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Blogs about resumes, job hunting, and career coaches. Up-to-date information critiqued for validity and real world application to the job hunt process.



Copyright © Sandra Jackson, JobTownResumes.com, 06/29/2014.All rights reserved.  



A Love Letter To Job Seekers

A Love Letter To Job Seekers

A Love Letter to Hard-Working Job Seekers and Employees.

  • You Are More Amazing Than You Think.
  • Resume Writers Are VERY Nosy.
  • Make Your Resume Be A Job Coach.
  • Makeover Surprise! Yes, That’s Really You.
  • “The Working Man’s The Tough Guy.”

“There are eight million stories in the Naked City.” This line from the 1930’s film ‘Naked City’ and, more recently, Jay Z’s rap song “Empire State of Mind,” always pops into my head after an interview with a new resume client. Many of you may not be familiar with this 1930′s film noir movie and one of TV’s popular 1950’s crime series (think Grandma’s version of “Law & Order”). But you may have heard that line in rap artist/entrepreneur Jay Z’s lyrics from “Empire State of Mind” (featuring Alicia Keyes).

A Love Letter to Job Seekers. You Are More Amazing Than You Think

A Love Letter to Job Seekers. You Are More Amazing Than You Think


I am a Resume Writer who loves movies … AND people’s stories. I have loved ALL my client’s stories. The thing that strikes me when I am interviewing to write resumes is that most everyday people don’t think of themselves as interesting. They downplay their experience on a resume, either because they don’t want to “blow their own horn,” or because they are too close to the subject to evaluate their accomplishments, or maybe they just haven’t asked themselves the right questions. But you are interesting! Hear me when I say, “There are millions of interesting stories in the naked city!”

Love Letter to Job Seekers.Nosey.dog_nose_by_celeryu-d30audp2. RESUME WRITER’S ARE VERY NOSEY!

Your resume writer should be a VERY curious person! Interviewing for a resume, is by definition, a confidential process. I’m going to find out stuff by questioning and, yes, even by intuition, that even your Mom may not know! If your resume interviewer is asking the right questions they get a window into what you are proud of, your philosophy of work, what is important to you, your industry core competencies, what colleagues and bosses think of you, if you are innovative, creative, thrive under pressure, etc. The average person has NOT always considered every one of the questions a resume writer asks nor have they organized them into sections that show off the whole picture. Everyone is different and there are millions of stories in the naked city!


Here’s the deal: don’t take your resume out every 3 years and dust it off. Shoot! Thumb-tack that thing to your home office wall and start making notes on it! Review it every 3 to 6 months. Every time you look at it, think, “What would look great on my resume?” and then do it. Update your resume EVERY YEAR. Each year, assess what you want to do and what would look great on your resume. Make it a fluid work in progress urging you forward.

  • Visualize your future.
  • Determine the continuing education you want.
  • Find mentors and professional job coaches for the next step.
  • Search the internet for your job title. Read what you find.
  • Join professional organizations.
  • Network  like crazy and ask questions.
  • Pick the brains of people who are where you want to be.
  • Read your industry’s news.
  • Be courageous and reach for what you want.


It is gratifying for a resume writer to take the job seeker’s information and craft it into a working document that demonstrates experience and capabilities to potential employers. But the best part of the experience is when the resume also demonstrates to the job seeker, themselves, just how amazing, interesting, and capable they are. A good resume makeover actually surprises some clients and gives them a new found faith in themselves.

Love Letter to Job Seekers.WomanFlyAmong my clients have been stunt women for major movies who are looking for a career change, graphic artists of the “Mad Men” genre, clients who have coordinated high-profile and complicated foreclosures on celebrity multimillion dollar properties, domestic violence counselors, social workers, selfless nurses, accountants, hotel events coordinators handling venues for bands and athletes, sales people, and information technology experts on the cutting edge of innovation, a successful restaurant manager who is now pursuing his passion for space technology, job recruiters who fill homeland security and FBI openings, real estate appraisers handling multimillion dollar properties, empty nest Mom’s courageously pursuing brand new lives and loves, football coaches, and an architect whose passion is leading liturgical communities in the unique design and construction of worship spaces. “There are millions of stories in the naked city.” Every one of my clients has a story and every one of them is amazing.

Love Letter to Job Seekers.stuntperson.clip-art-circus-600589 (3)       Lover Letter to Job seekers.Workplace_Diversity       Love Letter to Job Seekers.architect.construction_worker_4


You knew I had to give you another movie quote, right? In ‘A Bronx Tale,’ Lorenzo Anello (Robert De Niro) said to his son, who seemed to falling under the spell of a flashy neighborhood gangster, the following (one of my favorite working man quotes):

… try and get up every morning day after day, and work for a living. Let’s see him try that. Then we’ll see who the real tough guy is. The working man’s the tough guy. Your father (*and your mother*) is a tough guy.

Love Letter to Job Seekers.You Are Tough.BronxTale.tumblr_m8l6qbsCmk1rdotqro1_400

 Kind Regards (and, yes, Love), Sandy, Your Resume Writer



5 Quick Tips About Choosing College Majors & Careers

Copyright © Sandra A. Jackson, JobTownResumes.com, 04/07/2014. All rights reserved.  

ACK! I Don’t Like My College Career Major. NOW WHAT?

In Chinese, the word for crisis also means opportunity.

5 Tips for Choosing College Career Majors.5.

  • PICKING A MAJOR (Career Tests & Workbooks)

Genius without education is like silver still in the mine. ~ Ben Franklin

My incredibly smart great-niece just went off to college with a full scholarship some 3000 miles away from home last year and is experiencing the inevitable boredom that comes with those first couple years and, what feels even more unsettling to her, questioning the major she originally chose. The first blush of real freedom is setting in and the classes seem a boring rehash of high school. In fact, it feels like she already knows all that stuff the professors are feeding her in class. It’s Déjà vu all over again! Now what? Her plight inspired this article.

Take heart college students.      5 Tips for Choosing College Career Majors.1.


“What to Expect” is a great informational article for parents about what’s happening with their student (academically and emotionally) the first year of college, broken down month-by-month from September thru August of the next year. It includes suggestions about what they can do to help their students. But it is also a great article that any college student should read. Click on the link “What to Expect,” appearing on University of Michigan website.


The consensus from college experts such as Randall Hansen, PhD, in “Your First Year of College: 25 Tips To Help You Survive and Thrive Your First Year and Beyond.”, and from my daughter (a PhD candidate who has been teaching freshmen students the past several years) and from my husband who was a college professor and coach for 40 years is as follows: “Don’t worry about majors and careers the first two years of college.” You don’t really have to pin it down until the 3rd year of college after your general education requirements are fulfilled.      5 Tips for Choosing College Career Majors.2.

The trick is to get through the boring first two years and complete your boring-as-heck general ed requirements. The general ed requirements are going to be a huge “snooze” since they are basically a rehash of high school. They ALWAYS are. It’s a common complaint from College Freshmen. And it’s most intense in February, March, and April if you live in snowy climates. Students are stuck inside. They even have a term for it: “cabin fever.”                 5 Tips for Choosing College Career Majors.4.

The “fix” to the boring-classes conundrum is lots of class variety, time-management, and staying engaged on campus. Have fun with the elective classes and buckle down on the required courses until you get to the real-deal classes in year 3. Get involved in campus activities such as student government and active clubs. Check in with your campus Career Center and your Counselors. The more you get involved in off-campus activities, the more you lose your focus.

My daughter, the freshman college teacher, pointed out,

People think college is going to be sooooo much more exciting than high school but the workout is the same. Getting involved in campus activities is good to do; but really, ‘BORED IS BORED.’ Part of going to college is about managing expectations.

Boring work still HAS to be done, but you can also start to branch out and see if you like some things you didn’t know you liked. Try sampling drama classes or other classes that might interest you. Basically browse the electives. College students are going to goof-off and have fun, period; but the goal is to keep a strong link to the school and be sure to complete enough of the requirements to be in good standing when it is time to settle on a major. 


College has plenty of classes to offer that you DON’T already know everything about. Sit down with the catalog and circle the classes you would take if you could take ANYTHING you wanted to. Then, take some of them with your other classes … take any classes that will rattle the cage.


If you haven’t chosen a major or are unsure, DON’T be in a sweat to choose a major these first two years. There are lots of classes to sample before you have to make up your mind. Choose ANY classes you think you might like to sample different areas, but buckle down on the general ed requirements. Don’t lose focus with off-campus distractions.

(a) Campus Resources

Visit your campus Career Center for help in determining what careers might be a match for your personality and skills. They usually have tests and other resources that help you discover careers that match your interests. Visit the campus counseling office for some academic counseling. Let them know you are bored with the general education requirement classes and see if they have any helpful suggestions.

(b) Career & Personality Tests to Help in Choosing a Career/Major:    5 Tips for Choosing a College Career Major.8

There are a host of personality/ career tests on the internet … some you pay for and some free. I personally tried all three of the following free tests and liked the “16 Personalities” test the best. I found it to be the most accurate. The “Free Career Test” and “What Career is Right for Me?” are pretty good too.

  1. 16 Personalities (click on the link to take the test)

Take the test and then click through to your personality type. It takes you to a descriptive page. At the bottom of the page it gives you categories: Overview, Key Traits, Relationships, Friendships, Parenthood, Careers, and Workplace. Click on each of the categories to get the specifics. It is pretty good.

2. Free Career Test (click on the link to take the test)

Take the Test, then click on “Print Your Results.” Don’t pay any attention to the “Find a School” stuff.

3. What Career is Right for Me? (click on the link to take the test)

Click on “Start the Career Test Now” and answer questions. It will give you a list of careers you may be suited for at the end.

4. Color Quiz (click on the link to take the test)

This is a fun personality/career test supposedly based on science from color psychologists.

(c) Books to Help You Find Your Career/Major     5 Tips for Choosing College Career Majors.9.

The consensus among Career Coaches is that “What Color is Your Parachute” is still the best book for finding careers that fit your interests.

1. “What Color Is Your Parachute? For Teens, 2nd Edition: Discovering Yourself, Defining Your Future,” by Carol Christen and Richard Bolles

2. What Color Is Your Parachute Workbook: How to Create a Picture of Your Ideal Job or Next Career,” by Richard Bolles

(d) Summer Internships

Test the waters for possible careers by working an internship during the summers. Contact your campus career center, family, friends, and do a ‘summer internship’ job search on Indeed.com for your geographical area. Click on Indeed.com, then type ‘summer internship’ in the “What” box and the geographical area in the “Where” box. Click on “Search.”


  1. “Unhappy First Semester?” This article is written by a college counselor about first & second year college doldroms and possible solutions.
  2. “10 Things No One Tells You About Your Freshman Year Of College”
  3. “5 Tips for College Students to Make the Most of Their College Experience.”
  4. “Your First Year of College: 25 Tips To Help You Survive and Thrive Your First Year and Beyond.” ~ by Randall Hansen, PhD. But check #14, #17, #21, #22, and that little box on the top right side: “Top 10 Reasons College Students Leave.”  (He charges for his tests.)


This phase of college will take some tenacity.    VF01

We wouldn’t ask why a rose that grew from the concrete has damaged petals; in turn, we would all celebrate its tenacity, we would all love its will to reach the sun. – Tupac

Stay focused on the end game.    5 Tips for Choosing College Career Majors.14.

So many times, it happens too fast
You trade your passion for glory
Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive.

It’s the Eye of the Tiger. ~ Apollo Creed, Rocky

Even that old Greek philosopher, Aristotle, recognized the “snooze” alarm in education:      5 Tips for Choosing College Career Majors.15.

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. ~ Aristotle

Kind Regards, Sandy, Your Resume Writer

Images by Shutterstock and Bing Free Vector Images.

The Ultimate Job Hunting Cheat Sheet!

Copyright © Sandra A. Jackson, JobTownResumes.com, 03/01/2014. All rights reserved.  

A 4-Point Job Search Strategy to Land Your Next Job.

Job Hunt Cheat Sheet.20

  • All the Job Boards You Need
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Proactive Job Search Techniques
  • Tips From Major Universities

Does your job hunting feel a little like Mission Impossible? Here’s the 411 on job hunting.


That should be #1 on anyone’s job hunting list.

Talk to people you know and people you meet. Keep your network thriving even when you are employed. Always be helpful to those you know and and others will be helpful in return.     Job Hunt Cheat Sheet.21

  • Talk to People: Have a normal conversation. Don’t complain. Let people know you are job hunting. Ask what the job market is like in their industry. “Put it out to the universe.” Note: keep in touch with your contacts, even when you are happily employed. Keep the network alive; it will help everyone in the network.
  • Professional Associations: If you haven’t done it yet, join a professional association in your industry.  Use it to gain additional skills, certifications, continuing education, and to network.
  • LinkedIn.com: LinkedIn, a directory of professionals and companies, is used for networking, job searching, hiring, company research, and connecting with affiliates, including college alumni, industry colleagues, and a variety of other business-related groups. Here are directions on how to set up a profile on LinkedIn, use it for job searches, and join professional groups. How to use LinkedIn for job search networking  
  •  Twitter: Twitter, a social networking and microblogging service, can be used for job search too. Companies use it to post jobs, so you can also search it. Here are articles on the best approaches and the Twitter job search engine.Job Hunt Cheat Sheet.27
  1. How to use Twitter for networking and job searches from About.com
  2. How to use Twitter for job searches from Mashable.com
  3. Social Media for networking and job searches from US News Money Careers
  • Employee Referrals: Give your resume to your contacts for their employee referral programs. Without a doubt, one of the best ways to get a job is through an employee referral program.

Job hunters hired through employee referral are hired 55% faster than those who came through a career site.

According to Jobvite, percentage of hires-by-source is broken down like this:    Job Hunt Cheat Sheet.15.

  • Pink: Hires from Employee Referrals – 39.9%
  • Green: Hires through a Recruiting Agency: 4.6%
  • Orange: Hires from Employer Career Sites – 21.2%
  • Blue: Hires from Job Boards – 14.6%


Just as you are searching for jobs, recruiters and managers are searching the boards for likely candidates.  Job Hunt Cheat Sheet.7.

  • Search and Post: You should both search for jobs AND post your resume on these boards.
  • Use Social Media like a Job Board: Use the hashtag (#) with the type of job you are looking for to perform targeted job searches.
  • Social Media for job searches, US News Careers
  • Indeed.com: One of my favorite and one of the most robust job board search engines is indeed.com. It enables you to search millions of job listings from thousands of websites, job boards, newspapers, blogs, company career pages, and associations . You can save or e-mail your searches.
  • Simply Hired: Another great aggregate jobs search engine.

Caution: Take appropriate precautions with your address and personal information.

Also, if you are currently working and don’t want the company to know you are job hunting, find the job board security setting to block the company from seeing your resume.

(As a precaution, some job seekers set up an email specifically for responding to job queries and purchase a prepaid cell phone to accept job-related phone calls.)


Ok, you have posted your great resume to job boards. Now, what?  Job Hunt Cheat Sheet.3909810-753954-different-jobs-girls-on-white

  • Volunteer: Find a place you would like to work and volunteer. Do a great job. That could be the stepping stone to a full-time job or contract. Volunteering ANYWHERE gives you new contacts to network.
  • Contract: Work as a contractor could lead to a full time job offer. Work directly for a company as a contractor, or sign up with contract service such as Elance.
  • Find a Manager’s Name: When you find an interesting job listing, take an extra step. See if you can find the manager’s name for that department. Look on LinkedIn or do a Google search. If you find the name, submit your resume directly to the manager AND the advertised job posting. The reason: sometimes human resource departments mistakenly weed out resumes that should go through to the manager.
  • Seize Opportunities: Sometimes there is a job right there in front of you. You just have to be bold enough to ask for it. A young woman I know lost her job and was having severe credit problems with creditors calling and harassing her every day. She finally jumped on her bike and rode down to the credit office, went in, and said to them, “If you give me a job I’ll be able to pay you. How about it.” They figured this young woman had enough moxie to fill the bill and gave her the job! As another example, a young Marketing Writer told the Technical Writer at her company that she wanted his job and was coming after it. She counseled him that he had enough experience that he should start looking for a Technical Writing Management job somewhere else where he could make a lot more money, especially since he had been there forever, was complaining about not making enough money, and had a baby on the way. He did just that, and she stepped into his job!

Job Hunt Cheat Sheet.11.4. RESOURCES FROM MAJOR UNIVERSITY CAREER CENTERS:  Non-Academic and Academic Career Resources – advice from Columbia University, Harvard University, and the University of California at Los Angeles. These are a great websites.

If you follow these guidelines, you should be successful. Good luck and ABOVE ALL, don’t get discouraged! Keep at it.

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. ~ Calvin Coolidge

Kind Regards, Sandy, Your Resume Writer

Images by Shutterstock and Bing free vector images.

The Hardest Part of Changing Jobs?

Copyright © Sandra A. Jackson, JobTownResumes.com, 02/25/2014. All rights reserved.


  • 5 Tips for Making it Easier.
  • Great tips from 8 Industry Experts.
  • Ben Franklin’s “The Way to Wealth.” Really?

A client recently asked me, “What is the hardest thing about changing jobs?”

You might think that the hardest part of changing jobs is finding the right one, or finding the right way to resign, or being careful about burning bridges, or lining up available references. Changing Jobs.14

But, undoubtedly, the hardest part is the stress involved in acclimating yourself to a new company culture, new people, and a new set of processes.

The best advice for dealing with changing jobs actually comes from the book, “The Way to Wealth” written by …. wait for it …. one of the founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin. That wizard of famous quotations appears on $100 US bills for a reason!


Changing Jobs.4“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin

  • Plan one week’s wardrobe in advance.
  • Do a dry-run drive to work before your first day.
  • Do a 15 minute workout (yoga, bicycle, etc.).
  • Eat breakfast.
  • Leave early each day to be sure to get there on time.


“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” ― Benjamin Franklin Changing Jobs.10

  • Ask your manager for a go-to person to learn the ropes. Take notes.
  • Get your desk/office and computer software organized.
  • Find your bearings: lunch room, bathroom, the IT person, restaurants, drugstores, grocery stores, etc.


“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

  • Try to remember names when you are introduced. Make notes at your desk.
  • Read the orientation materials that personnel gives you.
  • Pay attention. Do more listening than speaking.
  • If the new technology seems difficult, remember that you are in learning-mode. Now is not the time to be negative. Coach yourself. You can do it. Remember, the best players on a team learn to “shake it off,” “get back up,” and “get back in the game.”
  • Observe social alliances and company-culture conventions.
  • As you learn about new processes, projects, and people, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

4. BE SOCIALChanging Jobs.8

 “Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.” ― Benjamin Franklin

  • Be friendly to EVERYONE.
  • Ask people about their favorite lunch places.
  • Accept lunch invitations.
  • If there is down time during the training process, volunteer to help out on any projects.
  • Don’t compare the new job to the old job, or say “this is the way we used to do it.”


Changing Jobs.yoga “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” – Benjamin Franklin

  •  Go home and de-stress – yoga, walking, or the gym.
  • Do those things you love to do – movies, reading, the theatre, sports, friends – you get the point.
  • Make a to-do list for the next day.
  • Get plenty of sleep.





(1) “Starting Your New Job” from Psychology Today http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/career-transitions/201311/starting-your-new-job

(2) “10 Tricks to Starting Your new Job on the Right Foot” from US News Money http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2012/10/31/10-tricks-to-starting-your-new-job-on-the-right-foot

(3) “Start Your New Job Like a Rock Star” from Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2013/07/25/start-your-new-job-like-a-rock-star/

(4) “10 Must Reads Before You Start a New Job” from The Daily Muse http://www.themuse.com/advice/10-mustreads-before-you-start-a-new-job

(5) “9 Things Successful People Do In the First Week of a New Job” from Business Insider http://www.businessinsider.com/9-things-to-do-in-the-first-week-of-a-new-job-2013-8

(6) “Starting a New Job” from Career Planning http://careerplanning.about.com/cs/firstjob/a/new_job.htm

(7) “Starting a New Job” from Mind Tools http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCDV_29.htm

(8) “10 Tips for Starting a New Job” from Toolbox AfterMarket http://www.aftermarket.org/Magazine/InsiderArchives/Toolbox/StartingFresh.aspx


Changing Jobs.The Way to Wealth,” by Benjamin Franklin

You are probably VERY familiar with the best quotations found in this book’s early advice for success and enterprise, but did you know B.F. originated them?

1. “There are no gains, without pains”

2. “One today is worth two tomorrows”

3. “A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things”

4. “Get what you can, and what you get hold”

5. “Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while the used key is always bright”

6. “Have you somewhat to do tomorrow, do it today”

7. “The eye of a master will do more work than both his hands”

8. “Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”

9. And the cautionary poem:

“For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.”

Kind Regards, Sandy, You Resume Writer

Images by Shutterstock and Bing free vector images.

GRAD STUDENTS : a 4-Point Job Search Strategy

Copyright © Sandra A. Jackson, JobTownResumes.com, 2013. All rights reserved.  


Follow this 4-Point Job Search Strategy to Land a Job in the Private Sector.

Grad Students. 4-Point Job Search Mission. Tom_Cruise_in_Mission_Impossible_III_desktop_1024x768_free-wallpaper-22009


  • Private Sector Job Boards
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Proactive Job Search Techniques
  • Advice from Major Universities

“Your mission, Grad Students, should you choose to accept it, is to embark on a 4-Point Path to your new job. Good luck, Grad Students.”

A few weeks ago we answered a Grad Student question about how to treat a CV when looking for a job in the private sector. The same Grad Student also asked me, “How do I search for jobs in the private sector.” She knew all the academic job boards to utilize, but not the private sector ones.

If searching for a job in the private sector feels a little like “Mission Impossible,” I have 4 methods that will make it Mission POSSIBLE.

Grad Students. 4-Point Job Search. job-search-images-6114

1. JOB BOARDS: First of all, I asked the graduate student if she had posted her resume on any of the academic job boards. She replied that she just used the academic job boards to search for jobs and to do some light networking and information gathering. That’s a good start, but you MUST post your resume on job boards – that goes for academic job boards as well as private sector job boards. Just as you are searching for jobs, recruiters and managers are searching the boards for likely candidates. And there are many, many job boards to choose from. A virtual treasure trove. Here is a link to website with a large number of well-known job boards in many categories. You can both search and post your resume on these boards.

  • List of Job Search Boards on JobTownResumes.com
  • Caution: When you post your resume on job boards, take appropriate precautions with your address and personal information. You may want to set up an email specifically for capturing and responding to job queries and job offers. And you can always purchase a pre-paid cell phone to accept job-related phone calls.

2. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK. That should be #1 on anyone’s list. Use your Social Media tools to your advantage. Set up a professional LinkedIn page and join professional job and academic groups there. Use networking on LinkedIn, at Job Fairs, on Twitter, and in Alumni Associations to your advantage.   http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-image34305089

  •  Job Fairs: A career fair or job fair is a good option to include in your job search plan. Career fairs can range from “real life” multi-employer events to online job fairs. Here is a guide to help you optimize your time at a job fair.  How to Use Job Fairs and Career  Fairs from About.com
  • LinkedIn.com: LinkedIn, a directory of professionals and companies, is used for networking, job searching, hiring, company research, and connecting with affiliates, including alumni, industry, and a variety of other business related groups. Here are directions on how to set up a profile on LinkedIn and use it for job searches.  How to use LinkedIn for job search networking
  •  Twitter: Twitter, a social networking and microblogging service, can be utilized for job search as well as microblogging. Companies use it to post jobs, so individuals can use it to search for jobs. Here are articles on the best approaches and the Twitter job search engine.

         a. How to use Twitter for networking and job searches from About.com

         b. How to use Twitter for job searches from Mashable.com

         c. Social Media for networking and job searches from US News Money Careers

computer-mission-impossible-2-13. PROACTIVE JOB SEARCHES: Use each job board’s search engine to perform targeted job searches. Indeed.com is a robust job search board/engine that pulls jobs in from thousands of web sites and job boards.

On social media, use the hashtag (#) with the type of job you are looking for to perform targeted job searches.

  • Social Media for job searches, US News Careers
  • List Job Search engines, JobTownResumes.com
  •  indeed.com: One of the most robust job board search engines is indeed.com. It enables you to search millions of job listings from thousands of websites, job boards, newspapers, blogs, company career pages, and associations to find job listings that match or are similar to your search query. All searches can be saved and emailed to you or an email alert set, so new jobs are delivered daily. It keeps you from having to go to each job board to do your search. Using a job search engine will save you time and effort, because you can search many of the top job sites at once.   Grad Students. 4-Point Job Search Mission.harvard-logo-eps-i14

4. RESOURCES FROM MAJOR UNIVERSITY CAREER CENTERS:  Non-Academic Career Options for PhDs in the Humanities and Social Sciences – Advice from Columbia University, Harvard University, and the University of California at Los Angeles. They have listed numerous resources. These are a great websites.

If you follow these guidelines, your mission should be successful. Don’t get discouraged. Keep at it.

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” ~ Calvin Coolidge

Grad Students. 4-Point Job Search Mission. canstock14615517But YOU KNOW THAT. It took amazing persistence to get where you are!!

Kind Regards, Sandy,

Your Resume Writer

 p.s. For my Mission Impossible oficionados, a little MI Trivia from IMDb.

Grad Students.MI Trivia.Keri_Russell_in_Mission_Impossible_III_desktop_1024x768_free-wallpaper-26599



Super Managers : 4 Ways to Empower Employees

Ever had a Manager so inspiring, it changed the way you worked?

Copyright © Sandra A. Jackson, JobTownResumes.com, 2013. All rights reserved.

Super Manager - 4 Ways to Empower Employees -


  • What Makes a Super-Manager?
  • 4 Easy Ideas to Empower Your Employees.
  • Helping Employees Find Meaningful Goals.
  • Plus “Top-10 Management Movies,” management movie lists from Forbes, INC., Business Week, and the New York Times. (See movie lists at the bottom of the page.)

As an IT recruiter for 17 years, I had several managers. Four of them made a significant impact on the way I perceived my work and, ultimately, the way I do business as a resume writer and small business owner.

Let’s talk about one of these inspiring managers today. She was a tough manager who demanded excellence, but was innovative, creative, progressive, and had a strong sense of community. Did I say she was innovative? Super Managers. 4 Ways to Empower Employees..

The company I was working for was a traditional, and respected, nationwide company. It had recently purchased the company at which my new manager was working.

“Our” company was a consultant-placement business, replete with savvy sales reps and recruiters motivated to work towards the company’s profit goals. Recruiting can be a competitive and aggressive business.  “Head-hunters” as they are euphemistically called, sometimes garner an unsavory reputation for their tactics, although “our” recruiters were bound by the company’s strong code of ethics and legal standards.

The purchased company was a non-profit consultant-placement company for disabled programmers.  The employees at the purchased company were completely invested in their company’s mission, so it wasn’t surprising to find that the ones who stayed on after the purchase experienced some dissatisfaction. The quest for meaningfulness in one’s works is, after all, an important factor in happiness. Super Managers 3 Ways to Empower Employees ..

Two of us from the traditional company were folded into this ‘new’ branch.

1. A consultant was brought in by our ‘new’ manager to lead us through a decision tree in choosing a “Mission Statement” for our ‘new’ branch.

2. A second consultant was brought in that led us, as a group, through a decision tree process that helped us, individually, to determine what was most meaningful in our lives.

If you have never done either of these programs before, I encourage you to do so. It is life-changing.  Super Managers - 4 Ways to Empower Employees-

3. To foster a sense of community and loyalty with the consultants we placed, our manager implemented off-site dinners or in-house pot-lucks every couple of months that included the consultants. What made this different was that speakers suggested by employees were invited to give talks on timely topics regarding health and finances. And I would argue that a sense of community may be more important than teamwork. Community gives teams, introverts, and consultants a sense of belonging.

4. Another program was “choose-a-charity.” A portion of our branch profits would be given to charity and could be deducted from company taxes. Each employee, at an employee get-together, wrote down the name of their favorite charity, folded the piece of paper, and dropped it in a jar. After shaking the jar, someone pulled out a folded paper, and that was the charity we, the branch employees, chose to donate to that month.

And it worked. We were all invested. We loved it. And our manager for implementing it.

These processes helped us to help others, gave our work a small slice of meaningfulness, fostered a sense of community, gave us a decision-making voice, and empowered us.  Super Managers . 3 Ways to Empower Employees

So, what makes a super manager? Short answer: a manager who inspires and empowers their employees!




Here’s wishing that each and every one of you have such a manager!

 Kind Regards, Sandy, Your Resume Writer


Inspired by this experience, JobTownResumes.com implemented a donation program to favorite charities. Five percent (5%) of each resume sale is donated to the charities listed on the JobTownResumes.com “Charities” page.


Here it is! My Top 10 Management-Style Movies, plus “Everything I Know About Management I Learned from the Movies” by Mike Hoffman from INC. Magazine, The “The 30 Must-See Movies for Business Students” from Bloomberg, “Great Movies About Business” from Forbes, and “An Executive’s Favorite Films About Management” from the New York Times. Super Manager - 4 Ways to Empower Employees -

The Top-10 Management Style Movies:

  1. 9 to 5 (1980) Comedy (PG): Three female employees of a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot find a way to turn the tables on him. (Find it in the JTR Bookstore)
  2. Wall Street (1987) Crime, Drama (R): A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing. (Find it in the JTR Bookstore)
  3. The Devil Wears Prada (2006) Comedy, Drama, Romance (PG-13): A naive young woman comes to New York and scores a job as the assistant to one of the city’s biggest magazine editors, the ruthless and cynical Miranda Priestly. (Find it in the JTR Bookstore)
  4. Working Girl (1988) Comedy, Drama, Romance (R): When a secretary’s idea is stolen by her boss, she seizes an opportunity to steal it back by pretending she has her boss’s job. (Find it in the JTR Bookstore)
  5. Office Space (1999) Comedy, Crime (R): Comedic tale of company workers who hate their jobs and decide to rebel against their greedy boss. (Find it in the JTR Bookstore)
  6. Outsourced, (2006) Comedy, Drama, Romance (PG-13): After his entire department is outsourced, an American novelty products salesman (Hamilton) heads to India to train his replacement. (Find it in the JTR Bookstore)
  7. Elizabeth (1998) Biography, Drama, History: A film of the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch. (Find it in the JTR Bookstore)
  8. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) Drama, Family, Fantasy (Approved): An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. (in JTR Bookstore)
  9.  Norma Rae (1979) Drama (PG): A young single mother and textile worker agrees to help unionize her mill despite the problems and dangers involved. (Find it in the JTR Bookstore)
  10. The Pursuit of Happyness  (2006) Biography, Drama (PG-13): A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he’s poised to begin a life-changing professional endeavor. (Find it in the JTR Bookstore)



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Bad Interview ? – 17 No-No’s

Copyright © Sandra A. Jackson, JobTownResumes.com, 2013. All rights reserved.*


  • 17 Interview No-No’s from Industry Experts.
  • Discussion on Interview Self-Sabotage.
  • You, Me, & Dupree as “Case Study.”
  • An Interview Check-list for you to print out.
  • Email us your funny interview, bad interview stories.

I see you sitting there down in the dumps. So You Had a Bad Interview?!! Whoever of us has not had a bad interview day should step forward and cast the first paperweight. Or something like that. It happens. My advice? No matter how bad you wanted the job, laugh at the circumstances and learn from it. Success is sweet but failure is a darn good teacher.

movie-nightWe’re gonna analyze a case study (er … movie clips). Come right in! Make yourself comfortable. Grab that chair over there.

Let’s roll the YouTube clips!

Every interview is practice for the one that land’s you the job! Let’s have some fun and analyze “You, Me, & Dupree.”

Synopsis: “You, Me, and Dupree” came out in 2006, and starred Owen Wilson, Kate Hudson, and Matt Dillon. In this movie, the best man, Dupree (played by Wilson) has been out of work for quite a while and stays on as a house guest with the newlyweds, Molly and Carl. Dupree clearly has boundary issues. He burns their living room and frequently ends up naked. But even more unforgivable is the fact that he puts a severe strain on the newlyweds relationship.

In this scene, Dupree begins looking for work at the urging of Molly and Carl, and his job interview doesn’t go well when he finds out the company doesn’t close for his favorite holidays.  (Click on the graphic to play the scene.)


Link: The Dupree interview from “You, Me, & Dupree.”

Let’ Analyze: Dupree came to the interview dressed appropriately, but brought a duffel bag with him (not recommended). He spoke with ease and confidence. He brought a résumé. All positives. He was ready for that open-ended stock question managers so frequently begin with, “Tell me about yourself.” It was obvious Dupree had given that issue quite a bit of thought and described himself pretty well. Right out of the gate he sounded like someone who wasn’t even going to pretend to be committed to this job. And then he talked about time off …

Clearly, the conventional analysis of this interview is, “Don’t discuss job benefits and perks in your initial interview at a company.” The conventional wisdom is to wait until you get a job offer or at least until a second interview. It’s also NOT a good idea to emphasize that work is not a priority.

But, let’s dig a little deeper and talk about interview self-sabotage. In Dupree’s case, he didn’t really want this job. He was going through the motions to please his friends. Dupree concluded he wasn’t a fit even before the manager gave up and was happy to walk out. And Dupree’s personal issues … his free spirit, his disorganization, and his search for his passion in life … got in the way of a conventional work world. And, honestly, Dupree was basically OK with that, even if his friends weren’t.

17 Ways You Tank Your Interview: Read these tips on how people sabotage their interviews and how to stop it from 3 mainstream experts.

  1. 10 Subtle Ways to Sabotage Your Interview, Monster.com
  2. 7 Stupid Statements That Can Sabotage Your Interview, PayscaleBad Interview - 17 No-No.s..
  3. How to Stop Self-Sabotage in Interviews, Houston Chronicle

And then there is this self-explanatory list: (1) showing up late, (2) being rude to the receptionist, (3) bad hygiene, (4) completely inappropriate attire, (5) being under the influence, and (6) talking bad about your current or former employer.

Don’t roll your eyes and act like everyone knows that and it never happens. During my 17 years as an IT recruiter, I saw it all, including the inebriated programmer who spit on the rug while weaving down the hall on his way to the interview. It happens.

Sometimes, though, the interview just falls short because of more subtle reasons beyond your control, as evidenced by the August 2013 CareerBuilder Study on “Who Get’s Hired.”

In any case, for those die-hard free spirits who are OK traveling around looking for their passion, the Dupree film has a pretty inspiring ending, but please, (and, yes, you can roll your eyes now and all references to Tony Robbins aside), you know it’s NOT that easy!

(Click on the graphic or the links to roll the YouTube clip.) Bad.Interview.Cupree.talks.at.Career-Day

Link: Dupree gives a talk to Molly’s class on Career Day (above).

Link: Dupree discovers his Tony-Robbins-esque passion (below). Bad.Interview.Dupree.Finds.Passion

So, learn from your interview mistakes, don’t sabotage your own interviews, realize there will sometimes be some things beyond your control, go for jobs where there is a company-culture fit, and, if you are a free-spirit still trying to find your passion, expect a bumpy ride. And last, but definitely, not least, laugh at the circumstances!

There is almost always a funny story in it.

Click on this link to see a very good interview check list from the Daily Muse.  Be prepared. This is a similar check list to the one I gave job applicants when prepping them for their interview with a client company.

Bad-Interview-17 No.No.sTo all my free-spirits out there: Consensus is, “What Color is Your Parachute?” is still the best book on finding your passion.

Kind Regards, Sandy, Your Resume Writer


Click here to call or e-mail me and let’s get started on your resume!

E-mail us your funny interview stories. We’ll choose some to feature anonymously in our blogs. Use the form below. Be sure to include “Funny Interview Story” in the subject line and include a sentence giving us permission to use your story anonymously. There is almost always a lesson to be learned in an interview gone wrong.

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Problem Resumes : Elphaba’s Wicked Resume

Serious advice for handling problem résumés. But you’re gonna smile.

Copyright © Sandra A. Jackson, JobTownResumes.com, 2013. All rights reserved.*

Some people are so misunderstood!

Problem Résumés: Elphaba's Wicked Resume

Problem Résumés: Elphaba’s Wicked Resume

Ever read the book, “Wicked” or see the Broadway play? It’s the longest running Broadway play in history about the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba.  Most resume analysts would agree that her’s falls in the problem resumes category and would pose a challenge. So that’s our case in point and our sample to explain how it’s done. (In case you aren’t familiar with Elphaba, Glinda, and “Wicked,” click on the link, “Wicked” (the musical) Wikipedia for a detailed synopsis. And if you happen to be in exciting New York, click on the graphic below for tickets to “Wicked” on Broadway.)

Wicked-posterSince it’s

Halloween week,

I started wondering, “Just how would one handle Elphaba’s wicked resume?” After giving it some thought and a little imagination, a first draft appeared. Then  resume “Best Practices” from the National Resume Writers’ Association were applied to it. Click on the links below to see it. You’ll have a good chuckle.



Problem Résumés: Elphaba Wicked Resume.pg1 Problem Résumés: Elphaba Wicked Resume.pg2 Elphaba’s Wicked résumé had several problem areas to address.

  1. She had a gap in experience while she cared for her sister and the Winkie Prince.
  2. She left her position suddenly after blowing the whistle on the Wizard of Oz’s fraudulent practices.
  3. Most of her potential references thought she was wicked. She was an animal activist, a crusader against evil, and a righter-of-wrongs. These traits can sometimes be misinterpreted if you haven’t chosen the right occupation.
  4. She had choppy, short independent jobs after her initial executive assistant position. (She disappeared altogether for a while with that faux “melt” stunt after she left Oz, but she spent her time with further education, volunteer work, and consultations on magic during this time. She kept busy.)
  5. Her sorcery was misunderstood. Of course, in my imagination, she was a techie witch. After all, that crystal ball and those ruby slippers were pure genius.


  1. HOW TO HANDLE A GAP IN EXPERIENCE: Tell the truth about your gap, i.e., caring for a sick relative, completing coursework, or getting laid off, etc.
  2. ALWAYS OPT FOR THE POSITIVE SPIN: Of course, it is more of a challenge to explain getting fired.  In these cases, be sure to take advantage of the break to do volunteer work, coursework, and certifications so that you can put a positive spin on activities during that period. This is also true for time after a lay off. Learn from your mistakes, if there were any, and don’t let life’s speed bumps keep you down. Go for that “glass half-full” concept.
  3. ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH: A lie is almost always discovered on a résumé and it will hurt your chances in the end. Recruiters and companies keep databases full of résumés they obtain from applicants and from résumé mining on the internet. I know because I was one of those recruiters who hoarded resumes. Although most employers say they only keep the résumé for six months, it is usually kept longer than that (sometimes years) in a database. They will notice inconsistencies between resume versions and work history when they do reference checking and verifications.
  4. FOLLOW RESUME WRITING “BEST PRACTICES.” Then, be sure to meticulously follow conventional wisdom for résumé writing. Click on this link for a list of “Best Practices.”

Once you’re done writing the resume and have addressed all  problem areas following the “Best Practices” guidelines, cross your fingers and throw salt over your shoulder while chanting “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble” (like Shakespeare’s witches in MacBeth). Wicked.th

Naw. I’m just kidding. You can cross your fingers if you want to, but if you follow the resume suggestions, your resume will look great.

If you’re going to write your own resume, take a look at the industry recommended resume and cover letter books listed in our JTR Store by clicking on this link.

And call me when you’re done writing, so I can proof, edit, and give your resume a polish and shine. It’s a cost-effective way to go. On the other hand, if you’d like to leave all those details to someone else, call me to write or rewrite the entire resume from scratch. Either way, it’ll shine.

Kind Regards, Sandy, Your Resume Writer

p.s. And for goodness’ sake, practice your interview questions so you’ll be ready when they call. Notice I said “WHEN.” Check out “About.com” for interview questions and answers. Or check out “Interview IQ” for a comprehensive look at (literally) lists and lists of interview questions for professionals and executives.

Here’s wishing you a Happy Halloween!

halloween-bat-moon-clipartClick here to call or e-mail me. Let’ Get Started on Your Resume!

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“Help Me … Help You!” Career Coaches and a Path to Success.

Call or e-mail me. Let’ Get Started on Your Resume!

Copyright © Sandra A. Jackson, JobTownResumes.com, 2013. All rights reserved.*

How to Find and Choose a Career Coach

  • How to find one.
  • How to choose one.
  • How they can help you in your career.
  • Links to the associations, lists, and questions to ask.

Jerry McGuire.0“Help Me …

Help You!” 

That was unarguably one of the most famous lines in Jerry McGuire, the 1996 movie with Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Renee Zellwegger about a sports agent who has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it. He decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent with the only athlete who stays with him. Remember that line? And the most famous line in the movie? “Show me the Money!” Classic. And don’t forget, “You had me at ‘Hello.’”

Jerry went on to say, “We live in a … cynical world. … a cynical world. And we work in a business of tough competitors.”

Great lines. And they speak to a lot of jobs and careers in need of help. In the most basic way, that’s what career coaches do. Collaborate with you to get you where you want to go. And you have to really participate … you have to help them help you.

MovieNight.il_570xN.194492300Let’s explore this concept with a few Career Coach scenarios for you! Here are the possible plots for YOUR movie … you being the confused, adorable hero, of course:

PLOT #1: You want a promotion, but you can’t seem to get one. You took a flying leap and ran into a career wall. But you aren’t quite sure how to fix it. Steve or Mary or Elroy, have already gotten a promotion. You are saying to yourself, “I’m able to leap over tall desks in a single bound, save several days in row, and make designer coffee with that milk foam thingy. I think I’ve done everything right, so what’s wrong?” By the way, Sport, can you bring me a cup of that designer coffee while I talk to Mary?

PLOT #2: You hate your job and/or you hate your career and don’t know what to do about it. You are, right now, saying to yourself, “Have I really spent years and thousands of dollars preparing for a job swinging through theater ceilings in a cape and half a face mask? Am I STUCK in this purgatory forever?” (Ok, so maybe this scenario is a little overly dramatic, but you get the point.)

PLOT #3: You are getting ready to graduate from college and you are saying to yourself, “I want to go to Italy and be a top fashion designer, 6 months top. But I’m not sure how to do it.” Uh …. Ok. That’s the spirit, kid.

In ANY of these movie plots, in steps the all-knowing scruffy sidekick (your Career Coach) to guide you to your goals. You come to the crossroads, barely escape the devil, and walk into the sunset with that quirky romantic partner and the funny little dog while the credits roll. (Well … maybe they can’t do ALL that, but they can get you to get your career going in the right direction.)

video-camera-clip-art1THE 411 ON


Career coaches help you figure out how to go about attaining your goals. Some are certified career counselors and some are not. Not all states require certification. They will help you identify and explore career choices. They guide you through the job search process. The career coach/counselor you choose should be qualified and provide clear information about services and fees. Check the National Career Development Association’s Guidelines for Selecting a Career Counselor.

The cost isn’t inexpensive. Career coaches charge anywhere from $50 to $200 an hour.

To find a qualified career coach, you can check the National Career Development Association’s Find A Counselor page, or any organization that certifies career professionals, such as the International Coach Federation (ICF). The ICF provides independent certification that is the benchmark for the professional coaching industry.  College graduates can check their college career office for referrals. And don’t forget to ask friends, colleagues and relatives for referrals to any career coaches with which they have worked.

Here is an article from CBS Money Watch about Life/Career Coaches:  “The Top 10 Professional Life Coaching Myths.” This article actually covers career coaches, executive coaches, and life coaches.

And the Huff Post Business Section has a great article entitled, “13 People Who Prove it’s Never Too Late to Career Change.


Here is a short list of career coaches to choose from. This is by no means a comprehensive list. There are thousands of career coaches across the country. These links will take you to sites owned by other parties. These links are provided as a convenience and providing these links is NOT an endorsement. Career coaching is a very personal service, and everyone’s needs are different. Jobtown Resumes and Sandy Sidebar Blog make no representation as to the nature of the services they will provide to you.

Do you have a Career Coach you would like to recommend? Please send me the information in the comment section below. We’ll add them to our list of referrals.

 1. National Career Development Association’s List of Coaches: Find A Counselor

2. Stanford Business School List of Career Coaches on their Alumni Page


It will be up to you to determine whether any of the coaches have the appropriate skills and experience to meet your needs. To help with this screening process, the Stanford University School of Business has suggested interview questions below.


  1. What is your coaching process and methodology?
  2. What key topics are covered in the sessions?
  3. What self-assessment tools are used? Is there a separate fee for self-assessment?
  4. What are the benefits of a coaching relationship?
  5. What type of individuals are within the area of your expertise? (Job change, executives, job reentry, etc.)
  6. What is your level of experience and what is your track record?
  7. What are your coaching credentials?
  8. What if I don’t live in the same city?  Can I go through the coaching process by phone and/or email?
  9. What kind of time commitment is involved outside of the 1:1 sessions? (Hours per week? Is there homework involved?)
  10. How often will we meet? (Weekly or monthly)  How long? (30 min, 1hr, etc.)
  11. How accessible are you?  Can I call anytime or do I need an appointment? What is your preferred method of contact? (E-mail or phone?)
  12. How many total sessions do your think you’ll need?
  13. How much do you charge?
  14. Do you have references available?



See? I told you I had the real deal for you. Now, get out there and “SHOW ME THE MONEY!” Naw. I’m just kiddin’. You had me at ‘Hello.’

Kind Regards, Sandy, Your Resume Writer


GO FORTH AND PROSPER!  Oh wait. That’s “Live long and prosper.” ~ Spock


*Note: “While these blogs are humorous in nature, make no mistake about it, career development and job hunting is serious business. It takes research, networking, and knowledge of what employers are looking for to land the position you really want. These blogs attempt to incorporate all of the above. My intent is to make you smile, but give you serious tools to get where you want to be. Hope you enjoy!” ~ Sandy Jackson, JobTownResumes.com. Call or email me and let’s get started on your resume!

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