Friday, December 31, 2010

Top Job Search Blogs

Resume Boutique recently made a list of 50 Top Headhunting Blogs.  See:  We also made Job Profile's short list of Best Blogs for your job search in 2009.  See:

Both websites contain blogs with helpful information related to your job search. 

Randi Lewis

Tips to Improve Wording on Your Resume

Happy New Year. 

I thought this December 21, 2010 article on was worth sharing with you:  It contains some thoughtful ideas about how to use more impactful language to make your resume stand out.

Randi Lewis

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Blogs and Websites for College Applicants - The Ivy-Bound

By Randi Lewis

It's that time of the year for high school seniors and their parents.  You have submitted your early admissions and early action applications.  You have submitted applications with November 15th deadlines.  Hopefully, you have submitted your application to all schools with rolling admissions.  Some of you are continuing to work on back up applications (which I recommend you do well before December 15th), and others, including those of you who are not applying for early admissions, still have time to submit the remainder of your applications. 

For those of you with Ivy League or similar aspirations, here are a few websites you might find interesting:
  1. "From Hopeless to Harvard,"
  2. Campus Compare,
  3. The College Solution,
  4. Huffington Post blog column,  The writer is a College Admissions Consultant and hosts a website called IvyWise:  Because I do not know the writer, I am not in a position to recommend her services, I think her content could be helpful to you.
In May 2010, we posted three websites that might provide some help to you regarding college interview preparation.  This is the link to the post:  Those sites provide great information to help you prepare for interviews, whether they are with alumni or with the admissions professionals.  Those are great places to start.

For more strategic help on preparing for your college interview, contact Randi Lewis, Founder, Resume Boutique LLC.

© Resume Boutique LLC 2010. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Advice to Law Student Applicants: Do Not Use a Service to Send a Mass Mailing to Law Firms

Last week, an experienced, highly regarded legal recruitment professional working in a major U.S. law firm forwarded me an email by a law student.  The email had a resume attached and asked for more information about the firm's summer associate program.  My colleague thought the email was curious and asked me:
"Do you think this is a professional resume writer sending out resumes on this candidate's behalf?"
What do you think?  Why was the email unusual?  First, the name of the resume attached did not identify the student.  Instead, it contained the name of resume company then the words, "LAW SCHOOL_ SUMMER ASSOCIATE SEND OUT."   Not a good idea.  My advice to you is to place your name on the document that contains your resume. 

Second, the email said this:
"Hello Ms. [name of recruiter], my name is [name of applicant]. I am a 2L at the University of [name of school but not the correct name because it didn't say law school] and would like more information about applying to [name of law firm]'s Summer Associate program. I have attached a copy of my resume and appreciate any information."

As you can see, the email itself contained errors and showed a lack of knowledge of the summer associate application process.  The greeting wasn't separate from the email (something a law student should know would be unwise); the email asked for more information about applying to the summer program (when law students should know that significant information about summer programs in major law firms, including how to apply for the summer program, is contained in each law firm's website); and, the last sentence was grammatically incorrect. 

This is an example of how to get your resume in the NO PILE.  An experienced legal recruitment professional would be able to determine from the substance of the email, the tile of the attached resume, and the resume itself, that the applicant had no idea why he applied to this firm in that particular city. 

In this economy, you would be better served to ask your career counseling office for advice, particularly about how to target your search.  Find a way to get an informational interview with as many law firms as possible and put on your best show.  Even if the firms are not hiring now, if they find you particularly impressive, the interviewers may remember you when an position becomes available.  

Summer Associate position mass mailings, particularly when you are not choosing the law firms or the cities to which they will be sent, are a waste of time and money.  That's just my opinion.

If you ever have a question about transmittal emails to law firms, feel free to email me your question at   Randi Lewis, Founder of Resume Boutique LLC.

© 2010 Resume Boutique LLC. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

After The Interview - Three Tips For Thank You Notes & Emails

After your interview for a job you would consider taking, we recommned you send a brief thank you note - either by email or U.S. mail.  If immediacy is a concern, use email.  If not, either means of communication is acceptable in most circumstances.  Use your judgment.  Here a are three simple tips to keep in mind:

  1. Keep it short to one paragraph or two.
  2. Make it about the interviewer or the employer, not yourself.
    For example, don't say how much you enjoyed talking about yourself and your accomplishments.  Instead, discuss that you enjoyed learning more about something related to the business, the position, or the interviewer's career.
  3. If you are truly interested in the position, write why the interview confirms your interest.
If you aren't interested in the position, for whatever reason, and you have at least one other job offer you would accept, let the employer know immediately.   The employer needs to offer the position to the next person in line and would appeciate hearing from you ASAP, either to reiterate your interest, withdraw from consideration, or to accept or reject an offer.

By: Randi S. Lewis, Founder, Resume Boutique LLC.  |  410.602.2500 

© Resume Boutique LLC 2010. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Military Resumes Revisited

If you are currently in the military thinking about how to transfer to a civilian job, you need to make a list of your competencies and find what types of civilian jobs are compatible with your military experience.  Then you need a resume.  You can use your performance reports as a guide to outlining your positions, duties, and accomplishments.  Then you must translate the acronyms and abbreviations into plain English.  If you don't, the civilian reader is likely to gloss over your resume and place it aside because he just can't see how your work can add value to his company. 

If someone is helping you on your resume, you may want to refer him or her to this site, which contains a comprehensive list of abbreviations and acronyms:

I am using it now and it has helped significantly.  For more tips how to make your military experience more attractive to civilian employers, see our April 2007 blog posting:

By: Randi S. Lewis, Founder, Resume Boutique LLC.

© Resume Boutique LLC 2010.  All Rights Reserved.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Resume Keywords - The What, Why, and How

We were asked to post the following link on our blog that gives 10 resume tips. Here is the link.

Below are our comments on the use of Keywords, Tip # 1.

We agree.  Use key words.  But what are keywords and how do they help? How do you use them effectively in your resume? Just throwing out words that have no relation to your skills is not helpful. Where do you find the right keywords? The first place to look is on the job posting itself. Then look on the internet for industry-specific key words. Ask people in the industry what skills, experience, and qualities their companies seek.

Keywords can be verbs that suggest certain qualities employers seek such as leadership & team building, problem-solving, and achievements or results. A few examples are:

Leadership & Team Building

led | developed | directed motivated | empowered | revitalized | conducted | spearheaded | presided over


streamlined | strengthened | re-designed  | solved | eliminated | analyzed | evaluated | resolved

Achievements & Results

achieved | turned around | accomplished | produced | expanded  | completed | increased | succeeded | enhanced | created | developed | devised | delivered (on time and within budget)

There are also industry-specific keyword that you also should place in your resume in strategic places. Here are a few examples for business-related resume of experienced job seekers whose experience would call for them to list core competencies in a separate section and/or throughout the resume:

Change Management | Investor, Board, or Trustee Relations | Strategic Planning | Project Management |
Infrastructure Development | P&L Management | Regulatory Compliance | Sales & Marketing Leadership

The Boston College Career Site contains practical information about keywords:

Look for future postings commenting on some of the other nine resume suggestions.  Contact Randi Lewis, Founder of Resume Boutique LLC with more questions about how to use Keywords effectively.

© Resume Boutique LLC 2010.  All rights reserved.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

College Interviews: Preparation is Important

It's that time again when high school students begin interviewing for college admission.  Preparation for your interviews, whether they are formal or informal, will help you feel more confident and present your best.  Take advantage of the offerings by your high school college counselors.  If your school offers mock interviews, participate.  Practice with a parent. 
Make sure you can articulate:
  1. Why this school (know the school's website inside and out - use language from the website in your answer.
  2. Why you (this is how you paint a picture of yourself and why you likely will align with "why this school")
Be prepared to answer questions.  Here are a few websites you might find helpful.  They contain basic interview questions for college interviews.  (lot of good info for college bound people, including chats about particular college interview questions – student to student)

For more strategic help on preparing for your college interview, contact Randi Lewis, Founder, Resume Boutique LLC,

© Resume Boutique LLC 2010.  All rights reserved.


Thursday, March 04, 2010

Law Firm Summer Associate and Entry Level Recruiting Plunged in the Fall of 2009

The March 4, 2010 NALP Now Bulletin for Legal Career Professionals reported that the hiring of summer associates and entry-level lawyers plunged in the Fall of 2009.  This is what was published:

"All of the markers that measure the strength of the legal employment market for new lawyers, such as law firm recruiting levels for summer programs and summer program outcomes, fell in 2009, continuing and accelerating the general downward trend in recruiting volumes that was measured in 2008. The drop-off in the numbers in the second year of the recession was steeper than the decrease in volume seen during the first year of the recession, as the recession continued to batter both the economy in general and the legal employment market specifically. Based on information provided by NALP members about fall 2009 recruiting, the market for entry-level legal employment shrank dramatically, especially for current second-year students (2Ls) seeking a position for summer 2010. This is according to Perspectives on Fall 2009 Law Student Recruiting, an annual report published by NALP on selected aspects of fall recruitment activity and the experiences of both legal employers and law schools. All NALP members will receive a copy of Perspectives on Fall 2009 Law Student Recruiting with their March Bulletin. The report is also available as a downloadable PDF from, and NALP issued a press release about the report this week that can be found at"
What does this mean for current law students?  Most 2011 and 2012 graduates do not yet have legal-related summer jobs.  What's worse, most 2010 graduates - third year law students - don't have any job prospects.  What do you do?  Understand that you have NO CONTROL over the economy or the job market and that you are NOT ALONE.  The economy has reduced the job market in every sector of our global economy.  Here are some thoughts:
  1. Keep actively looking for jobs - legal, quasi-legal, internships, and as a last resort, non-legal jobs.
  2. Network and take advantage of any and all offers of help by people you know and those you just meet.  This help often appears in the form of opening doors. 
  3. Accept every offer for courtesy or informational interviews with lawyers or recruitment professionals.
  4. Prepare for and present yourself in those interviews as if they were actual job interviews because the first impression you make will be a lasting one.  And one contact leads to another and another.
  5. Be able to articulate why you are interested in each job and why you would add value to each organization.  (A recruiter just rejected an otherwise suitable candidate because when asked what about the company was of interest, he replied that he needed a job and the company posted the position on the school's website.)
  6. Evaluate your unique situation after law school.  (a) Will you have loan debt?  If so, when will you have to start paying it back and how much will it be per month? (b)  Will your living situation require you to pay rent or a mortgage?  (c) Estimate your monthly fixed and variable living costs.
  7. If you cannot find a paying legal job, determine whether you are in a financial position that would enable you to work in an unpaid internship position for a year and supplementing that with a paying job (i.e., waiter, store clerk) at night or on weekends.
  8. If you have a sense of entitlement and can't get over the unfairness of it all ~ lose it!  Adopt a winning attitude by searching for what is within reach.  Down the road, employers will be looking at your resume and what will separate you from the rest of the pack is their perception of your resourcefulness and resilience.
  9. Understand that this is a temporary situation.  History tells us that this time will pass.  We don't know when things will turn around but we know they will.
  10. Adopt a positive attitude.  Even if it is forced initiatlly, positive, hopeful attitudes are evident in your daily interactions with people, who will be more inclined to help someone upbeat.
For more information on legal job search tips, see our prior Blogs in 2009 on "Thinking Outside the Box: Your Approach to Finding a Legal Job in a Tight Job Market" and  "The Importance of Informational Interviewing in A Down Economy."

Randi S. Lewis | | Founder, Resume Boutique LLC | | | | 410.218.0586

© 2010 Resume Boutique LLC. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Video Resumes in a Down Economy - Risks vs. Rewards

Yesterday, contributor, Eve Tahmincioglu, wrote a piece about creating video resumes to land jobs.   She profiled two men who created videos that accompanied more traditional resumes.  One landed a job; the other hasn't landed any interviews.  The man who landed a job shaved his head for a marketing position in a razor company.  Clever.  He thought about his audience and the position. 

Do I generally recommend making a video or, what has become more common, creating a web resume, NO.  You have to know your audience.  Although you may think your idea is clever, that you look great, and that your content sets you apart, prospective employers may not.  But there are some times where the potential reward will outweigh the risk.  Read the entire column if you are thinking about a video resume.   The columnist writes the weekly "Your Career" column for and chronicles workplace issues in her blog,