Career & Coffee

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

September is International Update Your Resume month September 17, 2008


Not only are the kids preparing to go back to school, but it’s time for the “grown ups” to prepare, too– for unexpected opportunities! Is your resume ready to be viewed? Is it loaded with everything you’ve accomplished? Would you hand it out to a stranger (i.e the Hiring Manager) tomorrow?


What would you do if you were told about a fantastic opportunity that seemed tailor-made for you, but you only had a day to submit your resume to the person? Are you ready? Worse, what if you look at it and realize, it doesn’t need to just be updated, it needs to be REWRITTEN! I don’t know about other resume writers, but I am booked up for at least a week in advance.

What have you accomplished since your resume was written? Certifications? Training? Career advancement? Continued education? A job move? 2? 3? Yikes! What are you waiting for?

Be prepared for the golden opportunity– update your resume today and spare yourself the pain of missing out it tomorrow.

–Erin Kennedy


Career Summary September 11, 2008

Filed under: Resume Writing — erinkennedy @ 12:32 pm
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Take a look at your resume. What does it say at the top? Does it accurately describe your strengths and skills? Does it grab you? If you were the hiring person, would you read it and say, “Wow! Who is this person?”, or would you put the resume in the circular file?

The top half of your resume needs to be fantastic in order to catch the attention of a hiring manager. If they have 200 resumes to look at a week, they will put aside the dull and uninformative ones to get to the more eye-appealing and exciting ones.

If you are still using an objective, say for example: “To obtain a position where I can use my education and experience to achieve a high-paying position with room for advancement”… BEEP! Wrong answer. If your resume says that, crumple it up and throw it out. It’s not doing you any good, in fact it is hindering you from landing a great position.

Your career summary needs to have action words and action phrases, along with a keyword summary of some sort, to stand out and put yourself above the competition. It needs to have tangible statements of what you’ve done and what you can do for the company.

The quickest way to land an interview is having an effective resume, if you haven’t been getting calls, you should consider having it rewritten… and watch the calls come in!

Erin Kennedy


Personality/Behavioral Assessments- The New Hiring Tool? September 5, 2008


These days, just because you have your Masters or Bachelors degree from the right school with the right major, doesn’t necessarily make you the right candidate for the job. More and more companies are requiring potential employees take a personality or behavioral assessment to help identify a candidate’s work style and behavior.

According to an article in the CareerJournal, more than 80% of midsize and large companies use personality and ability assessments for entry and mid-level positions as part of a pre-employment or new employee orientation tool, says Scott Erker a senior VP at Development Dimensions International, a global human resources consultancy. Where they were used mostly in retail positions, they have now spread to other industries including finance, technology, health care and operations.

The main goal of these assessments is to help a company hire a specific type of person for a job that may require particular traits, or rule out traits that are most likely to lead to job failure. Further, some companies are using them to screen candidates as they apply; candidates won’t even get an interview unless they reach a certain score or result.

There are a few things you can do to be prepared for a personality assessment, namely understanding the organization and why they use that particular assessment. Do your research to give you more insight into the company’s rationale behind their assessment choices.

Another idea is: TAKE YOUR OWN ASSESSMENT WITH YOU. Go straight to the interview armed with your own behavioral assessment. For example, our company offers a variety of Behavioral Assessments that help you expand upon your work habits, interview preparation, communication style, management style, customer service, sales skills and more. We’ve had clients potential employers ASK for our numbers in order to be able to give these assessments to their own employees! For a minimal cost, you can have a complete portfolio of assessments at your disposal to impress a hiring manager and get a leg up on the competition.

Companies see the assessment as opportunities for individuals to better understand themselves and their value to the company.

For more information on the behavioral assessments we offer, call 1-866-793-9224 or email me at:

Until next time,

Erin Kennedy