Welcome to Between the Trapezes! Often the changes in
our lives feel precarious as we are suspended between two certainties. But
the frightening moment passes as we bravely go on to the next step -- as we
Enjoy reading, and feel free to forward this e-zine on to
anyone, wherever they are job searching! And if you received this e-mail in
error, our apologies -- just unsubscribe using the easy link at the bottom
of this page.
Mind the Gap
In London's Underground, or subway system, there are
constant reminders to avoid stepping in the slight gap between the
platform and the train doors. "Mind the gap!" the loudspeakers
But what about that recent gap in your resume? Should you
ignore it, hoping a potential employer won't see it?
Perhaps you were raising your family, or helping an elderly parent, or
writing a book, or taking care of health issues, or traveling
cross-country taking photographs. Whatever the reason, a gap in your
resume raises questions that your competitor's resume does not. So you do
need to address it, either in the resume or in your cover letter. I
prefer to do so in the resume just in case the cover letter/cover email
I use two approaches with my clients. The first way is to
focus the resume on your successes in such a way that the reader's
attention is focused on something else. That means emphasizing your
successes, by giving examples and by using bullets that focus on the
value you'd bring. When you present such a strong case for yourself, it
minimizes any unusual aspects of your background.
Now that isn't to say it will then go unnoticed. So, a
second approach is that you can address it first. Some of my
colleagues suggest putting it in chronological order, just like another
job. Instead, I put it in its own section in the Summary or "above
the line", beginning section of the resume. For someone who was, for
example, taking care of an ailing parent, we'd say "Caregiver:
Directed the care of ailing parent, supervising all medical assistance
and care plans, as well as resolving all financial and legal issues.
2004-2007." And that's it, short and sweet.
Employers are human beings and understand major life
events can temporarily alter a career path. (You wouldn't want to work
for someone who doesn't understand, would you?) So "mind the
gap" by addressing it. By you bringing it up first, and
addressing it in a professional manner, you'll minimize any concern. And
you'll hold their interest in the real value you bring.
Your Job Search During December
The most important reasons to keep your job search going
during the holidays are:
- Staying in contact with
others at this time of the year is uplifting for you
- You'll meet with less
resistance at this time of year,
- Going to as many social
events as possible is great for networking
- Now is when companies
discover they can do hiring, before the quarter or annual business
- The week between
Christmas and New Year's Day can be quiet in many offices, so your
call might actually be answered by the exact person you're trying to
- You'll have a head start
on your competition who are probably postponing their search for
January 2nd. Why wait?
networking tip: Don't insist on a meeting right now. If they are harried
at this time of year, get their OK to contact them at a time and day they
name, and ask if it would help to send them a reminder "via email
tomorrow". Chances are they'll readily agree to that. And they'll
appreciate your thoughtfulness.
GIFT IDEA: We know that not everyone's in job search, but
for the professional in your life who wants to be prepared "just in
case", why not order Joanne's new book, The Resume Queen's Job
Search Thesaurus and Career Guide for Professionals. This combination
thesaurus and job search advice guide is a fast read. It's practical and
the Quotes from the Queen are timeless. "It's like having Joanne
talking directly with you about your search", says one reader.
You can get it here
or on Amazon.com, where it's getting wonderful reviews. AND it's also
available as a iVersion
for your iPod.
thought about getting career or job search coaching?
How to Find "Best Companies"
Lists: A Gift to Yourself
Clients often ask about finding "best companies"
lists, especially "Best Companies to Work For" lists. One key
source is your regional weekly business journal. Business journals often
gather info then publish lists on an annual basis. And business sections
of regional newspapers, as well as national business magazines, publish
their lists. Organizations that serve groups such as minorities, older
Americans, and the disabled put out their own lists.
Of course, there are many lists online. About.com has a
good page dedicated to "best companies to work for" and
you'll see several lists there.
And the best way to learn, first-hand, about good
companies is while networking. Ask your connections if their company or
organization is good to work for, and why they feel that way. If a
company's culture and goals match yours, it's a good bet you'll be happy
For a gift
certificate that could accelerate a career...
Thought of the Day
From our family to yours, we wish you a meaningful and
serene time with family and friends this holiday season.
We are proud members of:
- Association of Career
- Northeast Human Resources
- Career Masters
- Career Counselors
- National Resume Writers
- Chapman Private Practice
- BNI Golden Givers,
Called "The Resume Queen" years ago by a career
counselor colleague, Joanne Meehl decided to have fun
with the nickname (which we've officially trademarked). But she also
takes it seriously by keeping her career management skills on the leading
edge, through research and ongoing dialog with hiring managers.
You're now seeing us use "The Job Search Queen", which
better reflects the breadth of our services. The trademark is pending. We
use both "queen" nicknames in our materials.
Look for our redesigned web site, to debut any day now. A whole
new look and easier-to-find information! Stay tuned: there are more
changes to come in 2008. After all, it is a new year!
Meetings of Face2Face, the Job Search Networking Group (only $5 for
members, $10 for first-timers!) are:
December 19th: Holiday Pot Luck Brunch! $10 for
first-timers, FREE for members who bring food to share!
January 2nd: Brad Chetwynd, Senior Recruiter, on Landing a Job
January 16th: Geoff Vercauteren, Career Coach at one of Boston's
leading hospitals, on Smart Job Search Perspectives
All meetings are on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, 9am -
noon, in Boxborough, Mass. near the intersection of Routes 495 and 2. For
details about the programs, and directions, click
At Face2Face meetings, we make it easier for you to
network, no matter how shy you are. Come meet new people who might be the
connection to your next job!
The Heart of the Matter
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