Interview With: Katy Piotrowski Author of book "The Career Coward's Guide to Resumes"

Author of the book 'The Career Coward's Guide to Resumes'

1. What are the characteristics of a career coward?

A career coward is someone who knows he or she is capable of better career opportunities, but feels paralyzed about moving forward because of fear over what might happen.

2. Why do you think that job hunting is so stressful for people?

This ties well into to the question above...the biggest stressors in job search are fear of the unknown and fear of rejection. 'Will this new job be better or worse than my current one? Will the hiring manager like me or reject me?' These are significant, real-life concerns for most job searchers.

3. What is the biggest mistake that job hunters make?

The biggest mistake job hunters make is not having a clear focus and a plan for their search. The vast majority of job hunters?about 90% in fact--rely on job ads for ideas about positions that might fit them. ?Hmmm?what's on Monster.com today? Oh, I could probably do that job?? rather than, ?What am I aiming for in my career, and what's the best way to make this goal a reality?? When a job searcher can get out of the rut of looking at job ads, and instead aim himself toward opportunities that will help him achieve his career goals (regardless of there being positions advertised), the search is much more rewarding and successful.

4. Why did you decide to write this book?

In my career counseling practice, I work extensively with individuals who want to make advances in their careers. Through this work, I've discovered simple, highly effective techniques for helping job seekers move past their fears of rejection and the unknown, and take baby steps toward successfully presenting themselves successfully in resumes, cover letters, and portfolios.

5. How should things change for a job seeker once they read your book? -- What kinds of feedback have you received about your book?

I've gotten feedback from several readers of my books that they're excited and motivated because the recommendations are small and doable. Rather than feeling overwhelmed with too much information that is presented in steps that seem big and scary, the steps in the Career Cowards books are confidence building, leading to a reaction of, ?I can do that!?

6. It is worthwhile to have a resume writer take care of that aspect of thejob search?

Yes, yes, yes! In my experience, it's very difficult to be objective about our own accomplishments. Because of this, it's extremely valuable to have someone else draw out and gather information about achievements that are relevant for inclusion in a CV or cover letter. Ideally, it works best to have this process executed by someone with expertise in resume writing, because they know first hand what's important to include, and how to present it most effectively. A professionally-produced resume is one of the best investments a career-minded individual can make.

7. How does the cover letter rank in importance on a scale of 1 to 10 andwhy?

The importance of the cover letter can vary, depending on the priorities of the hiring manager or resume screener. Some screeners put more weight on what's presented in the cover letter than what's included in the resume! For this reason, it's best to always treat the cover letter as being highly important.

8. You update your book fairly often. What influences the changes youmake in the new editions?

There are currently two books available in the Career Cowards series of books: ?The Career Coward?s Guide to Interviewing? (released February, 2007), and ?The Career Coward?s Guide to Changing Careers? (released September 2007. The third book, ?The Career Coward?s Guide to Resumes? will be released in February, 2008. There are five books planned for the series, with a new book coming out every six months. I'm currently in the process of writing, ''The Career Coward?s Guide to Job Searching'', which will be published in September of 2008, and ''The Career Coward?s Guide to Career Advancement'' will be available in February of 2009.

9. What has been the most rewarding part of publishing this book?

To be able to communicate your thoughts for others to read is a tremendous blessing. It has been a long-term goal of mine to create a book series (I've been thinking about it for about 15 years!) so to actually have it become a reality is a dream come true. I also love the feedback I'm getting from readers, about how they've been able to move forward toward their career goals. That makes it so worthwhile to me.

11.Is there anything else that you want to add for our readers?

I find it most helpful, for myself and my clients, to view the process of career exploration, resume writing, job searching, and interviewing as a series of fun experiments, always asking myself, ''What will work toward getting me where I want to go?'' Try different things and see what kind of results you get. If something doesn't work very well, try something else. There are so many exciting opportunities available?persist until you figure out how to get what you want!

Tip: Organize your Job Search.