Briefcase Coach's Career Briefs: Job Search Smarter

In this issue: enhance your resume, searchable salary information, build relationships in the workplace, companies introduce new AI usage policies, women in business, and more...

Dear Reader:

“It’s all fake news,” a former boss once told me. “Everyone is fabricating some version of themselves during the recruitment process.” “Your job as the recruiter is to figure out the most real version of their story.”

When you’ve been in the talent business for as long as I’ve been, you start to understand that there is a game being played... and some people know how to play it better than others. We, resume writers, often say, “The best person doesn’t always get the job, but the best marketer does.”  

A resume as a marketing document– or a brochure of what you want the company to buy– and not just a chronological list of past employers. When you put a little marketing spin on it, you communicate your message in a way that changes the way people are likely to perceive it.

While lying to a company is a no-go, there are some branding tactics that will help your story resonate better with recruiters and hiring managers. For example, if you left a job in February 2020 and got a new position in September 2020, it is okay only to list the years of employment on a resume, drawing attention away from the 7-month gap. Another edit that can help create a connection is to use industry lingo vs. company-specific language. For example, if a small company has a unique title like “Chief of Power Plugs,” it would be appropriate to rebrand this title on a resume as “Chief Technology Officer (Chief of Power Plugs)” with the real title in parenthesis.

Even though “Lying on Your Resume is Easy,” according to this viral sketch comedy YouTube video, I want to caution you not to misrepresent your qualifications or deceive potential employers. There is a difference between spin and deception. Spinning simply means putting your best foot forward by telling your story of what happened with the best possible interpretation of the facts and the situation. Lying on a resume is a short-sighted and misguided approach that can have severe consequences for both the individual and the organizations they aim to join. A relationship built on a lie will ultimately fail.

Rooting for you,

Get Hired

Briefcase Coach Original: Enhance your resume with testimonials.

Have you ever considered using testimonials on your resume to highlight your hard and soft skills?  In this Briefcase Coach article, we share helpful hints on how to leverage testimonials to reinforce specific themes and communicate valuable social proof.

5 reasons selling yourself is hard.

Becoming a good job applicant is much more than just getting the skills you need; it's about how you represent your experience, personality, and work ethic. Putting this into a resume, LinkedIn profile, and cover letter can be really challenging. In this article, entrepreneur Andrew Smith discusses why selling yourself is hard and ideas to work through the struggle.

Salary & Benefits

Benchmark your offer with searchable salary information.

When assessing a job offer, it is helpful to have a benchmark for salary. Recruiting Brainfood’s Hung Lee recently shared a tool called H1B JobSort that makes it easier for job seekers to conduct salary research. Government must make H1B visa employee pay public. It gets more interesting the further you scroll, with the ability to sort by company name + location, and title.

Building Relationships

Seven questions to ask your new boss to help establish a relationship.

When starting a new job, you must build trust with your boss and get the feedback you need to succeed. In this HBR article, author Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic provides seven thoughtful questions to help develop a new relationship and adapt to a new organization. Question #1 is my favorite— what about yours?

In the Workplace

Companies develop new policies around AI usage.

With the development of AI tools comes the development of internal company policies around the use of those tools. Companies are shaping policies around generative AI tools, such as OpenAI's ChatGPT, to prevent employees from uploading sensitive code to the tools. Samsung is among the companies taking the lead on new policies. They recently banned the use of generative AI tools in May after discovering an employee uploaded sensitive code to ChatGPT.

Stuck in a job you don’t love because it’s remote?

Are you in remote-handcuffs? Three years into a pandemic, many employers are losing patience with remote work, and some bosses are downright hostile. Meanwhile, nearly 70% of job seekers seek remote and hybrid opportunities. This struggle is exemplified in a recent Insider article, which tells the story of an employee who feels trapped in a job she hates because of the benefit of working remotely.

Is a 4-day workweek the way of the future?

Michael Arney, the founder of an eight-person marketing design agency Halftone Digital, considered a four-day, 32-hour workweek and implemented it within two months without a reduction in pay. The debate over a four-day workweek is whether it constitutes a decrease in hours or a traditional 40-hour week compressed to fewer days. This ABC News story shows how companies have opted for both approaches.

Women in Business

Fortune 500 female CEOs are on the rise.

This year, 10.4% of Fortune 500 companies are led by female CEOs, an 18% increase from 44 last year. The rise of female CEOs signals an understanding among companies and boards that female and diverse leaders are an asset at this particular moment. In this article, Fortune looks at this trend. according to the report, female CEOs have greater humility, risk-taking, assertiveness, and persistence than men. The article states companies can increase the percentage of female CEOs in the Fortune 500 by doubling it in three to five years.

The benefits of female entrepreneurs.

“Investing in businesswomen will boost the economy for everyone”, says Tory Burch, chief executive and designer of Tory Burch. Women entrepreneurs see the world through a different lens and do things differently, whether they are Coco Chanel, Estée Lauder or Oprah Winfrey. This older article from The Economist looks at the benefits of female leaders.

Recent Grads

Social media’s impact on the new generation of workers.

The generation currently entering the workforce and all to follow are younger than social media. They grew up surrounded by the impacts of likes and comments. I found this article in The Atlantic to be eye-opening. As research continues to look at the effects of social media on users' mental health, specifically teens, conclusions are elusive.

How involved should parents be in their child’s job search?

Parents are increasingly concerned about their student's employment during and after college. The question is whether they should step in and show them the way or step aside and let them figure it out. Beth Hendler-Grunt, the author of The Next Great Step, recently shared her advice for parents on how to help, not hinder, their child’s chances at landing a job after graduation.

Can you do me a favor?

I’m on a mission to help job seekers land amazing jobs. Would you consider doing one of the following:

  • Forward or use the referral link below to share this newsletter with your job-searching friends or post about it on social media. This small act really helps!

  • Reach out to us about featuring your executive job posting in our newsletter. We are looking for hiring managers, founders, and search firms to talk on video about their ideal candidates.

  • Consider sharing my company name with your HR leadership. We are a great “white-glove” boutique option for executive outplacement

  • Recommend me as a paid speaker for your company events on networking, job searching, or leveraging LinkedIn

  • Recommend my services to high performers wanting to work one-on-one with an executive resume writer / or experienced interview coach

In Case You Missed It...

Top content pieces from our past two newsletters:

Join the conversation

or to participate.