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Oct 10 16

Three Ways Your Cover Letter is Hurting Your Chance for a New Job

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

For many people, sending a resume is one thing. Then, when you read the job posting and it asks for a cover letter, you just kind of put one together and hope for the best. Rather than doing this, it’s better to take some time on this document. Putting time in on the front-end will save you time and effort for each future job opportunity. However, even though you think you have a top-notch cover letter, here are three cover letter mistakes that I consistently see from clients that really hurt their chances of landing that job interview.

Your cover letter format is different than your resume format. The fonts are different, headings don’t match, and the consistency just isn’t there. When the formats don’t align, it looks like you are not consistent with anything. This is your first impression and shows that you don’t have an attention to details. Instead, copy and paste your heading from the resume to the cover letter file and ensure fonts, colors (if used), and formatting is the same. This shows cohesion, organization, and alignment with your documents.

(Want more tips? Download our TOP 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW in Today’s Competitive Job Market. Click HERE to access the free download NOW!)

You addressed the cover letter “To Whom It May Concern.” I like to think of this as the ultimate deal-breaker. If you can’t take the time to find out the appropriate contact person or even just say, “Dear Human Resources Manager,” then you are not worth calling in for an interview. That may sound harsh, but hiring managers need to find an easy way to weed people out and this is one of the easiest. To Whom It May Concern or Dear Sir or Madam are old-fashioned and tired phrases that shouldn’t be used in today’s job market.

Every paragraph starts with the word “I.” After you write your cover letter, quickly scan the left margin and count the number of times you used the word “I.” If it’s more than twice, then you need to rewrite some of the verbiage. Remember—it’s all about the employer—not you. By starting with the word “I,” you are making it about yourself. Use the you-attitude and think of what you can do for the company and how your skills will help them. Mention things like “your company,” “your needs,” “your unique vision,” etc.

Remember that the cover letter is one of the first items that an HR leader reads. Make a great first impression so they are interested enough to keep reading and find out more about your skill-set and how you can successfully impact the organization.

We are currently offering a $9 SPECIAL to anyone that wants to go ahead with the All-in-One Resume Kit. This is typically reserved for those that download my Top 5 Resume Tips; however, for a limited time, I’m offering this package (which includes a resume template and notes) for only $9. Click here if you are interested!

Oct 5 16

Quantifying Your Information on Your Resume

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

So, it’s time to make your resume and you are already dreading it. In fact, the thought of just pasting your job descriptions underneath each job listing crosses your mind. After all, don’t they just need to know what you DID at each position? That should do it, right? WRONG. I can’t say it enough—WRONG. Your job description is not special and there are millions of them just like it out there. You need to QUANTIFY your information and tell them what you ACCOMPLISHED.

The question I often get from clients revolves around how to quantify this information. This can be an easy or difficult step, depending on your role and industry. If you are a salesperson, it could mean saying, “Increased sales by 53% during the first 6 months, resulting in $100K in additional sales.” This shows a percentage, timeline, and the result.

(Want more tips? Download our TOP 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW in Today’s Competitive Job Market. Click HERE to access the free download NOW!)

Now, let’s say that you are a teacher. The information can be a little more challenging. In that case, you could say, “Managed a classroom of 25-30 students, teaching concepts related to math, science, and reading.” At the very minimum, you are showing the number of students and it is quantifiable information.

Why is this important? Readers are instantly drawn to numbers. If your mind sees a large block of text, your eyes will immediately go to a dollar sign, number, or other quantifiable information. So, think in terms of how many people you supervise, how many years you have worked with a client, the number of accounts you manage, or the sales increase you have overseen.

Consider the following: “Boosted sales significantly during tenure, earning several awards.” That’s great, but it’s not specific. Instead, think of things in these terms, “Boosted sales by 60% over two-years, earning Salesperson of the Year (out of 30 representatives) for 2015.” Although both describe the same thing, the second sentence is much more impressive.

A good rule-of-thumb is to always think about the result. When writing a bullet point on your resume, you should always be thinking how that benefited the company or client. If you frame your phrases in terms of answering the question, “So what?”—you will be on the right track.

While the resume describes you, it’s not about you once you decide to conduct a job search. It’s about how you can help the potential employer. WHY should they hire you? The more quantifiable information you can include, the more you will look like an impressive candidate that they have to call for an interview. Be specific, include details, and show them what you have ACCOMPLISHED—not just your job duties.

We are currently offering a $9 SPECIAL to anyone that wants to go ahead with the All-in-One Resume Kit. This is typically reserved for those that download my Top 5 Resume Tips; however, for a limited time, I’m offering this package (which includes a resume template and notes) for only $9. Click here if you are interested!

Sep 26 16

Four Ways to Find a New Job

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

We all know the value of job sites such as Indeed, CareerBuilder, and Monster. However, sometimes it can feel like you are one of hundreds or thousands of people sending your resume into the abyss of online job searches. And, sometimes, that is the truth. For many people, going online and finding these potential positions is time-consuming, frustrating, and overwhelming. Here are four other ways to discover job opportunities that may fit better with your desired career opportunity.

1. Networking. Did you know that most jobs are found because of word-of-mouth? That’s right—the old saying that ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,’ is true. Tell people that you are looking for a change or new opportunity. The more people that know, the better your chances of finding a new job. However, if you are a ‘covert’ job seeker (someone that is keeping the job search fairly quiet), be careful who knows this information and only tell those that are trustworthy and can keep your confidence.

2. Chambers of commerce and economic development corporations. The purpose of these organizations is to cultivate business success in the community. Typically, organizational personnel may know of job openings or upcoming openings before they are advertised. Chambers of commerce want to see their members succeed and finding good employees leads to profits and stability. Check the websites of these organizations, or connect with someone that works there so you can be one of the first to know of new jobs.

3. Company websites. Let’s say that you want to target a specific company for a new position. Instead of checking large job sites, go directly to the company website. Often, they will have a specific page for job openings and the information will be current. And, these are typically posted prior to going to the larger websites.

4. Connect with a placement agency. In the past, these agencies were viewed as a place to get temporary workers and ‘a body’ to fulfill a job. However, that is no longer the case. Organizations such as Manpower, Flex Staff, and Express Employment Professionals find mid-level and upper-level management opportunities in a variety of fields. And, as an individual, you do not pay for the service—the companies that need the employees pay the temporary agency. If you can align yourself with a professional at one of these organizations, they will find a position that fits your skill-set.

The moral of the story is to NOT limit yourself to online job sites. Think of other ways you can connect to job opportunities beyond just the job posting. Most importantly—if possible—build these relationships prior to needing them. That means creating a networking circle, knowing your local business development organizations, and connecting with agencies that can help you in your job search.

Check out our Top 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW – it’s a free download!

Sep 20 16

Three Reasons to Hire a Professional Resume Writer

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

As you start to think about your upcoming job search and future interviews, your thoughts may turn to the first step in the process—your resume. Have you ever wondered if it may be easier for someone else to write this document? Did you know that it is difficult for many of us to write our own resumes? During this part of your job search journey, it may be worthwhile to consider hiring someone to write your resume.

Reason #1 – It’s been 10+ years since you have written your last resume. Maybe your previous resume is from your career class in college or you just ‘threw’ one together quickly when a connection had a job opportunity for you. Do you know how much job searching has changed in the last 10 years? With Applicant Tracking Systems and key words, it’s more important than ever that you have the right format and the right content to make it through scanning software. And, if that’s not enough, it still needs to be functional and ‘look nice’ for HR professionals.

Reason #2 – You don’t like talking about yourself. If there was ever a time to put your strengths on display – this is that time. Because I have worked with clients for 8+ years, I know that most of us are challenged when asked about our strengths or achievements. Working with a resume writer will allow you to draw out those aspects and that writer will be able to put it into words. Psychologically, this makes it easier for you to discuss your positive qualities—when someone else is writing about them. (Guess what – we have a Top 5 Resume Tips to Get the Interview download if you are really stuck – click HERE to get it)

Reason #3 – You are switching industries. So, you’ve worked as an accountant for 20 years and now you have decided to go into sales (extreme example here, but you get the point). It’s going to be vital that you draw out those transferable skills that can be utilized in your new desired role. Resume writers are trained to put this information in the best possible light while still showing you are a good candidate for the position.

So, if you are ready to take your career to the next level and don’t know where to start, you should consider hiring a professional resume writer. At the very least, check into them and see what various writers can offer that you can’t do yourself. Best wishes as you move forward!

P.S. Did you know that we offer 5 free resume reviews each week? Click HERE to send your resume to us—we’ll get back to you within 3 days with some suggestions!

Aug 24 16

Selling Yourself on Your Resume

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Why is it that most of us cringe when we have to write our resumes? We have a difficult time writing about ourselves, talking about our skills, and defining our value for a potential employer. Most of us—especially women—are challenged when asked about our strengths or what we can bring to a new company. Rather than have a cohesive response, we stammer, stumble, and struggle to find a response. Read below to find tips and ideas for taking the ‘ick’ factor out of selling yourself on your resume.

Quality over quantity. When it comes to your resume, you may think more is better. While it is important to list multiple skill-sets and competencies, it’s also vital that you don’t over-exaggerate and set yourself up as a ‘jack-of-all-trades.’ Choose what you think are your top three to five strengths and build from there. It’s better to be masterful in a couple of areas and really show the employer what you have accomplished by utilizing those skills
Examples and accomplishments. It’s one thing to list a bunch of skills and hope that one of them is what the employer is searching for in its next employee. But, it’s another thing to SHOW the employer how these skills have impacted previous employers. You’re great at sales. Big deal—so are a lot of people. But, if you say that you boosted sales by 52% within two months—now that’s saying something. The new sales training you developed cut attrition by 87% within one-year—now that’s vital information and SHOWS what you can do as an employee.
Ask for others’ opinions or check your LinkedIn profile for endorsements. Sometimes it’s difficult for us to think of our own strengths because we don’t want to be conceited or stuck-up. Instead, think of it this way…what would your last boss say about you? How would your co-workers describe you? What are the skills you have been endorsed for on LinkedIn? This is an easier way for many of us to highlight our capabilities.
Client testimonials or letters of recommendation. Do you have wonderful emails from past clients or letters of recommendation from an old job? Are they just sitting in your email InBox or stuffed in a file? What good does that do? Zilch. Rather than ‘saving’ these—share them. Ask if a snippet of the client’s testimonial can be used on your resume. Include just the important part and use first names only. This section on the resume—an Endorsements or Testimonials section—is a great way to end the document and shows a third-party endorsement.

Here is the thing—looking for a new job is a competition. You can’t be afraid to sell yourself, toot your own horn, and highlight your skills. If you don’t, I can guarantee you that someone else applying for that position is doing exactly that right now. Still unsure of how to get started on your new resume? Email us today for a free resume consultation.

New Download Available: TOP 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW in Today’s Competitive Job Market. Click HERE to access the free download NOW!

Aug 18 16

TOP 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW in Today’s Competitive Job Market

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

I’m THRILLED to offer a new FREE download to job seekers!

If you want THE job, you first need to get the interview. And these days, an impactful, up-to-date resume is a REQUIREMENT for getting the interview!

Are you ready to make your blah, outdated (or non-existent!) resume so impressive you’ll want to hire yourself? You don’t need to exaggerate or pretend you’re someone else. In fact, I’ll show you how to turn your experience and workplace longevity into an ADVANTAGE.

If you are READY to create a dynamic, eye-catching, and fantastic resume that actually GETS RESULTS, then click here for our free download!

Two of the tips are Lose the Objective and Discuss Achievements. Want MORE? Our download can be accessed HERE for free!

Aug 17 16

Feather Communications Owner Included in E-Book

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Feather Communications owner and Certified Professional Resume Writer, Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, has been included in the latest e-book by, titled, Get Hired: 130+ Tips for Job Seekers from the Experts.

According to, the average job search takes approximately six weeks. Few, if any job seekers, have time for lengthy job searches. The new e-book offering covers topics from cover letters and resumes to interview tips and job fair techniques. “I’m excited to be included among these top career experts and continually focus on providing tips that are easily-implemented and actionable,” Rothbauer-Wanish said.

Rothbauer-Wanish’s tip for the e-book is based on following-up after a job fair. “Job seekers need to take it upon themselves to follow up with potential connections from job fairs and networking. Many people overlook this important step and it can be the difference between being called in for an interview versus completely forgotten after the event,” she explained.

Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, owner of Feather Communications, has been working with job seekers since 2008 to develop forward-thinking, eye-catching, and dynamic resumes for today’s marketplace. Her tips have been featured on MSN, Monster, Recruiter, the Ohio State Bar Association, and the Management Resource Association websites. “I absolutely love what I do and I am passionate about helping people market themselves to land their dream jobs,” she concluded.

Jul 7 16

Feather Communications Owner Chosen as Speaker for Polka Dot Powerhouse Annual Celebration

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Feather Communications owner and Certified Professional Resume Writer, Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, has been chosen as a breakout speaker for the 2016 Polka Dot Powerhouse Annual Celebration in St. Charles, IL.

Polka Dot Powerhouse is a connection company that focuses on bringing together the world’s most positive, action-forward, and amazing business women. The organization primarily focuses on building relationships, rather than just business transactions among its members. The Annual Celebration is a two-day event that allows members from all of its chapters to come together for speakers, sponsors, and workshops. During the event, held in October 2016, Rothbauer-Wanish will present a session about overcoming obstacles and setting goals—in both your personal and professional life.

“I’m excited to provide this session and look forward to sharing the knowledge I have gained through business and personal challenges,” Rothbauer-Wanish said. “It’s important to share both the positive and negative experiences with owning a business. I’m hoping this presentation will share some of my own history, along with techniques and ideas for moving past those issues and finding ways to still be greatly successful,” she continued.

Rothbauer-Wanish has attended each of the Polka Dot Powerhouse Annual Celebration events. “I attended the conference for the first-time in 2013 and was extremely impressed with the collaborations and professionalism of the attendees. I’m looking forward to participating again this year,” she concluded.

Jun 6 16

5 Tips for Professionalism During Your Job Search

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

While it is important to remain professional when working, it is VITAL to maintain professionalism during your job search. Even though technical abilities, the right networking contacts, and your past experience play a role, don’t underestimate the importance of showcasing your professionalism and composure in the job search.

Tip #1 – Clean up your social media profiles. What is the first thing you do when you want to try a new restaurant or see a new movie? For most of us, that includes a quick Google search and discovering the reviews, the summaries, and other options. If you are a job candidate, chances are your potential employer has Googled you and your LinkedIn profile, Facebook account, and other social media accounts are showing up. Be sure your profiles remain professional AT ALL TIMES.

Tip #2 – Don’t go around bad-mouthing your current employer. You may hate your current job and you may have the right to—maybe your boss isn’t supportive, the pay is lousy, and the environment leaves something to be desired. In fact, those may just be some of the reasons why are you seeking employment elsewhere. The point is this—if you talk ‘smack’ about your current employer, you will only be viewed as a disgruntled employee that can’t seem to get along where you currently work. And, as your mother may have explained, if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.

Tip #3 – Always expect a potential connection. Whether you are shopping, at a networking event, or actively seeking new employment at a job fair—be prepared. This could mean having copies of your resume available and carrying business cards with your contact information (not affiliated with your current employer). And, be prepared with your 60-second elevator pitch, telling professional information about yourself and where you see your career in the future. It’s often these unexpected connections that can lead to future opportunities.

Tip #4 – Dress professionally during an interview. After interviewing hundreds of people for a variety of positions, I can’t tell you how common it is for people to be dressed casually. Therefore, if you dress professionally, you are already one step ahead of the rest of the people applying for positions. And, don’t worry about overdressing—it’s always better to be overdressed than under-dressed in an interview situation.

Tip #5 – Follow up during the job search. While this may not sound like it is related to professionalism, it absolutely is and can make you stand out. When you purchase something and the company calls to follow up, you recognize that excellent customer service because it seldom happens. Following up during the job search is the same thing. Send a thank you note, call a few days later, and connect on LinkedIn with your interviewer. These things show that you have an inherent interest in the position and you know how to build long-term relationships.

Remember that your skills and competencies are important for the job; however, your professionalism almost always precedes those items. And, the level of your professionalism can make or break the potential job opportunity. Be sure that are professional at all times during your job search; you never know who you may meet that can lead you to your next career move.

If you don’t know where to start with your new resume, contact Feather Communications today for a FREE resume review!

Click HERE to download our FREE Top 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW!

May 16 16

Managing Employment Gaps on Your Resume

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Twenty or thirty years ago, large gaps in employment were more of a rarity and caught the attention (not in a good way) of interviewers, recruiters, and potential employers. In today’s economy, employment gaps are much more commonplace; however, they can still be treated with suspicion and a feeling of mistrust. Through no fault of your own, you may have gaps in employment history. A company may have laid off its newest employees, the organization may have moved, or the entire workforce may have been alleviated of their duties.

Tip #1 – Add in your unpaid work history. When you have the heading Professional History on your resume, it doesn’t mean that all of it must be paid. In fact, many of us have relevant expertise gained through volunteerism, internships, and community engagement activities. If you volunteered during an employment gap, then put this information in your professional history. In additional to adding to your skill-set, it also shows that you weren’t sitting around at home during your time away from the paid workforce.

Tip #2 – Use years only for the dates. If you have only a three-month or six-month gap in your employment, then you can simply list your years of employment and this minimizes the time gap. However, if you choose to go this route, then be sure that you list all of the dates in years only—be consistent throughout the document.

Tip #3 – Group freelance work or temp agency work together. Many people work through an employment agency when they are having difficulties finding full-time work. Instead of listing a three-month stint at this company and a two-month tenure at another company while with the temp agency, simply list the entire timeline while working for the temp agency.

Remember—you are not alone—there are many candidates with gaps in employment history. It is the perception of these gaps that will make the difference between being called for an interview and having your resume moved to the ‘no’ pile. Rather than ‘hiding’ your gaps, be sure to identify why you are the right candidate for the position, highlight your skill-set, and align your document with the job posting.

If you still have questions regarding creating your new resume, contact us today. Or, if you are curious how your resume stacks up against the competition, email Dr. Heather for a free resume critique!

Click HERE to download our FREE Top 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW!