Tag: Resumes (page 1 of 2)

Selected as a Top Career Website

Excited to announce we have been selected as a Top Career Website on Career Igniter!


Press Release





Mary Elizabeth Bradford - Triple Certified Executive Resume WriterMary Elizabeth Bradford, Founder and Executive Director of maryelizabethbradford.com, has been awarded international certification as a Certified Master Resume Writer (CMRW) by Career Directors International (CDI). This Master-Level certification, the pinnacle level of competency for CDI, required Mary Elizabeth to demonstrate her superior knowledge and experience in contemporary resume writing through an intensive examination of her professional writing. She was assessed on her broad range of industry knowledge and expertise in the areas of strategy, branding, advanced visual appeal, and contextual narrative. Recognition as a CMRW sets Mrs. Bradford apart from the competition and distinguishes the high caliber of her credentials in assisting top-level executive clientele (Director to CXO and Board Members) with professional resume services.


Maryelizabethbradford.com offers expert-level resume writing and career advisory services for executive clientele in the global marketplace. She empowers clients to navigate the complexities of the job search and emerge as successful candidates. Mrs. Bradford is a recognized speaker and author whose career advice has been seen and heard on Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Businessweek, PBS, NBC, Glassdoor and Career Builder, to name a few. She has more than 17 years’ expertise assisting 6- and 7-figure clients in achieving their career goals. She is the author of The Career Artisan Series eBooks—which have been best sellers on Amazon, and include titles: The New Executive Job Search, The 21st Century Resume, Interview Follow Up Techniques, Phone Networking Secrets, and The Hidden Job Market, and has been published in multiple resume writing and cover letter compilation books. In addition, she has received the highest CDI Award given: The Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also achieved Certification as Master Career Director, Certification as International Advanced Resume Writer, Awarded the CDI National Career Innovator Award, won two awards for 2015 Top Career Advice Blog, and maryelizabethbradford.com was voted a Forbes Top 100 Career Website. To learn more about Mary Elizabeth Bradford, visit her website at www.maryelizabethbradford.com.


CDI is an international association that provides proactive resources and assistance to empower its members to apply the world’s best practices in career development, resume writing, and job searches.

Five Dilemmas Facing Executives Changing Careers

Being in the role of executive can be a fulfilling and busy position. But even with the level of depth an executive has within their organization, there is always the possibility of a career change.

Proactive and successful companies are always seeking excellent talent. If you wish to be in a position to be offered employment, the company seeking the prospective employee needs to identify you as being the specific person they need. They will make an offer to the person they feel is the best fit for the role, and someone who they believe will bring significant value to their company.

They must also believe that the value justifies the salary, and likewise the salary must be sufficient for you to accept the role. If they fail to make this match with you, they will carry on searching and ultimately make an offer to someone else.

Being in the position of an executive, there are five main dilemmas you’ll face when considering a career change, albeit through your own initiative or an (un)expected offer:

The Cost of Time In Between Jobs

It’s not unusual to find yourself in a period of in between jobs. This means you will not be bringing in a salary for however long this period is. There is an opportunity cost associated with this time, you should calculate the worst case scenario before voluntary taking time out.

Effective Salary Negotiation

Careers can be determined by the amount of the salary. The company employing know how much they are willing to pay, and not a penny more. You want them to pay what you believe your worth to be, and not a penny less. Establishing the right salary at the beginning is very important, not only does it secure your immediate earnings, but influences the potential for future earnings.

Looking at How You’re Marketing Yourself

I think it’s fair to say the vast majority of executives think they can market themselves perfectly well without any help. But more often than not they have not looked for a new job in quite some time, and the landscape is always changing.

The methods they used last time will likely no longer be as relevant, and the way they see themselves might not be how others see them. So don’t be afraid to take a step back, and ask for help. Marketing yourself effectively is a large part of the equation when it comes to securing the job you want.

Securing Yourself an Interview

The amount of applicants that apply for executive level positions advertised online can reach the thousands. So, how can you put yourself in a better position of being noticed and securing an interview?

Use recruitment agencies – The mandate of a recruitment agency is to land their clients in jobs. That’s how they get paid, so if you have a proactive agency working with you they will be breaking down doors to get you an interview.

Networking – It’s an age old classic. But networking is a great way of giving yourself a small leap over many other candidates. If you can be recommended first-hand by someone you have previously crossed paths with while networking, this can be a golden opportunity.

Look for discreetly advertised jobs – Not all jobs will be posted on a popular job search site online. Some companies prefer a more discreet approach, as a way to minimize the applicants. Use this to your advantage, search the vacancies sections on company websites, read the newspapers etc.

Be Realistic

This is the one piece of advice most people do not want to hear, and it can be easily misinterpreted. Having lofty goals is great, being ambitious is noble, but always be realistic. If you are not sure how suitable or qualified you are for a position, don’t be afraid to ask the confidential opinions of colleagues and friends.

Many executive fall foul of one or more of the above mentioned dilemmas. Failure to adapt to the fast moving environment around us, or to evaluate ourselves can hold us back. It’s never too late to change career, or to apply for a job that comes up. But be methodical and realistic in your approach, and be risk-aware of the consequences.


About the Author:

Noel Griffith is a webmaster at Careers Wiki and works as a recruitment consultant and career advisor. He focuses on helping people find their ideal career, and giving ongoing advice in regard to finding a progressive career path to match their skill set. With a strong belief in communication and networking, Noel’s goal is to help connect the right people and forge strong professional relationships. To contact Noel you can email him at careerswiki1@gmail.com.

Why Do Dropouts Do Better?

I often work with very successful C level execs who are concerned they don’t have their college degree but they have made their companies hundreds of millions of dollars. I think this explains a few things…


Elizabeth Holmes owns 50% of her company, Theranos and has become the youngest billionaire. Elizabeth Holmes left Stanford University at 19 with a plan to start her own company. For money, she cashed out the funds her parents had saved for tuition. Now, she counts billionaire Larry Ellison as an investor and has former secretaries of state on her board.

Bill Gates is another famous dropout. So is Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, who dropped out of Harvard in his sophomore year to complete his project. Steve Jobs dropped out of college after six months. The list goes on an on. The question we have to ask – why does formal education turn-off the most creative people? Answer – they are non-conformists.

Read more here:   http://armstrongeconomics.com/2014/12/02/why-do-dropouts-do-better/


The Value Proposition Letter: How to Write the Most Powerful Cover Letters on the Planet

Would you like to learn how to write a powerful “cover letter” that gets results?

For over 10 years I have been writing crisp, concise, value proposition letters (today’s cover letter) for professionals all over the world that has helped them to secure multiple quality job interviews and offers. Many times my clients tell me their salaries increase 10k, 35k, have doubled, or more, Why? The right marketing. The right materials. Its not magic. These are people probably a lot like you.

And now, for the first time ever, I am hosting a personal coaching session to show you, step-by-step, exactly how to create your own value proposition letter.

On top of that, I am including several value proposition letter templates, a quick-start checklist and LIVE Q&A time with me to answer all of your questions and coach you personally, to make sure your value proposition letter is perfect and gets you results.

The course is 50 minutes and the investment is just $47. These sessions fill up fast and I do limit the group so sign up now to grab your virtual “seat.”

Don’t worry if you can’t be on the live call with me. I will send you everything including the call recording – all you have to do is register.

Click here to register for this session now!

These letters are of such critical importance and so tremendously valuable, I currently charge $297 to write value proposition letters for my clients. This is one of those topics that you learn once and benefit from over and over again.

Here is what you will learn and receive:

  • The most common cover letter mistake that leads to qualified professionals being passed over for interviews.
  • Battle-tested, step-by-step strategies to create a cover letter template that is powerful and gets results.
  • How to easily tweak your cover letter to work for networking, recruiters, human resources and decision makers.
  • A step-by-step plan to ensure your value proposition letter gets read… from beginning to end.
  • My trick for adjusting the way you see yourself and communicate your value to others; so you shift from simply telling them what it is you do, to what happens when you do it.
  • The one critical thing to leave OUT of your letter that will ensure more calls and interest.
  • A 15-point action checklist that is easy to follow and check your letters against to ensure you are creating your value proposition letters correctly for maximum impact.
  • 5 value proposition letter templates that you can glean from so you can see for yourself the subtle changes between each and what powerfully communicates branding, value and results.
  • LIVE Q&A for the last part of the call so I can personally coach you and answer your questions (this portion is BONUS for those who want to join me on the LIVE call!).
  • Extra BONUS: My bestselling e-book: The Career Artisan’s Interview Follow Up Secrets. In this guidebook I show you exactly what to do post-interview to make it to the final offers. Plus, I include a thorough troubleshooting section so you can avoid all of the typical mistakes people make, including the one where the interview ended great but no one called back – one of the most frustrating mysteries ever.

Click here to register for this session now!

Cover letters are one of the most common areas I see professionals making mistakes. This is an investment in yourself. Learning evergreen strategies (that are not going to be replaced by something new next year) once will create value for you again and again during the life of your career and will prevent avoidable mistakes that may be costing you interviews without even knowing it.

Inspiring your success,


Resume Tips: Avoid These 3 Mistakes at All Costs When Writing Your Resume Opening Statement

The most precious piece of real estate in your entire resume is the top of the first page. At the cursory glance, this is the area that is going to get the most attention. And there are some things you can do to make the most of that – or get your resume tossed in the “not interested” pile.

Here is a quick checklist of things NOT to do when crafting the opening statement of your resume:

Don’t generalize. Focus, not generalization is critical. For example, say the VP of Sales for a Fortune 500 company gets ahold of your resume. He or she reads your opening statement which begins with, “Sales executive with 15 years of experience building teams and consensus, expanding territories, etc., etc… Ultimately, this tells the reader very little.

Ask yourself what questions the reader might have. I guarantee they are trying to come up with a framework of perspective about you that includes things like:

  • Do you have experience with regional, national or global sales?
  • How big are the teams you have managed?
  • What kind of companies have you called on and what is the dollar figure of the products or services you have represented?
  • Do you have any particular selling skills, such as conceptual selling, or academic credentials, like an MBA?

Using a combination of keywords and a brief opening statement, you can paint a picture (quickly) that satisfies (not frustrates) your reader.

Don’t write an opening statement over 6 lines deep. If you have Googled “executive resume writers” and viewed their samples, you might notice professional resumes are becoming more and more visually impactful and much less dense in text. This is because big blocks of text in your resume will seldom get read.

You must say what you wish to say directly, simply and briefly. Focus on the value you bring to the table. In other words, describe what happens when you do what you do as opposed to just providing an outline of your tasks and skills. After all, what does someone who reads your resume want to know? It sounds harsh, but the questions that are really being asked are, “What good are you to me?” and “Why should I be reading this?” Your focus on value demonstrates that you “get” that.

Don’t speak in first person or past tense. New graduate resumes, mid-level resumes and executive resumes all have one thing in common: they are written in implied first person. Don’t say, “I offer 5 years of social media marketing experience,” but, “Offering 5 years of social media marketing experience.”

BONUS TIP: Enhance your opening statement with keywords either above or below it. This is an easy way to help your reader understand your value. For example, a construction executive resume might say:

Commercial Construction | Healthcare & Academia | Teams to 400 | P&L to 500 Million

Optimize Your Resume with Keywords Using These 3 Simple Techniques

Are you wondering if your resume best positions you to land the job of your dreams in a parallel market, new industry or higher level position? One area you want to be sure to check is your keywords.

Resume keywords are simply the words used to describe your hard and soft skills. Many companies today use keyword scanning software to organize and qualify applicant matches with available positions. Even if a company doesn’t use keyword scanning software, it’s still extremely important to mirror the keywords listed for that position as much as possible.

You can quickly and easily make certain that your resume attracts the right attention using the following simple steps.

Step One: Identify Your Favorite Jobs

First, through you favorite job aggregator or niche job board, identify at least two positions that would qualify as your dream job.

Next, print them out and highlight all of the keywords and phrases that best describe both what you love to do most, and any other strengths and attributes that match your skills. Even if the position is in another industry, highlight those strengths that match functionally.

Now, make sure these keywords are woven throughout your resume, especially the upper portion of your first page.

Step Two: Use Your 2-3 Best Keywords

You don’t necessarily have to redesign your resume for every job you want to submit your resume to. In fact, if you are finding this to be necessary, you might want to check your focus.

Many professionally designed resumes will have approximately three keywords in a bigger, bold font, right up at the top of their resume. I call these headline keywords. This is a powerful way to immediately target your resume to each specific job you submit your resume for.

Let’s say you are submitting for a job that stresses operations, global expansions and team building. If these are all matching skills for you, then you want to mirror these in your headline keywords. With this method you can simply shift a few main keywords and get maximum attention from your target audience!

Step Three: Consider a Keyword-Only Section

In my resumes I always like to include a keyword-only section. I call it “core competencies” or “skills and abilities.” A good list should include three rows of 4 to 5 bullet points per row. In the first row, include your strongest competencies; in the second, soft skills like leadership and management abilities; and your third row can include technical aptitudes, language skills and/or secondary skills, such as leading training programs or creating marketing collateral.

Using these valuable tips gives you a simple and easy way to make sure your resume is targeted for the positions you really want!

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


“Hi There Networking Contact… What Do You Think of My Resume?” (& Other Things You Wish You Never Said) How to Network Without Losing Your Confidence or Your Mind

*Warning: this article contains some “tough talk” and will probably offend some readers.

Sometimes I will have a client call me and share that while networking, they showed their new professionally designed resume to:

  1. Their friend or business mentor whose opinion they trust
  2. A powerful networking connection
  3. A human resources person
  4. A recruiter

And my client posed the question, “what do you think of my resume?”

Well, a large amount of the time, if you have had your resume professionally written by an experienced and certified writer, the response will be positive.

But sometimes they will interpret your question as an opportunity to attack your resume using all their powers of critical analysis – in the name of “helping you” (gee, thanks).

If you have ever been in this situation, you know the result – your confidence is shaken; you begin to doubt yourself; the focus becomes that there is something “wrong” with your resume. You call your writer demanding to know why they used that particular color or font because Suzie who just got a job in the HR department at Target last week knows well that this font color will keep you from realizing your dreams – or at least ever landing a job at Target.

Okay, I am being a little sarcastic, but isn’t that the weight that we end up putting on all these opinions we open ourselves up to? Some people are very caustic; they will tell you with authority they absolutely know what they are talking about (I have seen this to be true especially with College Career Counselors and recruiters. No offense – just stating fact).

So who, or what are you to believe?

  • In a job search, common sense tells us we must preserve our energy, our positive attitude and our confidence. Rather than asking everyone who will give you 5 minutes what they think of your resume, the wisest thing to do is ASK A CERTIFIED, EXPERIENCED RESUME WRITER. This does not mean asking THE LADDERS or JOB FOX, who will give you a free “resume critique,” and no matter how wonderful your resume is and how much you invested to have it properly done, they will most likely tell you it stinks and you need to pay them $700 to rewrite it. No, I mean going to Career Directors Internationaland looking up the award winning writers, the Certified Writers, the Writers who have their work in reputable Resume and Career books and/or the writers who may specialize in your field. And although this does not completely shield you from conflicting advice, it does dramatically impro ve your chances of getting a professional and discerning critique of what your resume truly needs (or might already have) in order for you to achieve your career goals.
  • Please, refrain from asking everyone what they think of your resume. This opens you up to criticism from people who are may only be partially (at best), qualified to critique how your resume lines you up for your next career move. Don’t go asking your best friend who is accounting about your resume which is focused on your B.A. in human resources. She will have no insight into what employers are looking for! Instead, get a clear focus of direction on what you want including industry, position title and your driving motivators like ideal companies and positions, your compensation range, where you want to live, and how much you will travel, to name a few things. Couple that with a little research on growing and stable industries.
  • Don’t say you are “wide open” to explore a wide range of opportunities, because in today’s job market, you have to demonstrate your value very specifically (this is part of the whole “branding” thing you hear everyone talking about). You need to demonstrate that you know what you want. This builds your network’s confidence IN YOU. You don’t have the luxury of “being wide open,” so please start taking control of your situation and embrace a self-directed and entrepreneurial approach to your job search. This is what is working in today’s job market.
  • Once you have your game plan down regarding your focus of direction and where you want to steer your career, ask your friends how they can help you with that. Don’t ask them to help you find a job and don’t ask them who is hiring and don’t ask them what they think of your resume! This is a waste of your time! Learn how to network so that you stay in control of the conversation. I think the reason people hate job searching the most is because they feel they have to take such a passive, submissive role in it. THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE! You don’t have to feel hat-in-hand, begging for a job. I teach my clients in my Job Search Success System how to network in a confident and dignified way and they love it. It preserves their sanity, confidence and gets them great results! There is absolutely no reason why you have to roll over in complete submission just because you are in a job search.
  • Do not discount the power of critical feedback! You may LOVE your resume and so do 50 other people, but I have seen it time and time again that a single negative critique will leave you doubting everything you ever thought was true! You cannot afford to “go there” in your job search! It’s not the most exacting comparison, but will 50 people look at a piece of famous art from an abstract expressionist and have the same exact option about it? I think you know the answer.
  • If you have not had your resume professionally written and you want someone to critique it, your best and safest bet is to go to Career Directors International and look for help and support there. Generally speaking, resume writers are a heart-centered group (especially women) and they find genuinely helping others get what they want in their careers deeply satisfying. You have a great shot at talking to a person who really cares and can really help you at CDI. Writers who take the time to obtain difficult certifications and pay money to keep them current every year generally take their career as seriously as you probably do. And in an unregulated industry such as Career Services, you need that insurance to help protect your interests and investment.
  • If you HAVE had your resume professionally done, then I will share with you what I share with all my clients, which is this – you need 3 main things in your job search to be successful:
    • A clear focus of direction.
    • A great resume and value proposition (cover) letter that supports your focus
    • The right job search strategies.

As a general rule, after you have paid a certified writer to analyze your career situation and craft you a resume to get you where you want to go, your entire focus should be on the right job search strategies. I am primarily focused on showing my clients how to go direct to companies by tapping the hidden job market because it works so well, but every job search is different and some job search strategies will work better than others. You may take a multi-pronged approach to your job search strategies, which could include recruiter, venture capital and/or private equity firm distributions, direct mail, targeted networking, working through associations, and learning how to use social networking like LinkedIn to land interviews, to name a few.

In closing, I have not seen it beneficial for you as a job seeker to hold up your resume and state “WHAT DO YOU THINK?” Not because I as a writer am trying to avoid criticism, nor am I trying to protect other professional resume writers. And I am not stating that there might indeed be things in your resume that need improving. But if you want the right advice, your safest bet is to go to the experts. Doing otherwise may derail you and detract from your ultimate goal.

The 21st Century Resume Guide For The Perplexed – and Tim Ferriss

I am a big fan of Timothy Ferriss and have read both his books. His first book, The 4 Hour Workweek, helped me to cut my work week down by 20%.

Imagine how tickled I was when i saw on Amazon that my new book had outranked his. 🙂 Atleast for a day….:)

Just want to say thank you again to everyone for your support and for spreading the word.

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