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Prepare your resume – and yourself – for 2016

Here is article to Link – CEO of Gallup explains why the 5% – aka booming employment market – is a cruel hoax.




The reall UE number exceeds 20% when you factor in all the people who simply abandoned hope and quit looking for work. The UE number mimics the bogus CPI (inflation index) – which excludes everything you pay for like fuel, food, clothes … don’t get me started!


Mind Control Profile: How to Control the Mind of Your LinkedIn Visitor (Part 2, LinkedIn Summary)


The Mind Control Profile: Part 2 –The Summary


Forget “one size fits all” for your LinkedIn summary.

We don’t all wear size 10 shoes, right?

So don’t shoehorn your persona into somebody else’s “size 10” profile! Tailor your summary for yourself and your target

  • The optimal summary for you depends on several factors, for example: the size of your career accomplishments, the drama in your personal story (or lack thereof), and your employment status: corporate, business owner, consultant, or job seeker.

  • Can you take the heat? A strong LinkedIn summary depends on your willingness to stand tall, assert yourself, and tune out the critics and put-down artists ( too chicken to stand up so, instead, they’ll take little shots at you).

(Above: Video from “The Mind Control Profile – Part 1”)

How to write a compelling LinkedIN summary that mesmerizes your visitor

  • CHOOSE A FORMAT: In a minute, I’ll show you examples of 3 possible formats for your LinkedIn summary: the standard “bio” story, a “problem solver” story, and a “sales letter.” Many formats are possible, but today we’ll look at 3 possibilities.

  • NOTE: If you pick a format that fits your personal circumstances and style – you’re halfway home. And to the degree that you can align your message with items #2 through #4 on this list, you have the power to temporarily stop readers in their tracks.

  • PICK YOUR TARGET: Imagine the type of visitor you most want to connect with – maybe a recruiter, a colleague, a customer, prospective partner, or maybe an ambitious executive frustrated at work. The whole world is welcome to visit your profile, but you must focus your message on one target.

  • FUTURE EPISODES OF MIND CONTROL PROFILEPICK THE DOMINANT EMOTION: What emotion would you like to stimulate inside this visitor – what do you want them to feel? Maybe fear? greed? pain? curiosity?

  • CALL TO ACTION (CTA): What do you want your visitor to do after visiting your profile?”

Engagement control – some like it hot!

  • High Engagement: Feels like you’re having a face-to-face conversation, right on the screen. Note how the word “you” – direct address to reader – dominates the sales-letter sample (below).

  • Low Engagement: This might be a standard bio that talks to the reader, for example: a provocative question – “are you better off now than you were a year ago?” or a call to action – “Reserve your spot now – just click link”


1. First Person Bio: It’s very common, but not easiest to write. You’ll need a great story and a great story teller

WHO BENEFITS? This format works great for bold (extroverted) achievers with great success stories. My wild guess? The bio is a good choice for 25% of the population of LinkedIn profiles.

WRITER’S BLOCK?Difficult to write if you are “verbally challenged” or stymied by a blank page (“OMG – where do I start my story?”)

2. Problem-Solver Summary: Easiest to write! Just focus on the problem at hand

WHO BENEFITS? Perfect for problem solvers who loathe talking about themselves or standing alone in the spotlight.

Instead, let your work do the talking. My wild guess? A great choice for 40% of the population of LinkedIn profiles.

WRITER’S BLOCK?Minimal – like writing a project report – eeeeeeeZ.

STORY TEMPLATE: Problem -> Agitate -> Solved!

You can’t go wrong with this format. Jump right into the middle of the problem with minimal setup. Just describe the problem and how you solved it.

LEGACY RESULTS: If possible, show your long-term impact as a result, for example:

3. The “Sales Letter” Summary: Maximum reader engagement. It’s perfect for a business owner, consultant, or anybody unemployed and doing a job search:

WHO BENEFITS: Goal driven people who are willing to step out of their comfort zone and step into the spotlight. My wild guess? A good choice for 20%.

REWARD: It’s your best chance to hook the reader – maximum engagement.

WRITER’S BLOCK? This format requires better writing skill than the bio or problem solver, but need not be perfect. You’ll always project highest energy. Also, relatively few competitors.

STORY TEMPLATE: Before you write anything, you must nail down your target, a resonant emotion, and a call to action. Amazon and the Internet are awash in “how to” guides for writing a sales letter. Or hire a copywriter.

MIND CONTROL TACTIC: Key idea is to get inside the readers’ heads and engage them in conversation. Hardly anybody is doing this – now you know the secret!

BTW @Liz Ryan promotes a “pain letter” – similar idea – that letter is researched and targeted 1-on-1. The “sales letter” I’m doing here is “one-to-many.”

EXAMPLE BELOW: This example shows a sales letter summary for a small business (mine), but the same idea applies for job searchers. “Blue” indicates first person, “yellow” indicates “2d person.”

4. Unlimited Additional LinkedIn Formats

Advertisers have been figuring out these “mind control” angles for 120 years – you need not reinvent the wheel to write your perfect LinkedIn summary!

LinkedIn summary – hugely important – it’s the platform for your personal brand

  • For writing purposes, the only difference between the LinkedIn profile and a traditional resume is the blank screen called “Summary.” Your personal brand will thrive or die in this 2000-character arena.

  • When the summary is super-strong, sometimes I’ll copy-and-paste the whole thing right on the resume, front-and-center – pronouns and all – just like pouring wine into different bottles.

  • Or, distill the 2000-character summary into 4 lines and post it on your resume (or vice versa).

  • Starting from a blank page can torture the normal person. If you pick the right format – before you write anything – you’ll avoid WRITER’S BLOCK. Otherwise, you’ll deal with the “Blank Screen” nightmare.

  • I thank God that the blank screen scares the hell out of so many people – it keeps me in business!

Coming soon, Mind Control Profile – Part 3: Emotional resonance. Here’s where the real “mind control” comes in:

The Mind Control Resume: How to Make Your Readers Like You


The “Mind Control” Resume: How to Make Your Readers Like You

Suppose you could get inside your readers’ heads, move them to action, and make them do what you what them to do – NOW!

Does that sound crazy?

Actually, the power to remotely control the human mind already exists – we call it “advertising!”

Companies have scientifically perfected this form of “mind control” for at least 120 years.

But few have dared to apply these mind-control principles to their LinkedIn profiles and resumes. That’s about to change – there’s a new sheriff in town!

1. Background: Let’s all agree we need more than a resume to win this game

Before diving into the branded summary, let’s agree on 4 prerequisites for a successful job search:

  • PREREQUISITE #1, Burning Desire: When you’re fired up – obsessed with achieving a particular job – you’ll burn through all resistance and succeed. Even a lousy resume won’t stop you – I’ve seen this firsthand, many times. But If you lack that fire, your search will probably falter.

  • Prerequisite #2, a network contact: You need an inside connection, or at least a solid referral. You don’t need 3,000 followers on Twitter – although that would help – but you do need a pathway inside the target company (just like a salesperson penetrates a target account).

    Without a human contact, you’re flying blind. No amount of tweaking the resume or outsmarting the ATS can help you. In that case, you might as well forget the resume and play the lottery!

  • PREREQUISITE #3, Personal-Branded Resume: For an internal move – or a job change involving people who know you well – your resume is less critical.

  • But when you approach a target who does not know you well – with or without a “warm referral” – your resume must work very hard to stand tall above the competition.
  • The reader will browse you for 6 seconds – but the first impression happens at the very top, i.e., your headline and branded summary. So if you blow the intro, it’s “game over”!
  • WARNING: Right here on LinkedIn, I’ve read some confused and foolish commentary about resumes. The root cause of this confusion is context. You can’t pontificate about resumes (or LinkedIn) without citing the reader’s context – i.e., a total stranger? a warm referral? This article assumes the reader doesn’t know you well.

  • PREREQUISITE#4, LinkedIn: For job search purposes, your resume and LinkedIn profile are two different configurations of the same thing – you need both.

2. The Branded Summary: “How Can Anybody Not Want to Interview This Person?”

I browse about 100 resumes each month. All of them have a summary paragraph at the top, but hardly any are memorable. A great “branded” summary – ONLY 3-5 LINES MAX – does 4 things:

  • Entices the reader to keep reading

  • Triggers a subtle emotional response inside the heart of your pre-selected target reader – “I like this person, and I don’t know why” – sometimes called a “dog whistle”

  • Plants a hook that makes you memorable for a few days.

  • Shows your “unique of promise value” – how you make money, save money, provide some value for employers or clients.

3. The Art and Science of Mind Control

MIND CONTROL: If you can stimulate the right emotion within a reader, your “vibe” will resonate – you’ll seem likable – and maybe that gap on resume for 2008–2010 does not look as bad.

FULL STORY: Use everything in your background – sports, awards, excellence in any area – and weave your best items into a story of contribution for employers or clients. You must tie your personal items to business, otherwise you’re wasting readers’ time with a “vanity” story.

  • EXAMPLE: One of my clients played football with the NY Jets – 40 years ago! Hello? But no matter how old, it’s a great piece of resume material. A professional resume writer told him to delete this tidbit – too old and irrelevant to mention on the resume. All wrong! Yes it’s old, but mentioning it in summary – only 5 words – makes his resume indelibly memorable.

4. Three Examples – Before and After – “Brand” versus “Bland”:


5. Two Tips for Writing a Mind-Control Summary:

LIVE INTERVIEW: I interview clients for 2-4 hours and record everything. Later on, I mine the notes and recordings for raw material. Without a live interview, you’re wasting your time. You’re just pushing the same dead verbiage around the page. Ugh!

“COMPRESSION”: I start by drawing a box – the physical size of the summary – and keep editing until I compress the message into ~60 words.

6. Bring Your Resume to Life – But Don’t Overdo It (Video)

WORST MISTAKE: For resume purposes, a tiny amount of personality – just a little emotion – goes a long way. Worst mistake is to overdo it, which often happens when I demo the power of emotional triggers in a resume or LinkedIn profile.

7. Six More Examples: Memorable Headlines and Branded Summaries

COMMENT: The summary in that final example is 7 lines, so I broke it into 2 paragraphs (aim for 4 lines max per paragrap

The Mind Control Profile: How to Control the Mind of Your LinkedIn Visitor – Part 1


How to control the mind of your LinkedIn visitor (part 1 + video)

“There is nothing wrong with your television set.

“Do not attempt to adjust the picture.

“We are controlling transmission.

“We will control the horizontal.

We will control the vertical.

“Sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear… “


Growing up in the 1960s, those lines opened every episode of “The Outer Limits” – a science fiction TV show – one of my all-time favorite shows (see short video, below).

The Outer Limits mesmerized its TV audience. Wouldn’t you love to control the minds of your LinkedIn visitors like that?

Suppose you could get inside your visitors’ heads, move them to action, and make them do what you what them to do – NOW!

The ability to remotely control the human mind already exists – we call it “advertising”

Companies have been scientifically perfecting this form of “mind control” for at least 120 years – but few people apply any of these principles to LinkedIn (or their resumes) – a wasted opportunity!

The “Mind Control” Profile: Part 1 of a Series

In this episode, I’ll show you a time-tested copy writing tactic that can boost your LinkedIn profile “above the noise.”

I can’t promise your LinkedIn visitors will morph into mind-numbed zombies. I do promise you can direct your visitors’ perceptions and thinking with much more control than you realize.

For example, your profile can “mesmerize” your visitor by asking provocative questions and entering the “conversation” that is already happening inside his or her mind. This tactic will stop your LinkedIn visitors in their tracks – but right now, hardly anybody is doing it!

Question: I’ll show you a tactic, but are you ambitious and hungry enough to apply it? Everybody wants to stand out, but many are too fearful to step into the spotlight – they’re silently thinking, “the nail that sticks up gets hammered down.” More about that later.

Most LinkedIn profiles are as boring as hell, so here’s your opportunity to shine!

Browse a hundred profiles, and you’ll discover they all look about the same. For example, go to www.google.com/images and search for “great Linkedin summaries.” Browse about 50, and you’ll see what I mean – they’ll put you to sleep faster than Ambien!

Above: I quickly skimmed about 100 profiles during this Google search. But hardly any of them engage the reader directly. Boring!

Mind control tactic #1: To move your visitor to action, write your summary using the second person (“you”). Get inside their heads by engaging them in conversation. Hardly anybody does this – now you know the secret!

  • Nearly all summaries are written in “first person” or “third person” – or even “no person.” The second person (direct address) is hardly ever used, but it trumps them all for best engagement.
  • Which “tribe” of visitors really matters to you? First decide who you want to attract, “Target X,” and then talk directly about the frustrations of “X” [specific problem]. For example, “the volatility of FX and availability of raw materials for electronics manufacturing …” Make it very specific (sometimes called a “dog whistle”).

Example of a second person summary – your strongest-possible connection with readers:

ADVANTAGES of second person: You’ll stand head-and-shoulders above your competitors – even competitors from better schools, better companies, or the top whatever.

  • Charismatic: Visitors will rate you as an exceptionally good communicator, because you’re the only person who engages them in a conversation.
  • Passionate: You’ll trigger emotions that bond you and your target audience – visitors will feel the heat (“he gets me”).
  • Branded: Writing a profile in second person forces you to decide on 1 or possibly 2 roles where you excel – you can’t hide under dead verbiage.

CHALLENGES of second person: If second person is strongest, how come so few profiles are using it? First, most people are not aware this option even exists.

  • Difficulty: For several reasons, these profiles can be difficult to write. For example, voicing a profile in second person will raise the reader’s expectations: If I engage you with questions, then I must WOW you with some answers — I cannot hide, because I’ve stepped into the spotlight.
  • Fear: Second person feels risky to some people – it feels a little too “out there” and personal – especially if you are currently employed by a company (see above, “doable but difficult.”) Some readers will love your message – your writing voice – and others will intensely dislike you.
  • Extra work: A second-person summary works like a sales letter, which usually requires a call to action (CTA). What do you want visitors to do when they visit?

YOU CAN CONTROL YOUR “ENGAGEMENT LEVEL”: A second-person summary is not 100% second person – it’s always a mix of second- and first-person. For example, as a small-biz owner, I’m always pitching my services. So my own profile (see above) is about 75% second person. But a corporate CFO might dial that back to 25% – works like the variable dimmer on a light switch.

Next best profile: a strong “first person” story = a great connection with readers

To whom you are writing – an engineering manager? Fellow patent attorneys? The first person summary works best when you tell a story that does 2 things:

  • Ties into your personal career goal.
  • Resonates with your target audience: First, select an audience and then tell a fascinating story that resonates with them, for example:

But the TYPICAL LinkedIn summary fails to connect. Example below: NO story. NO connection with readers. It’s all “I, me, my.” Weak & boring.

Roughly 1/2 of summaries look like this example:

  • Problem: The writer focuses on “I, me, my” instead of “you” – the estimable visitor.
  • Boring: Who are the most boring people? Usually boors who talk about themselves too much, right? Very common problem on LinkedIn profiles.

Worst case: The “third person” summary (about 1/3 of profiles). No connection with readers. Deadly boring

Avoid using third person, except for program guides at conferences or seminars; a speaker’s bio, or maybe an old-fashioned bio on a corporate “About Us” page.

  • Otherwise, forget third person – especially on LinkedIn – it’s all wrong for the social-media era.
  • If you are a bona fide member of the royal family – like Prince Charles here – okay, go ahead and write about yourself in third person.

No “one size fits all” for LinkedIn summaries

The optimal design for your profile depends on several factors: the size of your career accomplishments, the raw fodder of your personal story, your industry, and your employment status, for example: corporate employee, business owner, independent consultant, or military.

In the best case, maybe you can devise a “mind control” profile that grabs them by the collar, pulls ‘em into your profile, and sells them on the spot. Otherwise, just do your best to connect with your visitors.

If you write your profile using second person, you are already way ahead of the competition

Are you willing to step into the spotlight? If so, stay tuned – I’ll be back with more copy writing tactics that boost your signal high above the noise – for both LinkedIn & resume.

Are you hungry to advance to the next level?

Contemplating a career move? If you are bursting with ambition but frustrated by your current role, maybe I can help you in areas such as personal branding, social media, executive PR, CV, resume and, of course, your LinkedIn profile.

I love helping talented people advance. Show me some real career talent and accomplishments – a big career or a potentially big career – and absolutely, I can show you the shortcuts to reach your goals.

Thank you for visiting!

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LinkedIn censorship – can employers censor your profile & personal brand?

WARNING! LinkedIn censorship increased sharply after the Sony Pictures cyber attack

LinkedIn censorship - eagle image

My mother, barely, 5’2” tall, hardly ever yelled. That’s why I’ll never forget the 1960 Census Man.

I was watching black-and-white cartoons after school – 9 or 10 years old – when the doorbell rang.

Nobody moved.

Doorbell rang again.

My mother stormed across the living room and opened the door.

A few minutes later, we heard her yelling, “THAT’S NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS!!”

We couldn’t hear what the man was saying – later we found out he was a census taker – we didn’t know what that meant, but obviously something bad.

The ferocity of my mother’s final, high-intensity blast blew the census man backwards.


He disappeared – shell shocked that so much sound could explode from such a small package.

KIDS: “MA! MA! Who was that, MA? What did he say MA?”


Was my mother a lunatic?

If you are under 40 – socially conditioned by our politically correct school system – I understand why you might think my mother was some kind of nut. Wrong! My mother – like most citizens of her Greatest Generation – simply and fiercely defended personal liberty and the right to privacy.

On that afternoon in 1960, my mother vocalized her opinion 10 times louder than the average citizen, but the greatest Supreme Court Justices of the era were standing right behind her: Frankfurter and Brandeis championed my mother’s privacy as well as her “right to be left alone.” William Douglas said, “the Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of the people.”

Those days are long gone.

Privacy is dead and personal freedom is dying

My parents – just average high school graduates – were better informed (and probably better educated) than the typical Ivy League college grad of 2015. They were too smart to blindly trust government bureaucrats – or employers – with their privacy and personal liberty.

The USA of our Founding Fathers – the USA I grew up in – started fading away sometime in the 1990s. First we replaced privacy with “the Web,” thank you for sharing,” and Oprah-like whining on national TV. In 2001, personal freedom was marked for final termination by the terrorist attacks of 9-11.

Unlike my parents, Americans in 2015 don’t care that big government and big business are working in tandem to destroy any vestiges of individual privacy and freedom.

It’s all for our “security,” don’t you know. We’re too distracted by social media, the super bowl, and Kim Kardashian’s rear end to notice that freedom is dying.

LinkedIn Censorship - Ben Franklin vs Big Brother

How about your own privacy? Are you aware your Linkedin profile – the #1 platform for your personal brand – might be headed for strict censorship?

Based on firsthand reports from my own clients, companies are accelerating censorship of LinkedIn profiles. I don’t know if censorship is skyrocketing out of control, but lately it feels like an epidemic – probably driven by bad PR surrounding cyberattacks against Sony Pictures, JP Morgan Chase, Target and so on.

LinkedIn censorship: Here area few of the pros and cons being debated:

  • PRO: The rationale for locking down your LinkedIn profiles goes something like this: Companies must defend themselves from cyber attack. If cyber criminals can identify employees with trusted access (based on a job titles), they can target those individuals for cyberattack and use their accounts to hijack the company’s systems. If we lock down your profile, we’ll all be a little safer.
  • CON: This logic mirrors the Patriot Act, i.e., trading away a significant chunk of your personal freedom for a marginal increase in “security.” Ben Franklin is rolling in his grave. Employers should avoid micro-management of employees and devise a serious cloud solution to defend the network.
  • CON: Just a gentle suggestion from an employer creates enough paranoia force employees to comply like sheep. They’ll censor themselves and forreit control of their #1 career tool. Sooner or later morale takes a hit – employees feel resent Big Brother locking them down.
  • CON: An employee might damage the company’s brand by doing something violent or stupid – and, worse – leave an embarrassing trail on social media. This scenario already happens anyway – with or without social media.
  • CON: For now, LinkedIn is the only game in town. Companies that strictly censor LinkedIn profiles are sentencing their employees to “solitary confinement” for purposes of networking – like the infamous “hole” of Alcatraz. Blacking out an employee’s profile suffocates networking and career opportunities.
  • “RED HERRING”: Some companies have a dirty little “side agenda,” namely, they use “cyber security” as a handy excuse to hide employee profiles and prevent competitors from poaching top talent – especially sales talent.

 A Friendly Warning for Our Dear Employees!

You don’t controlyour LinkedIn platform.

You don’t even control your LinkedIn content.

Building your personal brand is your problem – not ours.

We suggest – as a minimum – you delete all information about our company from your profile. Your voluntary cooperation will help us defend XYZ Corp against cyberattacks. Everybody will be safer thanks to your cooperation.

If you don’t like our suggestion, you’re welcome to leave. Or just ignore it – that’s all up to you.

Or go retro!

Forget LinkedIn and invest in an old-school Rolodex.Order a land line from Verizon. Register your URL and build your own website.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Warmest regards,

Your Security Management Team

PS: Remember to update your Résumé!


Thank you for visiting!

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Resume Secrets – Will I burn in hell for what I just did in church?

Resume Secrets:

In 1991 – after 20+ years of Army service, engineering school, MBA, R&D, sales, and sales management – I decided to step out of corporate life and do my own thing.

I felt tired and cornered. Quietly suffocating while waiting for somebody to approve my next step up the ladder. More than anything, for better or worse, I wanted to take control of my own life. After a year of planning, dithering, and second-guessing, I jumped overboard. Things worked out.

I identified my #1 marketable talent (writing), graduated from Columbia’s Journalism School, and struck out on my own doing marketing communications, press releases, speeches, and B2B advertising for former customers in the electronics sector. In 2008, I added executive resumes to the mix.

During my final years in corporate America, I thought I hated sales. Wrong! Actually, all I wanted was to sell something of my own. I got my wish. Nowadays, I really do enjoy direct, face-to-face selling of my own services and information products. Maybe I enjoy it too much.


Every year at Christmas – sometimes twice in Xmas season – I watch the live performance of Handel’s Messiah, the longest-running production of Messiah in the USA (since 1770).

The best seats are only $100 and many high-end financial types occupy them – a very high-end clientele corralled into a small area – a perfect selling opportunity.

On the subway, enroute to the performance, a random sales impulse came over me. Could I pitch a resume in Trinity Church without getting thrown out? Jesus himself had evicted sellers from the temple – the only time he ever got physical – a one-way ticket to hell, so at least I’d have minimal competition, right?

By the time I entered the church, I had a cold-call script running in the back of my head. I showed up a little early, found my seat way up front, and just sat there like the spider and the fly.

Four people showed up in my section. I started a little discussion with the person to my left, which led to my asking, “What kind of work do you do?”

“Investment banking,” then his question to me: “What kind of work do you do?”

“I package people like you for boards and high-end recruiters”

“Really? What do you mean, ‘package’”?

“Oh, bios, resumes, websites, social media, personal branding … a whole menu of things” He took my card – what else could he do – barely a two-minute exchange. During the intermission, I buttonholed two more likely prospects – just enough to see what’s possible.

I don’t hold my breath waiting for sales like these to close – but sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised. When you are selling your own services, inappropriate cold calling is fun like sport fishing. Gets my adrenaline going!


I like having something of my own to sell. I like making money directly for what I do, and I especially love the validation of referrals from happy clients. But striking out on your own is not a great idea for everybody – you can just imagine the downside.

As a career coach, I meet many people who remind me of myself in 1991. Rebellion is brewing inside them, but they have no idea what they really want. I know what they want. They secretly want freedom and no amount of job changing or resume tweaking can help them, for example:

  • “I’m tired of working for big companies. I could make a much bigger impact at a small company.”
  • “I thought I wanted to work for small companies and start-ups, but to make a big impact, I need the resources of a big company.”

Are you suffocating? Suppose you’re only mid 40s – way too young for retirement, but feeling the heat from youngish whiz-kid sadists who enjoy torturing you? Why not explore the possibilities of personal freedom?

Or maybe you want to cut loose and make lots more money – I’ve met many prospective clients who tell me that.

Especially, if you’re approaching “retirement” and you do NOT want to retire – it makes little sense to jump into another job search. Explore your options for self employment.


Imagine this: If you’re 60, you’ve got at least another 10+ years ahead of you – a very long time to be stewing in a work situation that you cannot stand.

So if you’re feeling “career claustrophobia,” I hope you decide to break free in 2015. Who knows? Within a year or two, we might pitching each other in Trinity Church.

Happy New Year, and I wish you the very best of good luck in your search!

How Your Resume “X-FACTOR” Can Make You or Break You

I’m a huge fan of The X-Factor – the global music-talent competition – where four judges audition contestants and search for a mysterious “star” quality called “The X-Factor.” It transcends talent, looks, and personality. I’ve heard the judges say, “I don’t know what it is, but you’ve got it – you’ve got star power, the X-Factor!”

Do resumes have a secret X-Factor that can fling doors wide open?

During the past six years, I’ve browsed at least 2200 resumes. Last summer I audited all 2200 and discovered the following pattern, which reminded me of my favorite TV show:

  • About 80% of my samples are rated “average” – not horrible but not great – too weak to stop me in my tracks and force me to follow-up with a call. These will land in the “maybe” pile.
  • Another 15% are awful – sometimes hilariously bad – these go straight to the trash can.
  • But 5% of these resumes will easily pass a hiring manager’s “six-second scan.” How do they do it? That got me thinking, “Do certain resumes possess an unbeatable X-Factor?”

Your Resume Has a 4-Part X-Factor

I cherry-picked 100 of my very best samples from the “slush pile” of 2200 resumes. I tried to pinpoint the X-Factor, the single quality that every winner had in common. Although I could not pinpoint a lone, single factor, I do guarantee that your resume will win the interview if it can pass the following four tests:


1. EASY TO READ: The layout – especially section headings – must be well organized and easy to follow. Text must be simple, coherent, and not crowded like the small print on a phone bill. Here is an awful example from a CEO with a Ph.D in physics:

2. THE ALMIGHTY POWER OF “ONE”: Focus your resume on ONE target, one idea, one theme. A resume with multiple, conflicting ideas always fails – for example, an IT program manager who concurrently starts up a software company. Too many conflicting ideas on the resume – no “power of one” – so it fails the X-Factor.

3. SPOTLIGHT ON CUSTOMERS: A winning resume focuses the spotlight on results for clients, investors, and employers. When you hog the spotlight for yourself, you kill the X-Factor. Instead, show complete success stories that focus on your employers – this is unbeatable resume material.

4. “EMOTION”: Like a good advertisement, every unbeatable resume triggers an appropriate emotion in the reader. As the judges say, “I can’t describe it, but I can feel it – you’ve got the X-Factor!” – emotion, electricity, energy, sparks. This quality is difficult to describe and potentially fatal – that is probably why hardly anybody talks about it.

How to inject some positive energy and passion into your resume – without creating a monster!

Have you seen all or part of Frankenstein, an all-time classic movie from 1931? Dr. Frankenstein stole some dead body parts from the graveyard. Then he created a living man in his laboratory by channeling lightning into the dead flesh. What could possibly go wrong?

Your resume starts out like Frankenstein – just a collection of dead body parts – until you add an emotional spark. This 2-minute video shows how to inject some positive energy and passion into your resume – without creating a monster!

Here’s an Alternate Way To Bring Your Resume To Life

Just use the word “I” to introduce an energetic and passionate story that shows how you help employers and clients solve their worst problems. Here’s an example:

Do Deploy the Controversial “I” Word: It’s Like Injecting Your Resume With X-Factor Steroids

According to a conventional resume rule, you should never use pronouns, especially the pronoun “I.” But that rule will not last for long, because “I” is already recommended for your LinkedIn profile (and the LinkedIn profile is a harbinger of personal branding for your resume).

As a resume writer, I have no qualms about using any reasonable tactic – like the ones shown in the video – to inject some personality into a resume. But some of my own clients feel squeamish about taking calculated risks. In the early stages they say they want to stand out – they want better interviews – but later in the process, some of them retreat. It’s a very personal tradeoff. When clients tell me, “I’m not comfortable,” I tell them,”your only option is to stay stuck in your comfort zone – what’s more important to you?”


A job search is like an audition for “The X-Factor” TV show. Some candidates will get interviews and win the job because they applied all four elements of that mysterious X-Factor – including the uncomfortable emotion / passion aspects. Based on my own research, only 5% of your competitors are stirring up emotions that resonate with hiring managers.

But now that you’ve read this piece, you know more than 95% of your competitors. Now that you know what to do, just stimulate the right emotion in the reader. Without going overboard, inject some positive energy and passion into your resume – without creating a monster!

I wish you the very best of good luck in your search.

Thank you for visiting!

If these topics interest you, please connect with me on LinkedIn and or opt into my web site www.ExecutivePromotionsLLC.com



Click the Image – Below – to See VIDEO


“I can brand you in 3 minutes. You bet!”


Actually, discovering your personal brand is easy.

Consider this: everybody you know already knows your personal brand! The only person who does NOT know your personal brand is you, because you’re too close to it.

You can probably discover your personal brand in about 3 minutes – but validating your brand takes longer, maybe weeks.

This 7-minute video focuses on one thing – discovering your basic personal brand. I’ll show you how to identify the two halves of your personal brand.

FIRST, discover your own, natural, innate personality (aka your “archetype”).

SECOND, discover how people perceive you – what is your reputation? How is your brand perceived out there in the world?


Would it be useful to know what people are already thinking about you – your strengths and your flaws?

For example, Jeff Bezos says, “your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” WOW – wouldn’t it be great to know that? You could use that information to build on the good aspects of your personal brand and stand out in a good way.

When you stand out in a good way, you’ll land better jobs and projects. You’ll feel more confident about yourself – especially during interviews. If you get laid off, without you even realizing it, your strong personal brand will connect you with a new job – the right people will find you like magic – obviously you’ll connect more quickly than some anonymous slug who’s been hiding out in the weeds.

If you don’t know how you are perceived out in the world, you are walking around blindfolded. You can’t plan a winning strategy for your life, because you cannot see the landscape – you are blind.


  • STEP 1: Download a PDF that shows the complete set of archetypes:http://executivepromotionsllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/12_Brand_Archetypes.pdf

  • Read the description of each archetype and then pick the one that sounds closest to you.

  • STEP 2: Validation – test your archetype against some real-world feedback. You’ll sign up for a free “360-degree” survey and get anonymous feedback from 20 (or more) people who know you.

  • STEP 3: Reconciliation – If the archetype you picked conflicts with the feedback from the 360-degree survey, then you probably picked the wrong archetype and it’s back to the drawing board.

These 12 archetypes were created about 100 years ago by Dr. Carl Jung, a Nobel prize winning psychiatrist and protégé of Freud (examples shown below are mine). Maybe you never heard of Jung’s archetypes, but I guarantee that you’ve seen advertising from top companies that are based on them. The world’s top companies use Jung’s system to sell soap, beer, cars, cigarettes, lingerie – everything – billions of dollars from a theory first devised in 1909!

For example, the chart below maps 3 of Jung’s archetypes – Outlaw, Magician, and Hero – to 26 commercial brands. I am amazed that Jung’s theory – still evolving over 100 years – drives so much of today’s advertising. My point here is that Jung’s archetypes are time tested, hugely effective, and a great starting point for your own personal brand.


In this example, assume you picked “Magician” as your brand archetype. Okay, great – but that does not rule out your personal compatibility with other archetypes – for example, maybe you resonate with “Outlaw” and “Explorer” as well as Magician. No problem! Most people share that experience. Just pick one for now, and then check your choice against the feedback on your 360-degree survey.


Do you every wonder what peers and bosses say about you when you are not in the room? Would like the experience of being a “fly on the wall” in a secret meeting where people are talking about you? That is actually possible to do – for free!

  • 360 Reach Basic – for career advancement / job searchReach (“What do people think of you?”) www.reachcc.com

  • Visit “360 Reach” and sign up for their free option. Just follow the instructions. Submit names and emails for as many contacts as possible. For all my clients – including resume clients – I highly recommend doing this self survey:


Assume your archetype was validated by the “popular opinion.” of people who know you. Yes! In other words, your feedback validated the brand archetype you picked out for yourself. Great! You’re on your way. A lot more to do, but you’ve discovered your basic personal brand.

BTW, we just “reverse engineered” your brand – so now that you’ve discovered your brand, your archetype, you must research that archetype and find out what it means. Your best resource here is “The Hero and The Outlaw,” by Margaret Mark & Carol S. Pearson – a famous book on branding and archetypes.

Suppose Your Archetype Was Not Validated? Uh Oh!
My Personal Branding Story

I’m no Einstein. But my early career was electrical engineering – I even started a Ph.D track in EE, up to my eyeballs in “guided waves and beams.” Naturally, I identified with the “Sage” archetype. Something like “Sage” used to be my self concept – a studious engineer – but the feedback from my 360I-survey overwhelmingly branded me as a “Jester,” a comedian, etc.

I was about 60 years old at the time, and I could not imagine how anybody would classify me as a “comedian.” But within a week, I realized their feedback was correct. I’d forgotten that I was kicked out of engineering and guided into sales and marketing – over 30 years ago – just forgot about that. Inappropriate humor is a lifelong specialty of mine even in grammar school – acting up in the schoolyard and making the nuns CRAZY! Forgot all that, too.

So you might be ready for a pleasant shock when you finally discover your personal brand. Absolutely, I would rather live my life as a Jester instead of a drone … ughhh, excuse me … I mean … “Sage”


Start by trying the basic version of “Branding Express” – do-it-yourself, 100% free.

If you like what I’m doing, I do hope you’ll engage me and take your personal brand to the next level, which includes an in-depth, recruiter-style interview and updating of your LinkedIn, resume, and social-media profiles.


I am a master packager of business and technical talent. I sell with words in any medium – print, video, online – and my top talent is making you look irresistible to recruiters and hiring managers.

If you are great at what you do – yet your phone isn’t ringing – let me help you fix that. I’ll apply nearly 30+ years of experience – corporate sales, journalism, advertising, and direct-response copywriting – to your resume, LinkedIn profile, and personal brand.

I promise I’ll infuse your story with confidence, creativity, humor, and truth – without ever exaggerating (as my motto says, “Truths Well Told”).


To see future updates to Branding Express – or news about “The Mind Control Profile,” my forthcoming book – please enter name and email on my website (or just connect here on LinkedIn).

If these topics interest you, please connect right here on LinkedIn or visit my website and enter your name/email:www.ExecutivePromotionsLLC.com

I sincerely wish you the most successful year of your career in 2015!


How to Discover Your Dream Job – While You’re Sleeping!


How to discover your ideal job – while you’re sleeping!

This amazing little book shows you how. When used correctly, it spins out ideas – again and again!

Download a free PDF (Internet) or buy $2.29 Kindle.

The top secrets here = pesistence and belief

Only 25 pages in big print, “Ideas” was first published in 1940 by a famous advertising guru who obsessed about creativity and fresh ideas (especially for taglines & headlines).

Then scientists & engineers “stole” his technique – I discovered “Ideas” in engineering school.

In my experience – working with 1200 + talented technical professionals & executives – the #1 obstacle to a successful transition is “NO CLARITY about your target for next job or career.

In other words, talented people get stuck because THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY WANT, or they’re afraid to think  about it. The answers are already locked up inside your head, and this book shows you how to unlock them.



COCAINE, VEGAS, AND 3-WAY WHATEVER – How Did That Get on Your Resume?



Have you been following the financial news lately?

It’s hard to avoid a recent torrent of stories about Sage Kelly, a top investment banker on Wall Street – a real-life “Wolf of Wall Street” – accused by his estranged wife of using illegal drugs, abusing his kids, and organizing wild Vegas orgies.

Sage Kelly’s ex-wife also implicated some of his top bosses and clients in the drugs and orgies. She even implicated herself – a nasty divorce, a wild, sordid tale that rings true on Wall Street.


We live in an age of extreme skepticism. Stories like Sage Kelly and Bernie Madoff – or corruption stories involving the government itself – all feed into the pervasive, unspoken fears about hiring anybody.

Rationally, employers know you are okay – but they cannot shake the 1% chance that you are a ticking time bomb, or maybe a skillful liar.

According to Business Insider (7 August 2014): “A new survey from CareerBuilder among 2,188 human resources professionals found that more and more people are lying on their resumes today … a whopping 58% of hiring managers have caught job applicants being dishonest on their resumes, and one-third (33%) of these employers said they’ve seen an increase in embellishments since the recession.”


In my personal experience, I am astonished at the wide-eyed naiveté of people who blithely assume that recruiters and interviewers accept their resumes, stories, and interviews as gospel truth. The probability is that you are lying about something, and they must dig it out now or face embarrassment later. If you are reading this, I know you were not present at those wild orgies in Las Vegas (or were you?) Whether true or false, those stories poison the well for everybody.


• “Forewarned is Forearmed,” an ancient Latin phrase: 80% of your battle is simple awareness. Check your resume with fresh eyes, and assume that anybody who reads your resume is highly skeptical of you.

• The Truth Will Set Your Free: Be transparent. Tell your full story – explain gaps and show the full arc of your career, including the dates. Don’t worry about your age – it’s all over the internet anyway and anybody can Google all your personal info in less than a minute.

• Do not exaggerate, but never be afraid to aggressively assert your true accomplishments. In my experience, I meet very few of the 58% who lie on their resumes. Most of my clients err in the other direction – sometimes they play down the truth because they fear sounding like braggarts. That’s no good, either! Your goal is to stand out in a truthful way. As the Bible says, “do not hide your light under a bushel!”

Meanwhile, I wish you the very best of good luck in your search!