Saturday, December 31, 2011

Why Must I Change My Email Address on My Resume?

By Randi S. Lewis
Founder, Resume Boutique LLC

Throughout the years, we have job seekers to change their email addresses where the addresses may lead an employer to question their professionalism or maturity.  This simple suggestion has been met with almost universal resistance because people are wedded to their email addresses.  Typically, it's the name before the @ that is the problem, such as:  "mikeysmith" (suggests lack of maturity) or "beergal69" (suggests lack of professionalism) that should be changed.  In other circumstances the questionable email address includes the email provider too.  Consider this email address:  "[any name or initial]"  You don't want the employer wondering why you have that email address instead of considering your qualifications to fit the job. 

It is so important to keep your contact information professional that we offer this suggestion: 

Keep your personal email separate from your job search email.  Simply open a free email account like "gmail" and use your gmail address for all employment-related communications. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Resume Tips for New College Grads

New Grad Life posted an article worth reviewing if you are a relatively recent graduate. It is called, "12 Eye-Catching Resume Tips."  Here is the link:

Sunday, October 30, 2011

TMI: Think Before You Tweet About Your Job Interviews

By Randi Lewis

Employers have a laundry list of basic qualities they seek in prospective employees.  One obvious quality is an ability to exercise good judgment.  During the interview, interviewers use different means to determine that basic quality.  An ability to use good judgment in the use of social media has become increasingly important to employers.

With that in mind, here is a tip for those of you who are accustomed to “sharing all” on social media:


You should know that most businesses employ services that notify them by email whenever their business is mentioned on the internet.  For example, check out Google Alerts, which will notify you by email anytime a word of phrase you identify appears on the internet.  So, knowing that, you might think twice before you check in at or Tweet that you are interviewing at a particular company.  Why?

Last month, a Chief Marketing Officer shared this story.  She receives notifications on her email every time her company is mentioned on the internet.  At a break during a Board of Directors meeting, she checked her email and noticed an unusual reference to her company.  With a few clicks on her iPhone, she determined that a person had “checked in” at her company on Twitter.  So, the CMO emailed the Chief Recruiting Officer, who called the Recruitment Manager.  The young man actually had innocently “checked in” on foursquare, which was then posted on his Twitter page – something he does all the time – without thinking. 

Within an hour of the time the interviewee had announced he was interviewing at this company, the recruitment professionals had informed an impression of him – correct or incorrect:  THIS CANDIDATE USED POOR JUDGMENT.

So, the next time you think only your friends see your postings – think again.  Particularly in this job market, think twice before you announce you are interviewing on social media.
Randi Lewis, Founder, Resume Boutique LLC
© Resume Boutique LLC 2011. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 30, 2011

One Anecdote: Patience and Tenacity in Your Job Search in this Economy

One of our Resume Boutique clients just landed a job after a long search.  A Connecticut-based lawyer, he moved to New York City and took a temporary position with the thought that soon he would land a full time job.  But within eight months, the New York legal market began to take a nose dive.  So he did what he had to do.  He was fortunate enough to work for on very long term projects for two firms.  He contacted us in the summer of 2010.  After he took the third temporary position, we recommended grouping all the contract work in one section rather than by law firms.  We continued to refine his resume during this process to present the temporary positions in a manner that enhanced but didn't detract from his credentials.  We also drafted numerous cover letters for different industries. The greatest concern regarding his resume was that there would be too many positions listed that might lead a recruitment professional to discard the resume without taking a second look.

Specifically, the contract work looked like this with bullet points below it summarizing the most relevant information from each position:

Contract Attorney, New York, NY
Aug. 2007 – Present
Contract lawyer for matters involving large financial, securities, and employment actions.  Representative work:

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Email Your Resume in PDF Format

When you send your resume by email, the best way to forward it to a potential employer is to convert it to PDF format first.  When you email by PDF, you ensure that no one can intentionally or inadvertently revise or amend it.  A PDF format also maintains the integrity of your resume so that it looks the same on every computer. 

How do you convert to PDF?  You can do it for free by using a free PDF conversion program on the internet such as the one found at  Or, you can purchase it from Adobe.  It makes a difference.

Randi Lewis, Founder, Resume Boutique LLC

© Resume Boutique LLC 2011. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Emailing Prospective Employers From your iPhone, Blackberry or Other Smart Phone

by Randi Lewis

Should you correspond with a prospective employer while on the go?   It depends.  

Consider this scenario:   You applied for a posted full time position.  The recruiter (named changed to Joan) contacted you and asked you to come in for an interview.  You waited almost a week to respond and then you wrote this in your car from your iPhone just before you went out for the day.  You were in a hurry and didn't read it over before you sent this email:
Subject: Checking in
Joan, im sorry for the delayed response. While i would love to jave the opportunity to work for your company i'm having a hard time with the commute that I would have to make. I need to try to work a few things out since I have two little ones. I was going that I could work from home two days a week would be an option bit it doesn't seem that way. Please let me know what you think.
Sincerely, [Name Withheld]
My response to the writer:  What were you thinking?  Why would you delay in responding in the first place?  Then when you responded, why didn't you wait until you were at your home computer?  And if, for some reason, you had to respond from your iPhone, why didn't you take the time to check your spelling and grammar?  And, this is much too informal and personal to send to a prospective employer.  Use this as a lesson learned.

My answer to the initial question:  If you are corresponding with a prospective employer and you must or should respond right away but the only means to respond is from your smart phone, then of course use the email on your phone.  But take as much time as you need to check spelling and grammar.  And make sure the email makes sense and is not too informal.  Most smart phones have spell checks on them and you should use the spell checks only AFTER you have checked the email yourself.  If it can wait, send it from your computer and check your work.

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Randi Lewis, Founder, Resume Boutique LLC
© Resume Boutique LLC 2011. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

"5 Reasons to Join a Start Up After Graduating" by Eric Stromberg

Eric Stromberg
In April, we posted tips on how to get a job with a start up by a young professional, Eric Stromberg.  His blog posting generated significant interest from college seniors and recent grads working on Wall Street and with other large business who appear to "just want someone to assure them [that choosing a start up is] a rational move."  (See 

Stromberg's recent post responds to those inquiries by giving people five reasons to join a start up after graduation.  If you are thinking about joining a start up, click on the link below to read Stromberg's blog.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Proper spelling and grammar are basic requirements for resumes, cover letters, thank you notes, emails, and all other written communications with prospective employers. This is particularly true in professions that involve significant writing.

Below are six most common grammatical errors to avoid in resumes, cover letters, emails, and other communications with prospective employers.

“That” is for ESSENTIAL clauses (key to the meaning of the word or phrase it modifies). “Which” is for NON-ESSENTIAL clauses.

For example, a sales representative’s original resume contained a bullet point that read:

Developed new business from television advertisers for local NBC affiliate, that increased revenues by 58% in two years.

In this sentence, the word “that” doesn’t help define for whom the applicant developed new business. We already know that from the following words. The word “that” in this sentence is NON-ESSENTIAL. So, it correctly should have read:

Developed new business from television advertisers for local NBC affiliate, which increased revenues by 58% in two years.

Helpful Tip:

Essential clauses do not have commas around them. Non-essential clauses are surrounded by commas.


Another Example Using the “Pause Test”
A C-Level business executive wrote this bullet point on his resume:

Introduced a three-circle model to business operations, which centered on acquisition, development, and operations.

In this case, the clause, “which centered on acquisition, development, and operations,” is ESSTENTAIL to defining the three-circle model. The “, which,” therefore, should have been replaced with “that” in this case. You wouldn’t pause when reading the sentence.

Introduced a three-circle model to business operations that centered on acquisition, development, and operations.


“Who” refers to people. “That” and “Which” refer to things and groups.


  • Use the “HE/HIM” test to decide which word is correct in each sentence.
  • Use the word “WHO” when the sentence, if rewritten, would read “HE.”
  • Use the word “WHOM” when the sentence, if rewritten, would refer to “HIM.”


In a cover letter, should you use who or whom in the following sentence?

I worked on these sales initiatives directly with the company’s President, who/whom promoted me to the Manager position within 8 months of the date I was hired.

Rephrasing the second part of the sentence, it would read: “He promoted me . . . .”

The correct word in this sentence, therefore, would be WHO.


One of the most common mistakes of apostrophe use is confusing YOUR with YOU’RE. They sound alike but their meaning is not the same. “You’re” is a contraction for “You Are.” But “Your” is a possessive adjective that describes a noun by describing to whom it belongs.

 Helpful Tip:

 Use the “YOU ARE” test. If you can substitute the words, YOU ARE, in the sentence, then use the contraction YOU’RE.

The most common misuse I have seen in recruitment-related communications is the misuse of “Your welcome.” This is WRONG. It should be either: “You are welcome.” OR “You’re welcome.”


A common grammar mistake, particularly made by professionals whose second language is English, is the usage of “it’s” in pace of “its” and vice-versa.

Helpful Tip:

"It's" is a contraction for "it is" or "it has."
  • When in doubt whether to use “it's” or “its,” just replace “it is” or “it has” in your sentence.
  • If your sentence makes sense, then use the contraction, “it's.”
  • If it does not make sense then you use the non-contraction “its.”


The topic of ending a sentence with a preposition inspires debate among people committed to proper writing. Although there are times when trying to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition creates awkward phrasing, my view is that you should not end a sentence with certain prepositions such as “at,” “as,” and “for.”

In corresponding with a prospective employer to schedule an initial telephone call, a lawyer wrote, “. . . please let me know which phone number I can call you at.”

He should have written, “. . . please let me know the telephone number you would like me to call,” or simply, “. . . please let me know your contact phone number and I will be delighted to call you at a mutually convenient time.”

Helpful Tip:


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Randi Lewis, Founder, Resume Boutique LLC

 © Resume Boutique LLC 2011. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thinking About Applying to Law School

If you are thinking about applying to law school, here is a site that contains a lot of information, including pre-law advice, school rankings, help with personal statements, and more.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

How To Get A Job at a Startup - Advice by A Wise Recent College Grad

Eric Stromberg
Duke University 2010 graduate, Eric Stromberg, gives aspiring entrepreneurs advice on how to land a job at a startup if you aren't a developer, in an April 20th blog post, which you can find on Stromberg, an economics major who chose to work in a NY startup over Wall Street's Goldman Sachs, works at Hunch Inc. His 7 main points:
(1) Know the landscape better than anyone else. (2) Form an opinion and start a blog. (3) Be familiar with the startup culture. (4) Offer a concrete skill (Stromberg tells about mistakes he made in his first interview). (5) Take an internship. (6) Send cold emails. (7) Understand that most people get non-technical jobs at startups through their network, not job postings.
Take a look at Stromberg's blog. It's also reprinted at't-a-developer-2011-4 . Think about how you can apply some of these principles to your job search and interview situation. It's sound advice.
Randi Lewis
Founder, Resume Boutique LLC |

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Resume and Cover Letter Do's for Managers, Directors and Other Executives

I am working on a resume for a highly accomplished engineer/MBA in Products/Operations Management.  The first iteration of the resume is almost completed. I am refining his core competencies, and looking ahead to the cover letter.  During this process, I often search the internet for similar positions. 

Today, I found this posting on entitled, "5 Key Personality Traits of Operations Managers,"

Leadership | Great Planner | Common Sense | Effective Communicator | Cool Under Pressure

The explanations under each "Personality Trait" are well worth your time to read, particularly if you are writing your resume, crafting a cover letter, and preparing for the interview.

Randi Lewis | Founder | Resume Boutique LLC

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Resumes: What Hiring Managers Want in 2011

  • Question:  What do Hiring Managers want to know when considering the resume of a mid-level to senior candidate?  
  • Answer:  They want to know you can solve problems, help the company run more efficiently, and/or help their business make money.
~  ~  ~  
  • Question:  HOW does that translate to a resume?  
  • Answer:  SHOW, don't TELL
      • Example #1:  if you are a sales representative, writing that you have "excellent sales skills" is telling.  But, writing that you "won 10 consecutive annual sales awards for achieving 110% of plan" is SHOWING.  Because you have made money consistently in the past, the Hiring Manager most likely will infer you will make money for his/her company.
      • Example #2:  if you are a C-Level Executive, writing that you are "responsible for branch office  performance of 30 consultants with an increase in revenues" is telling.  But, writing that your "leadership doubled sales staff from 30 to 60, boosted morale, and revitalized performance, resulting in a 58% increase in sales and a 35% decrease in operational costs," now that is SHOWING.
  • Answer:  HIGHLIGHT Accomplishments | Results | Impact
~  ~  ~  

These are simple answers to a tricky question.  Every resume is different.  For a free Resume Consult, send me your resume and I will let you know what I think - in plain English - no sales pitch.  

Randi S. Lewis  |  Founder, Resume Boutique LLC  |  

© Resume Boutique LLC 2011. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Resumes for Moms Returning to Work

I just read an amusing blog post,, by a full-time mom who contemplated what her "MOM" resume would look like.  Interestingly, I have worked with these back to work moms to help them transform 5 to 13 years at home into something about which they can be proud.  In May 2010, a former retail clothing buyer who has been raising her three children full time for the past 10 years.  Within a short period of time, we had a two page resume that made her feel proud of herself.  What's more, the first thing her interviewers commented on was what a great job she did on her resume.  She didn't get the job, but she made it to the final three, and feels like she has something to contribute to a work environment.

The first back to work mom I worked with was a former practicing lawyer who had been out of the workforce for almost 13 years.  Again, one of the most important challenges is for a mom to appreciate her value.  After she landed an interview with her new resume, we worked on that emotional aspect of her job search, then her attire, then interview prep.  She landed the job!  That was years ago.  And she acted with much more confidence when it was time to move on to the next opportunity.

If you are a mom looking to go back to work, think about all the volunteering you do at school and elsewhere.  Volunteer work should go on your resume.  If you are a mom thinking about returning to the work force and you just want to talk about how to start your resume, email me at and I will be happy to talk you through the process.

Randi S. Lewis | Resume Boutique

© Resume Boutique LLC 2011. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Audio and Video Resumes - The Future In Hiring?

By Randi S. Lewis

Those of you looking for employment know that you need an electronic version of your resume to email or send online.  In the year 2011, businesses more often prefer to receive resumes electronically rather than through the mail.  For the most part, therefore, you don't need to buy expensive resume paper.  Everything is communicated and stored electronically.

More recently, businesses are promoting both audio and video resume packages.  I have no data at the moment in regard to the number businesses or recruiters who are testing these new services.  I have no personal experience with these services and therefore I cannot speak to their benefits.  I still provide the traditional resume and interview services but I thought you might want to learn more about new technology. 

Talent Rooster, a video resume service, promotes its benefits to employers by asserting that "[b]ecause video resumes give hiring managers the ability to see candidates before bringing them in for an interview, a potential employee who may not look good on paper can shine with TalentRooster."  (See  Some career networking sites have a section that permits you to include a video.

Entrepreneur, Bradford Peterson, developer of the Audio Job Interview iPhone App, says his product "allows job candidates to create an actual audio interview they can record from their mobile device and send via a unique URL to employers. No other app we are aware of does this. We are already one the more popular apps in the Business category and the feedback we are getting from job seekers is more than gratifying."

Below are the links for more information about the Audio Job Interview iPhone App: 

Video Demo on the product in use: (Facebook) -

A brief sample interview Bradford recorded of what employers see and hear:

Professional Video Demo:

There are risks inherent in promoting yourself via an audio or video resume, however.  Search on Google for pros and cons. 

I am interested in learning anecdotally whether anyone has had experience with these types of employment screening methods.  If so, let me know your thoughts by emailing me at or by commenting on this post.  Thank you, Randi Lewis