Blog Career Job Search Advice resume writing Uncategorized

Please Don’t Plagiarize!

When it’s time to do your taxes, do you ask your neighbors or co-workers if you can see their return so you can have an idea of what to do? I’m sure you don’t. It’s not only confidential information, but your co-worker/neighbor has a completely different background than you do, i.e.: kids, deductions, income level, etc. So why do so many people see a resume they like and “borrow” it for their own use? It’s really no different.

Today, I came across one such document posted on a website. The resume listed me as the author. I know I didn’t write it, because it was full of mistakes that people who typically write their own resume commit. It also listed the resume originally belonging to one of my clients in the document properties along with a company that I used to subcontract for until last December.

Here’s what I suspect happened. My client sent the resume during her job search, and the guy who received it, liked it enough to copy; or he was friends with my client and she shared. The weird thing is that it looked absolutely nothing like the original I wrote for her. It was very badly written, and nothing in the formatting matched my work. I was less concerned that my document was stolen, and far more concerned that there’s a poorly written resume floating around on the Internet with my name identified as its’ creator. Not a good advertisement of my work.

Most people are unaware of the document properties, but did you also know that you can do a tracking history and find out everything that’s ever been done to that document since it was created? That’s a good reason right there why resumes should start from scratch!

Be aware that your resume can contain more information than you care to share.

–Susan Geary, CERW / 1st Rate Resumes

Blog Job Search Advice resume writing Uncategorized

Emailing Electronic Resumes

I critique a lot of resumes for high level executives, and they are all sent to me by email. I don’t even print them out anymore, or I’d be killing a lot of trees! But I have to comment on how they are labeled and what you can do to make sure that your resume does not get lost among the other 300 trying for the same position.

First, and foremost, label it with your full name! More than 90% of the resumes that come to me are labeled like this:

resume.doc, or resume3-1-07.doc, or briansresume.doc.

Think about the folks receiving them. If they are all labeled this way, how will they find yours? Here’s a better way to help out the recruiter:

John Smith-Marketing Director.doc.

They’ll already know it’s your resume, so you don’t need to label it as such, although I know it helps you find it on your own computer. Therefore, keep it in a folder that’s titled “resumes.” In fact, while you’re reading this, why not go check how you titled that crucial document, so you don’t forget.

Also in the email subject line you can write something like: John Smith/Director Of Marketing Candidate Job Posting #0015B. Of course if the company is specifically stating what to put in the subject line, then do that!

Finally if the company has a job posting number, that’s another way you can help out the HR department. Put the posting number at the top of the resume, or you can label it in the title:

John Smith-Marketing Director 01753

This will also help you keep track of what resume you sent to each vacancy announcement.

As for the Cover Letter, I label it this way:

John Smith – Marketing Director CL

You’ll find that clearly labeling your documents will send a message to the recruiter that you are organized and helpful to others. And that alone will help you stand out among the pack in your job search.

Happy job hunting!

Susan Geary, Certified Resume Writer

Blog Job Search Advice resume writing Uncategorized

A Monster Phish

I’ve never been a fan of, especially after investigative reporter Ward Lucas of 9News in Denver exposed a scheme that was carried out on their website a few years ago, where job seekers were duped into releasing personal information after believing they would be hired for a job.

Now it’s all over the news again that vulnerable Monster clients have had their security compromised. You can read about it here.

Shortly after the 2005 story ran in Denver about the Monster problem, I met with the President of and asked him personally about how they keep their site safe. He told me that he has a sales team that personally visits HR departments to ensure integrity, and they hire the best candidates for their IT department. has had no problems with high tech crimes involving their site.

Regardless of steps that companies take, it’s always in your best interest not to reveal too much information about yourself online. That goes for the traditional job search too. Recently, my husband was seeking employment and came across an application asking for his SS number. He left it blank and told them he would provide it once he’s hired. That’s the law now, did you know that? Apparently the store manager for this very well known company didn’t, and neither did their HR department. It was a sticky situation for my husband, but he landed a job interview as a result anyway, probably because he’s very AWARE and a proactive problem solver.

Be safe out there and good luck in YOUR job search.

Blog Resume Service resume writing Uncategorized

Beware of Cheap Imitations


1st Rate Resumes is not affiliated with any company using First-rate resumes or 1st Rate Resumes in advertisements posted nationwide on Craigslist. You’ll know the difference because we clearly post samples of our work on our website.

Check us out at or

We don’t do cheap work. Plus, we’re members of professional career associations.

Shop and compare. Your career matters to us.

Susan Geary / 1st Rate Resumes

Blog Career employee surveillance Job Search Advice Privacy resume writing Uncategorized Work

Resume Requests from Work

How do I nicely say this? I love that fact that clients call me up for resume reviews, and inquiries about services offered, however, I hate it when they do it from work. It makes me feel like I’m contributing to bad behavior on the job and the last thing I want to do is contribute to the fuel that may get them fired.

Therefore, if you ever want a free resume critique, just call or email, but please don’t do the following:

1. Email me a copy of your resume from work

2. Ask me to return your call to a work phone number

Why? Because someone in IT can and possibly is monitoring your email and computer usage. Did you know there are software programs that capture and store every web page visited? That means even your personal yahoo emails can be read by your employer. So they don’t need to know that you are updating your resume.

Please help me help you. Leave me your HOME phone number and the best time to call (refer to your time zone also.) Let me know if you don’t want me to mention my company name (1st Rate Resumes) when leaving a message, and give me a personal email address to respond to your needs.

My goal is to help you in your job search, without hurting you in your current job.

–Susan Geary, CERW / 1st Rate Resumes

Blog Career gaps in resume job jumping Job Search Advice resume writing Uncategorized

Why I don’t write functional resumes anymore…

Functional resumes were all the rage in the early 1990s thanks to resume pioneer Yana Parker. These skills-based resumes helped job seekers transition into new careers, or hide flaws in their background such as a scattered work history, or gaps. I used the functional resume quite a few times myself to land a job.

The problem now is that HR folks see these documents as red flags and they will no longer look at them. Finally, it’s been confirmed in the following article, along with other great tips on how to spruce up a resume. Good information to know!

–Susan Geary, CERW / 1st Rate Resumes