Saturday, September 29, 2012

Career Tip for Week 4 in Sept: Build YOUR Brand into YOUR Resume

 As we wrap up the lovely month of September, the final tip of this month is to leverage your brand and have a resume that sets you apart. Know your "brand" and uniqueness and build that into your resume summary at the top and your accomplishment bullets in your experience section. Assisting you with resume building is one of my specialty areas so I'm glad to work with you. A resume that "promotes" you and sets you apart will often land you an interview. In a good market, over 90% of my clients receive more interviews and resume notice after we work together.

At the end of this week's blog, you will find additional resume tips that will also beef up your resume. Once you have a well branded resume that has a nice use of white space, or "resume real-estate," you will receive more attention when you send it out to your network or post it on line. 

If you have questions, I'm here at
Have a great start to your fall and success on updating your resume!
~ Marianne

Resumé Tips


Whether looking for new work or not, it is recommended that you update your resumé every year to keep current with your accomplishments and skill sets.  It is a way to remind yourself of your competencies and value.

Below are 10 tips on how to target and structure your resumé to make it effective. 

1. Always have a particular job in mind when you update your resumé.  Most often, you will be updating your resume relative to the skills and background of your current or last held position. When you forward your resumé to a company, put the position job requisition number in the subject line. Forward both an attachment and a left justified version pasted into your e-mail.

  1. Write a strong Summary Section at the top of your resumé that reflects the unique contribution that you bring to the position. Be specific enough so that the reader can distinguish your unique profile from others. 
Poor Example: Marketing professional bringing extensive experience and strong communication skills. Works well independently and on a team. This statements sounds like many people.
Good Example: Successful marketing professional with over 10 years experience running global programs in both bio-tech and high-tech. Reputation for building strong and productive team relationships with both tech and non-tech members.

  1. The font should be large enough to be easy to read and give an impression of a  “confident” professional. A general rule is to use a minimum font size of 11 or 12. Use of smaller font size than 10 seems timid.  Use of a larger font size than 12, in the main content, looks “overdone.” Fonts with serifs draw the reader in. Fonts without serifs are very neat.

  1. Use bullets and numbers for impact! Bullets are easy to track when quickly reviewing a resume. Numbers draw the reader’s eye to that particular place on the resume. The more numbers throughout, the more likely your information will be read and of interest to the reader.

  1. Write strong accomplishment statements within your work experience history. The statements should both reflect your strengths while targeting the position. The experience should be listed chronologically. This is the most preferred format by hiring managers and recruiters in the Bay Area.

6.  The resume should only go back 10 – 15 years. There are times when relevant experience, to the targeted position, requires including additional years. This experience should be limited or you may include it in an additional information section. Remember that “less is more” for impact!

7. If using a second page, fill a minimum of one-third of that page or the information will look lost or less significant.

8.  Always include your name and contact information at the top of the page.

9.  It is difficult to be objective about your own resumé.  Make a point of getting input from people who know your work.

10.Be sure you check for grammar, punctuation, and spelling.  Remember that it’s not enough to use only the spelling checker.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Career Tip for Week 3 in Sept: Leverage Your Brand

 Last week, I asked you to think of unique areas of strength/talents that you bring to the world of work. It might be your ability to think quickly on your feet in a crisis, problem solve for the best solution or analyze data to determine the best approach and strategy. It may be that you motivate or help others in particular ways such as coaching, teaching or healing. 

This week is the beginning of branding yourself. My suggestion on "branding" yourself is to come up with a simple way to let someone know about you.  Two of my nephews are known for "remaining calm and rallying others in a crisis" so that everyone is safe. One is in the military and the other is a fire fighter.  My brother has a "charismatic stage presence" that draws most people in right away. That's great because he's a musician.

To develop my brand,  I had to spend time reflecting and trying on the ideas for size. Now, I am able to talk about, and give examples of, the ways that I connect people to career resources or to other individuals for information gathering.  I also connect people to personal insights for career development.

The 49ers were the most successful and visible franchise from 1980 through the first part of the new century.And, then things didn't go so well and there was a conscious effort to rebuild their brand. It even included the change of "uniforms back to... a timeless look with a historical presence." (

What is your brand? Begin to create it for yourself. I leave you with a symbol to think of when building your brand. It's a picture of the in process building of the new 49er stadium (Sept, '12)

Have a great weekend! ~ Marianne

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Career Tip for Week 2 in Sept: Leverage Your Uniqueness

This week, I want you to think of what 3 things (they can be qualities, skills, background/experience) you'd want to share with someone who was going to hire you, promote you, give you the chance to work on an exciting new project or enter into a new field. And, imagine that this person will only be able to find out those 3 things about you. What would you tell that person? As you think of your "3", ask yourself what happens because of each one. Example 1: You learn quickly. What happens is that you add value quickly and often become the "go to person" because of your expertise. Example 2: You are passionate. How that plays out is that people around you become motivated to be the best and attain their goals. Example 3: You are good in a crisis. You come up with solutions and plans quickly when unanticipated problems arise.

If this is a difficult exercise for you, choose a partner and be a listener and sounding board for one another. (be sure and take notes) Your next step will be to leverage the 3 areas of your uniqueness for career branding, resume, interviews, etc. Find out more next week.

Have a great rest of the week and weekend! ~ Marianne 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Career Tip for Week 1 in Sept: Let Your Light Shine ~ The Unique You

I want to begin with the inspiring words of Nelson Mandela: "And, as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."  

This month I'd like to look at how to leverage your uniqueness to your utmost benefit. Sometimes, fears or barriers stand in the way of leveraging your talents "your light". We will consider that and also look at how to leverage you and your uniqueness so that you are comfortable talking about your own strengths and shining your light for the world and for work. And, we will take a very practical course so that your light shines forth "in a good way" on your resume. 

This week be aware of where you shine. Just the fact that you lose track of time, when you are engrossed in something, is a big clue for you. Take note of when you are so engaged in something that time doesn't matter! Our light and talents shine so naturally sometimes that we are not conscious of them, just engrossed in what we love doing. More to come next week. Have a great Labor Day! Marianne