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Three Things That Make Your Resume Skippable Instead of Successful

resume writing tipsPutting together an executive bio can be tough work, especially if it’s been a long while since you’ve hunted for a new position. The job market and its requirements are constantly shifting, so much so that what would have been fine to include on a resume years back is considered far less passable today. Regardless of how long it’s been since you’ve been on the hunt for a job, there’s a variety of things you need to watch out for when crafting your executive resume that often go unnoticed. Below we’ve gathered a list of items you should exclude the next time you update your resume.

Subpar Formatting

This is one of the primary elements that can make or break your resume. Potential employers have so many candidates to sort through they only have a few seconds to spare per resume. Make yours count by keeping it as readable as possible. If your resume is too difficult to decipher, it will automatically be passed over in favor of someone else. This is the absolute last thing you want to happen during your job hunt. Luckily, this problem can be easily fixed.

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Monday Motivator for Your Job Search - Think Positively

positive thinking job search tips

Positive thinking, or optimism, is essential to your happiness and ultimate success. You will be happier, healthier, and more successful when you think positively than when you don't. You will be better, stronger, and more than you were before. Not only that, your positive outlook and actions will affect everyone you have an interaction with. You never know what's going on in the lives of others, and your positivity could help them have a better day. Your encouragement could inspire them to try a little harder and reach a little higher than they may have otherwise.

It's so important for you to think positively and develop more confidence that I want to encourage you to take steps to build up those things in yourself: read books that inspire you; spend time with positive people; find mentors who can help guide you; or even invest in time with a career coach who can help you find and eliminate thoughts or actions that you may not even be aware of that are holding you back.

Start here by reading my 7-part blog series on Positive Thinking in Your Job Search.

Also, consider scheduling a career coaching session with either Peggy McKee or Zanetta Siciliano.

Best of luck!



How to Start a New Job with Less Stress

job search success tipsStarting a new job can be filled with stress--meeting new people, learning new systems, making sure you're doing the things you need to do in order to be successful.

One of the surest remedies for nerves is preparation. The more prepared you are (for anything), the less stressful it will be. This includes starting a new job and interviewing for it in the first place.

In over 15 years of recruiting and career coaching with thousands of candidates, I have found that the surest way to prepare for interviews and the job itself is creating a 30-60-90-day plan for the interview.

A 30 60 90 day plan is simply an outline of actions and goals that you will take in the first 3 months on that job to be successful.

It can help you get a better job than you might have been able to without that extra effort, and it helps your new employer see you as someone special. Not only does this make you more confident and prepared for interviews, it makes you more confident and prepared for your first day on the job.

I received a great email from Kathy as an example of someone who has put this into practice, and I am excited to share it with you:

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Make Your Resume Pop With Some Inspiration from These Stellar Ideas

resume writing tipsA lot of resume advice articles you’ve seen have likely told you to keep the fluff to a minimum. In most cases, this is true. Recruiters generally only have a short amount of time to read your resume, meaning you’ll have to make it count by marketing yourself and your experiences in an easily consumable way. However, there’s no reason to dress your resume up, especially if you’re part of an industry where creativity is a highly valued skill. In fact, creating an original design for your resume may be an excellent C-level personal branding tactic, depending upon your execution. We’ve gathered some ideas for your consideration.

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Worried about a Job Interview via Video Conference? Here’s what you need to do

online video interviewSusanne Jones, University of Minnesota Associate Professor of communication studies, says that about 65 to 75 percent of everything we communicate is non-verbal in nature, according to The Houston Chronicle. That means a lot of what you communicate gets lost in translation, which is not an ideal scenario for general conversation with friends or family, let alone a job interview.  It is important to be eloquent, precise and engaging with an interviewer.

However, what if the venue of the interview is not a sleek office, but your living room? Interview via video conferencing is very common these days. Its saves you time as well as travel cost. Most importantly, you get the opportunity to explore new job opportunities right from the comfort of your home.

Nevertheless, focusing on a job interview via webcam or video conferencing can be tricky, and you need to make some preparations in advance.

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Monday Motivator for Your Job Search - Prepare for Success

job search motivation tips

Think of a sport you haven't played before--maybe rugby or tennis or even basketball. If someone challenged you to a game, how well would you do if you showed up cold--no coaching, no practice, and no knowledge of the rules? You'd have a good chance of losing, right?

Job searching is a lot like that. It is a game (a numbers game) and it takes specific skills that most people either don't have or don't use very often so they're rusty. The more you learn and the more you prepare, the more successful you'll be.

On top of that, each job interview is different because it's with a different company. Each interview takes its own prep work in terms of creating a 30-60-90-day plan and planning your answers to interview questions for that company and that job.

Career Confidential exists to help you prepare and win in the job search.

We have hundreds of informative blog articles on resume writing, LinkedIn profiles, interview questions, and more; and we give away free job search materials to help you prepare and get the job you want. Take advantage of them.

I even hold free training webinars every week to help you learn how to get interviews and prepare for them (no charge). I invite you to attend one or all of these free online training classes that will set you up for success.

See what's available in Career Confidential's Free Training Webinars this week.

Best of luck!



Job Search? Never Give Up!

Job Search Motivation InspirationRebecca had been laid off from her job and came to Career Confidential for help. What she learned boosted her confidence (not just in her job search, but in her career life) and got her a better job than what she had before:

Hi Peggy,

I wanted to say thank you for the help you have provided me.  I must say that the one thing I learned from you is never give up, have confidence and always be selling.  It had even helped me in my day to day work.  It is well worth the price of subscription to your service.

I have successfully secured a position in a company of my dreams, now after six months on the job, I had a pay increase of 15%, now putting me back to the same level I was earning before the last layoff.  I am at a better job, with great bosses and good work life balance.  Thank you.



If you're in a rough spot with a layoff or tough job search, don't give up. All you need are the right job search skills and confidence in yourself. We have tons of resources to help you, too--with confidence, skills, and getting the job you want.

I love receiving emails like this one from Rebecca (Congratulations Rebecca!). Please let me know about your successes in your job search, too. Comment here or email me at

Best of luck!


How You Can Tweak Your Resume If You’re Entering a New Field

resume writing tipsChange can be a scary thing, especially when the change directly affects your future. This is why so many people hesitate when it comes to shifting industries. Those in this process may be transitioning into a new industry with little to no experience or with only indirect experience from their previous jobs. If you’re in this situation, you may be wondering just how to approach this change. First of all, we would like to congratulate you on this important first step! Second, recreating your resume to match your transition to a new field is not the easiest task, but it is certainly doable. Let us show you how.

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Monday Motivator for Your Job Search - Gravitate to Productive and Positive People

job search motivation

Have you ever heard that you become who your friends are? Who you hang out with absolutely does have an impact on how you think and what actions you take. (See 5 Surprising Ways Your Friends Influence You, Backed by Science)

I personally make a point of spending time with people who are successfully doing things that I also want to be good at. I also read books and articles by successful people that I can learn from. What you put into your brain and who you hang out with will have an impact on your own success. Gravitate to productive and positive people to help yourself be more productive and positive.

If you need some job search or interview help, I invite you to consider personal coaching with either Peggy McKee or Zanetta Sicililano, or attend one of Career Confidential's Free Training Webinars this week.

Best of luck!



Discouraged in your job search? Read this.

job search success tipsIf your job search isn't working for you, it's time to do something different.

That's the lesson we can learn from Lina's experience...

Lina had been to 4 interviews without an offer (tough for anyone) but invested in herself by taking time to learn job search skills that helped her get a great job.

Peggy, I just wanted to thank you for all your advice...I was feeling a bit down as I had already been to 4 interviews without an offer...

...I attended basically every webinar that you offered and took in all your tips. I looked forward to your presentations...You offer great advice for job seekers that are over 50.

I was offered a position and started 2 weeks ago, and used your tips to display energy, eagerness to learn, willingness to adapt.

Thank you again, keep up the great work and keep encouraging the ones that are now job hunting.

Lina K.

Discover the job-getting tips you need at Career Confidential's Free Job Search Training Webinars.


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What Makes a Great Executive Resume?

great executive resumeEveryone who has written a resume knows the difficulties involved: listing out all of your adequate experiences and education, figuring out the most efficient way to format and, most importantly, doing all of this in a way that will catch the attention of any prospective employers. This is a challenge for every job seeker and especially so for those on opposite ends of the spectrum. For people with little experience, it’s a matter of not having enough things to list. For those in executive positions, there’s often too much. If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably part of the latter group. In this blog article, we’ve compiled a list of great tips to help executive resume writers craft the best possible resume.

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Now Is the Time to Build Your Network

now is the time to build your networkNetworking is so critical to job search and career success that it’s pretty much ALWAYS time to build your network.

However, now really is a strategic time to pay deliberate attention to cultivating the relationships you have and developing new ones. Why?

For one thing, companies are hiring now—we’re seeing a lot going on with our coaching clients and customers. Even the ones who may be putting their hiring on hold right now may hire in December (actually a great time to job search) and after the New Year.

Reaching out to your network may result in you getting a job now, or it may set you up to be in the right place at the right time in a couple of months. It’s an ideal way to crack the hidden job market.

How do you build or strengthen your network?

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Monday Motivator for Your Job Search - Don't Worry About What Others Think

job search motivation

I speak to a lot of job seekers who get worried when they don't hear back from someone they've sent a resume to or someone they've interviewed with. Unfortunately, their tendency is to think that the person didn't like them, wasn't interested in them, or some other negative thing about themselves.

The reason I like Eleanor Roosevelt's quote is that it's a good reminder that everyone has their own stuff they're wrapped up in. They're not sitting around thinking negative things about you--they're thinking about what they need to do next or what they're having for dinner or that they need to find time to work out or that their kid is sick or that the project deadline is coming up or any of a million other things.

If you haven't heard from someone in a few days, don't imagine that they don't like you or don't want to hire you--call them (or email them) to check in. Communicate.

If you need some job search or interview help, I invite you to consider personal coaching with either Peggy McKee or Zanetta Sicililano, or attend one of Career Confidential's Free Training Webinars this week.

Best of luck!



How to Slow Your Job Search Down to a Crawl

job search tipsCompanies are hiring--are you getting interviews? If not, you may be doing one of these things that will slow your job search down to a crawl:

1) Have a Boring Resume

You do not need a resume on pink paper or with fancy fonts or graphs...but you DO need a resume that markets you, with bullet points and quantification.

If your resume is full of paragraphs with no numbers in sight except for the dates of your employment, then it needs a little spiffing up. Break up your accomplishments into bullet points and quantify them. Add numbers, dollars, and percentages that describe what you did to make something better in your last role.

A lot of people get bogged down in this, thinking they have no way to quantify if they weren't in sales...but everyone can quantify. Nurses can talk about how many patients they saw. Teachers can talk about how many students they had and what percentage passed the state test. Accountants can mention what budgets or dollar amounts they managed. Everyone has something measurable they can talk about.

Read more about how to quantify a resume here.

2) Use a ‘Form’ Cover Letter

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Consider Some of These Important Elements While Writing Your Resume

resume writing tipsThere are many common mistakes job seekers make throughout their searching process, especially where resumes are concerned. One of the most common is using the exact same resume for every position you apply for. Despite popular belief, your tactics for a job hunt cannot be one size fits all. Depending on the industry you’re in and the types of positions you’re seeking, you may have to adapt your resume to fit. This may mean having several copies for different purposes. Furthermore, there are many key elements to include while you’re writing a professional resume. Read on to find out just what they are.

Formatting Your Resume

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