Do You Have A Resume Or A Marketing Document?

Does your resume list all of your experiences, all your skills, and even some accomplishments?

Does it outline all of the things you have done in the past that you think are important and can fit on two pages?

Does it clearly indicate all your past duties, tasks and responsibilities for your positions?

All good stuff, but for the most part, missing a lot of the important stuff.

Most resumes are based on, what in selling is referred to as, “features” or “facts.” Every junior sales rep and marketing person knows that people don’t buy on features, they buy on benefits.

Most resumes are simply a list of features the candidate thinks (key word – thinks) are important. In marketing terms it is a, “fact sheet” not a marketing document. If you want to get noticed you have to have a marketing document not a resume. One that markets benefits.

Marketing 101 teaches marketing is all about getting to the customer’s motivation. It is all about what’s in it for them. Few resumes are a true marketing document. Most are some combination of features and benefits, with heavy weighting on features. Few hiring managers will get excited reading a list of features. These are nice to know, but unfortunately, don’t create any emotional reaction. Benefits, on the other hand, do create an emotional reaction. It is this reaction that creates the desire to buy.

For example, you could have the following feature on your resume, “Substantially reduced turnover in first year.” A good fact but no emotional reaction. Instead you could market the benefit to the hiring manager, “Reduced turnover from over 55% to less than 10% in my first year. This resulted in an estimated savings of $150,000 in just hiring costs. It also dramatically increased the quality of work, completely eliminated errors and reduced overtime by 90% resulting in a cost savings from the previous year of $200,000.”

If I am an owner, CEO, or hiring manager struggling with the high cost of turnover, this is motivating and a benefit.

Selling benefits converts your resume into a marketing document. After all, that is what a resume should be.

Join our Linkedin Job Search Networking Group for a lot more on resumes, interviewing, networking and even how to answer the “Tell Me About Yourself?” question.

Is your cover letter stopping  your resume from getting noticed. Try this cover letter. It has increased the responses three fold for many people. Recruiters prefer this. Download it for FREE CLICK HERE.

If  your LinkedIn Profile isn’t powerful and compelling then use our 8 Point Check List to help you build a powerful and compelling profile. CLICK HERE to download.


We encourage your comments and feedback.

Brad Remillard

Know Your References Well. It Isn’t What They Say, It’s How They Say It.

We often do one-on-one job search coaching with candidates. This is a three month program where we cover all aspects of a person’s search, and work weekly to ensure that everything is being done to expedite their search. We cover issues that might arise before they arise, discuss areas of conflict, develop a marketing plan, perform interviews, review resumes and tough interview questions, compensation negotiations and check references. It is very comprehensive, and often hidden issues that would keep the candidate from getting an interview or job are discovered and addressed before they become an issue. Too often the candidate never finds out why they didn’t get an interview or offer, when a little up front work would have solved the problem before it became a problem.

As part of this coaching, the candidate develops a complete set of references. The candidate always assures us that the reference has told them “They would give me a good reference.” A CEO I was working with had a board member as one of their references. I called to talk with this reference and make sure that all was well. It didn’t take long to realize that the reference, although not bad, was only average to barely passing. This is not something the candidate would want a company to hear. We went back to candidate and asked to talk to the other board members (at least two). They both had great things to say, and in fact, one was going to recommend the candidate for another position. It turned out the first person had a grudge to bear against the CEO. These two board members then became the references. Had we not done this, the candidate would have never found out why he didn’t get a particular position.

I don’t believe we were deceiving the company in any way. They asked for one board member and instead we offered two. We did not prep the references in any way. All we did was try and get the real picture of the CEO’s abilities without bias or from a person with a grudge.

This is just one of many very easy things to deal with before they become a problem. Do you pre-qualify your references before you give them out? You should.

When talking to a reference it isn’t always what they say, but how they say it that counts.

You can learn a lot more about references and the complete job search process in our job search workbook, “This is NOT The Position I Accepted.” We will send you the book to review for only the $5 cost of shipping. It will reduce the time you spend in search. CLICK HERE to review the books contents.

Join our Linkedin Job Search Networking group. The news articles, connections, networking, and discussions are a great resource for anyone looking for a position. CLICK HERE to join.

Get your Linkedin Profile Self-Assessment for Free on our Web site and make sure your profile is the best it can be. Go to and scroll down to the WHAT’S NEW section and click the link.

We encourage your comments and feedback.

Brad Remillard

Three Most Important Words In a Job Search Radio Show

These three simple words have the biggest impact on your job search. They can make the difference between getting a job or not. That is the power they have. If you don’t know what these are then this is a MUST listen to. We not only give you the words but discuss how to ensure you implement them. Make sure you are the one that wins the interview and then the job. We are serious about the power of these on your job search.

Download the audio at

Download a sample cover letter the gets results at

Join our LinkedIN Job Search Networking Group

Stop All This “Personal Branding” Nonsense

It is hard to be in a job search today and not run across two, overused and misunderstood terms, one is “networking” and the other is “branding,” usually “Personal Brand.” How did these words become the “buzz words” the “must do” the “most important,” words so critical that if you don’t do them, you are sure to fail in your job search?

Who makes this stuff up? They’re the marketing geniuses.

The number of books, blogs and news articles written on “Personal Branding” continues to grow. If it takes that much to explain “Personal Branding” it may just be too complicated to begin with. It’s as if this is some new concept in job searching or as if the “holy grail” of conducting a job search has finally been found.


All that has happened is that some marketing person put a clever name to it. It’s as if once you “brand” yourself you will be the NIKE, Apple, Coke, Michael Jordon or Tiger Woods in your field or industry.

Silly me, for 29 years as a recruiter I’ve just referred to this as, “differentiating yourself” or “making yourself unique.” I didn’t know I was telling my candidates to “BRAND THEMSELVES.” I’m not sure that is all there is to a brand, but it pretty much sums up all you have to do in a job search.

It’s not so complicated that it takes a 200+ page book to explain it.

For the sake of appearing up to date and current, it is critical in any job search to communicate “why” you are different from your competition. What unique skills, traits, talents, accomplishments, experiences and passions do you bring to the party? If you can’t define these, you are a commodity. The problem with being a commodity is that the only thing you have to negotiate on is price. In a job search price is compensation.

Call it “branding” or something else, we can’t stress enough that every candidate needs to step back and take some time to determine what makes them unique. Often each position may require a different set of skills, experiences or talents. It is possible that you may have to differentiate (oops brand) yourself differently for different positions. It also means that you may not be the best qualified candidate for every position.

Do a S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Obstacles and Talents) analysis of yourself. List them out. Once you have the list, for the S and T, identify accomplishments and examples that demonstrate these strengths and talents. For the W, develop a plan to work on improving your weaknesses and for the O develop a plan of action to overcome any and all obstacles in your way to getting the position you want.

So forget about “Personal Branding,” it is way too complicated and probably just a fad. Just get back to the basics and figure out what differentiates you from all the others like you. Then go market it.

In the future you will see articles I write on “Personal Branding.” I will even title the article using the word “branding” because if I don’t, nobody will read it. So I will reluctantly conform.

Conformity has never been a “brand” for me.

Our job search book provides a template called,”Personal Success Profile.” This will help you identify what makes you different and add guidance for completing the SWOT analysis. You can get this for just the cost of shipping $5. CLICK HERE to review the book.

Listen to our talk radio show every Monday at 11AM PDT on It you miss it, you can download all of our past shows from our Web site. CLICK HERE to review the past shows and download the ones you want. All are free.

Please give us your comments and feedback.

Brad Remillard

Not Another Networking Article – WHY?

Why Is Networking Valuable?

Statistics show that 60 to 70% of all executive positions are found through networking with others. The American Association of Senior Executives (AASE), reports that 54% of their members attributed getting their new position to networking at AASE meetings. That is a large percent considering each meeting on average has about 40 executives in attendance.

Why is it so high? Mainly because the AASE preaches the right way to network. Every executive is shown why networking, when done correctly, is not a business card exchange. Networking that pays off is about relationships, and most importantly, networking must be done with a specific purpose and goal. Otherwise, why do it?

You should never ever attend a networking group or meet anyone just for the purpose of networking. It is a complete waste of time. Not every networking group is the right group for everyone. Likewise, not every person is worth spending time with.

Just because a group has a large turn out doesn’t mean it is a good thing or a good place for you to make a connection. In fact, I would argue this could be a bad thing. For example, if 200 people attend a networking meeting and the one person that could really help you in your search is at this meeting, you have a 5% chance of meeting this person. They will be lost somewhere in the crowd. It is random luck if you meet them.

Instead target your networking groups or meetings. Attend only those networking meetings that add value to your search. For example, the functional area (marketing, accounting, sales) gets exposure in your geographical area, the people attending are your peers i.e. VPs with VPs. C level with C level, the number of people attending is manageable so you meet the right people, etc. There are a lot of groups out there that just don’t add value to your search, so don’t attend them. This is networking with a purpose.

Pre-qualify people prior to meeting them. You don’t need to meet everyone. All you will accomplish is building a big stack of business cards. As a recruiter, when someone refers a person to me for a search, I always pre-qualify the person. I will ask the person doing the referral about the person’s background, industries, experiences and if they don’t match what my client is looking for, I thank the person for the name but let them know the referral isn’t right for this position. This has saved me hundreds of hours phone interviewing unqualified people. You can do the same. Put together a few screening questions that will clarify if this person will help you move closer to your goal of either a job lead, meeting a person that you need to meet, has the introduction you need, or not.

Too often the person referring someone to you, although sincere, isn’t referring someone to help you. Why waste your time? Thank them and move on. This is networking with a purpose.

A few other things to remember when networking:

· Networking is NOT drinking coffee and exchanging business cards.

· Networking is connecting with others by getting to know them on a personal basis and helping each other.

· Your personal participation in a networking group will show others the you can organize, lead and manage.

· When others learn more about you, they will forward opportunities, make introductions and may even recommend you for positions.

· GIVE BACK! Don’t forget those that helped you.

Most importantly, let people know where you are. Future career opportunities often come from someone who remembered you in the past.

Our comprehensive job search workbook has extensive chapters on networking, including a networking exercise to help you maximize your time. You can review this book for only the $5 cost of shipping. CLICK HERE to review the contents.

Join our Linkedin Job Search Networking Group. We post new articles and discussions almost daily to this group. CLICK HERE to join the group.

Please give us your comments and feedback.

Brad Remillard

Connectors are worth their weight in gold for your job search

Job Search Linking and Connecting People Together

Keith Ferrazi, Author of Who’s Got Your Back, wrote a blog article titled “Seven People You Should Know (Besides Kevin Bacon) to Connect with Almost Anyone”.

Keith describes the power that comes from being connected or linked to “connectors”.

For years, we’ve been advocating candidates in their job search should work hard to find connectors. In our projects where we develop strategic networking plans for executives, we usually discover in assessing their existing networks that there are NO connectors and thus – almost zero leverage in networking.

Connectors are rare individuals who are well connected to others. They have great reputations. Their names constantly surface on every request for people who do similar work. They are on everyone’s short list. They’ve done a great job of personal branding and typically have strong large networks.

Connectors pride themselves on helping others in their network. They love to bring people together. They are constantly providing recommendations, referrals, and introductions. A referral from a “connector” is worth their weight in gold for your job search. A referral from a “connector” is similar to receiving the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval”.

Now the question is how do you find connectors with whom to network?

1. A connector is well-known to clients, customers, vendors, and suppliers. For example, I am a connector in Southern California in the Executive Search Field. If a company is seeking a “C” level executive, either myself or my partner will be on their shortlist of firms/individuals to consider. I have an extensive network of over 5000 CEOs and Senior Executives developed over 2 decades through-out the country that I have personally touched in one way or another and still maintain contact. My network is especially strong in Southern California. One strategy of finding me might be to ask other peers who do they use as a recruiter when they are looking for job? You’ll hear the same 2-3 names constantly pop in conversation.

2. Another strategy is to ask hiring executives and managers who do they use as a recruiter to hire top talent executives for their teams. Again, you’ll hear the same names over and over again on the short list of recruiters.

3. A third strategy is to see who has the strongest reputation within the social media space for the individual you are seeking? Do they write a well-recognized blog, are they one of the top 50/100 recruiters on Twitter? Do they get interviewed by major business publications. Do they share the wealth of their knowledge with their network and community?

I’ve used the example of an Executive Recruiter. My example for connectors could be lawyers, accountants, business development managers, benefit consultants, software sales reps – the list is endless.

The key is to identify “connectors” that can provide job leads and referrals in the career path you want to be moving along.

Are you linked to connectors in your network?

To learn more about effective job search networking and the powerful leverage connectors bring to your job hunt, listen and download some of our radio shows where Brad I focused on discussing networking.


P.S.: Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group to participate in a wide range of networking discussions.

When In-Transition You’re A Salesperson-So Act Like One

At a recent networking meeting of fifty to sixty senior executives, all VP and C level, which included a mix of all corporate functions the following question was asked:

“How many of you are in sales?”

Only about 10% raised their hands, until someone flippantly yelled out, “We are all in sales.” The rest of the group then caught on and hands starting going up. Still, only about 50% raised their hands.

The moderator then followed-up with, “OK, what are you doing to demonstrate you are really in sales? For example, what books on sales have you read, how do you consciously incorporate sales into your search, how many have taken sales courses, courses on closing, written your resume with sales or marketing in the forefront of your mind, etcetera?”

Then he asked, “Anyone in finance and accounting, such as controllers or CFOs?” A few raised their hands.

His next comments brought the point home when he said, “So if I’m a sales professional, say a VP Sales and I’ve done a budget, I suppose I’m qualified for your job. I shouldn’t need any training, don’t need to read any books on accounting. I just say, ‘I’m a CFO’ and that makes me a CFO.”

Of course the group was snickering and laughing at such a silly statement. Yet they could all be sales people without any training. Isn’t that equally as ridiculous?

What they were really saying is, “When in-transition, everyone is in a sales role.” However, being in a sales role doesn’t make you a salesperson.

Most candidates don’t really know what it means to be a salesperson. They intellectually understand the concept, but don’t know how to take the concept and put it into practice.

Transition requires a candidate to change their perspective. Candidates have to understand that whether they call it sales or not, whether they are comfortable with it or not, they are not just in a sales role – they are a salesperson. They have moved out of their comfort zone and into a sales and marketing environment. Even salespeople don’t seem to grasp this concept while in-transition. It is for this reason that we recommend getting a sales and marketing consultant to assist you.

Just saying you are something doesn’t make you that. You need to learn how to become a salesperson. This includes, prospecting, overcoming objections, what a sales presentation is, knowing your competition and why you are better, identify why you are different from all the rest, having a sales pitch, and so much more. You need to read a few books on sales, attend a sales training webinar or course, practice your sales presentation, and get prepared just like a true professional salesperson does.

So please stop saying you are in sales and go out and become a salesperson.

Get our FREE Personal Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard to find out if you are acting like a salesperson. CLICK HERE to download your FREE copy.

Download our FREE example of a cover letter to make sure you are selling to the what the customer (hiring manager) is really looking for. CLICK HERE.

Please give us your feedback and comments.

Brad Remillard

Hope is NOT a Job Search Strategy

Job Search based on crossing your fingers for hope and luck

Liz Lynch, over at The Smart Networking Blog, just posted a blog article by this very same title. This is one of my favorite phrases I use all the time in our Job Search Webinars, Workshops, Seminars, and Private Coaching.

Why do most job seekers base their job search on hope and luck?

This is NOT a strategy. Trying to “will” the phone to ring is NOT effective. Liz talked about a candidate profiled on CNN who submitted their resume over 600 times to job ads on job boards and had a response rate of around 2.5%. It’s a waste of time and a useless technique.

Yet, many job seekers continue to base their entire job search strategy on hope and luck centered around answering ads on job boards.

My experience in 25 years as an Executive Recruiter is that most candidates fall into the trap of answering ads and praying the phone will ring because of 3 reasons:

  1. This is what they know and what they did 5 years ago. They are trapped in a tribal paradigm of conducting an out-dated job search.
  2. They are unwilling to learn how to conduct an effective job search. They refuse to read the blogs of Barry Deutsch and Brad Remillard, Liz Lynch, Jacob Share, Dan Schwabel, Miriam Salpeter and the hundreds of other outstanding experts in resume writing, personal branding, networking, and interviewing. They don’t take advantage of the FREE audio recordings, videos on YouTube, and products and services offered by these award winning experts. I just wrote a blog post on this topic basically raising the question of “Don’t Be the One! Why is Job Search Like Playing a High School Sport?” focusing on why candidates mistakenly feel they have to go it alone in their job search?”
  3. Although the techniques of conducting an effective job search are simple, the effort is intense. It requires long hours, hard work, and a disciplined approach. Most importantly, you’ve got to have a great plan and then work your plan. You can’t treat your job search like a hobby. Many candidates are NOT willing to work hard at finding a great job.

Brad and I recently released a new Scorecard to assess the effectiveness of your job search. It’s our FREE Job Search Plan Self-Assessment Scorecard. We were stunned when candidates started filling it out and sharing their “Score” with us. Very few candidates we discovered meet a minimum threshold for having a plan that will lead to an effective job search.

I challenge you to take the Self-Assessment – Score Yourself – See where the holes and gaps are in your job search plan. If you can fix these holes and gaps, you’ll be able to reduce the time it takes to find a great job.


P.S. Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group, one of the fastest growing job search discussion groups on LinkedIn. Learn and discuss how you can conduct a more effective job search.

Advice on Personal Branding is NOT Useful

Step-by-Step Approach to Developing a Powerful Job Search Personal Brand

The current popular buzzword of job search personal branding has taken on an almost mythical status.  Almost every article and blog in the job search arena talks about personal branding. Yet, almost all the recommendations and suggestions are so generic that the advice on job search personal branding is NOT useful.

Good intentions – not enough concrete step-by-step tactics for your job search!

Where do you start – what process do you use?

Are there forms or templates which organize your creation of a personal brand?

What are the best practices in job search personal branding?

What works and what doesn’t work?

How do you leverage your time to create the most powerful personal brand possible?

Most of the so-called “experts” miss the most important STEP in Job Search Personal Branding:

What do you have to do before creating a personal brand? How do you specifically STEP-BY-STEP build a defining document that leads to the creation of your job search personal brand. Telling you to create a personal brand is what I term a BHAG (pronounced Bee-HAG), which stands for Big-Harry-Audacious-Goal. BHAG objectives and recommendations sound like:

Get more sales

Achieve market share

Improve Quality

Achieve the gross margin goals

Raise the number of inventory turns

Establish a personal brand for yourself

The secret behind creating a powerful job search personal brand:

Start at the execution level INSTEAD of the BHAG level. Don’t worry about having a personal brand until you’ve gone through the rigorous process of defining who you are and what you want.

What is this rigorous process you might ask?

We call it the Personal Success Profile and it is the Number ONE Step of our comprehensive job search system called the Career Success Methodology.

Thousands of job seekers who have read our new job search workbook, This is NOT the Position I Accepted (a step-by-step workbook to use the Career Success Methodology in your job search), have embraced the process of first creating a Personal Success Profile as the starting point in their job search. Every day, Brad and I receive email messages on how candidates conducting a job search have dramatically reduced the time it takes to find a new great job – and it all started with the creation of a Personal Success Profile.

Before you can develop a job search personal brand, you’ve got to go through the creation of a Personal Success Profile (PSP). This exercise in creating a PSP will help you to develop a strong personal brand, a networking plan, a targeted job search plan, and prepare for interviews. It becomes your guiding light that dictates every move you make in your job search, including how you create your personal brand.

Your Job Search Personal Success Profile defines your capability, competency, skills, knowledge, values – all the key elements a prospective employer might want to know about you. It captures the core elements of what differentiates you from your peers – part of which is your personal brand.

The PSP goes a step further in creating a definition of what’s important to you in a new job – from the type of boss for whom you might work to the type of culture in which you might flourish.  This Profile identifies what you’re willing to sacrifice in accepting a new job and what items are non-negotiable. The PSP provides the foundation for your entire job search.

Get a copy of our book, This is NOT the Position I Accepted, to learn how to create a Personal Success Profile, listen to our Audio Program on building a PSP, or use the comprehensive Job Search Home Study Kit to get a kick-start on moving your job search into high gear.

Brad and I have also discussed the need to start your job search by creating a Personal Success Profile in our weekly Radio Talk Show. You can listen and download our previous episodes to learn why creating a Personal Success Profile is the number one element of success in your job search.

If you’ve downloaded our FREE Job Search Plan Self-Assessment Scorecard as a tool to improve the effectiveness of your job search, you’ll notice that the first item on the matrix is whether you’ve developed a Personal Success Profile.


P.S. Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group to participate in learning how to reduce the time it takes to complete your job search, especially the discussions around developing a Personal Success Profile that leads to a powerful Job Search Personal Brand.

Does Anybody Read or Care About Cover Letters

The debate rages on about using cover letters. Do I need one? What is the best format? What should be in it? Who do I address it to? How long should it be? And on, and on, and on.

I have asked many of my clients and other recruiters about their feelings on cover letters. For the most part with hiring managers and HR it is mixed. Some want them and others don’t care one way or the other. However, with recruiters there seems to be a more uniform consensus that recruiters don’t pay much attention to them. Given this I recommend when sending a resume directly to a company, hiring manager or HR to include a cover letter. When responding to a recruiter it isn’t that important, but if you have one ready go ahead and include it. Only don’t send it as a separate document, include in the same file as the resume.

The biggest problem with cover letters is the attempt to make them an addendum to one’s resume. Meaning that candidates often use the cover letter to add points that aren’t included in their resume, rather than re-writing the resume. This is completely WRONG. If the points are important enough to be in the letter, then they must be included on the resume.

The primary reason for a cover letter should be to present such a compelling case that the person reading it will get excited enough to take the time to actually read your resume. There is nothing more frustrating than to get all excited about a candidate from the cover letter, only to have the rug pulled out from this excitement when the resume doesn’t include any of these points. The reader is left wondering, where did these take place, how long ago, if they really did happen and they are that significant why aren’t they on the resume, guess the candidate didn’t think they were all that significant so as to re-write the resume, etc? As you can see it creates more questions than it answers.

It is critical you take the time and make the effort to re-write your resume with this information included. Don’t just send out the generic resume. If the cover letter gets separated from the resume you want to make sure the resume stands by itself.

You can download an example of a cover the we recommend using. This format has proven very successful. To get your FREE example CLICK HERE.

For more information on cover letters and resumes take a look at our “Complete Job Search Home Study Course.” We will send it to you so you can review it completely for just $14.95. Plus we will even pay the shipping to you and include a copy of our best selling book on your job search. To learn more CLICK HERE.