Categories
Blog Career Job Search Advice resume resume writing Uncategorized

Graduating Cum Laude — You May Brag About it Again

When I first starting writing resumes 13 years ago, it was not uncommon for my clients to want tell future employers about how they graduated with honors. The universities use the Latin term “cum laude” on the degree to distinguish these hard working students. However, you may remember that spam emails were rampant early in the new millennium, usually adversiting websites containing adult content or enhancement drugs. Employers began using “spam blockers” to keep sexually explicit messages from ever reaching their company inbox.

This posed a problem for job searchers who were highly qualified and graduated cum laude. That’s because, cum has a different meaning in English than it does Latin, and it became one of those words that triggered the spam blocker. Resumes that listed this phrase never made it to the intended recipient. Instead, the documents were sent directly into spam folders and deleted. Professional resume writers were told not to use the phrase at all, and instead write “with honors.”

As with everything else in the job search, the rules are once again changing. According to chatter this week in resume writer e-groups, the spam blockers from 2004 are no longer relevant, and emails sent back and forth among the members discussing the “cum laude” issue are not being rejected. Perhaps the software has become more context-based, although this is in no way a scientific study.

Does this mean we can go back to using “cum laude” on a resume? Maybe. I always tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to changes like this. However it’s nice to know that students who work hard, and earn top honors are less likely to be ignored anymore because of spam blocking software.

Categories
Blog digital dirt gaps in resume Job Search Advice LinkedIn Profile Privacy Uncategorized

Don’t Lie About Your Job History on Linkedin

This morning I received my usual email notice from Linkedin telling me what my connections are up to in their career.  I like to know how my friends, clients, and former co-workers are doing and drop them a line when I hear about a promotion or new job.

The note this morning urged me to congratulate “John Doe” on his work anniversary of three years at a well-known company. John was a former supervisor of mine many years ago when I worked in radio, so I went to his profile and started looking through his work history. I found it odd that the station we  both worked at during that time was not even listed. Worse, he listed a different radio station and location altogether! This made me wonder why he would even take that chance. Was it an honest mistake, or did he purposely revise history thinking no one would be the wiser?

Here’s the problem. John had about 50 co-workers during his time at that job so there’s at least 50 people in our industry who could place him there during that time frame and not at the station he listed. Further, he contributed quotes to music publications that linked him to our station. And he was known by competitors in our market, so that adds even more who can refute his Linkedin job history.

Another concern is for those of us who worked with him. Granted, it was 20+ years ago, but if I ever wanted to use him as a reference, Linkedin shows him not working there at all, which brings up the question, “who’s telling the truth?”

You don’t need to list every job on Linkedin, especially those from 20 years ago. But to give the impression you worked elsewhere when you didn’t can easily be challenged. And should his current employer get wind of this, he could seriously jeopardize his job.

Thanks to the Internet, it’s no longer easy to fudge dates or your past. Don’t do it.

Categories
Blog Uncategorized

Over 10 years of experience or More than — which is correct?

As a journalist, I learned throughout the years about all the idiosyncrasies of the English language. If you write or say anything incorrectly that goes public, the audience will certainly correct you. And it’s something you never forget. Years ago, at a little station in Lafayette, Louisiana, the news anchor kept me on my toes as a writer, always reminding me which was the most correct term. Is it pleaded or plead? Over 5 years or more than 5 years?

I have seen thousands of resumes / cover letters / LinkedIn profiles that summarize their background as “Over X years of experience.” It made me cringe, because the correct term is “more than x years of experience,” not “over” x years . “Over” describes a measurement, as in 10 feet. “More than” has always been the correct way to phrase it when you’re describing years of experience.  Writing over instead of more than has been the #1 most common mistake I’ve seen on amateur resumes over the past 13 years. But all that is about to change.

Poynter is reporting that the phrase “over” will now be accepted as a correct term because of it’s common use. GASP!

So while it’s been commonly misused all these years, it’s now OK to use either phrase.

And by the way, I learned that pleaded is more correct than “plead” <pled>even though plead is becoming more commonplace.

Categories
Blog Career Graduation Gifts Job Search Advice Uncategorized

Gift ideas for New College Graduates

College graduation season will soon be upon us, and that means a new class entering the workforce. After spending tens of thousands of dollars to secure a degree, doesn’t it make sense to pay a few hundred dollars on professional services to get a leg up on the competition? A gift certificate for resumes, cover letters, and job search advice helps the new graduate land a job in their field much more quickly.

Years ago one of my clients purchased a resume package for his sister who was graduating college. A year later he told me it was like giving her a “winning lottery ticket.” Apparently she landed an internship with her dream company that turned into a $68,000 a year job. She was a chemical engineer, mind you. All occupations are different.

That experience helped me realize what a great gift my client gave to his sister. If you know someone graduating soon, let us provide the most up to date advice for job applications, resumes, cover letters, and online job searches. Contact us for details. 623-556-0330.

Categories
Blog Job Search Advice resume writing Uncategorized

An Experienced Job Hunter…

Who would you rather write your resume? Someone who’s been on a lot of job interviews? Or someone who’s been sitting behind a desk for 25 years, writing resumes, but never applying for jobs? This is kind of what gets my craw with a lot of (but not all) college career centers. They only hire those with Master’s degrees. That means not much in the way of real world experience (going out and fetching jobs) but theory only.

I’m a job jumper. There. I admit it. Not because I want to. Because I like the world of work, and that goes for applying for jobs and going on interviews. Every once in a while, I actually take a part-time job for a few years to continue to keep a pulse on today’s workforce.

There’s been tales told of the shoemaker’s kids having the worst shoes? Try writing a resume with a background of 80 or so jobs? Yes, we exist. But who better to help you with your career needs.

I’ve applied for a lot of jobs. There is no shortcut to experience, but you can learn from the experience of others.

Categories
bad bosses Blog Career Job job interviewing Job Search Advice Uncategorized

How to Spot a Toxic Co-worker

We’ve all seen them – TOXIC people who have a dark cloud over them, create a lot of drama, and point fingers that everyone else is the problem These people will undermine your career, drain your energy, steal credit for your ideas, and then point the finger that you’re the one with the problem and it was you who screwed them over. If you call them on their B.S. you will be crucified.
Most of the time they will give away their “tells” — so be on the look out for them. Perhaps they’re bragging about how they vilified their ex-spouse in a divorce, or how they screwed over someone else’s chance at getting a job. If you have a co-worker like this, RUN! Do not share anything with them they can later use against you, because they will. After all, if they’d screw over a spouse, they will certainly do the same to you, and feel no remorse whatsoever. They love playing the victim.
WikiHow refers to these types as “Impossible People.” There is nothing you can do about them, except ignore them.  Don’t stoop to conquer. You’ll never win.

Do not worry about the tales they tell about you. For they will continue to tell the world what shit heads they are through their actions alone.

 

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

Right from the horse’s mouth….

Part of my job as a career coach is to keep an eye out on burgeoning trends; know when trends become passe; and listen, listen, listen to what hiring authorities want and need to see on a resume to garner their attention. I read a lot of blogs and advice columns on the job search, and two of my favorites are AskAManager.org and AskTheHeadhunter.com Allison Greene and Nick Corcodilos are refreshingly candid, on how to land a job, and not end up working for jerks. Both provide insight that is spot on.

That’s why I was excited to stumble across a (new to me) blog, published in 2010. Head Smacking Tips For Jobseekers” which presents, from the manager’s point of view, why your resume is getting overlooked. Starting with “Don’t Name Your Resume, Resume.” I blogged about this very topic in 2007, and yet it’s still a common issue among job seekers. After you learn why it’s a bad idea, come check out this advice on how to best name your resume when sending it electronically that will put you ahead of the pack.