• Dear Sam: Analyzing what’s right and wrong with your resume

    Samantha Nolan | Updated: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    Dear Sam: My resume is all over the place! After reading your columns, I have tried to delete some unnecessary items that dated me. However, some of the jobs that I deleted really showcased select skills. This was to include some time spent as a credit union teller (i.e., cash handling, drawer reconciliation, customer service) and 5 years as a human resources assistant (i.e., supporting the recruitment and selection process and conducting new-hire orientations).  

  • Dear Sam: Unemployed and frustrated

    Samantha Nolan | Updated: Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Unemployed and frustrated   Dear Sam: Those of us who have been unemployed for some time do not have money for next month’s rent, let alone money for a resume. Has America lost its core values to help their own, especially for those who have been unemployed for a year or more? I have attached my resume for an honest look and a little help. – Sal   Dear Sal:Thank you for your letter. I feel your frustration and I am so sorry you have been unable to find work. I’m happy to help you, and will address your concerns.

  • Dear Sam: Experience—rarely education—differentiates you

    Samantha Nolan | Updated: Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    Experience—rarely education—differentiates you   Dear Sam: I am 46 years old and looking for a job. I am working on updating my resume and was wondering how to list my education. I graduated from high school and attended college for just one year before going to work for a local manufacturer. I worked my way up from a line associate to an assistant manager in the Stamping Department before I was let go last year. I have more than 10 years of management experience but no college degree.

  • Dear Sam: Regaining control

    Samantha Nolan | Updated: Fri, Apr 3, 2015

    Dear Sam: Three years ago I resigned from a job because it was an extremely hostile and dysfunctional environment. Hostile to the point that the HR Director told me that she would testify on my behalf if I chose to pursue legal action. You may be asking yourself if she thought this way, why didn't she do anything about it, right? The people creating the chaos were above her on the organizational chart.   Anyhow, when I left, it was not on good terms. I tried to leave as professionally as possible, not responding to any of the nastiness.

  • Dear Sam: Avoid common faux pas

    Samantha Nolan | Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

      Dear Sam: What are some of the common mistakes you see on resumes that can be easily avoided? – Tim   Dear Tim: There are several areas on a resume to which candidates don’t pay enough attention. I’ve found this isn’t as a result of a lack of effort, simply a lack of understanding as to what can distract a hiring manager and disqualify a candidate.

  • Dear Sam: Strategies for career changers

    Samantha Nolan | Updated: Sat, Feb 21, 2015

    Dear Sam: I am 49 years old and have been working as a multimedia professional for more than 8 years. I currently create corporate training videos for a large organization. My duties range from video and audio production, to photography, scriptwriting, directing, lighting, motion graphics, animation, and more. Over the past few years, my role has changed—as the company is under new management—and we are no longer doing as much video production and multimedia and the work, for me, has dwindled and I am now being utilized for menial tasks. I have been looking for another position in video and multimedia production for approximately three years and have had absolutely no luck. Of the 20+ positions I have applied for, I have only

  • Dear Sam: Handling gaps and transitions in your career

    Samantha Nolan | Updated: Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    Highlight key points of interest, most relevant qualifications

  • Start 2015 on the right foot

    Samantha Nolan | Updated: Fri, Jan 30, 2015

    As I receive so many questions—often from readers facing the same conundrums—I thought I would start 2015 with some of the most frequently asked questions in the hopes that my answers will point you in the right direction.   Q: How much experience should I present on my resume? A: Typically, hiring managers expect to see about 10-15 years of experience presented on a resume. Omitting earlier experience will not be seen as misleading as recent, relevant experience is most important. Having said that, this does not mean you can’t include earlier positions. You may, however, want to consider bylining foundational roles without dates to avoid potentially aging and/or over-qualifying your candidacy.

  • Minimize impact of recent segue from career

    BY SAMANTHA NOLAN | Updated: Thu, Jan 15, 2015

        Dear Sam: I worked in the financial services field for a company that eventually shut down. I was in the middle of finishing my degree in a course of study that was somewhat related to the financial industry. To be able to pay bills and support my family while I went to school, I took a job that was not related to my experience or education. Early on, having been at this unrelated job for just a month, my resume still worked well, as it started with my related experience. Now, with five months in this position, I am forced to add it to the top of my professional experience section which not only takes away from the other strong experience, but also causes employers to ask why I didn't pick up something

  • Fall Makeover Series: Presentation, prioritization, and personality are key

    BY SAMANTHA NOLAN | Updated: Fri, Dec 12, 2014

        Meet Ken… As a career-long accountant, Ken came to me seeking to change the way he was presenting his candidacy in order to entertain opportunities for new professional challenges. Not sure how to “brand” his candidacy given the repetitive nature of his roles, he sought expert guidance in exploring his background and identifying the unique experiences and qualifications he could leverage to differentiate his candidacy in a crowded market.   Original Resume… Ken’s original resume came straight from the Microsoft Office template gallery.

  • Fall Makeover Series: Communicate undeniable value

    BY SAMANTHA NOLAN | Updated: Fri, Dec 5, 2014

    Meet Jeremy… Jeremy, a recent graduate of a master’s program in Biomedical Engineering, came to us seeking to reposition his candidacy to maximize opportunities within a competitive space. As a young candidate, he was not sure how to best leverage his extensive experience, education, publications, honors, and awards, to ensure he stood out among his peers.   Original Resume… Jeremy’s original resume was outdated in format, structure, and content. While his resume emulated many that emerge from colleges and universities, it was doing nothing to differentiate his exceptional skill set. Opening with an objective statement, Jeremy’s resume immediately presented itself as

  • Candidate returns to her roots

    BY SAMANTHA NOLAN | Updated: Fri, Nov 14, 2014

    Sally, a licensed social worker who was recently downsized, sought to return to a direct care environment. After spending the past five years working with patients over the phone, she was eager to return to her roots in direct care. Sally wanted to focus her search on county and state positions, specifically working with seniors through the Agency on Aging.

  • Beware of the risks of self-publishing

    BY SAMANTHA NOLAN | Updated: Fri, Nov 7, 2014

    Dear Sam: My daughter graduated from college, started her first job and was recently fired from her role as she made some disparaging remarks about her employer on her Facebook page. Needless to say she is embarrassed and concerned about the impact this will have on her employment search. She obviously needs to make her Facebook page completely private—or delete it entirely in my opinion—but beyond that what should she do to curtail any additional fallout from her actions? — Catherine