Take Insecurity OFF your resume


You’ve spent the last few months or longer sending out resumes to companies with job openings listed online. Maybe you lost count of exactly how many because you are at your wit’s end, you’ve sent out that many.


Nothing happens.


No corporate postcard confirming your resume receipt and how long your resume will stay on file.  No email saying you are being or not being considered for the role.  No phone calls requesting an interviewing.




Now you are feeling rejected.  You might be wondering why these companies don’t have the courtesy of sending you the standard little postcard?  Is your resume that bad that it doesn’t warrant some communication back?  Anything?


Now you are feeling not only deflated by the lack of response, you are beginning to think about your resume and how ineffective it is.  What’s it lacking?  You then call your friend, the one who’s getting all the interviews and ask to view their resume. 


Now you sit, reading your friend’s resume and yours side by side to compare.  YOU compare education, job titles, accomplishments, length of time at companies….. soon you begin to spiral into deep self doubt because your friends resume seems to have so much more. 


Your friend has an MBA, loads of work history…. Fabulous accomplishments… a bunch of things you don’t have…. So you begin to focus on what you don’t have…. And feel insecure about it.


Insecurity has “officially” set in, when your phone rings.  It’s one of those companies you applied to calling to pre-screen your background and career objectives.  But you are now in self doubt mode and it might just come across during that important call. 


If you feel this happening to you DON’T.  Feel confident in YOUR own abilities.  If you are applying to companies and they aren’t responding chances are that it’s nothing other than the response companies receive it huge.  Think of the postage costs to send EVERYONE who applies a postcard these days. 


YOU need to take action on your own.  Don’t assume that someone is reading your resume when you send it in online.  Network your way in by finding someone in your circle that works for that company. 


If you don’t know anyone at that company, ask around.  I have a former colleague that is brilliant at sending out emails to people in his network asking for referrals.  He’s in marketing and good with wording this request but his call to action always prompts me to respond with contacts.   It’s no surprise that he manages to find employment pretty fast when he’s on the job hunt.


Often times we let self doubt take over when we are comparing ourselves to others.  It’s easy to get caught up in not having an MBA or management on your resume especially when you start to compare yourself to another job seeker, but keep in mind that YOU ARE employable.   Don’t focus on what YOU believe you lack, but rather what traits and experiences YOU DO HAVE. 


If you are feeling yourself spiral downwards, get help. Seriously, it might be time to hire a career coach, one that specializes in job search strategy and can help you find that confidence.  It’s not easy doing this alone and there is a time when finding an expert may be a good alternative.  I know that it may not be the best time to invest in this service when you are unemployed, but if you get the results you are looking for, it could be well worth a few one on one sessions.




There are a lot of great resources online.  If you are reading this blog, then you must be web 2.0 / social media savvy.  I like to read:






Each of these has a variety of services to help job seekers find jobs.  Some offer paid services (which you might NEED right now) but more importantly they all have a wealth of FREE resources you should be looking into. 


If you are running out of job leads, join a face to face networking group that can help you to brainstorming idea. 


In this internet age, there is a plethora of resources to find job/company leads so running out isn’t an option, changing YOUR course is.  Reach out to friends, family and network for leads.  More than likely getting the word out will help tremendously and produce some results. 


I’ve had my fair share of rejection.  Letting it control your fate does not work.  If YOU let insecurity control you, it will.  Have confidence in YOURSELF.  If YOU don’t believe in YOU, how can anyone else? 


Are you ready to ADD self confident to your resume?


September 28, 2009 at 3:28 pm 1 comment

Dog Park Job Leads

dog park

If you think you’ve exhausted all possible networking angles to find a job, think again.  There are always creative ways to find more and I’ll share with you my out of the box ideas….

If you’ve read any of my earlier posts, you know that I’m the “new kid in town”.  It’s rough not knowing anyone yet, but sitting at home moaning about it won’t find me my new BFF!  Getting out there can be difficult, especially if you are having feelings of insecurity about your job or income loss.   But sitting at home alone will get you nowhere fast.

Here’s what I’m doing:

Dog Park:   Go there during after or before work hours – AND bring a dog.  You can borrow mine if you’d like 😉  You will be amazed at how many people go there after work to run their dogs.  I’ve found most dog people are open to chatter.  Compliment other dogs and build rapport.  It can easily turn into finding out where the owner works and what they do there.  Before you know it, you may have just met your potential hiring manager or foot in the door to a target company!   But beware, first impressions are everything.  Don’t over do it with attire, it’s a dog park after all, but do look presentable.  It is also important to have good rapport building skills otherwise any approach you take will be in affective.

* * IMPORTANT to NOTE again:  Make sure you bring a dog or you may come across creepy * *

Racket Ball:  I’m still trying to find someone to teach me how to play this sport. If you are reading this and live in Folsom, let me know if you can help me out J   I see so many professionals work off their business frustrations with a good game of Racket Ball and I’d like to join in.  What a great place to network!!!!  If you are good with a sport, join in.  Again, you have to be strategic if your end goal is to meet professionals.  I find there are certain times of the day when more corporate based folks play. 

Weight Watchers:  Okay this is another place to tread lightly, but there are many companies that will help out their employees with a Weight Watchers membership.  Again, tread lightly when networking at these meetings.  They are designed for busy people to get healthier so going to just one evening meeting to network won’t work.  Going weekly may help you drop a few lbs AND meet other busy people who happen to be employed as well.    Build rapport but be respectful.  These aren’t places to network, but if you play your cards right there will be networking opportunities that come about.  When they start talking about over eating, simply raise your hand and talk about your job hunt.  Someone may even approach you after the meeting to say that they are hiring!!!

Craigslist:  This is a great way to sell things that you aren’t using, make a little extra money and meet people!   Before we moved from Santa Cruz and now that we are in Folsom, I have sold items to folks working at such companies as:  Plantronics, Seagate, Cisco, Apple, Stubhub and Intel just to drop a few corporate names of my shoppers.   It’s amazing how many professionals are choosing a greener way to buy via Craigslist.  All you need is good rapport building skills and you’re off to cleaning out your garage, making a few extra dollars and growing your professional network!

Coffee Shop:  Okay, you might be unemployed but look busy!  Maybe you bring your laptop to the local coffee shop and use their wifi to job hunt.  And remember to be nice to the barista’s, making good impressions are so important!  If you choose a coffee shop close to a target company, you never who you might meet that could help you get your feet in the door.  As always, good rapport building skills are absolutely imperative to success, otherwise you might come across as odd.

OPEN HOUSES:  This can be a fun one.  Go to open houses and network with Real Estate agents.  Most agents are pretty friendly and have a lot of contacts.  You might meet other fellow open house people that are in the market to buy and you know if they are in the market to buy, they have jobs!     Again, building an initial line of communication with the host is imperative.  Maybe you ask them about the market, what they are seeing in the way of buyers, etc. to start off.  You’ll know right away whether they are open for a lengthy discussion.  Since good realtors know the value of networking you might just meet people who you can “who do you know” in the future.

I take advantage of any and all social settings to network.  You never know who you might meet.  The most important thing is to get your rapport building skills in hand.  It’s easy to over do it, so be careful how you approach people.  If you are an introvert, bring a socially friendly person with you to help break the ice or give you training.  This is a new skill to master but in this market, it’s an important one to learn.

Want to meet me at the dog park?  I have a new BFF opening that I’m recruiting for…..

September 17, 2009 at 7:53 pm Leave a comment

Life’s what you make it… so make it Resort style!

empire ranch golf course 012

Earlier this year I joined the ranks of all the cool hip people and lost my job.

And it wasn’t just me, but a whole bunch of other people I worked with lost theirs as well. Corporate downsizing shut the doors to quite a few local branch offices and management did consolidation. Sound familiar?

This sudden loss caused a flurry of other life changes like selling our house and moving out of town. Amazed at how quickly our house sold but leaving us no time to figure out where exactly to land next.

How many of you are finding yourself in a similar situation? Maybe it’s not exactly the same, but you are finding yourself making decisions that weren’t even in your frame of consciousness last year? How are you coping? What strategies have been most effective?

And that leads me to a golf course in Folsom, CA.

Making changes isn’t an easy job, but in the long run it’s necessary to get you further in this game. Whether it’s making changes to your resume, job hunt strategy or in my case logistics it is necessary sometimes to get you ahead so embrace it. Change is now your friend.

As a recruiter I have talked with so many job seekers in my career. The best ones are usually the ones that understand how to appropriately position themselves for success. They understand the importance of “change”.

Whether it’s tweaking their resume for each job they are applying to or changing their candidate positioning it takes the ability to change to some degree. By qualifying an opportunity first the successful job hunter can really focus on their strengths for the role.

If your job search isn’t producing the kind of results you are looking for, it’s time to change it up. Not all job search strategies will work in this market!   If you are getting nowhere in your hunt, think of new ways to change it up a bit. Sometimes making the littlest changes can produce the greatest and sometimes unexpected results.

Embrace change.

After selling our house, we decided to move to the Sacramento Foothills while we search for our perfect new house, community and landing spot. As if by fate, we ended up leasing a home on the Empire Ranch golf course – on the lucky 13th hole!

Now every morning I walk my dog to drop my daughter off at an amazing Award Winning Blue Ribbon school.  I can’t help but feel like I’m living in a resort. The landscaping at Empire Ranch reminds me of a resort I stayed at in Hawaii years ago, everything is so well maintained and everyone in our neighborhood is super friendly. It’s actually quite wonderful…. …. And who would have thought all this would happen in a matter of months due to change?

Now, what will change bring you?

September 8, 2009 at 7:33 pm 2 comments

Breaking up is hard to do

SF Zoo 008

Breaking up is hard to do

Losing your job is not only a financial hardship, but it takes a toll on your personal well being and can offer up feelings of inadequacies.  Even if you just quit that stressful job it can take a toll on how you feel about yourself.  It’s like a death and you need time to grieve.

Your loss is not just around your paycheck. You can’t stop thinking of the time you spent helping the company over achieve it’s revenue quota or streamlining it’s processes.  You gave the company years of your life and made sacrifices for it’s success.   Most of us put not only a full work week, but we put our hearts and soul into our employer.  Having had a nasty boss doesn’t even ease the pain of loss we feel.

It’s difficult breaking up. 

But in the end, the break up is really a new opportunity setting itself up to emerge.  After all if you worked for the same employer for the last 10 years, your loyalty might have kept you away from a new career opportunity.

Put this into perspective when you think about your pink slip and the rejection your feeling, “it’s not personal, it’s just business.”  It’s easy to take a look at the smuck your company kept and wonder why they laid you off.  But in reality, it more than likely had nothing to do with YOU at all.  Companies are cutting back on payroll, sometimes letting go the top worker who has over achieved so much over the years that their salaries are higher. 

Now more than ever talented people are affected by corporate downsizing.  Gifted professionals are unemployed job seekers and if you are in that club, know it has nothing to do with your abilities and everything to do with the times.  You are not alone and joblessness doesn’t make you any less than a brilliant worker.

Put together a good solid network to offer you support.  If you are feeling down, get someone to pump you up. You will present yourself better to a perspective employer.  As tough as it is stay upbeat.  Think  of creative ways to keep the job leads coming and don’t lose sight of your end goals. 

…….. which leads me to my current break up story:

MOVING away from my home town of Santa Cruz, California.

It’s for all the right reasons but it’s still difficult.  Saying goodbye always is.   It’s stressful, full of tears but ultimately in the end it brings new opportunities that wouldn’t exist otherwise.

Breaking up is hard to do, but remember good things will come.  Trust me on this one.

August 6, 2009 at 10:02 pm 1 comment

It ain’t over till the fat lady sings….

Jacksons 3rd birthday pirate party 132

It’s been at least a few weeks since my last blog post.   Between throwing a Pirate Party for my little guy, work stuff and having our house on the market – it’s been a particularly hectic few weeks.  

The exciting thing is that we are moving!!!!   More details to come as they develop but it’s one big gigantic adventure. 

How’s your life going this summer?  Is it also a gigantic adventure or do you feel stuck in your present situation? 

Whether it’s your job search, job or home are you choosing to take control or are you letting circumstances take the wheel?  

Sometimes making small changes can lead to big outcomes.  For instance, if you find yourself getting a lot of interviews but no job offers, ask yourself why?  It could be time to hire a career coach to go over what might be costing you the job.   An objective professional can guide you to the success you seek.

If you are finding that you are hunting for jobs and not getting interviews, ask yourself if there is anything that you aren’t doing that could affect your chances.  In talking with many e job seekers, I find that many folks have a difficult time “networking” their way into roles and companies.  They also find it difficult to create a “target” list of companies.  Again, finding a good networking coach or career strategist can help empower you to different results.

Feeling “stuck” is not only a frustrating feeling but it can negatively affect your results.  You can look at many situations in different viewpoints.  Letting your situation take control doesn’t always help with the outcome you’d like.  Feeling out of control shouldn’t be in your “action” plan. 

As far as my own situation is concerned, it’s exciting!!!  Neither my husband nor I know “exactly” where we are moving next, but have an action plan in place and are looking with wide eyes and excitement. 

Item number one on the action plan was to sell our house.  Barring any unforeseen roadblocks, we can now check “sell house” off the list and move to item number two: find a new house

Where, you wonder?  We don’t know yet but we’ll figure that one out in due time.  It was an obstacle in this housing market to have not just one but several offers come in.   Now we can concentrate on the fun part…. home hunting

So how about we bring your fat lady out to sing?  I hear she has a grand voice 😉 Be open, but take control.

June 14, 2009 at 7:05 pm Leave a comment

Effectively Network in your Underwear

 new do self port 019

It sounds like everyone’s worse nightmare…. You go to the office and suddenly realize you’re just wearing underpants, or worse nothing at all. I think we’ve all had that dream, am I right?

BUT, in reality it doesn’t really matter how you’re dressed to affectively present yourself in the BEST positive light. From the comfort of your home (wearing whatever), simply get involved and BRAND yourself as the expert that you WANT to be.
Here’s how I roll in my knickers:
With my recently updated profile I am branding myself as a professional recruiter, web 2.0 maven and blogger. By getting involved in the LinkedIn discussions groups that are geared toward my future career goals I am proactively building and adding to my professional network. I’m not done there with Q&A as my next stop on the cyber train. Taking it a step further will hopefully include endorsements to add to my credibility. You can keep up with my professional progress on LinkedIn by checking me out on my LinkedIn here: – and hey, let’s connect direct!

Reconnect with all those old friends from High School, old friends and even some foe. If you are like me, many of your friends are in the working world now and would love to catch-up. You’d be surprised where this site will take you so keep an open mind. Facebook is a growing in number of users and groups so there is always a wealth of opportunity to cyber network for those savvy enough.

Some of the Facebook groups are geared toward knowledge sharing while others post job openings , event info and other great knowledge. It’s a great place to find people outside of your LinkedIn network and have web 2.0 conversations.  Add me as your friend here and remember DON’T post those photos of you in your underwear.

There is nothing like a “little” chit chat here and there. I love having mini dialogues with professionals in my network. It’s quick, it’s easy and I can do it anywhere now with the Twitter mobile app. I am constantly amazed at the wealth of information shared on Twitter. If you haven’t been able to figure out how to make it effective, let’s connect here – give it a chance before discounting it as a generational thing. After all, Oprah & Martha Stewart are doing it…

Blog Comments & Discussions:
What’s a blog without comments? Really, it just becomes another publication. Blogging is all about conversations, commentary and creating discussions. Sign up for your favorite blogs and leave replies. Even if it’s just to say “good job” or add to the post, comment! Bloggers appreciate knowing that someone is reading and taking the time to add value to their posts. I personally LOVE it! Give it a try and see what happens by posting a comment to this post below 😉
Haven’t heard of Meetup.com yet?   Not enough people use Meetup.com. This is an excellent tool for finding face to face networking events AND create another mode of online networking. I see many people from my Meetup groups who post announcements and other great info without actually attending anything in person. It is however a real treat to meet online and then see the person at some point! If you don’t believe me, try it out for yourself! If you want to add me as a friend on Meetup.com, I can be found here:

So are you Ready to start networking in your Underwear with Me?

May 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm 7 comments

Job Seekers Hold on Tight Stay Positive & Don’t let go!

girl and her dog

Looking for a job right now is tough. But hang in there, hold on tight and keep the job search momentum going. 

It’s amazing how much opportunity will come your way if you lay a solid foundation, nurture and continually build what you start.  I talk to a lot of folks that start a search, stop to take a break and then start back up again.  They then feel exacerbated by not producing any results, feeling like it should still flow together despite the gap in time.   Continuity will rule in your career search.

Even after you land your next gig, the foundation that you are building today will empower you in the future. Who knows when you could decide to go on the market again, but if you keep the momentum up you will be a head of the game.  Continue to build and nurture your professional network. 

I know job searching is a tough road.  I’ve been there myself.  Applying, interviewing, following up… it gets old after awhile.   It’s a FULL TIME JOB looking for a job. If you are “in it to win it”, don’t give up, stay focused on your target goal and you WILL succeed.

If you find yourself at a crossroads where you might be feeling discouraged or lost, find a good support system to pep you back up. If you can’t find one in your area, start one yourself.  You’ll be surprised at how wonderful it is to share job leads and lend support to fellow job seekers.   Plus there is always a new idea or take on what you might be able to do better to land you that job. Sometimes it pays to hire a career counselor or coach.

Companies ARE hiring. You CAN get a job. You ARE hirable.

Don’t self doubt yourself.   Keep moving forward.

If you should find yourself down in the dumps, when you don’t know what to try next or are out of job leads, don’t go down the dark path of defeat.

Instead, FIND empowerment.

I know it sounds silly, but subscribe to one of those daily affirmation websites or blogs, watch some comic relief on TV or read a good motivational book. Whatever will put a smile on your face is good. Keep your chin up and stay positive, it will only help you out further in an interview.

When all else fails, call me (831-464-1041) or send me an email (heather.gardner@live.com) and we can take a minute to brainstorm together on creative approaches for possible job search success. YOU CAN DO IT.

Stay positive, keep focused and good things WILL come.

Do you need a good pep talk? I’m always here for you.

May 15, 2009 at 7:02 pm 3 comments

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