Cover Letters: 5 Easy Steps To Help You Get That Interview

Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

Cover letters are not easy to write. Although not always asked for, a cover letter can give you the opportunity to provide the reader with additional information not on your resume.  You don’t want to rehash what’s already on your resume.  So…

  1. Highlight your specific qualifications for this particular job. Yes, that’s right. You must customize each cover letter you write. Every job is different so what makes you perfect for this one. Your resume gives the hiring manager an overall picture of your experience, your cover letter gives you the opportunity to tell them why you are perfect for it.
  2. Show your personality. A cover letter’s tone can show your energy, personality and attention to detail. It can also be used as a preliminary writing test. Be specific and concise but be very careful how you say it.
  3. Don’t repeat resume details. Take these facts and turn them into a compelling story demonstrating your qualifications.
  4. Explain your career path. If you have gaps or moves into different areas, your cover letter is your chance to explain why and, perhaps, the new skills you developed.
  5. Remember, it’s not just about why your skills are perfect for this position. It’s about why you want to work for this company and how you can help them.

One cover letter does not fit every position. Make sure you customize each one you send out highlighting your interest and qualifications specific to that opportunity and show your amazing personality!

Cover Letters: 4 Rules For A Good Cover Letter

Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

Cover letters. Are they important or not?

In a recent survey by PayScale, only 18 percent of hiring managers said cover letters were an important part of the hiring process.  On the other hand, some managers use them as a filter and others expect to see one.

If you do a cover letter, follow these rules.

  1.  It’s about ‘them,’ not you.  It’s not I, I, I.  It’s about what you have to offer them.
  2. Know ‘their’ need.  Make sure you have visited their web site and that you have read the job description thoroughly.  Don’t send a generic cover letter, send a targeted one.
  3. Meet ‘their’ specs.  Read the description and match their requirements to yours.  Make sure to drop those keywords in your cover letter and your resume.
  4. Have a ‘name.’  If you have a referral name, make sure you put it in the first paragraph.  Name dropping can help and you want to make sure it doesn’t get overlooked.

Just as you must customize a resume, you must do the same for your cover letter!

Cover Letters: 3 Types And When To Use Each

Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

Cover letters are very hard to write and many candidates craft one and use it over and over.

Like resumes, cover letters should be personalized as much as possible and you must use the right format. These letters differ if you are prospecting, applying for a position or are networking.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Prospecting:  This type of cover letter should be used if you are inquiring about open positions within a company.  This letter tells a company that you are looking and lists your skills.  You should research the company before sending this letter so you know the skills and types of jobs they have open or not.  Whether sending a letter or applying online, remember your letter might be held for a future date when a position opens up so make sure you have listed all your skills.
  2. Application Letter:  This letter is used when you are responding to a specific job ad.  You could be sending this letter via mail, email or answering online and need to research both the company and the job description before replying.  Make sure you state the title of the open positon and refer back to the ad and state your specific skills that match.
  3. Networking Letter:  This type of letter is a form of networking.  Make sure to mention who referred you or how you heard of this company and why you are interested.  A referral can make a difference in getting a job and/or help you connect to other influencers who can help your career.

A well-written cover letter can get you an interview.  Make sure you are using the right approach.

E-Notes: The New Cover Letter

Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) the old-school cover letter has gone by the wayside and been replaced with e-notes.  These are letters that are less formal, more direct and sent via e-mail or through a company website.

Learning how to execute e-notes will help to bring your job search into today’s world

Most hiring managers no longer have the time to read text heavy cover letters so writing your cover letter in a concise manner is important.

Before someone has actually met you, it’s very easy to put your cover letter and resume in the trash bin.  So:

  1. Make your letter easy to read and concise and don’t introduce yourself stating that your resume and cover letter are attached.
  2. Use your subject line carefully.  Put the position title for which you are applying or, if not for a specific job, something about your expertise for a position title.  Don’t repeat this in the letter.
  3. Start your letter with the most important information – what makes you ‘the’ candidate for this job.  Always remember that someone may be reading your e-note on a tablet or phone.  It should be able to be read without scrolling down.
  4. Use short paragraphs and bullet points.
  5. End with an e-signature containing your contact information and any important links.
  6. Correct spelling and grammar count.  Even though you are writing an e-note, don’t use shortcuts and abbreviations.
  7. Keep the style simple.  You don’t know in what format your e-note will be opened.
  8. Develop a format and keep using the same one for all your correspondence – introductions, follow-ups, thank you notes.

Cover Letters: 5 Tips To Get Them Read

Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

Cover letters can be harder to write than a resume.  Some hiring managers want them, some online sites won’t take them.  Just like resumes, everyone has their own likes and dislikes about them.

If hiring managers scan a resume for 6 seconds, how long do they look at a cover letter?

Here are some tips when writing your cover letter:

  1.  It’s about what the company wants, not what you want to highlight.  Read the ad or description and highlight the skills the company wants.
  2. Keep it short, concise and to the point.  You want to introduce yourself and state your experience in the first paragraph.
  3. Tell them why they should meet you.  Use bullet points to highlight your qualifications.
  4. Be organized and specific.  You don’t know who is reading the cover letter or how long they will spend on it.  Make it easy to read/scan and specific to the job.
  5. Use the keywords.  The keywords in the ad should be used in your cover letter.  Just as an applicant tracking system scans for keywords so does the human eye.

If you are using one cover letter for every job, you might as well not use one at all.  If a hiring manager takes the time to read a cover letter, they want to know why you want this job and that you have the specific skills.

Cover Letters: 5 Tips For Writing A Terrific One

By Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

CoverLetterWriting a cover letter can be stressful.  You want to capture the reader’s attention but you don’t want to bore them or, worse, have a mistake in your copy.  Since your resume is attached, you want the reader to be so interested they open it.    There isn’t any magic involved, just common sense.  So relax and remember to follow these basic rules to get your cover letter read.

1.  Customize every cover letter you send out.  If you don’t tailor your letter to the reader, why should they be interested.  Connect your skills to those listed in the description/ad.

2.  Your resume is attached so don’t duplicate it in your cover letter.

3.  Keep is simple and concise.  A maximum of three paragraphs with three to four sentences each.  Use a readable typeface and with lots of white space.

4.  Highlight your soft skills and how they can help with this position.

5.  Be enthusiastic!  The reader may be going through many resumes, don’t bore them.


What’s In A Name? How To Name Your Resume And Cover Letter

Send-ResumeKnowing how to name your resume and cover letter is extremely important.  It’s a digital world when it comes to job hunting.  It doesn’t matter if your are answering an ad online, emailing HR or a recruiter.  Sending your resume with a generic name can cause it to be overlooked or lost in the system.  Be professional and make sure you name it properly.  You want hiring managers to know it’s your resume and make it easier to track through their email system.

1.  Personalize your file by adding your name – MarieRapertoResume or MarieRapertoCoverLetter.

2.  Remember to be consistent and use the same style for the resume name, cover letter or sample documents.

3  You can capitalize words, use spaces or dashes.

4.  Don’t use a version number.  It can give the impression that you are using different versions for different jobs or that you keep changing your resume.  You can use your computer to keep track of different versions.

Remember, every step of your job search must present you as the ultimate professional.


Writing the Perfect Cover Letter: 8 Tips to Follow

CoverLetterWriting the perfect cover letter is extremely hard and time-consuming, and it’s extremely important.   It should tell your story and grab someone’s attention so they want to meet you.  Yet it must be concise and to-the-point.  The average hiring manager/recruiter will only spend about 5-6 seconds scanning your cover note before they make a decision to contact you.  Can you tell your story in 5 seconds?  While it’s not easy, it can be done.  You just need to follow some simple rules:

1.  Customize each cover letter.  Every job has different requirements and every company is  little different.  Personalize each cover letter according to the job ad or company.

2.  Send it to a person.  If the job ad doesn’t list a name, try LinkedIn or the company’s website.  You can even call and get a name.

3.  Remember it’s a letter.  Follow the format for a letter even if it’s in an email.

4.  Use key words.  Make sure the main key words from the ad or job description are in your cover letter.

5.  List skills.  If the job ad or description calls for a specific skill or skills, make sure you highlight them.

6.  Proof it.  Use spell check, double-check it yourself, and then ask a friend to check it for you.

7.  Keep it concise.  Three paragraphs, 2-4 sentences in each, at most.  Remember, you should be able to read it on any size electronic screen.

8.  Up-to-date information.  Make sure all your information is correct and if you have a website, check to see that’s the link is working.

You only have one shot, so make it count!

Cover Letters: 5 Tips to Maximize Readership

CoverLetterIn the job search world today, getting noticed can be the hardest part.  Recruiters and hiring managers are bombarded with resumes and only spend a few seconds scanning each one.  What should you do to  be noticed?  Make sure your cover letter stands out and is easy to read.

Cover letters serve as an introduction, should state why you are applying and discuss your qualifications concisely.  They should end with an ask for a meeting or interview.  Make sure your cover letter adheres to the following:

1.  Is on one page with three short paragraphs.

2.  Each paragraph should have 2-4 sentences, maximum.

3.  Set your spacing to optimize white space –  double space between paragraphs, one- and-a-half spaces between sentences.

4.  Use bullets or lists to highlight skills.

5.  Proofread, proofread, proofread.

How To Make Your Video Cover Letter More Like A Movie Trailer

carol.featuredBy Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D

We are witnessing the death (or at least the ineffectiveness) of the traditional cover letter for job applicants. If you want to stand out in the crowd, hiring managers today prefer something a little more interesting and efficient. “Try a video cover letter,” says Chris Brown, vice president of human resources at telecommunications and collaboration solutions company West Corporation. “If done correctly, it is personal and engaging – and could very well be the difference between being ignored or getting the interview.”

After comparing notes with Brown during a recent conversation, I compiled a list of do’s and don’ts to keep in mind if you decide to produce your own video cover letter:

Do keep it short. Remember that people have very short attention spans. Aim to tell your story in a concise and engaging way. While some companies allow a two-minutevideo, Brown prefers a 60-second version.

Don’t read your resume. Don’t make the mistake of simply reciting a list of past accomplishments. Instead, think of your video cover letter as a “movie trailer.” Make it engaging, inviting and filled with just enough information about your skills (Brown thinks that three key points is good) that the recruiter will want to know more. An effectivevideo cover letter has new content that adds a unique dimension to your resume by showcasing the intangibles: your personality, your energy, your confidence.

Do it yourself — but take a few tips from the pros: Wear solid colors — pastel or bright colors are best. (White catches too much light, patterns zig-zag on the screen.) Remove flashy jewelry and long dangling earrings.

Don’t use a script. Instead, write out a few bullet points and have those in front of you as a reminder of the most important things you want to cover.

Do find your hook. Brown calls this “your opportunity to brand yourself.” So give the recruiter something unique to remember you by. There may be hundreds (or thousands) of other applicants with similar skill sets and work backgrounds, but only one (you!) who is an Ironman triathlete, or who volunteers at an animal shelter, or who is the eldest of fourteen siblings, or who is trained in improvisational comedy. Think of this as a personalized ice-breaker — something a hiring manager could use to open a conversation when the two of you meet.

Don’t let your energy level drop. Several times during our conversation Brown reinforced the importance of keeping a high level of positive energy during your presentation. People are judging your enthusiasm and passion for whatever motivates you: your hobby, this industry, your community, the job opportunity, etc., and physical energy is key to projecting that passion.

Do your homework. Unless you are making a generic video, research the company you are approaching and tailor your pitch (yes, you are in “sales”) to show that you understand the culture , the goals and the value proposition of the organization so that you can explain why you consider yourself a good fit. Of course, just as you would in a written cover letter or resume, use the same words and phrases found in the job description in order to emphasize that you’d be perfect for the role. Using industry jargon, referring to competitive challenges or commenting on recent news stories about the company all helps the hiring manager know that you are an “insider.”

Don’t try to be perfect. No one is without flaws, and when you try to present yourself as perfect, you are bound to appear inauthentic. It is much better to be genuine by allowing the video cover letter to be as real and human as possible. That’s why a few minor “ums” or “uhs” are acceptable — preferable even — to an overly-scripted, overly-polished approach. (This is an invaluable tip as many hires are determined in large part by passing the “would I want to sit next to this person during a six-hour flight?” test. And few people would choose to be with Mr. or Ms. Perfect for that length of time.)

Do watch your body language. It takes just seven seconds for people to make judgments about your confidence, competence, professional status and warmth. While a face-to-face meeting gives you added opportunities (entering the meeting room, shaking hands, etc.), your visual presence sets that impression on the screen. So smile, maintain good posture, use natural hand gestures, maintain positive eye contact, and check that your grooming and wardrobe send a positive and professional message.

Don’t neglect your voice. The quality of your voice can be a deciding factor in how you are perceived.  Speakers with higher-pitched voices are judged to be less powerful and more nervous than speakers with lower pitched voices. (One easy technique to do before recording is to put your lips together and say, “Um hum, um hum, um hum.” Doing so relaxes your voice into its optimal pitch.) Brown advises applicants to vary their vocal tone. When people speak in a monotone, they can come across as lethargic or boring.

Do stay relaxed, but also stay professional. Decrease your use of slang or informal wording. (Brown, for example, would like all candidates to eliminate the word “hey” from their videos.)

Don’t forget to close. Keep it simple — but ask for what you want. “Thank you. Let’s get together,” or “I look forward to meeting you soon at an interview,” or “I know I could add value and I really want this job.” Ending with an assertive closing statement shows guts and confidence.

About the Author: Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D. is a keynote speaker, executive presence coach based in Berkeley, California, and media expert on the impact of body language on leadership effectiveness. She’s a leadership contributor for Forbes and author of “The Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help – or Hurt – How You Lead.” She can be reached by email at, by phone at 510-526-1727, or through her website: 


The Media and The Pandemic – Is the Coverage Balanced?

The Media and the Pandemic

Leslie Gottlieb

During the pandemic we have depended on the media – print, electronic and social media – for information on the latest variant, wearing masks, social distancing, COVID’s effects on the economy, the healthcare system, education, the arts, travel and more.  We have been inundated with daily – often hourly – alerts.  Recent headlines include “Extra Child Benefit Ends as Covid Explodes in the US” lead story NY Times, 1/3/22,  “Omicron Takes Toll on Business” page one Wall St Journal, 1/3/22. For a long time MSNBC ran a daily real time ticker on the number of hospitalizations nationwide.  Some days I just cannot read or watch the news.  I feel overwhelmed and powerless.

I am not alone. 

Now research suggests that constant media exposure about COVID-19 may be hazardous to your mental health. A 2/2021 study of 1,545 adults by scholars who study the psychological effects of crises, “Clearly showed that those experiencing the most media exposure about the pandemic had more stress and depression.” ( J.  Brian Houston,  Associate Professor of Communication and Public Health, University of Missouri-Columbia and Jennifer M. First, College of Social Work, University of Tennessee).  They conclude that “COVID-19 has created an infodemic; members of the public are overwhelmed with more information than they can manage.”

Against the avalanche of upsetting news sometimes there is positive coverage. In the spring of 2020 doctors, nurses and other essential workers on the front lines were featured prominently on TV, radio and in print.  On April 5, 2020 The NY Times ran a full page editorial highlighting the extraordinary efforts of dozens of Americans across the country such as “Dr. Mary Krebs, a family physician outside Dayton, who treated her patients via telemedicine from her own bed even as she battled fever, shortness of breath and a dry cough — telltale signs of coronavirus infection.” 

The role of journalism is to inform us, to present fair, accurate, unbiased information.  I am not addressing social media here.  According to the American Press Institute, a national nonprofit educational organization, “The purpose of good journalism is to give people the information they need to make better decisions.  In other words journalism is supposed to empower.”  Yes, I need to know the positivity rate for Omicron in my area and where to get booster shots. That helps my physical health.  But what about my mental health? For the past  2 years has the coverage truly been balanced?   I don’t think so. 

To balance the endless stories about overwhelming hospitalizations, political polarization and antivaxxers we need countervailing coverage of another side of the story – how average Americans are helping their communities every day by delivering food to homebound elderly, writing letters to shut-ins and nonprofit staff doing extraordinary work.   Such coverage will inspire me (and perhaps others) to volunteer my time or money. 

This balanced approach is used by The Christian Science Monitor.  Its tagline is “Get the stories that empower and uplift daily.”  They have a podcast called “People Making a Difference” which talks to  “ordinary individuals worldwide who … find innovative answers, fuel generosity, and inspire others to uplift their fellow human beings.“  

In 2021 Lindsay McGinnis was the Monitor’s Points of Progress reporter. In her year-end 2021 column “A Year’s Worth of Progress” she wrote about 257 moments of progress. She stated that these moments are “Evidence that humanity is capable of working together to advance a common good.” She contrasted that with NY Times year-end special  section “On the Future, Americans Can Agree, It Doesn’t Look Good.”  She concluded,  “Stories that touch on potential solutions to the world’s problems…have an empowering effect on audiences that can counter (negative) trends.” 

As communications experts  and PR professionals we have a role to play in this too.  We can look for and pitch the positive articles about our clients’ unsung heroes and heroines and how they are making the world a better place.     

Ms. McGinnis concludes her 2021 column, ”There’s always a reason for hope, if you look for it.”

And I’d add, “If you pitch it.“

THE MEDIA AND THE PANDEMIC – IS THE COVERAGE BALANCED? Leslie GottliebAbout the Author: Leslie Gottlieb is a seasoned professional in integrated strategic communications, media, marketing and crisis communications.  She consults for many leading nonprofit organizations.  She was the 2019 President of the New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and has taught numerous courses at NYU and other universities.

OP-Ed: Etcetera Reporting At The New York Times: A 10 Day Analysis Of Its Slanted Coverage Of The Israeli-Palestinian War From May 13 To May 23

Arthur Solomon

Few things in life are as certain as the New York Times reporting on Israeli-Palestinian conflicts.

Its news stories feature the terrible suffering of Palestinians, usually accompanied by photos supporting the articles.

Conversely, articles regarding the suffering of Israeli’s from decades of Palestinian attacks are few to almost none existent. 

Its editorial slant is consistently pro-Palestinian, as is its selection of essays from contributors.

Below is a 10 day analysis of its slanted coverage of the recent Israeli-Palestinian war, from May 13 to May 23.

The one-sidedness of the Times pro-Palestinian reporting (no surprise here based on reading it for decades) was evident during the recent fighting. In its May 13 edition, perhaps the most balanced reporting I’ve seen for decades in the Times during Israeli-Palestinian fighting was published. It was a huge article written by Patrick Kingsley, the Jerusalem bureau chief, accompanied my multiple photos. 

Mr. Kingsley’s reporting was in contrast to the one-sided selection of contributor’s essays on the subject: On May, 11, the Times published an essay headlined by, “Why So Much Rests on the Fate of a Tiny Neighborhood in East Jerusalem,” written by Rula Salameh, a Palestinian community organizer. On May 13, an essay titled, “Palestinians Deserve to Return, Too” was published. It was written by Peter Beinart, a professor at the City University of New York. Another pro-Palestinian essay on May 13 was titled, “My Child Asks, ‘Can Israel Destroy Our Building if the Power Is Out?’” written by Refaat Alareer, a Palestinian book editor. It’s as if the essay editor of the Times is acting as the public relations arm of the Palestinians with the approval of the top editors.

Also on May 13, a column by Nicholas Kristof, a regular Times columnist, was published, titled, “The U.S. Should Condition Aid to Israel on Reducing Conflict.” (No mention in the article about reducing aid to the Palestinians to reduce conflict.) 

In contrast to Mr. Kingsley’s balanced article, the Times news side reporting regarding Israel and Palestinians returned to form on May 14 in the guise of two page one articles. One story by Declan Walsh said the trouble started because of “a heavy-handed police raid.” The other, written by Isabel Kershner said that police “roughly dispersed” protests by Arab youths. Both descriptions properly belong in editorials or opinion columns, not in supposedly impartial news reporting.

(Instead of editorializing its news reports by using phrases like “a heavy-handed police raid” and “roughly dispersed,” an article in the May 15-16 Wall Street Journal by Jared Malsin and Anas Baba provided a lesson in how news reporting used to be done in the days when I was a journalist and how it should be done today, completely unbiased. “The current confrontation began with Palestinian protests over the possible forced removal of residents from homes that are also claimed by Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem. Israeli police stormed the mosque during a crackdown on protesters in the city who threw stones and aimed fireworks at them. Hamas then fired a salvo of rockets into Israel.” Jack Webb used to say on his popular police “Dragnet” TV series, “All we want are the facts, ma’am” and not contain words that belong in another section of the paper. Hard news reporters should remember his famous phrase.)

It wasn’t until May 14 that a pro-Israeli article appeared in the Times, when columnist Bret Stephens wrote a column headlined, “Israel Must Rout Hamas For Peace’s Sake.” It also wasn’t until May 14 that the Times published a pro-Israeli letter to the editor, in which the writer rightly said that the Palestinians goal is to destroy Israel and remove it from the world’s maps.

On the following day, May 15, there was a balanced front page article by Vivian Yee but another anti-Israel essay by Sen. Bernie Sanders, long a critic of Israel, which brings the score of anti-Israeli contributor essays to pro-Palestinians 4, pro-Israel 0.

In my readings of the Times news reporting on the conflict, it appears that thus far the most balanced reporting is when Mr. Kingsley’s by-line is on an article. A dispatch written by him and Vivian Yee on May 16 included the following: “The death toll is overwhelmingly higher in Gaza, where at least 145 people have been killed since Monday, according to Palestinian officials. But Israeli cities have been wracked by civil unrest for days, amid mob attacks by both Jews and Arabs. And they have been targeted by more than 2,800 missiles from Gaza, 90 percent of which have been intercepted by the Iron Dome, an anti missile system partly financed by the United States. Ten Israeli residents have been killed, along with two Israeli soldiers, according to the Israeli government.”  (Obviously, with 2800 missiles launched from Gaza, it wasn’t because of a lack of trying by Hamas that the Israeli death toll wasn’t much higher. Still to come, I believe, are the usual Palestinian claims, echoed by their anti-Semitic and anti-Israel allies, which always follow repeated attacks on Israel: “The death tolls are disproportionate”. Which raises the question: Since when during a war are deaths supposed to be proportionate?)

On May 17, the nonsensical claim of a “disproportionate” response by Israel, as it defended its citizens, finally made the Times news stories, which reported that “Human  rights groups, however, say that Israel routinely pushes the boundaries  of what might be considered proportionate  military force, and that it has frequently breached the laws of war.” (Question: Since when in warfare have the combatants been criticized for not limiting casualties to a “proportionate” number? Answer: Only when Israel responds to a Palestinian attack.)  Also, on May 17, Times news stories quoted Israeli human rights groups that criticized its government’s military action. Nowhere in the stories was there a mention that supporters of Palestinians and Hamas never have critical comments about their actions.

In its May 18 edition, the Times published two columns by its regular columnists – Bret Stephens and Michelle Goldberg. Stephens was supportive of Israel. To this day he is the only pro-Israel voice that has been heard on the opinion pages of the Times. Goldberg’s essay was so one-sided that it could have been written by a Palestinian public relations flack. She even criticized Israel for defending itself against Hamas attacks. (Not kidding. Google the column yourself.) Ms. Goldberg seems to be far left of those people calling for only a “proportional response,” a long-held ludicrous talking point of Palestinian propagandists after Israel responds to Palestinian attacks. In her column she accused Israel of “…causing obscene numbers of civilian casualties.” (Question: When Israel is constantly attacked by Palestinians who publicly say they want to destroy the country and push Jewish citizens into the sea, what is the acceptable number of Palestinians who might be killed during a war? Answer: Probably Ms, Goldberg thinks the number is Zero.)

The news reports in the paper on May 18, were fairly straight forward, mentioning that “Over eight days, Hamas has fired nearly as many rockets – 3,350 so far – as it did over all of the 50-day conflict between Israel and Hamas in 2014, and has killed nine civilians in Israel, including two children, and at least one soldier,” a fact that Ms. Goldberg, who has an affinity for quoting anti-Israel spokespeople, failed to mention. But the news report once again showed how a minor junior Democratic Congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has little support in her caucus, is treated as a major policy influencer, because she is outspoken, by quoting her anti-Israel twitter comment, giving it the same prominence as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other senior members of Congress who actually can influence legislation and foreign policy. 

The coverage on May 19 also was fairly straightforward but there were two notable exceptions. For years, news stories and anti-Israel commentators have been accusing Israel of adding to the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza because of the Israeli blockade. But a Times article mentioned that Egypt also has instituted a blockade of its own, a fact hardly ever mentioned. Also columnist Thomas Friedman said that both Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, and Hamas both welcome the conflicts because it keeps them in power, a cynical opinion made even more bizarre considering that in the same column Friedman wrote that Hamas is   “…an Islamo-fascist organization without a shred of democratic fiber that is dedicated to destroying the Jewish state and imposing a Tehran-like Islamic regime in Palestine…”

However on May 20 the Times resorted to its template coverage of the situation, both in the news and opinion sections. An article in the news section was headlined, “Rescued From Rubble, Father Emerges to Grief.”  The article told the truly tragic story of a Palestinian father who lost his wife and four children during an air strike. What made the publishing of this heart-wrenching article suspect is that throughout the many conflicts between the Israel and Palestinians, the Times consistently runs articles about the tragedies of Palestinians, while hardly ever reporting on the grief of Israelis when a member of their family is killed by Palestinian attacks.

And in a column titled, “The ‘Unshakable’ Bonds of Friendship With Israel Are Shaking,” columnist Nicholas Kristof opined that American support of Israel is weakening. He opened his column by asking, “If you oppose war crimes only by your enemies, it’s not clear that you actually oppose war crimes.”  He ended it by writing, “And it’s not anti-Semitic to criticize Israel for possible war crimes.”  (While it’s acceptable for Mr., Kristof to voice his ant-Israel beliefs, it is also acceptable for me to believe that he is in the pro-Palestinian caucus of the Times editorial staff.)In the column, Mr. Kristof quotes Human Rights Watch, an organization that has been accused of having anti-Israel bias from its beginning and has also been accused of being anti-Semitic.)

The anti-Israeli bias in the Times coverage was strikingly noticeable on May 21. Accompanying a lengthy comprehensive straight forward news article by Patrick Kingsley were a dozen photos. (For readers not familiar with the workings of a newspaper, photos accompanying an article are not chosen by the reporter.) There were two photos associated with the article on page one — a four column picture showing a home damaged by an Israeli missile; the other showing “Celebrations in Gaza streets.” Ten additional pictures accompanied the article, which was continued on pages 10 and 11. Of the 10, six depicted death and destruction scenes caused by Israeli missiles. But the two largest photos, one covering all six columns, the other over four columns both showed destroyed Palestinian buildings. Photos showing Israeli suffering were minuscule by comparison.

Also returning to the pages of the Times on May 21 were two pro-Palestinian essays. One was by Yousef Munayyer, a scholar at the Arab Center in Washington, D.C. It was titled, “For Palestinians, This Moment Is Different,” which not surprisingly took a pro-Palestinian slant. That’s okay with me. He’s entitled to his opinion. But the one that I have editorial problems with was by a lifelong Gaza resident and Times reporter, Iyad Abuheweila . Ms. Abuheweila wrote about viewing the destruction from the window of her apartment. In her article she wrote, I looked out my window. “Israel was lashing out, striking randomly and everywhere.” It’s been a long time since I was a newspaper editor, but if I was editing her story, there are a few questions I would have wanted answers to before publishing it; 1) Since it is known that Hamas, hoping to deter Israeli attacks, positions its forces in civilian areas, how did she know that Israel was “striking randomly and everywhere?” 2) Isn’t using that phrase a talking point of Arab propagandists? 3) Isn’t using that phrase editorializing instead of reporting? 4) And most important: Reporters are supposed to be objective. Should a Times reporter be permitted to write what obviously is an anti-Israeli article?

The Times pages on May 22 provided both an anti-Israel opinion column, disguised as a “news analysis” article by Roger Cohen and a surprise.

Mr. Cohen accused Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of deliberately welcoming the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians because it helps to keep him in power. He wrote that “The Prime Minister has put enormous energy and considerable ruthless into crafting the image of indispensability,” to create an image that he is “the sole guarantor of Israel security.” (Instead of being labeled as “NEWS ANALYSIS” a more apt description of the article would be “One Sided Anti-Israel, Pro-Palestinian Propaganda Hit Job.”)

The Surprise: Ever since the outbreak of hostilities, I have been counting the days before the Times ran an editorial on the situation, expecting it to be pro-Palestinian and, as usual, a condemnation of Israel. When it finally materialized, the editorial was titled, “New Ideas for Israel and the Palestinians.” The headline of the editorial is self-explanatory. But the surprise came in the second and third paragraphs. “Israelis should not have to live in fear of rockets raining down…” read a line in the second paragraph. The following graph contained a sentence that was the strongest about Israeli’s right to defend itself that I saw in a Times editorial in years.  It read, “Israeli has a right — even a responsibility – to put a stop to the rocket attacks at its source.”

But the Times news side resorted to its pro-Palestinian position on May 23. A huge story by David M. Halbfinger and Adam Rasgon chronicled the sufferings of Palestinians. It began on page one, accompanied by four portraits of Palestinians, and continued on two inside pages, accompanied by five photos. The article was titled “The Misery of Life Under Occupation.” Nowhere in the Times that day was there even one paragraph of how Israeli’s felt when one of their family was killed by Palestinians. Instead there was a story about the technological capabilities of the Israeli army.

The above is an abridged look of the Times coverage, only from its print edition. But those who have paid attention over the decades know that its coverage, print or on-line, have always favored the Palestinians. That’s what made the May 22 editorial so surprising. 

Also people who closely follow the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts know that the goal of Hamas is the total destruction of Israel. They have publicly said so even after they tried to convince the world of their reasonableness by removing the destruction of Israel from its manifesto in 2006. But as recently as 2019, a Hamas official called for Jews around the world to be killed, a statement which he attempted to walk back.

Nevertheless, again missing from the Times coverage of the conflict was the Palestinian oft-repeated declaration to eliminate Israel and drive its citizens into the sea.

Newspapers have editorial writers to express the entity’s viewpoints on matters and staff columnists to express their opinions. I might disagree with the viewpoints but both have a place in journalism. However, the above contributory essays written by Palestinians and their supporters fall into another category. They were partisan opinion pieces that appeared without any opposing essays and that demonstrates why the New York Times coverage of the Israeli-Palestinians situation and conflict has always been anti- Israel.

The Unspoken PR Tenet: Bad News Is Good News for Our Business By Arthur SolomonAbout the Author: Arthur Solomon, a former journalist, was a senior VP/senior counselor at Burson-Marsteller, and was responsible for restructuring, managing and playing key roles in some of the most significant national and international sports and non-sports programs. He also traveled internationally as a media adviser to high-ranking government officials. He now is a frequent contributor to public relations publications, consults on public relations projects and is on the Seoul Peace Prize nominating committee. He can be reached at arthursolomon4pr (at) or


COVID-19’s Impact on Sustainability: 3 Trends in Media Coverage

Ellen Mallernee Barnes, Vice President of Content; Stephanie Clarke, Vice President; Lesley Sillaman, Senior Vice President; Linda Descano, Executive Vice President; Deanna Tomaselli, Account Supervisor; and Audrey Arbogast, Senior Account Executive at Red Havas

Had this past April been an ordinary April, the news media would have likely done its usual flurry of Earth Month—and Earth Day—coverage. Sustainability experts would have worked to achieve news coverage that explored progress to date and helped set the agenda for the future.

This year, however, April had a different distinction. In the U.S., it was the first full month in history that we lived with social distancing practices and stay-at-home orders in place.

COVID-19 dominated the media, not climate change. 

This media coverage was met by a rapt audience: At the end of March, 92 percent of Americans said they were following coronavirus coverage very or fairly closely. 

To satisfy Americans’ appetite for trusted resources, real-time updates and a roadmap through uncharted territory, journalists and news outlets adapted their content to cover coronavirus-related stories almost exclusively. Thousands of angles, hundreds of spokespeople, tens of theories, one topic.

With this in mind, we conducted an analysis comparing sustainability coverage pre-COVID-19 and today. Additionally, we spoke with sustainability and CSR journalists for guidance on how industry advocates can continue to seek and obtain coverage in this vastly changed news environment. 

We identified the following three trends:

#1: The climate crisis is legitimately compared to the COVID-19 crisis.

Climate change and environmental topics remain of great importance to media, who have continued to report on urgent environmental news such as coral bleaching, droughts and threats to wildlife

To plug into the COVID-19 conversation, reporters in this space are using the crisis as a cautionary tale for how climate change could bring forth similar consequences, calling this a “fire drill” or “stress test” for corporations. Bloomberg’s Emily Chasan said the current crisis has drawn attention to the social consequences of climate change, while Scott Breen, host of the “Sustainably Defined” podcast, said he was looking at “how we can take lessons from addressing this crisis to dealing with climate change and how the two are similar/different.” 

The media has also reported on how the pandemic and resulting stay-at-home orders affect the planet. At the start of the crisis, the U.S. media reported on the positive consequences that stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders could have on the environment. Now, however, many outlets concede that while the impacts of COVID-19 could benefit the environment in the short term, there are also negative implications such as the rolling back of environmental protection regulations on car emissions, airline emissions, and air and water pollution in the midst of the crisis and as economies look to accelerate their return to growth. 

From a business perspective, announcements about corporate efforts to mitigate climate change are still of importance to media. Heather Clancy, editorial director of GreenBiz, said she’s continuing to cover stories that will be critical for the long term and is highlighting which businesses are taking action. “Climate action is something we cannot afford to ignore, despite this short-term emergency,” she said.

Similarly, Mary Mazzoni, senior editor at TriplePundit, has said that the outlet’s reporting focus is still on the sustainability space. “We feel that crucial conversations around issues like climate change, environmental degradation and social justice have not become less relevant today simply because we now face yet another global challenge,” she said during a recent webinar. 

#2: Pitches to sustainability media need to be particularly compelling to break through the COVID-19 content. 

In order for sustainability-focused stories to break through, aggressive targets, major corporate announcements and groundbreaking innovations are now, more than ever, a must. Through our audit and in conversations with media, we found that while many outlets have always been selective with coverage topics, due to the timeliness and urgency of COVID-19, the bar for non-COVID stories is now much higher across both trade and global outlets.

That includes Fast Company, where sustainability writer Adele Peters affirmed that she’s most interested in major and innovative sustainability news. Stories need to really reach a high bar,” she said. In the outlet’s “World Changing Ideas” series, she recently wrote about an enzyme that recycles old plastic. She also covered Etsy becoming the first major online retailer to fully offset its shipping emissions, and wants other retailers to follow suit as the logistics industry begins to change. “ 

Brands should take note that sustainability angles need to be stronger in order to gain media interest, and they need to set a higher bar. Annual reports and new initiatives may not necessarily be prioritized unless they include ambitious goals and major news. 

#3: All CSR efforts and announcements will be assessed through a COVID-19 lens.

From the coverage we observed, it is clear media is keen on understanding how companies are reframing their sustainability initiatives with consideration of the global pandemic. In other words, CSR announcements cannot be made in silos and need to recognize the larger picture. 

To start, there is a heightened focus on the companies pivoting their day-to-day business operations to assist with COVID-19 relief efforts, including by creating much-needed personal protective equipment, helping employees work remotely, using distilling facilities to manufacture hand sanitizer and more.

Additionally, reporters want to know what companies are doing to support their people and communities. The coronavirus has created an urgent, unprecedented opportunity for CEOs and corporate leaders to put purpose-driven leadership and stakeholder capitalism into practice. It’s for that reason, said Leon Kaye of Triple Pundit, that transparency and authenticity are more important than they’ve ever been. He told us the public is looking for thoughtful, meaningful leadership that speaks to a company’s values and ambitions.

In this time of uncertainty and stress, reporters are also placing a priority on feel-good stories about those companies working to benefit people’s lives and livelihoods. As a recent example, Sustainable Brands highlighted several companies that are lending support to rural agricultural producers and their communities as the pandemic continues. And among corporations, those that have ensured employees’ safety and well-being have been widely reported on, as well as those that have promised not to lay off workers in 2020 or have offered their employees mental-health benefits. This coverage has also scaled up to include CSR initiatives that protect society’s most vulnerable, including those companies who have stepped up to help feed those at risk of hunger and who have protected front-line healthcare workers

To both consumers and media alike, it’s the people and companies striving to make a meaningful difference that truly inspire. 

Looking ahead at future impact

While many businesses today face existential challenges and must endure endless debate about what life will look like in a post-COVID-19 era, one thing remains the same: The pandemic will press industries to make sure sustainability is authentic and truly connected to delivering value and meaningful change. 

A recent article from Bloomberg posited that sustainability will “redefine itself in the COVID-19 era.” How will this affect the media landscape on the other side of this social and economic disruption? The jury is still out. 

About the Authors:

Ellen Mallernee Barnes, Vice President of Content

Ellen has managed editorial content creation and strategy for Havas PR’s corporate, nonprofit and consumer clients since 2011, contributing her writing and editing skills to numerous award-winning campaigns across a breadth of industries. Always on-message and engaging, Ellen has drafted hundreds of impactful blog posts and bylines that have landed clients in the likes of Forbes, Fast Company, The New York Times, USA Today and top trade publications. Red Havas’ clients have also come to count on her to develop long-form think pieces, such as white papers and research reports, and short-form social content that is crisp and compelling. And to build our clients’ thought leadership profiles, Ellen has assembled hundreds of winning award entries and speeches. Ellen previously served as editorial director for Gibson Guitar and has a background in journalism.


Stephanie Clarke, Vice President

A founding member of Red Havas’ Phoenix office with almost a decade of food and beverage experience, Stephanie is a savvy PR and marketing pro who feeds off going the extra mile to deliver the best possible results for her clients. Stephanie has led consumer programs for clients including AQUA Carpatica, Cervezas Alhambra, Fukushu Restaurant Concepts, Frost Gelato, Sauce Pizza & Wine, Revelator Coffee Company and Chef Dominique Crenn’s Root Project, and her campaign for Risas Dental and Braces was shortlisted in the PRWeek awards. Within her first year at Red Havas, she increased media impressions for Phoenix’s first client, Fox Restaurant Concepts, by 650 percent and was named to PR News’ Rising PR Stars 30 & Under and as a PR Champion by the Council of PR Firms. Stephanie is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and currently sits on the St. Vincent de Paul Advisory Board in Phoenix, lending her PR and marketing expertise to the organization.  


Lesley Sillaman, Senior Vice President

Lesley joined Red Havas in 2006, and since then has been immersed as strategist, content and speech writer, media relations specialist and trainer. She manages the Havas PR Global Collective, coordinating its cross-border work with Havas teams around the world, including on the Kellogg’s snacks and cereals business in EMEA. For Transitions Optical, Lesley launched the Transitions Adaptive Sunwear brand, and has introduced various new products with global brand names like Oakley, Nike, Callaway, Bell and Shoei. She has also been the executive speechwriter for the company’s annual flagship partner education event, Transitions Academy. For Sodexo, Lesley led the planning, messaging strategy and media outreach for the company’s first “Quality of Life” Conference, an international symposium in New York. And for 10 years, she has led all media, content development and partnership initiatives for International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association. Lesley was named PR News’ PR Professional of the Year in 2016. She received her bachelor’s from the University of Dayton and her master’s from the Annenberg School for Communications. 


Linda Descano, CFA®, Executive Vice President

Linda is an executive vice president of Red Havas in New York. Linda specializes in providing strategic counsel on corporate communications, executive visibility, issues and crisis management, and Merged Media communications strategies to global corporations and organizations. Prior to joining Red Havas in 2015, Linda was managing director and global head of content marketing and social media at Citi; other roles during her tenure at Citi included president and CEO of Women & Co., the award-winning financial lifestyle community for women, and director and portfolio manager of the Citi Social Awareness Investment program. A PR News PR Professional of the Year and one of Campaign U.S. Digital’s 40 over 40 honorees, Linda brings a unique blend of storytelling experience and investment acumen, complemented by work in B2B, B2C and B2B2C, giving her an uncanny ability to help clients create authentic conversations and campaigns. 


Deanna Tomaselli, Account Supervisor

Deanna has more than a decade of experience in consumer and B2B PR, marketing and social media in both agency and corporate settings. Throughout her career, Deanna played an integral role in social media, particularly content development, community management and influencer relations. She also has a proven track record for securing media placements. For Red Havas, Deanna solidified high-profile stories for clients such as NBC News and Self magazine. She works primarily on the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association, Transitions Optical and LivaNova accounts, and helps manage the Transitions influencer program. Deanna is one of Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 Under 40 honorees and was named both Rising Star and Member of the Year by PRSA Pittsburgh. She’s also been an active member of the PRSA Pittsburgh board for 10-plus years. 


Audrey Arbogast, Senior Account Executive

In her four years at Red Havas U.S., Audrey has managed media relations, influencer relations, and social media efforts on behalf of consumer brands, expanding the agency’s digital offerings for current and prospective clients. Current and past social media clients range from food and beverage products, to healthcare facilities, to a global climate summit. For these clients, Audrey oversees the social media strategy from ideation to execution, including managing budgets for paid social media tactics across platforms. Audrey’s experience also includes developing influencer relations programs, securing authentic partnerships to create awareness, drive traffic, and increase brand affinity.


The Four-Letter Word We Shouldn’t Forget 

J.D. “Jim” Fox

“I don’t need anyone else to call me a whore,” she said.  “I get it.”

That’s part of what New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman said in answer to my question about social media at a panel previewing Showtime’s documentary, “The Fourth Estate.”

The Four-Letter Word We Shouldn’t Forget Haberman’s words were in the back of my head as I read “Merchants of Truth,” the new book from former Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson (who says she tried to lure Haberman from Politico).  If you don’t have time to read it — it’s worth your time —there’s a critique by Harvard history professor Jill Lepore in the New Yorker.

“Merchants of Truth” details the sea change from print to digital journalism — and certainly its traditional ad-based business model — by profiling the evolution of BuzzFeed, Vice, the Times, and the Washington Post … with a necessary nod to Facebook and Google as the champion vacuums of advertising dollars.

We’ve all heard some of this before:  digital ate the traditional economic underpinnings of the big newspapers for lunch; online news has to live side-by-side with Kardashian clickbait; and feisty upstarts like Vice captured the young lad market and made billions for their entrepreneurial owners.

In this detailing of journalism’s demise, both Abramson and Lepore make just passing nods to a factor I consider an essential corollary to the online explosion:  HATE is the easiest and quickest thing to communicate.

In her book, Abramson noted that Candidate Trump’s bashing of “the fake news media” was a reliable crowd-pleaser, along with chants of “Lock Her Up!”  The reporters covering the 2016 campaign, including Maggie Haberman and others, were (and still are) routinely threatened by the whipped-up crowds.

But it’s so much easier online, where you can spew hate anonymously.  Jill Lepore’s New Yorker piece noted the preponderance of lists in the digital realm: “Lists were liked.  Hating people was liked.  And it turned out that news, which is full of people who hate other people, can be crammed into lists.”

For anyone with a journalism background (like me), watching this devolution has been painful.  What’s even worse is to remember the historical antecedent:  Hitler was the quickest hater of all.  Those vile posters the Nazis plastered all over Europe in the 1930s never featured more than five words.

JD Fox - Coach's CornerAbout the Author: J.D. “Jim” Fox is Head Coach at Next Act Coaching.


Delivering Results: How FedEx Used Data to Discover New Business


The Barcelona Principles assert that determining tangible business results for public relations is our top measurement objective. Executives want to know the impact on the bottom line, not how many clips you counted.

The FedEx case study presented at the PRSA/AMEC Measurement Symposium is a great example of how to  measure the way communications affects business results, and how to make communications better and more predictive.

 “How many of you would consider using FedEx to ship a critical letter to a client or business partner?” asked Neil Gibson, vice president for communications at FedEx, during his presentation at the 2012 PRSA International Conference.  Almost every hand in the room went up. “Now, how many of you would consider using FedEx to ship a gift to your mother or family member?” Fewer people raised their hands.

“This illustrates an opportunity for FedEx,” said Gibson, who noted that the company was built on fast, reliable business-to-business/consumer delivery.  “But, when it comes to personal shipping we have increased opportunities as our pricing and service are not only as good as competitors, but often better,” he said. “The question is: How do we use communications to help put more personal shipping packages on the belt, and what needs to change in both how we communicate and market, but also in how we measure it?”

FedEx undertook a major reputation study to understand the differences in business versus personal shipping by geography across the United States.  The company fielded a representative sample in each Census region to ensure that there was a robust sample within each region.

“Our study showed that feelings about FedEx were ubiquitous no matter where you live in the country,” Gibson said.  “The perception was that FedEx was seen more as a business shipper than one you’d use for personal shipping — which demonstrated an opportunity to mine for additional business.”

Instead of just looking at the image of the company and what drives that opinion, FedEx dug deeper to uncover the drivers of personal and professional purchase choices.

Whereas most reputational studies explore the correlation among different reputational drivers with overall image and intent to purchase, the FedEx data was based on causal analysis of both reputation and brand marketing drivers to determine how together they affect the choice of purchase.

The research found that there are two primary drivers of personal shipping choice.  One is factual — does the company have the right services at the right price? And the other is emotional — do I feel connected to the company? Deeper analysis determined how to create movement in each area.

Since the modeling was causal, and not correlative, it can be used to predict business results. For example, if you move the emotional connection one point on a 10-point scale, you can gauge the corresponding change in personal shipping behavior.

We often erroneously assume that brand marketing and reputation management have completely different sets of attributes. In fact, brand and reputation overlap around 70 percent of the time. You have to manage both together. 

This means that marketing and communications departments have to work “hand in glove” and not be isolated from each other. Your advertising and communication activities all need to be inextricably linked across every channel.

“It’s been an interesting journey for FedEx on this project,” Gibson told the audience in closing.  “The results have made our communications function much more focused on educating  our shippers about FedEx  services that fulfill their specific needs, building a connection to the company and telling our story of how we use our assets to connect the world.”

To Learn more about earning a certificate in Measurement and Analytics from PRSA, check out the course description:

Gould+Partners Launching Email Newsletter, Gould+Partners Inside Edge

gould200A Commpro News Update

Today Gould+Partners announced the launch of Gould+Partners Inside Edge…Business Strategy for PR, Media & Creative Service Agencies.  Inside Edge is an email newsletter that caters to both creative service agency owners and senior executives.

Debuting July 19 Inside Edge will focus on agency management, M&A issues and best practices, profitability, valuations, executive retention and media and marketing trends. The newsletter will be published biweekly, distributed every other Tuesday.

Rick Gould, managing partner of Gould+Partners, said Inside Edge will be a handy tool for creative service agency owners and managers increasingly pressed for time.

“The newsletter will feature a disparate group of stories that can be read and absorbed very quickly,” he said. “The goal is to provide agency owners with a brief-like newsletter that will help them boost the value of their firm and educate them on the most profitable ways to operate an agency.”

Gould added that he is excited to lend his management consulting and M&A expertise to agency owners grappling with an ever-changing marketplace.

The e-mail newsletter “will cover the multiple issues that are top of mind for agency owners, whether that’s how to boost lead revenue, improve strategic planning or retain millennial employees, which is a growing problem for agencies of all sizes,” Gould said.

Buzzwords: 10 Words To Eliminate From Your Resume/Profile

Buzzwords: 10 Words To Eliminate From Your Resume/ProfileMarie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

Buzzwords should be eliminated from your resume, online profiles and cover letters.  These words add nothing to your brand and can distract a reader from the more important facts.  What are buzzwords?  Basically, overused words that do not describe what you do.  You may think you are a team-player but that’s your opinion.  How you describe what you have done in your career will determine if you are or not.   Get ready to clean up your resume.

LinkedIn recently put together a list of the most overused words in their online profiles.  They are:

  • Specialized
  • Leadership
  • Passionate
  • Strategic
  • Experienced
  • Focused
  • Expert
  • Certified
  • Creative
  • Excellent

You want to standout so using words that everyone else does won’t help and will keep you from having a concise, easy-to-read resume or profile.

Start deleting!


Resume Rules: 2022

Resume Rules 2019


Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

A new year brings new resume tweaks.  Covid has changed things.  Job hunting is more tech-oriented than ever.  Working from home, office or a hybrid model have made professionals more time conscious so keeping your resume on target is a must. No one has time to waste.

Here are the resume rules for 2022:

Use a Professional Summary or Objective:

Whichever you use, keep it brief. You want to communicate your achievement. Leave out all the arrogant adjective – trustworthy, master, expert etc.  In your summary, you want to speak about your accomplishments.  In your objective, you want to highlight the skills you have used to get you where you are.

Include your Linkedin profile:

You have the ability to include more information on your profile than on your resume so include a link to your Linkedin profile on your resume.  Remember to update your profile and make sure dates etc. agree with your resume.

Make Your Resume Easy to Read:

With a remote workforce, resumes are read on a variety of devices – desktops, tablets and phones.  Remember to leave a lot of white space and bullet points.  Keep paragraphs to 2-3 sentences.  Applicant Tracking Systems don’t always read boxes, graphs and borders so simple is best. Try opening your resumes on different devices to see how easy it is to read.  Keep your resume to two pages, if you can.  Remember, you can use addendum pages to list accomplishments, awards, media hits etc.

Use an up-to-date font such as Avenir, Garamond or Calibri.

Include Pandemic-Related Content:

Showing how you managed your job while working remotely could be a plus.  Explain how you handled your clients, managed your staff or worked on new business in this new pandemic world.  Your motivation and resourcefulness could be a plus.

Vaccinated?  No one is sure if this will be an issue yet.  It’s a personal choice to put it on your resume or not.  In some cases, it might be important if the position requires you to go to the office for meetings.

The Basic Resume Rules don’t Change:

Your resume must:
1. Have just the pertinent information.
2. Be customized for each job.
3. Be strategic in content.
4. Have the most relevant information at the top of every section.
5. Be concise, have white space and be easy to read/scan.
6. Be applicant tracking system (ATS) ready – no headers/footers, graphs, color etc.
7. Not have old, outdated material.
8. Include appropriate keywords.
9. Use bullet points to make it easier to read.
10. Be error free.

Resume Styles:

There are three basic resume styles: Chronological, Functional, and Combination.
A chronological resume is still the most used format and it includes a listing of your work history, beginning with your most recent job. This is a great format for your master resume.
A functional resume highlights your major skills areas.
A combination resume utilizes parts of both the functional and chronological resumes. It lists skills on tope followed by the work history.
Whatever format you use, remember to customize your resume to target the specific abilities and duties listed in the description.

What Goes On Your Resume?

1. Your name, address, telephone numbers and email address. Identify your phone numbers if you are putting more than one (cell, business, home, message etc.)

If you are looking for a remote opportunity, put that under your personal information or in your objective/summary.

2. In your work history, put the company/agency name with a short explanation of the nature of the organization. Hiring managers might not be familiar with your employer or you might be working in a specific product unit.
3. If you are looking for work in a PR or Advertising agency, list your clients or account expertise.
4. Under education, list the school and degree.
5. If you are fluent in a language or have knowledge of specific or technical computer programs, list them.  Do not use general terms like computer literate and only list languages you are fluent in (read, write and speak.)
6. Current Board/Committee memberships can show your interest in a field or philanthropic area. List them.

What Does Not Go On Your Resume?

1. Don’t list any personal information such as birthdays, marital status etc. While common practice outside of the US, it is not legal here.
2. Keep the names of your references on a separate sheet and give them out when asked.
3. Salary information does not belong on the resume. If a job ad asks for salary history, it should go in your cover letter.
4. Don’t include any activities that are not relevant. You can always make a separate addendum page if you want them.
5. The phrase, “References available on request” is outdated and should not be used.

6. If you have been working for ten or more years, you can drop the bullet points from earlier jobs.  It’s the company name, title and dates of employment that are necessary.

When writing your Resume, remember to:

1. Eliminate pronouns. Resumes should not include I, he/she.
2. Tailor your summary to the position you are applying.
3. Don’t include non-sequitur information.
4. Use bullet points to make it easier to read.
5. Avoid jargon/buzzwords.
6. Do not include personal information.
7. If you feel your resume is too long, eliminate from the bottom. You don’t really need bullet points for your first jobs.
8. Include as many keywords as possible. Use the keywords from the advertisement or job description when possible.

Words Not to Include on Your Resume:

Unnecessary words that don’t add anything, describe anything or showcase your writing ability should be eliminated from your resume. You want to be clear and concise so eliminate words like:

Extensive experience
Team player
Problem solver
Interface with
Aptitude for
Works well with
Good communication skills
Measurable results
Good work ethic
Bottom-line oriented

Words to Add to Your Resume:


Sending Your Resume:

It’s a digital world when it comes to job hunting so your resume will be sent electronically.
Transmitting your resume with a generic name can cause it to be overlooked or to get lost in the system. Be professional and name your resume file properly. You want hiring managers to know it’s your resume and make it easier to track through their email system.

1. Use either a PDF or Microsoft Word Format.
2. Personalize your file by adding your name – MarieRapertoResume.
3. Don’t use a version number. Just keep it simple.

Remember – Customization is King!

Applying For A Job? Don’t Use Linkedin

How to Use LinkedIn for Business and Personal GrowthMarie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

I recently came across an article on that I found very interesting. The article points out why you shouldn’t use the Easy Apply option on LinkedIn when you answer a job posting. Since searching for the appropriate job and then customizing your resume to fit the description takes time, you want to make sure your resume gets the attention it deserves. Here are the reasons why you shouldn’t use Easy Apply.

  1. When an ‘Easy Apply” is received by a hiring manager/recruiter, they only see a snapshot of your LinkedIn profile. Most profiles are not complete so you are probably wasting your time.
  2. The posting may ask for a cover letter or you may want to include one, but Easy Apply doesn’t sent it.
  3. Easy Apply supplies the hiring manager with a list of candidates that have responded.  It includes: Your picture, Name, Location and Headline. So that’s what someone sees and they have to decide from this if they want to look at your resume.
  4. LinkedIn may not be able to read your resume correctly. Since LinkedIn wants people to use their platform, your PDF my not work well.

If you do decide to use Easy Apply, make sure your profile is complete and full of relevant key words. Your headline should be the job title you want to use (not necessarily the one you have) and your photo should be professional looking.


Liar, Liar: 10 Reasons Not to Lie On Your Resume


10 Reasons Not to Lie On Your Resume


Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

Lies on resumes. You’ve seem them, you’ve heard about it being done and, maybe, you’ve done it.  One thing is for sure:  You will get caught.    Stretching the truth is a lie and it can come back to haunt you. So why do it?

First, you could get into serious trouble: Rescinding of the job offer, being fired or facing criminal charges. Lying about military service or being untruthful when seeking federal or state employment can be a crime.  You also seriously damage your reputation and jeopardize future employment opportunities.

According to a survey from TopResume, 97% of professionals said that discovering a lie on a resume would cause them to reconsider/dismiss a job candidate.  57% said they know someone who has embellished their resumes.  89% agreed that lying about academic degrees was a serous offense as was being untruthful about a criminal record (88%).

Remember, it’s easy for an employer to discover the truth.

  1.  Your degree can easily be confirmed by the school.
  2.  Most employers are using writing, language and other tests of skills.
  3.  Your dates don’t look right.  Listing your job history by just the year to cover up gaps is a big no-no.
  4.  Resume/cover letter differences.  You can have your resume written by the best but, if your cover letter is not equally as good, an employer will question your skills.
  5.  Not being able to elaborate on the items on your resume is a huge giveaway.
  6.  Unrealistic job titles.  Five year’s of experience and you are a VP is not realistic. Also job titles can be checked when a company does references.
  7.  When you are covering up something, your body tells the truth. When an interviewer questions something you haven’t done, your body will betray you.
  8.  References don’t always hold up.  You can ask a reference to embellish for you but a skilled interviewer will get the truth.
  9.  Your online presence can be very telling and Google is very helpful.  Your company went out of business last month, Google may have different information.  Went to XX University for four years?  Then why are you in a WW University alumni group.
  10.  Formal background checks will uncover any lies about your work history, criminal past, education, professional certifications etc.

The truth is out there!