Loft Resumes Featured Again in Fast Company

Fast Company just published a blog post titled "15 Tech Scenes in Places You'd Never Think to Look". Greenville, South Carolina, where are our offices are located, is listed as the first city. There's also a great mention of Loft Resumes. Check it out.

  • Author Dodd Caldwell
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Can a cup of coffee perk up your job options? You bet.


Whether you’re established in your career or just starting out, networking is the biggest key to getting ahead. We’ve all heard, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” In a tough job market, you need all the friends you can get. One way to cultivate these contacts is through an informal coffee interview.

The coffee interview is a low-key informational chat, frequently held at a neutral location like a coffee shop (hence the name.) It doesn’t typically lead directly to a job—though some people get lucky—but it can help you build important contacts and give you an inside look at what’s really going on in your industry. Because it’s a low-pressure, casual setting, you can ask questions you might not ordinarily ask in a first interview, like questions about the kind of compensation or benefits you might receive, or what sort of work/life balance you can really expect. If you're just starting your career, or if you're out of practice when it comes to interviewing, it's also a low-key way to brush up your skills.

Landing the coffee talk.

Be bold. Scour your network of family, friends and acquaintances for people they know in your area of interest. You never know whose brother's sister-in-law's cousin knows someone in the field you want to break into. Don't be afraid to make calls, send emails or interact on Twitter—just don't be annoying. Remember, people are generally nice and want to help others succeed.

Before your chat.

Prepare yourself. Research the industry, company and person you'll be talking to. Develop a list of questions to ask. Be prepared to talk a bit about yourself, your skills and your interest in the business, but be succinct. Take any materials you wish to share—your resume, a portfolio, whatever—and steel yourself to graciously and humbly accept feedback. In general, listen more than you talk. Remember, you're not asking for a job; just for the opportunity to learn from an expert.

The day of.

Arrive on time and look nice. Don't overdress, but be neat and put-together. Order something simple—no white-chocolate caramel frappe with extra whip for you today, buddy. It makes you look high-maintenance. Offer to pay. Be sure to be a good steward of the other person’s time. He or she probably has a busy schedule, so be aware of that and wrap things up at the agreed-upon time.


We sound like our moms here, but seriously, send a thank-you note. Not an email, not a text, not a post on the person’s Facebook wall. Send a real, live, handwritten-on-stationary thank you note. IN CURSIVE. It seems old-fashioned, but it makes an impression. And wasn't that your plan all along? 

(Photo Credit: chichacha)

  • Author Dodd Caldwell
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8 Examples of Job Positions Where a Creative Resume Can Give You an Edge

Sure, a resume is meant to be a serious document. But for many positions, a splash of color and a creative design can show employers that you’re the type of person who cares about making an unforgettable impression, giving you an edge at landing your dream job. While job seekers in all kinds of professions are using Loft Resumes, we thought we’d give you a sampling of a few career opportunities that can especially benefit from a creative job-hunting approach.

Video production - To work in the film industry, you’ll need to have an eye for the right angle. A sleek, modern-looking C.V., coupled with an impressive film reel, can help illustrate that you’ve got what it takes.

Creative director or art director - If you’re seeking work at an ad agency or design shop, an eye-catching resumé will show that you know your stuff and will help you stand out from the crowd—alongside some great portfolio samples, of course.

A job in the fashion industry - The fashion world is all about appearance, so when you’re applying for a position in the fashion or beauty industry, you can put your best foot forward with a glamorous resumé that beautifully presents your skills. For this profession, it can be a great idea to include a professional headshot—or, in this case, even a full body shot that demonstrates that you know how to style an outfit.

An art teacher - Whether you’re aiming for a kindergarten classroom or a university, a creative, professionally designed resume can help you skip to the front of the line.

Actor - As an actor, whether you get a role or not is largely based on your audition. Even so, submitting a colorful, creative resume that includes a dramatic headshot will jog the director’s memory about your dazzling performance, enhancing your chances of getting the role.

Museum curator - If you’re seeking work as a gallery curator or a related position in an art museum, the director will want to see that you have a great eye for style and placement. A carefully curated, visually compelling resume will help do the trick.

Package designer ­- If you’re applying for a job designing product packages, it can pay off to put thought and effort into deciding how to package yourself as a job candidate. A clever concept that’s perfectly executed can help you make the sale. 

  • Author Dodd Caldwell
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The Best Jobs Are Unlisted. Here’s How to Discover Them.


Dishwasher, grocery store cashier, telemarketer—and on it goes. It can get depressing spending hours on job-hunting sites without spotting a single position you could see yourself in.

Are you wondering why the pickings are always so dismal on job-hunting sites like and Craigslist?

There’s a simple answer: The best job opportunities never get listed on these sites in the first place. Most employers find enough qualified candidates for high-paying, exciting jobs before they need to think about publicly advertising.

So how can you find those jobs? Here are some tips:

1)   Make lots of friends. The best way to get the scoop about a current or future job opening is to know someone at the organization, who’s likely to tell you when a relevant opening comes up and refer you for an interview. Increase your odds by building up your social networks (both through old-fashioned networking and social media promotion), and telling your real-life and online friends exactly what type of career you’re seeking.

2)   Make cold calls (and write cold emails). In many cases, employers might recognize a need for a new position long before they’ve started to actively advertise a job. By calling or emailing relevant department heads and sharing details about your work experience, you may be able to score a few job interviews (with few to no competitors). Even if you don’t get a positive response immediately, don’t be afraid to follow up every few weeks—you never know when someone may have a surprise opening that suits your skills.

3)   Beef up your LinkedIn profile. These days, when employers are looking for new staff, they’ll often start their searches by looking through their existing employees’ LinkedIn contact lists, or running keyword searches for job categories or skills within the local area. If you haven’t taken the time to fill out your profile in detail, you could be missing out on these opportunities. Check out LinkedIn’s tips for improving your profile to enhance your job opportunities.

4)   Check out your favorite companies’ websites. Sometimes, companies will create job descriptions and post them on their own websites without promoting them elsewhere. Generally, they’re counting on existing employees or recruiters to help promote the opportunities, or they’re not in a huge rush to fill the positions. Do a drive-by of your favorite business sites every few weeks to see if there’s anything new on their “careers” pages.




  • Author Dodd Caldwell
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Little white lies on your resume equal big black marks on your reputation


You don't need us to tell you it's tough out there. In a crowded job market, it's tempting to do whatever it takes to make yourself appear to be the most desirable candidate, and that includes what might politely be called “stretching the truth.” It may not seem like such a big deal to tell a little fib on your resume, but if you ask Scott Thompson, the Yahoo CEO who stepped down last Sunday because he claimed he graduated with a computer science degree when he actually earned a degree in accounting, he'd tell you it's a very big deal.

The really sad part of the story is that Thompson might have turned out to be the greatest CEO in the company's history. We'll never know. He didn't have to lie. A little smart marketing could have gotten him the job, without the regrettable ethical violations. You can learn from his mistakes. We have a few ideas that won't come back to bite you.

Let your cover letter tell your story.

A cover letter is the place for you to connect the dots for your potential employer. Your resume lists the facts; your cover letter lets you turn those facts into a narrative that shows your employer how your education and previous experience works together to make you the right candidate for the job. Let's say you have a degree in psychology, but you're applying for a marketing position. You can use your cover letter to tell your potential boss how your study of psychology taught you to understand how people think, giving you the ability to understand your clients' motivations and making you a better marketer. Your resume alone can't do that story justice.

Consider your references carefully.

Choose references who have a thorough grasp on your strengths and your background, and who you trust to give you a glowing recommendation. If you feel comfortable with them (and if you've asked them to provide a reference, you should), prep them before anyone has a chance to call. Let them know what the position entails and give them a heads-up that someone might contact them.

Know the company.

The more research you do on the company you're courting, the better able you are to emphasize the right experiences and skills. This ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT mean lying or exaggerating. This means reflecting upon your experience and abilities and applying them to the challenges the position presents.

Play up your skills, but don't exaggerate.

This is where marketing comes in. Think carefully about your work or educational experience and consider the skills you've developed that may not be immediately obvious to a potential employer, but that do make you a great candidate for the job. Let's consider Scott Thompson again. On the surface, a degree in accounting might not seem to qualify him for the role of CEO at Yahoo as well as a computer science degree does, but if he had taken the time to really consider the skills that degree helped him develop—an analytical mind, the ability to solve real-world problems, a logical thinking process—he could have helped Yahoo see that the sum of his experience makes him the best candidate for the job, regardless of his degree. You don't have to lie on your resume. You simply have to help potential employers understand how the experience and education you do have make you the best fit for the position.

Break through the clutter.

You know what's always completely honest? A professional and stylish Loft resume. Hey, would you really trust us to give you tips to market yourself if we didn't take every opportunity to do the same?

(Photo Credit: Discoodoni)

  • Author Dodd Caldwell
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Keeping Your Job Search Under The Radar At Work


We've all done it. Dreamed of greener pastures on company time. And maybe we've even pursued those other options, only to find ourselves on the hunt again after the honeymoon wears off. There's nothing wrong with keeping an eye out for better opportunities; honestly, in today's economy, it's in your best interest to always be aware of what's available in your industry. The prevailing wisdom says that the best time to find a job is when you already have one, but navigating the interview process without arousing suspicion is a delicate art. That's why we've come up with a few helpful tips to keep your current boss from noticing that you're stepping out.

Watch what you Google. We don't claim to be IT wizards. We don't know what kind of dark magic your company employs to spy on your non-work-related interweb browsing. We kind of imagine that every job-search-related search term or web address sets off all kinds of alarms and red alerts inside your IT department's hidden underground lair. That's why you should save your active search for home. We suggest that you don't even answer job-search related personal emails sent to our personal address on company computers. It may be best to turn off the wireless on your smartphones and answer emails on 3G, safe from prying eyes. We’re not 100% sure if it matters, but it will make you feel more confident.

Your interview attire makes you look suspicious. Every office has that guy who thinks it's the most hilarious thing in the world to ask anyone who happens to wear ironed pants to work, “Hey, ya got an interview? HA HA HA!” First of all, if you're that guy, quit that. It's not funny and it makes people feel weirdly guilty, even if they're not. However, if you do plan on going to interviews in the future, and you wear t-shirts and jeans to work every day, start priming the office now. Occasionally put on something nice for no reason so people get used it. If they comment, say you ran out of clean clothes, or you have post-work plans and can't get home to change, or you grabbed the first thing you saw in your closet. Pretty soon, they'll stop noticing your fancy attire and you can interview freely. Alternatively, you can also just change in your car like some kind of interview superhero.

You need a good excuse to leave. When searching for your new job, it's important to have a good reason for your absence. Obviously, it's best to schedule your interviews before work, right after work or during lunch in order to arouse the least suspicion, but you'll probably need a cover story in case things run long. Personally, we like the vague but all-encompassing “appointment.” You do, in fact, have an appointment. You are meeting someone at a pre-determined time. But the word carries enough weight and suggests enough Serious Business to hush up even the most determined office Nosy Nellie. If you really want to bring out the big guns, tell them it’s a personal matter, which both shuts them up and makes you sound mysterious and exciting, like you may be inheriting your late great-uncle’s oil wells.

Do you have other job search subterfuge tips? Let us know. Tweet them to @loftresumes or send us an email.



  • Author Dodd Caldwell
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Don't Fear the Fail: Conduct a Social Media Reputation Audit Before Applying for a Job


When you apply for a job, most employers will look at more than your resumé: They’re likely to scour the web for your name to see what else they can find out about you. According to a recent study, nearly half of all employers make a habit of checking applicants’ Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media profiles before inviting them to be interviewed. In some cases, that’s a good thing: 68 percent of employers have hired individuals specifically because of something they spotted in their profiles. If something in your profile hits a sour note, however, you could miss out on a job because of it.

Here’s how to audit your profiles and make sure that they make a great impression.

Check your privacy settings. The easiest way to ensure that potential employers don’t come across something they wouldn’t like is to limit their access to your information. Make sure that elements of your Facebook profile such as photos and Wall posts are limited to “friends” only, and you’ll have no need to worry about them finding any questionable photos, even if they exist. Likewise, if you prefer, you can lock your Twitter account so that it is visible only to people who are following you.

Clean up your profiles. If you don’t want to put your profiles on lockdown, however, you can use them to make a positive impression—just make sure that they represent a polished, professional image that will appeal to the employer you’re trying to impress. Make sure that any publicly available photos and posts are boss-friendly, keeping the photos of your family hike and filtering others to “friends only.” However, make sure that your profiles still give a sense of your personality: CareerBuilder found that 50 percent of employers hired employees after getting a positive impression from their social media profiles.

Google yourself to see what’s out there. Employers are likely to use Google to find out about you online. So, Google your full name (and location, if it’s a common name) to see what’s out there. Is there an old blog on LiveJournal you might want to take down, or an old MySpace page that makes you look immature? Remove these pages, or modify the privacy settings so they aren’t accessible to the general public.

Create a website with your name as the domain. If you want to give employers a sense of yourself as a professional, it helps to create a professional website, using your full name as a domain if it’s available. This site will likely come in at the top of the search results for your name, so make sure to include your online resumé, a photo, and any other information that would appeal to a potential employer.


  • Author Dodd Caldwell
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Loft Resumes Featured on Brazen Careerist


We were pleased to see a great article about Loft Resumes on Brazen Careerist, a popular blog for high achieving young professionals and college students. It's titled Should You Really Make Your Resume All Pretty and Fancy and provides some great insights into the philosophy behind Loft Resumes.

A couple quotes from the article:

"The economy blows and the 'traditional' resume isn’t so much of a necessity anymore, especially for less traditional job seekers. So when I came across Loft Resumes, I was immediately smitten."

"...I’m strongly of the mindset that you have to spend money to make money. And when it comes to getting the perfect job, it’s hugely important to shell out a bit of dough for a resume that shows you in the best possible light (just like an interview outfit that makes you feel stunning)."

Check it out and let us know what you think in their comments section. 

  • Author Dodd Caldwell
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Not Getting Interviews? Check Your Resume for These 3 Mistakes…


Human Resources professionals have the Herculean task of sorting through hundreds of resumes within tight time constraints, which means that job applicants have a lot of competition and only one chance to stand out from the crowd. If you’re working through a recruiter, a recent study reveals that resumes receive approximately 6.25 seconds of assessment. If you have been applying for positions, but keep getting passed up for interviews, you may be making resume blunders that send your resume straight to the “no” pile. Here are some resume red flags to avoid:

Don’t objectify. Summarize. Objectives on a resume can be a double-edged sword. If tailored to the specific job at hand, it may be beneficial, but if the objective is only industry-specific or (worse yet) generic, it can be the nail in the coffin. The better bet is to summarize who you are based on your experience, allowing your past accomplishments to be bolstered by figures and percentages that prove your contributions produce results. This provides potential employers with a “story” that shows your worth right up front.

Don’t come across as a card-puncher. Ever meet someone who was a zombie of workplace obligation, punching in and punching out with an apathetic, despondent attitude? How excited would you be to hire them? You wouldn’t. Employers are looking for employees who want to contribute to their organization, not just show up to keep a seat warm.

Such individuals often give themselves away on a resume, however, and HR pros recognize it right away. If someone gives bulleted points that use words like obligations, duties, and responsibilities, it’s obvious that initiative is not an applicant’s strength. warns job seekers that this may be one of the biggest three mistakes you can make throughout your search. Make a deliberate point to explain how your actions produced a result (e.g. “Wrote award-winning articles for the bi-annual magazine, increasing annual fund giving by 78%.”). If you can’t talk about how you’ve helped your previous employer be successful, it will be assumed that you didn’t.

Don’t focus on accomplishments that aren’t relevant to the job. For the sake of brevity and professionalism, list jobs that are relevant to the position you want. If you’re applying for a clerkship at a law firm, you can skip the burger-slinging summer job you held in undergrad. Keep things short, sweet, and pertinent. Just starting out and your experience is a little lean? Don’t underestimate the power of internships and volunteer or research work. It shows drive, a determination to gain exposure to your industry, and a willingness to sacrifice material gain while you acquire knowledge. Include it.

  • Author Dodd Caldwell
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Huntsy: Get Organized and Get Employed

When looking for a new job, most experts agree on one thing – be proactive in your search. But between networking, job boards, application tools and HR hurdles, finding the right fit can be daunting. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the hunt, you might need a hand. Huntsy is a new organizational tool that helps job seekers stay on track, so they don't fall prey to the process.

Hailed by the popular blog, Lifehacker, Huntsy has been called “a Pinterest for job seekers.” But the tool does more than simply tack your favorites to a page. Huntsy streamlines the process so you can keep tally of job postings, multiple resumes, e-mail drafts, follow-ups and more. Think of it as a one-stop command center for your most important mission.

Once signed in, Huntsy will keep track of scheduled interviews, multiple versions of your resume and help you discover new contacts and utilize current ones in your social networks. Simply put, the tool allows you to use all the resources available to you in the most efficient and effective way possible.

As you find job listings, one click on the Huntsy browser plug-in sends them to your personal dashboard. Once added, Huntsy allows you to draft cover letters, choose preferred versions of your resume and even send in applications directly. You can also transport your work to Gmail or your desktop. Now that you're on  your prospective employer’s radar, Hunsty helps you stay on-task by creating a timeline of tasks to complete for each job listing, from applying for the job to following up. And, if things go as planned, it even allows you to schedule an interview.

Beyond the tool itself, the Huntsy blog features helpful hints and tips on how job seekers can best position themselves for success. For example, in one recent post, a featured career strategist recommends crafting “resumes with flavor” to stand out in the crowd (another reason we at Loft Resumes love Huntsy). And if you've found yourself out-of-work, Huntsy even offers a "handbook for the recently unemployed.”

Huntsy is free to use and entirely compatible with your personalized Loft Resume. Click here to visit the website and get signed up today. 

  • Author Dodd Caldwell
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