Writing Counts in Resumes

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When it comes to resumes, I have one simple rule: if you can’t prove it, you can’t say it. That means statements like exceptional customer service, outstanding project management skills, and superior communication and leadership are O-U-T. Why? Because unless you won the Exceptional Customer Service Award, it’s just your opinion of your performance. Your resume needs to balance your desire to promote all the amazing qualifications you have with the needs of the employer who is desperately searching through piles of applicants to find the 10 (or so) best to interview out of hundreds of candidates. If you don’t offer proof, you likely won’t make the cut.

Employers want you to demonstrate your abilities, rather than claim them. Here are some suggested alternatives to the usual resume fare:

Is Your Resume Ready for the 2014 Job Fair Season?

HamiltonDeanMcCoyPhoto Credit Dean McCoy

If you’re in the Hamilton Ontario area, and looking for a new position, you’ll want to mark January 23rd on your calendar. The Connect to Careers fair, a collaboration between higher education institutions and Hamilton Economic Development will take place at Careport and is open to the public from 1-4pm.

Whether you’re attending this fair or another event in your community, you’ll want to be prepared to take advantage of all those employers in one space. Begin by researching the list of organizations attending. Too many jobseekers make the mistake of discounting a company because their primary industry is outside the applicant’s field, like an engineering or accounting firm if that’s not your background. Remember that medium-large organizations hire people beyond their area of specialization. They have HR professionals, administration, sales, marketing and more. Keep that in mind, and do your homework.

Now that you have a sense of who is coming, ask yourself which employers might be a good fit for you. Use LinkedIn to look up employees and get a sense of their background (go to the company page and see how many employees are on LinkedIn). Did you notice any keywords that appeared regularly? Do those words match your background? How about education? Any similarities there? Make note of any trends you notice in looking at people’s profiles, so you can use this in editing your resume.

You will only have a few moments with representatives at the fair, so your resume will need to make a lasting impression that will help them connect your conversation to your documents. A few quick tips to help you get started:

Thank You

Last week I shared a post on LinkedIn by Josh Bersin about giving thanks to coworkers, colleagues, customers and volunteers. Aside from providing empirical evidence that recognizing others' contributions is a good practice, Bersin got me thinking about how I could properly thank the people and businesses who have played a role in helping me to go from intrapreneur to entrepreneur this year.

I hope you enjoy it.



The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Photo Credit Rob Nguyen Rockefeller Tree

The holidays are fast approaching, and for most job seekers this brings a host of anxieties. People mistakenly believe that employers stop hiring because everyone is on vacation, or because everything will be pushed to the new year. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Whether you celebrate the holidays or not, this is the most wonderful time of the year to network and, perhaps, secure a hidden gem of a job.


•    Say ‘yes’ when invited to holiday gatherings, parties, or open houses. Seasonal festivities have a lighter mood to them, and present you with a fantastic opportunity to talk with people in a more relaxed environment. Rather than focus on the negative (“I’m out of work”) focus on the positive when you are meeting someone new (“I’m exploring opportunities in X”). You don’t want to kill their holiday buzz, and nothing will do that faster than being negative.

Time Management

NIXIE Clock BasicsPhoto Credit - Adam Greig

A few months ago my watch died. Not, in and of itself remarkable, but I happen to be allergic to leather straps and metal chains, so buying a new watch is a challenge. I started using my phone to keep track of time, and a funny thing happened along the way – I became more productive. Here are my top 3 tips: 

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Who are we?

Catherine Maybrey Coaching Services provides comprehensive career coaching packages to help clients move forward in their transition through action. As the principal and owner, Cate believes in “telling it like it is” and helping her clients to reach their goals through a combination of education, information, and collaboration. She also works with employers to provide custom training and organizational effectiveness solutions, believing that people should work smarter, not harder.

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For individuals seeking assistance with their careers, we offer support for everything from resumes and cover letters through growth and advancement, specializing in clients with graduate degrees and mid-level careers across all fields. We also offer client group coaching programs and custom designed solutions for organizations.

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