Should I Stay or Should I Go?

stay or go blog pic
A valid question asked at one point in time in our professional or personal lives. Or in some cases, just singing along in the car with The Clash on the way to office will suffice, no air guitar performances though, please! Safety first!

I enjoy music. All kinds of music. I grew up studying classical piano so naturally it is engrained in my DNA. Music and lyrics speak volumes and I find situations in my daily life end up with a lyrical reference to a song. Most of my staff conference calls include a song reference, it is just how I roll. Life is a song, so sing it, right?

So, should I stay or should I go? This is a daily discussion that I have with industry professionals at all experience levels. While the market continues to be robust, it brings about many career opportunities especially to those who are not actively looking to make a change. Common questions or concerns arise such as:

Why leave a position where you are happy and enjoy the company and culture?

“I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” – As only U2 can eloquently say this, it can be a poignant question or reflection for a professional posed with a career opportunity. Most people truly are happy with the company and the people with whom they work and that is a wonderful thing. When a truthfully amazing opportunity is presented it is a good time for a gut check. Have you found what you are looking for? Is it available in your current role or company? Check your career goal progress and know what you have available and how far out that may be if you stayed in your current role. What, if anything, is holding you back?

Is the position a lateral move or does it offer additional responsibilities? What is the title?

“The Times They Are A Changin” – Thanks to Bob Dylan for that reminder. Everything changes: organizational structures, divisional and regional layers added/removed, company ownership, to name a few. The changes occur due to company merger or acquisition, becoming a publicly traded organization, or succession planning within private companies. When considering another career option, it is wise to not focus alone on title but rather overall responsibilities and reporting structures and the type of organization. While a VP of Sales and Marketing title says a lot, the same position with a seemingly lesser title can be just as expansive and more. Does the position report to a divisional department head or directly to the President/CEO? One can often have more direct impact working side by side with the leader of an organization. Likewise, a lateral position move isn’t always a bad option especially with a company of much larger size where many opportunities for promotion and leadership experiences potentially exist. The key is to find out about the company, it’s culture and what the growth opportunities are within without making a blanket assumption that the roll is not of interest. You never know until you explore!

Counter offer? Sure, I’d consider that!

This one is a ringer for The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” or better yet, Chicago’s “If You Leave Me Now” could be even more ideal. In my nearly 19 years’ experience of executive search, one thing I do know is that Counter Offers can be a very bad gift wrapped up like a ring box from Tiffany’s. Sure it is pretty and it must be amazing inside, right?

When a company is faced with the resignation of a key employee it is almost a given some sort of counter offer to stay is presented. These offers typically provide a bump in base salary, additional bonus opportunities, or even a promise of promotion. Unfortunately, the acceptance of a counter offer can often lead to a less than positive outcome by lack of further career advancement or worse, termination – but on the company’s terms, not the candidate’s.

If someone would consider going all the way through the process and receive an offer, only to remain in their current role, the question really comes back full circle to those above.

Have you found what you are looking for? Are you where you want to be in your professional career trajectory? If not, consider confidentially speaking with an executive search specialist who can provide on target consulting and insight. You’ll never know until you pick up the phone and say – “Hello.” (Thanks, Adele.)

Written By: Erica Lockwood, Equity Partner


Changes in Hiring Operations


Changes in Hiring Operations:

We here at Joseph Chris Partners are consultants and recruiters for builders and developers working with human resource departments as well as hiring managers and corporate leaders. Through our work, we have noticed many changes to our clients’ hiring operations over the past few years.

Medium to large builders and developers have added to their internal recruiting departments for organization, professional processes, non-confidential positions and getting the word out through social media. Human resources departments want to protect the brand and reputation of the company by making sure that every professional has a good experience in the interview process so those professionals, in turn, will share positive information about the company, improving its brand. Companies of all sizes partner with respected and industry-tenured recruiters to attract talent for hard-to-fill or confidential positions. They all recognize that a bad hire really negatively affects the synergy of their company and is very costly on many fronts.

Acquisitions, organizational restructuring, and lack of communication from corporate and bonus structure revisions have all contributed to the lack of trust between employer and employee currently permeating the industry. That fear has made hiring challenging for some companies. To overcome the lack of trust, companies have turned to internal employee connections and referrals as well as third party sources like recruiters who all serve as intermediaries the candidates feel they can trust to give them the “real story” about the position, the real bonus opportunity, company culture, personality and ethics of who they report to, land positioning and financial health of the company.

To avoid making a bad hire, companies are making the hiring process more robust by increasing the number of team members involved in interviews, adding personality and aptitude testing, and including spouses and family members in the process. Hiring managers are also becoming brutally honest during conversations with final candidates to ensure there are no surprises and the potential for fall-out is minimal. Honesty in communications helps the candidates gain trust in the company, its leaders and the specific opportunity.

Thankfully, our industry has recovered nicely from the downturn. Yet, the recent rapid growth has created hiring challenges for builders and developers. Certain skill sets have become much harder to find, so companies are more open to relocating from other cities, hiring those who left the industry during the downturn to either work in a completely different field or start their own companies.

5. Companies today are more accepting of resumes that do not show tenure with companies from 2007 through 2014 due to the downturn and acquisition changes. They recognize that there were a lot of good people in uncontrollable situations.

6. Companies are attracted to leaders with recent pre-downturn experience because they know how to handle challenges, disruptions and the uncertain situations that are a part of the building and development business. They are looking for candidates who have pre-downturn experience, but those candidates must be open to new technologies, different processes, continuous learning, creativity and collaborating with other leaders in the division or company. Hiring managers are attracted to candidates who are open to learning from others, have intellectual bandwidth, curiosity, confidence to share their point of view, fit within the company’s culture, have a strong drive and work ethic, and willing to pay a price to earn credibility.

While some of the hiring processes have changed, the goal of companies in our space is the same: to find dedicated, skilled, creative, intelligent professionals who will add value and be great brand ambassadors. Even though technology has improved, allowing companies to access more candidate resumes than ever before, nothing replaces the ability to connect with people, learn what drives them, understand their career goals, and find them the right place to reach their potential. That’s what we do, and our 40 years of success in this industry prove that we do it very well. We are happy to support companies with their hiring strategies to ensure they are on the forefront of trends and changes, not left behind with outdated methods trying to catch up to their competition.

Written by: Veronica Ramirez, CEO

Integrity and Recruiting


I practiced law for 13 years, and in that time, I heard a lot of lawyer jokes. And I get why: you only need them when something is wrong, and they usually cost you money you would rather spend on anything else. They rank just barely above politicians and debt collectors on the Top 10 Most Hated Professions list. Most politicians are lawyers, though, so I’m guessing we can safely call them tied and not be misleading anyone.

Still, there are a lot of great lawyers out there. Amazing lawyers. Lawyers helped create the foundation upon which our democracy was built, and lawyers safeguard our freedoms every single day. But it’s the bad eggs, the ambulance chasers, the slick, sly, lying lawyers that make it tough for the good ones.

It’s the same in recruiting.

At Joseph Chris Partners, integrity is at the top of our list of core values, and I’m thankful to be working for a company full of consultants, not used car salesmen.

When I was a young recruiter, I was ordered by the owner of the company I worked for at the time to do something that I believed was wrong. I refused. She called me insubordinate and told me I didn’t have what it took to be a good recruiter.

I’m the only daughter of a military lawyer father. I couldn’t be insubordinate if I tried. It’s literally not in my D.N.A. But my parents taught me the importance of honesty, and to be sworn in to the State Bar of Texas, I had to pass an Ethics exam and take an oath that I will conduct myself with integrity. So I will never hesitate to stand up for what is ethical and honest, like I did that day.

I knew I was a good recruiter. I just wasn’t recruiting for the right company. I am now.

I talk to a lot of people each week, and it’s interesting what they have to say about recruiters. Some have had wonderful experiences. Others, not so much. Usually the complaints fall into one category: overpromising.

“I want to talk to you about this amazing opportunity with this incredible company that’s offering a salary twice what other companies are offering. You interested?” Uh, who wouldn’t be? Unfortunately, that’s a hook used by some executive recruiters to get the best talent to share a resume, and the opportunities rarely live up to the initial hype. The old “bait and switch” tactic gives the candidate a bad taste for recruiters, and the rest of us suffer for the used-car-salesman types.

It also affects how potential clients view our services and whether they will work with outside recruiters. Some recruiters promise the sun, moon, and stars just to get a contract signed, and when reality sets in that the firm can’t deliver the company’s biggest competitor’s CEO in just two days and under the company’s hiring budget, the hiring manager’s frustration with recruiters typically lasts longer than that one interaction.

There is no upside to not being truthful and authentic with your candidates and clients. Our goal here at Joseph Chris Partners is creating career-long connections with professionals in the real estate development and construction industries. We listen because we really can’t do our job otherwise. We want to understand what both candidates and clients are looking for so we can make the best match.

Managing expectations on both sides is a critical piece to getting to that match. A candidate may believe their skill set is so in demand that they deserve a 100% increase in their base salary, and other recruiters may have even fed into that belief by telling them they are worth that just to get a resume to add to their database. A client may believe they can find their next CEO for a bargain, and a recruiter focused only on bringing in new clients may agree.

We don’t do that.

We share the industry knowledge we gained over our 40 years in the business and through conversations with professionals in the real estate development and construction world every day with both candidates and clients so their expectations are grounded in reality. We continuously share feedback during the search process so there are no surprises for either side because the last thing we want to do is get a great candidate an offer just to discover he thinks he’s worth $50,000 more than the company will pay, or that the company’s budget is $50,000 less than the candidate will accept.

That requires diligence on our part from the very first conversation. We must know everything candidates and clients know to do our jobs effectively. And we must share our expertise openly from the very first conversation. There is no benefit to talking a candidate into something that isn’t a fit, or pushing a candidate on a client for a sake of a sale. When your goal is to make meaningful connections with both candidate and client, trust is required, and without honesty and integrity, trust will never be earned.

Certainly, trust and integrity go both ways, and when we discover candidates are being less than truthful, or clients are hiding significant information from us, we have no problem ending those relationships. Because a successful partnership must have trust from both partners, and that’s how we like to view our connections in the industry: as career-long partnerships.

Just like there are a lot of great lawyers out there, there are a lot of great recruiters as well. A few shady “Wolf of Wall Street” types have given the industry a bad reputation. If you find yourself needing help from a recruiter, either to find a job or fill a job, just make sure that recruiter is open and honest with you. Ask lots of questions, and really listen to their responses. If you aren’t comfortable, feel you’re being “sold” rather than understood, feel pushed rather than consulted, and you don’t feel like your recruiter really cares about you and your success, you probably need to keep looking.

If you’re in our industry, we’d love to talk to you. If you’re in another, we can probably refer you to someone we trust. Either way, don’t settle for one of the shady ones because there are far too many good ones out there.

Despite what a Google search for “Recruiters are…” may tell you.

Written by: Angie Truitt, Senior Partner

Best Way to Write Core Competencies in a Resume

The University of Victoria describes professional competencies as the skills, attributes and knowledge that “are specifically valued by the professional associations and bodies connected to your future profession”. Others also define it as your expertise and knowledge in a given area, which, in this case, refers to your job duties and responsibilities.

Adding a list of core competencies on your resume will get you noticed. But it would only work when done the right way. Apart from choosing where to add a core competencies section on your resume, you should also list down professional competencies that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Examples of Core Competencies

Analytical Thinking
This refers to your ability to apply logic to solve problems and to get the job done.

Computer Competency
As the name suggests, computer competency refers to your skills in operating a computer and the applications needed in your work.

Client Service
This is your ability to anticipate a client’s needs and respond to them in a timely and courteous manner. This is especially useful when applying for a customer service position.

Creative Thinking
This shows your ability to develop new strategies and to think outside the box in order to get the job done.

Forward Thinking
This refers to your ability to anticipate consequences of situations or implications of certain actions, and then to respond appropriately.

Conceptual Thinking
Finding effective solutions to problems by taking an abstract, holistic or theoretical approach.

Conflict Resolution
Works to resolve all sorts of differences, especially among employees in order to maintain a good working relationship.

Decision Making
This not only refers to your ability to make decisions, but also the way you take responsibility for every decision made.

Empowers Others
You not only boost employee confidence, but also give them the freedom to complete their tasks.

This shows your ability to evaluate according to standard methodologies and policies.

Excellent Communication
This is less to do with talking and more on using language effectively in order to gather information and facilitate exchange of ideas that would yield results.

This shows your ability to adapt to whatever changes that happen in a company without losing focus on your goals. This also includes your ability to apply your knowledge to your new circumstances.

Interpersonal Awareness
This refers to a show of empathy, where you listen well and respond to others in a non-threatening way.

Interpersonal Relations
Exhibits understanding and respect of others to achieve and maintain a harmonious working relationship.

In addition to leading a team, this core competency also refers to your ability to establish a team and promote strategies to achieve a common goal.

Persuasive Communication
You not only have the skills in oral and written communication, but also the ability to convey your message and influence others.

Project Management
The ability and knowledge to bring together all aspects of a project that are essential to its timely and efficient completion.

Risk Management and Assessment
A process of taking action to evaluate health and safety risks in order to minimize threats to the company and its employees.

Writing Skills
This refers to your ability to write clearly, concisely, logically and free of grammar errors.

Depending on your career, there are also core competencies specific to your industry. These often use jargons that mostly industry professionals and leaders would understand.

How to Write Core Competencies in Your Resume

1. Choose professional competencies that comes with industry keywords or buzzwords.
For example, when applying for a jobs in logistics, you should include the following core competencies:

  • 3PL Management
  • Team Leadership
  • Warehousing
  • Global Distribution
  • External / Internal Communication
  • 6 Sigma Certified

If you don’t know what the industry buzzwords are, check out job descriptions and get ideas from there. A job description for Business Analyst, for example, would list responsibilities, such as business analysis, planning and monitoring, manage conflicts, and identifying stakeholders. This should tell you what core competencies are required.

2. Keep the list short and concise.
Even if you match 37 core competencies, it is best to choose the top 9 or 10. Overwhelming a recruiter or employer with such hard skills can have an adverse effect. Instead of making an impression, they might lose interest. Also, make sure that the skills you add are the most relevant to your career goals and the strongest.

3. Present it neatly and properly.
There are several layouts to choose from:

  • Below the Summary of Qualifications
  • Above the Summary of Qualifications
  • To the Side of the Summary of Qualifications

Whichever style you choose, use only bullets or tables and not columns or text boxes, as these are not friendly to online job boards. If you are applying online, your CV must pass job boards, so they can be viewed by a human being.
The list must be clear and easy on the eyes as well. When it’s too dense, it would be painful to read, which would result in your resume being overlooked or, worse, thrown into the bin.


Writing a resume should be treated like writing a sales pitch. You are selling yourself, after all. But because your market is recruiters and employers who are looking for the best, you must present yourself in the best light. One of the best ways to do this is to list down your core competencies in a way that gets their attention and gets you the job.

Follow the tips listed above and your chances of taking one foot through the door would be higher. Now all you need to work on is the interview part.

List Of Good Buzzwords For Resume

Did you know that there are words recruiters hate to see on a resume? Words, phrases and jargons that are considered overused and abused would make your CV less desirable, resulting to your chances of getting the job being shot.

Some of the words that are best avoided include go-getter, go-to person, strategic thinker, detail-oriented, hard worker, team player, results-driven, and think outside the box.

Employers don’t want to know if you are a team player, but they do want to know how you saved company resources, money and time on a team project, or while collaborating with other members.

It’s not enough that you tell them you are results-driven, but they would prefer a list of what you have actually accomplished during your tenure.

Should you use the opposite of these words, then? Not quite. Apparently, there are buzzwords suitable to a particular career, and there are power words and phrases to go with them.

Experts suggest that you focus on transferrable skills, and then present it using action verbs.

For example, when applying for a job in communication, you should highlight the following transferable skills:
Editing, Explaining, Speaking, Listening, Writing, Promoting, Mediating, Interpreting, Influencing

When presenting these skills in your resume, use the appropriate power words. These include:
Achieved, Convinced, Developed, Enhanced, Facilitated, Handled, Performed, Resolved, Negotiated

Why Do You Need To Use These Words?

To catch an employer’s or recruiter’s attention. They too have their own buzzword, such as problem-solving, communicating clearly, showing leadership, listening, conceptualizing and negotiating.

But you can’t guess them all, right? Well, you should know that the main skills employers are looking for fall into four categories.

1. Effective Communication
Employers are looking for candidates who listen to instructions and act on them with as minimal guidance as possible. Someone who understands the first time is a real bonus. But they also want an employee who can effectively communicate both written and verbally, and who can organize their thoughts in order to present them clearly and logically.

2. Organization
Organized thoughts mean that your mental folders are neatly filed and properly labelled. This translates to clearer focus and better thought processing. In the working world, prioritizing and organizing are essential, and failure to achieve both can prove disastrous, not only to the employee, but also the employer.

3. Problem-Solving
The ability to find resolution to most job challenges, no matter how small, can be quite impressive. Employers want assurance that you would be able to overcome any challenge thrown your way, this is why problem-solving skills is on top of their list. The same skill would also help you process data, formulate a vision, make transactions and reach a resolution.

4. Leadership
Leadership is about having a strong self-confidence, accompanied by a comprehensive knowledge of the goals of an organization. With these qualities, an employee can inspire and motivate other people, providing a good foundation for teamwork. Employers aren’t just looking for staff, but future leaders as well. So you must highlight your leadership qualities.

How to Use the Buzzwords on Your Resume

Start by making a list of skills and transferrable skills that fall under any of the four categories listed above. Then, choose the appropriate power words to go along with it. Below is a list of words that you can use.

Transferrable Skills

Bookkeeping, Computing, Classifying, Collecting, Recording, Compiling, Examining, Organizing, Filing

Designing, Visualizing, Developing, Illustrating, Establishing, Inventing, Performing, Improvising, Revitalizing

Accounting, Projecting, Administering, Auditing, Allocating, Balancing, Calculating, Forecasting, Investing

Human Relations
Advising, Representing, Assisting, Listening, Counseling, Empathizing, Motivating, Guiding, Serving

Consulting, Communicating, Coordinating, Directing, Delegating, Leading, Evaluating, Planning, Negotiating, Persuading

Public Relations
Conducting, Writing, Consulting, Planning, Informing, Presenting, Representing, Promoting, Researching, Responding

Problem Solving
Analyzing, Examining, Planning, Appraising, Diagnosing, Reasoning, Executing, Validating, Proving, Recognizing

Assessing, Investigating, Evaluating, Calculating, Examining, Collecting, Diagnosing, Interviewing, Extrapolating

Adjusting, Repairing, Drafting, Aligning, Assembling, Observing, Engineering, Installing, Operating

Buzzwords / Power Words / Action Verbs

Achieved, Accomplished, Acted, Advised, Adapted, Advanced, Appointed, Altered, Arranged, Assigned, Authored, Assembled, Acquired, Addressed, Allocated, Analyzed, Applied, Appraised, Approved, Arbitrated, Assessed, Assumed, Assured, Audited, Awarded, Administered

Built, Broadened, Briefed, Budgeted

Coached, Chaired, Controlled, Conceptualized, Converted, Communicated, Convinced, Counseled, Cut, Cultivated

Debugged, Decided, Decreased, Defined, Dispatched, Delegated, Delivered, Detected, Demonstrated, Designated, Distributed, Designed, Determined, Developed, Devised, Diagnosed, Directed, Discovered, Doubled, Drafted

Edited, Earned, Encouraged, Eliminated, Enhanced, Ensured, Exceeded, Evaluated, Effected, Expanded, Empowered, Expressed, Explored, Established, Engineered, Executed

Filed, Facilitated, Filled, Fostered, Financed, Fulfilled, Flagged, Forecasted, Formulated, Focused, Founded

Gathered, Gained, Generated, Grew, Granted, Guided

Halved, helped, handled, hired, headed

Identified, Integrated, Ignited, Improved, Implemented, Incorporated, Increased, Influenced, Indexed, Initiated, Inspected, Issued, Innovated, Installed, Instructed, Instituted, Insured, Interviewed, Interpreted, Introduced, Inventoried, Invented, Invested, Investigated

Justified, Joined


Launched, Liaised, Learned, Logged, Leased, Licensed, Lectured, Led, Lobbied

Maintained, Marketed, Managed, Mentored, Manufactured, Migrated, Matched, Measured, Met, Modified, Mediated, Monitored, Moved, Motivated

Named, Negotiated, Navigated

Obtained, Operated, Opened, Ordered, Overhauled, Organized, Oversaw

Participated, Prescribed, Patented, Pursued, Perceived, Purchased, Performed, Persuaded, Placed, Published, Planned, Posted, Presented, Presided, Processed, Procured, Proposed, Produced, Proficient, Programmed, Prohibited, Projected, Promoted, Provided, Prepared

Qualified, Questioned, Quantified

Raised, Revised, Ranked, Restored, Rated, Received, Recognized, Replaced, Recommended, Reconciled, Recorded, Redesigned, Reduced, Regulated, Rehabilitated, Reorganized, Repaired, Replied, Reported, Represented, Rescued, Researched, Resolved, Responded, Revamped, Recruited, Reviewed, Referred

Saved, Supported, Scheduled, Strategized, Screened, Selected, Systematized, Served, Serviced, Started, Shaped, Shared, Showed, Sold, Solved, Sorted, Sought, Sparked, Spoke, Staffed, Steered, Streamlined, Strengthened, Stressed, Stretched, Structured, Studied, Submitted, Succeeded, Suggested, Summarized, Simplified, Superseded, Supervised, Supplied, Surveyed, Substituted

Tackled, Troubleshot, Targeted, Taught, Transferred, Terminated, Tested, Toured, Traced, Tracked, Traded, Tutored, Trained, Transcribed, Transformed, Trimmed, Translated, Transported, Traveled, Treated, Tripled, Turned

Unified, Uncovered, Understood, Unraveled, Updated, Understudied, Upgraded, Utilized

Verbalized, Vended, Visited, Verified

Waged, Wrote, Weighed, Won, Widened, Worked

There is no magical formula for writing the perfect resume, but with the use of the right words, you can better highlight your skills and convey your abilities that would prove useful for the job vacancy that need to be filled.

Best Resume Format For Executives

A good executive resume has what it takes to answer your employer’s key question that is—“What is in it for me?” As it will be reviewed by top-level recruiters, such as the CEO, COO, CFO or any member of the board, make sure that it will let them know how you will be able to help them solve issues in their business. This is what each of them wants to know!

With this in mind, you should work on your resume to convey your value to the company, and what better way to this than using the best format for this very important document? Here are some tips you can pick up:

Details to Include

A role of an executive is to have the foresight and innovation to lead a department or the entire organization to success, which means that you should illustrate such ability by providing examples. However, simply touting the accomplishments and results of your previous employers would not be enough to land the position, and you should let your next employer know what specific insights and guidance you contributed, along with the following:

  • The role you played in formulating plans and strategies.
  • Processes and tasks you completed, especially on employee coordination and management.
  • Tangible measures of executive duties you performed, including efficiency improvements, profits from specific projects and the number of employees managed.
  • Significant and relevant executive decisions you made and their impact on projects and processes.


One-inch margins can make your resume look amateur, while anything less than 0.5 inch will make it look like having too much text on the page/s or even cut it short for print quality. This means that the appropriate margins would be anything between 0.5 to 0.7 inches. By using these measurements, there will be not so much of white space and they will be enough to ensure information does not look crammed and your document looking well-balanced all throughout. Also, it will make your resume aesthetically appealing and looking professional to the one who will review it.


As fonts can have a significant effect on the beauty of a resume, you should focus on choosing among those that will subtly impress, rather than detract. Here are the best font faces for an executive resume:

Though it is not particularly sophisticated, this is a sans serif font that people are familiar with. It may border on banal, but it is surely a safe bet.

You might be used to using Times New Roman (TNR), as it is the one highly accepted for papers, but like Arial, it might be commonplace. Instead, you can opt for Times, which appears less awkward and condensed, especially at smaller sizes, making it suitable for digital use.

This font was particularly designed for reading on computer screens, so it should be both easy and pleasant to read.

This has a simple elegance that looks polished both on print and on screen.


As times changed, so as the criteria for resume length. Though some experts strongly suggest to make it short (one page if possible), write your resume to be long enough to entice your employer to invite you for a job interview. Basically, there is no hard-and-fast rule for this, but you should include the most important elements in your resume, such as your career objective, occupation, years of experience, previous employers, scope of accomplishments and training and education. Keep it concise and focused on your key selling points.

Writing Guidelines

When re-working on your resume when applying for an executive position, check if you are missing some of the following elements:

Focus – To create a good executive resume, you need it to be able to deliver a clear and succinct message about the value you will bring, focusing on the target position and company. By doing so, you can clearly demonstrate your value by emphasizing the aspects of your experience and expertise that will match the employer’s needs and minimizing those that do not. Also, your focus should be consistent throughout, so if you state in the beginning that your ability to effectively utilize opportunities in new markets is your key strength, then make sure to give concrete examples of success in this area throughout the document.

Value – Keep in mind that describing your achievements is as equally powerful as citing your essential job responsibilities to make a resume effective. But as job responsibilities are simply the things that you are supposed to do, achievements show what you actually did and how your abilities can make a difference for your prospective company. However, make sure that you will be very specific when writing about accomplishments. For example, avoid saying “increased sales” without stating how much you had increased them and avoid mentioning that a workflow design you made has boosted productivity without saying what the improvement was.

Context – In order for the hiring manager to truly appreciate your achievements, he or she should be able to get valuable context. If you state that you were able to increase sales by 10%, for example, he or she might be impressed, but if you state that you were able to reverse a 4-year sales decline and increase it by 10% in the first year, then he or she will certainly appreciate your accomplishment. Simply put, try to provide context in each description of the responsibilities on your resume, rather than just merely describing it.

Good Design – True, employers would judge your resume at first glance, so make sure it is visually appealing. Its design should be clean, easy-to-read and has the quality to draw attention to key information. For example, if you want the person who will check it to focus on the top brands you have marketed, then you can highlight them on your resume.

Writing a Strong Executive Resume Really Does Make a Difference

Writing a resume might be a tedious work for you, but rushing things to complete it as quickly as possible would rob you of the opportunities that you supposedly deserve. By following the formatting and writing tips mentioned in this article, you will be able to see an improvement in the response rate to your application process.

Best Margins For Resume

When formatting your resume, it is important to use standard resume margin guidelines, as this will make your resume properly laid out on the page/s and look professional. Basically, the shape of a resume pertains to its look’s overall impact on the reader, without him or her taking into account the significance or meaning of the content. It is the very first thing that would make an impression on the reviewer and to be processed by his or her brain before he or she reads the text, recognizes your name and appreciates the paper.

One of the best tools to make your resume look good is the margins. With this in mind, here are some resume margin tips that you can pick up:

Margin Measurements

The standard margins on your resume should be about 1 inch on all sides, but you can reduce them if you need extra space. However, make sure you do not make them smaller than 0.5 inch, as this will make your resume look too busy.

Page Proportion

One of the first aspects to consider when analyzing the shape of your resume is the proportion of the page margins. The safest choice for 95% of resume writers is the 1-inch standardized margins, and it is especially useful to job applicants who do not have much experience, helping them make the typed text to seem a bit lengthier. Though margins would still be acceptable when varied by tenths of a point, it might be difficult for an amateur resume writer to truly understand what is acceptable in the industry, thus it is recommended for him or her to stick to the standard.

However, it is also possible that the standard will not always ensure a resume will stand out over the rest. As for expert resume writers, they are using precise .63-inch margins, as they feel that such a measurement brings about the perfect harmonious balance between making the text appear broader and is fuller than the larger 1-inch margins that create too much white space. You should remember that too much white space on a page can make your resume seem lacking, but too little white space would also make it feel cramped or too busy.

Typically, you should make sure that the texts of your resume are visually balanced on the page, with the top, bottom, left and right margins equal. You should follow the same format throughout your resume.

Text Alignment

Aligning a resumes is a pretty straightforward process, as it is usually left-aligned and is how most people would read text. Typically, the left side of your resume should contain the most important information, such as your job title, previous employers, achievements and responsibilities. However, there are also additional details that are appropriate to be put on the right side of the page, such as the date and job location, creating a visually balanced resume. As for the contact details and your name, they are mostly center-aligned, though you can opt to follow special styles that place contact information on the left side.

Manipulating Margins to Create Bigger Page

Changing your resume’s margins to values that are slightly less than the default settings will enlarge presentation space without crowding the page/s or compromising readability. So how can you do it?

Place the cursor at the top of the page, and from the Page Layout menu tab, select Margins, Custom Margins, and then type in the new values for all margins. You can also perform this through a shortcut by place the cursor at the top of the page, double-clicking the blue space to the left of the ruler and then typing in the new values.


The length of your resume is a vital formatting factor that will make a huge impact on the overall aesthetic of the document. Like margins, the appropriate length is a contested subject within the industry, but there are some general rules you can follow to determine what the perfect length for your resume is.

Fitting Your Resume onto a Single Page

Experts generally recommend that you should limit your resume to a single page because it will make the impression that you are confident and will tell the hiring manager that your resume is strong that you do not need several pages to clearly show why he or she should pick you as the best candidate for the position. Here are some tips and tweaks to make a one-page resume without making it look too crammed:

1. Reduce margins.
One way to go about this is reducing all margins universally to drastically decrease your line count, but as the text expands towards the page’s edges, your resume will tend to sprawl. A more subtle adjustment is to decrease the right margin, as readers will not likely notice that the ragged edge of the text has been extended. You can also reduce the top margin to put your letterhead in a more typical position above your resume’s main body.

2. Get rid of unnecessary indentations by hanging bullets.
This method would work best if the texts from the bullet points are wrapping onto multiple lines. You can save lines and make your resume look extra sharp by moving the left edge of the bulleted text flush with the rest of the page and hanging the bullets out into the margin.

3. Remove extraneous line breaks by using commas, tabs and columns.
This strategy helps when you are having sections with many lines with little text on each, such as bullet points or lists. If you have these sections on your resume, you can place them adjacent to each other in a 2-column format. If this solution does not appeal to you, then you can separate list items by commas or tabs instead of line breaks.

4. Decrease the height of existing line breaks.
This one is just easy to do, where just have to move your cursor to the empty line and reduce font size. This will allow you to compress your sections together and reduce the distance between them by several points, while still maintaining the visual break that makes them look separate.

It is equally important to make your resume easy to read, and one of the best ways to accomplish this is using the right margins.

Best Font For Executive Resume

Want to make sure your resume for an executive position will really appeal to the one reviewing it? A good place to start is to type it using a legible and professional-looking font. You might think that you are the perfect candidate, but you would never know if the hiring manager can properly make out of the text on your resume.

Of course, there are hundreds of different fonts to choose from, but not all of them are befitting to use on a resume, so picking one is very important to be able to land a job. Though there are several different font families, most job seekers go for the serif family, where fonts have stylized tails and other decorative markings, such as Times New Roman (TNR), or the sans-serif family, where fonts are simpler without frills, such as Arial. It is said that that serif typefaces are associated with being reliable, respectable, impressive, traditional and authoritative, while sans-serif fonts are seen as clean, universal, stable, objective and modern.

Whatever font type you choose, it is of utmost importance that your resume typeface should show up well both in print and on a screen and be easy on the eyes regardless of formatting and size. It is also a good idea to choose a universal and standard font that works on any operating system, considering that resumes will likely be scanned by automated applicant tracking software.

As for applying for an executive position, here are the best font choices that you can have to send the right message to your potential employer:


When going for a sans-serif font, Arial would be one of your best options. As you can see, many professionals like to see this type of font because its lines are clean and it is easy to read. Though some hiring managers are finding it to be unsophisticated and banal, this tried-and-true classic font has become a standard and is definitely the safest choice you will have.


If you are looking for an old-style font, you should consider using Garamond for your resume. This typeface, which is considered as timeless, conveys a sense of delicacy and fluidity, with a simple elegance that would look polished both in print and on screen.


As the default font on Microsoft Word, Calibri would be an excellent option for a universally readable and safe font. Professional resume writers are strong advocates of this font style, noting that it is familiar to most renders and readers well on computer screens. It is also stated that noted that the 12-point Calibri produces a perfectly sized 2-page resume having approximately 550 to 750 words.

Times New Roman

Although the TNR might remind you of your essays during your high school and college years, this universal font remains a popular choice for writing resumes, as it will show up as clean and easy-to-read text on any computer screen. However, while it is highly readable and safe, keep in mind that, like Arial, using the TNR may be construed as unimaginative and boring, thus there is a possibility that it would not stand out in a pool of resumes.


If you want something that is still traditional-looking as alternative to the overly used TNR, you can consider switching to the Georgia font. According to a Colorado Technical University infographic, it is recommended to use this font style because of its readability, noting that it was designed to be available on any computer and to be read on any screen.


A long and evidence-based study about fonts published by The New York Times in 2012 concluded that this member of the serif family is the most trusted font. It uses about the same amount of space as TNR, but the latter would be easier to read in narrative text. However, Baskerville is proven to be best used for names and section headings, where it gives a subliminal message of trust.

Trebuchet MS

If you are looking to use a sans-serif typeface, but do not want to use Arial or Verdana, can use Trebuchet MS instead. According to the certified career coach and expert for, Chandlee Bryan, this font style is the perfect choice if you want to set yourself apart from other candidates. With it, your resume will stand out from others, as it is a slightly unusual font choice, yet not so strange that it can turn off potential employers.

As a general rule, the font you should use for an executive resume should be clear, scalable and legible. It should be professional, but not too basic; interesting, but not too playful; and modern, but not extravagant. The key here is moderation. In addition to font types, the average font size should also be carefully considered when writing an executive resume. The recommended font size is 10 to 12 for regular text and 12 to 14 for subheadings. By thinking as much about your font as the content in your resume, you can create a document that managers and HR members will be eager to read.

Finding Fonts That Work On All Types of Computers

There is a lot of cool fonts that you may be tempted to use for your resume because they look both appealing and professional, but if you want to ensure your document will translate well on Windows and Mac PCs, it is wise to choose one that is available on both operating systems. For example, you may love the Palatino Linotype on your Windows PC, but since it does not have an immediate translation on a Mac computer, it would look different from your original copy when it is pulled up on anything other than a PC running on windows.

Avoiding Fun Fonts

It is always a good idea to sidestep cursive and fun fonts, such as Comic Sans, as they lack professionalism. The only exception to this is that when you are submitting your executive resume for creative jobs, such as those in the entertainment industry. Even so, it is still best to know for sure if your target employer will be agreeable to it before making your resume.

Best Adjectives To Describe Yourself On a Resume

Can a single word make or break your job application? The answer is definitely a big “YES!” Some powerful adjectives can set a tone for your resume and help it excel over other CVs. As many people believe, using the same adjectives recruiters and employers use in their job postings would be helpful, where many of them are even utilizing applicant tracking software to look for resumes that best match what they have written. It is also fine to use closely-related synonyms.

However, it is also equally important to customize your resume in a way that it is still aligned with what your target employer is seeking. With this in mind, here are some adjectives that can make a good impression on hiring personnel and land that interview:

Agile or Flexible

You can start with these words, as they have become a favorite, but make sure you are also ready with an example of your agility or flexibility.


It is recommended to imply that you are resilient, because many companies believe that their workplaces are stressful, so they would want job applicants to be able to manage the stress.

Dedicated, Diligent and Confident

Hiring experts recommend using these active and positive adjectives in your resume. For instance, you can use “diligent” to show your love of a job well done, “dedicated” to show your passion, motivation and willingness, and “confident” to show your knowledge of yourself and your capability to accomplish any task without hesitating or being afraid.

Proactive, Self-Starter and Having the Desire to Learn

These adjectives are best to be used if you are looking to become an assistant, designer or a member of a virtual team for an online business. As you can see, implying that you have these traits will make such an employer wanting to take the chance to work with you. But again, you have to present some examples of how you are having these qualities, rather than just saying that you are.

Role-Highlighting Adjectives

Other effective adjectives that you can place strategically on your resume to highlight your role in a company include “prompt”, “thorough”, “complex”, “team-centered”, cost-effective”, “extensive”, “customer-focused” and “innovative”.

Words to Stay Away From as Much as Possible

While there are suggested adjectives to place on your resume, there are also those that can cost you your success.

1. “Expert”
It is commonly believed that it would take a person around 10,000 hours of practice in a particular field for him to become an expert, so before you dub yourself as such on your resume, take time to consider whether you have really reached such a status. Also, would your employer consider you to be an expert? Sparingly use words of authority if you do not have the experience to support it.

2. “Guru” or “Master”
Some words, such as these, just seem a little arrogant or pretentious, so try to avoid using them to represent your experience.

3. “Organized”
As most employees have to be organized to a certain degree to perform efficiently, you cannot tell hiring personnel that you have such a trait, as you might be setting up a false expectation that you are “more organized” than other candidates. Though it is still fine to make such a claim, but make sure you can live up to the image of perfectly filed and labeled documents, precision timetabling, neatly formatted spreadsheets, etc.

4. “Creative”
Once you describe yourself as a person of ideas, a hiring manager would expect you to be able to support such a claim, like you better have some examples specific circumstances or achievements where you have used creativity in the workplace. Make them tangible to an employer by demonstrating the ways through which you have made a positive difference or benefited a team.

5. “Ambitious”
A potential employer would be able to recognize your ambition by just looking at how you present yourself in your resume, thus you do not need to remind everyone of how successful you want to be, but just let your achievements spell out your ambition for you. Or else, you might accidentally make an impression of being a bit of narcissistic or too focused on working towards your own success, rather than towards the business.

6. “Extremely”
Are you extremely enthusiastic, passionate or diligent about your work? Good for you, but including these words to quantify how much you want the job might not work in your favor because it might make you seem a little over-excited or too keen.

7. “Bubbly”
As a new job applicant, you can be keen to show off your effervescent personality in the workplace, where everything seems to be new and exciting, but be careful not to make yourself sound like you are ditzy or giddy. If you truly are a friendly person, it would show through how you interact with your interviewer by the time you will come face-to-face with him/her and your colleagues when you manage to land the job.

General Styles and Content That You Should Avoid

Keep in mind that the purpose of your resume is to get you an interview, so make sure it speaks clear and loud for you. If you find it hard to phrase your words the right way, then here are some helpful pieces of advice:

Exclude unrealistic accomplishments. You should be realistic in your skill set, as if you exaggerate your experience and skills, you will have to justify them at the interview.

Avoid long passive phases. Write your resume in the present tense and include lots of action words and be direct to the point, or else you will put the one reading your resume to sleep.

Leave out personal unrelated activities. Unless they are relevant to your target position, there is no point including what you do personally to impress the person reviewing your resume.

Avoid jargon and overly technical information. Just include what you know and do not be ambiguous in your language.

Final Thought

The best way to determine the adjectives that suit you best is to examine the bullet points under your job description and determine their importance. The strategic adjectives in this article can help illustrate the value you will bring to your prospective employer.

How To Write Accomplishment Statements For Resume

Whether you are applying for your first job or hopping to a new one, it is important to prepare before the interview and make an impression. How else can you do this even before you answer the first question in a face-to-face interview? Write an effective and impressive resume.

A good resume has to include certain qualities to make it worth reading and stand out from the rest of the pack. It should be professionally-written and with a unique tone to make it effective and noticeable. There should be a featured keyword section which provides a summary of your expertise. It should also include an objective and be written with no typographical and grammatical errors. Most importantly, there should be accomplishment statements that will compel the interviewer to read on. It should be noted that the most critical part of your resume is your accomplishment or action statements section.

Accomplishment statements are bulleted statements that describe what you have accomplished with regard to your profession and more importantly, the nature of the job you are applying for. These are what you have contributed to your previous employers in terms of your performance and how these helped the company or the department you were assigned to. If you are just starting out in your career and this is your first job application, you can include volunteer jobs or trainings. Some candidates write their own resumes while others let professional writers to do it for them. There is nothing wrong with having to pay someone to come up with a professionally written resume for you but it is always better to do it yourself. In the first place, no one knows about you better than yourself. Still not convinced? Here are some tips to help you get started and create concise and correct accomplishment statements for your resume:

1. Write Down Your Accomplishments.

By this time, you already have an old resume you have prepared that needs to be updated and revised. List down your previous jobs, from the most recent down to the first job you had. It would be best to do this in sections to give you ample space to write down your list of accomplishments. Recall your employment history and list all your contributions to these companies regardless of how small or big they are. You will have plenty of time to edit and finalize them.

a. Ask yourself certain questions to jog up your memory.
Where you promoted in your last job? Were you ever given a recognition award for excellent performance? Were you able to solve a lingering issue related to the business or perhaps, increased sales because of what you did or suggestions you have made? These are just some of the questions you can answer to narrow down your list.

b. Choose at least three accomplishments in each position or job.
Perhaps you will come up with a ton of accomplishments but you need not include all. Simply decide on the best accomplishments and choose at least your top three.

2. Highlight Three Areas.

Work comes with challenges and if you were able to get through them, you can start from there. Think of a situation where you were faced with a challenge. If you were in customer service, was there a time when an irate customer aired a concern and you were able to calm the customer down and even went the extra mile to address the issue? If you did and this was able to up the sales, you are on track.

When you were in that situation, what skills and abilities did you apply to resolve the issue? It is important to use action verbs like “Advised”, “Directed”, “Demonstrated”, ‘Delegated” and the like and not your responsibilities. Moreover, be specific and include figures or numbers.

After you have taken action, what was the result of what you did? If you have a difficult time to analyze or recall what was the positive result, think of the opposite. Imagine if you were not able to handle the problem. What would have been the outcome? If you have the negative result, simply change it to a positive one. Some of the clear and concise result samples are “increased sales”, “satisfied customer”, “increased revenue”, “reduced waiting time” and the like.

3. Transform These Accomplishments Into Short Statements And Use This Formula.

Action + Problem + Positive Result = Accomplishment Statement

Corrected + erroneous statement of account + which calmed down the irate customer and convinced the customer to upgrade data plan.

Other Examples:

  • Organized fundraising events for local shelters resulting to an increase in funds for the installation of temporary electricity and additional shelters.
  • Delegated more security personnel during the event, thus prevented unauthorized people from climbing over the fence.
  • Coordinated with 100 people for a community event resulting to additional $5,000 for the rehabilitation of the public library destroyed by the storm.
  • Headed a group of volunteers in preparing and serving meals to homeless people at the local community shelter resulting to increased manpower and service by 25%.
  • Trained more than 20 newly hired employees over a three-month period resulting to increased sales/revenues.

4. Choose Accomplishment Statements Relevant To The Job Applying For.

By following the first three steps, you should have come up with a list of all your accomplishments. However, resumes need not be long. To ensure the interviewer will not be bored and will focus on the highlights, try to include accomplishments that are related to your prospective position and will convince the Human Resource personnel to enlist you for a second interview.

Accomplishment Statement Contents Made Simple

  • Action verbs that will describe your contribution rather than your responsibilities.
  • Scope of activities, including but not limited to the size of budget managed, number of employees affected or percentage of increase in sales.
  • Positive result of the action you have taken along with measurements like amount of money or specific knowledge and skills gained.

Additional Tips:

  • Use bulleted points instead of paragraphs since they are much easier to read.
  • Only use indentations when appropriate to emphasize points in your accomplishment statements.