LinkedIn redesign: the #1 mistake I see people making

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LinkedIn’s major overhaul of the site took place in 2017, yet many users seem oblivious to the impact this is having on their profiles. One of the biggest changes was minimizing the amount of text that displays for each of your jobs as well as the About section (formerly known as the Summary section). Only […]

Can you speak to your resume?

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In addition to the plethora of common interview questions you need to prepare for, you should also be prepared to address questions about your resume. About ANYTHING on your resume–even the smallest of details. If you stumble or seem confused when an interviewer asks about something on the resume, that could be the end of […]

Insight for making it to the C-suite

I was recently interviewed by Reader’s Digest on the topic of “10 Things You’re Doing at Work that CEOs Wouldn’t.” Although I’m not a CEO myself, I’ve been fortunate to soak up insight from the C-level executives I’ve worked with over the years, learning about some of the leadership practices and habits that are the […]

6 ways to avoid sabotaging your career with burned bridges

We’ve all had those days when we want to yell at our boss, quit, and storm out of the office. But burning bridges isn’t the best way to build your career, and chances are you’ll probably regret how you handled it. Even if it is time to leave for new opportunities, you’ll usually be better […]

5 secrets for using industry groups in job search

Industry associations are a job seeker’s best friend—or at least they should be. There are thousands of associations that cater to professionals in virtually every industry, from the American Society of Civil Engineers to the American Marketing Association. Name a profession and it probably has a group, and there might be a local chapter in […]

Why you need a mentor and how to find one

Last night, I was fortunate to have a conversation with a highly successful entrepreneur who offered some excellent advice for improving and growing my business. Previously, I’d been stuck on one stumbling block that was holding me back (keeping me stuck). Afterward, the path I need to take was clear. This experience made me think […]

Should you be working for free?

At some point in your career, you’ve probably been faced with the question of whether working for free made sense. And, whether it was a volunteer gig with a non-profit or freelance work on a pro bono basis, you still need to be aware of the impact on your time and income. All of these […]

Get known in your field: 3 ways

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Introductions will be smoother when people have already heard of you. Doors will open more readily. And employers may be contacting you instead of the other way around. Building this kind of awareness for your personal brand takes time, but it’s worth it. Here are a few of my favorite strategies. 1. Publish, publish, publish—both […]

8 ways to navigate networking introductions with grace

It can be awkward when you’re being introduced to someone in a networking capacity as part of your job search. This is also where a lot of job seekers, even executives, miss out on potential opportunities because of how they approach the introduction. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes (and chances are […]

5 reasons to use only one LinkedIn Profile, not two

From time to time, folks tell me they want to have two LinkedIn accounts. Some of the reasons include: “I don’t want my boss to know I’m job hunting, so I’ll have a separate account for job hunting!” “I have a day job and a side hustle, so I need separate accounts for each.” “I’m […]

After you apply for a job, do this

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OK, so you’ve applied for that shiny new job opening… now what? Sit and wait? What has worked well for other clients of mine is a short, targeted followup, usually via LinkedIn or email. This is assuming that you don’t know someone at the company who’s going to help you out, which is the ideal […]

Why you shouldn’t use an objective on your resume

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Ah, the resume objective. They were once a requirement for the top of your resume. Now, those who are savvy about modern resume trends know that objectives are considered outdated and ineffective in today’s job market. A couple of the key reasons objectives have fallen out of favor are: The objective statement focuses heavily on […]

Fired because of LinkedIn?!

(From the archives – updated in 2019) The Internet has been buzzing with news about a UK executive who is suing his former employer over a dispute involving his LinkedIn profile–news that may be alarming to many who use LinkedIn. Based on the article about it on MailOnline, the gist is that BG Group dismissed […]

Introduction to “resume speak”

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Resumes are a little weird, whether we’re talking about an executive resume or a resume for an individual contributor. You might wonder if the wording you see on professionally written resumes is grammatically correct. It’s correct (sort of). Welcome to the world of “resume speak!” “Resume speak” is the unique style that has become the […]

3 problems with advertised job postings

When I talk to job seekers who have been unemployed for a long time, they often tell me they have been finding advertised job openings online and applying for them as their primary job search strategy–sometimes the only strategy. Here are three problems I see with that. 1. The job you’re applying for might already […]

What style is best for the LinkedIn “About” section?

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The LinkedIn “About” section (formerly known as the Summary) is the one place on your profile that can be thought of as a “freestyle” section–you can write whatever you want without any structure. However, this freedom actually leaves a lot of executives wondering what writing style to use for this section. If you spend some […]

8 unexpected benefits of executive resume writing

Traditionally, the purpose of a resume has been to secure an interview. Today, the advantages extend beyond simply landing interviews–and there are also some bonuses to going through the resume writing process properly that don’t have anything to do with the resume itself! 5 advantages of a professionally written resume (beyond simply landing interviews!): It […]

Curated list of head shot photographers

A lot of my clients end up needing a new head shot while they’re working with me. Since I tend to have multiple clients in major metro areas around the U.S., I decided to start curating a list of head shot photographers who do good work for business head shots–including LinkedIn photos. The intent is […]

How to contact a hiring manager

How to email a hiring manager

Reaching out directly to a hiring manager when a company isn’t advertising an opening is a great way to network. You can position yourself as the candidate of choice for the company’s next opening. Also, if the hiring manager likes you, he can possibly create a job for you; this happens more often than you […]

Is your online presence helping or hurting your job search?

Your “digital dirt” could be haunting you. If you haven’t “Googled” yourself lately, it’s probably a good idea to type your name into the search engine to see what results you get. A wealth of information about most of us is at any prospective employer’s fingertips and can help or hurt your chances of getting […]

Hi! I’m Kelly Donovan

The world of job search and career advancement is changing all the time, from the latest changes on LinkedIn to new resume trends to job hunting in a pandemic. My blog is the place for information, insight, and best practices to help you land faster, earn more, and love your work!

About Kelly Donovan

Kelly works with job seekers nationwide, primarily executives. She has been featured on the CBS TV show Face the Truth, and her career advice has been featured in/on Forbes, Fast Company, Reader’s Digest, the New York Post, Entrepreneur, Glassdoor, and many more.

She has been a contributor to three books (including “Resumes for Dummies”), and she has earned certifications in LinkedIn, resume writing, and job search coaching. Full bio