Sure You Want To Upgrade Your Resume?

Resumes are overrated.

handwrittenresume “Can you review my resume” is the first question most people ask me when they find out I’m a career adviser. They waste the chance to develop new strategies for connecting with employers and others in their career field.

Too often job seekers think a few tweaks on a piece of paper are the only things keeping them from being hired.

Most job seekers get more results focusing on building relationships within their professional community (um, isn’t that networking?), than spending hours editing their resumes. Continue reading

Interview: Why I Do What I Do

Like many people, the career area I’m in now is completely different from the career I started.

I started in journalism and media; now I’m a career adviser. Because the two career areas seem completely unrelated, people often ask me how I got here from where I was.

Denise-HERD2010-2Here is an interview I gave to Media Shower about my transition into career advising, and why helping people find meaningful careers is so important to me.

I appreciate Sam Jordan’s funny and interesting questions. I usually don’t talk about my (distant) connections to Prince or Donny Osmond.

Sam also got me to talk seriously about how the 9/11 terrorist attacks changed my life – a difficult time to think about.

We also discussed the Minneapolis job market. I gave an honest answer and talked about Minnesota’s racial economic disparities.

The many, complicated reasons why people of color are not being hired into or retaining good-paying, career-advancing jobs is a serious issue that affects our entire economy.

In addition to helping job seekers to make positive decisions that affect their lives and careers, I intend to examine and write about some of the larger issues affecting the employment and education of everyday people.

You can find a bit more about where I’m coming from in the interview 10,000 Hours in 10 minutes: Denise Felder on Career Coaching.

Keep looking up.

Free Job Search Help April 9-10

Job Seekers: Come to the Career Services Center Tuesday and enter to win a Kindle Fire


Career Services Center – April 9 & 10, 2013
Career Fair - April 10, 2013

WHERE: Minneapolis Convention Center

WHAT: Receive free one-on-one coaching to prepare for the Career Fair and/or job interviews. Special training for veterans will also be offered.

Career services including:mcf-logo

  • Résumé Clinic
  • Interview Clinic
  • Elevator Pitch Practice
  • Job Search Clinic
  • Veteran’s Career Transition

WHO: Job seekers with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, college students and veterans


Also from DeniseMpls:

What Employers Aren’t Saying

You go on an interview. You think it went well, but the employer doesn’t call you for a second interview.

talking2What happened?

Truth #1: There are many things an employer thinks about when hiring a new employee. Most of them have nothing to do with you.

The ultimate reason why you do or do not get a job offer might be completely out of your control.

Truth #2: If you did do something wrong during the interview, an employer probably would not tell you. They would just send you a rejection letter.

So what are employers not telling you?

Here are a few things you might be doing that are turning away employers.

Employer Turn Offs

  • You seem angry.
  • You pronounced words incorrectly or use bad grammar.
  • You seem arrogant or not interested in the job or company.
  • You act too shy or nervous.
  • You seem too eager or desperate for any job.

You smell bad.
Wearing cologne or perfume to a job interview might seem like a good idea, but it’s not. Fragrances can be overwhelming when you are in a small space, like an office. Plus, some people have allegories to fragrances – scents can cause headaches, nausea or an asthma attack.

An employer will not tell you that you smell bad; they might not even make a face. But the hiring manager is thinking that they do not want to hire someone with an offensive order, or whose scent might make their customers or coworkers sick.

Bathe before each meeting with an employer, and skip the perfumes and cologne. Also, don’t smoke before an interview or job fair. People who smoke often smell like cigarettes without knowing it.

You seem depressed.
talking1It’s normal for an unemployed person to feel sad or anxious. However, you don’t want these feelings to affect your job interviews. Even the most sympathetic employer does not want to hire someone who is moody or has low energy.

If you are feeling unusually low, talk to your doctor or a counselor. They will have resources and tips to help you through your depression.

If you are not sure of what employers think of you, here are two things you can do.

1. Ask your career advisers or friends for honest feedback about your attitude, interview skills, and presentation. Use their comments to improve how you present yourself to employers.

2. Ask employers what they think of you. At the end of an interview, you can ask the hiring manager if they have any concerns about your qualifications. It’s a gutsy question to ask, but if the employer gives you an honest answer, you have the chance to discuss their concerns immediately.

Before you change your interview or job search strategies, talk with your career advisers. It’s better to get feedback from someone you know before you make another bad impression on an employer.

More Info

  • 18 Good Reasons You’re Still Unemployed (Careerealism)
  • It’s Not Your Fault You Don’t Have A Job Yet … Is It? (DeniseMpls)
  • Why Job Interviews May NOT Turn into Job Offers (Work Coach Café)
  • Q&A: Husband Depressed After Layoff (DeniseMpls)

Missed These Interview Moments?

An employer calls you for a job interview. You write down the location and time of the interview. In your excitement, you forget to find out who your interviewer is.

Moment #1 ~ Know your interviewer.

When the interview is scheduled, write down the name and title of everyone you will be talking with.

  • Are you meeting with a human resource representative?
  • Will you talk with someone in the department where you would work?
  • How many people will ask you questions?
  • Will you meet with them one at a time or will it be a group/panel interview?

It’s especially important to get the name of your interviewer if you applied for the job online. When sending a resume through a company’s website or general e-mail, you won’t have a contact name.

Next, you go to the interview and it goes well. After the interview, you are excited about the possibilities of getting hired.

Moment #2 ~ Send a thank-you note.

Your interview might have gone well, but you were not the only one who interviewed for that job. Employers sometimes talk with dozens of people before deciding who to call for a second interview or who to hire.

How do you increase your chances of getting a second interview or a job offer? Send a thank you note immediately after your first interview.

During your job interview, ask how the interviewer want you to follow-up. Find out if he or she prefers e-mail or phone calls. People who do not check their e-mail often are more likely to prefer you send a thank you letter in the mail.

  • A thank you note shows that you are really interested in the position.
  • It also shows that you have good organization and communication skills – two qualities that employers look for.

When you do not send a thank you note, employers think you are no longer interested in the job and are less likely to call you for a second interview or to offer you the job.

Before you can send a thank you letter, you need to know the names of everyone you interviewed with. Don’t let Moment #1 pass you by, and you will succeed in Moment #2.

More Info:

Also from DeniseMpls: