When you find yourself in the throes of a job search and have questions, you need a go-to resource that will help you navigate the complexities of a modern job search.

The National Résumé Writers’ Association (NRWA) launched an “Ask the Experts” blog where seasoned professional resume writers provide answers to questions about resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, the job search process, and a variety of other job search related questions.Tammy Shoup Ask the Experts Contributor

Each week, a group of elite NRWA members address questions submitted by job seekers. Here are 7 job questions on today’s modern job search I’ve answered and links for you to check out the tips my colleagues have offered:

Interview Answers to Make a Great Impression

I Recently Got Fired from My Last Job; How Do I Explain this in an Interview?

Be honest and make sure your answer is to the point. It’s easy to let negative emotions enter into the conversation so practice, practice, practice your response. You will want to frame the experience in the most positive light possible (an error you’ve learned from) and then steer the conversation toward the strengths you bring to the table.

How do I answer “tell me about yourself” in an interview? I never know what they’re looking for.

The interviewer’s goal is to decipher whether or not you are a good fit for the position and your response should focus on your key skills and most recent experiences relative to the job opening. Practice presenting your elevator pitch (promise of value) so you are able to clearly conveying who you are and how your experiences will help the organization move forward.

Modern Job Search Techniques to Get Noticed

I Spend So Much Time Filling Out Applications with No Callbacks. What Is the Best Way to Get Noticed by Employers?

The best way to get noticed by employers is to (a) identify the specific employers you want to work for and then (b) laser-focus your documents on their needs. Align your skills and experience and keyword optimize your document by leveraging job description info and prove you can solve their problems by including tangible results (how you’ve saved time or $; reduced costs, improved productivity).

I notice there are so many formats and designs when it comes to resumes. Is it better to keep the visual aspect of the resume simple, or fill it with colors that could overwhelm the reader?

Although a splash of color will help make your resume stand out, content is still king. A simple, clean design with a pop of color for your headings or subheadings along with plenty of white space will help make your resume stand out without overwhelming the reader. Using a bit of color will help break up sections and give your document a more modern look, but proceed with caution.

I realize that resumes now need to include numbers. I don’t do sales, so I don’t have any numbers to include. Am I doomed?

No, you are not doomed! Even in non-revenue generating roles, there are ways to convey the value you offer your next employer. Look for ways your efforts contributed to or supported a revenue, cost reduction, or timesavings activity. In lieu of numbers, you may use general phrases or percentages. e.g. Supported 5-person team in securing gifts for a multimillion-dollar funding campaign.

Just what is personal branding and how do I use it to get a job?

Personal branding is an intentional effort to clearly communicate what you are known for – that is what differentiates you from other people.

COVID-19 Job Searching

Seems like no one is hiring right now. Should I still bother to send out my resume or wait for the coronavirus outbreak to subside?

It may seem like a terrible time to conduct a job search but halting your search could cause you to lose out on prime opportunities. Many companies are still hiring and those that aren’t will again ramp up when the outbreak subsides. Keep your search moving forward: apply to positions that resonate with your career goals, skills, qualifications, and experience and work your network to source leads.


In today’s complex modern job search, you don’t need to wade through hundreds of opinions. You need a source you can trust. The ‘Ask the Experts’ site has a growing library of answered questions from well-regarded experts in the resume writing industry – that includes, Certified Master Resume Writer, Tammy Shoup from BreakthroughResumes.com

Feel free to get in touch with me. I’d love to chat with you about your job search challenges and how I can be of assistance. Simply follow the link and schedule a discovery call.