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Revision Resume's Job Search Discussion with a Career Coach: Part 1

Revision Resume often speaks with recruiters and hiring managers to learn the latest trends in the hiring industry. We then publish what we have learned in our blog so our readers can understand current expectations.

This time, we connected with a career coach, Bob Ingrassio, of Bob Alan Associates, LLC, and had a question-and-answer session via email. This will be a two-part blog covering resumes, interviews, job search expectations, rejection, and salary negotiation (note that the following has been edited for length and clarity). Read on to learn about all of these important aspects of the job search!

1). What mistakes do you commonly see people making in their job search?

I cannot stress enough the importance of how a resume reads, specifically for the position the job seeker is applying for. Highlighting one`s associated skills and experience in areas relative to the job opening is the first area a company will look at.

Then there is the procrastinator, waiting for their ideal job to appear. These folks make an error by not accepting more interview opportunities, simply because one will never gain the experience needed to master the art of being interviewed successfully without real-life experience.

2). You see lots of resumes - what common issues are you seeing on client resumes?

Man reviewing resumes on a computer

Over the past 35 years of reviewing resumes and conducting employment interviews, I have seen a pattern of common mistakes:

  • Listing every past job going back to their first one. This may be unnecessary or even potentially detrimental depending on how many, and the type of positions, held.

  • Beyond the year, including the month when you started and left the company. It is often irrelevant and could call attention to unnecessary information.

  • Depending on how many prior jobs one has held, omitting those with less than a year may be wise.

  • A resume that lacks flow and readability often makes the interviewer's job more difficult. I find this to be another distracting aspect when scanning a resume.

There are also additional red flags an applicant should consider:

  • When preparing for an interview, you need to be ready to explain the reasons for leaving one position for another, because it most certainly will be brought up during the interview.

  • When long unemployed periods (4+ months), between jobs exist, having a strategy to explain these (rehearse in advance) will satisfy any hesitation or confusion the interviewer may otherwise have.

3). Do you have any general advice for people seeking a new job?

Well, as the expression goes, “Don`t quit your existing job until you have a new one.”

However, this is not always possible. First, determine if you possess the qualifications required for the position you would like to apply for.

Most job seekers are very nervous -- or worse -- not prepared to make the best impression. Keep in mind that the best intermediate-level positions available also have substantial competition.

As I have said, being prepared with a professional, easy-to-follow resume -- combined with committing to do the research needed -- will provide a good foundation.

Finding a job is not something we do every day. Having the confidence to carry yourself appropriately throughout an interview is possible, with a little help. This is where a professional career-centered coach can make a valuable difference. Gaining experience through various role-play exercises has proven to be an effective tool to add to the career search strategy.

4). We occasionally encounter people who aren’t sure what type of job they want. They might be interested in a career change or they might not. We imagine you see this in clients as well. Any suggestions for people to figure out the path forward?

This is not just common among motivated people in their 20s; I believe it is true for a greater percentage of the career-seeking population than we may realize.

I advise folks considering a career change to undertake an in-depth assessment of their acquired skills, talents, past milestones, and experiences. I suggest developing a list to identify those who have contributed in some way to your growth. It may be a forgotten mentor or a coach or a family member, who they will add to the list.

Then, we undertake the "to thine own self be true," conversation. Knowing your strengths and challenges, along with your financial responsibilities and risk tolerances, will ultimately form your career path, especially for older individuals who are interested in transitioning to a new career.

5). For people seeking a career change - do you have any guidance on which fields are currently good to consider?

Whether you are entering university, trade school, or are seriously considering a career change, being equipped with solid historic data can help you narrow your job search. Looking to industries or fields that could be considered sustainable throughout the types of changes we have experienced in recent years is wise to consider.


Have you considered a trade? Regardless of your training or education, if you enjoy working with your hands and have a basic understanding of electrical, carpentry, plumbing, painting, or related trades, then make an effort to learn more. This may include pursuing information about certification requirements and courses, or on-the-job training programs.

Looking Ahead:

Next week we will continue our conversation with Bob, focusing on preparing for interviews, handling rejection, and how to approach a salary negotiation!

Interested in receiving his free, “Preparation Guide to Interviewing”, or learning about the services he offers? Please email

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out if you need assistance with a resume critique or creation from Revision Resume! Contact us for additional information!



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What’s Next?  With the Right Resume, the Sky’s the Limit!

The challenge for most job applicants is crafting the right resume. 

Revision Resume is here to help offering the following writing services:

Resume critiques are also offered to those who have already created their own resume but would like a second set of eyes to check for errors and to ensure the document is up to modern standards!

With up-to-the-minute knowledge of the hiring industry, Revision Resume can make sure you are submitting the right resume!

In addition to our blog that is packed with useful information and tips, Revision Resume also offers a monthly newsletter and group educational programs. 

Finally, for the "do-it-yourselfer," we offer a checklist package that helps you ensure you haven't missed any vital details. 


To learn more, contact us.

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