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
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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

6:00AM

Branding Challenge: 4 Ways to Boost Your Brand after a Career Break

Extended career breaks are more common than you may think.  However, if you are the one seeking to return to work after a long break, you may feel like you are the first to face this challenge.  The most common concern for candidates planning to re-enter the workforce is that their brand is damaged, and this will limit their opportunities.  Be encouraged.  You can boost your brand after a career break.

Blogging

In the midst of a busy job search, you may think you don’t have time for blogging.  However, blogging is one of the best ways to bolster your brand.  Identify your areas of expertise.   It is best to write about subjects related to your target job. You can author your own blog or you can ask a popular blogger if you can contribute as a guest blogger.  Research current news in your field and share your analysis in blog entries.  List your blog URL in your contact information section at the top of your resume.

Internships & Career Re-entry Programs

College students take advantage of intern programs to gain practical experience, build new skills, and meet valuable contacts in their chosen field.  Did you know that professionals at all career stages can apply for intern programs?   Additionally, there are many companies that offer re-entry programs specifically targeting professionals returning to work after a long break.  These short-term programs are a great way to showcase your talents and strengthen your brand.

Community Leadership

You may have taken a break from paid, full-time, professional positions.  However, chances are you were not on a break from all types of meaningful experience.  Consider your experience with non-profit organizations, schools, civic organizations, and youth organizations.  Did you perform tasks and assume leadership roles related to your target career?  Showcase this experience on your resume, citing the scope of your responsibilities and accomplishments just as would for paid positions. Featuring these recent accomplishments will make your brand shine.

Certifications & Coursework

If you have been out of the workforce for a while, you may need to update your specialized skills and knowledge.  Seek courses offered by industry associations and local colleges to update your skills.

You will also find many courses online.  When you complete your courses, add this information to your resume and LinkedIn profile.  Current industry knowledge and strong technical skills will fortify your brand as a relevant and valuable professional.

The Bottom Line

In a recent  Bullhorn Reach survey, recruiters were asked to name the “single biggest obstacle” for a job searcher.   Of the recruiters surveyed, 28% shared that having gaps in one’s work history is the biggest obstacle.  The good news is you can leap over this obstacle by adding some additional relevant and strategic work to reach your career goal.

2:37PM

Are More Creative Resumes the Future - SAMPLE

Hello out there in career-land! Here at Careers Done Write, we are always trying to stay at the leading edge of career search. We have been experimenting with more creating resume designs - here is the lastest - we would love to hear your thoughts.


7:00AM

How to Send a Cover Letter

Dear Deb:

Now that I have a terrific new cover letter, how do I use it?  In other words, should I copy and paste the letter into an email message box?  Or, do I attach it to an email message along with my resume?   Should I also send a copy by mail?  What’s common these days?  I have not searched for a job in about 8 years.

Thanks!

Ted

Dear Ted:

Thanks for writing. That’s a great question to share with the rest of our readers because it is asked frequently.  

Your cover letter should be inserted into the email message box and the resume attached.  That is the current standard.   It is less clunky this way because it saves the reader from having to download the letter.  Also, it is easier to read the cover letter when readers view the message on a mobile device.  The resume should be attached to the email message. 

Hardcopies of your resume are only for bringing the interview.  It is unlikely that you would be asked to ‘snail mail’ the résumé.  You might consider doing this to establish a point of differentiation. People no longer mail a résumé and a cover and this could be a good way for you to stand out from the crowd. Review every job posting and employer career page carefully so you apply for a job in the manner preferred by the hiring employer.

Best of luck in your job search! 

Deb