The Most Common Resume Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Looking for Your Next Medical Device Job


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If you were to submit your resume for a medical device or medtech job, what is the single most important thing that’s on the mind of the hiring manager? Come on, take a guess. Is it that you made President’s Club last year? Wrong. That you were instrumental in the marketing launch of a successful medical device. Wrong. Perhaps it’s the fact that you led the regulatory team to a PMA in record time. Wrong.

These are all nice accomplishments. But not the right answer. The hiring manager is thinking, “What is this person going to do for ME and MY team.” In this interview with Sue Sarkesian, we learn the myths and mistakes you need to avoid as well as the key tips and tricks you need to include on your resume when looking for your next medical device or medtech job.

Sue Sarkesian Discusses Common Resume Mistakes in Medical Device Industry

Who is Sue Sarkesian?  She cofounded The Resume Group and is also the Founder of Your Exec Brand.  Sue has more than 16 years of experience in guiding and coaching individuals through the search process. Working with Sue, candidates learn ways to focus their job search, develop comprehensive search strategies, and execute a targeted plan for a successful job search. Sue holds a Master’s degree with an added concentration in Career and Transition counseling.

Here’s What You Will Learn

  • Why you shouldn’t use an “objective” on your resume.  Instead, you should use what Sue likes to call “the hook”.
  • Are you focusing too much on your past responsibilities?  Instead, you need to learn how to effectively quantify your accomplishments.
  • If you state it on your resume, you need to be able to prove it.  Better yet, there better be a compelling story behind every point you make.
  • What email address are you using for contact purposes?  Sue hopes it’s NOT an AOL email address.
  • Should you include the statement “references available upon request”?
  • Learn Sue’s technique for matching key phrases on your resume with the hiring company’s challenges.
  • Have you heard of the ATS (Applicant Tracking System)?  Find out why this is a BIG deal.

This Is What You Can Do Next

1) You can listen to the interview with Sue Sarkesian right now:

2) You can also download the mp3 file of the interview by clicking here.

3) Don’t forget – you can listen to this interview and all of the other Medsider interviews via iTunes.  And if you get a chance, leave us an honest rating and review on iTunes. It really helps out.

4) Read the following 10 action points from my interview with Sue Sarkesian. (If you don’t have time to listen to the entire interview, this serves as your unofficial cheat sheet.)  Also, feel free to download the 10 action points by clicking here.

5) Lastly, scroll down even further and read through the actual raw transcripts of the interview.

The 10 Action Points

If you don’t have time to listen to the entire interview, take these 10 action points with you by clicking here.

Think of Yourself as the Product

In the initial phase of any job search, it’s important to put yourself in the right frame of mind. As you begin either updating or constructing your resume, you should think of yourself as the product. Much in the same way marketing professionals create branding around a product, you must create personal branding for your product – You, Inc. Your product includes your personal set of skills. Think about what makes you unique. What sets you apart from others in your field? What successes or accomplishments have you played a role in throughout your work history? Use the answers to these questions to construct a personal brand illustrating your capacity and capabilities.

Should You Use an Objective on Your Resume?

Once you begin to think of yourself as the product, use the opening statement of your resume to bring brand awareness to your product. The idea of using an “objective” as the opening statement in your resume is outdated. Instead of using your opening statement to summarize what you’re looking for in a job, use it to show your prospective employer how you can give them what they’re looking for. Your “hook” should give readers a summary of your qualifications – using keywords related to the industry and responsibilities of the position you are applying for. Use this section to show prospective employers what you have accomplished in prior positions and what results you can bring to their company. Your “summary” or “profile statement” should help hiring managers get to know you while also showing them what you have to offer their company.

Quantify Your Work History

The “work history” or “professional experience” section of your resume should not simply be a list of the responsibilities you were tasked with in previous positions. Instead, it should demonstrate examples of your successes and accomplishments. You should be as detailed and specific as possible in this section. If you brought in a significant amount of revenue, tell your audience how much. You should also explain the amount of time it took you to accomplish these goals. Quantify your experience in measurable terms like dollars and time. Even those professionals whose jobs are not revenue-based can easily quantify their accomplishments. If you were hired to fix a problem, use your resume to tell prospective employers about your success in finding a solution and the impact it had on the company. This section of your resume should be “outcome-oriented.” If one of your responsibilities involved leadership, it could be useful to include on your resume. However, be sure to show how your leadership had a positive impact on the company.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

If you include something on your resume, you have to be able to back it up. Do not list any successes or accomplishments that can’t be verified or explained through a story during an interview. This includes being careful about the terminology you use. Avoid absolute phrases like “100 percent of the time.” You should also give credit to others when necessary. But avoid being too modest in places where you played an important role in a positive outcome. It’s also important to practice the stories associated with points on your resume in advance of an interview in order to avoid being taken by surprise when asked about a specific detail.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

There are a number of mistakes applicants make when applying for a position. The contact information on your resume should never be linked to your current job. You also want to make sure this information sounds professional. Don’t use email addresses that are childish, humorous, or too personal. It could also be detrimental to use an email address with an outdated network such as AOL. These same rules apply to the phone number you supply. Make sure the voicemail message attached to this number sounds professional. In terms of your resume, you should avoid statements like “references available upon request.” This is already implied.

The Elevator Pitch

It’s important to make sure your resume is short and to the point. Think of it as an elevator pitch where you have 30 seconds to hook the hiring manager reading your resume. In order to best utilize your 30 seconds, focus on developing the top half of your resume. You should also make sure not to list every award, publication, or project in your history. Depending on the position you are applying for, these can be included in a portfolio or addendum.

Not Your Parent’s Job Search

While networking has long been a top priority for job seekers, the number of jobs found using this method reached its lowest point in 60 years in 2010 and 2011. In today’s economy, hiring managers can be more selective when considering candidates – leading them to be more focused on results and less focused on an applicant’s personal connection with them or someone at the company. The state of the economy has also increased the number of applicants applying to online job sites like CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com. Due to the deluge of applicants applying to any one position, there are a number of clearances your resume has to pass before it ever sees the desk of a hiring manager. Also of importance, keep in mind that 90 percent of positions with salaries above $50,000 to $60,000 are not even posted online.

Mastering the Applicant Tracking System

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software takes resumes submitted online and scans them for keywords and key phrases that demonstrate core competencies and areas of expertise. These systems are used to weed through the overwhelming number of resumes submitted to online job postings. Services like TagCloud can help you include the appropriate number of keywords in your resume without going overboard. The ATS system can also disqualify your resume if there are too many keywords. Therefore, you need to be careful that the keywords you use are necessary and demonstrative of your skills.

Get Personal with LinkedIn

LinkedIn is quickly becoming a go-to source for hiring managers. The social networking site provides a more professional and career focused medium than other social networking sites. In order to maximize your LinkedIn profile, be sure to include necessary keywords in the same way you’ve done with your resume. Once you’ve researched companies you are interested in applying to, you should research those companies on LinkedIn. By using the company’s directory on LinkedIn, you can connect with decision makers related to the position you are applying for. It’s also important to have an active presence on LinkedIn. This includes joining groups related to your profession and industry and participating in group discussions.

Two Steps You Must Take Before Starting Your Search

Before beginning your job search, you should consider hiring a job search consulting company like Your Exec Brand. The first step you must complete before beginning your job search is to properly construct your resume. A key factor in perfecting your resume is gaining an outside opinion. A consultation with a resume expert regarding your work history and background can help you identify and uncover accomplishments throughout your career that you might have not otherwise noticed. The second step is to perfect your LinkedIn profile and join groups related to your field or the companies you plan to apply with. Job search experts can help you identify the correct keywords for your profile. They can also help identify which groups would be the most beneficial for you to join or which decision makers you should connect with. The key to deciding whether or not hiring a company like Your Exec Brand is a good decision for you is to determine how much your time is worth and how much time it would take you to complete these steps on your own.

Read the Interview with Sue Sarkesian

Scott Nelson:    Hello, everyone.  Welcome to another episode of Medsider, and for those of you who are listening, this is a program where I bring on interesting and dynamic folks that are in the med tech, the medical device world, so we can all learn a few things.  Hopefully, there’s some entertainment value along the way.  This is, as I’ve kind of coined it, this is your own personal, free medical device or med tech MBA.  You listen to these interviews that we do here on Medsider, the more you listen, I think the more value, it’s going to be kind of a free version of an MBA focused exclusively on med tech and medical device content.

And today’s guest is Sue Sarkesian, she’s the cofounder of The Résumé Group, and in this interview we’re going to cover some of the common mistakes and myths that Sue often sees with folks that are doing searches for med tech and medical device jobs.  Then, we’ll also get into more tips, résumé tips and tricks and what hiring managers look for, and then we’ll learn a little bit more about The Résumé Group and the services that Sue offers.  So, without further ado, welcome to the program, Sue.

Sue Sarkesian:         Oh, thanks, Scott.  Thanks for tracking me down and inviting me on.  Hopefully, we’ll have a little bit of funnies and wittiness throughout this, but I think it’s a great topic to address because folks really, regardless of their level of functioning, you know, whether they’re an entry-level person or a CEO that were working, there are some very common misbeliefs out there.  And when you talk about The Résumé Group, you know, I think everybody’s expectation is that we’re just going to talk about the résumé, which we will…

Scott Nelson:    Mm-hmm.

Sue Sarkesian:         But I think we really have to tie it in to the whole concept of what’s happening in the market.  You know, if I’m a med device person, how am I going to be competitive, right?  Med device, as you know, Scott, is and always has been an extremely competitive environment, you know…

Scott Nelson:    Mm-hmm.

Sue Sarkesian:         …and I think much more so today because you’ve got employed, unemployed, underemployed.  You’ve got lots and lots of folks out there looking at their careers and trying to figure out, “What do I do next?”

Scott Nelson:    Right.

Sue Sarkesian:         I’ve talked to folks that have hung out there on CareerBuilder, Monster,  MedReps, and some of these other sites, and they’ve been doing it for 12 months and gotten one interview that was sort of a 60k position, and yet they’re making 200 and they’re just not getting why it’s not working.

Scott Nelson:    Sure.

Sue Sarkesian:         So, yeah, you know, we have to talk about the résumé, but it is very much tied into the whole big picture.

Scott Nelson:    Right.

Sue Sarkesian:         So, as we go through, you know, this process today, Scott, I think we have to talk about the résumé, but I think we have to look at LinkedIn and what is its function in terms of career moves and med device, and I think we also have to look at, you know, “What do I do if I’m on CareerBuilder and it’s not working for me…”

Scott Nelson:    Yup.

Sue Sarkesian:         …which my expectation, right, is that it probably won’t.

Scott Nelson:    Sure, yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         You know, I don’t know how you’ve experienced this market over the last several years, but I’ve been in this for 17 and it’s just crazy.

Scott Nelson:    Yup.

Sue Sarkesian:         I mean, it is just a crazy time out there, and people say, “Oh, you know, I think I’m just going to stay in a job next couple years, just wait this out until the whole economy turns around and gets better.”  Well, yeah, please stay at your job.

Scott Nelson:    [Laughs]

Sue Sarkesian:         So don’t wait [laughs], you know, to get your ducks in a row, you know.

Scott Nelson:    Yup.

Sue Sarkesian:         I don’t know.  I know the company you’re with has obviously gone through lots of changes and you’re a survivor there, which I think must speak well to what you bring to the table for those folks.

Scott Nelson:    Sure.

Sue Sarkesian:         And when you’re marketing yourself and putting yourself out there, it really isn’t about, “Here’s my objective.”  It’s about, “What can I do for you?”

Scott Nelson:    Absolutely, absolutely.  And so that’s one of the reasons I sought you out, is because of this somewhat unique take, and I’m sure for everyone listening they’re thinking, “This sounds kind of interesting about résumés,” but I think you bring a lot more to the table than just talking about résumé specifics.  You know about personal branding and what’s going to set someone in the audience that’s listening to this right now maybe in the process of going through a job search, you’re going to actually help them begin to think more about personal branding and begin to help that person put themselves in these shoes of that hiring manager…

Sue Sarkesian:         Mm-hmm.

Scott Nelson:    …in terms of differentiation and how can they go about winning that next job or even getting promoted, for that matter, to a new job.  So let’s dig right in, and for those listening, like I mentioned in kind of the intro, Sue is an expert when it comes to this stuff.  She’s been doing it—how long have you been doing this, Sue?  Close to 20 years, right?

Sue Sarkesian:         Yeah, well, 17 years.

Scott Nelson:    Yes.

Sue Sarkesian:         Yeah, moving into that.  We won’t talk about what that means in terms of my age, but yeah, 17-plus years. [Laughs]

Scott Nelson:    [Laughs] Right.  So needless to say, you’re a very legit and very credible resource when it comes to this topic, but we’ll get into some mistakes and common myths that people have about résumés, then we’ll talk a little bit about what hiring managers typically look for, getting maybe some more kind of tips and tricks on how to tweak your résumé, and then we’ll learn a little bit about how to contact Sue for further help when it comes to this issue.

So let’s dig right in, Sue.  Let’s talk about some of the common mistakes and myths, and I’ll probably raise a few of these issues, and then you can kind of speak to them.  But tell us a little bit more about the topic of focusing too much on responsibilities versus—or I should say, and not enough on achievements.

Sue Sarkesian:         Yeah, and you know, I love what you just said about the personal branding because if you look at this whole area of self-promotion today…

Scott Nelson:    Mm-hmm.

Sue Sarkesian:         …it really is about, “How do I differentiate myself from everybody else that’s out there in the market, and how do I build my brand?”  I mean, look at marketing people.  Regardless of what industry they’re in, high-tech, consumer products, medical, professional services, whatever the case may be, whenever one is putting themselves out there, like marketing people is trying to develop brand awareness for their product, everybody needs to think about themselves today as the product.

Scott Nelson:    Mm-hmm.

Sue Sarkesian:         So, simply saying, okay, I see a lot, a lot, a lot of résumés, some very, very, very dynamic professionals, and yet there is nothing in the first—well, sometimes, in the first 20 minutes of me having a conversation with them, I know more about their capacity, their capability, than I would ever have gotten by sitting down and reading their boring résumé.

Scott Nelson:    [Chuckles]

Sue Sarkesian:         Because a lot of people, you know what?  They get out of college, they take the job, so what they do is they have this objective that says, “Here’s what I want.  I want a dynamic company that’s going to afford me growth opportunities.”  Hello?  Who doesn’t?

Scott Nelson:    [Chuckles]

Sue Sarkesian:         So why are you saying that [laughs] in your résumé?

Scott Nelson:    Right.

Sue Sarkesian:         And besides that, nobody really cares.  They want to know, what can you do for them?  Who is this person?  So I think what’s really important is to understand, “I’m developing my brand much as a marketing person would, you know, develop brand awareness.”

Scott Nelson:    Sure.

Sue Sarkesian:         So whenever you develop a résumé, this whole thing of, “Let me list all my job responsibilities and all these different tasks,” that’s way off base.  That is just way off base.  I think, Scott, you and I spoke briefly before this…

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         …and I talked about everybody knows what a vice-president of sales does or an account manager, or a CEO for that matter.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         The issue isn’t, “Here’s what I do every day of my working life.”  It’s more a matter of, “If I do this, what has that meant?  Has it generated revenue?  Has it helped capture market share?  Has it saved money?  Has it turned something around?”  So people really need to focus on developing their brand, developing a summary, which is the opening point of the résumé.  It is not an objective.  It is a summary or a profile that, as I mentioned earlier, Scott, is your hook.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         It’s your hook out there, okay?

Scott Nelson:    And so what you’re saying is, and this is another topic, but the whole “should I put in an objective at the top of my résumé,” so are you saying it’s beneficial to have not necessarily an objective but a summary, kind of a wow hook that hooks them…

Sue Sarkesian:         Yup.

Scott Nelson:    But should that person then be, like under their job description as account manager for ABC Company, should they put any description of what they did at all, even like a short one-sentence description, or no?

Sue Sarkesian:         I think it depends on what they’ve got.

Scott Nelson:    Mm-hmm.

Sue Sarkesian:         I think your hook is your summary of your profile.  It starts the résumé out.  It leads the reader to an understanding based on keywords of the individual’s level of functioning.  Those keywords would be different from an account manager versus a VP because there are different things that a VP is involved in, the P and L, you know, the strategy.  They’re very involved in other things than strictly an entry-level or a two-, three-, four-, five-year experience the account manager would be.

Scott Nelson:    Mm-hmm.

Sue Sarkesian:         So that summary is really critical because if somebody physically reads that summary in just a few seconds, they’re going to have a feel for, “Am I talking to someone who’s 50K or 500K?” based on the language.

Scott Nelson:    Sure.

Sue Sarkesian:         But, yes, when you get into promoting the work history, because I’m not saying don’t have the work history on there, what I’m saying is have your profile, have an “areas of expertise” section, I’ll talk about that in just a minute because that’s going to relate a little bit to some of the backpedaling, you don’t put anything on a résumé that if somebody says, “Hey, tell me about this,” you have to go, “Um, um, um…”

Scott Nelson:    [Laughs]

Sue Sarkesian:         Yeah, you don’t want to do that.

Scott Nelson:    Oh yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         No lying or fabricating on a résumé.  But when you get into the actual work history, you’ll want to have the company name with maybe a little description of what the company does.  I don’t mind if there is a bullet point that is a little bit of a big picture.  For example, if an individual is brought in to salvage key accounts that are either gone or they’re heading south, or to come in and turn around an underperforming territory, if it’s relevant, if it’s a strong point, if it’s something that is unique to that individual that’s going to help them gain a competitive advantage, then that sort of responsibility, if you will, can be put into the chronological part of the résumé or the professional experience.

But I think it’s like anything else.  You know, my business partner Elaine Basham, we talk about this every day with the folks that we work with.  We talk about if you say something on a résumé, prove it.  Say it and prove it.  So even if you put into that résumé that you were recruited into this company to turn around an underperforming territory, you’re not going to just leave that hanging out there.  You’re going to want to show, you know, came in, salvaged six key accounts and turned around an underperforming market by capturing X dollars or X percentage in revenue in an eight-month period of time.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         So, you know, what you’re talking about then is, “Yeah, that was my responsibility, but I did this and this in a very outcome-oriented way, and I proved it by bringing that number in.

Scott Nelson:    Right.

Sue Sarkesian:         I salvaged X numbers of account and generated X amount of revenue, and even, I wouldn’t say more important but significantly important is, how long did it take?  I said to you Scott earlier, right?

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         Big deal if it took you five years ago to turn the thing around.  In today’s market, I’m working with two people right now that companies brought them in, and in four months neither of them had generated any new revenue.  Guess what?  They’re out the door.

Scott Nelson:    Huh.

Sue Sarkesian:         Companies today, and this is going to tie in a little bit to, you know, what are hiring managers looking for, the days of bringing somebody in and bringing them along and grooming them for six months to a year are done.  That’s gone.  That’s over.  There’s a sense of urgency for people to be able to come in and really just ramp up, hit the ground running, and that’s the type of content even under the professional experiences that you want to point out.  This is the kind of content on a résumé that gives that individual a competitive advantage.

Scott Nelson:    Yup.

Sue Sarkesian:         Okay?  It’s not just like, “I was responsible for the Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Colorado market.”  Really?  You live in Iowa…

Scott Nelson:    [Laughs]

Sue Sarkesian:         …which you are most likely, you know. [Laughs]

Scott Nelson:    Right.  Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         What happened if I was responsible for that?  Now, I think it’s really great to say “managed an eight-state region” and put some kind of quantifiable number into that so that people are really getting a sense of those outcomes.  And that really goes back to even when you’re talking about being a very outcomes-, achievement-based résumé, you don’t want to put anything in there that’s, for example, verifiable, okay?

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         I’ve had people and I’ve looked at many, many résumés over 17 years.  I can tell when somebody’s not being quite truthful with their numbers.

Scott Nelson:    No kidding.  Speak to that real quickly.  Are there red flags that maybe have kind of caught you—or I guess, let me just restate that question.  Are there certain red flags that you often see and that sort of lures you to, “Oh, I don’t know, this seems kind of fuzzy,” or, “This doesn’t seem right?”

Sue Sarkesian:         Yeah.  If somebody says “100% of the time,” oh come on, nobody is 100%.  It would be very rare.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         Or say, if I’m looking at somebody who is, you know, on the hand in their résumé they talk about leading a high-performance team, and yet in another line they say single-handedly, no.

Scott Nelson:    Huh, okay.  That’s interesting.

Sue Sarkesian:         Either [chuckles] you led the team or you did it yourself.  Either you’re an individual contributor or you led a team.  If you led a team, you want to talk about leading that team, or if you were a part of that team, you can talk about being a key player.  I cannot stress enough, Scott, that one, people have to take credit where credit is due because a lot of people tend to be a bit too modest.  On the other hand, there’s a fine line between taking credit and coming across as incredibly arrogant, you know.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         So you have to be really careful about that, and like I said, I think some of the big egos tend to overinflate.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         If a number is just…if I’m going to see it and roll my eyes because it’s almost unbelievable, then it probably is, you know.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         Like they say, if it’s too good to be true.  But I suppose the main thing to look at then, you know, I’ll say to somebody, “Tell me about this number.  Tell me a story behind that,” and they’ll kind of blah, blah, blah, scramble, and it turns out that they don’t have a story that coincides with that particular bullet point.  Therefore the number is really suspect.

Scott Nelson:    Uh-huh, right.

Sue Sarkesian:         So that’s the other piece, you know.  When we talk about résumés and search strategy, med device or any industry, the résumé really is not a historical…it’s not a recitation of history.

Scott Nelson:    Mm-hmm.

Sue Sarkesian:         It’s a document that really builds your brand and sells, promotes, and I literally have clients every single day that will, you know, send me an email and they’ll say, “Hey, Sue, I got a response from XYZ.  They picked three points out of my résumé.  Of everything that we have in there, there were three points that they were interested in.”  That was the information that they felt was relevant to their situation.  So these people have to…a lot of times when we’re finishing up someone’s résumé and they’ll say, “What’s next?” I’ll say, “Okay, first thing I want you to do, I want you to go through that hook.  I want you to go through every bullet point and have a story ready, okay?”

Scott Nelson:    Huh, yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         Because if you fumble over something, then you are not—you know, you can have a great résumé but if you’re stumbling, fumbling over having a story for that point, you’re just not going to sound as legitimate on the phone, right?  Everybody does phone interviews today pretty much, even if you’re in a local marketplace.  So I think it’s really important to make sure that what you position on the résumé in terms of outcomes is something that you feel is defendable, okay?

Scott Nelson:    Yup.

Sue Sarkesian:         Otherwise, you will end up stumbling and backpedaling, and you’ve lost all credibility perhaps in the first seven minutes of a phone conversation.

Scott Nelson:    That’s great stuff.  I’m going to kind of recap some of this stuff because I think you threw a lot at the audience, but I do want to kind of recap a little bit.

Sue Sarkesian:         Mm-hmm.

Scott Nelson:    So, focusing too much on responsibilities and not quantifying enough.  You’re basically saying you need to quantify everything and even get down into the details, and not just you grew the business by X dollars, quantify it even further by you grew the business by X dollars in six months or in whatever given period of time.

Sue Sarkesian:         Right.

Scott Nelson:    If you make a statement on your résumé, be able to not only prove it but also make sure you’re able to actually tell a compelling story behind each statement that you make on the résumé.  Putting something in your résumé that you’ll have to backpedal, I mean that kind of corresponds to that being able to prove it.  Don’t put in anything that going to force you to backpedal from.  And then too much descriptive information and using a vague description as an objective statement, that’s a common mistake you make.  Because I want to kind of recap so we can actually get on to some of the other issues that you often see with résumés as well, so is that fair?  Is that a decent recap? [Laughs]

Sue Sarkesian:         Yeah.  No, I think you summed it up nicely.  I think that’s very precise.  Now, I will say this.  Every single individual is different.

Scott Nelson:    Mm-hmm.

Sue Sarkesian:         So, as I’m talking to people, it’s very important that I have that in-depth conversation.  And I think, you know, there are certain types of individuals that won’t have quantifiable achievements.  They just don’t.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         Consultants, for example.  If somebody is a consultant, they come in and they set things up.  They may not actually be responsible for the implementations and the outcomes, but you can still quantify because you can talk about getting a project back on track, getting something done on time, on budget.  But that’s the other piece.  That’s an objection sometimes people will raise with me and they’ll say, “I don’t have any achievements.”  Really? [Laughs]

Scott Nelson:    Yeah. [Laughs]

Sue Sarkesian:         Don’t tell me you don’t have any achievements. [Laughs] Is that’s what you’re going to tell a recruiter?  Or, is that what you’re going to tell a COO if they take the time to pick up the phone and say, “Tell me what you can do for me.”

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         “I don’t have any achievements.”  Wrong answer, interview over.

Scott Nelson:    Right.

Sue Sarkesian:         So, yeah, I think people have to look at their individual background, and that will sort of, I guess, kind of segue into something you wanted me to talk about, Scott, and that is, what is it that hiring managers are looking for?

Scott Nelson:    Yeah, and…

Sue Sarkesian:         You know, what do I…go ahead.

Scott Nelson:    Oh, I was just going to say before I—I want to get into that next, but let’s cover a few of these other common myths or mistakes that you see real quickly [00:23:03] a couple of short ones, but people using…and this sounds almost stupid, but you’ve seen people use their current company contact information on their résumé and not put their own personal information?

Sue Sarkesian:         Yeah, don’t put company information on the résumé, phone numbers, email addresses.  You could get a free Hotmail or Yahoo or Gmail account.  Get one.  Another thing, and I don’t know if this is going to be politically correct or not but, be very careful about an AOL email address.  People a lot of times that have AOL email addresses are considered to be a little bit outdated, and because of AOL’s filter, I know 99% of the time, if I send somebody with an AOL email address, a new email, it will go directly into their spam until that person with AOL has approved me.  Yeah, so AOL, in addition to the company’s email address, is really not going to help in the search process.  Plus, one, you don’t want to look like you’re outdated.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         Everybody has Gmail and Hotmail and things like that today.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah, gotcha.  And speaking of email, and I’ve seen this before too, and people have reached out to me, or people that have wanted to get into the med device world and whatnot, they use like a real funky email address like, you know, teddybear1234@yahoo.com. [Laughs]

Sue Sarkesian:         Yup.

Scott Nelson:    So, yeah, something ridiculous like that.  I always chuckle myself because it’s so funny.  It’s actually kind of become an inside joke with my friends and whatnot.

Sue Sarkesian:         Yeah.

Scott Nelson:    So make your email address is somewhat legit and somewhat professional, not the goofy version.

Sue Sarkesian:         Yeah, you don’t want your email to be sue@42josecuervos@gmail.com or something like that, you know. [Laughs]

Scott Nelson:    [Laughs] Right, right.

Sue Sarkesian:         And then somebody goes and looks at your pictures on Facebook and you’re sitting there with a big old bottle of tequila in your hands.  No.  I mean, I have literally done that.  That’s the other thing that I think people have to really be careful about.  I had one client once that the email address was this person’s name with 12 kids.  I said, “Uh-uh, you have to get rid of that.” [Chuckles]

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         You know, company’s thinking, “Oh my God, my healthcare cost!”  No.  So, I think you really raise a good point that is very…you have to look at everything has to be professional.  Even if you have a home phone number on your résumé today, don’t have your 4-year-old kid.  I love 4-year-old kids, but don’t have them, “Hi, leave a message,” you know, blah, blah, blah.  It just is not very professional.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         Or don’t have, if you’re in the middle of a search—you know, I called somebody once and a little girl answered, and said, “Daddy’s in the bathroom.  Can you call back?”  No, you don’t want to do that. [Laughs]

Scott Nelson:    [Laughs] It’s hilarious.  I mean, it sounds funny to joke about, but these are things that you’ve experienced, and so…

Sue Sarkesian:         Yup.

Scott Nelson:    You know, there are some people, if I’m in the audience, I’m thinking, “No way people actually do this,” but yeah, I mean, there are people that do this, and so just be cognizant that you’re not doing the same thing.

Sue Sarkesian:         Yeah.

Scott Nelson:    So that’s great stuff.  And kind of one more before you move on to like what…

Sue Sarkesian:         Sure.

Scott Nelson:    …the topic you mentioned earlier and what hiring managers are looking for.  What about the statement “references available upon request.”  Should that be used, something like that?

Sue Sarkesian:         No.  No, that’s a given.  Of course, what are you going to say, references not available?

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         Of course, everybody expects you to have references.  You don’t need to waste any space on the résumé by saying that.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         You know, new approach, and perhaps if I down the road get into, you know, having conversations with folks is one of the new approaches particularly for executives, executive-level folks, is to have more of a portfolio of documents where they have a testimonial addendum, where perhaps if they’ve done 12 startups, instead of having every single startup to make the résumé long and boring, maybe they have a startup addendum where they talk about “sold in three years for a profit.”

So I think you have to go case by case, but yeah, I definitely think that, don’t waste your time with putting things on there that are a given, like an objective, like “I’ll give you my references.”  Of course, you will.

Scott Nelson:    Sure.

Sue Sarkesian:         Of course.  What are you going to say on an objective?  “I just want to work for a company when I can be complacent and work until I retire and make a nice salary?”  Yeah.  There’s no point to objectives.  I mean, even if you have publications or you’re an engineer and you have patent, you don’t have to list every publication, every patent.  You can say 22 patents and you can have an addendum that highlights those things.  So there are some things that, just use common sense.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         Nobody wants to sit down and read that stuff.  In fact, when you think about the résumé, think about if you’re picking it up, if somebody is a hiring manager and they’re picking it up, just develop that top half, that personal brand stuff, develop that as if you’ve got 30 seconds of their time and you’ve got to create a sense of urgency, tell your story and get them hooked in.

Scott Nelson:    Gotcha.  No, that’s a great statement.  If I only had 30 seconds to hook this potential person that’s going to hire me, what do I need to write down in that résumé?  That’s a good statement.  Let’s move on to what hiring managers are looking, you know, tips and tricks to use, and some of this might coincide with some of the other information that we’ve mentioned, but before we go there, let me just give a shout-out to the two sponsors for this particular interview.

Medical Marcom, Joe Hage, what he’s doing over there at Medical Marcom is really cool.  If you haven’t heard about Joe’s website before or his services, go check him out.  And in fact, I think he’s got a couple of unique things right on his main page there where you can download a list of doctors that are on Twitter, US doctors on Twitter.  You can go check that out.  And he’s also got a webinar as well of like the three or four key strategies or key things that you can do right now to implement your marketing strategy to increase leads and grow your sales.  So go check that out.

And also visit covasc.com.  The guys over at Covasc are kind of doing some interesting things as it relates to creating a little bit more of an efficient sales model for the medical device world.  So go check out those two companies, and thanks to them for sponsoring this particular interview, but let’s transition there now, Sue, to what hiring managers are looking for and tips and tricks for résumés.  So can you speak to that or where should we start with this?

Sue Sarkesian:         Yeah, I think we did talk about it a little bit…

Scott Nelson:    Mm-hmm.

Sue Sarkesian:         …in the first section of this conversation.  I think a lot of people believe that if they just keep applying on CareerBuilder and Monster and MedReps and la, la, la, and they keep uploading their résumé into companies’ websites they’re going to find a job.  Today, when you’re looking at positions over 50-60k, about 90% of them are not going to be posted or advertised.  A fairly high percentage of those that are are posted for EEOC purposes, and they’re the last couple of years sort of a new phenomenon in that there are some brands of recruiters that will put a phantom position on a website as a way to reel in résumés for future use, or there are contingency-based recruiters that do not have contracts with companies and they’ll grab those résumés and try and get a company to be interested in a candidate.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         But if you’re employed, I think you want to be a little bit careful about that.  But I think hiring managers, one thing that everybody’s looking for, nobody hires anybody anymore because they’re a friend.  They want results, you know…

Scott Nelson:    Mm-hmm.

Sue Sarkesian:         …and that’s whether you’re running the P and L, whether you’re looking to get some angel investors, whether you’re in research and development or sales.  It really doesn’t matter.  Everybody, a hiring manager is always looking at what can this guy or this gal do for me?

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         So I think it’s very important to really—I think companies have the luxury right now of being very picky, very selective.  So, generally, some of the things that are critical for hiring managers is to establish a track record, a track record of success, positive outcomes, and not hitting just one homerun, having a track record of consistently doing it over a period of time.

Scott Nelson:    Gotcha.

Sue Sarkesian:         Capturing new revenue, cost savings, creating shareholder value, turning around anything that’s underperforming, capturing new market share in highly competitive environments.  You know, it’s not even good enough to say, “I can capture new market share.”  You want to be able to say, “What makes me competitive is I can capture it if we’re in a very down economy, if we’re in a highly competitive marketplace.”  You really want to be able to look at what are the market conditions that are out there, and what can I do and what have I done that speaks to those companies’ needs?

Scott Nelson:    Ah.  Hmm.

Sue Sarkesian:         So I think it’s really very, super-super-super-important not just to—that goes back to that whole “let me give you a laundry list of my jobs and tasks.”  That’s not enough.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         If you increased revenue or even if you’re a tax person or you’re a general counsel, you know, you may as a general counsel in med device taken in five cases to court and you averted a loss of $4.2 million if you’d lost that case.  You really want to, regardless of what functional role an individual serves in a company, anyone who tells me they can’t talk about results, there’s a problem, and…

Scott Nelson:    Right.  That’s…I was going to say that’s an awesome point that you’re making in that we talked a lot about being very specific about the white space that you have on a résumé, what statements you make, but…

Sue Sarkesian:         Mm-hmm.

Scott Nelson:    But going as far as maybe even looking at the financials of a certain company…

Sue Sarkesian:         Mm-hmm.

Scott Nelson:    …and then, if you notice some clear trends or some big needs that kind of stand out, or maybe the problem that that company’s facing and matching the statements you make on a résumé to those specific problems, and then being able to…

Sue Sarkesian:         Or challenges.

Scott Nelson:    Or challenges, and being able to tell a story about that, you know, when you get that interview being able to tell that story through that statement that you’ve made on your résumé, that’s an awesome point.  That’s a great point.

Sue Sarkesian:         Well, it’s really a most valid point.  I mean, you know, people will say, “Well, I don’t know.  I developed this program,” or, “I developed this software.”

Scott Nelson:    Mm-hmm.

Sue Sarkesian:         Okay, why did you have to do that?  There was obviously a problem in that organization that you had to put a new process or some new software or something in place, okay?  “Yeah, but I don’t know what that meant in terms of how much revenue it brought in or how much it saved.”  Okay, that’s okay.  But you were brought in to lead a team, you developed this software or this process that you rolled out in three months.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         And you might even say, “Other people or, you know, an industry standard typically might be eight months but I did it in three months.”  There is so much stuff that an individual can look at in their background that they don’t—this is one of the reasons I never even recommend anyone write their own résumé, because I think we’re so close to it, you know?

Scott Nelson:    Huh.  Yeah, that’s a great point.  Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         But I think, Scott, you’re right.  These numbers are important.  I talk to people that are doing tax stuff.  Now, tax stuff, you have to be careful about.  You can’t make it look like you’re hiding all [laughs] the company’s assets offshore.  I mean, [00:37:02] about that.

Scott Nelson:    [Laughs] Right.

Sue Sarkesian:         But I think whenever you’re dealing with like a publicly traded company and you’re a finance person, you’re the corporate treasurer, the CFO, [00:37:17] you’re what publicly traded companies want.  They’re worried about their shareholders.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         So you have to look at, “How did I improve shareholder value?”  I tell you what, a lot of finance people are so much more involved in the process, benefits, compensation, creative structuring of benefit packages to retain employees where maybe they have a 37% turnover rate.  There is so much that finance people can do to broaden themselves out and yet finance people, engineers, especially in med device and IT people, they really typically don’t have very strong résumés, and yet when you talk to them and you really dive in to their background and their project, there’s a wealth of stuff but they would never have thought to position it, and that’s a big, huge mistake in today’s marketplace.  Two thousand and ten, 2011, finding a job through personal networking was the worst way to find a job in over 60 years.

Scott Nelson:    No kidding.  Wow.

Sue Sarkesian:         Yeah.  So what that says is, okay, everybody’s looking out for themselves or there are a lot of candidates, and I talk to people who go on 10, 15, 20 breakfasts and lunches and dinners, and yet they have no interviews, you know?  I mean they have no offers, and I think when you’re in the market that we’re in, go back to what I said.  Hiring managers can be very particular.  And you know, Scott, if you referred somebody to your company and you have a great reputation, absolutely they’ll interview that person, but they’re going to look at everybody.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.  Yeah, no doubt.  No doubt.  So yeah, so let’s move on to another point in the applicant, you know, using the importance of keywords and key phrases for ATS or applicant tracking systems.  Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Sue Sarkesian:         Huge.  Huge.  I tell folks this every day:  You know, as soon as a person uploads a résumé into a company’s website or to CareerBuilder or Monster or [00:39:37] or wherever they’re going, I think sometimes people have this vision that, “Whoo, I’ve hit my Submit button and it’s going to this human resource person who’s reviewing my résumé.”  No, 98% of the time, as soon as you hit Submit, software, which is an applicant tracking system, software grabs that résumé and it’ll start at the top with that summary or profile, and it’s scanning it.  And it’s scanning it for keywords, it’s scanning it for key phrases, it’s scanning it for core competency, the areas of expertise, and it’s the software is the decision-maker.  The software will give every résumé a ranking, okay?  And that’s how you go somewhere.

You know, most people will say—I had one guy told me he’d submitted over 700 jobs online.  I’m like, “Are you done yet?  It’s not working,” you know?

Scott Nelson:    [Laughs] Yeah, no kidding.  The definition of insanity, right?

Sue Sarkesian:         Seven hundred! [Laughs]

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.  Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         So the ATS’s are really super-critical.  Now, the way you can work that is there’s something called tag cloud out there, and you can take your résumé to TagCloud and it’ll scan it and it’ll help you achieve a ranking.  It’ll help you look at what are the keywords, and you can also do different kinds of googling for job descriptions and look at what keywords are relevant.  Keywords are very important, but listen.

Two years ago, about a year and a half ago, there’s some new software that was developed because people were getting real savvy about whether they were qualified or not.  They were smart.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         And they figured out, “I’m going to put 542 keywords in my résumé,” and they were getting through that software.  So there’s some new software where if you put in too many keywords it’s set up that it’ll boot you right out of the system.  It won’t even scan it after a certain point.

Scott Nelson:    Huh.  No kidding.

Sue Sarkesian:         So the applicant tracking system…yeah.  You know, I don’t know how much you talk to C-level people, Scott, but a lot of them will say, “God, I just hate that process,” because they may look good on paper but when I talk to them there’s a complete disconnect.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         That goes back to kind of what we were talking about before, making sure that what you’re saying on a résumé is credible and defendable.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah, and using too many keywords kind of goes back to what you said earlier that if it’s…quantifying their statements or putting stuff [laughs] on a résumé that looks too good to be true, that’s kind of like putting too many keywords that it’s not going to pass the test because that ATS is going to boot it out.

Sue Sarkesian:         Right.

Scott Nelson:    I wasn’t aware.  This whole applicant tracking system, I was completely unaware of that.  That’s very interesting to me. [Laughs]

Sue Sarkesian:         Yeah, and it’s so frustrating if you’re the searcher.  Now, one thing that I will tell you, and I will tell everybody that’s listening to this thing and every individual that I talk to, never, never under any circumstances should anyone electronically submit a résumé for a specific position and call it good, okay?

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         Because here’s where LinkedIn comes in, okay?

Scott Nelson:    Mm-hmm.

Sue Sarkesian:         I tell folks that about 85, 88% of hiring managers today and almost all recruiters are using LinkedIn to find candidates.  This article came out a couple of months referencing that.

Scott Nelson:    What was the percentage again?

Sue Sarkesian:         Eighty-five, 88%.  High.

Scott Nelson:    Wow, okay.  Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         Are using LinkedIn.  So let’s say, for example, you know, you did see a position on some site out there that looked really good and you submitted your résumé.  The very next step is to pull up LinkedIn and there’s a company search feature on LinkedIn.  You would want to pull that up, take that company name that you just applied to, plug it into that company search feature, and it’s going to give you a list from A—not A to Z literally but it’s going to give you a list of everyone from your HR people to your corporate recruiters to your regional VPs to your VPs.  Even in small mid caps it typically gives you the CEO.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         So if you’re a president-level person, who in the world is bringing in a president-level person?  Nobody but the CEO.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         So, that company search feature after you electronically submit a résumé anywhere is the critical second step to the search.  In fact, Scott, before we started this conversation…

Scott Nelson:    Mm-hmm.

Sue Sarkesian:         You know, we actually talked about don’t even start a search until you’ve done step 1 through 3.

Scott Nelson:    Mm-hmm.

Sue Sarkesian:         Résumé, LinkedIn content, which should be in sync with your résumé content, and then there’s also a groups directory on LinkedIn, and so you want to join the relevant groups.  And there are groups for everyone, you know, COO, CIO, CEO, international, to very specific countries.  Those first three steps have to be addressed before you start a search.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         The keyword is relevant on LinkedIn too because, you know, what happens is that’s how these hiring managers and recruiters find candidates, they scan the summaries and the keywords and the specialties sections on LinkedIn, and that’s how they’re going to find candidates.  So even when you’re looking at résumé content, those ATS’s are really important, but it’s the same thing on LinkedIn.

Scott Nelson:    Yup.  No, I see.  Those are some great points, steps 1 to 3, just to recap, is the résumé portion needs to be handled, step 2 would be making sure the content on your LinkedIn profile matches the résumé and is up-to-date and is full of the necessary keywords, and then active participation in the LinkedIn groups that are most closely associated with what you’re trying to do.   So that’s really good stuff.  And I know we’re running short on time, but I do want to get…

Sue Sarkesian:         Yup.

Scott Nelson:    I want to transition a little bit to you and The Résumé Group and your company…

Sue Sarkesian:         [Laughs] Okay.

Scott Nelson:    …[laughs]  the services that you provide, because you’ve certainly provided a wealth of education, a wealth of knowledge to us, to myself obviously as well as everyone who’s listening to this interview.  And if I’m walking away, and I say this [00:46:43], if I’m walking away from this interview, I’m thinking, “This was great stuff, like it’s clear that I need some help here,” you know?

Sue Sarkesian:         Mm-hmm.

Scott Nelson:    Even to me, I found that crafting like a very succinct yet highly compelling summary statement…

Sue Sarkesian:         Mm-hmm.

Scott Nelson:    …it’s hard to do.  It’s hard to do, and if you’re able to do it, this is like your own take, you know?

Sue Sarkesian:         Yeah.

Scott Nelson:    And so having the help of someone else would be extremely important.  So let’s talk about the services that you provide at The Résumé Group here.

Sue Sarkesian:         So, you know, our name is a little bit misleading.  A lot of people initially call us and think we just write a résumé.  You can find people that’ll slap together a résumé for you for a hundred bucks, you know?

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         It doesn’t mean anything.  So, we really work with folks to not only develop the résumé but really [00:47:37] with them on the whole search strategy.  We have a number of strategic partners that are retained search firms.

Scott Nelson:    Mm-hmm.

Sue Sarkesian:         Not to namedrop but Paula Rutledge, you know, she’s wonderful.  Med device people know her.  She’s got Legacy MedSearch, Med Device Guru.  We have a lot of partners.  Recruiters will refer folks to us because they’ll say, “I want to bring this person to this company for a director- or a VP- or a president-level role,” but they don’t look like it on their résumé.

Scott Nelson:    Ah, no kidding. [Laughs]

Sue Sarkesian:         Yeah.

Scott Nelson:    So the decision’s already been made behind the scenes but they’re saying, “Sue, you’ve got to help us structure the résumé so it bypasses everyone else’s approval.”

Sue Sarkesian:         Yeah. [Laughs]

Scott Nelson:    No, that’s great.  That’s great stuff.

Sue Sarkesian:         [Laughs] Yeah, well that’s a percentage.  I would say, you know, we’ve been around a long time.  Like I said, I’ve been in this for 17 years.  Elaine Basham, who is my business partner, she’s head writer, she’s been in it for just about as long as [00:48:40]. And what we want to do, we initially have each person, they can send us their résumé, and I’m going to set up a consultation with them.  Because I think this is critical to look at, how does this person want to be positioned?  Are they realistic?  If I have somebody that’s an account manager that wants to be a COO, I’m going to say, “You have two steps before we should do that.”

Scott Nelson:    Sure.

Sue Sarkesian:         So I do the career guidance, we look at their résumé, we ask a lot of questions related to various things they’ve done, and then if they want to work with us we can put together…we tailor programs.  We’ve got new grad-, professional- and executive-level programs where we would develop résumé, maybe a whole portfolio of documents for an executive.  We’ll develop LinkedIn content.  I will connect with the appropriate recruiters that are currently on a retainer by an organization.  So I will say, “Here are the 20 groups on LinkedIn that you absolutely must be a part of because it’s the only place recruiters are posting positions.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         You know, so we’ll really develop certainly the written word, but we want to be able to, you know, you can have a great résumé and have the wrong strategy and you’re still behind in the game.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         So that’s really what we want to be able to do is help people position themselves.  Ninety percent of our clients are employed, and they are looking to make some kind of transition.  They want to take the next step up in their career.  I think it’s real important to look at each individual and see what they bring to the table and how to best achieve that.

Scott Nelson:    Gotcha.

Sue Sarkesian:         You know, you can’t just write a résumé and call it that.  I think there’s so much more that goes into it and, you know, 17 years ago I wouldn’t be talking about the same strategy as I am now.  Two years ago, I wouldn’t have.  Two, three years ago, people would say, “Hey, Sue, what do you think about LinkedIn?” and I’d say, “Maybe, probably not going to hurt.”

Scott Nelson:    Right.

Sue Sarkesian:         Today it’s like, if you’re not on LinkedIn, you’re not in the game.

Scott Nelson:    Yup.  Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         You’re not even in the game.  I just had a woman in New York City who absolutely did not believe me that LinkedIn held any value, but we made her do it anyway, right? [Laughs]

Scott Nelson:    [Laughs]

Sue Sarkesian:         [00:51:19] We put her LinkedIn…

Scott Nelson:    Yeah?

Sue Sarkesian:         …into her résumé.  I said, “These are the groups you have to join.  I want you to use this company search feature.  Here are some lists of companies that make sense for what you’re telling me you want to do.”  Six weeks later, she was offered a 200K executive vice-president role.  And she sent me an email two days before Thanksgiving and said, “I really didn’t believe you, Sue.” [Laughs]

Scott Nelson:    [Laughs]

Sue Sarkesian:         “I didn’t believe you about this LinkedIn thing.”

Scott Nelson:    Oh yeah?  That’s a great story.  And in fact, I mean, if I come to you, you’ll help me—we mentioned those three steps earlier, the résumé, the LinkedIn content, and then the LinkedIn groups directory.  So you can help me obviously structure the right résumé and help me put together a strategy, but you can also help me build my LinkedIn profile and help me with that as well?

Sue Sarkesian:         Yeah, absolutely.

Scott Nelson:    Gotcha.  Okay, cool.

Sue Sarkesian:         Yeah, I would do an initial consultation, and then if you wanted to work with us we’d probably do about an hour-and-a-half, two-hour very in-depth phone interview.  This is something that really is super-super-critical.  Don’t ever go and fill out a questionnaire as a way to develop the résumé because you might as well just do it yourself, okay?

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         This hour-and-a-half, two-hour interview allows us to say, “We’ve got your old résumé here.  Tell me about this.”

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         “Why were you brought into this?  What was going on?  What did you do?  What was your role?  What did you have to overcome?  How long did it take?  What was the outcome?”  You know, that’s very important in terms of capturing all the right information so not only are you getting that very objective stuff, you’re also looking and talking to that individual and really reading them and getting a sense.

Scott Nelson:    Right.

Sue Sarkesian:         Because as much as I talk about résumé content, everything said and done, it still needs to match that person, you know?  Because if this person has this kind of content and somebody gets on the phone with them and they’re like, “This does not sound like the person I just read,” then we have a problem, you know?

Scott Nelson:    Yup.  Yup.

Sue Sarkesian:         So, we want to be able to take all those steps with folks.  So I think it’s important, you know, whether they are—I mentioned this to you, Scott, and I’ll kind of let you wrap up here, but I think that even if somebody is very settled in their role, you know, they don’t see any trouble on the horizon, they think, “I’m going to retire here,” or “I’m going to wait until the market gets better to look,” don’t do it.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         Have all your ducks in a row.  Add 25 contacts a month to your LinkedIn.  Start using that company search feature to reach out to people that are key decision-drivers in companies.  Participate in some of those groups on LinkedIn.  Because if you have those steps taken care of and you’re doing maybe a little discreet passive search, then you’re set.  If something happened, your company loses a big contract and they have to lay off 15% of the workforce, if you don’t have those pieces in place and you haven’t been working it, you’re typically three, four, five months behind in the search process.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Sue Sarkesian:         So, you know, even if you’re talking to someone, Scott, and they’re like, “I’m not going to look around,” I tell people, just have your ducks in a row.

Scott Nelson:    Sure.

Sue Sarkesian:         Don’t wait until you have to.  That’s desperate times, then.

Scott Nelson:    Oh, yeah.  Yeah.  Especially with the added stress of, you know, maybe being out of a job and what’s that going to mean in terms of the financial situation, etc., etc.  So, no, that’s great stuff.  I mean, this has been an awesome interview.  I had a feeling it was going to be really, really good.

Sue Sarkesian:         Good.

Scott Nelson:    And this is obviously the first time we’ve corresponded at least live over the phone here.  No, but really good stuff.  And so someone that’s listening—and just to add to that point about LinkedIn, I mean I even have a course listed as kind of a resource on medsider.co.  It’s a LinkedIn course with Lewis Howes, who’s actually written two books on LinkedIn.  And it’s a great course and it’s really helped me a lot, but I’m thinking I spent so much freaking time trying to like match the keywords and craft the right statements to make it compelling, etc.  I mean, it would be really valuable to have someone like you [laughs] help [00:56:04], you know, because that’s your specialty.

And so if you’re listening to this, if you’ve ever calculated your hourly wage, whether it’s 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 dollars an hour, and how many hours does it take to mess around with trying to create the right LinkedIn profile, I mean it’s obviously worth the money to talk to someone like Sue. So, someone that’s interested in speaking with you, Sue, or learning more about you, where do you want to direct them to, your website?  Or what’s the best way to [00:56:37] find you?

Sue Sarkesian:         Yeah, they can pop onto our website, which is theresumegroup.com.  Anybody wants to have a consultation, send me their résumé at sue@theresumegroup.com and I’d be happy to set up a time just to have a conversation and see what’s going on with that person.  That doesn’t mean [00:57:02] our services.  I’m happy to just provide that initial consult at no charge.

Scott Nelson:    Gotcha.  Very good.  And if you’re listening to this on iTunes or something like that, I’ll link it up on the actual post on medsider.co, those two websites, theresumegroup.com as well as Sue’s email, sue@theresumegroup.com.  So, definitely encourage you to check out Sue’s offer.  If you’ve listened to the whole thing, she’s obviously someone extremely valuable to speak with and consult with about your own personal brand and the best way to kind of move forward if you’re looking for that next move

So thanks everyone for listening.  Really do appreciate it.  And again, I mentioned iTunes, I always like to mention this at the end of the interviews, I should probably do a better job of mentioning it at the beginning of the interviews, but if you’re listening to this on the website or something like that or if you’ve downloaded this, you can go to iTunes and just do a Medsider search.  Go to iTunes store, search for Medsider, you’ll see our free podcast.  You can download it for free, and then every interview will be automatically downloaded to your iTunes account, and so you don’t have to do anything at all actively behind the scenes.  It’s all done for you.

So, kind of a cool little tool to use, to keep up-to-date with the latest interviews.  So, anyway, that’s it for now.  Thanks everyone for listening.  Sue, I’ll have you hold on the line here real quick, but thanks again for listening.  Until my next episode of Medsider.  Everyone take care.

[End of Recording]


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