The One Thing You Should “Never” Put on Your Resume

Never-Say-Never-Again (1)

Never put this on your resume: Something an online article told you to put on your resume–unless you’ve thought it through first.

The same goes for leaving something off your resume.

There is a proliferation of “Top-5-Things” kinds of articles which are great for generating traffic, but not so good at discussing important nuances. Many articles about resume writing are saying things like:

“Don’t list ‘knowledge of Spanish.’ Either you know it or you don’t.”

“Leave off outdated items like the Y2K bug issue you solved.”

“There’s no need to tell everyone that you volunteer at an animal shelter. It will not win you any favors in the HR office.”

While I agree with the sentiment of these articles–include only the most relevant information on your resume–I disagree with their sweeping assessments of what the most relevant things may or may not be.

If you’re a return-to-work parent, the award you got for solving the Y2K problem might be a needed feather in your cap. Just be smart. Switch out Y2K for “massive system-wide bug that put $2M revenue stream at risk” or something. Can a savvy hiring manager see through this? Perhaps. But at least they’ll see that you are smart enough to know it’s outdated and that you know how to make the most out of what you’ve got.

Why not put that you volunteer with animals? It just takes up one line, makes you human, and offers an entry-point for small talk. We all know, small talk = connection = opportunity.

Hiring decisions, like all buying decisions, are emotional. That means that there can be no comprehensive list of what should or should not ever appear on a resume. Each case is different. Look at your resume with your goal in mind and make good decisions. Or, better yet, get help from an experienced professional whose primary credentials should be the results their clients are seeing in the real world.

June 12, 2013 at 12:45 pm Leave a comment

Fake It ‘Til You BECOME It

Want to have a significantly greater chance of a positive outcome at your job interview or board presentation? This video is a must watch for the simple, powerful body language tools you need to impress yourself and enter any situation with confidence.

It is also Harvard professor Amy Cuddy being so open, vulnerable, and inspiring that she made me cry.

February 28, 2013 at 4:28 am Leave a comment

What if They Ask for a Salary History? My Pay Was Too Low! (Free Guide)

Salary Negotiations

A client asked me this morning, “What if in my job search I’m asked to provide my current salary? I am really worried about people asking this because my salary is sooooooo low.”

Here’s my response (she happens to have had only one job so far, but even a seasoned professional can tweak this to his or her needs):

Avoid giving out your salary information in any case. It’s irrelevant. What’s relevant is your skill set, your distinctive approach to your work, and what those are worth on the open market.


Just because I buy a Picasso at a yard sale for $1K doesn’t mean I won’t sell it for what it’s worth.


If the issue is forced, you can just say that you are grateful to have had a job right out of college that allowed you to learn so much about X, Y, and Z (whatever is most important for the role you are applying to). Of course, now that I have these skills, you expect your salary will be in line with the market.


[Then shift conversation to the job fit...]


Say something like, “It’s natural that you’d want to feel me out about salary before going any further. I can assure you that I just want fair market compensation. The most important thing for me is not salary, but knowing that I’m a good fit with your company and vice versa. Once we establish that, I’m sure we can agree on something that is fair for both parties.”


Also, remember to use websites like to prepare for negotiations. You can learn more about my approach in this Movin’ On Up Resumes Salary Negotiations ebook, my gift to you!


To really dig deep on the topic of salary negotiations, I highly recommend the work of Jack Chapman.

February 26, 2013 at 9:21 am 1 comment

How to Get a Free List of Hiring Managers in Your Targeted Companies

This video shows how to get contact information for hiring managers that hold the key to the 80% of jobs that are never advertised. It was made by Mark Hovind who was a true innovator in job search.

My library doesn’t connect with Dun and Bradstreet’s Million Dollar Database, but they have a similar one. Your reference librarian should be able to help, and it is worth it!

Thanks to Mary Elizabeth Bradford for introducing me to this approach!

November 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm 3 comments

Warning: New LinkedIn Feature Could Out Job Seekers to Their Current Company

LinkedIn is at it again. They’re messing with their secret sauce to… well, who knows why. But it could have unintended consequences for employed job seekers trying to keep their search on the down-low.

Savvy job seekers know to turn off the alerts on their LinkedIn profile. A bunch of notifications of profile changes can let people at your current company know that you are on the hunt.

But LinkedIn has released a new feature to some accounts that overrides the general “no notifications” setting. Some users, when updating experience, have reported a pre-selected box that announces a change in company or roles to contacts.

Look carefully before you click “save.” Make sure to un-check any box that might broadcast your changes.

Thanks to Rosa Vargas, Norine Dagliano, and The National Resume Writers’ Association for bringing this to light!

What should you do if you’re “caught” updating your LinkedIn profile?

While it’s not ideal to reveal a LinkedIn revamp to your colleagues, it’s usually not the end of the world either. There is no professional whose on-the-job performance would not be enhanced by having a strong network to draw on for ideas and potential partnerships. Just practice talking about your updates comfortably. If a breech happens, you might even want to proactively mention your LinkedIn activity to your boss. One innocuous way is to share a good idea or article you found on LinkedIn and mention what a terrific resource it’s been in helping to achieve a specific goal your boss has set for you.

October 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm 2 comments

How to Create a Plain Text Resume, aka ASCII Resume, From Word: Easy Version

Ever wonder how to upload your resume to a job board? Or why it gets garbled when you copy and paste it into your LinkedIn profile or a job application portal on a company website?

While I don’t advocate running your job search by applying for advertised opportunities, knowing how to translate your resume into a universal format is important. In the video below, I’ve explained the basics. Later this week, I’ll be showing how to handle translation of more complex formats.

If you have questions, feel free to post them in the comments below. Enjoy!

(Be sure to click the HD button on the upper right side of the player for better resolution.)

October 15, 2012 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

Free Webinar: No Dream Job Yet? It Could Be Your Resume

“Kim, my resume was holding me back, and I had no idea until months later.”

This was my respected friend and colleague, Jason Alba of in a conversation we had the other day. He started his company out of frustration with the CRM tools available (or not available) for job seekers.

But once you build a strong network and have a system to keep it alive and growing, you’ll still have to provide a powerful marketing document (aka resume) at some point in your job search.

So Jason and I are teaming up to offer a highly actionable training webinar that will get your resume loaded for bear.


Date: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Time: 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM MDT (note: that is MOUNTAIN TIME. Schedule this appropriately based on your own time zone)

Sign up here.

Whether you want a straightforward approach to writing your own resume or would like to get a feel for how I work, this is the place to be.

Here are some things we’ll talk about:

The Resume Black Hole: What Happens After I Hit “Submit?” Talking about what the ATS is (software that analyses your resume, but I’ll go into more depth).

Navigating The Black Hole: How Do I Give Myself a Fighting Chance With an Electronic Screener?

Beyond the Black Hole: How Can I Optimize My Resume to Appeal to Human Decision-Makers? Sharing simple formulas for how to write your opening profile, work history, education, and extras. I’ll also include some Word templates to get you started since most people have trouble formatting their own resumes and Word’s templates are pretty bad for visual and technical reasons (i.e. ATS systems don’t read tables properly and Word templates involve many tables).

Sign up here.

October 1, 2012 at 2:42 pm 2 comments

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