The Impression Equation

April 12, 2011

By: Trevor Wilson, Founder of

It’s been said that in an interview, the employer will make up his mind within the first five minutes as to whether to hire you. If you have ever read Blink (which is a great book by Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point), you probably even have less time to make a great first impression.

This is where the Impression Equation comes in.

What is the Impression Equation? It is the formula that you need to follow for making a good first impression. It goes as follows:

Impression = Appearance + Attitude

In other words, the impression that you make on the employer will be your general appearance plus your attitude in the first five minutes. To break it down even further:

* Appearance: This doesn’t mean that you have to be naturally beautiful or handsome. It only means that you have to make an effort to look your best. Things such as professional attire, trimmed nails, and maintained hair are what count. You have to let your appearance show how much you want to the job, without trying to “give the wrong impression”, so to speak.

* Attitude: This is not what you say, this is how you act. Do you portray confidence? Do you smile? Do you make eye contact? Do you speak clearly? Do you gesture appropriately? All of these things make up how your attitude will be perceived by the employer.

Without either of these elements, you cannot make a good impression. So beyond just preparing for what you will say in the interview, make sure you address how you look and how you act. It will make an enormous difference in whether you land the job.

Trevor Wilson is an author and consultant who works with new graduates preparing to enter the work force. His site,, provides daily advice on job hunting, networking, and resume writing tailored to the Entry Level Job seeker. His first book, Overcoming Gradversity: How to Break Into the Entry Level Job Market, was published in 2008.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.


Job Candidates – Recruiters are Searching for you on the Web

March 25, 2011

By: William Frierson is a staff writer for,

News flash. In case you have not heard, social media is not just used for social reasons anymore. If you are looking for a job these days or a better chance of finding one, then you may want to consider using social media websites. By doing so, you can create an online presence that gives you more exposure as a job candidate and makes you more accessible to recruiters.

One article mentioned that in a recent survey of hiring managers in the United States, about 66% of them explored LinkedIn to seek ideal candidates for positions. Therefore, it may be wise build your professional profile on this website. Be sure your profile is honest and represents a professional appearance. Remember, you are trying to make connections that will benefit your job search. In addition, update your profile, as you would do for a resume.

Because recruiters only have a limited amount of time to search for candidates each day, you need to make your online profile easy to find. Include a link to it on your resume, below your contact information. By being on LinkedIn or other social media sites, you will give yourself a better chance of ranking high when recruiters search them for candidates.

Using social media doesn’t have to be exclusively for social purposes; it can also benefit you professionally. Job candidates can obtain more exposure and be more accessible to today’s more tech-savvy recruiters.

[link “The Career News” to

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Dumbing Down Your Resume

February 23, 2011

by Randy Wooden at The Wooden Group

Perhaps you’ve read my February 13, 2011, article in the Winston-Salem Journal.  If not, here’s a somewhat controversial take on adapting your resume to meet the job requirements.

You’ve sacrificed time and money to earn your degree, perhaps adding a master’s degree or better. You’re not only proud of your achievements, but employers should value your efforts.

But wait. You’ve lost your job and, perhaps, are perfectly willing to take a step or two backward to not only stop the financial bleeding, but to re-energize yourself.

We’ve been taught a résumé should make you look as strong as possible. But in some cases, your résumé can be too strong. It can make you appear overqualified for the job you seek.

So should you dumb down your résumé? And what does dumbing down mean?

Dumbing down typically refers to your education. Dropping a master’s degree from your résumé when the employer doesn’t require a graduate degree is appropriate in a tight market. The same can apply to your experience and accompanying job titles.

Deciding what to keep and what to drop can be tricky. Is there an accepted trade-off between, say, a master’s degree and years of experience? Employers have differing opinions.

Here’s my rule of thumb. Consider what a job is likely to pay given its requirements. Is a degree “preferred” or mandatory? If preferred, then drop the master’s and just list your bachelor’s degree.

Consider your years of experience and your job titles. Consider dropping jobs prior to 1995 from your résumé, particularly when the requirements are five to 10 years of experience. Do your job titles seem to match the job you’re interested in? If not, consider altering your title to one more in line.

What if you’re self-employed? As the owner and president of The Wooden Group, I’d list “Sales Manager” on my résumé. Or “Operations Manger” or “Marketing Director” or whatever role I needed to reflect my relevant skills.

Résumés are as much a reflection of your work history and achievements as they are a game of matching key words and educational requirements. If you’re too “heavy” on experience or education, you may be able to perform the job with your eyes closed, but most employers won’t consider you for fear that they can’t afford you or that you’ll leave once you find a higher-paying job more in line with your experience.

The immediate goal is to get an interview. And, assuming you don’t have a contact to bypass the screening process, your résumé needs to match the company’s requirements. At least once you’re in person you’ll have your chance to explain your situation. But by including all your experience and education on your application you likely won’t get that chance.

Applied Online? Now Get Your Resume to Rise to the Top of Their Pile!

February 1, 2011

By Kathy Bernard, Get a Job Blogs & Workshops

Ever feel like you are sending your resume into a pit of no return when you apply for a job on an online site? I’ve found a good way to get your resume noticed by the hiring manager or recruiter after you apply online. It involves using, so if you aren’t registered on this important free business networking site yet, establish a profile there as soon as you can. Then invite all of your friends and colleague to connect with you there. The more LinkedIn connections you have, the greater access you will have to an extended network of your first degree connections and all of your connections’ first and second degree connections.

Once you are on and have established connections, use the search box to try to learn the hiring manager and/or recruiter’s name. Do so by using the drop down menu to “Search People” and then type in the company’s name. Search through the results to find the people with the leadership or recruiting titles you seek.

Contact these people through one of these means:

  • If they are a second degree connection (if one the people is a friend of one of your first degree LinkedIn connections), click the button “Get introduced through a connection” and follow the prompts. This will allow a friend of yours to send your message to the person. Alternatively, you can send a regular email with your resume to your friend and ask him/her to forward your resume to his/her connection and put in a good word for you.
  • Send the hiring manager or recruiter a LinkedIn “Inmessage” (this requires a monthly LinkedIn upgrade cost)
  • Try to find the person’s email address on Google by putting the person’s name and company name in the search box and seeing if his/her contact information comes up in the search findings. (Their contact information might be in a directory, for example).
  • If you can’t find the person’s email address online, but the job requires you to apply by emailing (for example) Bob Brown at, you now know the construction of email addresses at that company. So if you learn the hiring manager is Becky Thatcher at the same company, you know that her email address is probably Use that knowledge to send her a personal email and attach your resume.

Of course another option is to try calling the company’s main switchboard and asking for the name and email address of the recruiter or director of the such and such department.

Taking these approaches has worked well for me because they show potential employers that I am proactive and resourceful. Personal approaches also appeal to recipients’ egos because they know I sought them out specifically. So start emailing key people after you apply online … after all, it could help you Get a Job!

You’re qualified … but so is your competition. Here are simple ways to make your resume stand out!

January 10, 2011

by Kathy Bernard, Get a Job! Tips blog online.

I spoke with three job seekers this past week who were all well qualified, but all three had the same lament: Nobody was calling them for job interviews. I looked at their resumes and was impressed with their educational background and experience. I also figured out why they weren’t getting calls.

Here is what I learned and how you can use the knowledge to make sure your resume stands out above the rest.

I realized they weren’t getting calls because their resumes didn’t portray them as the most qualified candidates. Could your resume be letting you down? Carefully study and improve your resume with these thoughts in mind:

1. Does your resume reflect how uniquely qualified you are for each job opening? Don’t be lazy or complacent! Diligently modify your cover letter and resume to convince each hiring company you are the best person for the job.

2. Does it include power words and quantifiable results? Don’t just state what you did, show why it mattered.

3. Does it use keywords that were mentioned in the job description? Remember, many recruiters run resumes through a keyword search program, so if you don’t have the right words on your resume, you will automatically be rejected.

4. Is it clearly written and easy to read? If it is filled with jargon or acronyms only people in your past company or industry use, revise the information to be meaningful and impressive for a more general audience.

5. Is it interesting and succinct? Recruiters wade through hundreds of resumes. If you bore or confuse them, they will simply move on to the next one.

6. Does it show that you are qualified for the open position? If your job history has not adequately prepared you for the job, prove you have the abilities through other means, such as by emphasizing your educational background, showing relevant volunteer or freelance experience, or by including examples to prove your expertise.

7. Does it list your qualifications in order of importance and relevance to the job you seek? This sounds like a no-brainer, but if you are an administrative assistant wanting to be a communicator, put your communications experience on top and minimize your admin experience.

8. Is it attractive? A well designed resume makes ample use of white space particularly around the margins and in between sections. Feature no more than two, easy-to-read, typefaces. Make sure type is not too large or too small. Use bullet points to cleanly organize information. Use boldface and italics to draw attention to important elements, but don’t use either excessively.

9. Is it error free? Is your past job history information up to date and correct? Use spell check to check your spelling and grammar, but also review it carefully to make sure spell check didn’t incorrectly “fix” a word. The funniest spell check “miss-fix” I’ve seen was when Microsoft Word fixed the word “position” on a resume to be “prostitution!” Don’t let such a mistake happen to you. Check your job application messages before you hit “send.”

Job seekers: Three reasons why well-intentioned people (like me!) aren’t helping you find work and what you can do about it.

December 15, 2010

by Kathy Bernard

I am helping so many people find work (on a voluntary basis), I created a chart to remember them all. The chart includes their names, locations, job preferences, and email addresses so I can send them relevant job leads. (If you want to be on the list, send me an InMessage or connect with me on LinkedIn.) In the process of creating the chart, I realized why I haven’t been more help. The same roadblocks may be keeping your friends from helping you.

Here’s what I learned:
1) I said I’d remember you, but I don’t
If I met you once at a workshop or networking event and you didn’t keep in touch, you’ve sadly been relegated to that cobwebby place in my head where I supposedly learned why x=12. If you aren’t on LinkedIn, or don’t have your picture on your profile, I still don’t remember you. Remind me!

Lessons to learn:
Build a relationship with people who said they would help you.
• Connect with them on LinkedIn. Include your photo on your profile.
• Send them an email immediately following a networking event reminding them of everything you want them to remember about you.
• Tell them about jobs you applied for and ask them for advice and if they know someone at the company (so they can put in a good word for you).
• Suggest LinkedIn groups or networking events they might enjoy.
• Tell them you liked their blog post or discussion board comment (that never gets old!)
• Introduce them to people who could help them in their career.
• Provide them with business leads. For example, refer a real estate friend to someone selling a home.
• Congratulate them on their business successes.
• Update them if your job status has changed. For example, let them know if you have decided to do freelance while looking for work, or if have taken a temporary job.
• Change your LinkedIn status bar so your status will continually appear in all of your contacts’ LinkedIn Network Updates.

2) I said I’d remember what job you are seeking, but I don’t
I’m a creative type, so fields like information technology or science are a great mystery to me … I know there are all kinds of jobs within these fields, but I don’t know which one is right for you.

Lessons to learn:
• Don’t just tell people what kind of job you want, send them your resume and repeatedly remind them of the job titles you seek.
• Remind them what level of position you are looking for and whether you are willing to consider lower positions.
• Clearly state what type of position(s) you want in your LinkedIn status bar, but avoid stating too many types of positions, lest it sound like you aren’t an expert in any one area.
• Let people know if you are open to temporary or part-time work while you are job seeking. Also let us know if you have reached a desperation state where you will take anything.

3) I can’t recall what you want. Are you looking for work … or starting your own company … or both?
I have quite a few friends who have grown frustrated in their job search and have decided to start a design firm, marketing company, etc. Does that mean they don’t want job leads? I don’t really know. I err on the side of sending them job leads and business leads.

Lessons to learn:
• Whatever you decide to do, remind your well intentioned friends of your plan. And if you change your mind and restart your job search, let us know that, as well.
• Make sure to fully inform friends and former coworkers that you are starting a new company. Provide incentives to encourage their referrals.

The most important thing to remember is that if your friends are working, they are crazy busy, working in under-staffed situations. They want to help, but you’ve got to do the heavy lifting to make sure they know your needs.

Equip your friends to help you in your job search! After all, it can help you … Get a Job!

How do you keep your friends informed of your job search? Share your comments!

Going Outside the Traditional Resume to Capture the Interview

November 23, 2010

Going Outside the Traditional Resume to Capture the Interview
By: Jessica has a true passion for the job seeker, evidenced by her desire to share everything she can with everyone she can about resume writing and interviewing.
Author Website:

This past week I was on JobTalkAmerica, a radio show designed around the needs of job seekers in today’s tough economic climate. On the show I discussed two critical points your resume must have in order to succeed and also how to go outside of your resume to get the interview. I want to elaborate further on what you can do outside of your resume that can help you get the interview.


This past week we had a client upload the professional LinkedIn profile that we developed for him and the first day it was online he got an interview with one of his target companies. I think this alone speaks volumes about what a LinkedIn profile can do. You need a keyword-optimized profile, and now LinkedIn has added even more features that will make it easier for employers to find you! Utilize the new features like adding skills, certifications, or publications to your profile; this increases the chances that employers will find you when they’re searching for someone with your background and experience.


I keep hearing these insane statistics about how many employers are googling potential candidates to research them; this is where a Google profile comes in. Creating a branded and engaging profile gives the hiring manager more information about you and it’s in a place they’re going to look anyway!


A Web resume is another great way to get your experience and expertise out there and make it all searchable. With modern technology these days you really have to up your job search game and find new and creative ways to get in front of the hiring manager. If you know where the hiring manager is (searching on the Net) then that’s where you need to be. It’s another compelling way to brand yourself, direct the information hiring managers find about you, and secure your place in a competitive market.


Every element of your social networking and online job search should be connected to one another. I have my twitter account linked to my LinkedIn account and my Facebook page; then I have my blog attached to each one of those. I’m hoping I won’t lose you here while I go a bit deeper, but anytime I post to my blog it automatically posts a link to my twitter account, a note to my Facebook page, and an updated blog post to my LinkedIn profile. So everything is interconnected. It saves me time but also refreshes every social network I’m on at the same time; so my fans, followers, and connections can always see what’s new. Tweet, write, and comment on your career, field of interest, and related information, and it won’t go unnoticed!


A visual CV and video resume are two additional ways to increase your presence on the Internet. I equate a visual CV to a Web resume, although it is a bit more interactive. However, a video resume to me is more cutting edge and attention getting, and while you may not e-mail your video resume to the employer directly when applying or upload it in the application, you can post a link to the video resume in your e-mail signature and on your resume! This leads the hiring manager to more convincing and engaging information about you!

If I were in a job search this is exactly what I’d do:

I would create a video resume and post it to my visual CV as well as my Web resume, LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, and link to my twitter account. But most of all, I would create a blog or personal Web site and upload it there. I would include a link to my LinkedIn profile and video resume on my resume and cover letter whenever I submit it—and also include a link to both in my e-mail signature. Get your information out there—because hiring managers want to see it!

Capture the interview by going where the hiring managers are—online (and they’re not necessarily on the pricey job boards). So get off the job boards and visit the sites I’ve mentioned above. Spend some time fine-tuning your profiles, branding yourself, and being a forward-thinking job seeker. Branding yourself comes with its own set of challenges, so if you want a professional to help you develop your brand, LinkedIn profile, social networking sites, and more, call 800.991.5187 or visit Great Resumes Fast today. We guarantee interviews and your job search success. If a new LinkedIn profile today means interviews tomorrow, it’s worth the investment!

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.