The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted May 10, 2012 by

Changing careers and have no or little experience at the new career.

Carole Martin, The Interview Coach

Carole Martin, The Interview Coach

1. When you change careers the focus will be on the “softer” skills – referred to as “transferable” or “portable” skills.These skills include communication skills, ability to work with a diversity of people, ability to plan and organize, time management, etc.

2. Each candidate is unique. What makes you unique? Think about your personality and your personal traits. One of the things that the interviewer is looking for is “someone to fit in” – who is likeable – will work well with the other team members. Personal traits could be the tie breaker between two equally qualified people. Think of at least five personal traits that make you unique – friendly, flexible, quick learner, reliable, responsible, easy to get along with. (more…)

Posted May 09, 2012 by

Washingtonians Concerned Over Job Security Despite Improving Employment Picture

A recent report suggests that workers in Washington fear losing their jobs, even though unemployment has made a little progress.

Washingtonians remain cautious about their job security, despite steady improvement of statewide hiring trends, according to data released today in the 4th Annual Washington State Workplace Confidence Survey.

The survey, conducted by Harris/Decima on behalf of Everest College, revealed that 33% of Washington workers were concerned about losing their job, similar to 2011 where 30% of respondents said they were concerned about losing their jobs.

Washington State’s unemployment rate remained flat at 8.3 percent for the months of February and March 2012. This equates to approximately 289,000 people who were unemployed and looking for work during that period, down from a peak of more than 365,000 in February 2010. (more…)

Posted May 02, 2012 by

Reinvent Your Career and Job Search – Part 2

A great wind is blowing and that gives you either imagination or a headache” – Catherine the Great

Career Alley In Part 1 of this article, we covered reinventing your career (Reinvent Your Career and Job Search – Part 1). Today’s post focuses on reinventing your job search. Similar reinventing your career, there countless reasons why you would (and should) reinvent your job search. Maybe you’ve been our of the job search market for a few years (or longer) and need to adjust to the ever changing online job search process. Or maybe your current job search is not yielding results. Possibly you don’t need to totally reinvent your search, maybe just tweak it. Whatever the reason, today’s post will provide some advice and links to the “how” part. Research – Where do you want to work? – First thing you should do is decide where you want to work (as in the company). You should make a list of the companies where you would love to work. This is, of course, the end result of lots of research. While you probably have an idea of your short list, you will (and should) need to do additional research to build out your list. There are tons of resources for your research. Following are a few links. (more…)

Posted May 02, 2012 by

Reinvent Your Career and Job Search – Part 1

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

Career AlleyI ran into an old friend (metaphorically speaking) that I used to work with very early in my career. We hadn’t been in contact for probably 12 years or so even though we spent 11 years (across two companies) working together way back when. When we worked together, he was not your average guy. He was a very successful business man, near the top of his field. A typical “type A” personality, but if he liked you he would go out of his way to help you. Anyway, long story short, I spotted him on LinkedIn and he then sent a message letting me know the new things he was doing (very different from what he was doing when we worked together). I pressed him a bit for more information on one of his new ventures (because it seemed so different from what I would expect) and he told me that every so often you need to reinvent yourself. And you know what? He’s right. Sometimes we are forced to reinvent ourselves (industries change, companies disappear, skill sets become irrelevant due to changes in technology, etc.) and sometimes change is just part of our natural progression. So, whether you’re reinventing yourself because of your own personal “evolution” or are changing due to a forced “revolution”, take some time to map out the best way to get to your destination. Reinvent Your Career:Before you reinvent anything, the first question you should ask is “why?”. There are millions of reasons why, but in the interest of time, I’ve tried to narrow it down to some of the most common reasons. The second question you should ask is “how?” and there are a few links below to cover that as well. (more…)

Posted February 28, 2012 by

Work Beyond the 9 to 5 to Pursue your Dream Career

For many of you who’ve taken entry-level jobs after college, you may feel as though it’s nowhere near your dream career. While our first jobs may be more enjoyable than others, in this tough economy, we usually take what we can get. At the same time, though, there’s much to be said for gunning for your dream career, even when you’ve just starting out in the working world. And the best way to accomplish just that is by making use of your time outside of working hours to continue developing skills needed for that eventual career of your dreams. Here are a few tips: (more…)

Posted February 10, 2012 by

Changing Careers: It’s Never Too Late

With 7 million Americans receiving unemployment benefits, and many counting the years – instead of months – since their layoff, author Darlene Quinn says now is a good time to reinvent yourself.

She cites James Sherk, a senior policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation, who says the jobs people held two or three years ago often simply aren’t there anymore.

“People are trying to find jobs similar to what they had previously, when those jobs completely don’t exist,” he told Reuters recently. “So they will spend a good portion of their period unemployed looking for jobs that they are unlikely to find.” (more…)

Posted October 11, 2011 by

Making a Smooth Transition into a New Career

You’ve probably all heard the common statistic; this generation’s workers are expected to change jobs about 11 times throughout a typical career course ( For many, this number can be exciting.  But, it can also be scary. Many workers are now trying to leap into a new field in hopes finding a rewarding but also stable career.

If you’re thinking about changing your career, take a look below for tips on how to make the smoothest career transition possible. (more…)

Posted October 10, 2011 by

Changing Careers As An Executive? Here Are Some Tips To Create A Smooth Transition

Switching careers at the executive level can seem like an impossible task.  But the reality is that it happens more often than you might think.  As more high-level professionals discover new passions later in their careers, they realize that true happiness is found in making sure their jobs line up with their personal and professional needs.

Have you thought about switching careers but have felt intimidated by the process—especially writing a new resume?  The transition can be relatively smooth if you consider the following ways to make your move: (more…)

Posted July 10, 2008 by

Developing the Right Resume and Attitude for an Uncertain Economy

There is no doubt that our current economy is a little scary to say the least. Companies are laying off in mass numbers while gas, food, and energy costs are reaching record highs. It can be very difficult to maintain sanity in the midst of such uncertainty, let alone think about finding a job. But with responsibilities like bills and family always present, one must learn to keep pushing forward.
If you’re trying to find a job in our unsettling job market, you may feel less than excited about your prospects. However, you can find a job…and a good one at that. You just have to develop the right attitude, and an even better resume.
Make Yourself More Marketable
With layoffs on the rise, more people are competing for the same job. So in order to make yourself more marketable, you’ll need to perfect your resume. This means, no spelling or grammatical errors. You’ll also need to make sure your skills stand out above the rest.
One way you can do this is by conducting thorough research on the company and position to illustrate how you can enhance their goals. When describing your skills, try using action-oriented words like designed, marketed and researched, instead of phrases like “responsibilities included.” And also focus on specific achievements, like how much money you made at your previous company, and on which projects, to help employers assess your skill level.
Consider Economic Growths, Declines, and Specific Regions
Before you even apply for a job, it’s good to look at which business areas are growing, which are declining, and how your region is fairing economically. For example, a May 2008 Newsweek article reported that finance and accounting, engineering, technology and science are seeing growth, while construction, manufacturing, and automotive seem to be declining. In the same article, it noted that Midwest jobs may be on the decline due to its strong construction focus, while cities like New York, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Dallas may see a rise due to their professional focus.
After you conduct your research, if you find your field isn’t negatively impacted by the economy, you may still want to conduct more research to learn details such as whether managers and administrators, or hourly employees, are keeping or losing jobs. And if things aren’t going so well in your industry, you might consider a slight career shift, such as moving from software development to hardware networking, or even switching cities. That is if the prospects for long-term employment seem more promising.
Maintain the Right Attitude
In this economy, it is important to keep a positive attitude about your career prospects. Because the fact of the matter is, if there is a job available, someone must eventually fill the role. So why couldn’t it be you? You are just as qualified for the job as you were before the economy worsened. So try not to let the economy’s current state negatively affect your job search.
Under stable conditions, getting on track career-wise requires strong determination. But in a weak economy, it takes more. So take time to perfect your resume, conduct extensive research on your field, and keep a positive attitude. You will see that despite the economy, you’ll be able to thrive.
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and owner of who is now dedicated to providing job seekers with resources and products that promote job search success from beginning to end.

Posted June 26, 2008 by

Optional Resume Sections: Deciding When (and Which) to Include

Writing a resume can be complicated if you’re not sure how to convey the message that you’re the right person for the job. A good way to get this accomplished, however, is by choosing the right sections to include in your resume.
Choosing the standard sections (contact information, objective, work experience/skills, and education) is typically a breeze. But optional sections like career highlights, interests/hobbies, professional/community involvement, awards, and technical skills can be more of a challenge to decide between. So to help you get on the right track, let’s look at some ideas for choosing your sections.
Consider the Position for Which You’re Applying
When thinking about what sections to include in your resume, it is a good idea to first look closely at the position you’re applying for. Why? Because this can help you determine which sections will help you provide the most thorough information regarding your skill set.
For example, if you’re applying for a position that requires several years of professional experience in Corporate Communications, and also a strong writing background, there are a couple of ways you can take advantage of resume sections. Of course, you can use your standard Work/Professional Experience section to showcase the jobs you’ve worked in the field. Then if you have standout writing accomplishments, you can include a separate section (ex. Writing and Distribution) strictly for your writing accolades.
Likewise, if you are interested in furthering your career as a software developer, you could include a “Certificates and Training” section strictly for showcasing all of your Microsoft, Apple, and other certifications. This way you can highlight your standout skills and paint an accurate portrait of your potential abilities.
Think About the Message You Want to Convey
When thinking of optional sections to include, it is also a good idea to consider what message you want to offer the employer about the type of person you are. This is especially true if you know that getting hired for a position might rely partially on your personal interests.
For example, you may want to apply for a manager position with Girl Scouts of America and have extensive professional experience as a manager, though not with a non-profit organization. However, in your spare time, you’ve sat on the boards of multiple non-profits in your community. This would be a great opportunity to include a “Professional/Community Involvement” section that could showcase your understanding of non-profit organizations coupled with your strong professional background as a manager.
If You’re Thinking of Using a Template …
If you are brand new to writing resumes, or simply want some help creating a new design, a template can provide a good starting point. However, it is smart to avoid following the template to a tee. You would be doing yourself a disservice by not critically thinking about each section in reference to each job you’re applying for. This can result in your resume looking carbon copied – and ultimately ending up at the bottom of the stack.
By exploring what the company is looking for, and deciding what message you want to convey, you can have great success in choosing optional sections for your resume. So take your time and think out your purpose. You will find that doing so can help you create your perfect resume.
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and owner of who is now dedicated to providing job seekers with resources and products that promote job search success from beginning to end.