Tag Archives: Executive Coaching

How To Make Your Résumé For Applicant-Tracking Systems

Asian Woman

“Many job seekers have long suspected their online employment applications disappear into a black hole, never to be seen again. Their fears may not be far off the mark, as more companies rely on technology to winnow out less-qualified candidates.”  This quote is from the WSJ article: “Your Résumé vs. Oblivion”  where the author explains how recruiters and hiring managers deal with your resume when you send it via email or upload it on a job board, company’s career websites or Linkedin. In the age of electronics and downsized organizations, companies are overwhelmed by the number of resumes they receive from job applicants so they will first scan your document into a database and a software will screen the resume for specific key words.

Guidelines for making electronic resumes:

Scanned resumes are first translated in ASCII format, a very simplified way of looking at alphanumeric characters without formatting such as bolding, italics and underlines. If you’re submitting a paper resume to a company and you think the resume is going to be scanned into an electronic resume, then you need to make sure the scanning process understands what you’ve written. Remember, the database is going to convert the resume into a simple ASCII format.

Tips for writing your electronic resume:

Make sure your name is the only thing that appears on the first line of the document.

  • Remove any graphics or artwork on your resume including shading, vertical and horizontal lines.
  • Bulleted items can confuse scanners, so convert them to simple hyphens or asterisks.
  • Move all text to the left margin. Tabs, tables and centered text can sometimes confuse the scanning software.
  • Restrict your use of fonts to Times New Roman, Arial or Helvetica.
  • Use only one font size, preferably between 10 and 14 points.
  • Remove all underlining, bolding and italics.
  • Use 8.5″ x 11″ paper that is white with black ink and print your resume only on one side of the paper. This will improve the contrast of your  text and help the scanner to read your resume.
  • If possible, do not fold or staple your resume. That means mailing the resume in 9″x 12″ envelope.

Please note that the above recommendations are for US standards. In many other countries, the format is metric and paper size is A4 . If you don’t know where your resume will be scanned, ask the recruiter who posted the job.

Keywords in Electronic Resumes 

If you want to make it through the screening and ranking process, then you need to make sure you have the right keywords or key phrases in the body of your electronic resume. Resume keywords are simply the nouns and adjectives that are relevant to the position to which you’re applying. That means the choosing of keywords for your resume requires a thoughtful process.

Mailing Resumes: 

When submitting a resume by email or through mail it’s advisable to send two copies.  One copy can be the simple format the human resources department can efficiently and accurately scan into the electronic resume database. The second can be the elegantly designed resume that uses bolding and italics to highlight the job titles and keywords the writer wants to emphasize.

 Conclusion: While it is important to adapt your resume format to applicant-tracking software, the single best method of getting a job remains a referral from a company employee.

Related articles:  


References :

  • Guidelines for Preparing Electronic Resumes by UCLA 
  • Electronic Resumes by Money-Zine


Top Five Regrets of the Dying, Grief and Loss – AARP

All men die, but not all men really live~William Wallace

This is a very serious subject and  I would like you to think about it. Do you really live the life you want? Are your compromising your dreams to meet someone ‘else agenda. Do you think you had no choice so you live a life you do not enjoy fully?  Do you simply take time to explore your dreams before you are too old or too sick to make them true ?

Bronnie Ware worked for many years in palliative care. Her  patients were those who had gone home to die. On their dying bed, when questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, five common themes surfaced.  I am going to list those top 5 regrets and put some personal comments for you to think about it

 1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. It’s important to try to honor at least some of your dreams along the way. It’s too late once you lose your health. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

For years I have kept a journal where I write my dreams, small or big, without checking if they are feasible or not. This exercise helps you being conscious of what you passionately want, I check it regularly and add new ones but I am always amaze to see I have achieved some of my dreams almost effortlessly as they were in my mind when choices had to be made.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.  We sacrifice our Youth, Health, Time and Love for money and other materialistic things yet those most precious things cannot be bought with money. By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do.

 3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Being able to recognize and express your negative emotions such as anger, resentment,  frustration and communicate  your worries and doubts safely with friends or family members is certainly helping reducing stress. Chronic (long-term) stress caused by stressful situations or events that last over a long period of time can trigger health problems. If you already have a health problem, stress can make it worse.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Being part of a community, helping others having a cause you stand for all this make your life richer, giving has healing power when it is done unconditionally.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. Guilt is often the emotion that prevent you from being truly happy. Be incredibly selfish, have your own needs met first because you cannot really help others if you feel miserable, you cannot truly love if you do not love yourself.

To read more about this article Top Five Regrets of the Dying, Grief and Loss – AARP 

Hope that sharing this article with you will help you to never have regrets 

How To Increase Your Likability By Guy Kawasaki: Enchantment Infographic

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions is Guy’s tenth book. In it, he explains how to influence what people will do while maintaining the highest standards of ethics. The book explains when and why enchantment is necessary and then the pillars of enchantment:  LikabilityTrustworthiness, Great Cause.

Enchantment - Increase Likability
If you want to change the world — or even part of the world, this book is for you. To interact with the Enchantment community, go to the Enchantment Facebook page

Source: http://www.guykawasaki.com/enchantment/

Getting A Balanced Life in Only Two Steps

Sand Clock...

Many of you made your New Year Resolutions with enthusiasm, thinking this New Year will be different, that you will quit bad habits, lose weight, exercise, attend a language class or whatever, But did you really think deeply if this is what YOU want ? Do you want to please others ? Do you spend time on somebody else’s agenda ? Do you have the motivation, discipline time and other resources to achieve your goals ? I guess you may have chosen your usual new year resolutions without thinking as a whole person, with finite resources such as time, money and specific support.

In 2012, do you want to simplify your life and implement processes or habits that last more than a couple of weeks after New Year? Here are two simple steps you can take that will give you guidance and makes you spending your efforts on activities that really matters to you.:

Step One: Identify Your Priorities:

Identify your current level of satisfaction for each area in the wheel and connect the dots. Then think about things you really want to improve and develop. Please note that a balanced life does not require that you dedicate equal amounts of time to each little piece of your life. Balance is about taking care of all of you and all of what is important to you. That means that you must make time to invest in your self-care, define what matters to you, and allow yourself to be busy with those activities. Once you selected the categories you want to develop, Think about what a 7 a (Satisfied/Fulfilled) would look like for each one you selected ex. Fitness: enjoy going to the pool once a week and indoor biking 1 hour. Be specific, realistic, make sure you have time and energy or other resources like money or partner. Avoid the “should” or the “have to”. Then select only 3 goals to focus on with actions to reach a 7 in your top priorities (you can have multiple goals in one area).

Step Two : Managing your Resource of Time

The process of using your time effectively becomes possible when you begin to view it as a commodity that you have the choice to spend—or invest. When you invest, you essentially allocate your resources to something you believe will give you a positive return.

Do you view your time with as much consideration as you view your money?

I would bet that you would not burn a dollar bill. Yet, you may be willing to burn through an hour of your time based on someone else’s demands. You need a system connecting your priorities and managing your calendar. There is an excellent method developed by Steven Covey in his book : “First Things First ” See bellow his tool to classify your weekly TO DO list before planning time in your calendar. The idea it to focus on the important things that contribute the most to reaching your goals (Quadrant II) implementing processes and habits to anticipate the urgent and Important (Quadrant I) such as having an automatic bill payment system online for example. You also need to reduce time spent on non important things or quit bad habits that are wasting your time.

If you decide to quit a bad habit, always compensate by an activity you really enjoy that gives you more rewards and fun than the bad behavior.

For example replacing what I call “Pavlovian Tweeting or Facebooking ” by meeting friends outside for hiking or walking. This woks for me, It is fun, good for my health and great to meet new people in my neighborhood.

IF you really want to get the LIFE you enjoy and deserve without the struggle, start working today on identifying your priorities and select your 3 most important goals, make an action plan for each and decide how much time to allocate for each activities on a weekly basis.

If you need some clarification how to use those tools or help you set your goals, please do not hesitate to contact me for a FREE, no obligation, REAL coaching Session:Click HERE

Guess What Posts Were Most Read In 2011 ?

If you have a blog:

  1. What were your 11 most read posts in 2011 ? See table 
  2. Do you think those most read posts reflect your expertise or interests? I think I do 
  3. Do you write for your audience or for yourself first and then see what sticks ? Both
  4. Do you have a content strategy ? Yes but need more interactive content

Please share your own comments 

Here my top 11 Most Read Posts in 2011(click on the link to read the article)

5 Tips on How to Connect With People You Don’t Know (Part II)
Stay-At-Home Dads: A Recession Effect or Positive Choice?
Cross-Cultural Non Verbal Communication
Expat Life: Returning Home and the Grief Cycle
Social Media Usage Across Cultures
Desperate Ex-Career Expat Wives: Do Not Patronize Them!
Klout Score: Content Is Key !
How to Develop Cultural Intelligence? Intercultural Dimensions
What Leaders Can Learn From Japan’s Earthquake ?
How Is Expatriate ROI Defined In Global Companies ?
Does Raising Bilingual Children Make Them Smarter ?

Most Commented

Desperate Ex-Career Expat Wives: Do Not Patronize Them!
Lady Gaga: Are Leaders Born That Way ?
Klout Score: Content Is Key !
What Can We Learn About American Culture From Captain America ?
The Secret Powers of Time and Cultural Differences
3 Sure Ways To Never Be Happy
Resilience During Disasters: Are Expats Better Prepared ?
Is It The End Of Expat Executives ?
How to Manage Anger, It Can Be Very Positive And Incredibly Destructive
Do You Work Too Hard ? Some Cultural Perspectives
Social Media Usage Across Cultures                   

Why don’t you make a similar compilation in your blog and post the link here in the comment section? It is shameless promotion for your blog and we can cross-post feedback about the posts-thank you,


3 Good Reasons For Not Hiring An Executive Coach.

Executive coaching had bad rap for years when having a coach was considered as the first step toward the exit of the company. Today it is considered as a privilege to have an executive coach and many successful executives have a coach helping them being aware of their behaviors and impact on their interpersonal communication for constantly inspire others and deliver great results.

However there are certain situations when hiring a coach is only delaying the inevitable, terminating the executive.

Here the 3 main reasons for NOT hiring  an executive coach:

1- The executive is not a role model. In my previous post I talk about how leaders must be able to influence others by walking their talking and being who they truly are to inspire followers . Some personalities simply cannot fit in the leadership functions or with such a huge energy that it is the recipe for failure. Nobody can change a person  into someone she is not. Being the best player in a team doesn’t make you the best leader of the team.

2-Drastic changes in the economic environment. Successful executives during economic growth periods know how to constantly innovate, improve processes, make strategic alliances and acquisitions, watch the competition,  anticipate for potential disruptive technologies, adjust goals and strategy to keep a competitive edge and make sure not to become obsolete. However when the economy is slowing down and businesses are declining some leaders cannot evolve.  An executive coach is not a consultant even if this person has great technical knowledge, the coach do not have the answers and  cannot be an extra brain to compensate lack of strategic thinking or vision so hiring an executive coach won’t solve the problems.

3-Lack of Integrity and misconduct. When the reputation of the company is at stake because of an executive misconduct such as sexual harassment for example. It is typically the kind of crisis when PR and HR  departments together with the general counsel must react quickly and appropriately. This is beyond the competences of an executive coach.

Executives and Coaches, Please share your coaching stories: The good, the bad and the ugly 


Have you Ever Work With A Professional Coach ?

Was It Fun and Effective ?

If you answer NO, Maybe it is time to work with a TRUE  professional coach:




More reading: Who Needs An Executive Coach? – Forbes.com.

Lady Gaga: Are Leaders Born That Way ?

Can we compare Lady Gaga with Mahatma Gandhi ?

Greatest leaders of all time do share common traits and one of the most important one is to be able to influence and inspire crowds by standing on their unique and often revolutionary vision,  sharing strong personal values and be who they truly are, as they were born that way.

Jamie Anderson, Professor of Strategic Management at Antwerp Management School in Belgium argues in a recent speech on TED named ” Mahatma Gaga”  that.Lady Gaga is a great leader as she is able to influence millions of people around the world to follow her on social media or listen to her unconventional messages she share in her shows, videos and dressing with outrageous and provocative outfits.  Some argue that it is even more difficult to lead on social media than is the traditional leadership in work settings.

  • Do You Believe That Leaders are Born or Made ?

That is a classic question but as an executive coach I agree with Jamie Anderson that leaders are born that way, although I think you need to nurture and develop your innate leadership skills. I have coached many clients with various cultural backgrounds and I have concluded that leaders share some personality traits such as emotional intelligence while other people are more comfortable being followers. Nothing good or bad in both roles, but people should know their natural style and cultivate their talent and develop their strengths not try to be someone they are not.

  •  What Makes an Influencer a Leader  ?

    • Influencing people by being you:Gandhi said, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”  In other word be who you are and deliver a clear message that followers, fans, friends, customers can identify with. Lady Gaga assures her fans that it is OK to be an odd “freak” and different. This is a comforting message for most teenagers, young Gen Y adults and even baby boomers who are out of job and hopeless.
    • Make it personal:  Lady Gaga admitted she was bullied when she was a teenager. A sad statistic shows that 77% of kids in America have been bullied.  No  wonder why Gaga is a true role model for teenagers. Steve jobs too has been rejected many times. From the beginning of his life Jobs was rejected by his birth parents and adopted. Jobs was booted out of the company that he built, He said  “I had been rejected, but I was still in love, so, I decided to start over”, in a speech of Steve Jobs, entitled, “You’ve Got To Find What You Love” at the 2005 Stanford University commencement exercises. Most of Apple’ products initially appealed to iconoclasts or  maverick designers.

Be yourself no matter what they say -Sting

    • Walk your talk : People stop believing and following leaders who do differently than what they say.
      GaGa said in a new interview with Rolling Stone magazine: “When I wake up in the morning, I feel just like any other insecure 24-year-old girl,”, “Then I say, ‘Bitch, you’re Lady Gaga, you get up and walk the walk today’.”GaGa says her number one priority is her fans. And she continues by saying : I don’t even drink water onstage in front of anybody, because I want them to focus on the fantasy of the music.” 

 Lady Gaga on Twitter :  Please everyone, take a moment to watch this. This is why I work so hard, this is why its wrong to hate: http://bit.ly/sEHt34

GaGa is so influential in today’s pop culture, society and teens  that the University of South Carolina developed a course based on her influences. The course, “Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame” depicts the unraveling of Lady Gaga’s music, fashion, videos and artistic actions and their sociologically significant dimensions.

Lady Gaga, Born That Way

Do You Believe Leaders Are Born That Way ? 

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