5 Ways to Give Your Resume a Makeover

career strategies groupThis is from an article just published by CareerBuilder.com and MSN.

(We were among the resume experts from around the U.S. who were interviewed.)

Fashion and what’s in style change over time—and so should your résumé. What may have been a trendy way to format five or 10 years ago could now be considered outdated. And with technology changing how jobs are found and applied for, being current is more crucial to your job search than ever. Whether you’re just putting together your résumé or feel like your job search is in a rut, take the time to update your résumé’s look with these five tips.

Swap out-dated categories for modern information

Résumés used to serve as a very different form of introduction than today. While hiring managers used to wonder who you were and what you were looking for, as well as if anybody could vouch for you, today’s hiring process is much more streamlined. “Today, like the understanding of the unspoken objective, everyone knows that a job candidate will provide references when and if they advance to the next stage of the hiring
process,” says Karen Southall Watts, business coach, consultant and author.

Instead, find a way to use your résumé’s valuable space more wisely. “The top third of your résumé is prime real estate and should not be home to something as obvious and outdated as an objective statement,” says Watts. “The reader already knows you are looking for a job like the one advertised. It’s better to put a personal branding statement or skills summary in this key area.” Below your contact information, write a short summary of your achievements, years of experience and highlight your skills.

Use the latest technology to your advantage

When designing your résumé, keep in mind both who and what will be receiving it. Bruce Blackwell, managing partner of Career Strategies Group in White Plains, NY, says, “Rule number one is to keep your design simple! Make sure it is compatible with the résumé database programs used by employers and recruiters. Called applicant tracking systems, these programs electronically ‘read’ incoming résumés, parse their keywords and slot them into a database file. Résumés with headers on the name and address lines, with bullet points in the contact area, with fancy lines and other graphic effects, often cannot be read and end up in the garbage.”

Having more than one format of your résumé is crucial to your search. Watts says, “There should be a résumé that works no matter where you need it to go: A printed paper version for traditional employers, a PDF version that can be scanned and a hyperlinked version that ties to samples of your work or your social media links.”

Skip the buzzwords and instead give specific results

Instead of describing yourself as the most hard-working, creative, talented team-player, quantify your success and include achievements in your work experience section. Michelle Proehl, president of Slate Advisers in Sunnyvale, CA, says, “Emphasize specific actions and the results achieved. For instance, saying that you ‘Identified $1M in administrative cost savings that enabled the sales team to add headcount’ is far
more powerful than ‘Conducted analysis of division financial plan and budget.’”

Abby Kohut, human resources executive, recruiter and author of “Abby’s 101 Job Search Secrets,” says, “Avoid buzzwords designed to sweeten your résumé, but don’t really hold any meaning. With more companies relying on computers to vet résumés before sending to hiring managers, it’s crucial to weave the appropriate keywords into your résumé and professional online profiles. Learn the difference between a buzzword
and a keyword, and your résumé will rise to the top on the stack.”

Give context to your experience

While you may know what your past places of employment did or believe a company name is big enough to be recognized, hiring managers may not. Jon Mazzocchi, partner and general manager in the accounting and finance search division at Winter Wyman, a recruitment firm in Waltham, MA, says it’s crucial to give context
to your past employment and what the business did. “Even if the hiring manager is familiar with your past employers, it is a good idea to point out the similarities between those companies and the one you hope to join. Similarities in size, culture, and industry definitely help.”

Give every detail a professional polish

To avoid quickly being discarded, triple-check your résumé for errors and be sure you’re presenting yourself as a professional. When it comes to getting in touch with you, Watts says it’s important to give multiple contact methods. “It’s highly unlikely that HR is going to send you a letter in the mail. Your résumé should include a phone number, an email, your social media links if you use them professionally and your website if you have one.” Laurie Morse-Dell, personal branding coach in Bismarck, ND, adds, “Make sure you have a professional email address. If your email is or could be perceived as vulgar, cutesy, juvenile or cheesy, get a new one.”

Most importantly, your résumé and all content included should recommend you as a qualified candidate for the job who exudes professionalism and capability. By taking the time to put your best résumé forward, you’re sure to create a great first impression.

Capture Career Change or Alternative Career Success

For your career strategies, alternative career choices and guidance,
and the best coaching in the business — to help you
grab that much greater career and future TODAY


    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Your Phone Number (required)


    Paste your resume or question here



    Training and Management Development Programs

    career strategies group business solutionsHelping your Business Grow

    We offer a variety of training and management development programs for law firms, corporations, academic institutions and non-profits. Programs are available for groups and for individuals.

    A selection of our programs includes:

    How to generate more revenue for your law practice or business
    Improving operational procedures to maximize profits
    Team building in a competitive practice
    Business planning to improve cash flow

    For over 20 years, our team of business consultants has been helping individuals and organizations achieve more than they thought was ever possible.  Our advisors use their experience as attorneys, executives and entrepreneurs to help legal professionals, entrepreneurs and business executives create and follow their roadmap to success.

    We help attorneys and business owners design and execute strategies to so that:

    The Practice grows. This is about finding new clients and adding more matters from the existing client base. We teach strategies and tactics that help clients “make it rain.”

    Billings turn into profits. Adding clients and billing hours doesn’t ensure a profit. We help clients run effective operations and turn top-line cash into bottom-line profits.

    There is value beyond the billable hour. Sometimes attorneys and other professionals want to move beyond their practice into other pursuits. This is about turning the business into something that can be transferred or just run effectively beyond the owners’ individual efforts.

    We custom design a unique roadmap for each client – focusing on the things they don’t teach you in law, business or medical school. Program elements can include:

    • Strategy & Planning. We help professionals develop their strategic vision and translate that to the daily tasks that can then be implemented. This is useful to all attorneys and professionals – from new associates who need to learn how to make it rain, to more senior attorneys or entrepreneurs who are thinking about buying or selling a business.
    • Marketing & Business Development. Attorneys and professionals need marketing and sales strategies tailored to their specific businesses. We use a “solutions approach” to make “good” referrals happen and increase your close rate. As a result of this program, our clients will understand (and practice) how to capture the unique aspects of their practice to secure the “right” clients.
    • Client Service & Retention: The bottom line is that most professions — law, medicine, dentistry, public relations, insurance or any other field — are service businesses. We help owners turn their clients into “Fans” who will refer more matters and become one of their “Promoters.”
    • Personal & Team Development: We help improve the business skills that are not taught in school but are essential to running a successful business. It is about developing the business owner and the team to work most effectively together.
    • Practice Development: Even the most effective sales and marketing won’t result in a profitable practice if the “Operations” side is leaking cash. We review of your operations to identify areas for improvement and gaps that need filling. Owners gain a fresh, outsiders’ perspective and learn how to plan to make change happen.

    A Personal Trainer for your Practice

    Coaching is like having a personal trainer to help you reach your potential. Your coach helps you learn how to run a better practice by applying proven business principles to the unique nature of your profession.

    A good coach helps clients:
    Set clear and achievable business goals
    Develop a simple plan to get started
    Stay on–track and on-time
    Unlock and apply the business skills needed to succeed.

    Professional athletes use coaches and trainers to win on the field of competition. Today, more and more professionals and executives are using coaching to help them achieve their dreams.

    Contact us today for a free consultation.

    Career Strategies Group – Meet Our Team


    career strategies group - bruce blackwellManaging Partner and CEO, has advised Board Chairmen, Directors and CEOs of publicly held
    organizations on a variety of marketing and business development issues, and has discussed
    First Amendment issues over dinner at the White House. He is a former publishing, motion
    picture and broadcasting executive.  Early in his career, he was an award-winning editor
    and nationally syndicated columnist for Gannett Newspapers. He later became Vice
    President of Marketing for The People’s Choice cable TV network, and consultant for
    MTV and Showtime. He then transitioned into the motion picture industry, where he
    was Director of Marketing, Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs for New Line Cinema
    and Director of Publicity for MGM. While a Business Analyst with Marketing Corporation
    of America
    , Bruce consulted for companies like IBM, 3M, GE, Avon, Lorillard, and
    Burger King. 
    Subsequently, he was on the U.S. Executive Committee for BASYS, the
    world’s largest broadcast automation software development firm which provided
    newsroom systems for CNN, NBC, the BBC and countless others. Before founding
    Career Strategies, he had been a Branch Manager and Senior Consultant for two
    of the leading career development firms in the Northeast.

    A noted author and lecturer on career issues, Bruce is a charter member of the Career
    Management panel for the New York City Bar Association, and has been called “a leading
    career expert” by the New York State Bar Association. Blackwell has presented career guidance
    seminars for two annual meetings of the New York State Bar Association, and has presented
    career management seminars for the New York County Lawyers Association, the Association
    of Corporate Counsel, the New Jersey Bar Association, and many others. Some of his research
    into legal career areas has been published by the American Bar Association.  He also did a
    presentation on Alternative Legal Careers for the National Constitution Center, whose
    Scholarship Advisory Committee includes Law School Deans or Professors from Harvard,
    Stanford, Yale, the University of Texas, plus both Princeton, and Brown. Blackwell’s presentation
    was immediately followed by one made by U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer.

    Barbara Berger

    Career strategies group - barbara bergerConsultant and President of Career Wellness Partners, has more than 20 years of HR
    and managerial  experience in corporate, small business and entrepreneurial organizations
    and now runs a career transition practice in Pennsylvania. Barbara began her career in advertising,
    then transitioned into Human Resources. As a former Hiring Manager for an HR outsourcing
    company, she reviewed thousands of resumes and interviewed hundreds of candidates for
    executive-level positions. She has a BA in Communications and Journalism from Shippensburg
    University. Barbara earned her Certified Professional Coach and Certified Career Coach
    certifications at World Coach Institute. She is a member of the National Career Development
    Association, a hiring insights resource, a blogger for SAP’s Talent Connect platform,
    and was a presenter at the Lehigh Valley Society of Human Resource Management
    Conference in 2017 on “How to Turn Employee Career Ruts into Career Action Plans.”


    Nat Caputi, Ph.D

    Career strategies group - nat caputiConsultant and President of N.Caputi Associates,  has more than 30 years of career guidance
    experience. His background includes recruiting, outplacement, leadership training and personal
    career management. A noted author and lecturer, Dr. Caputi has authored the soon-to-be-
    published work, “Job Hunting: The Game and Playbook.” In addition to his work with
    Career Strategies, Dr. Caputi is a career advisor for Mullin International, a global outplacement
    firm, and maintains a private career guidance practice in Pennsylvania. He has worked across a
    wide range of industries, with particular experience in consumer products, the luxury and
    cosmetic sectors, HR, legal, aerospace and technology. Nat holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Human
    Behavior, Psychology and Religion from Drew University, and B.A. in Psychology from
    Fairleigh Dickinson. He was also in the Honors Program at the Boston College Business
    School. Dr. Caputi has provided career management and leadership training programs
    for Prudential.

    Career Strategies Group Team Members

    An Animated Video From Career Strategies Group



    Browse thousands of local job opportunities on our Career Strategies Group website. You can search open positions by location, occupation, company name or travel distance by plugging in your zip code. Job listings are updated daily so check back often.

    Specialists in Attorney & Executive job search and career change. Are you sick of billable hours, your quality of life, or hate your job? We’re here to help!

    Bored, underchallenged, overworked, unappreciated? If you don’t know who to turn to or what your options are, Contact Us Today!

    Whether you are looking for a new job or a new career, Career Strategies Group can help. You can schedule an initial “get to know you” call, or can leave your details and we will get back to you. You can also send us your resume or personal note. All calls and resumes are treated with the utmost confidentiality.

    We can help you determine your viable career alternatives and options, and then our career coaching professionals can provide the resources, information, techniques, job search strategies, life-coaching guidance and tools necessary to help you achieve your career objective.

    Let us help you land a great new Attorney or Executive position today!

    career strategies group







    Career Strategies Group F.A.Q.


    Career Strategies Group


    Q: Are you recruiters?

    A: I hate to give a lawyerly answer, but yes and no. We do direct recruiting for law firms and companies through our Corporate Services Group and our affiliate, New Jersey-based Perfect Match Recruiting. PMR recruits attorneys, executives and healthcare professionals. Many of our recruiting assignments come to us from our “graduates,” people who we have helped secure new positions. They will often come to us to find attorneys and executives for their organizations.

    We are also part of a network of large recruiters, and work closely with recruiters that we know and trust. We are often a source of talent for these outside firms and we can help them identify good candidates.

    However, please be aware that recruiters are looking for very specific types of individuals who possess specialized skills. Typically, they are seeking young lawyers from top schools or more senior professionals with portable business. Recruiters seldom, if ever, have opportunities for those who are seeking career changes. This is where our Career Services Group can help.

    Q: Do you charge a fee for your services?

    A: When we are serving as a recruiter, we do not ever charge an individual candidate a fee. However, if we are working with an individual client on identification of career options, resume development, resume distribution or coaching, we do charge a fee for our services. Typically, we provide professional career advisory and job search services on an hourly fee basis. We have a sliding fee scale. Our fees run from $225 to $315 per hour, depending upon the complexity of the case, the level of the candidate and their income.  We also provide package discounts. Many program packages carry an average hourly rate of a bit over $200, including discounts.

    Q: What does a typical program cost?

    A: There really are no “typical” programs. Some people need just an hour or two of career advice. Other people need comprehensive career assessment testing to identify viable options. Still other people only need a resume upgrade or distribution services. We are very “menu driven” and will seek to match an individual’s needs and budget with the appropriate services. On our Self-Help page, we have some services that are only a few
    hundred dollars, while other cases can be as much as $7,500 or more. We have an excellent, low-cost facilitated self-help program for just under $1000, but most of our consulting programs are in the $1595 to $5500 range. Many of our clients are earning in the $95,000 – $195,000 range and find that our fees are very reasonable.

    Q: Do you guarantee interviews or jobs?

    A: No. Any organization that says it can guarantee someone an interview or a job is lying and is preying on the fears of its clients. We guarantee we’ll use all our knowledge, experience and resources to help you win interviews, and to secure a job offer. We bring tremendous expertise, decades of study on job search methods, and some considerable brainpower to the job search process. We can increase your odds of success and most likely shorten your search, but there are no guarantees except that we will work hard to help you.

    Q: Will you work with anyone?

    A: No. We are not right for everyone, and not everyone is right for us. We have strict standards about the candidates we will accept into our program. If we feel the candidate does not have the “right stuff” to be successful in a job search or re-careering, we will not accept the case.

    Most attorneys know a bad case when it walks in the door. So, do we. While we cannot guarantee success, we only work with people whom we feel can be successful in our process.

    Q: Why should I spend money on your services?

    A: We are experts in job search and career change. Through our knowledge and resources, we may be able to shorten your job search by weeks or months. We can help you compete more effectively in the marketplace by creating compelling marketing materials and dynamic, innovative campaigns ….. Let’s do some math …..
    Let’s say you are an out-of-work professional who had been earning $125,000. Every week that you are out of work you are losing $2,400 of income. Say you retain us for a mid-level program priced at $3,600. If, through our efforts, we are able to shorten your job search by a mere 1.5 weeks, you have broken even economically and you are back to work. If we can shorten your search by two months, you are ahead of the game by $15,600!

    Does that make sense?

    We are highly skilled in salary negotiations. It is not unusual for us to develop negotiation strategies that result in the client receiving $10,000, $15,000, $20,000 or more than the company’s original offer, an amount many times the fee we were paid.



    Ask The Career Strategy Experts

    If you have a specific question about a job search or career issue, email it to us.
    While we cannot answer every single question, we will select ones that we feel
    would be of general interest, and we will post the question and our answers in
    an upcoming blog or newsletter. All questioners will be kept anonymous.

    Find a job – New York, New York jobs, jobs, employment in New York, job seekers – New York, jobs in NY City, jobs express, how to find a job in NYC, find job NYC, job, search, employment, find, apply, resume, work, unemployment, career, jobs express, private sector, NYS jobs, NY, state, NYS, jobs for lawyers in New York, Attorney jobs in New York, entry level attorney jobs New York, law firm jobs NYC, Career Strategies Group, alternative careers, career, aspirations career, changer career, changes career, choices career, decisions career, direction career, goals career, interests career, planning career, vision career, changer job, search Venture, Capital, Employees, Alumni, Labor, Project, Work, Employers, Career Path, alternative legal careers, career alternatives for lawyers, lawyer career change,

    If you have a career development or job search question for us,
    please email it to us at  info@careerstrategiesgroup.com.
    Please put “Ask the Experts” in the Subject line.


    Thank you … We look forward to having a conversation with you soon.


    And you can also make any comment or ask a question in this form below

    Career Strategies Group and Perfect Match Recruiting Join Forces

    For Immediate Release
    Contact: Bruce Blackwell
    Phone: 914-356-8182


    Career Strategies Group, a 25-year-old career management company, has signed an affiliation agreement with Perfect Match Recruiting, a privately held firm specializing in legal, executive and healthcare recruiting, it was jointly announced by Bruce Blackwell, CEO of Career Strategies, and Doris Smith-Fellenz, founder and Executive Director of Perfect Match Recruiting.

    “For many years we have worked closely with recruiters in an informal network; we supply candidates for some of their hard to fill positions, and they find employers for certain of our clients,” said Blackwell, who added, “we also do some recruiting on our own, but it was never a focus of our practice. To be really effective at recruiting, you need to be out there every day working with law firm hiring managers and top candidates. That’s not our forte, but that’s where Doris really excels. For years we have looked to affiliate with a solid recruiter, and I was thrilled to finally find Doris and her company.”

    According to Smith-Fellenz, “I am excited about the synergies with Career Strategies Group. They have been around the legal profession for a long time, and have an amazing database of lawyers. The hardest part about legal search,” she said, “is not finding candidates … it’s finding good candidates. We feel that task will be made easier because of the resources of Career Strategies.” Smith-Fellenz and Blackwell added that she will ultimately be doing career counseling for attorneys, especially those in the earlier stages of their careers.

    One of the other goals of the affiliation will be to expand both firms’ involvement in healthcare placement.

    Before officially opening Career Strategies Group, Blackwell was doing healthcare recruiting and candidate screenings, and has healthcare operations and marketing consulting experience going back to the 1980s. Smith-Fellenz has significant experience in recruiting both clinical and non-clinical healthcare professionals for hospitals, senior living facilities and medical practices.

    As a first step in this affiliation, Career Strategies has added a “Jobs” section to its website. Many of the postings listed will be from PMR. Applicants are advised to email their resumes to  PMRRecruiting@CareerStrategiesGroup.com.

    Sometimes Career Strategies will do an initial interview with a candidate, but mostly that function will be taken over by Doris Smith-Fellenz and her team. Candidates who are not in specification with a PMR position may be referred back to Career Strategies for other services.

    “I chose the name Perfect Match Recruiting” because that’s what I look to provide for my clients, whether law firm, in-house or other positions. We have very detailed specifications, and will do our utmost to find candidates in spec. We have to turn away most of the people who apply because, while they may be excellent in their professions and accomplished in many ways, they are not what my clients are seeking. In those cases, Career Strategies may be able to help the client find a position.”

    Blackwell noted that in his years of experience, he typically has to go through 100 or more resumes to find just one candidate that matches the job specification that the client has prepared. “On a typical search, I will go through 500 or 600 resumes, get 5 or 6 client prospects, and then vet them. We usually send just 2 or 3 resumes to the client for interviewing,” he said.

    “The ideal candidate for my law firm clients,” said Smith-Fellenz, “is 2 to 6 years out of law school, was on Law Review at a top tier school, had a high rank in class, had a federal clerkship, and had received scholastic or other awards. There are some fine lawyers out there who don’t meet these requirements, but this is what our clients want us to find. It is difficult,” she added, “to tell people that they are not candidates for jobs they know they can do well, but who don’t match the client’s specifications.”

    “Another issue is finding Partners,” she said. “Most law firms prefer Partners, seven or more years out with a verifiable book of portable business, or who have a rare specialty.”

    “There are also many very good attorneys” Smith-Fellenz states, “with several years of experience who are hard to place because clients are looking for people with very specific skill sets who can hit the ground running and start contributing right away. Clients don’t want to pay recruiting fees to find candidates who need a learning curve before they can be fully productive. They are paying for it, and they want what they want. They might very well consider ‘learning curve’ candidates, but won’t pay a fee to get them. That’s where Career Strategies can help.”

    Career Strategies’ career management team often works with candidates who are not “recruitable” and helps them with career direction, resume development, resume distribution and job search coaching.

    Perfect Match Recruiting is located in Ocean, NJ.  Career Strategies is located in Brewster, NY.