Resume Tips To Stand Out In A Competitive Job Market

I was quoted on for resume tips to stand out in a competitive job market:

On The Job Hunt? Here’s How To Stand Out

…the most important section of the resume is the summary on top, said career coach Caroline Ceniza-Levine of Six Figure Start. Include your expertise, role or function, and key accomplishments in the industry. For older job seekers the summary should also “show a body of work with progression, tangible results,and unique expertise,” Ceniza-Levine said….

“Your most recent experience deserves the most attention. Jobs that are more than 10 years old should be included so there are no gaps, but you don’t need more than one or two bullets,” says Ceniza-Levine. If you’ve worked in an industry for over a decade, categorize your roles — financial, operations, sales — and group various positions accordingly….

Ceniza-Levine also recommends including anchored text or hyperlinks that point the reader to additional information.

Here are 3 more ways to ensure your resume stands out:


Quantifying your results and responsibilities (budget, team) is key.

Begin your descriptions with an ACTIVE word

Participated, assisted, or contributed are passive verbs. Specify how you participated, who did you assist (and for what), and how you contributed.

Spotlight a unique HOOK

It could be the diversity of your industry experience. It could be your extensive travel or cross-cultural work. It could be a hobby that demonstrates commitment and achievement (a lot of my early employers were drawn to my studies at Juilliard even though I wasn’t applying to be a pianist!)










Media Reel Debut – Video

I finally had my media appearances cut into a 3-minute media reel. I’d love your feedback!

This media reel features clips from appearances on CBS, CNN, Nightly Business Report, CBS Moneywatch, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance

A media reel is not just for speakers or small business owners. For the traditional professional, media appearances are an effective way to establish yourself as a thought leader. You can read more ideas for developing career credibility in my blog on 10 Easy Ways to Make Yourself More Hireable:

If you’re sold that media and press mentions are the way to go, I share 3 strategies in my video blog, How To Land Press For Your Business or Career:

Building A Business That Serves You – Soul Purpose Company

building a business

building a businessThe SixFigureStart story is featured on Soul Purpose Company via podcast and brief transcript. Here are some excerpts:

Getting Started: It’s All About the Network

Before you market your idea to strangers, start with the people who know you – people you’ve worked other jobs with or went to school with.

“We both came from big, corporate jobs,” Caroline says, “so we [already] had a network. We tapped into people who already knew us.”

“They knew our work product and they knew our work ethic and our integrity,” she says, “so the sale at that point was easier than if we were cold calling strangers.”

Going Longterm: Be an Expert

Longterm sustainability means marketing your business to strangers outside of your original network. And that means looking like an expert.

Speaking at events is the most widely recommended way to gain trust and notoriety, but Caroline says she’s surprised at how far writing got her, too. An editor at Forbes approached her to do a regular column because she had seen Caroline’s name so many other places online.

Part of your longterm strategy should include writing and speaking for as many outlets as possible. Soon, people will recognize you without you having to put in as much effort.

Read on for Achieving Abundance and Charging What You’re Worth and listen to the podcast at Soul Purpose Company: Building A Business That Serves You.


How To Excel In A Temp Management Role – eFinancialCareers

schedule time

temporary management roleSixFigureStart is quoted multiple times in Simon Mortlock’s piece for eFinancialCareers: How to excel as an interim manager in the banking sector. Don’t let the title fool you: these tips are relevant to sectors well outside the financial one. Here are excerpts of my advice:

5) Set small goals

Make sure the goals you’re given are actually achievable. “You have limited time to get results and develop credibility, so focus on being efficient at these two things – this isn’t the time to wonder about what the broad departmental goals are,” says Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a career coach with SixFigureStart, a New York-based consultancy whose clients have included Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.

6) Keep your team on track

Don’t ignore business-as-usual team objectives because you think your staff can achieve them without your help – it’s you who will be judged harshly if they can’t get the routine tasks right. “Are the team working on an ongoing goal, say a sales target, so you need to ensure they’re hitting their weekly or monthly numbers? Confirm exactly what needs to happen and how it will be measured so you can laser focus on that,” says Ceniza-Levine.

8) Avoid being a fixer

As an interim manager who was already in the team, you are not being parachuted in as a trouble-shooter, so don’t agree to any objectives involving solving deep-seated team problems. “And don’t try to change everything. You might think you know how to improve the entire company, but unless that’s your mandate, just stick to the current objectives to get some quick traction first,” says Ceniza-Levine.

13) Build trust in the team

Dedicate a chunk of every day to dealing with the concerns of your team. Your success will be measured not only by whether you achieved you goals but also by whether your staff supported you. If you can establish a reputation as an approachable, pro-active manager in the short-term, a permanent promotion may come your way in the future. “Pitfalls for temporary managers include not developing the trust of the team and therefore not being perceived as management material. If you’re going to take on a temporary assignment, make sure you can get the team behind you,” says Ceniza-Levine from SixFigureStart.

14) Highlight your achievements

Once your assignment is over make sure that whoever placed you in the role knows what you’ve accomplished. “Debrief with your team to get their feedback and document the positive comments to share with management. Even if there are no more opportunities to manage at this company, this stint gives you a great example to highlight at future job interviews,” says Ceniza-Levine.

Read more tips from other experts in Simon Mortlock’s piece for eFinancialCareers: How to excel as an interim manager in the banking sector.

Stop Saying You Are Too Busy To Network – Fox Business

too busy to network

too busy to networkI return to Fox Business Career Accelerator to talk with Lauren Simonetti about how to network in just minutes each day:

Stop thinking that networking has to be a big production — a multi-day conference or a long lunch. There are multiple small steps you can take to build networking into each day.

Which tip will you adopt? You can read more about networking in minutes at: How To Network in Just 5 Minutes A Day.

SixFigureStart in Business Insider – Get Busy Coworkers To Read Your Emails

busy coworkers

busy coworkersYou need to communicate well with others in order to get your job done. This includes getting busy coworkers to read and prioritize your emails. In Emmie Martin’s latest piece for Business Insider, I share some tips for how to make your emails stand out:

1. Write a specific subject line.

The subject line will determine if workers open and read your email or ignore it, says Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a career coach with SixFigureStart. A clear, compelling subject line will entice people to open it, while a boring or generic one will get lost within a flood of other messages. Ceniza-Levine advises to also include any deadlines in the subject as well, so coworkers know how urgent the information is.

Another tip: limit the subject line to 10 words or less.

2. Include a clear objective and any deadlines at the beginning.

Concisely state the purpose of the message and any action items needed from the get-go. Make it easy for your reader to understand exactly what this message is asking of them, whether it requires merely reading to the end or responding with additional information. “A lot of people will write like the story is unfolding, and it actually should be the inverse, because by the time I get to what I need, they’ve exhausted their attention span,” Ceniza-Levine says.

Read 3 more tips at Business Insider: 5 Tips For Getting Busy Coworkers To Read Your Emails.

SixFigureStart in Yahoo Finance — Answering Questions For Passerbys In NYC

It was so much fun shooting the career Q&A at Bryant Park in NYC for Yahoo Finance:

Some of the questions I fielded:

I worked for a year before taking a break. The job market is still kind of tough. Should I start back at the bottom?

How do I assert myself in a male-dominated environment?

How do I review myself without sounding arrogant?

My company is restructuring. When is the best time to ask for the role I want?

How long should I wait to ask for a promotion?

What is the best way to respond when you’re not given the promotion you’ve asked for?

See full article at Yahoo Finance: Secrets on How To Move Up in Your Career.


SixFigureStart in Business Insider – On Thank You Notes and Quitting Your Job

quitting your job

quitting your jobI’m excited to be quoted in two separate pieces in Business Insider, articles by Emmie Martin.

From 6 Tips For Gracefully Quitting Your Job:

Stay positive.

According to Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a career coach with SixFigureStart, resigning in a mean-spirited way is the biggest mistake professionals make. You don’t need to give a reason for leaving, but if you wish to include a bit more context, your formal letter isn’t the place to air your grievances or call out colleagues. While you might be tempted to give your boss the proverbial middle finger — especially if you’re leaving on unfavorable terms — the feeling of satisfaction it gives you will be fleeting (and never worth it).

Not only will acting childish scorn your reputation in the eyes of higher-ups who you might need to later rely on for references, it can burn bridges with coworkers you do intend to keep in touch with. “Even colleagues who don’t have a stake in it are going to see that and think, ‘Wow, that’s really unprofessional, that person is so immature,'” Ceniza-Levine says. 

Don’t get too personal.

There will be people you want to thank, commend, and say goodbye to when you decide to leave. But, Ceniza-Levine suggests you forgo including anything overly personal in your resignation letter. “Instead, send personal thank-yous to individual people,” she says.

Sending individual notes will allow you to personalize each one for the recipient, making them much more meaningful. 

Time it right.

There’s no magic number for how far in advance to announce your departure, but you should aim to give your employer as much time as possible to hire and train a replacement. “Some companies ask for minimum of two weeks, or longer, especially the more senior you are and the bigger projects you’re working on,” Ceniza-Levine says.

However, it’s important to review your company’s policy before resigning, as some offices force you to evacuate immediately. You don’t want to go in thinking you’re giving two weeks notice, only to be told you have 20 minutes.

2. Supplement your interview answers.

Use the thank-you note as an opportunity to expand on points you made during the interview or to add additional information you want the company to know.

But again, remember to keep it concise and job-specific.

“If you feel like you didn’t quite answer a question or couldn’t think of something at the time, you could mention that,” says Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a career coach with SixFigureStart. For example, you could say, “You asked about my experience in the Middle East region, and I forgot to mention that I did this research project on … .”

This is also a great opportunity to send any links to projects, news stories, or websites you may have mentioned during the interview.

Read the full article at Business Insider: How To Write A Thank You Note That Gets You A Job.


SixFigureStart in Fast Company: How To Get Promoted Without Working Long Hours

how to get promoted

how to get promotedI am excited to be cited in Fast Company on working smarter, not harder, to get your promotion:

Make sure you know how and why people get promoted.

At some organizations, the process is formalized, and at others it’s not, but in any case you can figure out the rules. “Ask your boss up front, or you can ask people who’ve recently been promoted, or ask people in HR what are the factors,” says Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a career coach with Six Figure Start.

If promotions are decided in March, for instance, making a big push in June may not help your cause. If most people who’ve been promoted have published something externally that positions them as thought leaders, you’ll want to get going on that too. You should also make it clear that you want to be considered: “Don’t assume that people know that you want to be promoted,” says Ceniza-Levine. Talk to your boss about what you need to do to be in the running.

Read the full article at Fast Company: How To Get Promoted Without Working Long Hours.

I talk more about promotions on Fox Business Career Accelerator.

I also list 5 Reasons Why You Didn’t Get That Promotion on Purple Clover.

Women and Negotiation – ABC World News Tonight

salary negotiation tips for women

salary negotiation tips for womenI made an appearance on ABC World News Tonight for Equal Pay Day:







ABC US News | ABC Business News

Only a few points made it to the segment. What I really wanted to say is that even though, yes, there are challenges to salary negotiation for women, it’s important to remember that for any one woman (and I’m talking to you here!) you only have to worry about your negotiation, not changing the world. There are always things you can do to improve your negotiation skills!

Responsive Menu ImageResponsive Menu Clicked Image