Thursday, November 27, 2008

Facebook Resume and Interview Advice Group Special for College and Grad Students

Are you in college or grad school? Are you going to apply for a summer internship? Now is the time to start getting organized. Are you a member of the Resume and Interview Advice Group on Facebook? If not, join today: From Thanksgiving Day through Inaguration Day, we are running a special for College and Grad Students who are members of our Facebook Group. The offer expires on January 21, 2009. It's time to start thinking about internships and jobs for the summer of 2009. You will need a resume and a cover letter or transmittal email to apply for those positions. This special gives you a resume and a cover letter plus a list of references for $130 (actual cost is $180 so you are saving $27%).
Last year at this time, we crafted resumes and cover letters for students who applied for and landed internships across broad industry sectors. They include:
  • New York publishing company
  • Washington D.C. financial institution
  • New York fashion industry
  • New York investment banking firm
  • Indpendent film company

Let us help you look your best on paper. Call or email for more information.

Randi Lewis, Founder, Resume Boutique LLC

Telephone: 410-602-2500

Email Address:


Monday, November 17, 2008

Obama Administration Jobs

While employers nationwide are laying off thousands of workers, there is one potential employer poised to consider your application:
The Obama-Biden Administration Transition Team
The new Administration is considering the expressions of interest for "non-career" positions. If you are interested in working for the new Administration, go to: You will be asked to complete and submit an "on-line Expression of Interest Form." Within a few days, you will receive an email with a link to a more complete on-line application, which you will be required to complete. If you get to the stage where you will be interviewed, you should have a resume and a reference list ready to submit.
  • Resume Boutique is poised to help you become a part of this historic administration.
  • We will help you navigate the process.
  • Email us your current resume for a free telephone critique.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day - Get Out The Vote

We urged you to exercise your constitutional right to vote on November 4, 2008. Well before midnight, John McCain conceded the race to Barack Obama. Change brings opportunity. Your next job may be linked to the new Administration. Think out of the box. Get your resume ready!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

No Privacy On Facebook: 8 Tips for College Students & Other Job Seekers

By Randi Lewis
Facebook ~ A Means of Expression and Connection ~ But Who's Looking?
It's fun connecting with your friends on Facebook - sharing photos; videos; posting what you are doing and how you are feeling at a given moment. And, yes, there is a big BUT! But guess who is looking at your musings: POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS. Increasingly more employers are searching Facebook postings as reference tools. Facebook is becoming the third reference tool, a modern day adjunct to the Credit Report and the Criminal Background Check. Below are a few absolutes that you should consider well before you are looking for a job.
College students & younger professionals, read on.
  1. Carefully review everything posted on your Facebook page including postings by others.
  2. Remove postings by others that may be funny to you (inside jokes) but could be perceived as immature or unsophisticated by employers.
  3. Remove all photos and videos of yourself and others that are at all sexy or seductive (no low cut tops for girls; no bare chests for boys).
  4. Remove all photos and videos of yourself and others that show excessive partying or the use of alcohol.
  5. Remove all other photos and videos of yourself and others that depict anything that might offend your parents or their friends.
  6. Remove all content (words) that contain foul or unsophisticated language.
  7. Stop writing what you are doing or feeling at any moment (i.e., "Dave is hungover and not going to classes today"; or "This new Facebook layout sucks!").
  8. When in doubt, take it out!

Randi S. Lewis Founder, Resume Boutique LLC ~ 410.602.2500 ~

© Resume Boutique LLC 2008. All rights reserved.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

How and When to Accept a Job Offer in this Economic Climate

By Randi Lewis
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It's the end of August 2008. The job market, like the housing market, has slowed considerably. Although there is more activity in some industries than others, this is not the best time to look for a job. It's a buyer's market - and you as job seeker are the seller.
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Whether you are a college grad looking for that first job or a more seasoned professional who is required or just "itching" to look elsewhere, my advise from the employer's perspective is the for the most part the same. Although you don't ever want to look desperate, you should let employers know in an appropriate way, and especially if they ask you either directly or indirectly about your goals and priorities, that you are sincerely interested in the position with THAT organization.
~ ~ ~
If it's your first choice, let them know and tell them why. Here are a few other general tips - remember, your situation will vary - use your judgment and ask others for help in your process:
  1. Think deeply, analytically, and clearly about which position would be best for you - if you had the choice - and prioritize your choices.
  2. Be prepared to accept the job offer if it comes from your first choice - either on the spot or within short order. If you do not accept on the spot, let the employer know you are inclined to accept and let them know you will get right back to them.
  3. If you receive an offer from your second or third choice, express your genuine excitement and enthusiam for the offer and then try to buy time.
  4. In order to buy time, ask questions like: (a) What are the health and other benefits and would they be able to send you the information about the benefits; (b) Would they be sending you a formal offer letter; (c) What is their preferred timing for responding to the offer and for starting employment.
  5. Then, immediately let your other interviewers know you received an offer and your time constraints. Inquire in an appropriate way whether they could let you know your status within your deadline.
  6. When communicating with your first choice employer and you know you would accept the offer irrespective of the details - let them know that, if they gave you an offer, you would accept it on the spot. OR, if that is too bold for your style, let them know they are your first choice.
  7. In any case, do not string any employer along very long. The manner in which you handle the offer process will make a difference, at least in the short term, in the manner in which your employer will view your interest in the organization and your honesty and maturity in the process.

In this economy, when jobs are scarce, don't play hard to get. Your enthusiam and professionalism will be remembered by your employer.

Randi S. Lewis Founder, Resume Boutique LLC ~ 410.602.2500 ~ © Resume Boutique LLC 2008. All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Personal Growth

There is a wealth of information on the website above. I thought you might be interested in scrolling through it. Randi

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Cover Letters and Reference Lists

Don't sweat the small stuff when you are beginning to look for a new job. Here are a few simple first steps:
  1. Determine what type of positions you will seek.
  2. Find job postings that interest you.
  3. Revise your resume using language in the qualities listed in the job postings.
  4. Craft concise cover letters with two or three paragraphs. Paragraph 1: Identify yourself and why you are writing. Paragraph 2: Talk about work experiences related to the posted position AND what value you would bring to the organization. Paragraph 3: Express your interest in meeting with the employer to discuss your qualifications and express thanks for the employer's consideration, providing your contact information.
  5. Compose a reference list that includes the person's full name, title, name of company, email address and telephone number. If the reference has moved on from the company from which he or she would give you a reference, use the new company and then in parentheses note the prior position and company.
  6. Use the same format for the top of your resume, cover letter, and reference list.

Randi S. Lewis Founder, Resume Boutique LLC ~ 410.602.2500 ~

© Resume Boutique LLC 2008. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Top of Your Resume IS Important

By Randi S. Lewis, Owner, Resume Boutique LLC
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Form and substance matter on resumes. Did you know that a recruitment or human resources professional, typically the person who decides whether to "continue reading" or "discard" your resume, takes about 5 to 10 seconds to make that initial decision? As a result, you want to make sure the top of your resume looks GREAT. Here are a few simple suggestions:
  1. Your name should be in bold and in larger font - 16 or 18 pts. There are a number of ways to postion your name and contact information. One clean way is to center your name and then on one or two lines you should place your address, the best telephone where you can be reached most often, and your email address. The address line should not be in bold and can be in the smallest font - no smaller than 10.5 but more commonly 11 pt.
  2. In the U.S., the most commonly used font is Times New Roman. Garamond if you want an elegant look. If you have a lot of information on your resume, you probably should use 11.5 or 11 pt. font. The font of the texts shouldn't be larger than 12 pt. Your headings can be larger but no larger than 13 pt. unless you are using SMALL CAPS.
  3. Objective vs. Profile or Summary of Qualifications. Most sample resumes suggest placing an objective at the top of your resume. As a recruitment professional who is the first stop for people's resumes, my view is that most Objective sections are meaningless and can serve to undermine the resume. So, my advice: don't waste your time writing an objective. Instead, write a Profile or Summary of Qualifications.
  4. Here is an example of one recent profile I wrote: Accomplished executive with 20 years of sales, marketing and operational leadership achievements in the insurance industry and track record of establishing, developing, maintaining, and growing profitable business relationships in a broad range of industries. Collaborative leader with refined networking skills and proven ability to recruit, train, and motivate top-performing sales teams. Lead and manage operations of firm’s largest revenue-generating department.
  5. Here is an example of a summary of qualifications (or profile): Employee benefits, ERISA, and retirement plan specialist with a recent law degree and more than 17 years of experience working with major companies and financial institutions administering retirement plans. Extremely thorough and detail-oriented professional with experience designing and drafting plan documents and amendments, conducting and overseeing non-discrimination testing, ensuring operational compliance with plan documents, timely governmental reporting, and disclosure of plan changes and modifications to participants.
  6. Here is an example of the profile of an army sergeant looking for employment after completion of his tour of duty: United States Army Sergeant with secret security clearance and eight years of experience in maintenance procedures and repair for Patriot Missile Defense Mission. Strong leader, responsible for the tactical training, morale, health and welfare of other soldiers and for the accountability and maintenance of section equipment. Loyal team player recognized for having unlimited potential, the ability to take direction well and manage time effectively, and creatively executing missions. Seeking civilian position upon completion of tour of duty. ~ ~ ~

Resume Boutique LLC ~ 410.602.2500 ~

© Resume Boutique LLC 2008. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Don't Define Yourself By Whether Or Not You Get THE Job

In this slowing economy, the job market is even more competitive than in years past. In recent months, our clients have had to search harder and smarter to find suitable positions.
This has been particularly true for more senior executives and business owners looking for new opportunities. It's been evident to our resume writers that our experienced managers and executives could add real value to companies seeking more junior employees. But some clients have found that potential employers don't see it their way. For example, an entrepreneur who was seeking upper management/executive opportunities after he recently wound down his financial services company, was answering job postings for managers with 5-10 years experience. "I will work for the same salary as a 10 year executive but bring my 22 years of experience to the table," he told me. "Why wouldn't a company want 22 years of experience and pay for 10?"
~ ~ ~
But the answer to that question is irrelevant. Our seasoned executive cannot set the bar. He has to accept the market's desires in most situations. So, last week, he then went to Plan B: he began contacting every business contact in his Outlook Contacts List to ask for advice and assistance. When searching for the right next position, target your search to minimize your frustration and don't define yourself by not being what the market wants. Find the market that wants what you can contribute. Then start your search with your base: the people who know your skills; your intellect; your work ethic; and ask for their advice and assistance.

When you are a college student looking for a summer position, it's even more difficult to understand that it's not about you if you aren't selected for all the positions you seek! If you are looking for a job in any major city like New York, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, you likely are competing with hundreds, if not thousands, of students throughout the country. You might be a sophomore with a 3.6 from Princeton with a major in economics and you don't get the internship you covet. You are devastated and start thinking there is something wrong with you. Not a chance! There was simply someone else in the job pool, for whatever reason, landed the job. You would have done well too. Just keep on looking for a position. It only takes one job. And when you are working there for the summer, take ownership of your work, go the extra mile, and don't exhibit a sense of entitlement about anything. Exhibit gratitude in your demeanor.

Randi S. Lewis Founder, Resume Boutique LLC ~ 410.602.2500 ~ © Resume Boutique LLC 2008. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Lawyers Close to Partnership - Evaluating Your Situation In Our Slowing Economy

The crash of the subprime mortgage industry, rising gas prices, and a looming recession is having an impact on most sectors of the U.S. economy. Certain law firms are among those beginning to feel the pain. New York firms - even those not impacted by the subprime crisis - are tightening their belts and being more selective in their hiring, particularly of lateral lawyers.
~ ~ ~
Law firm COO's and Executive Committees are preparing for a difficult year. What does that mean for you? Are you next in line to be considered for elevation to partner? You may be less likely to move up the ladder this year - or for the next period of time. If you will not make partner, you may be thinking of going somewhere else. But don't make that decision, and surely don't telegraph that to the partners, until you very discretely test the market. If you are not in an "up or out" situation, in this economy, it may be wise to wait. Here are a few things you can do to evaluate the market in a discrete way to assess the legal market:
  1. Ask a colleague in another firm to connect you with his/her firm's recruitment professional.
  2. Talk with a headhunter or two about their experiences with the market.
  3. Evaluate job websites to determine what experience level firms are seeking now.
If your research leads you to believe it will be difficult for you to make a move now, you should consider staying where you are, working harder, deepening relationships with clients, and attempting to find a way to get some business. Your marketability will increase if you have your own business.
Randi S. Lewis
Founder, Resume Boutique LLC ~ 410.602.2500
© Resume Boutique LLC 2008. All rights reserved.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

What Happened To The Handshake?

By: Randi S. Lewis, Founder, Resume Boutique LLC
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Can your handshake really make a difference? The answer is a resounding YES! Whether you are a high school student going on a college interview or a seasoned professional meeting with potential new business colleagues, the manner in which you greet others matters. A strong handshake coupled with eye contact and a proper greeting will create an initial positive impression. A weak handshake, on the other hand, is perceived as a sign of weakness.
Here are a few simple handshake tips:
  • At the beginning of your meeting, stand tall, extend your hand, smile, look the person in the eye, shake his or her hand fully and firmly, and say, "Hello Mr. Smith, Randi Lewis. Nice to meet you."
  • If you are a novice interviewer, practice this with someone else until you get it right.
  • The handshake should last for about three pumps.
  • You should maintain eye contact the entire time.
  • If you have a strong handshake, your interviewer is likely to form the immediate impression that you are confident and invested in the interview. This sets the tone for the interview and the rest will be up to you.
  • At the end of the interview, stand up, approach your interviewer, extend your hand, shake firmly with the three pumps and the eye contact and say something like, "Thank you, Mr. Smith, for meeting with me. I enjoyed our conversation."

For more information about the importance of handshakes, contact Randi Lewis, Founder, Resume Boutique LLC, at 410.602.2500 or

© Resume Boutique LLC 2008. All rights reserved.