Monday, December 24, 2007

An Executive Seeking A Different Opportunity Needs Patience

Patience in the Process; Clarity in Your Goals. When you are a seasoned executive looking to move on, there may be a pot of gold waiting for you at the end of a rainbow, but you need to be patient until the right opportunity presents itself. I don't mean to suggest that you should wait until an opportunity comes to you, rather that you need to have stamina during your search. Sometimes it takes years to find the right fit. And, you need to have clarity in regard to what it will take for you to change positions, because negotiating the deal is as important as getting the offer. Below are a few anecdotes where patience and perseverance were victorious.
~ ~ ~
  1. Four years ago, I began working with an executive at the director level of an international company. After being passed over more than once for several Vice President positions, he began looking elsewhere. I revised his resume several times in three years. Unfortunately, he couldn't land a job that would provide stability for himself and his family. He faced signficant rejection and was demoralized each time he wasn't selected as "the candidate." He remained with his company and continued to pursue other opportunities. This November, he finally landed a new position - at the VP level of another international company!
  2. Two years ago, I had the pleasure of revising the resume of a senior hospital administrator. His background and experience were extremely impressive. He wasn't really looking for a new position, but an executive search firm had contacted him about an interesting position out of state. After learning more about the position, he withdrew his name from consideration and remained content in his position. Recently, he was contacted again by another executive search firm and sent his resume right away. It looks like he is poised to land the coveted executive position, but he said it will have to be something special for him to leave his position.
  3. In the summer of 2006, I wrote a resume for a talented business executive at the Vice President level of a sports organization who was being courted by a couple of other franchises. He came close to accepting an offer at the President level of a larger sports organization, but his instincts during the negotiation process told him it was not the right fit for him. He remained with his team. Then, about a month ago, he accepted the COO position of another sports franchise. He will do wonderful things for the organization, and I will be routing for the team with a big smile.
Whether you are a senior executive or a newer employee, patience in the process will serve you well. And, doing your research and other due diligence about the new opportunity should help you make an informed decision about your future.
Randi S. Lewis, Founder, Resume Boutique LLC, http://www.resumeboutique.com/
© Resume Boutique LLC 2007. All rights reserved.

Tips for Choosing A Career and Succeeding At Work

By Randi S. Lewis
Career Development Professional and Resume Writer

How do you find an appropriate career? And once you do, how do you succeed? Here are a few tips to consider.

Five Things to Consider When Choosing A Career:

  1. Let your passions help guide your career choices.
  2. Identify the things you do well.
  3. Determine what motivates you (i.e.: public service; financial security; fame; intellectual stimulation).
  4. Develop a reasonably achievable plan to find and pursue careers that would align your passions with your aptitudes.
  5. Take risks and don't be deterred by rejection or failure. Success is around the corner.

Five Tips to Help You Succeed At Work:

  1. Learn your craft by working hard, observing others, participating in relevant workshops, and reading work-related materials.
  2. Listen well, ask questions, don't gossip, and take ownership of your work.
  3. Find a mentor to help guide you through your career.
  4. Treat everyone in your office with the utmost respect, while exuding a sense of gratitude, not entitlement.
  5. Ask for feedback and respond appreciatively to constructive criticism.

Randi S. Lewis

Founder, Resume Boutique LLC

http://www.resumeboutique.com/

© Resume Boutique LLC 2007. All rights reserved.

Scented Resumes on Pink Paper? Only if you are Reese Witherspoon!

In the summer of 2006, I wrote a resume for a recent college grad looking for his first job. He had been advised to put his photo on his resume and it was not easy for me to convince him that was not a good idea. He wanted to print his resume on blue paper. Also not a good idea.
~ ~ ~
After all, the only one who could get away with a pink, scented resume was Reese Witherspoon playing a law student, Elle Woods, in the movie Legally Blonde.
~ ~ ~
In the end, he took my advice about the photo and the colored paper. He also landed a nice job in the business world.
~ ~ ~
This month, I had the pleasure of working with this delightful, energetic, young professional again. He is being courted by another company and needed to update his resume. He brought up the photo issue again and told me he thought it was commonplace now in NYC. My response was that I was unaware of this new trend (I even called one of the NYC headhunters with whom I work, who confirmed my suspicions - NO PHOTOS).
~ ~ ~ ~
Earlier this week, I received an email from a representative of HR World (http://www.hrworld.com/), referring me to a recent posting entitled, "25 Things You Should Never Include on a Resume " (http://www.hrworld.com/features/25-things-not-to-put-on-resume-121807/). The list contains very basic, important information about "resume don'ts," some of which should be intuitive. I had to smile when I saw No. 14. Here is what was posted:
  • "14. Photograph: JobFairy.com reports that hiring departments "legally cannot consider your picture in determining if you are to be interviewed, or hired," and that "many companies won't even consider résumés that are submitted with a picture to ensure that they are in compliance with [the Equal Opportunity Employer]" legislation. Keep in mind, however, that if you are applying for jobs overseas, photographs may be the norm on résumés."

I rest my case!

In regard to the other 24 listings about what not to put on your resume, I agree with most of them, but not with all. For example, the two that concern me the most are numbers 4 and 5. As most of you should know, the term is sexual orientation, not sexual preference, for no. 4. And for sexual orientation and religion, whether they would be placed on your resume would absolutely depend!

If you want to know more about my advice on those issues, feel free to contact me at 410-602-2500 or by email at: rlewis@resumeboutique.com.

Happy Holidays. Randi

Randi S. Lewis, Founder, Resume Boutique LLC, http://www.resumeboutique.com/

© Resume Boutique LLC 2007. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

What They Don't Teach You In Law School About Job Search Etiquette

By Randi S. Lewis

Legal Recruiters of AmLaw 250 firms throughout the country have reported similar frustrations, disappointments, and other experiences in their dealings with second year law students during the fall interview process for summer associate positions. Below are a few tips for law students (applicable also to any job applicant in any field) interviewing for summer positions and full time associate positions.

  1. Voicemail message - make it professional: The voicemail message on your contact telephone should sound professional. Your message SHOULD NOT start with the word, "HEY." A simple, "Hello, this is Joe Smith. Please leave a message at the tone," will do.
  2. Returning phone calls and emails: Return phone calls and emails promptly from recruiters and lawyers from the firms with which you interviewed - even if you have no interest in working with that firm. You never want to burn a bridge because a few years after your law school graduation you might decide the firm to which you were unresponsive may be a better fit for you. It is likely there will be a note in your file about your failure to communicate that could hurt your chances of being considered as a lateral candidate.
  3. Decline ASAP if you are not interested: And, if you are not interested in working with a particular firm and have at least another offer with a firm of interest, kindly decline with the other firm(s) ASAP - notwithstanding the NALP rules that allow you to hold a certain number of offers. You will not hurt anyone's feelings. This is a business. For every offer a firm extends, they have multiple applicants who WOULD BE interested in the position.
  4. Accept as soon as possible: If you have an offer from your firm of choice, accept within a reasonable time. Don't hold on to the offer too long if you don't have a good reason. Firms like to receive acceptances early. The firm that gives you an offer remembers when people accept. If you are unsure, establish honest and frequent communications with the recruitment professional to continue reaffirming your interest while exploring other options.
  5. All written communications must be ERROR-FREE: Proofread all emails, resumes, letters, deal sheets and thank you notes before sending them. Make sure correspondence is addressed to the correct person with the correct title.

© Resume Boutique LLC 2007. All rights reserved.

For more information on resumes, interviewing techniques, and summer associate success tips, contact Randi S. Lewis, Founder of Resume Boutique LLC. 410.602.2500 ~ rlewis@resumeboutique.com

http://www.resumeboutique.com/

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Resumes For College Applications - Tips

When helping your child apply to college, how do you highlight aspects of your high school senior's academic and extra-curricular activities to help him or her stand out from the pack of thousands of students applying early decision or regular decision? Here are two suggestions to SUPPLEMENT the college application: (1) Add a Resume; or (2) Add an Activities List.
____________________
The College Application Resume:
The Common Application and numerous individual college and university applications permit a student to attach a resume. The resume should include the following:
  • The student's name, address, telephone number, email address, and social security number at the top, used as a heading on the first page - AND the student's name and social security number (and whatever other information is required by the university) on every other page.
  • High School Information such as the name of the High School, GPA, class standing where applicable, honors courses, AP courses.
  • SAT Scores. If your SAT scores are stellar, add them. They are not a must.
  • Honors and Awards. Depending upon the number of honors and awards, you may want to group them together or separately but do list all of them with the receipt dates and grades (i.e. National Merit Scholar, 2006, 11th grade). Some of the honors or awards will require a short description.
  • Activities. The order of the activities will differ for each student. Some will have stellar athletic accomplishments and Athletics should be listed next. Others will have impressive Leadership or Student Government activities. Participation in Student Clubs, Performing Arts, and other activities should be included as well.
  • Community Service should be a separate category. Many of these activities will have a short description of the work involved.
  • Work Experience. If your child has worked during the summer or otherwise, that work also may be included.

For the Resume and the Activities List:

  1. To the right of each activity you should add, at a minimum, the grades in which the activity occurred and the number of hours per week and weeks per year that your child participated in each activity (take your cues from the college application itself).
  2. Let the information requested in the college application guide you.

The College Application Activities List:

In some instances, particularly in connection with college applications that suggest you may attach a list to expound on your activities. You may decide that all you need is to augment your activities. Your activities list contains much of the same information and in the same or a similar format as a resume. Below are some similarities and differences:

  • Name and Document Title. Your child's name, social security number and other contact information should be the same as if you were submitting a resume. IN ADDITION, after the contact information on the first page, you should place a title, the name of which will depend upon the application requirements. Each subsequent page should have that information at the top with the page number. For example: a student applying to Duke University a couple of years ago attached an Activities List and this is how she titled it:

Attachment to Duke University Admissions Application C. Activities

  • As a general rule, List Each Activity In Order of Importance to Your Child. Make the format reader friendly. For example, the categories of activities should have a title in bold and underlined.
  • The activities listed should expand upon the list on the application and it may include activities such as sports, performing arts, community service, and work experience.

Disclaimer: These suggestions are not intended to supplant your own judgment, specific directions from the university, or the instructions given to you by the school's college counselor. Use the college counselor as your primary resource. Make sure you have thoroughly studied the admissions and other relevant information posted on the website of each university to which your child will send an application. The information the school wants you to know may be invaluable to you and your child in the application process.

© 2007 by Resume Boutique LLC. All rights reserved.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Summer Associate Tips for Law Students - What to do if You Don't Get An Offer

By Randi Lewis
You were lucky enough to be among the 20% of your law school class who worked in an Am Law 250 law firm as a summer associate. You may have worked hard. You may have partied too much and failed to take the summer program seriously. What happens after you complete your summer program?
You might have a sense as to whether the law firm will ask you to return. But you can't be sure until you hear it directly from the hiring partner.
_ _ _
So what do you do if you believe, based upon a series of less than stellar reviews, or if you were told off the record, that you won't be receiving an offer? Here are a few thoughts:
  • If you are relatively certain you will not get an offer, touch base informally with one of the recruitment professionals and float the idea of withdrawing your name from consideration because [you want to work in a different city OR you want to try a different law firm OR you want to work in government or a non-profit].
  • If you are told about not getting an offer before you withdraw your name, you may want to ask if the firm would permit you to withdraw your name from consideration so you can maximize your chances of getting an offer from another firm.
  • Whether or not you withdraw your name, you must determine how you can get a good reference from the firm. Ask your recruitment professional about the protocol. You also could talk with a lawyer in the firm for whom you believe you did good work and ask if he/she will serve as a reference.

For more resume and interview tips, contact Randi S. Lewis, Founder, Resume Boutique LLC ~ 410.602.2500. http://www.resumeboutique.com/ ~ info@resumeboutique.com

© 2007 Resume Boutique LLC. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 02, 2007

A Resume MUST: Be Truthful - A Lesson Learned

By Randi S. Lewis
~ ~ ~
Why is it so important to tell the truth on your resume? The answer is simple: if you fabricate something on your resume, one way or another, your untruthfulness will be uncovered.
~ ~ ~
Last week, the headmaster of an elite all-boys prep school in Maryland was asked to resign due to a non-academic fabrication on his resume. During an annual evaluation of the headmaster (an experienced educator with three academic degrees) it was discovered that he had NOT been a member of an intercollegiate hockey team, as he had noted on his resume and discussed in interviews at the time he was hired 6 years ago. Was it worth the fabrication? Of course not.
~ ~ ~
Three years ago, a young lawyer was given three months to find another job because it was mutually agreed that it just wasn't working out. His supervisors agreed to give a favorable reference. When he first started looking for a job, he was still employed with the firm. So, it was accurate for him to indicate his employment dates were from Sept. 2002 - Present. But by the time he was poised to receive his first offer to join another firm, he had left his firm and his biography had been removed from the company website. This young lawyer did not advise the new company that he had left his current firm. In checking references, the new firm learned he was no longer employed. He didn't get the offer. Would he have landed the offer if he had let the firm know that he had a mutual agreement with his firm that he would be leaving at the end of the month? Maybe, particularly because his supervisors had agreed to give a favorable reference. But failing to provide pertinent information was as fatal here as it was to the headmaster, who told an affirmative untruth.
~ ~ ~
LESSON LEARNED: TELL THE TRUTH.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Job Fair Tip: Consider It An Interview

By Randi Lewis, Resume Boutique LLC
In April 2007, I provided free resume critiques at a law school job fair sponsored by the Maryland Daily Record (http://www.mddailyrecord.com/calendar.cfm?fuseaction=event_details&eventID=263). A few of the students I met knew I both owned this resume business and was a recruiter at a large law firm in town but most did not. Yet, everyone I met acted very professionally even though they were asking me for help on resumes and more. This is something that I, in my role as recruiter, will remember. And if one of their resumes lands on my desk in the future, my vision of their professionalism will be foremost in my mind.
  • I also was struck by how well-groomed and professional looking the vast majority of the students appeared. The few who forgot to "dress up" stuck out. The people who dressed professionally did absolutely the right thing. You always want to dress for your audience - and they did.
  • Don't forget to dress up or dress for your audience when you attend a job fair. In addition, prepare your "elevator speech" about yourself, your academic record and your professional goals and have it ready to use at the proper time. Your next employer could be in the room.

http://www.resumeboutique.com/ ~ info@resumeboutique.com ~ 410.602.2500

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Resume Tips: A Resume Don't

My colleague emailed me a resume the other day and commented that the applicant did not place her contact information on it. I opened the resume and indeed the information was not there -- until I clicked on VIEW and then on HEADER AND FOOTER. The applicant had made a common mistake. She placed her name, address and contact information in the header.

Placing your contact information in the header 15 years ago, when it was common to send resumes through the U.S. mail, was a style choice that had no consequences. But today, when you are emailing your resume to a busy professional who has only seconds to look at your resume and decide whether to read on, it is unwise to place your contact information in the header. Why? Because it is hidden on the document that appears on the computer screen. And that sometimes is enough for the reader to hit DELETE.

So, the resume tip for the day is: place your name and contact information in the text of your resume, not in the first page header.

By: Randi S. Lewis © Resume Boutique LLC 2007. All rights reserved. http://www.resumeboutique.com/

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A WORD ABOUT MILITARY RESUMES

By Randi S. Lewis, Founder, Resume Boutique LLC
Are you in the military now looking for a civilian job within the next several months? Are you a military vet in transition? Are you a professional with prior military experience? How do you highlight your experience in civilian terms? It's not easy! We've collaborated with current and former military professionals in transition, including Iraq War veterans, a Patriot Missle Defense specialist, a 25 year Army vet, and numerous second career professionals with significant military backgrounds and accomplishments. Each resume has its own challenges and there is no template for a successful military to civilian resume. Here are a few tips:
  1. Define as clearly as possible your civilian career path.
  2. Solicit the help of your military transition office if you are having difficulty defining your next step or if you need help with your resume.
  3. Surf the internet for military resumes and study the sample resumes prepared by other professional resume writers.
  4. Organize your resume in terms of the defined core competencies required for each civilian job. You may need to created more than one resume with slight variations.
  5. Place general skills, competencies and achievements at the top in civilian terms.
  6. Translate military terms and acronyms into civilian terms.
  7. Highlight the aspects of your experience most relevant to each position you seek.
  8. Exclude military experience, accomplishments or awards that have no relation to the civilian position you seek.
  9. As a general rule, your resume should be no longer than 3 pages. If it is, it probably means you have not adequately translated your military experience into civilian terms.
  10. Always keep in mind that the training, discipline and experience you receive in the military are invaluable to civilian employers. Be proud of your service and accomplishments.

By: Randi S. Lewis, President, Resume Boutique LLC. ~ info@resumeboutique.com ~ 410.602.2500 ~ http://www.resumeboutique.com/. © Resume Boutique LLC 2007. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, February 26, 2007

EXECUTIVE RESUME TIPS FOR CEO's, VP's, DIRECTORS AND TOP MANAGERS

  • By Randi S. Lewis, Executive Resume Writer and President of Resume Boutique LLC

Executives at all levels need powerful, up-to-date resumes in substance and in format. But more often than not, some of the most accomplished CEO's, VP's, Directors and others in top management don't. And when another business opportunity presents itself, they often send their current resume - the format of which they haven't updated in 8 years, 10, years, 15 years, 20 years - to a retained executive search firm that posted the position. Twenty years ago, we used personal typewriters. Fifteen years ago, Word Perfect was the program of choice. Now most of us use an updated version of Microsoft Word and we've become more sophisticated in our ability to market everything, including people. Even if their credentials get them past the search consultant, the resume is unlikely to wow their true target audience: the entity looking for top talent. Other top executives have skeletal resumes, relying instead on their biographies written by their company's marketing departments. Bios are different from resumes. We've worked with many top executives who have submitted bios in applying for corporate positions only to be asked to submit a resume. Then they search the web for a company to help with their resume. We believe that's not the best time to be looking for a skilled resume writer.

Below are ten executive resume tips from Resume Boutique:

  1. Hire a professional to revise your current resume and to draft or punch up your company bio at the same time. It's easier for someone else to tout your accomplishments and be a bit more bold about them.
  2. Talk with the actual resume writer - the person who will be revising or drafting your resume - before you engage the company to determine her/his: -- Process for working on your resume. -- General comments on the current resume and what types of changes she/he anticipates. -- The total cost and the precise services you will receive [e.g.: are cover letters or other ancillary documents included; is there any period of time for free updates or consultation after the resume is completed; the charge for a resume and a bio]. -- Establish a comfort level with the writer. Use your instincts to determine if this writer is the right one for you.
  3. Once you have an updated and professional format of your resume and your bio, it will be ready at a minute's notice to present to the next professional opportunity.
  4. Update it every 5 years even if you have no intention to seek new employment.
  5. Although I am not a fan of the functional resume, we suggest a hybrid between that and the traditional chronological resume. It will be different for each of you. [The next suggestions relate to your experience and accomplishments.]
  6. At your level, you have significant accomplishments, success is typically measured in return on investment, exceeding projected margins, cost savings and more. Your resume should feature prominent accomplishments.
  7. Your resume also should feature your leadership and management skills and achievements as well as your ability to collaborate well with colleagues in your organization and organizations past.
  8. It also should contain a brief summary paragraph of 3 or 4 sentences below your name and contact information but above your list of experiences. Think of it as an introductory marketing tool.
  9. In some cases, a section on representative skills/competencies or something similar should follow to help the reader understand who you are and what value you'd bring.
  10. Then you would present your experience chronogically but in a manner that groups and organizes your experience in each position.

Although your resumes and achievements vary dramatically, at the end of the resume writing process, we hear the same thing from every top executive: "I should have done this years ago. "

For other resume questions, contact Randi Lewis, Founder, Resume Boutique LLC. http://www.resumeboutique.com/ ~ 410.602.2500 ~ info@resumeboutique.com

© Resume Boutique LLC 2007. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year and Thank You to our Clients

As the new year begins, we would like to thank our clients and referral partners for your business and we hope that you realize and are fulfilled by your professional goals. We have bee rewarded by the personal connections we have made with you and we are thrilled when you let us know you've landed that job or that you've been accepted to your college of choice. Remember that we offer free resume updates for a year so let us continue to help you look your best on paper. Below are some of our 2006 clients and referral partners:

PROFESSIONALS AND ENTREPRENEURS

  • Administrative Professionals
  • Business Consultants
  • Business Owners/Entrepreneurs (seeking political appointment, seeking other opportunities)
  • Controller
  • Corporate Vice Presidents
  • Engineers
  • Human Resources Professional
  • IT Executive Director
  • IT Professionals
  • Journalists (changing careers)
  • Lawyers (partners, associates, in-house counsel, government lawyers, judicial clerks)
  • Marketing Professionals (directors and managers)
  • Medical Coordinator
  • Museum Director
  • Paralegals
  • Plant Manager
  • Real Estate Manager/Sales Agent
  • Retail Sales Manager
  • Teachers/Adjunct Professors (college, high school, law school)

STUDENTS

  • College Graduates (seeking their first jobs)
  • College Students (for summer jobs)
  • High School Students (resumes and interview preparation for college applications)
  • Law Students (seeking summer positions, judicial clerkships, and permanent positions)

MILITARY VETERANS

  • 25 Year Navy Vet (seeking security position)
  • Iraq War Vet
  • Army Vets

REFERRAL PARTNERS

  • Executive Recruiters
  • IT Recruiters
  • Legal Headhunters
  • Sales and Management Recruiters