Posts Tagged ‘college students’

How to Create a Resume or CV that Gets You Interviews

June 16th, 2014

In the business I’m in, I review a lot of resumes and CVs and I know a great deal of Recruiters, HR Executives

Lisa Orrell, CPC: The Generations Relations & Leadership Expert

Lisa Orrell, CPC: The Generations Relations & Leadership Expert, and author of the NEW book,”Your Employee Brand is in Your Hands!”

and Hiring Managers who do as well. And we all agree on one thing: most resumes and CVs are bad. Really bad.

I’m not talking about grammar mistakes or ugly formatting, although there is plenty of that. I’m talking about descriptions that make no sense, whole lines and paragraphs that are so full of clichés and corporate-speak that they don’t actually communicate anything, and missing details that any potential employer would want to know. You’d be amazed how often I can read a whole job description and not know what the person actually did. Or if I do know what they did, I often have no idea if they did it well.

As a Professional Speaker and Trainer, I conduct many career-focused workshops for college students. And trust me when I say, their resumes aren’t great, but they aren’t that much worse than many seasoned professionals who should know better. The resume is the most important document any individual can create for finding a job. After all, the resume can be the difference between the job of your dreams and just something that pays the bills.

So how can they be so universally bad given the incentive that very smart and competent professionals have to do them well?

The reason is it’s very hard to self-evaluate your accomplishments and communicate them effectively. It’s hard to see yourself objectively, and if you are in a field that is at all technical, it can be incredibly difficult to communicate your work to people in HR and recruiting. It is very hard to separate yourself from your own experience, memories, and associations, and objectively and effectively communicate your experience and skills.

What can you do?

That’s why I recommend that job seekers consider hiring a resume writing service. The problem is that there are just so many bad ones out there. And paying somebody to review a document might seem like a waste of money since you can find a friend to read your resume and critique it.

Trust me, it’s worth it. Unless someone has seen a truly great resume they won’t know what’s wrong with yours. And unless they’ve made truly great resumes, in a variety of fields, they can’t tell you how to create one.

Therefore, I recommend looking into Resume to Interviews to create your resume, CV, and other career related documents (LinkedIn profile, cover letter, etc.). It doesn’t matter whether you are a college student, C-level executive, or someone in between. It’s an awesome, cost-effective, service and one of the few legitimate services that exist that provides real value. In fact, their blog provides some valuable how to write a resume guide for specific industries like nursing and IT.

Here’s an overview of how they describe their service and how it can benefit you:

Your resume reflects YOUR Personal Brand!

We’re a company that creates custom resumes, CV’s, cover letters and personal statements (aka: Personal Branding) that stand out and get noticed among the mountains of resumes and CV’s that employers and recruiters have to wade through on a daily basis. At Resume to Interviews, our goal isn’t to create a good looking resume, or one that looks like others you’ve seen in your field.

We create resumes that are better than what you’ve seen before, and better than most hiring managers have seen before as well. That’s why they pick up the phone so quickly to set up interviews with our clients.

Resumes to Interviews has created over 5,000 resumes and CV’s over the last seven years and they create close to 100 each month for clients from all over the world and in every conceivable industry. What really sets them apart is their process: they have you fill out an intake questionnaire (this takes work on your part) and use it to create a brand new document, which they then perfect during a back and forth editing process with you.

They don’t just proofread your document and change some language. They ask you hundreds of questions to develop your content and carefully target it towards job listings you provide. And the process isn’t over until you are 100% satisfied.

Plus, they offer LinkedIn Profile consultation and Professional Coaching services for interviewing tips, as well.

All of that said, here are two questions for you:

Why spend countless hours trying to draft your own resume or CV only to find out it’s one of the “bad ones” that gets immediately thrown in the trash? Why not consider a service like theirs to ensure your resume separates itself from the piles of mediocre resumes that get sent to employers every time a job opening in posted online?

I think you know the answer to those questions. So check out Resume to Interviews.

Challenges That Faculty Face with Today’s College Students

January 13th, 2013

Hi All!

I’ve been researching today’s College Students a lot recently due to a few key factors:

1. I know a lot of College Professors and Faculty from a wide variety of educational institutions who constantly complain about “how different” their students are these days versus previous generations. I even hear from younger professors, in their early-mid 30’s, who express this opinion, too, so it’s not JUST coming from Boomer and Veteran generation faculty who have been teaching for 25+ years!

2. I’m getting a lot of speaking invitations from educational institutions (i.e. colleges, universities, and vocational schools) to speak to their faculty about how to better communicate with, and educate, their students. I wouldn’t be getting these invitations if this issue wasn’t “real”.

And I can tell you that regardless of the “type” of school they are from, OR the types of subjects they are teaching, OR the student population they serve, the educators I talk to all share the same frustrations and challenges with the students they teach today.

Here are just a few examples of the common ones I hear (and what I focus on in my presentations to help the educators overcome): Students today are lazy; they need to be told “how” to learn; they show up late for class and want to leave early; they show disregard for homework deadlines and exam dates; their parents call on behalf of their adult child with questions or complaints; Etc…

It’s based on this growing “issue” regarding Millennial (aka: Gen Y) students that I decided to blog about this topic today. I don’t plan to provide answers to the challenges mentioned above in this post; I’m simply bringing this interesting issue to light because I typically write about Millennials from an “employee” angle versus a student angle.

To shed more light on this, I recommend that you read this book: “Generation on a Tightrope: A Portrait of Today’s College Student,” written by Dr. Arthur Levine with Diane R. Dean. It covers 2006 to 2011, and distills information from surveys and interviews with both undergraduates and student-affairs officials at 31 campuses nationwide. Dr. Levine is the president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and former president of Teachers College at Columbia University.

Here’s a brief overview about the book and the information it provides:

An understanding of today’s undergraduate college students is vital to the effectiveness of our nation’s colleges and universities. As Generation on a Tightrope clearly reveals, today’s students need a very different education than the undergraduates who came before them: an education for the 21st Century, which colleges and universities are so far ill-equipped to offer and which will require major changes of them to provide. Examining college student expectations, aspirations, academics, attitudes, values, beliefs, social life, and politics, this book paints an accurate portrait of today’s students. Timely and comprehensive, this volume offers educators, researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and employers, guidance and a much-needed grasp of the forces shaping the experiences of current undergraduates. The book:

  • Is based on completely new research of 5,000 college students and student affairs practitioners from 270 diverse college campuses
  • Explores the similarities and differences between today’s generation of students and previous generations

So whether you’re an educator or an employer, books such as that could be one more tool to help you better understand this new generation you face. And for employers, this could also give you insights for better managing, recruiting and retaining this much-needed generation at work.

I can honestly say they truly are different from previous generations…I’ve been writing, consulting and speaking about Millennials for over 6 years as an expert, as well as conducting Leadership and Personal Branding workshops for Millennial employees and students, so I know them well.

Bye for now!




Female Executives Discuss Personal Branding for Career Success

November 27th, 2010

Hi All!

Recently I moderated a panel discussion on the importance of creating and building your personal brand for career success in the workplace.

This is a hot topic, and one that I conduct workshops on for employees of corporations, and for college students. My workshop is called “Your Personal Brand is in Your Hands: How to Create and Develop and Personal Leadership Brand for Career Success.” Plus, I believe this is such an important topic that I included a chapter about it in my latest book, Millennials Into Leadership.

As the event moderator, I was provided with the highlight notes from the panel discussion, and wanted to share them here. The panelists were all senior female executives from well-known companies, and the discussion could have gone on for hours! Our audience was totally engaged and asked lots of questions.

And whether you’re a Millennial (aka: Gen Y), Gen X, Generation Jones, or Boomer, it’s never too late, OR EARLY, to start thinking about your personal brand at work, and focusing on how to develop and manage it. And employers are starting to see the benefits of supporting their employees with developing their personal brands for improved employee engagement.

Here are the highlight takeaways the panelists shared:

Your brand tells people who you, and what to expect from you whether at work or at home. It helps people decide whether to trust you, and what to trust you about. Effective executives, both women and men, proactively build their brand, to ensure that others think highly of them, and have the confidence that they can execute under specific circumstances, and even in situations where they have little connections and expertise. Indeed, your executive brand can limit or launch your success. This month’s panelists shed light on what an executive brand is, how and why it is becoming more important in today’s market, and how to develop and reinforce that brand.

Your executive brand says something about you to people you know and people you want to know. It is a compilation of all the things that you’ve said and not said, done and not done. And it is more important today than ever that you strategically build your brand. Below are some elements of the personal (executive) brands developed by our esteemed panelists, and “how” they developed and manage theirs:

·        Proactive networking and communication independent of roles and organizations and levels

·        Collaborative, consensus builder focused on results

·        Deep knowledge and expertise

·        Persistent, results-oriented problem solver

·        Forward thinking

·        Passionate

·        Community orientation

·        Authenticity: You get what you get

To begin beginning your brand, start with an understanding of who you are what you are good at and passionate about. Recognize your weaknesses as a part of who you are and develop a plan to compensate for them, to make them a ‘win’ or a ‘feature’, provided that the weakness does not interfere with your ability to deliver results. Listen to yourself and make your priorities based on what’s important to you. Always make choices that will keep you authentic, make you happy to be who you are.

Focus on what you would like to accomplish both personally and professionally and then strategize on how to accomplish your goals, both in terms of the actions you need to take and the networks you need to connect with. Ensure that what you say and what you do, or don’t say and do, are in congruence with what you want to do, how you want to present yourself now, and in the future, in your personal and in your professional life.

Continue to refine your executive brand through your communications online, in person, in writing and ensure that your thoughts and actions are in alignment with your intended brand. Continue to align your decisions and actions and review and update the brand you’d like to communicate.

If someone says or does something which may threaten the integrity of your brand, first figure out who is doing it and whether he/she is important to you, and even why they are doing it. If he/she is important to you, or could influence how important others can perceive you, work quickly to make an authentic stand for your brand, your reputation, with strategic actions and communications. It is your job to not just communicate your brand, but also to defend it from being misinterpreted. Know when to stand up to misperceptions, to subtly prove them wrong by your words and actions and to ignore them altogether.

Whereas previously only the most important people had handlers and publicists and others to ensure brand integrity for them, in today’s world of technology proliferation and constant communications, EVERYONE must build and protect their brand real-time. The wide range of social media offerings from FaceBook to LinkedIn to Twitter offer so many different channels for communicating your brand, but they also demand a proactive defense of the integrity of the brand, and thorough consideration prior to communicating online, where anyone could Google your communications, even ones you’d prefer not to be known by. It’s hard to compartmentalize your personal and professional life, and it takes judgment and discipline to ensure that sensitive or frivolous or private information does not negatively impact your brand.

One example of the consequence of not doing so is that it is now common practice for hiring managers to Google a potential job candidate online. Prospects are eliminated who don’t have the judgment to proactively manage their brand. With that said, candidates who show their authenticity by backing their brands as a thought leader through blogs, or get involved in associations that could benefit from your expertise and keep apprised of and even help shape industry trends through your involvement.

Your executive brand can take you far – even farther than you originally envision, and more likely so if you proactively build and manage it, and associate with others and support each other in building and extending your brands. Be true to who you are at all times, but also be open to and even fearless about opportunities to stretch the definition of yourself if the opportunities or circumstances arise.

The bottom line: Be who you are AND who you want to be, not just what you or others think you SHOULD be. But with that said, don’t be afraid to stretch your definition of who you are, as long as your values and integrity are not compromised. Surround yourself with people with similar mindsets.

I hope you found this information helpful!

Bye for now…


Becoming An Industry Expert Will Fast Track Your Career

November 13th, 2010

Hi All!

If you’re seeking ways to stand-out at work, and in your industry for career success, one of the best things you can do is position yourself as an “Industry Expert”. And it doesn’t matter what age you are in the professional workforce OR what industry you’re in – you can become known as an expert in your industry quickly.

Many employees want to position themselves as Industry Experts to attract media interviews and make additional income as conference speakers. Some even speak at conferences for no fee; they do it to increase awareness for themselves as “experts”. And I find for many, their main motivation is to generate awareness for themselves ‘outside’ of the notoriety they (may) have within their company. They simply want to be a “bigger fish” vs just another employee.

I conduct workshops on how to create a Personal Leadership Brand at work, and I also discuss it in my Leadership seminars for Gen Y employees and college students. But, as I mentioned, there are people who want to take their “personal brand” to another level, outside of where they work, and create a name for themselves throughout their industry.

And most employers support this. Why? Because it reflects well on their corporate brand! If a company has “known” Industry Experts working for them, it tells their industry,”We have the cream-of-the-crop working for us!” Plus, whenever these employees are quoted in the media or speak at conferences, it gives the company’s brand more exposure, too.

Developing an Industry Expert brand platform is something that more and more people are coming to me for coaching on. Based on my 20-years of owning an award-winning Marketing Agency in Silicon Valley, I understand branding and what it takes to create a brand platform as an “expert”. Heck, I’ve done it for myself!

Plus, I also consult with these individuals on the Marketing, PR and Social Media strategies required to get them the exposure they seek. Do you think I became known globally as “The Generations Relations Expert” by accident? Do you think I have received, and continue to receive, media interview requests by chance? Do you think all the speaking I do at conferences, and for organizations, just “happened” one day? NO!!!!!

I built a brand platform for myself as an “expert”! Sure, I realize you may not want to be self-employed like I am. A lot of people are very happy being employees, and love where they work…but they want to be more well-known…and they know it can create more opportunities for career success.

So, if you’re interested in exploring how we can create an Industry Expert brand platform for you, to fast-track your career and increase your notoriety, contact me. And you can learn about this aspect of my professional life at:

Bye for now!


Relocating for An Entry Level Job – New eBook Provides Great Advice

January 04th, 2010

Hi All,

In this current economic climate it’s not unusual for people from ANY generation to pursue job offers that require relocation. And Heather H. Huhman, founder and president of (a popular job and career site for college students and entry-level job seekers), has written a terrific ebook for Millennials (Gen Y) on the ins and outs of relocating successfully for a job.

The ebook is entitled: “Relocating for an Entry-Level Job – Why You Probably Have to and How to Do It”

This info-packed ebook is loaded with tons of useful info such as:

1. The Top Areas in the U.S. for Entry Level Jobs

2. Strategies for Finding a Non-Local Job Opportunity

3. How to Up Date Your Career Tools to Show Willingness to Relocate

4. Determining the Cost of Relocation

5. How to Negotiate a Relocation Package

6. Relocating Without A Job

7. And A LOT MORE!

And you can click here to access a FREE preview of her ebook to read the Introduction and see the Table of Contents!

Click here to read Heather’s complete bio, and you’ll quickly see why she is qualified to write a book like this. Not only did she start, but she’s also a entry-level career’s columnist for where she offers college students, entry level job seekers and younger employees advice on career, work related topics, and job seeking. She is also a contributing writer for many career blogs, and author of “Gen Y Meets the Workforce: Launching Your Career During Economic Uncertainty“.

I highly respect Heather and think her new ebook is something many will find very beneficial.

And if you want to skip looking at the free preview, CLICK HERE to order the whole book!

Bye for now,



« Older Entries