I've Got Bad News & Good News.

Received a call from a good friend this morning — he was unceremoniously laid off Monday after 16+ successful years at the same organization. I felt for him — starting 2016 off with a fizzle and not a bang. But the coach in me kicked in — and I said, "This is not bad news, it's a new beginning for you! In fact, this is THE BEST time of the year to get laid off!"

January through May is the rocket rollercoaster of employment. Especially January! This is the time when companies and departments unleash their budgets, plan for new initiatives, and are actively looking for great people in the marketplace.

So if you're in transition, 'stuck' in your current position, or even if you're thinking of going back into the workforce, I have some 'GOOD' news for you.

I've developed an eBook that will help you not only hit the ground running — but it will accelerate your job search exponentially.

Here's the best part — it's free! CLICK HERE to get the full PDF eBook.

Enjoy! (Let me know how you like it!)


Basic Résumé Structure For Success.

Many of my clients frequently ask me for my opinion on the do's and don't's of a good résumé. Let me begin by saying résumé advice is highly subjective. Everyone has an opinion and everyone will find fault in your advice. I am going to go out on a limb and let you in on what I think is a basic, generalized format (IMHO):

Contact Info: Name, Cell, Email, Address, LinkedIn URL (this is new - make it like

Summary Statement: 1-2 sentences that clearly define who you are and what you're looking for. Feel free to add a few bulleted items - not a lot. It needs to be powerful and slightly provacative.

Experience: Company/Location/Duration/Title - then have a few critical bullet points that focus on what you delivered and the result. Pick the best ones - throw out the fluff.

Education: Keep it short and sweet. Add in any related experience, workshops, seminars, etc. That's learning.

Activities: One line, make them interesting. A good hiring manager is looking for enthusiasm and fit - give it to them.

Optional: If you have room - add a testimonial or two from important people you've worked with. You can grab them from LinkedIn. I have a client who had two testimonials from the presidents of both companies they worked for - I told her to showcase them!

Length: 1 Page - New to the workforce - 1-2 years out of school. 2 Pages - Normal - 3-10 years in the workforce. 3 Pages - Experienced - 11-30 years in the workforce. 4+ Pages - C-Level Executive.

Format: Font: Helvetica - don't play with serif fonts (my opinion) Columns: 1 inch either side - give it space Leading (space between lines): 1.2 - give it space Size: 10-12 point - normal reading font size Footer: Your name and 'Page 1 of 3 Pages' (it helps) Delivery: PDF (Word attachment if asked) - it keeps the format

Again - this is my opinion and can be seen on most résumés. Remember, most recruiters and hiring managers are going to initially spend 8-10 seconds scanning your résumé. The more you make your résumé unique, the harder it will be to absorb key info and they'll toss it into the circular file cabinet. Keep it simple, concise, and easy to read/scan.

If you are in a specialized industry, you will (of course) modify what I've listed above.

  • Creative - add a bit more color, font use, even a subtle graphic (photo).
  • IT/Engineer - add more areas for tools/software etc.

If you have any more questions, call me anytime. - Rich 

When Someone On Your Team Quits.

It happens all the time. As a manager of people for over 20 years, I learned a lot of basic rules how to hire, onboard, manage, lead, motivate, layoff and sometimes fire my staff.I saw my colleagues consistently fail in just one area — when someone on their team gave their notice to leave. So I have some tips on how to handle it and make it a win-win-win for you, your soon-to-be leaving colleague, and the company.

Leaving Your Job in Tough Times: Swim, Sink, Swim

By Steven DeMaio at HBRswim1 Four months ago I decided, some say rashly, to quit my job and pursue interests that I'd neglected for a while. The economic crisis was in full view when I took the plunge, but it has worsened since then. For folks out on their own right now, there are turbulent waters to navigate, and so much depends on the whims of the economic seas.

When I quit, more than one person trotted out the old "sink or swim" cliché to describe what lay ahead of me. But "sink or swim" isn't a one-time challenge when you make a radical career move -- it's a test you take again and again. I've figured out some tactics that, for now, seem to be working:

1. Accept that you will sink -- more than once. Every single time the health insurance bill comes due, I get a frightful mouthful of water. But it doesn't mean I'm going to drown. I write the check while I'm chatting on the phone or on Facebook -- and I try to make a joke about it. Humor -- even gallows humor -- can make you buoyant again.

2. Let the current do the work sometimes. If you try too hard to make ends meet, you just end up at wit's end, and it's hard to swim in that condition. Sure, you need to pursue opportunities, but desperation only breeds rejection. Stay calm for your own sanity. Besides, it'll make you more appealing as you enter arenas where people don't know you.

Being out on your own in an economic crisis is cross-training of the best sort. You've got to get good at the things you don't do so well, and better at the things you've mastered. That can provide more of a rush than a 5K run every morning.

Some of my tough workout has involved teaching. Shortly after quitting, I made a beeline to local adult education centers and landed a couple of part-time gigs teaching English and math, thanks in part to my experience teaching in the 1990s.

The classes have been wonderful -- exactly the shot in the arm that I needed. I really liked my job in publishing and still enjoy what I do in that area. But direct contact with the people affected by my work is important to me. Teaching offers that in spades.

My students and I are learning a lot in these tough times, and I plan to share specific lessons in upcoming blog posts - no geometry, don't worry. To those of you who shared your heartfelt sentiments, personal stories, and justifiable fears and critiques in response to my original post, please continue the conversation. And to those -- job leavers, keepers, and seekers alike -- who haven't yet spoken, please tell us about your career conundrums in these hard times. We could all benefit from the swimming lessons.