Recommended Reading
  • How To Win Friends and Influence People
    How To Win Friends and Influence People
    by Dale Carnegie
  • Influence: Science and Practice (5th Edition)
    Influence: Science and Practice (5th Edition)
    by Robert B. Cialdini
  • The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management (Collins Business Essentials)
    The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management (Collins Business Essentials)
    by Peter F. Drucker
  • Little Black Book of Connections: 6.5 Assets for Networking Your Way to Rich Relationships
    Little Black Book of Connections: 6.5 Assets for Networking Your Way to Rich Relationships
    by Jeffrey Gitomer
  • The 48 Laws of Power
    The 48 Laws of Power
    by Robert Greene
  • In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies (Collins Business Essentials)
    In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies (Collins Business Essentials)
    by Thomas J. Peters, Robert H. Waterman
  • The Art Of War
    The Art Of War
    by Sun Tzu
About this Blog

Debra Wheatman, President of Careers Done Write, provides expert insight to the job search process that puts your career in gear with tips for interviewing, networking, job search strategies and how to create a winning résumé and cover letter.

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Resume and advice blog from Debra Wheatman


Handling Skill Gaps

Dear Deb:

I am applying for jobs in clinical informatics. It requires a combination of technology and clinical experience.  What should I say on my resume or cover letter about a gap in my technical expertise?  In other words, the job posting indicates a requirement for QuadraMed QCPR.  I have no experience with that particular software, however, I am sure I could learn it quickly.  I have used similar types of software.



Dear Tom:

There is no need to point out a skill gap in the cover letter or resume. However, if you are applying for a position that requires a skill or certification that you don't have, you could add a line like this to your letter:  "My managers have appreciated my ability to get up to adapt rapidly to new technologies and hit the ground running on new projects."  You can vary that based on the issue (new skill, new technology, new industry, new processes, etc. 

Wishing you all the best!



Conflict Between Work Events and Family Events 

Dear Deb:

I am required to attend an annual corporate golf trip.  All of the management team will be there, including many from home office and our top clients from the pharm side of business (my clients).   It’s basically a time to really connect on a deeper, more personal level with clients.  The only problem is that it’s the same weekend as my wife’s sister’s engagement party.  I already get a lot of “feedback” from my in-laws about the hours I work and the business entertaining that is part of my job.  It’s my career and I feel strongly that I need to choose the business trip. (Even though it is golf – it’s business)  How do I navigate this situation without the wrath of my in-laws?



Dear Ben, 

The timing is unfortunate.   It sounds like you need to be at the corporate event.  Talk to your wife and your sister-in-law. Let them know that this trip is a job requirement and that it would be detrimental to your career not to attend this annual client trip. Offer to provide a flower arrangement for the engagement party in addition to an engagement gift.  Confirm that you will be there for the wedding.   Get that wedding date on your work calendar and do whatever it takes to be sure that you are not working that weekend!  There would be no suitable excuse to miss your sister-in-law’s wedding.

If the subject of work-home balance is recurring, perhaps it’s time to talk with your wife and commit to some positive changes.  Find ways to spend more time with your wife and provide more support at home.  It’s great to be successful at work, but there is nothing more fulfilling than a loving partner and family.

All the best,



Resumes Lessons from a Can of Soup

Many food companies are savvy enough to know that most shoppers read food labels, despite being short on time. A label with eye-catching key statistics can give that product an edge over another product, especially if that product touts qualities such as low sugar, low calories, and zero trans fat.  Companies are wise to invest in smart labelling strategies.  

What does the calorie count on a can of soup have to do with your resume?   Resumes designed with the candidate’s top values visible at a glance are highly-effective.  Like grocery shoppers, recruiters and hiring managers are short on time.  Your resume is like that can of soup on the shelf with 100+ other cans.  Getting noticed means communicating your value quickly.   Your top values should be communicated at the top of your resume.

Tips from a Soup Can:

1.) “Ready in Minutes”

A feature of your favourite soup may be that it is ready in minutes.  Can you hit the ground running?  Demonstrate this by including a core competencies section to show your major job skills, as well as a technical expertise section to show your computer proficiencies.

2.) “140 Calories per Serving”

Counting calories helps to manage your weight.  Counting words on your resume are also important. If it takes you 45 words to describe an accomplishment, challenge yourself to say it in 25 or 30 words.  Like the label reader, resume readers want you to keep it concise.

3.) “See Recipe on Back”

If you have a can of mushroom soup, you can make a number of quick dinner recipes ranging from beef stroganoff to sauces.  Are you adaptable?   Show your adaptability on your resume by sharing several projects that you led, listing your range of skills and giving examples of the range of functions that you performed or supported.  Show various facets of your experience that relate to your career goal.

4.) “2.5 Gram of Fat”

That’s a lean soup.  Are you a lean manager?  Are you known for trimming the fat in the budget?  Do you consistently deliver projects under budget?  Have you consolidated operations or technologies to reduce expenses and boost profit?  Those are terrific accomplishments to include on your resume.

5.) “Made with Organic Ingredients”

Many shoppers are looking for the lowest price.  Others will pay a bit more for organic products.  Do you have a unique selling feature that brings a benefit to your target employer?  Perhaps you have an Ivy League education, earned your Project Management Professional certification, or have 13 years of experience in the Latin American marketplace.  Those are characteristics that distinguish you from others.  Share that information in the top portion of your resume. 

Borrow these lessons from a cap of soup to create a powerful new brand via your resume!  Share your key values at the top of your resume in the profile section and the core competencies section.  This will entice the readers to continue reading, just as the can of soup draws the shopper to pick up the can.