October 1, 2020

Addressing a skills gap to build career success

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. As someone that studied I/O Psychology and spent 6 years as a Learning & Development Manager, I find this to be an important topic. Let’s start with what is a skills gap. When applying this to your career we can simply define it as the space between your existing skills and the skills that you need to secure your intended career choice. These gaps can occur for several reason, including changes in technology, industry or workforce trends that we are unaware of. It can also occur because we simply choose to change our career path. The next question is how do we fill these in? Well the first step is identifying them. Our time is finite, so it is extremely important that we determine what we want to do going forward first. Understanding where we want to go will allow us to come up with a plan on how to get there. Our recommendations are the following: Start reaching out to your network to get a sense of the market and what opportunities are out there. Conduct a job search. See what positions look most interesting to you and what the skills required are. Then assess your skills and see where the disconnect is (if any). Connect with

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September 2, 2020

Sometimes Less is More_Crafting a Concise Resume

What is the key to writing a strong Resume? How do we possibly express ourselves and speak to our professional experience in 1 page or less! Well the good news is that in some circumstances we don’t have to. Even though it is now more acceptable to have a longer Resume, there is still a struggle to find balance between telling your story and finding the space to do so. Two factors that are driving this struggle include the average time we stay at a position in the United States (average is between 2 – 3 years) and the diverse expectations of us while we are in that position. How do we combat the natural inclination to include all of our accomplishments and tasks across each role we have held? The first step is to decide what you want next by deciding what skill you want to continue to develop and the responsibilities you have that do not fit into what motivates you as an employee. After we self-assess, it is important to do something that may not seem natural, we should look for jobs before working to update the Resume. It is important to not only self-assess, but to see what the jobs we are prioritizing are asking of us. This provides us with the opportunity to create alignment

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July 16, 2020

The importance of Mindfulness

I know that we are getting fatigued by the constant reminder of “Covid-19” dubbed also as the “Coronavirus”, but I felt it was important to the cover the topic on mindfulness. This should always be a practice embedded in our daily lives, but I do think it is more crucial now that we practice it. I would like to share my personal story. My wife and I both work full time, I with this business and my wife full time in the corporate world. We have two children 4 and under, and thus far have been lucky to have full time care for them through a combination of our parents and daycares. This set up changed for us in an instant and for long stretches we have both been trying to work and watch the children and I am not sure if we are doing either effectively, but we are doing our best. We know of others that are having a much more difficult time then we are. We have family members that own small businesses and can’t open, we have friends that are furloughed and we have colleagues that are just getting by. The point of this story is that the virus has impacted us all in different ways, so be mindful of what is going on with your

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June 29, 2020

Mental Health Matters

As I write this, we are entering nearly 100 days into the COVID-19 pandemic. I can speak personally to the mental battle it has been to stay grounded and sane during this time. We have all been impacted by this in different ways, whether it’s the strain of having children at home, or an immunocompromised family member or even just the anguish of not being able to participate in the social activities we are used to. In my opinion, I do feel that this is why social media, although sometimes beneficial, is wreaking havoc on our society. Its creating a false sense of connection and a social platform that is anything but social, however that is an article for a different day. Let’s jump right into what we feel are some of the keys to boosting your mental health. Leave the house! Do it safely and keep others in mind when doing so, but this is number 1 by far. This can be in the form of taking a drive, finding a more secluded park to go to or even just walking around your neighborhood.   Avoid the working more trap. This is crucial. Now that everyone is working from home, vacations are being cancelled and people are limiting their social interactions, it is easier than ever to shift the

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May 28, 2020

Job Seeking During the Pandemic

Hello to all job seekers out there who are trying to navigate the job search while getting through the challenges of the pandemic. Although interviewing alone can be “intense”, utilize this time to find your niche in an environment you can call home One of my biggest tips to anyone on the job hunt is to showcase your personality and let your natural energy shine through. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and find an organization that fits YOU. While beginning the hunt, consider the following questions and tips below: Have you updated your resume? Tailor your professional profile and objective to each position you are applying to. Does your resume fit on one page? If not, is it longer for good reason? How many buzz words are included?   Do you have a LinkedIn profile and does it shout that you are an A+ candidate? If you do not have a LinkedIn profile, you can create a free account on www.linkedin.com Update your experience, photo, and skills. Add a fun headline! Showcase your personality in the bio. I love profiles that include quotes, activity, and pinned articles. Perhaps request a recommendation from a former coworker or colleague. Employers enjoy reviewing positive references. Now is the time for outreach :).   Who can you network with? Brainstorm 5-10 contacts that are in your network.  Send a friendly hello & attach

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April 30, 2020

The future of work

Well, we are right in the middle of this pandemic and the hope is that we have reached the peak and will return to some level of normalcy soon. I stress some level of normalcy, because we all know that we will not be returning to the “normal” we knew before this health crisis and truth be told, we may never get back there. The million-dollar question is, where do we go from here? Here are some of the areas that we believe will change Working from home will increase. This is going to happen to obviously stop the spread of the pandemic. However, we feel like the main reason that will drive this is that many companies that were resistant to this model, will see that productivity does not fall off when employees are working from home. Here is a CNBC article that reinforces that there can be more productivity when working from home CNBC Working from Home. Companies are going to need to redesign their workspaces. Over the years we have transitioned to more of an open workspace model and in my opinion this update has mixed reviews. People like the open concept premise because it creates team unity, however there is a loss of privacy which many of us still value. With this pandemic companies will need

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April 8, 2020

How you can help!

I think everyone at this juncture knows that we are in the midst of a pandemic that has brought our economy almost to a grinding halt. This virus has come at us rapidly and has definitely instilled a level of fear for our own and our loved one’s safety. Now before I get onto the main topic of this writing, I just want to take the time to truly thank all of those on the front lines, including some of our amazing clients. Thank you to the First Responders, Doctors, Nurses, Factory Workers, Cashiers, Delivery Drivers and all the others that are far too many to mention. I know at this time our instinct is self-preservation and rightfully so, we need to make sure we remain healthy so that we can help those around us that are not as fortunate. The way we help each other during this time can come in many forms, so what are some of the things we can be doing. Stop the spread. Make sure to follow the social distancing guidelines. Try to be as careful as possible when needing to go out, but make sure to do the things that help with your personal mental health as well.   Help those on the front line. This can come in the form of monetary or

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March 11, 2020

Effectively Working from Home

Technology has been creeping into all facets of our lives and this is truer of our work than any other area. Part of this technological revolution is our newfound ability to work from wherever we choose. This to me is both a blessing and a curse, but that rant is for another article. In this piece we are going to cover working from home and how to do it effectively. This topic really hits home to me (pun intended), as I worked for a global IT company in which I was almost exclusively a remote employee. When I first made this transition, it was a real struggle, as I needed to adapt to an environment in which I had no direct oversight and many distractions. Looking around I would see home projects that needed to be done, kids that were being taken care of and the next blockbuster movie calling me to watch it. It took some time, but I was finally able to master the idea of working from home. Here are some of the keys that helped me achieve this objective. Treat everyday as if you are going into the office. Set an alarm, accounting for some travel time. Shower first thing in the morning and get dressed and no, not in sweats. Walking around in your pajamas,

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August 20, 2018

Digital Communications_Maintaining Professionalism

Let me start this blog by saying I am not a communication professional, nor did I major in it in College. I am writing this blog from an experience stand point. I believe that strong communications are the backbone to many things: having good relationships, acing an interview, demonstrating knowledge and effective networking just to name a few. This specific blog entry is going to mainly cover electronic communications. I have always been of the train of thought that picking up the phone was the most time efficient and effective way to communicate, however it seems that there will continue to be a radical shift towards electronic communications. This trend does not bother me, and I understand the shift as technology rapidly increases the ability to communicate instantaneously with each other. What does worry me is that we have become so lightning quick in our communications that we are not truly communicating effectively. Here are my tips for maintaining a strong form of communication in all that you do. First and foremost, make sure you are regularly checking the email that you are using as your point of contact for career correspondence. Keep your communications formal across all platforms. If you worry about grammar in texts and tweets it will translate into appropriate writing when you are professionally networking or

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January 16, 2018

Networking & Communications

What is networking? Well in the IT sense it means having “linked machines, especially computers to operate interactively”. In the human sense we can take Merriam-Webster’s definition of “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business” If we think about movies, we can remember the movie Boiler Room and the clever acronym of “ABC”, (Always Be Closing). I would go in a different direction and use the acronym “ABN”, (Always Be Networking). Now, that may not sound as smooth as ABC, however it is just as important, if not more important.   I think where I see a shortfall in networking, is that people only think it should take place when they need something (a job, a recommendation, help with something, etc.), however networking should be part of your daily life. Leaving a positive impression with anyone and everyone you meet is a big part of networking. Ensuring that people have a clear idea of your character and the way you treat others will help them make the decision of whether or not they want to help you. The message being, don’t just worry about how you communicate or interact with others at networking events, make sure that filters into any communication you have. An example can

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January 1, 2018

New Year = New Career 2018

Well it’s that time of the year again and we are all making our New Year’s Resolutions. Some of us plan on working out more, some plan on spending more time doing charity and a lot of us are planning on taking that next step in our careers. This might mean finally garnering the courage to ask your boss for that long overdue promotion or for most people it means testing the waters in the job market. The reality of the current job market is that you will be rewarded more handsomely for switching companies. On average when switching organizations, the typical raise ranges between 10 – 20%, compare that to the 3 – 5% you would get if you stay at your job. That is why today on average a person changes jobs every 2.5 years. So, the big questions are, what do I need to know and do, so that I can advance my career to the next level in 2018. The first step is to look at the trends and explore what industries are seeing growth and what industries will be impacted by outside forces. Look at new governmental policies and see what industries they may influence both in a positive and negative manner. Here are some current trends we identified at Five Star Resume: The Financial

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December 6, 2017

Making a Career Transition?

Over the years, I have worked with many clients who have needed help making a career transition. Sometimes this transition has been incremental and other times they have been huge leaps. The approach is typically the same, however the follow up and job search execution may be more intensive. The Career Transition is a common theme today, so if you think you are alone in this endeavor, think again! There are several reasons why this is occurring. The first being that when we first start our careers we are young and naïve. Most of us; including myself, leave college not fully knowing what we want to do for the next 40 years. It’s a big decision and as we learn more about our initial path that we chose, we may discover that it is not the right one. Another reason is that we see more people making a Career Transition due to a shift in mindset. We now value fulfillment and work life balance over a steady paycheck at a job that offers no intrinsic reward. This shift in values has been good for the workforce, but we should be careful when pursuing these values. There are roles that will align with these values, but it will never fully be 100% and that search for perfection, will keep you searching

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August 14, 2017

Invest in Yourself!

While gaining my Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, many of my closest friends studied Finance, so they may disagree with the main principles of this blog. In writing this, I am making the claim that you can invest in the Stock Market and/or other alternative investments but your wisest choice would be to invest in yourself. This can take many forms, such as securing a degree, obtaining a new certification, attending training sessions on a topic and/or working with a Career Counselor (Shameless Plug!). However, like any other investment it must be the right investment, in Finance you can lose on a stock and in enhancing your career you can lose money on your investment. Let’s take going to school to get a Master’s Degree, if you decide to pursue this route, many private schools can cost you north of $100k. As the investor, you want to make sure that there is a substantial difference between having a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in your field. Also, if you are looking to return to school full time, you will need to factor in lost wages, lost increases and missed career progression. Sometimes a mix of certifications and continuing education training courses can produce the same result and can make for better increases. There is a wealth of information out there on

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February 27, 2017

Every Interaction Matters

This is a topic that I have wanted to cover for a long time and now more than ever it is important to address. This is a topic that is very important in the professional world but also draws many parallels to everyday life. Our business is based on the premise of guiding you in your career and this is just what we aim to do, however if you want to practice this in your everyday life, that is 100% up to you. As someone who has worked in various areas of Human Resources, including Corporate Recruitment, I understand fully how developing and maintaining relationships is crucial to one’s success. It is crucial in doing your job well, building relationships that can help further your career and aiding you in developing a good reputation across an organization. I want to start by stressing how important it is to understand how every interaction matters and how it shapes and guides your career.  There is significance in what you take away from these experiences and what others take away from the experiences they have with you. Whether it is a brief hello or a long-winded conversation about a topic that doesn’t seem to make much sense for the context of the situation, it is always significant. You never know what can come

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November 29, 2016

Do the Job Search First!

There are many times that I interact with clients and part of what we need to do is refocus or completely redesign their resume. Why does this happen? Why isn’t it just a quick fix or a few minor changes to the content and the job is done. In my experience the reason this happens is because we are developing the resume before we know what we want to do or understand the scope of the jobs that we are pursuing. Therefore, our recommendation is to do the job search first! Take this crucial step prior to writing or hiring someone to write your resume professionally. Analyzing the jobs that catch your eye will provide you with the tools you need to develop a targeted resume to secure these positions. When assessing these descriptions, it is key to look at the following: Competencies needed for the role. Key words that can be inserted into your resume. Key tasks that they need you to perform that align to your experience. This approach is not only crucial to making your resume more targeted, it will allow you to address that age-old problem of knowing what to cut from the resume so it’s not too long. Lastly, I want to directly address how this helps in ensuring that you are beating the Applicant

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January 14, 2016

Be SMART in your career search: Setting SMART Goals

What are SMART goals?  What does this acronym mean?  SMART goals are commonly attributed to Peter Drucker’s management by objectives concept.  The purpose of setting SMART goals is to make objectives easier to understand and achieve.  This theory has been applied to various business objectives including employee training, performance management and project management.  For our purposes I believe that you can use SMART goals for job seeking as well.  So what does the SMART acronym mean and why is it applicable to us? The answer is as follows: Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Time bound How does this play into the world of job seeking?  Why should I follow these criteria? Let’s answer these questions by addressing each piece of the SMART objective setting model and how it relates to your resume and the job search. Specific When writing a resume or even applying to jobs we need to have a direction, we need to narrow down our field of search and make it targeted. Resume: If we are scattered in our resume this will be seen by recruiters and they will begin to ask the question why are you applying to this job specifically, a question we would rather not be asked. Job Search: If we are scattered in our job search we may attract jobs that don’t fit us and will

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June 30, 2015

Interviewing 101: Practice Makes Perfect

I once had a professor that told me, interviewing is like any other skill that you possess in life, if you don’t practice it you will get rusty. So the question is, how do we practice it? How do we develop this skill? Well for one we can go on interviews. How many times have you gotten a call or were reached out to by a recruiter for a position that you felt may not be the right fit? I say take the interview, first you may be surprised by the opportunity and secondly you want to get used to talking about your experience as well as get used to seeing what types of questions that interviewers ask. Secondly, why not video tape ourselves while using a mirror or role play with a family member or friend. I spent much of my career in front of people and felt I was an excellent presenter that was very well versed and needed little improvement. That was until I was videotaped in one of my grad school courses and noticed my penchant for filling dead air with um’s and uh’s. This opened my eyes to any issue that I had and I have since actively corrected that. Lastly, I say to just network. Attend professional events, build a contact list and get

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January 6, 2015

New Year = New Career: Putting in the Effort

For many of us, our new year’s resolution is to move out of that dead end job that offers no advancement and to get away from that manager that under appreciates you. It is time to start that dreaded career search, and that means 20 page applications, hours searching through job boards, not knowing which positions are actually open and submitting resumes into the applicant tracking system abyss. I wish I could sit here and write about an easier way to get that new career but unfortunately finding a new career is a job in itself. Although there will be a lot of effort on your part, there are some ways of making it easier on you.   One of those ways is to spend the time creating profiles on corporate websites, companies out there that have systems that will alert you when a position matches the key words in your profile and although this requires a lot of up front effort, it eventually lets the employer come to you. A second way to make the career search easier is to leverage your contacts, we all know about the six degrees of separation, so it is very possible that someone you know may have a contact at the company you will be applying to. Of course you will also have to

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September 16, 2014

On the Job Hunt: Staying Organized is Key!

Staying organized during the job hunt is very important to successfully securing your dream job. It is no longer good enough to simply apply to a job and try your best to remember what company you applied to, the title of the job and what was on the job description. The internet allows us job seekers to apply to a variety of jobs in a matter of minutes and in most cases these jobs don’t have the same title or responsibilities. Countless times I have called candidates that have applied to a position in the company I was recruiting with and they had no clue who I was, what the company did and what position they applied to. This immediately left a bad taste in my mouth as to whether I would want to hire this person. A few tips to stay organized and not get caught off guard are as follows: 1) Keep an excel spreadsheet or some other list of the positions that you apply to as a reference point. Track the company, position title and the date you applied to the position at minimum. 2) Maintain a separate email that is solely used for your job hunt and as always make sure it is professional (First.Lastname@gmail.com) 3) Keep a folder on your computers desktop with copies of

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January 10, 2014

Be Prepared to Answer the Tough Questions

There are some questions that when you hear them during an interview, they make you want to cringe.  They are questions that most interviewers ask and most interviewees hate.  What questions am I talking about?  Well, let’s address two of them in the blog post. The first question (drum roll) is; why are you looking to leave your current position or why did you leave your current position? Obviously answers will vary for this question, depending on whether you are currently working or not.  It should also vary based on the type and size of the company you are interviewing with. There are certain items that need to be taken into consideration: 1)      Don’t bad mouth your prior company, actually you want to give them some praise before you begin to answer the question about why you are no longer there 2)      Make sure to choose a reason that directly sells yourself to the company you are interviewing with.  For example if you left a large company and are interviewing with a smaller company, you may want to say you are looking for a more entrepreneurial atmosphere. Now for the most dreaded questions of all!  What is your biggest weakness?  Well one thing is for certain, the worst answer you can give is that you don’t have any weaknesses.   So

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August 30, 2013

Do your research!

There have been many times in my career when I have received a resume for an opening that I had posted and upon speaking to the candidate they had no idea as to what company I was with or what the position was. Remember I am speaking about people who applied to the job, not those that are being cold called. Have no fear, there is a simple fix to this, and that is when a number is calling you that you do not recognize, let it go to voice mail. Usually in the voice mail the Recruiter or the Hiring manager will identify them self as well as the company they represent. This gives you the opportunity to research the companies website, the individual calling you, and to recall the position you applied too, before having that conversation. This shows the Recruiter or Hiring Manager that you are not just applying for any job (even though you very well might be) without understanding the organization or the position itself. Remember looking for a job is a job within itself and with many people applying to the same roles, we need to give ourselves every advantage! Regards, John Greenblatt CEO, Five Star Resume LLC

May 20, 2013

The One Page Resume!

Today’s blog is going to address the old adage that a resume should never be longer than one page. What I am here to tell you is that this no longer applies or if it does with some organizations, it shouldn’t. Let me tell you why I believe this and you can agree or disagree with me as you see fit. There are two factors that I believe gave people the ability to limit their resume to one page, the first being the tenure they had in one job and the second the limited scope of responsibility. Today both of these factors no longer apply to most of us. The average person stays at their job for approximately 4.6 years which means that at least 6 position changes will be made over a 30 year career. The other variable that has changed is the scope of most jobs, today more than ever the normal job goes way beyond just what is on the description. Between the increase in number of jobs and the responsibilities that these positions now encompass, it is quite difficult to keep the resume to a single page. If you find yourself going to that second page, have no fear but also no the limits and try to keep the resume as concise as possible. As a

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May 2, 2013

Why creating a professional e-mail address matters!

Countless times I have come across e-mailed resume submission’s with unprofessional e-mail addresses that are left over from when we were foolish teenagers. There is no need to dispose of these e-mail addresses that we have grown so fond of, but it is beneficial to create a professional e-mail address for the purpose of the job hunt. With all of the sites out there that let you create an e-mail address quickly and seamlessly, now is the time to get that professional e-mail address created. The best bet is to go with your first name, last name@xyz.com. Use this new e-mail address solely for the purpose of applying to jobs so that you can avoid the endless spam and junk mail to find the relevant e-mails. Regards, John Greenblatt CEO, Five Star Resume LLC

April 2, 2013


As someone that has interviewed over 1000 people by phone and in person I have always been a huge proponent of candidates showing up early. However at a certain point in my career I noticed that some candidates would show up to the interview extremely early. This may seem like a good idea but I assure you it is not. Why, do you ask? Well the reason may surprise you. As a hiring manager when a candidate shows up to early I was usually not prepared for them, most managers have tight schedules and have these appointments scheduled at a specific time for a reason. The response to this by most candidates to this is that they know they are early and do not mind waiting, which is fine, but the hiring manager knows you are waiting for an extended period of time and may start to feel guilty. So what does it all mean? It means that you have already made the hiring manager feel guilty for making you wait and a little upset that they felt forced to try and hurry what they were doing all before you met with them . Not the best start! The recommendation here is to get to the interview no more than 10 – 15 minutes early and if you are in

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January 16, 2013

Your resume should be a dynamic document

Have you ever decided that its time to start getting your resume out there and notice that you haven’t put any of your experience from the last few years on it. Then you sit there and try to recall all of the tasks and responsibilities you have had over those last few years. Most of us know that this can prove to be a difficult task because our jobs usually consist of many tasks and responsibilities. There is a solution to this problem and it does require some diligence on your end. Your resume needs to be a dynamic document, which means that it is constantly changing and evolving. When you start a new job, are asked to take on a new responsibility, or required to learn a new system, it needs to go on your resume while it is fresh on your mind. I have found myself in the difficult position of trying to recall a task that I did years prior to updating my resume and usually it does not get put into context as well as it could have been if it was updated immediately. So what I ask is that you continuously manage your resume and make sure that the content is fresh regardless of whether or not you are looking for a new career at

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