Recommended Reading
  • How To Win Friends and Influence People
    How To Win Friends and Influence People
    by Dale Carnegie
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    Influence: Science and Practice (5th Edition)
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  • 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
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    Little Black Book of Connections: 6.5 Assets for Networking Your Way to Rich Relationships
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  • The 48 Laws of Power
    The 48 Laws of Power
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  • 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)
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  • 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


Lying On A Resume

Dear Deb:

I fudged my resume to indicate that I earned a degree.  In fact, I did not earn the degree.  I only attended for two years and dropped out.   It was mostly because I was in a program that was not a match.  Since then, I discovered my true calling (coding) and have earned two certifications – but no degree.    Here’s the deal.  I have that resume all over the internet and got a call for a great job interview.  I think they have that odd resume with the false degree info!!   What should I do?

Thank you,


Dear Patricia:

You only have one option here…you must tell the truth.   Accept the interview invitation.   Send the employer an email confirming your interest in the company.  In that message state that the original resume may not be accurate, so you are attaching this current and accurate resume.   When you meet in person for the interview, bring a copy of the new resume, just to be sure they have it.  If asked about the old resume, simply say that you were following poor advice and miscommunicated your education. 

On the bright side, it is good that you are rectifying the situation now and not after you receive an offer or start the job.  It would be seen as deceptive and may cost you the job later in the selection process.  Handling it now may be awkward, but it may not be the end of your candidacy.

All the best,



Brand Building through Community Leadership

Leadership experience in volunteer, civic, and professional association settings is one way you can build and promote your personal brand.  If you are not ready to take a top leadership role for your favorite organization, you can start with a volunteer project or serve as the co-chair of a committee.  These valuable opportunities lead to greater leadership roles over time.  The following are a few suggestions for branding through community leadership.

Choose Your Roles Carefully

Invest your time in community service roles that are aligned with your passion and your talents. By working in roles suited based on your skills, you will be of greater value to the organization while continuing to develop your skills.  When you dedicate time to a cause that you love, you will be invigorated by the work and serve an inspiration to others.

Build Leadership Skills & Powerful Brand Attributes

Community leadership can help you develop and showcase important professional skills and character traits. A strong leader carries the following brand attributes:

  • Dedication
  • Strategic Focus
  • Effective Problem-Solving
  • Motivational & Inspirational
  • Excellent Communication Skills
  • Strong Process Improvement Capabilities

As you assume greater responsibility, you will enrich your personal brand by developing and advancing the above-listed proficiencies and characteristics.

Fill Skill Gaps

Some candidates get caught in a situation in which they need supervisory experience to qualify for a supervisory role.  You need to showcase transferable skills to build a strong case to secure the initial role. Consider volunteering for a charity organization, a civic organization, or professional society as a means of developing the practical experience to assume that next step.  Start small, prove yourself, and continue to grow.  Showcase your leadership accomplishments on your resume and LinkedIn profile.  Now that you have demonstrated your leadership experience, you are no longer an unproven entity. You have examples to back up your leadership claims. 

The Bottom Line

Volunteering your time in community organizations is a brilliant way to brand yourself as a leader. You will build new skills, refine existing skills, and validate managerial abilities.  Explore your options and dive into a community service role aligned with your unique talents and your interests.  You will contribute to a good cause while building your brand. Feeling good and doing good – doesn’t that sound great?


My Manager Hasn't Acknowledged My Resignation Letter

Dear Deb,

I sent my resignation notice to my manager by email five days ago and he never replied.   I know he is in his email constantly, as it is a critical means of communication in his role.  Should I say something to him or write him again?  Or, do I assume that he has it and that my last day is confirmed? This is my first job and first time to resign so I am not quite sure this is normal.


Rick G.

Dear Rick:

My advice is to always present your resignation letter in person.  The exception would be if your manager works in another city.  In that case, you would call and follow up by email.  It is not too late to improve this resignation situation.  Simply print your letter and stop by your manager’s office at your earliest opportunity.  Tell your manager that you apologize for not delivering the notice in person. You can blame it on the fact that this is your first job. 

There are three key ingredients to your resignation letter.   1.) Thank your manager for the opportunity and all that you have learned on the job.  2.) Include your resignation date, giving your employer at least two weeks of notice time.   3.) Wish your manager and the company all the best in future endeavors.   What you don’t ever want to do is complain, criticize anyone at the company, or gloat about the better job you will be starting soon.

Best wishes in your new job!