As a career strategist, I engage with people who are just passing through; people who earn a living doing something other than looking for work. When I come across a common question, one that seems to resonate with job seekers across many fields, you’ll find it here. Feel free to toss over a question of your own, and please visit this space frequently for updates!

About Resumes:

Q:         Quick question about resumes… unfortunately, my friend got laid off this week and I’m helping her update her resume. Her last two positions were the exact same thing: Closing Assistant at a title company. With them being the same position and her duties being exactly the same, how would you put that on a resume? List the position title, then the two employers, then the bullets? Or should I break them up and list them both separately and do my best to make them not say the same exact thing?

A:         Your instinct is right – Give the title in boldface type, and below it write the companies and dates, and below that the job description and accomplishments. Like this:

Professional Hockey Star
Chicago Blackhawks 2009 – Present
Detroit Redwings 2000 – 2008

  • Captain
  • Lead scorer, averaging 7 goals per game
  • Stanley Cup winner 2002, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2015


About References:

Q:         I am about to submit my application, but I noticed there is no place to put references down and on my resume, someone removed my references from there. I am unable to go back and remove my resume and add on references. I would have to do the entire application over again. Should I go ahead and send it without references or should I start over and add my references to my resume?

A:         Submitting references isn’t what it used to be. These days, you provide those only if requested, and that will usually be at the very end of the process (sometimes even after an offer is made). That is why you don’t see a place for them on the application, and why they were removed from your professionally-written resume. Keep a separate list and provide quality references if asked.

Q:         QUALITY references?

A:         Supervisors, Peers, Subordinates, Vendors and a couple of friends (for personal references). These should be people close to your work, who know you well and who know what your current employment situation is. They will confidently support your application by providing honest examples of your strengths and development potential, and they’ll be quick responders. The former boss who loses emails and ignores phone calls? Not a quality reference.00 2013

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