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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

7:00AM

Two Page Resumes Online

Dear Deb:

Because resumes are read online, do I really need to start the second page with my name and “page 2 of 2” at the top?

Thanks!

Charlene

Dear Charlene:

It is true that initially almost all resumes are viewed online. However, quite often, at some point a resume is printed. It is the standard to include a “page two” heading to include your name and a page header, “Page 2 of 2” for example.   Having a page 2 heading not only gives a neat appearance to the page when printed; it keeps your resume pages orderly for times when it is printed and used as a guide for an interview.

Thank you for writing!

Deb

6:00AM

Resume Help: Finance Executive  

One of the most common resume issues is underselling or not selling at all.   Today’s candidate has climbed the ladder to hold highly-responsible senior-level positions.  However, each of the job descriptions on her resume is nothing more than a list of duties.  Hiring managers know the basic duties associated with a particular job title. What they are really interested in seeing is how a candidate excelled in a position.  Therefore, it is important to share major accomplishments.   It is also critical to show the scope of your responsibilities with actual numbers.

After reviewing the resume example, consider these four ways that this finance executive can improve her resume.

  • Start each position with a description overview in a paragraph format.  In the overview, illustrate your span of operations.  How large was the company? Share details, such as number of staff, size of budget, and span of operations.
  • Go beyond the job description and include top accomplishments from recent positions. Feature each accomplishment in a bulleted format to call attention to it.
  • Pay attention to details of punctuation and capitalization.  For example: Add a period at the end of each statement.  Only proper nouns are capitalized.

It is important that you resume is created in a way that showcases your unique values.  If you simply present basic job functions from your history, you are less likely to impress a hiring manager when job searching in a competitive market.  Go the extra step and dazzle the reader with your achievements. If you would like help with your resume, contact me.  I would be happy to develop a winning resume.

7:00AM

Is Your Outgoing Message a Turn-off?

Recently, I called a consultant that I had never met and was surprised at his outgoing message.  It started with the sound of him clearing his throat.  Next he said, “Uh, this is Rob, and I can’t get to my phone, but I will get back to you.”  This was recorded in a noisy space. Rob did not make the greatest first impression, and we had not even met.   I had a mental image of a sloppy guy with a sandwich in hand, calling me from a restaurant.  Every point of contact, digital image, recording, and representation contribute to our professional brand. 

Let’s examine the finer points of how to enhance your brand through your outgoing voice messages.

Make sure your equipment is optimal.

If you are using a circa 1997 “flip phone,” you might not have an optimal sound quality due to the age of the phone.  You don’t need the very latest and greatest phone. However, make sure your equipment supports a clear transmission.

Choose a quiet space to make your recording.

If you work in a busy office, try to get to the office early or stay a bit late, when things are quiet.   Background noise is distracting from your message.  It also forces you to change your voice tone to rise about the noise.

Draft a script prior to the call.

When you don’t have a script, you might have a tendency to omit key information or to slip in an “um” or “uh” in your message.  Create a script and practice it with a timer before recording it.  Remember to start with a buffer, such as “hello” or “thank you for calling.”  Include your name, your company name, and an indication of when you can return the call.  In most cases, a same day returned call is expected.  End the message by stating, “I look forward to talking with you.”

Customize messages are fine if you stay current.

Many professionals, who are often in different locations or work unpredictable hours, leave a customized message each day to indicate the date and if they are out of the office.  It helps for the caller to know that the person is traveling and may not respond quickly.  However, don’t customize the message unless you are able and committed to making timely updates. For example, if your message says it is Friday the 1st and today’s date is Wednesday the 6th, you are making a poor impression.

Re-record if your voice quality is sub-par.

Take a sip of water prior to your recording.  Speak clearly and slowly.  Listen to your message. If it does not sound clear, re-record.  This does not have to be perfect, but it is worth it to take a couple tries so your message makes a positive impression.

Your outgoing phone message may be the first touch point for a new client or partner.  Be sure to plan carefully and execute your message so that it supports your personal brand.  If you desire to project brand qualities, such as responsiveness, articulate communication, and attention to detail, you’ll want to create a winning outgoing voice message and return your calls promptly.