Resume Writing and Design

I recently 'met' Amy Adler through a business networking group on LinkedIn. Amy is is the president and founder of Inscribe / Express, a resume and career documentation company focusing on the health care and information technology industries.

She's written this great article on "6 Strategies for Success" for Resume Content and Design, which I'd like to share with you.

Here are Amy's tips:

When you apply for a job, you could be 1 of 400 women and men vying for that spot. In other words, you have about 1/400 chance of being noticed—unless you take the initiative to captivate your audience with amazing content and clever design.

Content: Show You’re the Best Fit for the Position

1.Target your resume to the specific job description.
Read the job description for the position. Then read it again. Use the words you find there to enhance your resume and cover letter. You’ll target your resume more effectively for the job.

2.Write about your accomplishments, not your duties.
By far, this is the toughest aspect of resume writing for women. Woman or man, be shamelessly self-promoting. Show you can do your job better than every other candidate, man or woman. Evaluate yourself the way your hiring manager, your employees, and even your customers do.

3.Use results whenever possible.
Which of these sounds like it belongs to the resume of a more capable candidate:

Responsible for new application installation. Took two weeks for large team to complete.
Spearheaded major multi-site application installation mobilizing cross-functional team of 20+. Completed with 20% fewer person-hours than projected.

Be colorful; be concise. But most of all be specific about your successes.

Design: Make Your Resume Easy to Read
4.Emphasize important resume text with bold, underline, or italics.
Make your resume easy to read by showing recruiters exactly where to look for your best accomplishments.

5.Don’t use a fancy typeface.
To make your resume stand out, don’t use an offbeat typeface or font color (or paper color). Stick to a common typeface that your reader’s computer is likely to have. Use black.

6.Use color judiciously.
Color in your resume design (headings, lines, text boxes) can draw a recruiter’s attention. If you’re in a creative industry, showcase your artistic talents. If you’re not, and you’re in doubt, don’t use any color but black.

In summary, the job market is tough, and you need to stand out among the men and women applying for the same positions as you are. By tweaking your content and your design, you can help the recruiter put your resume in the “YES” pile.

You can contact Amy at or check out her blog at

This is all valuable advice. Thanks Amy - I'm in awe at the great people you can meet on the internet!

Use the tips!

How To Work In A Team

Here's a short excerpt from my book "Hot Tips for Career Chicks" about working in teams:

"Working in an effective team can help you realise your business or personal goals and objectives. Plus, when your team achieves superior results, you get to share in the reflected glory. Much easier than struggling on your own, achieving an average result and shouldering all the responsibility!

Being associated with successful teams improves your credibility. Others may not know the contributions of each individual, but they'll view everyone positively, if the team was successful.

On the other hand, being associated with an unsuccessful or dysfunctional team that hasn't achieved their objectives can reflect badly on your individual performance. Sometimes no matter how hard you work in a team, the result doesn't get delivered. This can be an unfair reflection on you.

The only way to reduce this risk is to focus on the success of the whole team and the required business deliverables. Don't get worked up about others who aren't pulling their weight.

Essentially, there's only one person's behaviour you can have an impact on: your own.

As much as you'd like to change other people's behaviours or make them do some work, the only person you can really control is you. So do your best: the team will have a much better chance of success than if you don't."

Today's Career Chick Hot Tip: Focus on your contributions to a team.

Stay focused!

What's good about team work?

There's lots of reasons why people don't like having to work in teams. It can be time consuming, some people don't carry their share of the workload and others just don't seem to understand what's going on or required.

But there are plenty of reasons why working in teams can be beneficial.Here's 5 reasons why working in a team can work for you:

1. You get access to the skills and expertise of others in the group
2. It can be motivating to work with others with a shared goal
3. The envirnment can stimulate collaboration - and you'll have better ideas
4. You can't (and don't want to) do everything yourself!, and most importantly
5. You get to focus on what you are good at (and want to do!)

The next time you're considering whether to do something yourself or involve a team ask yourself, "What could I do if I am just focussed on what I am good at? And what I enjoy?"

You might be surprised by your answer!

Today's Career Chick Hot Tip: Trust the team and concentrate on your area of expertise

Team Work Works

Last week I was going to blog and post tips on the Hot Tips for Career Chicks facebook page about teamwork. But I was so busy working with my team that I didn't have time!

It's the time, negotiation and frustrations of working with people who view the world differently that can give teamwork a bad name (think group projects at uni!).

But in the business world, the complexity and expertise required to be successful means that you need to work well with others. Nobody can do everything themselves. How you work in teams will be one of the criteria that people will use to judge your performance. Learning how to work in teams is a crucial skill to develop as part of your operating style.

Sure working with the team to get agreement on our plan was a little time consuming. There were a few meetings and probably too many e-mails. But we got there, and we now have a plan that everyone is (at least) comfortable with - and prepared to give a go! And we got a better outcome than if the plan had been developed by just one person. So the result was more than worth the effort of working in a team.

The Career Chick Hot Tip is that to be successful you need to work in teams!

So this week, look out for some tips for Career Chicks on how to work in teams.


Red Shoes help make business 'pop'

This week I had the opportunity to attend the national launch of the 100% Project which is an initiative dedicated to seeing 100% of Australia's leadership talent (male and female) contributing to our future.

The project was launched by the Federal Minister for the Status of Women, Tanya Plibersek, with a symbolic balancing of the scales of business shoes. As having more women involved in business adds to the richness of an organizations talent, so too did the addition of a gorgeous red pair of pumps make an impact!

The point was made during the launch that the danger now that parental leave has been implemented and we have a female Prime Minister, is that everyone may be inclined to think that the issues of gender equality in the workplace are solved. And that we cannot afford to become complacent.

The 100% project are launching a piece of research about "What Men Want" to get the male perspective on gendered human resource practices. Which is absolutely vital given the fact that men occupy so many senior roles in business.

I just hope that if if they make it into a movie it doesn't start Mel Gibson. George Clooney would be my vote!

Chair, Frances Feestra, made the comment that "Women are not a minority group" which really struck a chord with me. Particularly given that women account for 50.25% of the poulation in Australia and a similiar percentage in most developed countries.

It will be great to see this type of research and what impact it has. For now, let's keep adding those red shoes to the scales and make business 'pop'.


To pat or not to pat?

I just got home from the gym where I was watching TV, listening to music (Adam Lambert, B52s and Nickelback fyi) and trying to breath (Love Shack is fast when you're on the cross trainer!!!!).

Anyway that's not my point ...rather what I was watching on TV was the news and the vision of new Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard in a meeting with male colleagues and patting one of them on the arm during a moment of levity.

My view is that this is a no-no for Career Chicks (possibly okay for a Prime Minister but then you get people blogging about it so perhaps not!)

The issue is that it looks motherly or like something your sister might do. Which is fine in those circumstances. But do you really want to conjure up those pictures in a work situation?

For me the Career Chick Hot Tip is No Pats in a business environment.

I'm off for a shower and maybe a chocolate!