Ask the Career Doctor

Today marks the beginning of the Career Doctor Ask A Question Contest. The first 5 people to submit a question to the Career Doctor, Robert Shindell will be contacted for their mailing address to be sent a free winter hat.

Questions are encouraged about the online job search, job search organization, resume writing, interview preparation and more…

Take a moment and think about what question you would like to ask…Job Search anything is welcome



  1. I have a question for you. I was recently terminated from my job and the reason was not my fault. How do I address this during an interview if asked why I left my last position?

  2. This is a question that I know many are struggling with. I think that in our current economy and the status of the world of work, this is not as big of a deal as it might have been five years ago. With that in mind, I think that the best answer to a question like this is to be honest and brief. DO NOT go into a long drawn out story about everything that happened at your last job. My suggestion is that you write out an answer and MEMORIZE it. Use the same answer every time you are asked the question. By writing it out I think you will find a happy medium between giving too much information and not enough.

    You can read more at:

    Thank you for joining us on’s Career Doctor. My Name is Robert Shindell. If you have a question for us here at The Career Doctor, just email us at [email protected].

    Again, thanks for visiting

    Until next time…

  3. I have a question. I am now facing 1 year 6 months of being unemployed. Previously, I was a graphic designer, and I was the manager of a department. I keep running into the “overqualified” assumption, even though I have indicated willingness to work for lower salary in a non-management job. I have also applied to non-career related jobs (grocery stores, bookstores, secretarial, etc.) with no hiring success. I have several resumes, some that are “dumbed down” but I still have had no success finding a job again. At this point, what can I do, my unemployment is running out?

  4. @missdisplaced –
    Thanks for reaching for visiting the blog. Your question is one that many are struggling with during this period of recession and recovery and one that is somewhat difficult to answer. It is so difficult to make assumptions about the “why” you have not been successful in landing a job, either in your industry or in another. But here are some things to consider regarding “dumbing down” your resume –

    There are really two “schools of thought” when it comes to job-seekers who want to dumb down their resume to get a job…

    #1 – “Dumbing down your resume” just to get a job is just that – Dumb. I have worked with far too many job-seekers that have done this and have found themselves in a worse situation down the road. They get locked into a position that they are not happy in, and subsequently do not perform the job well. I actually worked with one client who was fired for “poor performance” that dumbed down their resume just to get the job. Then a year later, they were out of work again – only this time they had a difficult time explaining the “gap” in employment.

    #2 – “Dumbing down your resume” to get a job helps you get your foot in the door so you can start to climb the ladder again. This has certainly worked for some, but it really is a gamble. Personally, I think it depends on what information you want to omit from the resume. For example, if you have an MBA and omit it from the resume, I think that is OK. But if you are omitting employment information, I think you are getting dangerously close to that slippery slope of misrepresenting yourself.

    The bottom line is, only you can make the decision about what information you present to a potential employer. This is one of the reasons it is so important for you to customize each resume you send.

    Whenever I am working with someone who is struggling with similar issues to the ones you describe, I always like to start from the beginning again…

    Here are some resources that may help you through your dilemma –

    Crash! Boom! Bang! (a.k.a. 5 Big Reasons Why Your Resume Isn’t Working) –

    Improving “Soft Skills” to Land the Job –

    “Get Back to Work Faster” an interview with author and career strategist, Jill Konrath –

    The ABCs of Great Cover Letters-

    I hope that this specific infrmation, as well as other information you might find on is helpful to you as you move through your career transition.

  5. Thanks Career Doctor,

    You advice is all good, and I do have several “styles” of resumes that I use for different jobs (a fancy graphic one, one that targets marketing/communications jobs, and a one page “transfer skills” used for admin. and office jobs).

    I cringe at dumbing-down my skills and resume any more than I already have on the one-page one, they were hard fought for! I know it is dumb, and may lead to worse situations. Still I am now cut off of unemployment after EUC Tier 4. I have no options left! If I don’t find some earned income soon, I will literally lose everything and be on the street. I’ve tried to hold out for something that fits my occupation, but now I no longer can.

    I am finding that with many employers (and recruiters) the first words out of the mouth is “how much salary?” I hate to lie or even omit this information (as it can be checked) but I need a job! Even if it IS one that pays half of what I made before. It’s not my fault that I made a good salary before, yet many employers hold this against me. I try hard not to bring it up, but many persist to the point of being rude, then don’t hire me when they find out.

  6. I have been fortunate in that I have been self-employed for a long time. Losing a successful business in 2009 is only another opportunity to restart and do something even better.

    Check out our site:
    Creative Jobs and Mangement is our mission. We don’t place creatives we sell them to qualified buyers.

    We are looking for highly experienced creative managers, art directors and production mangers. We pay per project.

    Good: We do not yet need a large staff
    Bad: We do not yet have a large staff

    email: [email protected]
    We are not an immediate solution but we offer hope and opportunity.

    If you want to sell your talents we can do that too.


    PS: don’t count on luck and think “self”, make a business for yourself.

  7. Hello!

    I was wondering if you accept guest posts on i Lost My Job Blog?

    I’m part of a business that does high-end brand placements worked into guest posts on a variety of subjects. My posts don’t advocate or review our clients, rather they are well written informational and/or newsy posts that your blog followers will find interesting. The articles are between 350 to 800 words in length, of unique content that will only be published on your blog, and includes one do-follow reference link to one of our clients, (none of whom relate to the no-no categories like Pills, Poker, & Porn).

    If you don’t accept guest posts I also can make deals for sponsored articles that you’d be compensated for and have complete editorial control over. The article guidelines are similar to what’s mentioned above. After we submit the article, you retain complete editorial control of the article and can make any edits necessary before publishing it.

    Please let me know if accepting a Guest Post or Sponsored Post is something you’d be interested in and if so, how much would you want me to pay?


    Nicolas Gallego

    P.S. If there are any other blogs you manage that would be open to accepting guest post or sponsored articles I’d be interested in checking them out.

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