upon Request

2. Anything not relevant to the position for which you are applying

1. Objective

View the full list of responses here.  What’s your opinion?  Would love to hear your comments.



View additional comments at the posting of this article:

Best Modern Resumes

Monday, April 20th, 2009

One page or two? Functional or Historical? What is the best brand of resume for me?

news_may_08_005 A while back I answered a question on LinkedIn as to what is the best format for the modern resume. There were many great answers. But the overriding opinion was that a resume needs to be detailed and historical and you shouldn’t worry about how many pages it takes to make it so. This was my answer:

This is a great question. I have been recruiting I.T. professionals and Executives for many years. I tell them all the same thing. The key is in getting the resume in front of the person who will make a hiring decision. So unless you have a personal relationship with that person, someone has to first "find" or "notice" your resume. That could be the hiring manager, an HR person, or a recruiter.

For most people, submitting your resume to a want ad tends to be kind of a black hole. So your resume has to have enough info to get a decently high search ranking wherever it is posted. Don’t have a posted resume? That’s okay, LinkedIn ranks very high in search rankings if you have the proper key words worked into your profile.

For the resume proper, 1 page, 2 pages? The answer is put down as much as it takes to get your job history down. Give detailed descriptions for the last 7 to 10 years, then list the companies and job titles beyond that.

Just putting down the names of the companies and a title for all jobs won’t do. When scanning a resume (and that’s usually all that happens) the reviewer generally looks for:

1)keywords that apply to the job for which they are hiring
2)job titles
3)specific duties as they apply to the job
4)job history
5)overall tenure

Functional resumes are nice, but won’t tell the whole story. Many companies have a specific profile by which they like to hire. You can’t get that from a functional resume. Put the functional part up front as an attention grabber in your summary and accomplishments. Then list the job history as stated above.

A designed resume is fine. You at least want a resume that looks professional. But many times, the resume that ends up in front of the hiring manager has been stripped of formatting. If you want to show off your design abilities then list a link to your web site or blog. 

Don’t tease with only minimal info. But don’t list a whole page for any one job either.  One or two solid paragraphs and some bullet points is good. Talk of your specific duties. Okay, you were an I.T. Manager. But that means different things in different companies.  Were you in charge of the network or application development?  Were you do hands on or just managing?  What tools were used?  How effective were you?

Listing specific results is powerful.  Did you save or make the company money?  Did you get your projects done on time or under budget?  Use actual numbers to help sell your accomplishments.

You want your resume to serve two purposes. Get you noticed or found, and tell your story. Key words and specifics. Make sure your story is told well and you’ll make the cut if you are right for the job.

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