You are here: Home - Tag: resume writer


  • federal resume
    Use the right tool for the job if you want the desired results from your job search.

    Most of my clients seeking a federal resume are also open to private sector roles. After all, they recognize that the federal process can be a lengthy one. Not everyone’s bank account can wait out the process, and it is good to keep one’s options open. But don’t think that a catch-all resume format exists that accounts for both sectors.

    As stated on the website, a federal resume is used to “determine if you meet the requirements and qualifications for a job announcement”. Federal HR personnel operate under strict federal employment laws, rules, and regulations. These prohibit them from “drawing conclusions” or “making assumptions” regarding your experience or qualifications. You have to spell out everything in a federal resume. Don’t assume they will note your oral communication skills or leadership acumen if you do not point it out. They are not allowed to do so. If it is stated as a factor for consideration, you need to spell it out on the resume. Be thorough when it comes to your content. 

    The federal resume infrastructure another factor to consider. The federal resume requires you to include citizenship status, hours worked per week , and supervisor names and contact information. Don’t to be miserly with your margins and spacing. Give attention to brevity and efficient delivery, but even then, your federal resume can easily reach 5 pages in length. That is okay. But please know, if you try submitting that federal resume to a private sector recruiter or a hiring manager, its likely to get trashed. Even before reading your name

    A private sector resume is a completely different animal with a slightly varied goal. This document is used as a “marketing tool” to get the interview. It is there you add more context to your candidacy. Unlike its federal resume counterpart, the private sector resume should be kept to no more than 2 pages in length (3 pages in certain exceptions). Thus, this dictates the need for a difference in approach to content right at the start.

    The private sector resume is not an “all-inclusive” document that spells out every aspect of your experience. We want to focus on highlights and high impact items here. Why? Recruiters spend only 7.4 seconds per resume and we have to be certain the critical “differentiating” content isn’t missed. Because no one is reading an entire document in 7.4 seconds, right?

    Is there a rule against using a private sector resume for a federal role and vice versa? No, there isn’t. But if you have 250 competitors for 1 spot and don’t even bother to use the tool designed for the task, how can you expect to achieve the objective?

  • Changing Careers
    New starts are never easy. But good preparation can make it easier

    The best part about changing careers is getting that fresh start. Something to give you a new reason to wake up in the morning. But you only get that great feeling if you choose wisely. When considering making what could be a life-altering decision such as changing the way you make your bread and butter, you do not want to do this lightly.

    Of course, some professionals have the decision thrust upon them, as their industries are either contracting or disappearing altogether due to technological transformation. But some of us are looking to change careers because we need a fresh perspective, more money, or other reasons that meet material, situational, or personal growth needs. Before making any hasty decisions on a career change, be sure to consider these three things.

    Before Changing Careers, Research The Industry Outlook

    Making a drastic move into a new profession just because it sounds good isn’t smart. What if that profession or sector is shrinking? What if compensation is stagnating? Hey, what if it just is not as wholly rewarding as you initially thought? Do yourself a favor and do your homework before changing careers.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics often provides good information on everything from 10-year industry growth to prevailing salary averages. Also, companies such as Deloitte provide good sector status information. Another great way to assess viability before changing careers is by connecting with industry professionals on LinkedIn. Once connected, strike up a conversation and get their input on where they feel the industry or profession is headed.

    How Do You Support Yourself During The Career Change Transition

    Okay, your research has revealed that your new career target is viable. It is now time to plan the execution. Is your new career direction one that you can pursue while holding down your current position? Or will the transformation require a time commitment that will not allow you to remain employed where you are currently? If you need to quit your job to pursue this career change, will you rely on any savings or nest egg, or do you have a secondary source of income that will help “grease the skids”, so to speak?

    Before doing anything rash, be sure to give this some thought. Of course, some of you out there are just straight up risk-takers. If you do not have a lot of commitments to others and your psyche is one that can deal with it, then go for it. But know who you are before you do such a thing, as the transition can be a very stressful time.

    Identify Mentors to Guide You Through the Career Change Maze

    There is this theory that one should learn from one’s own mistakes. Well, I don’t buy it. Not when one can easily learn from someone else’s faux pas. When it comes to that new career path you are seeking, someone has already blazed the trail. They know where the pitfalls are, so why should you have to experience them as well? Identify a couple of industry professionals that can serve as mentors and guideposts to provide you with the shortest possible path to your goal.

    What if you are considering taking a certification course that everyone in the industry knows is worthless? Perhaps there is a specific concentration of the new profession that provides more opportunity for growth than others. Someone who has already “walked the walk” is likely to shorten your conversion time and make it less painful.


    Many say different strokes for different folks. But it is also true that sometimes the same folks need different strokes. Going against the inertia of your current career likely won’t be easy. But if you take some time to figure out who you are in that process and build a plan accordingly, it can work. It has been done before. The average person will change careers up to 7 times during their working life. You may as well make the transition as smooth as possible. So once you have made the decision, do your research, retool your resume, and get cracking!

  • Senior leadership
    Perhaps it is time to focus on your ability to “lead” and not just “do”.

    After toiling away in middle management, it seems the next logical step is movement to a senior leadership role. But contrary to popular belief, this is not simply just some next step in the career ladder. The difference in mindset and necessary intangibles between middle management and senior leadership is more like a “jump” than a “step”. Moving into senior management means one’s responsibilities are more on the strategic level than the tactical level. This means that what you deal with daily is more abstract instead of tangible. However, the impact is far more wide-ranging and critical to the organization’s success. If you are looking for the top brass to tap you for a position in a senior leadership role, develop these vital skills to provide the best chance of making the leap.

    Senior Leadership Has Ownership in their DNA

    As of this moment, phrases such as “not my job” or “I’m not responsible for that” can no longer be part of your vocabulary. True leaders take ownership for the situations in which they are involved. When you are in senior leadership, no one is going to want to hear about how inept certain team members are. Nor will they want to hear you complain about timelines or resources. When it comes to their senior leadership, top brass will only want to know if you or did you not achieve objectives. So, if you are looking to make the job, you need to start now. If there is a weakness on your project team, take responsibility for shoring it up. Tight timeline on a report that is due? There is no law that says you must stop working at 5 pm. Being part of senior leadership is about getting the job done, regardless of the hand you are dealt (at least for the successful ones, right).

    Senior Leadership Vision (and the Ability to Communicate It)

    Strong senior leadership does not just follow directions. They blaze trails. A key aspect of blazing a trail is seeing things that are not there. At least not yet. Visionaries see the end game before anything has even been mapped out to achieve it. Leaders of vision conceive of what an organization can become. Characteristics of those with vision include the desire to innovate, willingness to take risks, persistence in the face of resistance, communication skills, and a laser like focus. If you are looking to make that leap, you need to step back and take stock of yourself. Have you learned to dream? And dream big? Have you at least worked on a vision for your own personal development? When it comes to this characteristic, thinking like everyone else is not the ticket.

    Senior Leadership Galvanizes Troops Toward Organizational Mission

    The key word embedded in the phrase senior leadership is the word “lead”. An organization’s mission means nothing if you cannot communicate it and get others on board with moving in the same direction to achieve it. You want to leave? Then you better be able to connect employees with the company’s mission. Top brass will want someone who can motivate, inspire, and focus employee energy and efforts. This can be achieved by setting clear and measurable goals as well as offering regular feedback. It is more than likely in the current position you hold, there are opportunities to show and demonstrate the skill set. Good leaders keep their employees engaged and feeling heard. According to Naz Beheshti, a contributor to ForbesWomen, employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.


    Looking to make that move? Do not wait for someone to notice you. Be vocal about it. Make an impact by showing you are a mentor and a leader. Motivate others to perform their jobs better. Build connections at the leadership level and use them. Work on your skill set and do not be afraid of feedback.

  • When your resume seems already packed to capacity, the resume update process can be frustrating. But it doesn’t have to be. Formatting and design aside, it is a matter of reassessing priorities and editing accordingly. Unless you already had plenty of room on that 2nd page, some things will need to be changed. The information below is just a little guidance on how to go about executing the update as cleanly as possible.

    Convert any “Present” roles to “Past” with End Dates

    When executing a resume update, I like to do this first. Why? It is easy to forget to go back and change verbs to past tense. Go ahead and get this slightly mundane task out of the way. Don’t forget the verbs in the middle of sentences as well. Some job seekers change those at the start of sentences and forget this.

    Add The New Role

    Once you’re done converting the most recent role in the resume to past tense, it’s time to add the new one. Add some blank lines above the aforementioned role. This gives you room to work with when adding the new position. To ensure consistency in formatting, duplicate the most recent roll by copying and pasting above it. Afterwards, delete the content only, leaving the resume formatting infrastructure intact. Copy and paste the raw material below that, and now you have something to work with to develop the new role. The resume update is about ensuring consistency in voice and language.

    Duplicate the writing structure as best as you can When writing the new position out. After a successful resume update, you should not be able to tell the new content was entered at a different time than the rest of the document. Of course, the same resume writing rules apply. Develop your prose focusing on action and impact, brevity, and grammatical accuracy. Be sure to focus more on impact than tasks and duties.

    Look for Opportunities to Trim Excess from the Resume

    At this point of the resume update, you will usually find that you have gone over to the next page. If the resume has gone from 2 to 3 pages, you’re next task is to figure out what you can trim or eliminate to correct this. Always start with older positions. If the oldest one is now dated, perhaps it can be removed. If not removing an entire position, maybe the job description content can come out, leaving only highlights. What about other older positions, can one or two lines of job description be removed to buy enough space?

    Consider Re-targeting Your Summary

    Most of us are going through a resume update because we are seeking a new position. Are you looking for something consistent with the way this resume was originally developed? Or is your career going through a slightly (or drastically) different directions? This may be a good opportunity to review and make changes to your executive summary that best fits the role you are pursuing. Planning to make the transition into management or executive leadership? This is when you revamp this section to ensure you are focusing on the right qualities and skills the job targets command. In fact, if making the leap to a new level, you may need to go through the entire document to refocus on more leadership and managerial points then you may have in the past. Perhaps previous positions did not call for this.

    Proof the Updated Resume

    Once you have made all edits and changes, it is imperative that you proof the resume before sending it out. Nothing irritates hiring managers more than receiving error-riddled resumes and cover letters from job seekers. It tells them that it was not worth your time to go through your resume to correct obvious errors. And if this is the case, why should they take the time to even call you in? When proofing your resume, you want to do this in two steps. First, you want to go through the document reading for content and continuity. This is where we make sure our content and context is correct. Once completed, go through with your technical hat on and look for spelling and grammar errors, as well as consistency in spacing, margins, and font size and type.

    Executing the proper resume update can sometimes be a little tedious. This is because you are attempting to integrate content that you are reader will not be able to distinguish from the original. But when done correctly, you should see consistent success in achieving interviews, the same as you did with the original resume. You’ll be starting your new job in no time. Good luck!

  • front-end developer resume
    With an average growth rate of 27%, front-end development is a stable career path

    So, you need to bang out an eye-popping front-end developer resume. But not exactly sure of the way to go. One thing to remember when writing any resume is to first consider the end game. Who is our reader and what are the high priority skills that would make them sit up and pay attention? Of course, when it comes to a stellar high impact resume, there is more to consider than just skill set. How about design styling, overall strategy, organization, phrasing, highlight communication, etc? However, core skill set is critical to impressing your reader and navigating applicant tracking systems with strength.

    If you are a front-end developer, your career is pretty safe for now. Some believe we have only scratched the surface of website application development. But to stay marketable, you want to keep developing that skill set. What are the latest languages? How about new libraries? Mid and senior-level web developers can easily land six-figure salaries. So if staring out of your window at work and itching to make a change, consider this field.

    Below are 4 key skills for your front-end developer resume that you want to insure your reader does not miss.


    Okay, let’s be blunt here. If you are reader cannot readily pick up on your HTML/CSS skill set, then you haven’t got a chance. After all, HTML (HyperText Markup Language) represents the standard when it comes to building a web pages. The reader of your front-end developer resume has to know you understand concepts such as document object models, tags, and semantic markup. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) represents the language one uses to present the HTML created document. Does your resume communicate your ability to embed.css files into pages? Yes, I know, it seems a little obvious, right? But you would be surprised at how many front-end developer resume attempts I see that do not convey this important foundational concept.


    JavaScript represents a tool that powers a website’s interactivity and allows the building UI components that include image sliders, site navigation mega menus, form validations, and pop-ups. Be sure that front-end developer resume shows this skill so your reader knows you can build sites with  functionality past HTML and CSS capabilities. jQuery is a JavaScript library designed to simplify HTML DOM tree traversal and manipulation, as well as event handling, CSS animation. Front-end development can be pretty Javascript-intensive due to the demand for highly-interactive website applications.

    Responsive Design

    A quality website is one that responds to a user’s behavior and environment based on screen sizes, platforms, and orientations. Want to build out front-end developer resume that get call-backs? Then make sure you communicate a healthy knowledge of this concept. When you bring this skill, the employer sees someone who can save money by foregoing the need to develop separate mobile applications. When you can house all of the code into one single website, everybody wins! Additionally, Google implemented search engine algorithm change back in 2015 that factor in website mobile presence as a core ranking factor, so responsive design also helps sites rank higher. So be sure that front-end developer resume gets this concept across to that hiring manager.


    Most development projects are collaborative in nature. And digital collaborations can be complex. Things may start out simple, but with several participants making changes, how can one be sure you are working on the most current version? Let the hiring manager know you can use Git to manage source code and manage and track versions. There are a few other version control systems (VCS) out there, but Git provides a foundation for services such as GitHub and GitLab. A strong front-end developer resume tells the reader that Git (or one of the other VCSs) is in your toolbox. We want them to know your ability to merge changes into the working branch so that things stay current, as well as timely.

    With an average salary of $79,591 (Glassdoor), it’s no wonder that front-end web development is a hot commodity. The Bureau of Labor Statistics had web development jobs in the US expected to grow 27% from 2014 to 2024. If you haven’t already, consider pursuing the W3C Front-End Web Developer Professional Certificate to increase your marketability. Also, consider using a professional to develop your front-end developer resume. After all, someone else is doing so, right?

  • resume targeting

    To achieve consistency in securing interviews, one cannot overstate the value of resume targeting to bettering your results. The purpose of the exercise is not to “generate a document, it is to ensure employers easily see where your value matches their needs. Your resume should adhere to the same philosophy your clothing does:

    “Dress the resume for the jobs you want, not the jobs you’ve had.”

    Below are some tips in targeting your resume that can quickly improve that interview response rate.

    Focus Your Executive Profile on Why You Can Step Up to the Next Level

    This is usually missed opportunity by most when it comes to proper resume targeting. This is because most job seekers don’t treat it as seriously as they should. Forget all the self-congratulatory fluff that doesn’t really say anything substantive. This is where you can communicate why you are ready for the next move. But fluff-n-fold content won’t get it. You want targeted resume content here that paints a picture of “why you and not them”. Be sure to gauge the qualities the employer values the most. Does the position seek a quality leader? Perhaps a task master? How about a master networking specialist or relationship builder. Seek to understand what the employer values most, and give it to them!

    Shape Your Job Description Based on Established Hot Buttons

    It may be true that you have worn many hats at the last job, but you can best believe that employer doesn’t care. There are certain experiences they will value over others. It is these duties and highlights on which you need to focus. Don’t overdo it when it comes to the day-to-day stuff. Keep it relevant and keep it compact. Where you differentiate yourself is with your highlights and contributions. After all, the employer wants to hire someone who makes a difference. But even when it comes to highlights, if you have a ton you can include, keep it to those that will justify your transition into the new role.

    Use The Roadmap: Posted Job Description

    While they all may may be written with extensive detail, employer job descriptions more or less tell you exactly where the resume’s focus should be. Think of it as getting into a car for a road trip. You have a better chance of getting to the destination if you know where you are going and the route. Most job descriptions will detail the position’s duties, followed by the employer’s qualifications requirements. This is a goldmine for guiding you on isolating the concepts for inclusion. It also does not hurt to research additional job descriptions similar to the position or positions to which you are applying. No one job description gives you every single qualification or duty expected. This is a good strategy for getting additional resume targeting content that is not included in the job posting of the targeted employer. 

    Overall, proper resume targeting it is a bit of an art form. But when done properly, you can be sure that your resume will strike a chord with its recipient. They will have a better chance of seeing their ideal employee in you. And isn’t that the ultimate goal?

Back to top