Traditional Resumes Are Worthless

In almost 30 years as an executive recruiter, I have looked at at over 100,000 resumes and through our candidate university coached/instructed hundreds of candidates with their job search. One consistent theme in all of this is that candidates receive a lot of mixed messages on resumes. Too often candidates lose sight of the real purpose for this document or overemphasis its importance.

In a previous article,”Resumes Have Only One Purpose,” I wrote the only reason for a resume is to get an interview. That is all it is good for. It isn’t to get a job. Candidates forget this. As a result, they want to include a lot of unimportant and sometimes irrelevant information on the resume. You only need enough information on the resume to get an interview. Everything else is over kill.

This is why, “Traditional resumes are worthless.”

With all this extra information the important and relevant information is lost in the clutter. Most people only spend between 10 and 20 seconds on the first screen. If your resume doesn’t catch their eye in that time it is discarded.

We believe for this reason the important and relevant points have to stand out so they don’t get overlooked. There can’t be a lot of useless information cluttering up the resume.

The fact is every resume is simply a marketing document. Its purpose is to catch the reader’s attention, get to the reader’s underlying motivation, have them read it and invite you in for an interview. Sounds similar to any advertisement or marketing brochure.

Marketing whether in print or electronically doesn’t try and attract everyone with one advertisement. Companies well know as “marketing” companies, Nike, Coke, McDonalds, Apple have multiple ads each with a specific purpose to reach a specific customer. They are very targeted with the listener’s or reader’s motivations in mind. They rarely if ever assume one-size-fits-all.

Candidates resumes on the other hand often assume a one-size-fits-all. Most candidates put together a generic resume, all about them, with what they think is important and relevant, then cross their fingers and hope it gets to the reader’s underlying motivations. It rarely if ever does.

Change your paradigm about your resume. Begin thinking of it as a marketing document. Ask yourself, “Is this relevant to the specific needs of this hiring manager or company?” Have you targeted the reader’s motivation rather than yours? Do the bullet points hit the target like a bullet or more like a shotgun? Do the important and relevant points stand out? (Without highlighting or gimmicks). Are you helping them with their pain? Do the bullet points help them solve their problems? Is your resume about you or them?

For all those wondering, yes this means you may have more than one marketing document (resume). Just like companies do. There is no law that says you can’t. There is only one rule regarding resumes, everything on it must be completely honest and verifiable. That is it.

In summary, target your resume. Make it a marketing document instead of a resume. Get away from the generic traditional one-size-fits-all. Build a marketing document with the reader’s motivation in mind.

For help with your resume we offer a complete resume development system. The CDs, templates and examples will ensure you have a marketing document. To review our “Complete Resume System” CLICK HERE. Many charge as much as $500 for the generic one. Our complete system is less than 10% of that.

You can also download for FREE on our website our, “Job Search Self Assessment Scorecard.” Take the assessment and see how effective your search is and what you can do to improve in the areas you aren’t excelling.

Job Search Mistakes – Part Two Radio Show

Are Your Job Search Mistakes preventing you from conducting an effective job search? Is your job search taking too long? Learn how to overcome the Top Ten Job Search Mistakes to reduce the time it takes to find a great job. In a previous radio show, we discussed the first 5 of the Top Ten Job Search Mistakes. In this radio program, we discuss the back half of the Top Ten Job Search Mistakes. Stop falling victim to an ineffective job search, a job hunt that takes too long, and a lack of job leads and referrals. Discover the Top Ten Job Search Mistakes and the steps to overcome each one.

Join us every week Monday 11 AM PDT on

For more free resources to help with your job search go to

Don’t Be the One! How is your job search like playing a high school sport?

Who is coaching you and holding you accountable in your job search?

You’re probably wondering what your job search effectiveness has to do with high school basketball. It’s the start of the basketball season in California – be ready for lots of my corny basketball metaphors.

We have a saying on our Girls HS Basketball Team that goes like this “DON’T BE THE ONE!” This mantra we use in coaching basketball can be extended into an effective job search.

In our basketball program it means: don’t be the one that makes everyone else run more lines, do more push-ups, stay for an hour longer, or any other consequence for not living up to the expectations of the coaches.

Each of our 30 girls hold each other accountable to a higher level of standards (they hate to run). No one slacks off, cheats on drills, or pretends they are working hard. The peer pressure is intense – no one wants to prolong practice or do unnecessary work.

Many readers of our blog have probably played a high school sport. You know how the peer pressure and accountability works. However, you’re not in high school anymore. You can’t rely on your teammates. Who is holding you accountable right now to a higher set of expectations in your job search and forcing you to accept some form of a consequence for not meeting them?

I’ve been at this game (job search) for a quarter of century – I know it’s tough to conduct a job search. It’s painful, humiliating, and it requires you to do things most people just plain don’t enjoy – like networking, attending events, and asking for help.

If you are at a senior manager to executive level and not using a job search coach to hold you accountable, you could be taking 2X-3X longer to complete your job search. A good job search coaching program will keep you focused, hold you accountable, and open your eyes to job search opportunities that you may never have considered.

Are you the one who is procrastinating, not sending out regular emails/letters to your contacts, building your network with the right people, and preparing properly for interviews? You don’t belong to a team – it’s just you – so there is no peer pressure to hold you accountable. Should you be using a job search coach to help you reduce your job search by 20% – 30% – 50% compared to the length of time it’s taking your peer group?

Who’s coaching you and holding you accountable? One of the services we provide is a job search coaching program intended to leverage every available resource to help you reduce the time it takes to find a new job. Whether you use our service, or you pick another – the key is to improve the effectiveness of your job search through a job search expert.

Although I am a little biased toward our own job search coaching program, there are a number of outstanding coaches out there – many of whom I’ve referenced in our blog. Don’t procrastinate another day – find a job search coach and start reducing the time it takes to find a great job.

I wouldn’t begin to install new plumbing, code my own website, fix my own car – you get the idea.

Why would you consider “going it alone” in your job search?

This “I can do it myself approach” is what leads most candidates into a depressing cycle of not being able to conduct an effective quick job search that lands a great opportunity. Instead, for most their job search is a prolonged, cathartic, painful, protracted battle of walking a thin line between procrastination and seeing their savings rapidly evaporate.

Imagine for a moment if you could reduce the time it takes to find a new job by 1 month, 2 months, or 6 months. How much of your savings could you avoid spending if you could reduce the time it takes to complete a successful job search?

We have developed a structured process for conducting a job search. The process is called the Career Success Methodology. Thousands of candidates have applied this process to dramatically reduce the time it takes to find a new job. We have a wide range of products to reduce the time it takes to complete a job search, services to reduce your job search, and best of all – a wealth of free audio programs, templates, and other tools.

Start down the path of taking time out of your job search by downloading our FREE Job Search Plan Self-Assessment to determine if you are conducting an effective job search.


P.S.: Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group

Your Job Search Effectiveness is Predetermined

Can you predict your job search success in the future based on what you are doing right now?

Liz Lynch, one of the foremost experts on networking, is a guest blogger on The Personal Branding Blog. A few days ago, Liz posted a blog titled “Prep for the Future with Lessons From the Present

Liz wrote about why some job seekers might be falling short in their job search — and by extension – their career. Many candidates fall into what we call the “Circle of Transition” which is a difficult cycle to break where one jumps from one job to the next without an active management of their career. Frequently, they find themselves at the mercy of arbitrary management, poor job choices, and the economy.

Her recommendations, especially around building your contacts throughout your career is advice all job seekers should take to heart. It’s the focus of one of my favorite authors, Harvey MacKay, who wrote a book called “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty” – a profound recommendation for job seekers – most of whom violate this basic idea.

The Job Search you are conducting right now is predetermined NOT by what you are doing right now, but what you’ve done over the last 2, 5, 10 years to prepare for this moment.

Imagine looking into the crystal ball and easily predicting how your job search and career will fare in the coming years. Liz suggests what you do now in your job, skill development, network creation, building industry relationships, is the primary element of success in your future job search. The economy will once again sour in 5, 10, or 15 years. Will you be ready or will you be a victim of the Circle of Transition.

Why do so few job seekers consider that job search and career management are efforts, tasks, and processes successful people engage in continuously (even when they have a good job) compared to those caught up in the circle of transition who only consider tasks related to job search and career management when they need a job.

Will you be the one out of work for 18 months again, or will you quickly land on your feet within months of being laid off with a great new opportunity?

Learn more about the dangers of falling victim to the dreaded “Circle of Transition”. Download our FREE Graphic Representation of the “Circle of Transition” or listen to our FREE Radio Show Broadcast.


P.S.: Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group and join in the conversation on how to avoid falling victim to the “Circle of Transition”

photo credit ben hayes

Job Search: On-line vs. In-Person 1st Impressions

Job Search Effectiveness: On-line Job Search vs. In-Person First Impressions

Chad Levitt, a guest blogger at Dan Schwabel’s Personal Branding Blog posted a blog a few days ago titled “What is Your Digital First Impression?” Chad claimed that making a digital first impression was very similar to making a personal first impression. He inferred in the blog posting that when people are searching for you on google, those first few links that come back are your first impression.

By the way, Chad is an extraordinary authority figure on personal branding, particularly in networking and sales. His own blog at The New Sales Economy Blog is one of my favorite.

No disrespect intended, but I think Chad may have defined digital first impressions a little too narrow.

In a personal meeting, you typically have one chance to make a good first impression. Blow it – and it’s over. Rarely will you have another opportunity.

On-line, first impressions are radically different. Not only are your first impressions scattered across a wide array of sites, such as LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, forums, discussion groups, Twitter, and many other indexed sites/comments.

Not only is your first impression scattered across a wide variety of sites as compared to a one-time event in person, you also have the ability to constantly improve, manage, build, develop, and evolve your first impression on-line. What appears today in a Google Search is NOT what has to appear next week.

The major question is: are you continuously working on your digital first impression so that you can be “found” by buyers, hiring managers, senior executives, recruiters, and human resources?

Let’s tackle one small area of starting to more effectively manage your digital first impressions: A few months ago, we posted on our website an 8-point Success Matrix to evaluate the effectiveness of your LinkedIn Profile. The scorecard was intended to determine if your LinkedIn profile was strong enough to let you be found by hiring managers, recruiters, and human resources.

Our research around the use of LinkedIn as a Personal Branding Tool and for Job Search 1st Impressions was depressing. Less than 10% of those who took the challenge to assess their LinkedIn Profile using our Scorecard met the minimum standard for effectiveness.

If you would like to gain a deeper understanding if your LinkedIn Profile can be more effective in helping you to be “found”, download the LinkedIn Profile Self-Assessment.


Join our LinkedIn Discussion Group where we release first all our new tools, templates, and advanced self-assessments.

Why is building a job search network worthless?

Effective Job Search through best practices in job search networking

Building a job search network is usually worthless since that is the end goal for most people. Contrary to popular opinion, size does not matter (at least initially). The most important goal of networking is engagement.

Regardless of whether you build your network on-line or off-line, you still need to provide value to your network. Keith Ferrazzi, Author and Blogger at “Who’s Got Your Back” writes in a recent blog posting about the need to be organized to “ping” your network.

Who do you want to communicate with? How often? What will you provide to your network?

The heart of any effective job search networking is to show your network you are a valuable member of their network. How do you do this? You do it through constant engagement.

Do you conduct drip-nurturing with your most important contacts to stay in front on them and have a “top of mind presence”? How often do you call, send interesting articles, provide links to good information, and focus on their specific needs?

Are you a connector in your network, constantly looking for ways to put people together that is mutually beneficial. Do you get constant requests to be connected with others in your network?

Can you publish information (such as through a blog) that your network might find valuable?

Once you take care of engaging with your job search network, you’ll be stunned at the abundance of job leads, referrals and opportunities that drop through the network into your lap. One of the most frequent complaints I hear from job seekers is “I have a large network, but I don’t get any leads – it doesn’t seem like it’s worth it to build a network”. Remember – the operative word is not building – it’s engaging!

Discover if your effective in your job search networking – both in traditional off-line networking activities and in on-line social media networking – to generate an abundance of job search leads, referrals and offers by downloading our Job Search Planning Scorecard. This FREE tool will help you focus on the most important steps to take in your job search, not just in job search networking, but across every dimension of your job hunt.


P.S.: Be sure to download some the archived radio show broadcasts on networking that Brad and I have posted to our FREE Job Search Audio Library.

Misperceptions about Selling in the Interview

Can you be a better listener in the interview with hiring managers?

How do you interview? Are you listening or pitching?

Interviewing is a sales presentation. Forget your traditional image of a pushy sales person pitching a canned response. Instead, use solution selling to uncover all the reasons the hiring manager should select you for the open job.

Miriam Salpeter described a recent article in Entrepreneur Magazine in her blog post “Humanize Your Pitch – Use Your Ears” on the Keppie Careers Blog. Miriam made the connection of what top sales billers do when meeting prospects to the interview process when meeting hiring managers. Her contention was that candidates should focus less on “pitching” and more on listening.

Many candidates fail to listen deeply to the hiring manager and then use that information to pose questions. This technique of listening for opportunities, problems, and issues as conversation starters is a key component of a technique in sales called Solution Selling.

Solution Selling suggests that a more powerful outcome can be achieved by listening and framing questions from what you hear as opposed to the traditional process of “pitching” your rehearsed lines and speech. An excellent book on this subject is called SPIN Selling. It should be required reading for every job seeker.

My Partner, Brad Remillard, wrote a recent article on this blog titled “A Critical Interviewing Mistake” that describes why NOT asking questions in the interview is comparable to being immediately rejected.

STOP pitching as Miriam mentions, and start LISTENING. Your ability to ask questions will improve dramatically.


photo credit by edwindejongh

Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group

Tip To Overcome Interviewing Problems.

A preemptive strike works:

I came home from work one day, and had just walked in the house, when my son came up to me to tell me we needed to talk. He is too young for the birds and bees and probably knows that anyway, so I knew something was up. He explained while practicing his pitching for baseball, he threw a wide pitch and broke the window above the garage. I said “no big deal, all boys break a window once in a while.” He said, “Well that is not all. After that I moved to the other side of the garage and threw another wide pitch and broke the other window too.” He was scared I would be really mad. I thought, “How can I be mad. You stole all my thunder by coming to me. I didn’t have time to get mad.” He performed a preemptive strike.

How does this relate to a search? I was doing a search for a CFO, and one candidate’s resume indicated a lot of turnover. As I went through his background, it became clear that there were great reasons for the turnover and in most cases the company turned him over, not the other way around. The problem was, he wasn’t addressing these in the interview right up front. Basically, he wasn’t defusing a negative situation.

We changed that and put together a script that dealt with the turnover right up front. In the interview, he preempted the interviewer by saying “I realize from my resume, that it appears that I have a lot of turnover, and I can understand why one would think that. Let me explain the circumstances surrounding the turnover and I’m sure it will help clarify this issue.” This defused the situation and completely eliminated any confusion and there wasn’t a problem. The candidate demonstrated they had nothing to hide or be ashamed of.

The candidate did get a job and wrote to us saying he felt this technique played a major role in getting past the first interview.

Also, in case you are wondering, my son has broken the same windows again. I now buy replacement windows in bulk.

The worst thing candidates can do is assume that because the interviewer didn’t bring up the issue it means it isn’t an issue. The fact is, the interviewer is thinking it isn’t an issue worth discussing, because they have already come to a conclusion without even discussing it.

By bringing the issue up first it allows you to discuss it openly and clearly demonstrates you have nothing to hide.

Our “Complete Job Search Home Study Course” addresses exactly how to handle this and many other issues candidates encounter and often mishandle during their job search. One misstep like the one above can cost you a job, resulting in thousands of dollars in lost wages. To review the content of the home study course and have it sent to you for only$14.95 (We will even pay the shipping.) CLICK HERE.

For many more tips and help, join our Linkedin Job Search Networking group. It is free, and provides a wealth of great discussion and news. CLICK HERE

Join us on the radio every Monday at 11AM PDT on as Barry and I discuss a variety of topics to shorten your time in search. Our audio library has past shows for you to download for free. CLICK HERE

6 Reasons Why LinkedIn Is So Critical In A Job Search

A candidate recently asked me, “How do I find a hiring manager in a large company like Microsoft?” There are a lot of ways to do this but one of the easiest and best is using LinkedIn. When I recommended this to the candidate he completely agreed, however, the problem was he only had about 60 connections. Too few to be effective.

So often I speak with candidates that just don’t understand the value of LinkedIn as a job search tool. We constantly are sent invitations to join someone’s network only to find after months of searching they are just now starting build a LinkedIn network. You should consider building your LinkedIn networking all the time. NOT JUST WHEN IN A JOB SEARCH.

Some benefits to a large LinkedIn database of contacts:

  1. People can find you. The more people at the second and third degrees of separation the more times you will show up in a search. For example, I have around 500 contacts. However, I am linked to over 5 million people on LinkedIn. When I search for a candidate that is a huge database.
  2. LinkedIn will eliminate the need for resume databases on Ladders, Monster, Careerbuilder and other job boards. This is because it costs on average between 5,000 and 10,000 dollars to have access to these resume databases. LinkedIn is free. Why would a recruiter or any company pay that when we can use LinkedIn for free.
  3. Resumes databases by the job boards are not pick up by Google or any search engine. These are the ones you want to make sure you show up on. LinkedIn is and you can even improve your search results for as little as $25 a month. (See prior blog article SEO Your Search On Google)
  4. It helps you find the people you want an introduction to. This is very powerful. I have helped numerous people with introductions as a result of LinkedIn. On a weekly basis I receive requests indicating they found a person in my connections and would I make an introduction. I always agree.
  5. Even when working this is a great tool for resources, customer contacts and introductions, references, service providers and even potential hires for you or your company.
  6. On a personal basis it is a great way to stay in-touch with friends, colleagues, prior employees and networking contacts. When you update your profile they will get a notice and likewise when they update theirs.

Work hard at building your connections. Make every effort to reach that magic 500+. If you use Outlook download the LinkedIn tool bar. It makes inviting people very easy.

There are many more positives to building your LinkedIn network than there are negatives. Many have resisted. I believe this recession has proven to be good thing for everyone’s network.

If you have other ideas share them by adding a comment. Lets help everyone build a strong network.

A good way to start is building a network is making sure your profile is complete. If it isn’t start there and then begin expanding your contacts. Don’t miss the opportunity to get a high ranking on Google.

You can download for free our “8 Matrix LinkedIn Profile Assessment” tool.

Our complete job search home study course the, “Career Success Factor Methodology” is a comprehensive resource that covers all 5 steps in an effective job search. You can review the complete system for just $14.95. We will even pay the shipping and to ensure your success include in a copy of our job search workbook. To review the Career Success Factor Methodology CLICK HERE.

A Critical Interviewing Mistake!

Candidates more often that not miss one of the best opportunities during the interview to shine, to differentiate themselves, and demonstrate their ability to do the job. What a great opportunity missed!!

In most interviews, the interviewer even sets the candidate up with the opportunity to shine and candidates blow right past it. The interviewer asks the soft ball question, “Do you have any questions for me?” A golden opportunity to shine. The questions you ask can outshine every answer you have given so far in the interview.

However, time and time again, I hear candidates do one of two things:

  1. Answer,”No, not really. Most of my questions were answered during the interview.” What a terrible answer. How did the interviewer answer “MOST” of your questions, when they were asking you questions.
  2. Reply with one or two (occasionally someone stands out and asks three) standard, unimportant, basic no-brainer, no forethought questions such as, “What is the budget?” or “What is your management style?” Again, these reveal the candidate has not prepared and is very shallow.
  3. Actually, there is a third, the candidate sits there like a deer in the headlights trying to think of something to say.

This is your opportunity to ask questions that demonstrate your ability to understand the job and what performance standards will be. Challenge the interviewer, ask “Why” are you doing X, probe deeply into the issues you will face once on board, how they manage, etc. Every candidate knows this question is coming in one form or the other. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions is a sign of strength, confidence and demonstrates a depth of knowledge. As a recruiter for almost 30 years, when a hiring manager calls back and says, “This person really asked me some great questions. They made me think in the interview.” I know that person is getting the job.

One component of your interviewing preparation should be questions to ask. Not just questions about the company, but specific questions about the job, ask “why”, ask about communications, ask about past issues, ask about future challenges, ask about people, ask about KPI’s, ask about systems, there are so many issues to discuss to make sure you will be successful.

The best advice I have is ask the same questions you will be asking once in the job to be successful. You might as well know them before you accept the position. Otherwise, it might be a position where you can’t succeed.

This is such a critical issue in our job search workbook, “This is NOT The Position I Accepted” (This wouldn’t happen if candidates probed in the interview.) We list over 150 question to ask in an interview in this workbook. We even break these questions into categories to help identify when to ask the question. In addition, we give you the 10 most important questions to ask in an interview. You can receive this book to review for FREE right now. Just pay the $5 shipping. CLICK HERE

Also, join our Linkedin Job Search Networking group. This is a very active group that deals with every aspect of a job search. All Linkedin groups are free to join and provide a wealth of information. CLICK HERE

Don’t miss our talk radio show every Monday at 11 AM PDT on Barry and I discuss the most important challenges you will face in your search. You can listen to past shows in our audio library. CLICK HERE to enter the library. All files are free to download