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Tonight: Live Resume Boot Camp

Ramit Sethi

Welcome to Week 2 of the 3-week Dream Job Boot Camp. As you know, I got tired of seeing the same old career advice from 68-year-old people who have never been through serious recruiting. As a result, even when they tried to offer advice — even when they genuinely believed it would help! — it really didn’t. There’s only so many times we can listen to someone tell us to shorten our resume to 1 page before we start to contemplate suicide via a butter knife. Instead, I want to pull back the veil on how top performers find their Dream Jobs. These are people who use their immense personal networks to land jobs before they’re ever announced. These are people who negotiate tens of thousands of dollars of raises — without being adversarial. And these are people who have found their passions, and they’re being paid well to do them every day. You don’t have to negotiate $20K raises or tap into a network of 75 CEOs. Even if you did 1/10th of that, that’s a Big Win. The code for this week is: ACCELERATE. I want to help you take the things you’re ALREADY doing…and accelerate them. The truth is, most of us could get huge wins if we focused on doing the right things (e.g., not wasting time at yet another career fair or mindlessly updating your resume) and did them masterfully. You actually do LESS, but do it better. Here’s an example from one of my Dream Job Elite students:

What I Covered in Week 1 of the Dream Job Boot Camp

Last week, we covered how to decommoditize yourself — or how to stand out in ways that immediately separate you from other people trying to find their Dream Job. Here are posts you should be caught up on:

As you read these, identify 2 insights you can apply to your Dream Job search. For example, “I used to do ____ and now I realize I should be doing ____.” Now, here’s what’s coming your way this week.

Tonight: Resume Teardown

TONIGHT — Monday, 1/16 — a Live Resume Teardown. I’m doing a live event at 10pm EST (7pm PST) where…

  • I’ll take an actual resume and tear it down, live, showing you what works and what doesn’t
  • Then I’ll show you the actual resume I used to get job offers at Google, Intuit, etc — and the psychology and reasoning behind the EXACT words I used
  • You’ll learn how to get deep in the heads of the hiring manager so you can read their minds
  • By the end of this, you’ll have insights into resumes that you can IMMEDIATELY put to work
  • Once you know how to make your resume stand out, you’ll also see how this fits into your entire Dream Job search. This is a powerful strategic + tactical approach.

By the way, please don’t ask about recordings or complain about the time zone. I know there’s no perfect time for everyone, but the truth is this site has gotten so large that I can’t appeal to everyone. Still, I’m optimistic: In the past, hundreds of people from around the world have stayed awake because they valued the material and knew they could not find it elsewhere. I’m not sure if I’ll release a recorded version, so hopefully you can make it. To get access to tonight’s Live Resume Teardown, you’ll have to be on the Dream Job launch list.

Coming This Week: Natural Networking

One of the most requested areas of finding a Dream Job is how to network. Check out these questions I got:

“Networking. I want to network and provide value instead of the leech-based networking that actually comes to my mind. The problem is 1) I don’t keep up with people in my network, 2) I am not sure what actually consists of who is included in my network (such as hiring mangers where I didn’t get the job, do hey count? and 3) my current network is small and the people in it are people I have known for years but we share different goals.” -P. Hunter “Networking, I think, is the most important. Most of the interviews I’ve gotten in my current career have come through connections of varying degrees of strength. But I’ve historically had a strong aversion to putting myself out there, actively getting to know people. Partly this is due to my personality — I like being the one sought, not the seeker. But mostly it’s due to my ineptitude in approaching effectively.” -Jenny B. “1. Worst career advice…where do I start? I have to go with: “Just network.” OK, maybe not terrible advice, but nobody tells you HOW to network in an unsleazy way, and then use that network to get a job.” -Dave

Networking CAN be done without being sleazy, slimy, and scammy. Everyone has a network. And even if you don’t have years of experience, there are ways to reach out to busy people where they will WANT to help you. I decided to hook you guys up with some of the inside techniques you can use to meet hiring managers, CEOs, and extremely busy people. This includes:

  • How to connect with anyone — the specific email text to use, the mindset, and even the words to use when you meet them
  • How to make it worth a busy person’s time — even if you don’t have years of experience
  • The common mistakes people make when trying to network (hint: going to useless networking events with a bunch of unemployed people is not “networking”)

I have new material, videos, and action steps for you this week. Here are the results many of my students have gotten using these techniques:

“In week 1 of outreach, it took me about 12 days to get roughly a 60% conversion rate (where conversion is defined as direct contact with a target). Here I am in Week 4 of outreach and my Monday e-mails have already yielded that same 60% hit rate and two deferrals (illness and maternity leave). So, if you exclude those 2 responses I’m at 80 – 90% response rate in 36 hours as opposed to 60% in 288 hours. I’m loving it and it’s really pushing my confidence level.” –Chris, Dream Job Elite graduate

* * *

“I have been following Ramit for 2 years or so; his refreshing “get out there the do it” approach has created some great results. One piece of advice I followed was to spend $10 and take some out for coffee to find out about what they know, pick their brain etc. I called a guy I had met once or twice at an industry-specific networking function and he was on the board/committee of the group. I asked him about how the group was structured and about getting on the committee; 14 months later he is the President and I am the vice-president! If Ramit hadn’t suggested I spend the “best $10 of my life” who knows where I would be instead!” –Michelle

To Do Today

1. Share a comment with your 2 biggest insights of last week. (For example: “I realized that I’ve been doing X all wrong…from now on, I’m going to do Y”). Also share a comment about the ONE THING I can help with on tonight’s Resume Teardown for you.

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  1. avatar
    David Borgeson

    Can you talk about strategies for building resumes for different countries outside the US?

    I have heard that European employers want different content than American companies…and I’m sure there is even more variation around the world.

    • avatar
      jack foley

      Good Question David,

      I teach grinds on the side and I always get asked to edit cv’s

      There seems to be big variations between countries in Europe also

  2. avatar

    A lot of potentially stale advice about resumes in the UK still favour the formal categorisation of your achievements by things like Education, Work Experience, Other Activities etc. This always feels very brittle. This is usually coupled with the generic advice that all resumes should be no more than 2 sheets of paper long when printed (A4 or US Letter I guess).
    You mention targetting the words and psychology behind the choice of phrase but I’d be interested to hear how much customisation of layout you’d consider necessary in the 21st century. Some people are going to the infographic extreme to make their resume stand out but it might be good to hear how much you consider the approachability of the layout to be required for a positive impact on a hiring manager to even make them bother reading the words that may then pull them in further?
    Thanks for all the advice. Priceless.

    • avatar

      Ramit, add my vote to Jonathan’s question. I’m not in the UK but this was my question too.

  3. avatar

    I’m going to cheat here and ask two so..

    How many pages should my resume be?
    My resume uses the same verbs describing work I did ie:

    Executive Assistant Workplace Dates
    -Responsible for blah blah
    -Handled blah blah
    -Establish blah blah

    What can I do that will make my resume actually list my experiences without sounding like I copied and pasted and also not look like I just took words out of a thesaurus.

    • avatar

      I second that second question.

  4. avatar

    How important is it to quantify your work, and how do you know when you’re overdoing it with specific numbers?

  5. avatar
    Hoo Kang

    What are some resume best practices?

  6. avatar

    How can I make my resume stand out without appearing gimmicky?

    • avatar

      I mean visually.

  7. avatar

    I have a feeling you’ll be covering strategies for describing work experience, and specific words to use tonight, so what I’d like to know in addition is:

    1. Is there a general resume format that you recommend? (table listing skills at the top, followed by career history, followed by education etc)

    2. Is there a format you specifically DONT recommend?

  8. avatar

    Please release a recorded version afterwards.. it is hard or impossible for most european people to get on at 6AM.. Not complaining, just asking 🙂 Keep up the good work.

    • avatar

      +1 on this polite request (only it would be 3am for me)!!

    • avatar

      +1 on this request; I have an evening class that prevents me from getting online at that time.

  9. avatar

    What should be included on the banner of the resume (or do you even use a banner)?

  10. avatar

    You mention that, in general, you have 10 seconds of capturing the hiring person’s attention with a resume. So my question is what do I need to do to my resume to stand out (in a good way, of course) in order to get it looked at for more than 10 seconds.

    Thanks for all your help, Ramit. You’re posting some great material that no one else talks about.

  11. avatar

    Ramit, I was self employed for 12 years with my own business. I find most interviewers focus on questions like “how many employees did you manage”. Uh, 2. What was your yearly gross sales… Uh, like maybe $80,000 in a good year. Ok, I never said Uh just so you know. They couldn’t get past all the other things I had done to be successful for `12 years on my own. How do I accentuate the other abilities I have on my resume to get them past that being their primary thoughts or first questions. I feel like eliminating the fact it was my own business and just state my abilities and accomplishments.

  12. avatar

    Is the font style significant? I was once told (by someone giving me feedback on my resume) that my resume was absolutely unacceptable in Times New Roman font and that Airal was better because it is more modern.

    • avatar

      I think that is hilarious, that someone should be a type snob in favor of Arial, a boring typeface which is a ripoff of Helvetica. Are you applying for a design job? No? Then just don’t choose something silly and you’ll be fine. TNR is fine, if uninspired. Same goes for Arial.

  13. avatar
    Stephen Kelly

    Hey Ramit,

    1) The correlation between personal training/training in general and entrepreneurship can be seen time and time again. This is something that you personally have proven to be true in the Week 1 content. It takes a huge amount of focus and dedication to make drastic changes to your body. It takes the same to make drastic changes to your every-day life and revenue stream(s).

    There is so much information out there in relation to both training and personal finance, but listening to the right people, stopping the whining and applying focus to the task at hand yields results.

    It all boils down to how well you have researched and the methods employed to achieve your goal.

    After reviewing the material, I also realised that I should have submitted my application for the Dream Job Elite scholarship. When I completed my video, I came to the conclusion that I’m delighted to be working in the job I have now, but I should have tested myself with the program. My application would have stood out and I won’t make an error of judgement like this again.

    2) I just have a quick comment about tonight’s webinar. I understand that it is impossible to cater to everyone’s needs, but the webinar is at 10pm EST, which is 3am GMT (my time). Is there any way I could catch up on the content covered tomorrow? If it’s not possible, I’ll say thanks on behalf of everyone attending because I know it’ll be invaluable.

  14. avatar
    Rina Shah

    Can you please cover how to describe work experience (bullet points? beginning each sentence with a verb (such as: “Drafted,” “Produced,” “Represented,” etc.)?

  15. avatar

    Hey Ramit,

    I have been following and using your material for a good while now, the past year more intensely. I like my current job, so I actually use most of your material for more long-term goals.

    I am most looking forward to your pieces on networking because my long-term vision is to be well-connected so that I can have meaningful impact in my community. So I am applying these job-searching skills to something that is not explicitly “career-focused”, but is essentially the same thing.

    Just thought I’d let you know!

  16. avatar
    Brent Markus

    What relation does the cover letter play with the resume?
    Will you be covering cover letters as well?

  17. avatar

    Please tell us what to omit from the resume… beyond the obvious, not relevant. How show performance albeit different, yet appeal to the reader…

    • avatar

      I would also like to hear your thoughts on whether to only include the parts of our work history that are relevant to the job we’re applying to – or whether the “other” parts of our employment history might be exactly what helps us to stand out.

      Thank you!

    • avatar

      I echo the reply. I have been criticized for including all history, and been criticized for including only relevant history.

    • avatar

      I request this as well, especially looking at skills / job description. For the most part this section seems like a distraction from what I perceive to be the real issue: What did you learn and accomplish?

  18. avatar

    What’s your take on the “personal executive summary,” or “objective statement” at the top of the resume?

  19. avatar

    Hi Ramit,
    My question for tonight’s teardown is how should I best demonstrate the value of an unusual or little-known degree? For example my degree is from a prestigious university, a Bachelor of Arts in Media, Information, and Technoculture. It covers so many useful areas, but is still new enough to be shrouded in mystery (along with an obviously manufactured term “technoculture”.

  20. avatar


    Any recommendations for sportswriters, journalists, and other positions that rely heavily on portfolios/sample work?

  21. avatar

    –>How do I show on my resume that I can work in private biotech industry when all my work experience is in university research?
    EVERY interview I got with a private company brought this up. “Hmm, seems you’ve only worked in university lab work.” Several interviewers even implied that it seems like I don’t actually want to work in private industry!

    Secondly, most places insist on X number of years of experience, in addition to a Masters of Science. I worked around this to get my current job through stressing my likability (example: I speak chinese, half the lab members are chinese), starting out at a lower wage, my ability to work longer hours, and framing my internship experiences like work experience. I also have a history of acheivement. You know, stuff you’ve already suggested.

    What are some more strategies in the resume stage to circumvent these “requirements” and to set myself up for an interview that will lead to the same salary as a Master’s degree holder?

  22. avatar
    Ron Newbury

    You’ve previously chastised those of us who have had accomplishments across several sectors over the years, and our fear of narrowing our resumes–we of course want to keep the scope broad so that we are considered for every possible opening…how do we take that plunge and become more focused?

  23. avatar

    What is the best E-Mail Subject Headline to get a employers attention? What is the best line to put in the subject of an email in order to make your message stand out over others?

  24. avatar

    I changed careers five years ago, moving me from education to the private sector. How do I present my teaching experience to the private sector to give a better picture of my real abilities and talents? I’ve run into a fair amount of prejudice regarding the kinds of skills and abilities educators bring to private industry.

  25. avatar

    Can you please talk about resume building for the self employed, so the resume is kind of like a portfolio of experience that is used for getting more clients?

  26. avatar
    John Garvens


    I’m sure that you have at least a few readers who are members of the military. Could you talk about a few ways in which members of the armed services can translate their military experience into civilian equivalents?


  27. avatar
    Todd Medema

    I’d love to learn more about how to explain your experiences in a resume – what to emphasize and how to emphasize it so that employers understand just how applicable the experiences were

  28. avatar

    Hi Ramit – your materials are great and very timely for me. I’m in the midst of beginning a new job search and revamping my resume.

    I have a professional degree and have been in my industry for over 15 years. One big question I have is whether I should organize my resume from a skills perspective or chronological job-based perspective. I hope you’re able to address this in your webinar. I’m looking forward to it!

  29. avatar

    Hi Ramit,

    Is typography significant in resume design?

    What are your thoughts about typography on resumes.


  30. avatar

    The Dream Job material (especially the videos) has helped me realize that although I love knowing a system or step-by-step guidelines for doing something, I’ve become very good at talking myself out of actually using them. Almost like fear of taking the next step – because what if it actually does work? I need to be less afraid of change and more embracing of it.

    I’m more of a web generalist with a great talent at learning skills quickly and getting to the root of business problems – but I’m at a loss as to how to demonstrate that in a resume.

  31. avatar
    John gallagher


    Thanks for all your advice. It’s so great to have some specific techniques that have been tested for finding your dream job.

    I have an interview later this week. I’m going for a role where they want a good developer. What technologies you know aren’t important to them.

    I’ve been coding for 3 years but mostly on my own projects. I have only done two commercial projects but not as part of a team. I have prepared a 30/60 day plan and I’ll use the briefcase technique. I’ve pulled out specific storied from my experience that demonstrate the skills they’re interested in. I’ve spoken to the hiring manager and I know what challenges they face.

    I’m a likeable chap and friendly and people say my passion really comes across even in normal conversation.

    My question – How else can I compensate for my lack of experience? On a previous call you mentioned there were four ways and you mentioned being likeable – what are the other three?



    Ps I’m on the earn 1k course and it’s amazing and will change my life I’m sure. So thank you!

  32. avatar

    how can i stand out as a junior architect in a pool of submissions in an electronic cloud with thousands of other junior architects?

  33. avatar
    David Weisberger

    1) I realized that I wasn’t interviewing ambitiously enough: instead of learning what they do and preparing my “interview answers”, from now on I’m going to learn what their problems and worries are and prepare myself to provide answers to *those* issues.

    2) How do you lead off a resume? I currently have a heading along the lines of “Senior Manager and Advisor” (not the exact words) followed by a few bullet points of key skills. I don’t include an objective, but I have been advised to include this sort of summary.

  34. avatar
    Andrew, earnk1k student

    Ramit, what advise would you give to people who are trying to relocate(say from ny to Florida). Most employers want you there before they will hire you, or they won’t call you back. Even though we are ready to go in 30 notice. We don’t want to make the jump without having a secured job, today most employers would take that to be reckless. Thanks!

  35. avatar

    Cover Letters would be a great thing for you to breakdown for us

  36. avatar
    Khuong Do

    I have 14 years of health care litigation experience and I want to seek a position in non-litigation health care insurance coverage (interpreting professional liability policies for health care providers).

  37. avatar
    Matt Lyles

    Recently I’ve included logos on my resume – logos of past employment and past “clients”. I include them only if the resume audience would recognize them. Along with the logos I include 1 – 2 testimonials on my work (sentence or phrase) from someone in Sr. Management. The testimonials are included if they are specifically related to the position I’m applying for.

    Is there a reason why I would NOT want to include these in the future?


  38. avatar
    Lisa Hugh

    Please discuss the pros and cons of a detailed resume vs. a resume with highlights. I am a mid-career healthcare professional with several health care certifications and experience in different healthcare roles (dietitian, administrator, quality assurance). I have tested different styles of resume but am still not sure which is the most effective or if different styles would be better for different job hunts. Thank you very much, and I’m looking forward to tonight.

  39. avatar

    Should we tailor our resume for each job description or give all of our experience, that may not exactly reflect what they are asking for, and maybe separately respond to each line item as described in Iwillteachyoutobereach.

  40. avatar

    Hey Ramit,

    Tonight while you’re covering networking could you touch on networking from a different state? I currently live in NC but am trying to find a job that will get me back up to the Chicago land area.

    I know I can do a huge majority of networking online and over the phone, but, is that as effective when I can’t meet anyone for coffee or just face to face in general?

  41. avatar

    Hi Ramit,

    Please touch on the small things that people usually do, that unknowingly sabotages their resumes. That will give pointers on what not to do when preparing one. Thanks in advance.

  42. avatar
    A Viescas

    What I’ve learned: to invest rather than pay off debt.

    What I want to see: how to list freelance jobs(especially if you do multiple jobs for a corporate client) on a resume.

  43. avatar

    How can I cover a 3 year leave that I used for world travel adventures on bicycle?

  44. avatar
    Chris Kibbey

    Many Hiring managers use software to scan c.v.s for keywords. How can I identify and utilize these words in a way that’s effective enough to not be culled by the software, but not so generic that it looks contrived or generic if viewed?

  45. avatar

    Hi Ramit,

    Can you cover techniques for technical professionals (i.e software engineers) looking to structure their resume to convey skills such as problem solving, project management, strategic thinking in order to move into other industries such as Product Management, Business Development, and Management Consulting?

    As I engage my network to move into a new industry I not sure of the best way to present my resume qualification that would make it simple for the hiring decision makers to see the attribute I would bring to the table.

    How can a profession in this situation create a seamless message between what they may be conveying verbally in the form of passion, interest, personal stories against their written resume and/or cover letter.


  46. avatar

    My 2 biggest insights from last week are:

    I have not been doing enough homework on the company I will be applying with, and, I have a “general” resume that probably appeals to no one except like McDonald’s. Now I am going to treat the upfront work with much more importance before I even think of sending a resume.

    But my question for tonight is, how do you treat resume “gaps” where maybe you worked in a field for a while that NOW has nothing to do with what you are applying for? Or what if you took a 7 month break from the work world and traveled internationally? Can you actually use these points to your advantage?


  47. avatar
    Alex Berman

    The main thing I would like out of the resume tear down: How to frame experience.

    Right now the only experience I have (as a full time college student) is a delivery job, a few days as a telemarketer, and head of several failed start ups. It’d be great to know either how to re-frame these experiences to be acceptable (I want to be an account executive in NYC) or how and what other jobs I should be going for to develop the experience (I’m one year from graduation).

    I should probably get an internship, and the easiest way to do that would be to ask some of my advertising professors. How do I phrase the request so they actually help?


  48. avatar

    How can one get an IT Director position if their last position was as a web/database architect?

    It seems to me like when the filtering process occurs, having a current position state web/database architect might be dumped for a sexier sounding position hence my question above.

    That been said, it might seem like one is asking from a quantum jump here, but is it really if one can do the job. I was in charge of all IT operations for a startup I founded with my partner for 5 years and am well capable and competent of handling the responsibilities that come with an IT director.

  49. avatar

    Can you please discuss if writing an objective or summary is needed and how to draft if so?

    Also, what do you think about more creative resume formats sucha s infographics or timelines? When are they appropriate vs trying too hard to stnd out?


  50. avatar
    Mike R


    I’d like to see if there are outside the box formats to think about with regards to the Resume. You have standard templates and sections and then I assume there should be a way to create a resume that not only stands out for its material and great word usage but for its “different” creation. You always speak about systems and being different. I live my life this way. I always am attempting to do different things to see what “does” and “doesn’t” work. I’ve updated and improved my resume but it still is not entirely different. Please show examples of this.

  51. avatar
    Justin Kinney

    Hey Ramit,

    Here’s my question. I have done a LOT of different things – how do I figure out what is the most important to put on my resume? And when it hits the resume, is a short narrative format more effective than bullet lists of acronyms?

    Looking forward to tonight’s show!


  52. avatar

    Two things I’ve learned in the last week:

    1. How the briefcase technique applies in my industry. I’ve always struggled with this, because in my field, it’s not as simple as putting out a list of tasks you would execute on if hired. But after last week’s material, I realized two things that COULD be used for the briefcase technique: A) Performance and satisfaction-related comments from previous employers, with contact information in case the interviewer wants to follow up, and B) Work samples.

    2. Testing the theory: Rejection. My previous job hunt techniques were maximized to avoid rejection — I asked things that didn’t have an explicit yes/no answer, and/or I avoiding talking to people who might reject me. But reading last week’s material, I realized that this system DOESN’T work, and worse, I DON’T KNOW WHY. In order to gather better feedback, I was going to have to get very specific and test specific approaches — even though it might result in a) rude emails, b) rude phone conversations, c) other signs that people think I’m wasting their time. Three things I’ve FEARED for years, and so have kept doing the same safe things over and over, with the same non-result. New approach has NOT generated any of these, and I’ve gained some great data in the process, but I couldn’t switch until I accept that yeah, it might not work, and that would be valuable information too.

    What would be the biggest help tonight? Go beyond the usual “quantitative accomplishments” bullsh**. Yeah, if I worked for a Fortune 500 company, or managed a 30 person department, or built sales of 3.2 million units, I WOULD PUT THAT ON MY RESUME. But I don’t — and I don’t work in a field that would ever respect those kinds of terms. The closest I’ve come is this sentence: “Provide 24/7 phone and email availability to accommodate around-the-clock needs of [C-level executives.]” (Not really C-level executives, but that’s the closest parallel in the business world.)

    Okay, maybe that’s unrealistic. So here’s a second thing that would be helpful: I’ve written my resume by thinking of every single crisis situation I’ve faced professionally in the last three years, and what aspect of my job performance prevented that crisis from derailing everything; each of those is a verb-driven bulletpoint. (I.e., “Provide 24/7 availability to accommodate around-the-clock needs of [C-level executives.]”, because I was once able to help my dept. meet a deadline by working a 22 hour day.) In your experience, have you seen this technique work successfully?

    Thanks! And loving the content!

  53. avatar

    Can you talk about how, after a great initial contact, I can take the next step without seeming pushy or “heavy”? Please note: I’ll have to take the next step long-distance since I live a 10-hour plane ride from where I want to work.

  54. avatar

    1. I used to send out scattershot emails to contacts whenever I happened to think of them without testing the results. I realize now I need to make a LIST of people I want to contact, write several email templates, and test the response rates.

    2. I used to immediately jump on whatever new tactic I happened to be reading about without considering how it fit into my system. I realize now that even the greatest tactics are worthless if you don’t understand why you’re using them and what you expect to gain from them.

  55. avatar

    Hi Ramit:
    After turning from job seeker 8 months ago, and now looking for someone in the R&D department I manage, and seeing some applicants with very high education not to perform as I was thinking, my very own invisible script was broken.
    The thing I was not doing is to write down and show quantified quantifiable deliverables I have delivered over time I have been in my dream job so the dream last longer and higher.

  56. avatar

    1. I realized that I needed to create a system to monitor my results after sending in a resume. So I’ve created a spread-sheet with results/job type, etc. Definitely empowered me to get some distance & immediately saw points where I was WAY OFF base (sending into any sort of position that could possibly require my skill set > now more focussed on the position that really interests me.

    2. Realized that I need to “briefcase technique” it via e-mail for a position that I’m very interested in & for which I was short-listed. That’s my homework to be done by tomorrow night :).

    My question: how to take the next step w/o being pushing or becoming a pain (long-distance)? I have great contacts, but feel “pushy” about e-mailing them to say “I want a job in your organization, can you help me find one” – feels lame.

  57. avatar
    Laura Weller

    Hi Ramit,

    I realize that I have never focused on what I want in a job and just looked for what was available (advertised) where I was at the time. Big mistake because those jobs haven’t been very fulfilling or rewarding. I am starting to focus on what I enjoyed most about those jobs to decide what my ‘dream job’ is.

    In your resume tear-down to night I would like to go over how to get the job that is the step towards the dream job. The one that fleshes out my experience and shows that I am serious about the career path I’m following. How do you indicate that you want to use the first position as a jumping off point without sounding rude or negatively aggressive?

    Thanks for the material!

  58. avatar

    2 biggest insights from last week….

    1. I need to do my homework more efficiently so that I can find out what an employer’s problems are and how I can fix them before I meet with them. I will DEFINITELY be doing a lot more homework. In fact, while I was in bed this morning I was thinking of places that I might actually really like to work when I move in a few months and I got on the computer to start doing some homework on them. Without a doubt, I am applying this, pronto!!!

    2. Type up a proposal after doing the homework. I NEVER would have thought to do this because I normally wouldn’t want to seem pushy or make the employer think that I know more than they do about their business, which may come off as an insult. Ramit, you have shown me the way like some sort of Moses guy. I’m like, Oh my goodness! If I were an employer I actually would be totally impressed! Plus, you have lots of stuff to back up that technique so that’s awesome too. After I finish my homework I WILL be typing up proposals identifying their problems and specifically showing how I can help them fix
    those problems.

    On the resume teardown…..
    You can help me with making myself look more worthy of the job even though I have next to no experience. If employers look at my resume and see that I pretty much have no experience will it make them turn away? I need to know how to set things up on my resume to make sure that they overlook the lack of experience and hire me because I am worthy in other ways.

  59. avatar

    Hi Ramit,

    I´m 29 years old and worked as a freelance designer for TV-Commercials but i changed my career (tv is dead) to Social Media 2 years ago. I worked for about 30 companies before the change and made projects for big names (P&G, Mercedes, Audi, Snickers, T-Mobile…) and i know, this names are door-openers, but they have nothing to do with my current position. How can i include them?


  60. avatar

    Hey, Ramit. Looking forward to tonight’s teardown. My question:

    My faith values both excellence in what I do + personal humility.

    How do I ride that fine line of touting myself, my experience and my accomplishments with not coming across as egotistical?

  61. avatar
    Daniel Welch

    Whatare some strategies for those just out of school or are still in the class room?

  62. avatar

    My question has to do with the advice I’ve heard often to quantify your contributions at your previous positions/companies. For example, an analyst might say he found errors or inefficiencies costing the company X amount of dollars every year, so therefore he saved the company that much going forward. Or a sales person brings in X dollar amount of new sales every year. (Also heard this strategy for asking for a raise.) However, what if you’re not in a position that lends itself to this? For example, Executive Assistant jobs. In the ones I’ve held in the past, my contributions were less tangible than that. You’re providing direct support to someone else who then goes and makes those X dollar amount contributions, not you. I’ve always searched for ways to improve processes at my jobs, but these improvements generally save time — any money saved because of the new efficiency is incredibly difficult to calculate. Is using this strategy a lost cause for professionals like me, at this stage of my career, or can you think of ways I can still use this?

  63. avatar

    1) The overall question: For scientific people in academia who want to get industry positions: How should we frame our achievements? We don’t have a $$-based bottom line that we contribute to. Our measure of success is usually papers published with the occasional successful grant – but that is by proposal writing.
    2) An example job title: Development Chemist (let’s say it’s for a personal care products company) – the typical job posting wants someone w MS/PhD *and* 3-5 years experience doing, e.g., “sunscreen formulation.” What to do if we know how the science underlying that but haven’t actually done it since our academic job doesn’t call for it?

  64. avatar
    Ujjwal Trivedi

    Just one question:

    I’m eyeing a position that I don’t really have official designation for, but have done some key work in that role – and all the essential skills. How should I cook my resume so that it smells right for the coveted job?

    • avatar

      Trickery will get you nowhere, and will end up biting you in the ass. If you are “cooking” things, you will eventually be found out and will suffer the consequences of a bad reputation (and hopefully a bad conscience). On the other hand, there might be a way to emphasize your strengths in a straightforward and honest way.

  65. avatar

    My question is: How can I succeed with unsolicited applications?

  66. avatar

    Is it effective to include a line at the end of the resume about interests or hobbies as a conversation starter?

  67. avatar
    William Coulter

    Hey Ramit,
    I am a high school senior about to enter a four year university. Most of your material deals with helping those who are mid-career or at least out of college. I would like to know what I should be doing as I enter college and while I am in college.

    • avatar

      I’m sure a lot of us wish we could go back a redo a couple of things in those college years. Here are a few ideas.

      – Internships, internships, internships (look early and often, contact companies directly, go beyond what career services offers, you can cold call your way into just about anything, push for it now and you could set yourself up for something this summer)
      – Informational Interviews to make sure you actually want to do what you think you want to do (professors may help but alumni are a better resource, and as a student you have free reign to contact anyone in the industry about this, calls are better than email, geography doesn’t limit you but it helps)
      – if you need to work throughout college, at the very least, make sure a job is somewhat relevant to your career goals (avoid food service and retail)
      – avoid job hoping, its rare to find a 22 year old that has worked any one job/company a substantial number of years so employers do notice (but show growth)
      – if you do hop, do your best to make sure each job is “a step up” hopping is ok if it shows growth (don’t swap one trading-time job for another trading-time job)
      – Right Brain – Left Brain, the people who succeed the best can show both. The successful engineers I know have international experience and can demonstrate multi-cultural awareness. The successful artists I know have have technical computer and design skills.

      Lastly, if you saw the webinar you’ll know what this means… Think about what “story” your resume will say. At 18 you have the next few years to build a narrative. Since time is a precious resources, look at your student organizations, part time jobs, and coursework and think “how does this help me on my path?” and “is this being productive or just being active?” and even if you have several things that on the surface don’t relate, be prepared to explain to employers how together they have value. Finance + Southeast Asian Studies = Emerging Markets Analyst

  68. avatar

    QUESTION: Can this Resume Analysis’s FUNDAMENTALS also applicable to crafting a business “Pitch” for Venture Capitalist Or Business deals/pitch etc. Or is it targeted only for Hiring Managers/Employment?


  69. avatar

    I like to be as frank/transparent as possible in any human interaction–but I don’t want this approach to backfire. Here are my specific concerns:

    1) *How do I handle gaps and also multiple shorter-duration (jobs on my resume?*
    Aside from one position I had for 5 years, most of my work stints have been a year and a half or less; sometimes, this was for a reason out of my control (e.g., the job was done, a campaign came to a natural conclusion, etc.) but other times, it was because I wanted to switch gears for a better opportunity or just to get the hell out of a situation anyone in their right mind would have. There are even gaps in my work history where I turned to a home project (and that I wanted to do myself vs. hire a contractor to do) or to a dream volunteer stint out of state, both of which required my attention full time; other times, there just wasn’t work available that I could land. How do I handle this truth in my resume, if the answer is: “Don’t be so transparent”?

    2) *How do I handle, on my resume, a work history of non-linear progression, in terms of level of responsibility and pay grade?*
    I am seeking part-time work right now because I am taking classes (science and math focus after learning liberal arts is fine but limiting, in terms of growing interests I have in a specialty). To me, the reason for such an arrangement is clear: I can’t take on an 8-5 position when most of my classes are only offered during the day. But . . . I held full-time jobs after I graduated from college/grad school, and most part-time offerings here are “a step down” both in level of responsibility and pay grade when compared to other positions I’ve held. I don’t have a problem with taking such work (and it does relate to work I’ve done in the past–and I think I would find it satisfying, too)–but I don’t want it to cost me in the long run, in terms of future employers raising their eyebrows at this “roller coaster” of a job history of high-pay/responsibility level to low-pay/responsibility level type of work. (Sometimes, employers will require you to divulge previous pay on an application form; otherwise, I wouldn’t volunteer my salary/wage history on a resume or in a cover letter.)

    3) *How do I handle, on my resume, proving that I still possess solid skills in a line of work I did some time ago–and that references for that work are still valid, many years later?*
    From 1997 through 2007, my full-time work was either in teaching, instructional design, technical writing, or editing. Then, I switched gears and did outreach work, which did involve communication skills of course, but not of the type or level of rigor expected in full-time writing and editing and instruction. Now, I want to turn back to instructional design–but just in part-time, assistant capacity. I wonder if it is counterproductive to provide references from people I worked for so long ago, as well to point to work I did from 15 to 5 years ago as proof I am the perfect fit for this job.

  70. avatar

    Hi Ramit,
    Thanks for all your insight! Do you recommend using the exact wording (“mimicing”) from the job descriptions on my resume? Do companies really use a computer program to look for key words, etc, before my resume will go in front of a real person? Thanks!

  71. avatar

    Resume Teardown question: I got promoted twice and transferred to a different department (that included a job title change) over 5 years at the company I currently work at. How do show this as career progress and not look like a job-hopper?

  72. avatar

    I believe that I was caught in the (1) “don’t rule out any job” approach and bitten by the (2) “I’ll take less pay if I can just get work” bug.

    I have had two meetings with friends of mine (in similar situations) this past week, and we all seem to be trapped in this mode of thinking. I relayed what I had learned this past week from you, and suggested to both of them to check out your web site.

    Apart from doing a self assessment on what I wanted to do, and knowing that there are companies out there that will make more money because of my skills, I had to consciously accept that not every company needs my skills. And even if this seems to be logical when written like this, it was not really something that had fit in my thinking before. The realization came from your comment that your courses are not for everybody.

    So that meta-comment was actually quite useful to me. Thanks for that.

    I had dropped my salary expectations in the past, and that was always because I went for startup companies where cash flow is always an issue. This was a conscious choice for me (and I believe justified). However, it has now been more than a decade since I made more than six figures, and when I think back on those days, my financial situation was much rosier (even though my working hours were in excess of 80 hours / week). This is no longer an option for me, since I have a growing family, and I simply do not wish to spend 80 hrs/week at work, regardless of the money involved. My cutoff point is about 60 hrs/week on an ongoing basis (I’ve never been paid overtime, and I don’t expect it for the level I expect to be hired at).

    As for this evening’s seminar. I have gone from a standard one-size-fits-all resume to a customized resume, where I keep a long resume list of things that I’ve done and things that I’ve accomplished (this resume is used to bid on contract work, and it’s about 16 pages), and the customized resume gets adjusted based on the job posting that I’m responding to.

    However… I believe that I should have a core resume of stuff that I must leave in there, to make sure that the right picture is built for the hiring manager, and I’m not sure what that information should be. This is even more important for the unadvertised jobs, where I cannot tweak the resume to include the talking points that would show up in a job posting. I hope you can provide some insights for this.


  73. avatar

    Hi Ramit,

    I would like to know how to structure a resume that can tell a cohesive story after someone changes from one industry and starts over in a whole new one, with time gaps where the person went back to school to learn the new industry.

    Thank you for all the hard work you do in putting forth all this information. Sincerely.



  74. avatar

    The one thing I’m very interested to know is what kinds of cues I can use (or terms to avoid) to make my resume have more impact and get responses.

    I have Roller Derby practice tonight, so I won’t make it right at 10pm, so if you answer this … can it be later in the discussion? Thanks!

  75. avatar
    Lauren Folkerts

    I hope that your discussion of resumes will include cover letters. Is it better to just add an objective/summary paragraph? Do you include a cover letter even if they do not ask for it? What kind of content is most important to include or exclude in a cover letter or objective/summary paragraph.

  76. avatar

    The benefits (if any) of a “Skills Summary” or “Key Characteristics” at the top of a resume, and the best way to represent them. Along with formatting – my resume looks so boring in Arial or TNR but looks over the top when I try to spruce it up. How can we find the balance between an engaging resume and a 10th grade graphic design project?

  77. avatar
    Kenny Sabarese

    My question is:

    I am looking into getting into a new type of position, Product Management, so my past experience, which is more technical support related, is not relevant to the job I’d like to get. I know I have the skills to do the new job. How can I show that I’m qualified?

  78. avatar

    Hi, Ramit. I like the “how to highlight portfolio work” freelancer experience questions, but also how to best slant a resume to favor experience over education, say for example in cases where the college education was longer ago than for some, or perhaps did not get much beyond the 2-year college degree?

  79. avatar

    Hi Ramit:
    Insight 1: I realize that I have been doing this back and forth game of moving towards well-connected individuals and retracting from them based on how I’m feeling that day. Very inconsistent in my behavior, body language, and verbal communication. Being consistent and moving towards people–going outwards, as you say–are two things to start doing for my dream job system to work better.
    Insight 2: I had been working from the wrong internal message: that I should be grateful for my $17 an hour job being a mental health therapist; when, in fact, every ounce of my being knows that my knowledge base in psychology, and my business and public speaking skills elevate me to an elite status. I allowed my grad school to convince me to “take anything in this economy.” Now I’m in a position that I’m overqualified for (therapist at an addiction recovery center) and am giving away my knowledge for very low compensation. During a lecture last week to the patients, I stood up and spoke for 30 min on Neuropsychology, including neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, and thought to myself: “You should be making over $100 an hour for this lecture, Patti!!!…You’re practically giving away yourself for free!!!” I know I’m valuable; I am seeing this now and am taking action to correct it.

    Resume: Please show me how to move my chronological resume into a narrative document. I want to “show” my skills off to employers and have the value of my self-worth in the marketplace match what’s on the page. Please show me how to make specific changes to work from a narrative place. Thanks.

    You rock, Ramit.

  80. avatar

    What if you want to shift careers, and don’t have experience in the job you want? Yet, you can speak the language a bit and have researched the industry some through books and online resources… How can you get the interview?

  81. avatar
    Stephanie Smith

    How do I make a resume or go about applying for a job which I honestly think I’ll be a good fit and do great work, but have no experience or relevant education?

  82. avatar
    Lucy Ra

    Ramit, do we need to address “solutions to what problems/needs employer has” in the resume? In the cover letter? Or is that strategy for interview only and we leave that out of the resume, only listing the appropriate skills?
    See you tonight

  83. avatar
    Michael Cole

    I have lots of things I’m interested in but I’ve never seen a job or company that does them. These comments of yours (below) electrified me because THIS is what I really want to be able to put on a covering letter or my CV (resume). As it stands now my resume practically describes a different person and I have no idea how to explain succinctly what I’m really good at… okay hell I’d kill just to discover what I’m CONSISTENTLY good at that’s sell-able.

    “How can you find out what you love — and then find jobs that let you do just that?”

    “Create a TESTING METHODOLOGY to find out exactly what she was interested in, rather than waiting to “find her passion””

  84. avatar
    Steven B

    In an industry that values conformity over creativity (public accounting), how do I make my resume stand out?

  85. avatar

    How best to present your resume’ when changing careers?

  86. avatar
    Jay W

    Need some tips for “experienced” “seasoned” professionals. How do you overcome the age barrier?

  87. avatar


    How do you deal with the issue of being fired on your resume?

  88. avatar

    Hi Ramit! Thank you so much for doing this.

    1) I am definitely having issues with showing the level of work I’ve done and how my skills are translatable to other industries. I’ve been an admin in academic laboratories for the last 14 years. I am interested in doing something else, or at least working in other fields but I know my resume still reads very science heavy (I have revised multiple times but so far the only calls I’ve received we’re for academic jobs.). Additionally, the place I last worked had everyone that was an admin at the same job title, even though the work varies greatly among the different labs. My position was a lot more involved than many others, mainly because the professor I worked for was on the boards of several companies. How do I show a high level of responsibility? I know I can do high -level executive assistant type jobs but my previous job title doesn’t really reflect that.

    2) I recently moved to the Bay Area from San Diego because my fiancé got a new position here. I am having a lot of trouble figuring out what my compensation should be. I was extremely underpaid in my last job because research funding is declining, but I want to stop being a bargain. How do I figure out what I am worth in a new city and field, and how do I handle the inevitable questions about my previous salary when It was so low?

    Thank you again.

  89. avatar
    James Lett

    Learning exact words to draw attention would be great, but knowing exactly where, when, and why to use them for maximum effect is just important. If a resume only has ten seconds to impress, what are the optimal placement areas that draw the eyes of the hiring manager to gain more interest for a closer read, and to eventually secure an interview?

    Arguably, if jobs are ideally acquored through your network, then your resume should be a trivial formality – similar to price if you already prove you can deliver all your client wants and more. However, not every situation is ideal, and the top players know how to handle even unideal situations.

  90. avatar

    1st person vs 3rd person narratives

  91. avatar
    Norman Dacanay

    Hi Ramit I would like you to cover:

    How to make to appeal to a company overseas (read: how to get them to see that you are worth the resouce investment).

    Much thanks and looking forward to your live stream and rants (come on you know that there will be at least one tonight).

    Norman D.

  92. avatar

    I realized I was thinking of job searching as some shot in the dark where you have to be in the exact right place at the right time and also be super experienced to land the gig/job/position. I’m starting to think about how to make it a system or even a game for myself which means FOCUSING ONLY ON WHAT I CAN CONTROL and not the rest.

  93. avatar

    Love your work. I have used your advice and moved to another company where they pay me an extra 30k for a role that was already 6 figures.

    Now I see a more interesting opp (to add value!) in the same company moving horizontally and wonder how to best convince that group leader to create the role and hire me after being in current role for 4 months but the industry for 12 years.

    This might apply to other readers who like their company but want to move to an unadvertised role.

    BTW, just convinced my boss to allow me to work from home FULL TIME after TESTING the water by working 2-3 days / week from home. The was to be results focused like you said.


  94. avatar

    Hi Ramit,

    (sorry if this has been asked already… I didn’t read every comment). Can you cover the overall strategy? The way I understand it is: cover letter (sales letter) gets the resume read. A good resume will get you an interview. Do well in the interview (by showing your worth and meeting/exceeding their needs), and get to the next interview. Keep going until you are the last survivor standing. (that’s the ‘normal’ model anyway).


  95. avatar

    Is it appropriate/advisable to include a head shot/picture of yourself with your resume when applying to an industry that tends to favor appearance? (Restaurants/bars)

  96. avatar

    Can I be the next one to get “The Resume Teardown”. I would love to have my evaluated. I “feel” that mines is pretty well written, but if I could have it perfect, then all the better!

  97. avatar
    Andrew Crane

    I am wondering should the order of Work Experience and Life Experience ever be switched. If so, at what point?

  98. avatar

    Recording the webcast seems like great leverage – the value is already created, recording is almost zero work. By explicitly stating that you will not record it, and especially doing so in an off-hand manner, you drastically increase perceived value. In part due to scarcity, but especially through signalling on your part.

    Pretty clever. I’ll be staying up all night it seems.

  99. avatar

    How can you effectively address changing industries several times without turning off the person looking at your resume? For example, I have moved from non-profit arts fund raising to entertainment to consulting to a health care start up to finance. I know how to tie all of this together during an in-person interview in a way that showcases my vast set of skills positively and as assets. How do I handle this in a way that doesn’t freak out someone who’s looking at my resume who doesn’t know me at all and who might think I’m schizo?

  100. avatar

    Hey Ramit,
    I dreamt about watching this webinar last night. It was very good.

    Are you in favour of removing dates when listing relevant work experience that happened a long time ago? For instance, instead of writing “1988-1992” would you simply write “4 years”? I know that the general rule is that you shouldn’t go back more than 10 years, but what if that older work is the most relevant to new positions? What do YOU say? I tend to recommend that you present everything that is relevant, but I know that removing or downplaying dates can raise some questions with employers.

    Also, what if you have been a stay at home mom for a good portion of your work history. Do you put this as a position on your resume?

  101. avatar

    I’ve been told that the new trend is biographies as opposed to resumes. Have you used them? What’s this about?

  102. avatar

    My two biggest insights:
    1) I need to stop trying to “figure it out” and jump into the job search. I need to get out of my own mind.
    2) I need to utilize my non-professional network (specifically the power brokers who go to my gym!) to get my Dream Job. These people are seriously connected, and I need to take a few of them out for breakfast and see how we can help each other out.

    I am working on a resume now for a job I would love (although perhaps not my Dream Job), and I’m looking forward to making corrections after I hear the webinar tonight.

    Thanks Ramit!

  103. avatar

    Please cover how to spin a less-than-perfect, non-ivy league educational history

  104. avatar

    Can you speak to those of us who have jobs we are happy in? I am at a public accounting firm and (GASP) actually really enjoy it. How do I make myself invaluable to the group and to the company when there’s already a well-oiled advancement structure in place? Currently a staff member – would like to advance to manager within 5 years.

  105. avatar

    If you’ve been employed with the same employer for 14 years when recreating your resume, how many employers do/should you include. I’m 40 and well most of my professional career has been with this employer.

  106. avatar


    Great live webinar idea. Is is helpful to include hobbies like running etc on a resume?

  107. avatar

    I have learned that I need to open a checking account that allows me to earn interest!!

    As for resume things, how do I make I resume sound less like a job description and more like a striking description of all that I’ve accomplished?

  108. avatar

    What is best to put at the very top of a resume? Some catchy phrase about me? An objective? A picture?

  109. avatar

    Hi Ramit,

    My question is not exactly on how to make you resume: if you like any subject, what are the best things to do (lessons, web courses, study on your on, study in a school to get diplomas) to put on the resume to reenforce your good skills and skills that are essencial to the job.

    I apologize If I repeated any of the written questions.

    See you in the webinar!

  110. avatar

    My biggest insight was learning that fear is what holds me back.

    I want to know what is more important in a resume – presentation or content?

  111. avatar
    Marc Matthews

    Thanks for sharing all these great insights, Ramit!

  112. avatar

    Mistake 1) I continued not doing anything to get a job or discover a passionate interest that could make money.

    Mistake 2) I continued justifying my inaction with barriers that I have had for a long time “I go to school right now”, “My passions are all money sinkholes”, “Getting a real job is essentially selling out”… etc. Maybe an easier way to look at that is to say I didn’t do anything to get around or remove any barriers.

    Also, I didn’t know what time the live teardown was. That was a mistake.

    • avatar

      Dude, can we finally get rid of this “passion” talk?

      I followed my passion! I have a job that thousands of people fight to go into because they are “passionate”! You know what? It sucks!

      Don’t use “passion” as a reason to go into a crappy profession. I guarantee you, for whatever level of passion you might have, you will eventually be matched with something called “burnout.”

      Someone might be “passionate” about helping people, but you can do that in any job. Want to help the poor? Don’t be a social worker. You can be a hell of a lot more effective making (and then donating) a lot of money or, taking it a step further, running a charitable organization. It may not be someone’s “passion” to do investment banking, but they’ll earn more than the high school economics teacher.

      It’s not just about earning money, but it usually goes hand-in-hand with a profession that is more respected. Autonomy and flexibility are other benefits we marginalize if we think we’ll be really “passionate” about the job. In reality, most people are passionate about their family, and so money and flexible working conditions means you’ll be able to do more for the things that really matter to you. Since hobbies are fun and work is hard, turning a hobby into a career will in you hating the hobby 90% of the time.

    • avatar

      sorry, typo in the last line. “will result in”

  113. avatar

    Ramit, excellent stuff all round. These are some insights just from the webinar.

    I realized that when I thought I was “making every word count” I was actually saying “more couldn’t hurt.” I’ve accomplished plenty, but I didn’t realize how including EVERYTHING makes me less impressive as a candidate instead of focusing on the things that are truly relevant to the profession. From now on, I will craft my narrative with strong examples instead of weakening my resume by throwing seemingly random shit into the mix.

    For example, I realized I’ve be doing my Education section all wrong. I’ve kept it too brief by listing my degree name only with my teaching credentials (BS History, Secondary Education Cert…). When for a career shift, I obviously I need to highlight my quantitative and global skills (and ditch the “teacher” part of my resume). From now I’m going to include “Coursework: Statistics, Calculus, Economics, Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian Studies” in my education sections and tailor this relative to the position I’m pursuing.

    • avatar

      So am I to take from this that I shouldn’t pursue my interests as job options? Explain.

    • avatar

      Go back to this post: Read number 4 and watch the video.

      Take-away: Don’t by looking at your passions. Look at what is out there, talk to people, get into the real world and out of your own head. Leave passion out of the dream job search.

      Compare the two following Methods.

      Method A
      What are my interests -> what job can I get with those interests?

      Method B
      I’ll look at ABC industry since I think it will support the life I want to live (geography/$$$) -> Is there demand? -> What is the future for the field? -> How can I apply my current skills? -> Do I need to build qualifications, if so, how? -> Considering that I am qualified for XYZ in ABC industry, would I find that interesting? -> Will doing XYZ lead to future career growth? What level of success do I want (and can I expect)? -> One more time revisiting, what is the work-life balance of XYZ in ABC industry, and will that support the life I want to lead?

      Method A starts inwardly looking and then goes external, thats how many of us were coached and the attitude I took as a teenager. Method B is primarily looking outward with periodic inward reflection, in my mid-20s this is the approach I use. We don’t know until we’re in the real world, talking to real people, and working a real job. One of the best lessons from Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: passion follows hard work. Not the other way around. Get good at something first, and passion will follow.

      There is an inherent danger in starting with your passions. You get into a inward-looking cycle. First, it doesn’t help because we can watch the movie Wall Street and dream about being a trader, but unless we talk to people in the profession and find out what it’s like, we will always be stuck with the idealized-version in our head. Then, even if you do “follow your passion” and invest time and $$ into that path, once you hit the real world you are confronted with the aspects you overlooked before. Many artists hate the business-side, but in reality they need to be skilled at it to support themselves. If you could get out in the real world and recognize the truths about a profession, as well as explore fields tanget to your interests, you may discover what is right&wrong for you earlier and then you’d save yourself so much time and $$$.

  114. avatar

    Can someone give an overview of what Ramit said in the teardown?

  115. avatar
    Karen WR

    Two key insights from last week:

    1. How to use the briefcase technique not only for getting clients, but for getting more responsibility at my job. Before I was just going to talk to my boss about potential projects I could work on, now I am treating him like a client, and writing down a detailed proposal with timelines.

    2. How to perform at my best by thinking of average performer vs. top performer. It’s an excellent way of creating a clear image of where I want to be.

  116. avatar
    Kimberly R. Collins

    I missed last evening due to work schedule, but am looking forward to this evening’s session.

    Kindest regards,

    K.R. Collins

  117. avatar

    Thanks Elaine, that really clarified it up for me. In truth I know for myself that starting with the lifestyle that I want has barriers in front of it. I am still in school, and I just switched from being a music major to a biology program, and the attitude in both of those schools seems to be that you should deny yourself things to follow your dream (concert pianist, research legend) and I sense that attitude in myself. But I also know from experience working in music that there a lot of aspects of it that I don’t like that will never go away no matter how good I get at it, aside from it being unlikely that I would make enough money to live the life I want.
    I have a specific question for you though, since you took the time to clarify. How do you come up with the information necessary to choose a job based on method b? Where do you start? Do you just pick a title out of the “makes money” hat like lawyer or doctor or investment banker then proceed to test or is there a better way to find “test jobs”?

  118. avatar

    Shot myself in the foot for not waking up in time for the webcast – will not do this again. 6 am/3 am/10pm start times? Who cares, when it comes down to a potential one-time opportunity. This is the lesson I took home by NOT watching the webinar.