• Dear Sam: Don’t sacrifice value for brevity

    Samantha Nolan | Updated: Mon, Jul 13, 2015

    Don’t sacrifice value for brevity   Dear Sam: I would like to get your opinion on how to improve my resume. I am 55 years old with 20 years of management experience in the food and landscape industries. I have a degree in landscape design. I have applied for numerous positions that are suited to my qualifications, skills, and experiences—both in-person and online—but the majority of the time I get zero response. When I have received a response I am told I am overqualified. Would it be more effective to format my resume differently to get more responses and interviews? – Chris

  • Dear Sam: Strategic positioning and prioritization keys to success

    Samantha Nolan | Updated: Mon, Jul 13, 2015

    Strategic positioning and prioritization keys to success   Meet Douglas! Douglas, a technical analyst, came to me having gained extensive experience within a niche market, seeking to transition into an analyst or market research role. He had developed a two-page resume which he felt could be improved on significantly. After seeing one of his coworker’s resumes, also developed by Ladybug Design, he contacted me to get the process started.   Original

  • Dear Sam: Why aren't employers calling?

    Samantha Nolan | Updated: Mon, Jul 13, 2015

    Why aren’t employers calling?   Dear Sam: I am trying to land a job in healthcare where I can later earn an internal promotion after completing graduate school and obtaining a license as a professional counselor. Employers aren't calling.

  • Dear Sam: Interpret Signs Correctly

    Samantha Nolan | Updated: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    Interpret signs correctly Dear Sam: I have been searching for employment for almost three years. I previously worked in the healthcare field but, after years of being passed over for promotions, I decided to go to college and get a degree. Throughout my healthcare career I was able to obtain many skills, but without a degree to back them up, it appeared my skills were meaningless. My dilemma is that I changed fields almost completely as I am currently studying for a bachelors degree in forensic accounting and business administration. That being said, I have found I now do not possess the relevant experience to obtain employment in that field either.
Can you please take a look at my resume to see what I need to do to make it stand out to

  • Dear Sam: Targeted searches generate the strongest results

    Samantha Nolan | Updated: Wed, Jun 10, 2015

    Targeted searches generate the strongest results   Dear Sam: I was just laid off and do not know how to even begin a job search. What should I do to get my search off the ground? – Ron   Dear Ron: I’m really sorry to hear of your layoff. Let me outline the critical steps to get you started in the right direction:   1. Define your purpose. Have you considered what types of opportunities you want to pursue? This is the most critical step to ensuring a targeted and effective search.

  • Dear Sam: Baby Boomer avoids aging candidacy

    Samantha Nolan | Updated: Wed, Jun 10, 2015

    Baby Boomer avoids aging candidacy   Who is Rebecca? Rebecca came to me seeking help in positioning her for what she hoped would be her last career move. With 30+ years of experience in the field of human resources—specifically, benefits and compensation—she wanted to show potential employers that she was an expert of her craft while not unnecessarily aging her candidacy.   Why did Rebecca need help?

  • Strategies for the new kid on the block

    Updated: Fri, Jun 5, 2015

    Dear Sam: I need help figuring out where to start building my network. I hear, all of the time, that it’s not what you know, but who you know; having just relocated to the area—due to my spouse’s career—I’m afraid I’m quite light in the “who you know” category! As the new kid on the block, where should I start? – Paul   Dear Paul: Building a professional network is one of the most impactful and empowering things a candidate can do to benefit his/her job search. First, do you have a LinkedIn profile? Start online by reaching out to professional contacts and building a robust network of “virtual” connections.

  • Dear Sam: Are you sabotaging your chances?

    Samantha Nolan | Updated: Fri, May 29, 2015

    Meet Todd! Todd has served in technician roles for the majority of his career. Serving in the military for two years, he progressed to working in the private sector for an equipment repair company; after two years, he joined his current employer for eight-plus years. In his current role, Todd rebuilt engines, gained experience working in diverse areas of the organization—field service, dyno room, and engine rebuild department—and had also been selected to provide on-the-job training for new and existing employees.

  • 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