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Feb 25 15

Paid vs. Non-Paid Work Experience on Your Resume

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

As you make your new, up-to-date, and awesome resume, you start making a list of all of the things you have accomplished, the volunteerism you have contributed, and the job duties for all of your workplaces. Then, you begin to list your internships, community organizations, and church activities. Suddenly, you have a huge inventory of information and you have no idea how to include it. Does this sound familiar?

Before they contact me, many clients struggle with trying to figure out where to put this information on their resumes. How are you supposed to include both paid and unpaid work experience? Or, do you even need to do so? Should your internship experiences be broken out separately? Just because your work experience or volunteer experience was not paid doesn’t mean that it is not applicable to your job search. Please see below for three important reminders for adding both paid and non-paid experience on your resume.
Think relevance. The resume is not about you—it’s about what is important to a potential employer. For example, if you are seeking an accounting position and have worked at a workplace as a bookkeeper, also volunteered as your church treasurer, and had an accounting internship—all of that information is relevant. All of that information could potentially be included under your work experience.

Use your headings wisely. Instead of listing sections as “Paid Work Experiences” or “Internships,” name your section “Relevant Professional Experience.” This means that all information contained therein is relevant, but doesn’t necessarily mean that you were paid for it.

Unpaid work experience can be critical when you are switching industries. If you have been working within a particular industry for 10+ years and now want to switch to a different focus, unpaid work experience may be your ONLY experience. List this “Relevant Professional Experience” first and be sure to emphasize these skills.

Don’t be afraid to include your unpaid work experience, community involvement, and internship experiences directly in your professional history. Both paid and non-paid work experiences show that you are driven, have honed skills, and exhibited abilities that can be utilized in future positions. However, remember to only include that information which is both timely and relevant.

Do you have additional questions about your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile? Contact us today for a free resume critique – we would love to help your information shine!

Feb 20 15

Is a Professional Resume Writer Worth It?

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Sometimes, I will hear people say, “I can’t believe that you write resumes for a living. Don’t most people just write their own?” And, my answer is that, yes, many people choose to write their own resumes. However, did you also know that many people have difficulty writing and speaking positively about themselves? Please see below for the top three reasons why you should consider hiring a professional resume writer.

#1 – They will be able to extract information that you hadn’t even considered. A good resume writer knows how to ask questions, use the proper key words, and dig a little deeper to find the accomplishments at your past positions.

#2 – A professional resume writer is up-to-date on formats, technologies, and industry buzz words. Did you know that you should no longer use an objective on your resume? And, no one should use the word “I” within the document. If you aren’t sure what today’s trends are for resume writing, you may want to consider hiring a professional resume writer.

#3 – How much money are you losing while you sit and stare at your old resume? Figure out how much money it is costing you each day to not get started on your new, updated, and forward-thinking document. While hiring a professional resume writer may cost dollars up front, you will quickly find that the investment is worth it when you land your new job.

The bottom line is this—decide if you really have the time, know-how, and desire to craft your own resume. If not, this may be the time to hire out the process. And, if you want a resume writer that has gone through additional education, please be sure to hire a Certified Professional Resume Writer.

Questions about the resume writing process? If so, please contact us at Feather Communications. And, remember that we ALWAYS offer free resume critiques – find out if your document is up-to-par with your competition. We look forward to hearing from you!

Jan 28 15

The Importance of Personal Networking During Your Job Search

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

While looking online for your next job opportunity, many people get frustrated, exhausted from the search, or fed-up with the long application process. In today’s economy, searching online for job openings is an important part of the process. However, it is not the ONLY aspect that you should consider while seeking the next move in your career. In fact, many people underestimate the importance of personal networking during the job search.

Recently, I worked with a client that had casually met with a business acquaintance and mentioned that she may be looking for a different opportunity. The person told her to send her resume and cover letter to her—just in case there was a potential fit with the organization. Guess what? Less than a month later, my client was contacted because they are creating a new position and she may be the perfect. The job is not advertised nor will it be posted online. It is only because of the personal networking that my client has a chance at moving ahead in her career.

If you are interested in building your career opportunities, build and utilize your personal network. If your job search is not a secret, tell people that you are actively searching. Be specific and let them know the types of positions you are seeking. If you are a “stealth job seeker,” then tell only one or two trusted individuals that you are actively looking for a job so they can remember your information when a job arises.

Next, be sure to schedule time for personal networking. Make it a priority within your schedule. Attend local Business After Hours events, sign up for a workshop within your field, or invite a trusted colleague to lunch. Write down your personal networking goals. For example, “Attend one networking meeting and invite Bob Smith for lunch during February.” Make your goals as concrete as possible and assess them at the end of each month.

Finally, be prepared. While you don’t want to be pushy, keep a copy of your resume and your personal business card with you at all times. When meeting with business acquaintances and colleagues and they ask for your information, you will have it readily available. This will show that you are prepared, organized, and eager for that next job opportunity.

As someone that has built my business from the ground-up and utilized in-person networking greatly to accomplish this, please email me with any personal networking questions: And, if you are ready to move forward with your job search, please visit our website.

Jan 21 15

Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish Chosen as Speaker for 2015 NRWA Conference

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Feather Communications owner, Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, has been chosen as a breakout speaker for the 2015 National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA) Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The NRWA Conference is designed to provide advanced training and education about the latest trends, issues, and technologies impacting the career industry. The conference, held annually, caters to professional resume writers, career coaches, and educational institution placement professionals. During the conference, held in September 2015, Rothbauer-Wanish will present a session titled, “Top 10 Methods for Marketing Your Resume Business on a Budget.”

“I’m excited to provide this session and look forward to sharing the knowledge I have gained during my seven-year entrepreneurial journey,” Rothbauer-Wanish said. “Job seekers have many options when writing their resumes and I’ve been able to cultivate a resume client base through networking, consistent branding, and word-of-mouth referrals—I’ll be sharing some of these techniques during my presentation,” she continued.

Rothbauer-Wanish also provided a session during the 2014 NRWA Conference in Denver, Colorado. “I attended the conference for the first-time in 2014 and was extremely impressed with the collaborations and professionalism of the attendees. I’m looking forward to participating again this year,” she concluded.

For more information on resume writing, please contact Feather Communications at 715-559-6378 or email

Jan 16 15

5 Things to Leave Off Your Resume

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

As you start to design your new, forward-thinking, and exceptional resume for today’s marketplace, you may be worried about all of the items you need to include in the document. From education to professional experience, you want to ensure you cover it all to land that next great job opportunity. However, there are certain things that should NOT be on your resume.

First, do not include an objective statement. If you are sending a resume to a potential employer, the objective is to obtain an interview and, eventually, a new job. Utilize this space for something that means more, such as a targeted career summary.

Next, don’t feel as if you need to list every single job position you have had since leaving high school. If you have been working for 20+ years, you may choose to only list more recent years on your resume—and, that’s okay. In fact, for most of my clients, I do only include the last 10-15 years of relevant positions.

Third, unless you are working at a well-known Fortune 500 company, you don’t need to include a summary of the organization. Use this space to discuss YOUR accomplishments and the responsibilities that you had while working at the company. After all, the resume isn’t about the places you have worked; it’s about what YOU can do for a new employer.

Fourth, don’t include the statement, “References Available Upon Request.” This is a waste of space and it is understood that you will provide references when the time comes during the interview process. Instead, add volunteerism or community involvement in this section.

Finally, and perhaps most important, don’t include personal information. There should be no references to your marital status, number of children, religious affiliations, or a photograph of yourself. Including any of this information can turn into a human resources nightmare and may put you out of the job competition.

If you’re concerned that you have this information on your resume and would like to know more information on how to eliminate it, please contact us at Feather Communications and we will work with you to ensure your document is prepared professionally and ready for the job searching process.

Jan 6 15

Get Your Resume Ready for the New Year

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Are you ready for the New Year? Have you made your New Year’s resolutions? Did one of them include landing a new job in your 2015 future? If so, now is the perfect time to gather your information and ensure it is updated if and when you decide to move forward with your job search.

First, if you haven’t been organized in the past, now is the time. Ensure you have backups of your resume in several places. Save it on your computer hard drive as well as on an externally-stored flash drive or hard drive. In addition, print out a hard copy and keep it in a file.

Next, obtain copies of your college transcripts. While you may not need these for each position, they are required for certain fields and specific organizations. It can take several days or weeks to get these in the future, so be sure to order them now. If they are sent in an envelope, don’t open them as they won’t be considered ‘official transcripts.’ If needed, ask for a second copy that you can keep on-hand for future reference.

Third, keep a running list of all professional organizations to which you belong, along with committees and volunteerism. These can be critical to showcasing community involvement and extracurricular activities. Employers are consistently seeking candidates that go above-and-beyond the call of duty at work and are immersed in outside organizations.

Finally, keep all of your information in a safe and labeled location. When working with my resume clients, I can’t tell you how often they come to me and need a refreshed resume within a few days. By keeping organized and getting ready for the New Year, you will have the information you need to move forward.

And, if you are interested in working with a Certified Professional Resume Writer, I would love to work with you. I’ve helped hundreds of clients with their resumes and cover letters.  Please feel free to contact me today!

P.S. If you are interested, I also offer a free resume review. That’s right–free! Email your resume to me and I will offer you constructive feedback on how to improve it–send yours today!

Oct 31 14

Feather Communications Owner Receives Polka Dot Powerhouse Award

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

On Saturday, October 25, Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, owner of Feather Communications, received the “Extraordinary Business Woman of the Year Award” for the Eau Claire Chapter of Polka Dot Powerhouse. Polka Dot Powerhouse is a rapidly-growing, unique, and refreshing community for women’s business and personal networking.

Heather has been involved with Polka Dot Powerhouse for over two years and truly enjoys the camaraderie, business relationships, and friendships that have blossomed since joining this group. Furthermore, she enjoys the opportunities of being able to visit various Polka Dot Powerhouse chapters throughout the area.

“Being elected to receive this award means the world to me. There are so many amazing business women in this organization and to be voted on by my peers is humbling,” Heather said. “I’m excited to continue my journey with Polka Dot Powerhouse and look forward to the continuous opportunities it offers in both my personal and professional lives,” she concluded.

For more information about Feather Communications services, please contact us today!

Sep 28 14

Feather Communications Owner Earns Ph.D. in Organization and Management

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Feather Communications owner, Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, has earned her Ph.D. in Organization and Management with an Emphasis in Leadership from Capella University.

While obtaining her Ph.D. and throughout the dissertation process, Rothbauer-Wanish remained focused on leadership and how it helps organizations to propel forward within the marketplace. Her dissertation, ‘Leadership in Economic Development: An Ex-Post Facto Study,’ analyzed how various styles of leadership of Certified Economic Developers affected job growth within specific geographical areas. “It was extremely interesting to discover the role that leadership plays in the success or the failure of strategic goals,” she said.

As part of her business, Rothbauer-Wanish has delivered numerous presentations to local chambers of commerce, organizations, and networking groups. She is hoping to expand the workshop and teaching portion of her business to include seminars on leadership and management within the workplace. “I have always enjoyed teaching and now I am ready to utilize my education and personal experiences to help others achieve their leadership goals,” she said.

For more information on workshop opportunities, please contact Feather Communications at 715-559-6378 or email

Aug 13 14

How to Create a Resume for a Stay-at-Home Mom

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Several weeks ago, I received a phone call from a stay-at-home mom. She was considering entering the workforce, after staying home for 18 years to care for her son. Fortunately, she was able to provide for him during that time, take him to practices, attend school functions, and volunteer whenever possible. Now, comes the difficult part.
Jenny called me because she wanted to know how she should represent those 18 years of her life on her resume. Should she just start with her last paid position? Should she list stay-at-home mom, but not include many details? Or, should she turn to a functional resume and simply highlight her skills? As I talked to her, I realized that she was very concerned about how this would appear to a potential employer.

I assured her that I could work her to find the best solution to her challenge. We went through several steps and I encouraged her throughout the process. It turns out that she was worried her skills weren’t transferable to today’s workplace. As a stay-at-home mom and a single parent, she had plenty of skills that are desired by many employers. During her period as a full-time parent that was not in the paid workforce, she balanced many priorities, scheduled events, organized household finances, communicated with school personnel and other parents, and managed the interior and exterior of her home.

First, we organized her skills and provided a title for her position. Instead of listing her as a “domestic engineer” or some other fancy term, we said it like it was: Stay-at-Home Mom. Next, we listed what she had accomplished during that time frame. Remember—she had been in this position for 18 years; this was not going to be a one-line description. And, also remember that these skills need to be transferable. Using words like organize, budget, communication, oversee, manage, lead, and establish ensure we are using career-oriented verbiage. Finally, we included volunteerism. While Jenny was a stay-at-home mom, she had the opportunity to volunteer in several events through school and the community. This was pertinent information and was included on the document.

So, if you or someone you know is trying to return to the workforce after being a stay-at-home parent, please remember to list this information. This is no longer a big secret or something that needs to be hidden. Consider your skills, accomplishments, and tasks during this time period and ensure they are represented on your resume. Don’t sell yourself short – staying home with children IS a job and should be represented on your resume. If you have additional questions, please contact me.

May 22 14

Writing an Effective Bio

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Recently, I have received numerous client requests for written bios. Many times, these are needed for websites, speaking engagements, or workshop proposals. While you may be tempted to include everything, you need to remember that it your target audience that counts. Think of the bio from their point-of-view and only include the necessary information.

Here are my top ten tips for writing an effective bio:

  1. Identify your purpose. Are you speaking at an event? Who will be reading the information?
  2. Utilize the third person perspective. Using this approach makes the information sound more objective. I tell clients to think of the back of a book jacket – consider what you would read about the author.
  3. Shorter is better. Impressive people have short bios. More importantly, people have short attention spans. Capitalize on your most important information first and get to the point.
  4. Have length options. Your bio may be requested in different lengths. Keep a running document of a short bio, a medium bio (about a paragraph in length), and a long bio (up to one page in length).
  5. Invert your pyramid. Put the most important information first. If someone quits reading your bio, what do you want them to know about you for sure?
  6. Start with your name. Although this may seem obvious, it is important for people to correlate your information with your name. For example, my bio begins, “Heather Rothbauer-Wanish founded Feather Communications in 2008…”
  7. Add some personality. Readers want to know YOU as the person. If appropriate, add some humor and a memorable fact so that the readers recognize you and your information.
  8. Don’t include everything. You can’t be everything to everyone. And, you simply can’t put all of your information into your bio. Include the information that is pertinent to your audience.
  9. Contact information. End your bio with your contact information (if appropriate). You want to make it as convenient as possible for someone to contact you.
  10. Read and rewrite. Your bio is ever-evolving. Ask a trusted friend or colleague to review and proofread your information. Review your bio on a regular basis – this will save you time in the long-term.

Finally, if you have tried to write an effective bio and it just isn’t working, please contact Feather Communications today at 715-559-6378 or We love working with clients and making their information shine!