Monthly Archives: February 2011

Let’s Consider Two Types of Networking: Inbound and Outbound

By:  John Holmgren

The most important fact about job hunting:  nearly all “good” jobs come through word-of-mouth.  Networking.  That means finding a common link between you and the hiring manager.

Pretend you are the hiring manager.  You have a good job to fill.  In this economy there will be lots of applicants.  You, the manager, have   50+ resumes to consider.  Who will you interview?

If you, the candidate, have found that link you improve your interview chance enormously!  Before, you were only a resume in a stack of 50+.  Now you have a contact, an implied recommendation.  Whose resume will get read first?

Back to the beginning.  Two types?  Yes.  The networking objective is to tell everyone you are looking for a job.  More about that in another blog.

This is about equally important inbound networking.  It’s the process of finding your way into a Target Organization (one you really want to work for) and learning as much about  them as possible.

Ideally, you’ll find a link to the hiring manager of the position you want.

Networking is about “The Six Degrees of Separation”.  The idea is, I know someone who knows someone, who knows someone …..  It works.  A friend once linked me to the Pope.

Look for a contact that has a contact in your Target Company.  You call and say, “Ralph suggested I call you …”.  That’s how it works.

It’s the reason to keep records.  You know someone at XYZ!  Make the call.

Your outbound networking feeds the inbound side.

Getting within the organization you can learn their values, what they are looking for.

Tailor your resume to company values in skills and attitudes and objectives.

Easy?  No.  Tedious?  Yes.  Productive?  Yes!  Do it.

Cheers, John

Here I Am in Person


On the ” About” button of this web site, there is a TV video interview where I share knowledge about basic principles of resume content.

Thought you might be interested.

Can’t do much about the cosmetics …..  Still,

Cheers,  John

A Good Resume Reflects Focus and Growth

By:  Elaine Varelas, Managing Partner, Keystone Associates (by permission)

Q.  My resume has gotten rather lengthy over the past few years.  I would like the help of a resume writing professional.  Any recommendations?  What can I expect to be charged?

A.  Revising resumes can be challenging.  For a professional with 15 years experience, a two-page is appropriate.  A recent college graduate should plan on one page.  Three pages or more can be acceptable for PhD’s, academics, and researchers.

You may decide to use a resume writer. But there are questions to be answered.  First, identify the target audience and target role.  What do you need to highlight?  Your goal is to make areas stand out that compel hiring managers to bring you in.

Next, edit older roles.  Start at the bottom of the experience section.  Review each line with a “So what? Will it matter to the hiring manager?”  Make sure you show growth in each job, a diversity of areas of success, and quantify as much as possible.  Follow this process with each position.  Your most recent job should have the greatest detail.

Your education also needs to be edited.  Unless you were number one in your class, no GPS’s are needed, other than at entry level positions.  Edit civic and voluntary activity for what they reveal about you.

A summary offers more information than an objective.  At the screening stage, employers are interested in how they can use your skills.

After you go through your resume, you may decide to work with a professional. ….. Ask for references. You can expect to pay $80 to $150 per hour, or $500 to $750 for packages that include resume writing and production.

People Are Modest – Don’t You Be on Your Resume

By:  John Holmgren

Organizations hire people for only one reason: to help achieve its objectives.

The important word in that sentence is “achieve”.

Your resume is read and evaluated for your achievements.  If you have been effective in doing your part to assist an organization in meeting its goals, it’s reasonable to assume you can do the same for this group.

That puts a high priority burden on you to make your accomplishments and achievements very clear, explicit and visible.  This is no time for shy modesty and subtlety.

The old line is “if you can do it, it ain’t bragging”!

That is not to suggest that you should brag.  That is never attractive.  However, you can bring out your promotions, awards, advancements and achievements in a way that is not bragging.  Be objective and report these events on your resume as bullets under your job title.  Use telegraphic style.  It depersonalizes the information.

Let the reader know that you have been promoted; saved the organization money; implemented a new and effective procedure; exceeded sales goals; earned a patent; whatever.

That is the information that earns you a second look.  It’s the meat on the bones.

Don’t make the mistake of making your resume a series of job descriptions.  What you have achieved and what you can achieve for this organization is their sole interest.

Cheers, John

Walk Away From Your Search

By:  John Holmgren

Now, there’s advice you wouldn’t expect!

Here’s why I recommend that, from time to time, you take a hike.

Job hunting is probably the toughest, most demanding job you will ever have.

It is, I realize, a difficult, intense and frustration activity.

It requires your focus and concentration to be successful in finding employment.

Also, it can be among the most negative and discouraging experiences of your life.

And yet, it requires that you to keep up your spirits, display confidence and be cheerful continuously to all with whom you come in contact.

Moreover, you have to arrive at an interview fresh, relaxed, ready to tell your story,  answer all questions and be charming and persuasive as well!

I can hear you yell, “ ….. well, never mind what you might yell.

Here’s my pitch.  You can’t do that on a continuous basis!

Never mind that you will go nuts.  Your tension will telegraph to any interviewer.

Result: no job offer.

Answer: take a break!

When it starts to build up in you, and you know the signs, walk away from it.

Recharge. Go to the beach, the mountains, take long walks.  Anything.

Come back refreshed and ready to get in the ring again.  It will pay you big dividends.

Cheers, John

ps: this is not an excuse to be slack in you efforts