The words transition and change are often scary, but they don’t have to be when referring to your career. Whether the move be for an increased salary, higher engagement/buy-in or a natural progression into an improved title, this should be a positive move in your life.

As a Career Coach and Resume Writer, I have the privilege of working with all levels of candidates, from students through C-level executives. In my years of experience I have found one constant: change will always be stressful.

Now that we understand what may lie ahead, it is our responsibility to manage the stress and utilize it’s change in the body to bring about positive results. The frustration that may build while searching for a job can serve as motivation instead of a deterrent. The time it takes to cater a resume can be used to identify skills that you may not have previously discovered or realized. The hours scouring the internet and locating 100′s of positions should not be seen as a dragon that you must slay, but rather as an opportunity to leverage your KSA’s (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities) to support the mission and vision of a company in need.

START SIMPLE: Like anything, the most difficult portion of the process is getting started. What should I do first? What kind of jobs am I
qualified for? What if I leave this job and realize I made a mistake?

Take some time to evaluate your current job; what do you like and dislike? This will help to determine the best fit moving forward. The next step is catering a resume that immediately informs employers regarding what type of position you are interested in and what skills you have that apply. If you are unsure of what skills you possess that set you apart, I suggest taking a personality or cognitive ability test (such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)). These tests can help evaluate career possibilities as well.

Myers-Briggs Inventory

Begin your search process by sending out a resume directly to employers. If you are searching on a career site, find the name of the employer (if possible) and visit their site directly. Learn about the company and the position to assess what is different from your current situation (will you be happy here for an elongated period of time?). Begin by sending out two to three resumes each day for the first few weeks and evaluate your response rate (as well as the quality of employers who may be responding). If you are dissatisfied after three to four weeks, take a look back at your resume to identify areas of improvement (companies often utilize optical character recognition (OCR) to pull resumes which may be helping or hindering your chances depending on your knowledge of applicable keywords).

Once the interview stage begins to consistently fill up your schedule is when the fun begins. Not only will you have the opportunity to learn about various organizations and what they have to offer, you can compare and learn about what is going to be the best fit for you (culture, pace, people, type of work). The interview can be seen as a first date; both parties should appreciate what the other has to offer, otherwise it may not be a great fit. If you are someone that is flustered in those situations, I recommend taking an interview training course (such as the one at the Discovery Center on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago) to help rehearse; after all, Practice Makes Permanent.

The offer stage is exciting as it is the home stretch, but you want to make sure that it is worth leaving a current position (if that is your situation). There are circumstances where taking a job, no matter the pay or opportunity for advancement, is the appropriate thing to do, however ideally you can remain proactive so as not to get caught in a tricky situation.

The job search process can be stressful, but it can also be viewed as an exciting new chapter in your life. You have the ability to alter your mindset and get excited about the job hunt as your life-changing career opportunity may be one resume submittal away.

Mike Robbins, MA is the author of this article. To contact a writer at A Better Resume Service, call toll free 1-800-730-3244.

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We asked Chris Sanford, job search specialist in Oak Brook, Illinois about Linkedin profiles. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a new graduate you need a professional LinkedIn profile to showcase your skills, abilities and professional history. Users of Facebook for their personal lives should have a Linkedin profile for their work life.

Get an updated LinkedIn profile.

The ever-evolving social media world can be tough to keep up with, particularly when it comes to job hunting, networking and work relationships. There are numerous online platforms with countless tools and applications designed to connect individuals
with job opportunities. In this digital age, recruiter and employers seek out any and all information that they can find about a potential candidate via internet searches and social media sites. You need to be in control of what they are going to find because LinkedIn profiles typically rank high in Google searches. This is exactly why a professionally developed LinkedIn profile is a critical part of not only your job search but also your online reputation management.

A professional LinkedIn profile developer has the ability to utilize your personal and professional data to make your profile more visible to potential employers. They know how to manipulate the program to take your profile from average to All Star. When this happens you will attract more recruiters and HR professionals to your profile. However if your profile is messy, incomplete, has grammatical errors or is just non existent what will that say to them? Make no mistake we have entered the time when recruiters can and will ask you for access to your profile. When it was built by a professional you can feel comfortable and proud with sharing this information.

What you may not realize is that LinkedIn also doubles up as an intelligent jobs board. Professional recruiters and companies pay to access LinkedIn Recruiter, a back-end service which allows those who use it to search precisely for the candidates they require.

Once a professional has developed your profile then you can begin to utilize the site an all of its options including strategic job searches and networking abilities. LinkedIn is a great way to organize and manage professional relationships. Contacts you make during the job hunt and throughout your career can be potential gold mines for information regarding open positions.

Contact your writer at A Better Resume Service, Inc. for assistance with your Linkedin profile. Call toll free 1-800-730-3244.

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Great Resume Writing ServiceYou can be the perfect interviewer, you can sell anyone on your value, but you will not have the chance unless the resume you have gets you in the door. In today’s competitive market and with changes in electronic distribution and processing, you can help forward your career by enlisting the assistance of a professional resume writer. To follow are some suggestions for making the right choice.

1). Take the time to talk to potential writers. Ask them questions and listen to the answers to ensure they can assist you. Schedule a free consultation to meet them.

2). Never pay any money in advance until you have talked to a live person.

3). If you can not visit a service, make sure you have a physical address that you can verify. Make sure they are located within driving distance. If something goes wrong or you need to meet in person, you do not want to get on a plane.

4). Visit a writer in-person. Make sure they are in a stable business, they seem competent and you have a chance to see examples of their work.

5). Make sure your writer is the one who will do the work rather than a salesperson who takes orders and contracts work out to home-based businesses.

6). What are the writer’s credentials. How long have they been in business?

7). Ask about the writing process. What information is necessary? How is it going to be presented. Will you have a chance to review the work before it is finalized?

8). What are the update policies? How long will the resume be kept on file. What are future costs.

9). Does the business seem successful? Is it in a good location?

10). Can you make a deposit toward the work and pay once it is finalized?

These tips will help you select a resume service which will do what they say, give you what you need and launch you into your new career.

For free consultation on resume writing services nationwide, click here.

National Resume Writing Service

If you are in Illinois, use this special discount link for $25 off when scheduling a free consultation with a local resume writer.

Illinois Resume Writer’s Discount Link

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How to Keep Your Job.Although it may be a temptation, laying low may be the worst strategy for keeping your job.  Here are four suggestions that if implemented, can solidify your position in your company.

1) Be Aware of Organizational Needs
It is usually the person on the front line who knows of organizational weaknesses.  The bottom line in a company is the bottom line.  If a company is successful and grows, then employees are much more secure in their positions.  The difference between what a company brings in and what it spends can be translated into security.  Ask these questions.  Where can we save money?  What can be done better?  What can we do to complete tasks faster and more accurately?  What can be done to ensure customer satisfaction?  What can I do to make the workplace better?

2) Take Initiative
It’s easy to criticize but taking action will make worklife more interesting and easier.  Can you participate in activities or committees?  Engage your co-workers and managers.  The worst ideas are brilliant ones that no one acts on.  Take action where you can write a memo or attempt to influence those around you in conversation. Encourage others to help your organization.

3) Diversify
Inside and outside of work, the more you know, the more interesting a person you are.  Keep up with changes in computers and social networking or anything else that might apply to your company. Volunteer to help out in other areas.  The more people you know in your organization, the wider your support base if you need assistance, and also the more valuable you are to the company.

4) Document
Keep a record of your activities.  If at all possible, attempt to quantify results.  A record will help keep you on track, document your progress and allow you on short notice to demonstrate your value.  Write down anything you did beyond your regular job responsibilities.  Keep a log in your desk and try to add something to it daily.  This will
also help you if you need to create a resume.

5). Communicate
Ask for a meeting with a supervisor or manager.  Prepare carefully what you would like to say.  Explain that you have taken the initiative to assist the company and ask if there are projects which might increase your contributions.  Every manager has a list of things that they would like done, but haven’t gotten around to. Few people are laid off during the middle of an important project.

The suggestions above will lead to a more interesting and exciting work day.  They will help your company and improve its chances of survival and solidify your position in the workplace.

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Articles of Interest This Month

We are so excited about our newsletter. Simply click on one of the links below.

1). Protecting Your Online Reputation – Your First Priority

This is more important than ever! Click here.

2). Improve Your Personal and Professional Life

Myers-Briggs – Better Self-Understanding. Click here.

3). A Linkedin Profile – Why You Should Have One

Linkedin is the wave of the future. To read this article.Click here.

4). Get a Headstart on the Hiring Season

Don’t miss great opportunities out there now. Click here.

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This is an article written by a colleague of mine, Mike Mara which I like to bring out in time for the holidays.

The end of the year isn’t only a great season feast with family or shop for gifts for your loved ones; it’s also a good time to find yourself a new job. Instead of putting off the job search until after the New Year, why not get a leg up on the competition?

Get a Head Start on the Hiring Season

Looking for a job during the holidays can be a hard choice

With all of the excitement that goes on around the holiday season, some people may feel that the best approach would be to put their job hunt on the back burner until January. During the last two months of the year, December especially, the number of people applying for jobs is at its lowest point.

Holiday celebrations will ease competition in the job market, keeping hobby job seekers and those less determined busy,î says William Potter, Director of, a national employment site.
Your opportunities increase as your competitive field decreases.

While the lack of competition certainly plays a significant role in one’s ability to find a job in December, employers themselves can be an important factor as well. Some experts indicate that employers are well aware of people’s disinterest in searching for employment during the holidays. So if an employer runs a job ad during December, they have a good reason for doing so.

“If a company needs someone to replace a secretary retiring next April, it isn’t going to search in December, when people are more likely to sing carols than read job ads,” says Potter. “The openings in December are all emergency openings, whereas during the rest of the year, it’s hard to judge advertisers’ seriousness by merely reading an ad.”

Just like people, companies spend their budgets in advance

An employer’s budget can also play an important role in the company posting an ad for a position near the end of the year. Some companies whose fiscal year begins January 1st may have worked additional positions into their budgets for the upcoming year, positions they would like to have filled by the end of the current year if possible. So, while applying in December may seem like jumping too far ahead, for the employer it may be just in time.

Job seekers have to keep in mind that it’s not just the holiday season for them but for employers as well. Since many companies begin to wind down nearing the end of the fourth quarter, those looking for employment can use this to their advantage by getting the ball rolling on their search in November.
Start early and you will end up at your destination earlier.

“If you put off your search until after the New Year, the averages suggest that it could easily be anywhere between April and June before you’ve found employment. So, instead of putting ‘finding a job’ on your list of New Year’s Resolutions, why not jump-start your search right after Thanksgiving?

“I like to advise my clients that being first in line is always better than being in the back of the herd,” says Rick Hansen of A Better Resume Service. “Sometimes a December job search can bring the nicest holiday present of all; a new job.”

Click here for other topics in our monthly newsletter!

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“A good reputation is more valuable than money” Publilus Syrus

In a survey of 2,500 individuals funded by Microsoft, 86% of HR Managers stated that they made hiring decisions based on positive information found on the Internet. In the age of social networking, it is more important now than ever to monitor and manage information which can be found about you. Public records, postings, publicity and even obscure references like meeting attendance and organizational activities can be found by people who are interested in you.

Your reputation is made up of who you are, what you have done and what people think of you. Conversely, by taking an active role in your reputation, you can channel and sculpt your reputation to confirm what you want people to see. There are four reasons why you should take an active role in your personal reputation management.

You Have No Reputation

As odd as it seems, many people just can’t be found. In a CBS “60 Minutes” segment entitled, “Trapped in Unemployment” it was said of hiring managers “when they are considering you for a job they are going to the Internet to see what comes up. If you have nothing show up, you are not relevant” In the age of information, not to be found is not to exist.

The manner in which you exist is also relevant. A social media tool called Klout measures social media visibility on a scale of 1-100. In an “Wired” article, Sam Fiorella a consultant for Fortune 500 companies interviewed for a position as Vice President for a Toronto marketing agency. When asked his Klout score which he didn’t know, the interviewer pulled it up on the computer and found he was ranked 34. Later he found out that his Klout score was the deciding factor in not getting the job. Sam Fiorella subsequently boosted his score to 72 and became the co-author of “Influence Marketing: How To Create, Manage, and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media.”

You Need to Claim Credit Where Credit is Due

Our work life consists of meetings, projects, transitions and accomplishments. As a team member, if credit is given, it is often given to the team leader and more often company leaders. That does not diminish your accomplishment, it simply doesn’t give you credit for it. Often credit can be assumed in your resume or LinkedIn profile. Using social media tools not only gives you a voice, but also documents your participation in business activities and justifies your value to future employers.

Mitigate Negative Visibility

Unfortunately, some of the highest visibilities we find on the Internet are for negative events. It is common for traffic infractions, court appearances and other activities to reported to the public. For instance an executive had a dispute with his neighbor about an overhanging limb which ended up in the local newspaper. When his name is searched, that is the first thing one sees. A computer programmer was driving home late one night after sitting at a computer for 12 hours. He stopped at a gas station for a bottle of water. The clerk upon seeing his red eyes called the police who pull him over on suspicion of drunk driving. Although the charges were dismissed, the Internet still shows his name associated with a DUI. A specialist in reputation management can help with these types of situations.

Clarify Mistaken Identity

Unfortunately, we all can’t be named Harry Potter. People who have the same names or names similar to others that have negative Internet visibility have to defend their reputations. The clearer your identity is, the less likely it will be mistaken for another person’s.

When Should You Begin?

Now! The first step to managing your reputation is identifying what it is currently. Run an Internet search for your name, your company, projects you have worked on and accomplishments. If you are not happy with the results, it is time to get working. A Better Resume Service has teamed up with a new cost, effective Reputation Management solution company. Harness your reputation with a system covered by two US patents. Call us at 1-800-730-1888 or visit one of our offices for a free consultation.

Click here for other topics in our monthly newsletter!

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A recent Jobvite study indicated that more than 94 percent of recruiters use social media of which Linkedin was listed as the top source for new hires. In addition, you can think of Linkedin as the Facebook for professionals. It is a way to meet people, update your knowledge and explore your options.

While more than 70 percent of businesses plan to increase recruiting through social media, only 40 percent said they would increase spending through online job portals. In just three years, recruiters hiring through LinkedIn nearly doubled – from about 45 percent to more than 70 percent.

The job-search market has changed from post your resume online and wait for results to a job-seeking approach based more on relationships. Your online reputation, presentation, and appearance counts, including your connections on LinkedIn and how you are portrayed on other social media sites. If you don’t look good online, employers don’t much care what you’re like in person. In other words, your first impression is going to be an online impression.

Just Pasting Your resume onto your LinkedIn Page Doesn’t Work
Employers read your resume when you apply for a position. Your LinkedIn profile, though, is often viewed before you are asked to apply for a position. The two forms of media are dramatically different. Even if your resume looks good on the printed page, that doesn’t mean it’s going to present well online.

Your LinkedIn profile allows you to provide “social proof” that you can’t do with a resume.

Each item listed in your “Experience” section provides you the opportunity to display other people’s recommendations and good feedback.

Connections are not obvious on a resume. A robust listing of your connections demonstrates to potential employers that you are engaged as a member of a community – a network of professionals.

A resume doesn’t allow for real-time updates. You mail yours off to a recruiter or human resources manager, and you’re done. Your LinkedIn profile, however, can be updated tonight, or tomorrow, with status updates that showcase who you are and what you’re all about.

We Know How to Make You Stand Out
If you have a linkedin profile and want to improve or want to get one started, contact your resume writer at A Better Resume Service.

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Have you often wonder about the following?

Why do certain people have the ability to dominate a conversation, while others sit idly by?
Why is it that some individuals are more sensitive than others?
Do facts help you to make decision more than emotion?
Does a strict schedule or a relaxed environment stress you out?

This may help you.

The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.

Who am I?

Michael Robbins obtained his Master’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and currently works as a Career Coach at Harvard Oaks Enterprises. As a certified MBTI administrator, he is available to provide an one-on-one session that answers the following questions and more.

What will you learn?

The participant will develop an in-depth understanding about their own predispositions while simultaneously gaining insight into others’ behavior, while learning strategies for effective communication based on their own and others’ types. Knowledge gained in this session is immediately applicable to relationships with coworkers, family and friends.

This session will include:

- Using the MBTI tool to verify each participant’s personality type
- A presentation on personality types led by the facilitator

- Insight as to what your personality type says about your skills in the workplace
- The evolution of type over the participant’s life cycle

Please call Mike Robbins at 773-525-2450 for complete details.

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