Career & Coffee

Resume Writing, Job Search, Industry News and Erin’s weekly musings on all things career.

Guest Post–Kris Plantrich–Did you know? Facts March 20, 2006

Filed under: Career & Workplace — erinkennedy @ 6:15 pm

Did You Know?

Hi, my name is Kris Plantrich and I am a Certified Professional Resume Writer and currently I contribute writing services to Professional Resume Service owned by fellow writer Erin Kennedy. As this is my first entry to the blog I thought I would stay in the spirit of the name Did You Know? and delve into this question a little further.

Did you know Tuesday is the most productive day of the week?

Did you know as many as 35% of employers are now using your credit report history as a means of judging personal responsibility, especially in occupations dealing directly with money?

Did you know 65 to 70% of jobs are gained through personal referrals or networking connections – so get networking!

Did you know only an average of 36% of those job hunters interviewed regularly send thank-you notes while 75% of employers like or expect the notes?

Did you know that over 90% of employers seek their assistant’s opinion when interviewing and making hiring decisions?

Did you know business cards are a great way to network – plain and simple or with a photo works best?

Did you know having a mentor can be also be a great way to network?

Did you know 60% of large companies do salary planning in the fall – a great time to ask for a raise!

Did you know that while the average job hunt takes 19 weeks, 40 – 50% of job seekers give up after just 2 months?

Take these facts to heart while preparing, searching, and interviewing for your next job.

Bye for now,



Importance of the Thank You Letter March 19, 2006

Filed under: Resume Writing — erinkennedy @ 12:25 am
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The Importance of the Thank You Letter

I’ve been asked many, many times, “Do I really need to send a Thank You letter to the employer?”… and the answer is always, “Yes! Yes! Yes!”.

Okay, so I am a bit anal about Thank You’s. I know that. I get pretty irritated if I don’t get one after spending gobs of money for showers, weddings, birthdays, etc. It takes about 1 minute to write a thank you note. It’s a nice way of saying, “Thank you for spending one of your precious days/nights off work with me/us and driving almost 3 hours round trip to get here.– it means a lot”. But do we need to do it after an interview? Does the employer really care? Does it really make a difference?


Studies repeatedly show that candidates who follow up the interview with a thank you always gets chosen before their peers. Sending a customized thank you note gives you an edge. It helps remind the interviewer who you are. Many recruiters of Fortune 500 companies admit that some candidates get lost in the shuffle, only to rediscover them when receiving a thank you note.

A thank you note reiterates your strong points. It reminds them why they should hire YOU. Here are a few tips about writing a thank you note:

1- Proofread. Double check and make sure that not only is your thank you error-free, but that you are sending it to the right employer!

2- Restate Your Strong Points. Hiring managers state that a thank you note is “literally the last chance candidates have to sell themselves to an employer”. Remind them why you are the best candidate.

3- Impress Them With Your Listening Skills. State something in the letter that relates to the conversations you had at the interview. Show them you really were listening to them, not daydreaming about what the benefits and compensations are going to be.

4- Thank Everyone. If 3 people interviewed you, then they each get a thank you. Not only will they be impressed, but they may show it to each other in an attempt to get the others to want to hire you, too. Just remember to customize each letter. A letter that is not well-thought-out (or the same to each) can only hurt you. If you are stumped on what to write, just think about the topics you discussed during the interviews.

It only takes about 2 minutes and a stamp to make a lasting impression.


Erin Kennedy


Women Earning Less Than Men? March 13, 2006

Filed under: Career & Workplace,Erin's Musings,Salary — erinkennedy @ 5:54 pm
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Being a woman, you can imagine how I felt when I recently read an article stating that women are STILL earning 12% less than a man in a comparable position. This is an important issue because at some point in our lives, 80-90% of all women will be solely responsible for their own finances, whether it be because of divorce, death, disability of a spouse, or just deciding to remain single.

Sure, sometimes, depending on where you work, might contribute to the “good old boys club” or gender discrimination theory. But after reading on, I found that some of what the author was saying to be true, we may be responsible for adding to this dilemma. The question is: Are we UnderEarners?

If you haven’t had a raise in over 2 years and don’t want to ask for one for fear of “rocking the boat”, you may be an underearner.

If you have a hard time telling your clients you are raising your fees, or consistently underbill them, you may be an underearner.

If you don’t market yourself, or “toot your own horn” either within the place you work, or with networks outside of work, you may be an underearner.

If you put so much time into volunteer activities that you just feel lucky to be employed and content to remain where you are financially, you may be an underearner.

Some of this sounds like you, so, what do we do, you ask?

1- Identify your financial needs, have a clear picture of what you need to earn and where you want to be (including identifying all expenses and any “incidentals” like car repair, home repair, etc.)
2- Research the position and your own qualifications within the industry. If they don’t meet your needs, then prepare to negotiate for a pay increase, or start looking for a job that will pay what you deserve.
3- NEGOTIATE. This is the key to showing the employer what you are worth and that you are committed to getting it. Have an up-to-date copy of your on-the-job accomplishments ready to show your boss what you have contributed as a back up for your request. Most importantly, be confident. You’ve earned it and you deserve it!

For further reading on these subjects, check out Mikelann R. Valterra’s book, “Why Women Earn Less, How to Make What You’re Really Worth”, or Nicholas Reid Schaffzin’s book, “Negotiate Smart: The Secrets of Successful Negotiation”.

Until next time,



PRESS RELEASE–Contributor in new books March 7, 2006

Filed under: Press — erinkennedy @ 12:57 am
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Big News!!

Just got word today that some of my resumes will be featured in a new resume book published and coming out in the fall:
“No-Nonsense Resumes: The Essential Guide to Creating Attention-Grabbing Resumes That Get Interviews & Job Offers” by Wendy Enelow and Arnie Boldt.

Also included in the book are resumes from one of our other writers, Kris Plantrich.

To quote the authors Wendy and Arnie, “We are thrilled to be able to include your excellent work in this new publication.”
Congratulations Kris & Erin!

Be sure to grab a copy of this book when it comes out!


Shiny new blog! March 6, 2006

Filed under: Erin's Musings — erinkennedy @ 8:30 pm
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Welcome to Professional Resume Services first ever BLOG! We have finally ventured into the age of blogging!

My name is Erin Kennedy and I am the owner of Professional Resume Services. My goal, and the goal of the writers here, is to create a blog that is very useful for the job seeker with information written in an easy-to-read format. We don’t want to load it down with long pages per post, rather just short, simple and useful tools for the job search journey. We want to share all of the articles we study, conferences/seminars/webinars we attend, and industry knowledge we become privy to.

We are dedicated to helping ease your transition to your next job by creating powerful resumes, cover letters, cv’s, and bio’s that grab the employer’s attention and get you the job you want.

If you have any questions or comments email us at, or have difficulty viewing this blog, please let our moderator know at

Be sure to copy this link to your home page for future tidbits of useful career change, resume writing and job search info.

Until next time,