Tag: resume writing

Mary Elizabeth Bradford Appointed Judge for 2019 TORI Resume Writing Competition

Mary Elizabeth Bradford, CARW, MCD“I am thrilled to have just wrapped up the judging for the 2019 TORI’s (Toast of the Resume Industry™) resume writing competition and was super excited to see so many wonderful submissions this year!” – Mary Elizabeth Bradford, CERM, CMRW, CARW, MCD, NCOPE

Executive Resume Writer Mary Elizabeth Bradford Appointed as Judge for 2018 TORI Resume Writing Competition

Mary Elizabeth Bradford to Judge TORI Resume Writing CompetitionFor the second year in a row, Mary Elizabeth Bradford has been appointed to serve as a Top Tier Finalist Judge for Career Director International’s 2018 TORI Awards.

The CDI Toast of the Resume Industry Awards are regarded as the gold standard for best content/visual resume representation the industry has to offer. Top resume writers from all over the world compete for first, second or third place in their respective categories ranging from Executive to Healthcare, Finance, Sales, and Entry-Level.

According to CDI President, Laura DeCarlo, “The Toast of the Resume Industry (TORI) award winners represent the epitome of excellence for job seekers to stand out from the competition for the 60-80% of all jobs that are found through networking and the hidden job market.”  TORI award winners are considered to be the top resume writers in the resume writing/careers industry.

Check out past TORI winners here.

Executive Resume & Job Search Tips: How to Get a $70,000 Raise

moneyAfter a combined 17 years as an executive recruiter, award winning job search coach and certified resume writer, I have had the honor of working with thousands of executives, and thus, have amassed quite a few “stories” about the executive job search. Working with, coaching, watching and learning from my clients has helped me to identify trends and correctly teach what and what not to do. This is information that I can now “give back” to my clients and readers; not just theoretically, but as accurate reflections from the front lines. Which leads me to the following story…

But before I begin, I should note that I have many similar stories. The star of this one, Tom, is not the exception to the rule, but rather an excellent representation of what happens when a professional – trying to better himself by leveraging himself in the market – takes a deep breath and begins to approach his career by seeing himself and the opportunities available to him in a whole different light. Planning and preparation equal empowerment and control of your destiny. The opposite of this is the all-too-often reactionary or passive-receiver roles that even top executives get duped into from time to time, causing them to jump on anything that comes along.

Now back to Tom…

Tom was a top senior executive in his “small world” industry and many of the key players knew of his skills and strengths. Which is why when Tom went searching for another position, he didn’t think he needed to do anything special to his resume. After all, everyone knew what he could do. Or so he thought.

After 3 months of sending resumes to friends, colleagues and contacts, he called me angry and frustrated. I listened to his tale of woe and after reviewing his resume I told him to let me rewrite his resume and fix this issue he’s having. When I shared his investment would be over $1,000, he hit the roof and needed a very thorough explanation of the marketing and labor that goes into crafting such a document.

In short, he was not convinced.

But in the end, knowing the alternative was not working for him either, he reluctantly enlisted my help. The key to Tom’s resume was laying out the design to help the reader quickly organize his strengths, specialties, key accomplishments and project stories. His old resume was written over a decade ago and thus did nothing to reflect the multiple promotions and leadership status he had attained. There was no detail, there was no focus, and there was no design.

When Tom saw his new resume he was pleased, but the payoff truly came when he sent it to the original five key contacts that he had sent his old resume to with no success.

Long story short: he landed 4 interviews and soon had 2 offers in hand. Then came a 5th interview and even a bidding war. In the end (a total of 30 days later), he had an offer on the table that was $70k over his then current salary.

I like this story so much. Not because of Tom’s nice compensation increase, but because it sharply illustrates what often happens in a job search when three simple things are aligned:

  1. A clear focus of direction.
  2. The best marketing collateral possible.
  3. The right job search techniques.

There are many things that you can do to advance your career; there are just a few that have this kind of ROI. My challenge to you would be to think about one thing you can do before the end of this year to advance your own career so you too can rise to the fullness of your potential.

Oh, and stay tuned – more stories to come!

Resume Writing Tips: How to Create a Powerful Opening Statement

Most professionals would love to land their dream job but when it comes to writing a resume that would qualify them to make the jump; they end up stuck with what to say and how to say it.

Not knowing how to create an interest-generating opening statement is a common problem and can quickly lead to job seeker discouragement before the job search even begins!

Here are 3 tips to creating a powerful opening statement that will quickly get you positive attention:

Tip #1 Do Create a Qualifications Summary

A qualifications summary should go at the very top of your resume. It does not explain what your professional objective or goal is, but it does give a clear and powerful overview of who you are and what you can do. Why don’t you want to use a professional objective? Because your resume needs to be focused on what you can do for a company versus what YOU are looking for.

Tip #2 Create an Authentic Opening Statement

To maximize your focus and clarity try a simple writing trick:

Begin to write about what you are doing when you are at your very best, followed by your other key strengths and attributes. Do not edit as you freely write up to a page of information. After a quick break, return to what you wrote and begin to highlight the key words and phrases you feel are the most powerful. Your document should be reduced to about half at this point. After another break, return to your document a second time and repeat this exercise. Now you have a powerful, authentic, and compelling draft statement describing where you really shine!

Tip #3 Use Universal Language

Another common mistake professionals will make is to load their opening statement with industry jargon. Yes if you are a CIO, corporate counsel, or a VP of Finance, you have very specific language that you use. However, your resume has to be written for multiple people in multiple departments. In many cases your resume is being viewed (and thus must be equally compelling) to directors of human resources, division presidents and various managers.

Scan your opening statement for red flags, including acronyms that are not spelled out, information on specific companies, too much detailed technical jargon and sentences that are only decipherable to people intimately associated with what you do.

These key tips will help you to easily create an authentic statement about who you are when you are at your career best, and command the attention of the companies that are looking for someone… just like you!

Want step-by-step instructions for completing your resume with custom online resume templates suitable for all career levels that you can download and keep for just $3.99? Grab the amazon bestseller: The 21st Century Resume by Mary Elizabeth Bradford


DIY Resume eBook & Online Custom Resume Templates…This Is The Deal Of The Century

My new eBook is now LIVE on Amazon eBooks:

The Career Artisan Series: The 21St Century Resume Guide For The Perplexed

It comes with a link to downloadable resume templates – custom designed by me.

The best part is: the special introductory price is .99 cents.

I know, it’s crazy. You may want to grab a copy NOW before I change my mind! 🙂

Get it here

Yes, I know this book is worth far far more. I tell you what – if you read it and love it – won’t you consider writing a short review of the book on Amazon? If you help me take this book to #1 on Amazon – that is the biggest THANK YOU that you could ever give me. 🙂

Ten Tips To Instantly Improve Your Resume

What happens if you are a professional who has a great job history, lots of accomplishments, but you have a mediocre resume?

Well, often it means you hold yourself back from reaching your full career potential so that your compensation, level of responsibility and overall job satisfaction suffer.

Think of it this way: even securing interviews with a resume that just doesn’t cut it puts you in the challenging position of having to try to “sell up” from the “just okay” first impression your resume has already created for you in the eyes of the interviewer.

A smarter plan that will ultimately save you time, money and frustration is to start off on the right foot and create the best first impression possible. Here are ten steps to get you started:

Tip number one: start with a great heading
No, I don’t mean a one sentence objective or your current title. I mean two or three words that closely match your key skills, key industries or a combination thereof.

These grab the readers attention right away, so they need to be powerful, crystal clear and targeted. Check out my website for several samples.

Tip number two: make it stand out
A good design is eye-catching and professional. If you know basics in MS word (like how to create a shadow or a border), this should be easy for you to incorporate into your resume and cover letter. Be careful no to go overboard, though!

Tip number three: add lots of keywords
Keywords at the top of your resume that demonstrate both soft and hard skills help the reader separate out your strengths from your current and past employers. This makes it easier for the reader to connect with you and mentally “picture” you working with them!

Keywords also ensure the document can be quickly read or scanned to find a match between your skills and the target position.

Tip number four: bullet point your quantifiable achievements
Right at the top of the first page you should, if possible, lead with three to six bullets – each with a crystal clear sentence outlining your strengths.

Tip number five: spell out and BOLD your academic achievements Rather than writing MBA, write Masters of Business Administration (MBA), and BOLD your degree.

Tip number six: add the extras
Memberships, volunteer activities, certifications and training programs that are relevant to the position and industry you are seeking, should all be listed in your resume.

You can leave off personal information, such as family status, personal hobbies and statements such as “references upon request.”

Tip number seven: create an accomplishments summary
Under your professional experience, you should always call out your key accomplishments.

You can do this at the top of your professional experience (just group your accomplishments all in together) or as key points under each of your positions.

Don’t forget to BOLD your key accomplishments.

Tip number eight: create the right resume for you
Are you changing industries or building on the one you have been in for some time? Are you a legal professional or in academia?

Resume styles for these professions are all different, so make sure yours is the right style for your industry and/or position of choice.

Functional resumes are generally best for industry or position changes, chronological for staying in your industry.

Tip number nine: sell your present and past employers
Add a favorable sentence or two about each employer as you list each position (ex: ABC Company is a 50 million dollar provider of award-winning widgets with three divisions and 450 employees).

Tip number ten: quantify your accomplishments
One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is communicating a menu of responsibilities without completing the story.

Employers want to know “WHAT HAPPENS” when you do what you do, so help them understand why they should hire you by telling them the results of your responsibilities.

Granted, these tips are just the tip of the iceberg, but making sure they are incorporated into your resume can make a difference in the quantity and quality of interviews you get!

Does Your Resume Need A Makeover?

If you have been considering having your resume professionally designed, then you might be interested in something special I am offering right now:

I am gifting my next 10 clients with a 20% discount on my resume/cover letter package. What makes this even better is that I am including at no charge, a 60 day membership in my Job Search Success System Coaching Group. The coaching, eBooks and bonuses you get with the group are valued at over $1000. But if you are one of my next 10 clients…you don’t pay a thing.

This is an incredible offer and you can check out the details and purchase your package here:


***When you check out just key in coupon code: preferred, to get your discount.***

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