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.

Search this Blog
Get our newsletter

Resume and advice blog from Debra Wheatman


Showing That You Are Qualified for a New Project

Dear Deb:

What is the best way to show that I am qualified to handle a large, complex project if I have never led a project of considerable scope before?   I am in the running to lead a $5.3 million implementation of a new data storage system for 43 sites across North America.  The largest project that I have managed to date is $502K, involving 20 sites.  I delivered it on-time and just shy of the budgeted amount. 

Each of us is to meet with the portfolio manager and give our ideas.  I’ll have 5 minutes to sell myself.  Any suggestions?



Dear Carlos:

Definitely seize this opportunity!  This is a career-changing moment for you, Carlos.  Treat this as a job interview.  Update your resume with a listing of your recent accomplishments with focus on the ones that relate to the upcoming project.  Include facts of project success, such as cost savings, challenges that you overcame, formation of partnerships, quality metrics, improvements to project delivery procedure, and so on. Make notes of your ideas for the new project based on research.  Be honest and don’t say you know or have done anything that you have not. You should, however, take every opportunity to promote the skills that you have to succeed in the new project.

Wishing you all the best!



Branding for the Not-So-Average Person

Recently a client asked me, “Why do I need a brand?  I am just an average person.  It’s not like I am an executive, celebrity, or an entrepreneur.”   My answer was, “That is exactly why you need to think about your personal brand.” Do you want to be perceived as average?   No; you want to be perceived as exceptional at what you do. Everyone is unique. You need a brand strategy.  Where do you begin?  How does the not-so-average person create a brand strategy to break out from the sea of average persons?  Follow these steps to branding success.

What’s Your Brand?

Define your brand.  Identify your strengths.  What special knowledge or expertise do you possess? Think about your unique capabilities. How would you describe your professional skills and personal qualities? These are components of your brand.

Nurture Your Brand through Your Behavior

Nurture your brand through your appearance, actions, and your communication.  You can say that you are punctual and always meet deadlines, but if you actions don’t support that promise, it will not be a positive element of your brand. As the saying goes, “Walk the walk.”  You can spend a great deal of time on your resume, social media, website, and blog. However, if your actions are out of sync, your brand will be inconsistent and weak.  Behave in a way that uplifts your brand.

Write a Resume Aligned with Your Brand

Your resume is an extended brand statement.  A resume showcases the unique value that you offer along with your top accomplishments, skills, and education.  The more you focus your resume on a target job, the stronger the brand statement will be. If your resume does not reinforce your brand, revise your resume.

Engage Social Media, Websites, and Blogs

If you are like most people, when you hear about a new person, you search for them online.  It is reasonable to believe that after someone becomes aware of you, they are searching for you online. Built and protect your social media representations, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.  Consciously write your bio and select a photo consistent with your desired brand.  A personal website and blog will help to establish yourself as an expert in your particular field.  Share interesting, relevant, and professional content that support your brand.

Professional Development

In many fields, there are opportunities to earn professional designations and certifications.  These credentials demonstrate to the world that you have a certain level of knowledge and expertise in a given field.  Additionally, college coursework and degrees show that you have knowledge in particular subjects that enhance your brand.

The Bottom Line

Whether you know it or not, you have a brand.  Your brand is the impression others have of you.  Create a brand strategy to foster a brand image that is aligned with the value you offer. Identify those qualities that differentiate you from others.  Incorporate items from the above list continuously to develop and fine-tune your brand to shake the image as an “average person” and step up to the brand you deserve, the brand as an exceptional individual!


Connecting with Competitors on LinkedIn

Dear Deb:

Is it a good idea to accept a competitor as a LinkedIn connection?   Isn’t there a chance I could lose potential customers if they see their names and start shopping?  I am a consultant in the field of environmental impact studies. Thank you,


Dear Doug:

Thanks for writing. Yes, accepting an invitation from your competitor is a good idea.  First, you never know when that competitor will be a potential partner or hiring manager.  Secondly, it is wise to be aware of your competitor’s activity by reviewing their LinkedIn page.  Lastly, if a potential client is researching other consultants before hiring you (and most clients do), they will obtain find your competitors’ information with or without the help of your LinkedIn connections list.

So, take the plunge and accept those invitations!