12 Strategies for Ensuring Long-Term Job Security

Employment attorney Richard C. Busse, author “Fired, Laid-Off or Forced Out,” offers the following suggestions for building workplace power:

  1. Learn to like the people you work with. Look for things you can respect in your co-workers. You don’t want to send signals that you don’t like them, because they’re not going to like you either. And that vibe will surely get around.
  2. Communicate often with your

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Distinguish Responsibilities from Accomplishments

Resume writers frequently confuse responsibilities and accomplishments, blending them into a common stew. The two are different:

  • Responsibilities describe the nature and scope of your duties and the stakes, risks and outcomes of the position.
  • Accomplishments, which should always be described in the past tense, are examples of what you have done. They are proof of your performance.

Drawing the Resume Reader a Map

Show me a clear-cut sense of direction. I keep seeing resumes that are little more than buckets into which a lot of data has been dumped in the apparent belief that I will fill in the gaps, synthesize diverse information, connect the dots and tell you what kind of product you are. I have no incentive to do this, given the number of knights eager … [ Read more ]

How to Pinpoint Accomplishments That Will Make Your Resume Shine

  • Ditch the modesty. “The resume is absolutely no time to be humble,” says Heather Eagar, owner of ResumeLines.com, a reviewer of resume-writing services. Remember that you are a solution to the hiring manager’s problem, advises Ms. Rosemarin, president of Sense-Able Strategies Inc. If you are uncomfortable, think of your list of accomplishments as sharing instead of bragging, she says.
  • Review a performance checklist. Ask yourself

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Pattern Your Resume on Leaders in Your Field

  • Talk to professionals in your field. Look for successful people in your chosen career field and human resources managers in that area. They’ll be able to tell you what employers want to see.
  • Limit advice from those closest to you. Sure, your family and friends may be more than willing to look over your résumé, but that doesn’t mean they know what’s correct or what

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Tips for Writing CVs for Overseas Employers

Dreaming about a job abroad? Or maybe your spouse is transferring overseas, and you’re scouting career options. When applying to employers abroad, you’ll need a curriculum vitae (CV)—the job hunter’s document used outside of the U.S. that corresponds to an American-style resume. The differences between them are subtle but a CV is essential to moving through the first step of applying for positions.

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Value of a Reverse-chronological Format

Reverse-chronological resumes answer readers’ natural questions in a logical way:

  • What’s the product you’re selling? (This is answered by the “Profile” or “Summary of Qualifications” section of your resume.)
  • Who has trusted you before? (Answered by your list of past employers.)
  • How long did they trust you? (Answered by the duration of your jobs.)
  • What’s the biggest thing they trusted you with? (Your past job titles.)
  • What were

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Words that Score On a Resume

When you are searching for a new job, a successful résumé is your first hurdle to employment. The way you present yourself and your skills via your résumé can open the doors to a better variety of interviews.

No matter the industry, every employer is looking for candidates with a specific set of abilities and experiences, which are most often described in the … [ Read more ]

Write a Thank-You Letter That Helps Clinch an Offer

Don’t think of a thank-you letter as a thank-you letter. That’s the last thing it is. Instead, view it as an interviewing tool that will increase your chances of winning the offer. If you write and send your thank-you letter immediately after the meeting, you’ll reinforce the qualifications you discussed with the interviewer and rise above other applicants—perhaps to the top of the list.

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6 Resume Do’s and Don’ts


Constructing a resume that earns interviews is remarkably simple. Here are six do’s and don’ts to follow when composing your document.

  1. Begin with a summary.
    Showcase two or three of your most exciting accomplishments. Bullet these items and use numbers to illustrate their extent. It isn’t compelling enough to say, “Grew territory revenues,” or even, “Grew territory revenues in excess of corporate

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Top 10 Blunders of Online Job Hunters

When it comes to using the Internet to find a job, a lot of very smart people are making some very stupid mistakes.

The following is a list of the top 10 online job-search blunders gleaned from the job-hunt horror stories and other howlers I’ve encountered in recent years. Having seen plenty of candidates navigate their online search with ease, I’ve also … [ Read more ]

References Tips

  • Hiring a background firm to check your references is a smart move, especially if you haven’t been receiving offers, says Mr. Rosen. “If you’ve had great first interviews and can’t understand why you’re reaching dead ends, it’s a valuable service,” he says. An alternative is to ask a trusted friend to make some calls.
  • Don’t delete negative experience from your resume. Most likely it will

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How Much Should You Pester Interviewers?

One of the trickier bits of job-hunting etiquette is how much to contact an interviewer following your meeting. There’s a fine line between seeming appropriately interested in your status and being annoying. At some companies, it might be acceptable to send a single thank-you letter, as you have, but no more.

Meanwhile, other employers are impressed when candidates hang on like dogs to … [ Read more ]

Blind Ads

Some ads are “blind”–the employer’s name isn’t given. To find out what company is behind a blind ad, copy and paste the firm’s description from the ad into a search engine, such as Google, suggests Randy Cyr, a vice president in the Wellesley, Mass., office of Gilbert Tweed Associates Inc., a New York-based recruiter. (At most search engines, you can put quotation marks around a … [ Read more ]

10 Networking Tips

  1. Prepare an “elevator speech.” Write a summary of what you want people to know about you that can be delivered in less than 30 seconds. Make it upbeat and succinct: who you are, what you do, what you’re looking for. More than that, and you risk turning off the listener, says Debra Condren, a career coach and business psychologist with offices in New York and

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‘Tell Me About Yourself’ Doesn’t Mean ‘Tell It All’

The following tips can help you provide a memorable and effective response to the “tell me about yourself” question.

  1. Start with the end in sight.
    Despite the deceptive phrasing, the directive, “Tell me about yourself,” isn’t a polite request for your life story. What the interviewer wants to know is, “Why should I hire you?” Knowing this, your goal is to craft a

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Questions About Culture

  • Who are the company’s star employees? And what are they like?
  • How are conflicts resolved?
  • How are decisions made?
  • How does the boss communicate?

How to Answer Questions About Your Weaknesses

To make sure this question doesn’t trip you up, here are seven possible strategies that you—as an interviewee—can use to frame an effective response. Remember that context is as important as content. Whenever you cite a weakness, be sure to remind employers of your strengths. Be honest about your shortcomings, but never cite anything that might genuinely interfere with your ability to do the available … [ Read more ]

5 Ways to Put Out Feelers Before Starting an All-Out Search

  1. Make yourself visible—discreetly.
    Raise your career profile through social-networking sites that work through referrals, such as Linkedin.com and Zoominfo.com. Many recruiters these sites as a starting base, says recruiter David Perry, managing partner of Perry-Martel International Inc. in Ottawa. “You’ve got to do maybe a half hour’s worth of work, and you make yourself eminently findable, without exposing yourself.”
  2. Work your industry associations.

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Make Employers an Offer To Land the Job You Seek

As a newcomer to unemployment, you’ve been taking the standard approach—sending out your resume and banking on a hiring manager to call with a $90,000-a-year job reserved just for you. This is not going to happen.

You need to start using your intellect instead of your emotions, and analyze what’s happening. You’re doing exactly what everyone else is doing, which makes your job … [ Read more ]