Monthly Archives: January 2011

Biggest resume mistakes

By:  John Holmgren

Keep in mind that I ran a recruiting firm for 10 years and worked daily with hiring

managers.  So, this is a consensus of the most common errors.

List Job Descriptions Rather than Accomplishments

It should be obvious that an employer will hire a person who can assist in reaching

that organization’s goals.  To assist means accomplishing!  If anything is critical

in your resume it is that you include all accomplishments, promotions, increased

responsibilities, awards, ways you made a difference, and so forth.

Give me a reason to want to see you.  That reason is that you can help me!

No Objective

I’m either in HR or the hiring manager and you don’t specify why you are

asking to be considered for a specific position.  I don’t have time for you.

Too Much Information

You are intent on telling me EVERYTHING about you!  The resume is a tease.

Provide your accomplishments relevant to that position, and only that.

If I see a resume that is dense with black ink, I won’t read it!  True.

Lack of Customization

The issue here is that you are either clue-less or lazy.  An employer wants

specific capabilities.  If you don’t find what is wanted and extract from your

experience those skills that most closely match the job, you’re gone!

Posting to a Bulletin Board and Waiting for the Jobs to Come

Passive.  Oh, well, I’ll just let the world know how wonderful I am and job

offers will come flowing in.  That may be the case if all you want is a

“job”.  However, if you want a “career”, it doesn’t work like that.

If your career marketing plan is passive and depends on things coming to

you, Good Luck!  Otherwise, get out, network and hustle.

Unrealistic Expectations Given Job Experience

I know,  it’s the Now Generation.  We all expect instant gratification.  However

in every profession I know of, you have to earn your stripes.  Be prepared to

take a position that may be less than you anticipated, especially now in this


I’m being preachy. I realize.  Sorry, but just trying to be honest.

Cheers,   John

Before You Apply for a Job …..

By:  John Holmgren

I was talking with a hiring manager about information I am entering on this blog.  He gave me these 2 tips to pass on to you.  The suggestion is based on resumes and job applications he receives and his reaction to them.

First.  Email addresses are free.  Make your job seeking address, the one you use on your resume and applications, professional and business-like.

If your current email address is, or, in your own interest, get a new one!

Second.  Clean up your Facebook page.  Get rid of those ever so witty jokes and comments.  Lose the more than interesting photos.  Be careful about your Friends, Likes, Groups and Profile.  Employers check them.

Remember that the first objective of a resume or application is to not get eliminated.  Don’t sink your own boat!

Jobs Resource Links: On This Web Site

By:  John Holmgren –

I want to call your attention to a section of this web site that you may have missed.

On the “Home” page in the bottom right hand corner you will find a button

labeled, “Job Resource Links”.

Clicking it will take you to a file of, currently, 21 – 22 pages of web sites related

to job hunting, specific industry job sites and general, I hope, useful information.

At the top of the file is a table of contents which is hyperlinked to the detail

contained below.

It is free.  However, I ask you to let me know of additional sites you have found

valuable and tell me about sites you have visited and found to be no longer in service.

My goal is to make this a site for those seeking a job which contains most, if

not all, the information to assist with that process.



By:  John Holmgren –

Here’s a wonderful way for you to become more persuasive verbally.

Join a Toastmasters club. You will gain!

Why would I do that, you say?

Your image is established by communicating.  Job hunting requires you

to effectively state your MOST important employment assets.

Toastmasters can be of immense help with that exact skill!

What is Toastmasters? How can it help me?

Founded in 1924, it teaches and promotes skills in communication,

public speaking and leadership.

It now has 260,000 members in 113 countries with 12,000 local clubs.

Now that’s boring, but it tells you they’re legit.

That size scares you, right?  Imagine giving your speech to thousands of people!

BRRRRRR!  The typical club has 10 – 20 members.  Not to fear.

BTW, they are very supportive.

At a funeral, it is said, one would rather be in the box than give the eulogy.

We are all afraid of public speaking.

How can Toastmasters benefit you?

Remember: every conversation is a speech!

You want a neighbor to do something; you ask a co-worker

for help; you go on a job interview.  Each is a speech.

Speaking effectively with confidence and poise in the all important job interview

can be the edge that gets you the position!

By actively participating in Toastmasters, you will:

  • Gain confidence; TM is a great way to improve self image
  • Improve your poise in stressful situations
  • Practice speaking.  It requires practice; speaking is not an intuitive skill
  • By practice, learn to speak comfortably to an audience
  • Understand and correct your mistakes; you can err with impunity
  • Get helpful, honest and sincere feed-back from members
  • Have the opportunity to practice your presentation
  • Learn to speak spontaneously; “what do you want to be in 5 years?”

Altogether a great opportunity!

Your Questions

By:  John Holmgren
Feel free to fire your questions at me on resume writing and the job hunt campaign.
I don’t suggest that I have all the answers, but I do have lots of first hand experience on the subject.

Chapter 1 of my new book: The 7 Step Road Map to Finding a Job

By John Holmgren –

I’m writing an ebook to help people looking for work plan their campaign.

If you’ve tuned in here before, you know that I’m an ex VP-Sales and former

owner of a recruiting agency (headhunter).

I know that people out of work and out of their comfort zone, get anxious.

Not sure of what to do next.  Not a good state of mind in looking for a job.

The purpose of the ebook is to provide a plan to maximize the chance of

getting work.  There are 7 chapters (at the moment).  What follows is the

outline of chapter 1.  The premise: you can’t solve a problem you haven’t defined.

Hope it helps.

Chapter 1 – The 7 Step Roadmap to Finding a Job

Step 1 – Write a Job Description, which must include:

What do I want to do?

  • Define the position you want; list other alternatives
  • With what sort of organization do I want to work
  • What are jobs that I have liked where I have had success
  • Do I want full time, part time or contract work
  • In what industry do I want to work
  • Do my qualifications match that industry’s requirements – check online profiles
  • Do I need more education to reach that goal
  • How much money do I have to make
  • Will I make compromises in money and my job title

Where do I want to work?

  • With a local organization, or will I relocate
  • Do I know all firms in a commute area that can hire me; define the total marketplace
  • Will I target a specific industry or take the first opportunity that comes along
  • Will I take a position with less responsibility / money than my prior job

What personal issues will effect my decision?

  • Do I work well alone or am I better working with people
  • Do I understand my strongest skills
  • Do I understand my less skilled / less motivated areas
  • What motivates me
  • What do I not want to do
  • What are my favorite things to do

It’s easier to get a job if you have a job; you’re emotionally stronger