Fast & Easy Tips for Improving Your Resume

resume tips

Know how to get your resume noticed when submitting it online


If you’re not scoring job interviews after countless submissions, then you may not need a career coach just yet. Here are some fast, simple and easy tips for improving your resume:


Customize your resume submission

The first line of defense is for you to customize your resume for the job you are submitting to. Yes, of course it’s a lot of work, but having one generic resume that you submit to every job is too old school and somewhat lazy. Recruiters know when you don’t take the time to customize your submission, so you’re simply handing the job to someone else who cares enough about the job to go the extra mile.  Showcase your skills that match the job description in your bullet points, and erase the ones you don’t need.


Delete the objective statement

Objective statements are outdated and useless. Isn’t it blatantly obvious what your objective is if you’ve submitted yourself for the job? This format is archaic and so 1980s. While many resume templates still have it, you should replace it with a “qualification summary”. The top of your resume is prime real estate and should be able to tell a human resources manager what skills you have. Candidates only have 10 seconds to catch the attention of the employer before it’s deleted.


Volunteer in your community

Having volunteer experience on your resume is a fabulous way to get recruiters to notice you. It shows you genuinely care about others, and that sort of spirit is great for team-building. Better yet, it won’t cost you anything (but time) to do it, and it adds tremendous value to your application.


Add key words from the job description

Humans don’t look at your resume when you submit it. HR departments employ scanning software that searches for key words and phrases, so you may be disqualified if you aren’t a match.


Eliminate text boxes

Text boxes are terrible for resumes. They block the scanning software from scanning parts of your resume. Never have anything on your resume that will prevent you from getting an interview.


Get CPR certified

Visit your local fire department or YMCA and ask about getting a life-saving certification known as CPR. This is such a simple thing to do, and it will certainly make “special skills” section stand out. Think about it this way: employers have hundreds of candidates that submit resumes for consideration. Many of those candidates will have more education and experience than you do. So, in the end, all of the little changes to your resume that can give you a leg-up are helpful.


An assistant’s image: what NOT to do on LinkedIn

executive assistant image

What NOT to do on LinkedIn if you want a personal assistant job with a VIP

In order to score (and keep) jobs with celebrities and billionaires, executive personal assistants need to “network”. LinkedIn offers a great platform for doing just that, but if used incorrectly it can actually hurt your image – not improve it. Here is a list of things you should never, ever do on LinkedIn:


Bad profile photos

You shouldn’t use selfies, personal photos or anything that you think makes you look cute – so no pouty lips, please! LinkedIn is a “professional” network that should be used to promote your outstanding business acumen, not make you look like you’re a teenager on Facebook. Only use professional photos in business attire. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to do it.


No spamming

Think about this: let’s suppose you’re a CEO or high-profile executive and you get an email from a LinkedIn user who wants a personal assistant job in your company, but the email is some mass message that’s very generic (and maybe even poorly worded). Are you going to hire that person? You already know the answer. Think twice before you hit the “send” button.


No mass connection requests

Some executive assistants on LI want to reach that coveted “500+” milestone on their profile, as some sort of bragging rights (like having a lot of friends on FB). Don’t request to connect with people just for the sake of doing it. Think of quality, not quantity. Not only will it help you in the long run, but you won’t get banned from the LinkedIn staff as a spammer (Yes, you can get your profile deleted on LI).


No desperation

Under your name is a place for your title, like “Executive personal assistant”. It’s NOT a place to post commercials and advertisements. It looks soooo desperate if you do that. Who wants to see some message that says “now actively seeking any and all opportunities for a job”? No human resource manager could take you seriously if you are coming off as desperate. Recruiters want to hire someone in a position of strength (and with a strong personal brand).


No shameless self-promotion

There is nothing wrong with “highlighting your strengths,” but there is definitely a line that’s crossed when you get into promoting yourself too much. LinkedIn is not a dating website; it’s a place for professional networking, so think carefully about how you are going to be perceived. Look at the people you admire. Go to the profiles of celebrity CEOs and other industry leaders. If the top brass aren’t doing it, then you probably shouldn’t either.


How to “Brand” Your Executive Assistant Image

Nowadays, everyone is talking about having a “personal brand” in the marketplace. So what is it anyway? Just like companies have a brand image, people can too. Can a personal assistant have a brand? Yes, absolutely. You can control the way you are perceived by employers, and you should have a 360 degree approach, especially since the job market is so fiercely competitive. Here are some considerations:


How you dress for the interview

Billionaires, celebrities and Fortune 500 executives are very concerned about how their employers represent them, especially if you are the right hand to a CEO or high net worth individual. The way you dress says a lot about you, so a lot of consideration should go into your attire. If you’re going to be interviewing to work for a VIP, then it’s certainly possible that you will go through a long, arduous interview process – which can actually take months and be six-stages long.


Every interaction you have with the potential employer is a chance to win them over, so don’t wear the same outfit every time just because you think it makes you look good. Do a little spying and visit the LinkedIn pages of people working in the company, and doing some homework online may also shed some light on the process. It’s common for former, current and potential candidates to post tid-bits that can help you get an insight as to what they’re looking for.


Your online and social media presence

Not enough people pay attention to how they are perceived online. Social media profiles can completely destroy your career. It’s scientifically and statistically proven that most HR managers are going to research the candidate at some time during the interview process. Make sure that all of your social media profiles are set to private, and of course make sure that your profile picture is professional – no selfies, especially on LinkedIn.


Your verbal and written message

Employers want to see that candidates are well-versed in every aspect. If you are going to work for a Chairman or company President, then you will be corresponding on their behalf, so your writing skills must be first-rate. During your research (company homework), you should thoroughly investigate the company’s “message” (mission statement, blog, etc.) so you can then “walk the walk and talk the talk” of their company. Finally, make sure your resume conveys professionalism and do make it so boring. Every visit throughout your interview will require your delivering a hard-copy, so make sure the layout, font, and even the paper look outstanding.  As the old saying goes: god is in the details.  If you pay attention to all of the small things, the big things will take care of themselves, and that’s how to build your personal brand.


How to Work for a Billionaire

This may be the most comprehensive list yet if you’re interested in working for a billionaire. Here are the world billionaires categorized by country, state, city, age, industry, male, female and so much more. With about 2,000 worldwide, there are never been more opportunities to be a social secretary, PA, estate manager, bodyguard, nanny, or executive assistant (READ MORE).

Work for a billionaire: Listing by state, city, industry, net worth, and more…


Interviewing Strategies for Both Corporate & Private Offices

Understanding the differences between interviews for domestic and corporate environments
is an important aspect for having a successful meeting. In short, have a clear strategy.

Regardless of where the interview takes place or for what position, we can all agree that interviewing is difficult, even for the most seasoned executive personal assistant. Knowing what to expect, to some degree, can improve a candidate’s performance because you can decrease your chances of being caught off guard and ultimately score the job.


The biggest problem, though, is the interviews that take place for a private home office can be quite different than those in a corporate environment, which are usually conducted by an experienced human resources professional.


The corporate environment

These job interviews, relatively speaking, are a lot easier to navigate because interviewing in this realm is highly systematized in today’s day and age. Regardless of whether you’re interviewing for a position serving a CEO, company president or celebrated entrepreneur, the HR representative is going to ask some very standardized questions using your resume as a guide. So, in short, preparing for these situations is almost a cake walk in comparison to the private office situation. It goes without saying that one should do a lot of homework on the company before the interview.  Don’t rest on your laurels and think that just because you’ve had a personal assistant job to a celebrity or billionaire that you’re a shoo-in because you will be up against other assistants that have more experience (and, perhaps, a better education).


Personal assistant jobs in a private office to a high net worth family, celebrity or billionaire

In these situations, all bets are off. This is, bar far, a lot more cumbersome and treacherous for a number of reasons.


When personal assistants or estate mangers interview for a domestic job, then a number of people may be responsible for interviewing possible candidates, many of which – if not all – are not professionally trained or very experienced at interviews.


Further, it’s certainly possible that the interviewee could even be in a situation where the interviewer, purposefully or inadvertently, sabotages the process with insidious or ridiculous questions. Regardless of the reason, it’s the wild, wild West when a trained human resources professional isn’t involved. One of the biggest obstacles to overcome is when the celebrity’s new girlfriend is in charge of the staff, and more often than not has no leadership experience to speak of (this happens more often then you would think).


What you can do if the interview is going south

If you are in an interview, corporate or domestic, and things take a turn for the worse, take control of the interview by focusing on specific topics:

  • Find out what the employer’s needs are and explain how you can fulfill the obligations. Refer to the job description whenever possible.
  • Highlight your past experience and cite specific situations in which you “saved the day” for your celebrity employer.
  • Above all, tell them you’re flexible and that being a team-player is paramount.


Assistant Resources

career coaching

Here are a number of popular resources for personal and executive assistants to make your job easier (MORE»).