Five Resume Myths Wednesday, Sep 8 2010 

by Nimish Thakka

Myth 1: It’s all about the number of pages

The one-page rule is probably the most common myth about a resume. Candidates, even senior executives, use microscopic fonts, leave off important information, use 0.1 inch margins, and resort to a myriad of unhealthy practices — all in an attempt to restrict their resume to just one page.

Many well-meaning college counselors advise their students to be concise and limit their resume to one page. That was important when you were a student with little or no experience, but why subscribe to the same wisdom after rising to the ranks of a senior executive.

There is an opposing viewpoint. Some job seekers mistakenly believe that if they can somehow balloon theirresumes to four or five pages, they will probably be considered for higher-paying positions. What? Will someone offer me $250,000 simply because my resume is ten pages and redundant to the point of boredom?

Content rules. The quality of experience should influence the length of the resume, not hearsay. If you have held only one job, then don’t try to create a five-page resume, but if your background merits a lengthier resume then don’t use eight point fonts in a desperate attempt to fit everything on one page.

If you are too concerned about the length of your resume, consider creating a one- or two-page resume with additional pages serving as an appendix or addendum. I have done that for many researchers and academicians. The first few pages focused on their background, while their publications and presentations were presented as an appendix.

Myth 2: Make up that degree — no one will know

Lying on a resume is the worst mistake a candidate can make. Even if you pass the background check (very unlikely considering how sophisticated background checks have become), a savvy employer will discover the deception within days, if not sooner.

Apart from the legal ramifications, we live in a professional world that is influenced by social media. At the touch of a button, HR managers across the country can discuss their experiences. Maintaining a good reputation is more important than ever.

Myth 3: Your resume must have an objective

“Seeking a position that will be beneficial and mutually rewarding … and will make use of my experience andeducation ….” If that is your idea of an objective, don’t bother using one. Every inch of resume space is precious. Don’t waste it on generic information that can be found on almost every other resume. Every word, every character that appears on your resume must position you as the perfect candidate for the job.

Of the 5,000+ resumes I have written, I may have used an objective for maybe a handful of candidates. In place of objectives, I often used what many experts call “branding statements” or “headers”. The concept can be explained with the help of an example.

In the case of a clinical researcher, for example, a generic objective would be as follows:

“Seeking a mutually beneficial position that will make use of my 10+ years’ experience in clinical research.”

An improvement would be:

Harvard-Educated Clinical Researcher with 10+ Years’ Professional Excellence

Worked with top five pharmaceutical companies. Leveraged clinical expertise to manage three blockbuster, multi-billion dollar molecules from Phase I to Market.

The generic example does almost nothing to position the candidate but the refined version, in addition to serving as an objective, brings out three to four prominent strengths and an overall value proposition.

Whether you decide to use an objective or a positioning statement, refrain from presenting generic arguments.

Myth 4: Your references must be listed on the resume itself

Normally, a separate page is used as a reference sheet. This not only protects the privacy of your references (imagine posting their contact information on every jobboard), but also makes the screening professional’s job a little easier.

Myth 5: I can use the same resume for multiple job targets

If your current resume focuses on your laboratory background, please don’t send the same resume for marketing positions. It is understandable that you may qualify for multiple positions or be interested in pursuingalternate careers. If so, try to create a customized resumefor each job target.

When it comes to a resume, never follow the “one size fits all” approach.


– Nimish Thakkar, Career management coach and CEO of a


Tuesday, Sep 7 2010 

If you put a small value on yourself, don’t expect the world to raise your price. – Anonymous

The Scariest Question in the World Tuesday, Sep 7 2010 

Do you ever wonder how other people in your life perceive you? Do they see you as the kind and loving, smart and clever person you surely are (or at least hope you are)? Or do they see a whole different you? And is it possible that they even may know more about your true qualities than you do?

A new study at Washington University in St. Louis investigated that very question with 165 volunteers. It sought to find out who’s the better judge of our personality and behaviors — ourselves or the people we work and live with. The study concluded that while people are hip to their inner landscape (anxiety, fears and the like), other people often know more about our personality and behaviors than we do ourselves.

What Do You Think of Me?

If this idea makes you feel queasy, you’re not alone. Most people would rather eat bugs than ask others, “Hey, how would you describe me — honestly?” Are you kidding! That is one scary thought! But it is a question we would do well to consider asking people in our lives, says life coach and regular Daily Health News contributor Lauren Zander. “People who know and love you have whole categories of insights and opinions about you — and you may be completely unaware of how they perceive you,” she says.

The conversations that could result from asking for another’s opinions and observations could contribute mightily to the functioning of your relationship with that person… and more broadly, it could have a huge impact on your successes or failures in the world. For example, perhaps there is something you do that holds you back from connecting with the type of person you would really like to be with… or keeps you from receiving a promotion at work. Without getting feedback from those around you, you may never realize that how you think you are in the world is not at all how others see and experience you.

Ahem, I have something to ask you…

So there is much to learn by having such an open conversation, but the sticky question remains — how to go about asking in the smoothest way possible? Zander suggests a good technique to ease your anxiety: Before you ask the question, make a list of what you expect to be told… and then push further and make another list, guessing at the worst things you could possibly hear. Don’t hold back — this is where you get a chance to be fully honest with yourself about your habit of interrupting or being flighty, cheap, cold, manipulative — anything you’ve already been accused of or know about yourself. Seeing it on paper gives you a chance to face your most dreadful fears about yourself privately so that you will not be blindsided in the real conversation. You’ve been there, done that… and now you actually feel quite safe.

Next decide who to ask.

Right off, let’s acknowledge that most people are mortified by the idea of asking others for their thoughts and observations about them… and furthermore, notes Zander, most people are mortified to be asked. People who love you might balk at the idea of saying what they don’t like about you because they don’t want to hurt your feelings, she says — plus, they may fear that you will get defensive and angry. So it’s important to consider what you want out of the conversation and what you are willing to learn about yourself. The obvious choice for who to ask is your spouse or partner, of course — a sibling, perhaps… your children, friends, colleagues, maybe. The more people you ask, the more you can and will learn.

Make sure each person knows that you want the information he/she has even if it is negative — a truthful report is the only way you can grow from the exercise. But you must promise all the people you ask that they will not get in trouble by being honest with you and that you will never, ever hold anything they say against them — in fact, you should provide reassurance that you will be grateful for their honesty. And be sure you stick to that, says Zander, or that person might never be truthful with you again.


When it’s time to talk, you’ll get better, more useful information if you direct the conversation to some degree. Here are some of the topics Zander suggests you ask your “informants” to tell you about:

…what they have never told you that they wish you would change.

…which traits you display that make them uncomfortable and which they would like you to do something about.

…if there is anything you should apologize to them for.

…how you have hurt their feelings.

…if there is something that they wish you would do on a regular basis that you do not do.

A way to learn even more: Ask each person how he thinks others perceive you, too, not just what’s between the two of you. A boss might ask a colleague whether he is seen as being patient and a good listener — he might think he is, but the colleague may have valuable insights that could improve performance, such as “you don’t welcome ideas other than your own.” A woman might hear from her husband that she frequently brushes the kids away when they crave her attention… or perhaps you might be surprised to hear from friends or your partner that you have a tendency to be rude to service personnel, such as store clerks and the waitstaff in restaurants. Ask people anything you want to know about yourself, and even let them bring up topics that they want to discuss, urges Zander. “Nothing should be off limits.”

Once you have wrapped up a conversation, thank the person you interviewed for sharing and let him/her know how much you appreciate hearing the truth about his thoughts and feelings. You have a choice as to whether to make any changes to your behavior based on the information and opinions you receive in your conversations. But at the very least, you might want to keep what you heard in mind as you negotiate tricky spots in relationships or other life challenges — and consider whether altering how you’re perceived might help life go more smoothly for you.


Lauren Zander, cofounder and chairman, The Handel Group,

Tuesday, Sep 7 2010 

If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results. Tony Robbins

Top 7 Employee Gripes and What to Do About Them Thursday, Sep 2 2010 

According to a new book, 30 Reasons Employees Hate Their Managers, some common employee complaints about management, plus ways managers can silence them, include:

  1. “My boss doesn’t respect me.”

    • Get to know your employees as people.
    • Treat them as adults and respect their privacy.
    • Recognize that employees have lives outside work and try to accommodate those needs.
  2. “Nobody appreciates my hard work.” >
    • Provide regular feedback and recognition.
    • Mix an equal number of “thank-yous” and “good jobs” with your critiques. Ask employees for their ideas, and then use them.
    • Thank and reward employees while they’re in the act of performing well; don’t wait for their next review.
  3. “There are different rules for different people.”

    • Focus on being fair and consistent with the workload, pay, perks and appreciation.
    • Be aware of the legal risks of making work decisions based on race, age, gender, religion or disability status.
  4. “My performance reviews are useless.”
    • Provide continuous feedback. Nothing in the review should come as a surprise.
    • Involve employees in setting goals, and adapt a development mind-set.
    • Focus on specific employee behaviors (and cite documented examples). Don’t criticize the person’s character traits.
    • Conduct reviews on time.
  5. “My boss micromanages my work.”
    • Realize that employees are not happy when they can’t make decisions. Delegate when possible.
    • Allow employees to have more say in how they do their work.
  6. “We have too many meetings.”
    • Institute a time limit on meetings.
    • Use a meeting facilitator.
  7. “I hate coming to work.”
    • Ask employees what specifically would improve their outlook. Try to at least meet them halfway.
    • Consider how you can enrich jobs (or juggle tasks among employees) to make them more motivated.

Source: Business Management Daily

The Many Faces of Epsom Salts — More Than Old Fashioned Medicine Thursday, Sep 2 2010 

by Carole Jackson, Bottom Line Health

Old-fashioned Epsom salts — the stuff Grandma used as a soak for her aching feet — is undergoing a very modern makeover… to the point where the “Epsom Salt Council” has its own Facebook page and Twitter feed! I’m all for spreading the word — magnesium sulfate (the scientific name for Epsom salts) is indeed a great go-to solution for a wide swath of modern-day maladies, including stress, joint problems, inflammation and even cardiovascular disease. It’s important to know, however, that some Epsom salts enthusiasm is misplaced, according to Daily Health News medical editor Andrew L. Rubman, ND. Although he is a proponent of Epsom salts for many purposes, he warns that some suggestions now floating around the Internet are not only off base, they’re dangerous.

First — Epsom Benefits

The two most popular longtime uses of Epsom salts are in the bath and to soak the feet. These are great ways to allow the body to absorb magnesium, a mineral that has many health virtues, including easing stress, improving mental focus and sleep, boosting muscle and nerve function, regulating enzyme activity, supporting circulation, increasing oxygen flow and more.

Bath: Soaking in Epsom salts is a superb way to facilitate absorption through the skin, which raises magnesium levels throughout the body, said Dr. Rubman. He recommends a pre-bedtime bath with Epsom salts as being “great for relaxation.” This is a far better way to get your magnesium than taking supplements, he said, since it avoids nasty potential side effects, including loose bowels or diarrhea. Dr. Rubman’s bath recommendation: Add several cups of Epsom salts to your running bath, allowing them to dissolve. Note: If you are being treated for a chronic disease and are on multiple medications — or are pregnant — check with your doctor first.

Foot soak: Your feet will benefit along with the rest of your body from the aforementioned bath — but if (as Grandma used to say) your “dogs are really barking,” Dr. Rubman has a recipe that will help immensely. For a super-saturated foot soak: Boil the water first, using a large pot, and then add several spoonfuls of Epsom salts until they dissolve… reheat the water until it boils again… add more salts… continue repeating until the salts no longer dissolve completely. When the solution has cooled down to “hot bath temperature” (around 104°F), carefully remove the pot from the stove and take it to the bathroom, setting it on the floor by the side of the bathtub. Soak your feet for seven to eight minutes, then douse your feet under cold running water from the faucet for a minute. People suffering from athlete’s foot or calluses (or other uncomfortable conditions) might want to repeat this two or three times a day. (It’s okay to reuse the solution, Dr. Rubman said.) If you have diabetic ulcers, poor circulation or a compromised immune system, check with your doctor first.

Toenail fungus: If you’ve got stubborn toenail fungus, Epsom salts are an easier solution than expensive laser therapy or medications with nasty side effects. Try this: First, make sure the affected nail is short. File across its surface before soaking, which enables the salts to easily reach the fungus. Add several tablespoons of Epsom salts to a shallow pan with hot water. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes two or three times a day. Dr. Rubman says this will help even more if you first add a few drops each of tea tree oil and oregano oil. Since toenail fungus is a tough adversary, be prepared for healing to take many months, and don’t be alarmed if your nail looks worse (“gnarly” as Dr. Rubman puts it) during the healing process.

Skin problems: Epsom salts can soothe skin eruptions such as poison ivy, allergic hives and sunburn. What to do: Depending on the severity of symptoms, you can either take an Epsom salts bath or, for more intense problems, soak a clean cloth in hot water that you have super-saturated with Epsom salts (as described above), and place it on the affected area for about 10 minutes several times a day. For even better results, Dr. Rubman suggests following the hot compress with an ice pack for one minute. For persistent skin problems, check with your dermatologist to make sure a different sort of treatment isn’t warranted.

Now… the Cautionary Note

The Epsom salts warnings concern the idea that it can be used in a drink or an enema to detox the colon and/or liver and gallbladder. The claim — seen on many Web sites — is that the magnesium in Epsom salts can help the digestive system better utilize oxygen, while the sulfate helps to improve digestion and produce useful enzymes. While magnesium sulfate theoretically does both, swallowing even small amounts can be dangerous and should be done only under medical advice and supervision, cautions Dr. Rubman. Epsom salts are powerful enough to disrupt the colonic environment, he explained, noting that in excess they can cause “hypermagnesemia,” which can be lethal. Another danger of using Epsom salts to internally “cleanse” is that it can upset the immune system, potentially even leading to chronic autoimmune problems. As far as using it as a laxative (another of those Internet ideas), Dr. Rubman cautions that drinking even small amounts as a laxative can result in unpredictable and possibly dramatic diarrhea — your bowels will indeed move, but likely not in the way that anyone would wish. Don’t even think about using Epsom salts internally without first discussing it with your doctor.

Andrew L. Rubman, ND, founder and director, Southbury Clinic for Traditional Medicines, Southbury, Connecticut.

Wednesday, Sep 1 2010 

Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching.
Satchel Paige

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