Recent Blog Entries
4 Essential Steps to Creating Your Career Plan
Jan 30, 2017
Four basic steps to creating a career plan
5 Steps to a New Resume in 2016
Dec 30, 2015
Many of us make New Year’s resolutions every January, but few of us stick with them beyond a few weeks. I have one suggestion for a resolution you should stick with this year that will reap benefits far beyond January. And the best news is that you don’t have to do it for more than a week or so!
The First 6 Seconds
Dec 22, 2015
What’s the first thing you look at when you pick up a new book? The cover, right? Despite the old adage, we usually DO judge books first by their covers.
Network Through the Holidays
Dec 17, 2015
As the weather turns colder and the holiday season approaches, you may think that it’s time to hunker down and play things safe until the new year. If you currently have a job but are looking to move up, you may be planning to refresh your resume after the New Year. If you are currently unemployed and looking for a job, you may be giving up hope as the holidays approach and you will run into friends and family who will inevitably ask how your job search is going.
Employer Questions - What Can You Do For Me?
Mar 24, 2015
This is the second in my series of Employer Questions that are asked when looking at your résumé. Make sure you check out the first post which answers the question “Who are you?”
Not Quite There Yet
Mar 13, 2015
Last week I wrote about my Master Résumé and how well that worked for me the last time I had to apply for a job. Today I’m going to take a look at a few more things that are working well in my own personal résumé and also get to some potential improvements.
Employer Questions - Who Are You?
Mar 10, 2015
I am starting a series of short blog posts that will run weekly over the next two or three months with some questions that employers ask when reviewing resumes. Today is the first in the series.
What's Working in My Resume
Mar 06, 2015
Regular readers of the blog here will note that I am performing a review and update of my own personal résumé here on the blog this year. I want to start first with looking at some things that I think are working well and why they are contributing to the effectiveness of my résumé.
Resume Feedback From My Clients
Jan 09, 2015
Late last year I had the privilege to interview one of my past clients regarding her experience with Best Word Forward and get some of her feedback on résumés and the interview process.
New Year, New Resume!
Jan 02, 2015
Last week I wrote about a few things that worked well on the blog last year. There was a new look and feel to the site and I highlighted the content that got the most notice. This week I want to look ahead into 2015.
Best Word Forward 2014 Wrap-up
Dec 26, 2014
It’s the end of the year and as we close the2014 Year books on 2014, I wanted to look back on the year and see what worked well.
Crying Over Spilled Water
Nov 07, 2014
Several years ago I came across an article online describing some things that interviewers could use to test job candidates for things that couldn’t be measured simply by asking questions. One of the suggestions was a toppled glass of water to test the candidate’s willingness to help out in an unpredictable situation.
Dressing Appropriately For Your Interview
Oct 29, 2014
I have written, posted and re-posted a few articles recently about preparing for your interview. In those I have talked about the importance of practicing the act of interviewing so that you will be better prepared when you walk into the room. Today I want to touch on another piece of preparation…what you should wear.
Setting Document Tabs in MS Word
Oct 22, 2014
If you’ve ever typed up a résumé, chances are you’ve run into trouble with aligning text along the side of the page. In the western world, we read from the left to the right, so all of our programs and websites default to lining the text up on the left side in a nice neat line. But what if you need to set up a document (like a résumé) to have things line up on the right as well?
Preparing For Your Interview
Oct 19, 2014
I recently had a friend ask me to conduct a mock interview with them prior to a real live interview. It was not the first time I’ve done this but it was the first time in a while. I haven’t been in a position to be interviewing people in almost two years, but conducting this interview for my friend reminded me what a fun yet unpredictable experience it can be.
I Need Your Stories!
Sep 19, 2014
After several month’s absence, I am back to the blog! I hate to come back and immediately put out an ask, but it will help in the long run.
Declare Your Independence
Jul 05, 2014
Yesterday we celebrated American independence. 238 years ago a bunch of men gathered together and put together a document that would forever change the path of the people living on this continent. But it didn’t end there.
Two Tricks to Transform Your Writing
Jun 30, 2014
This past weekend marked the release of what could be the biggest blockbuster movie of the summer, Transformers: Age of Extinction. Now, you may not be Michael Bay (if you are Michael Bay, call me, I have an idea for another amazing movie franchise) and you may not make millions of dollars, but there are two things that you can do to transform your writing this week.
Three Ways to Highlight Your Skills
Jun 19, 2014
We all know that it is important to put together a solid résumé in order to get a great job, but what exactly should you include on your résumé to get you noticed?
Intentional Growth Through Reading
Jun 06, 2014
Last week I wrote about the importance of reading as it related to becoming a better writer. Today I wanted to bring you some thoughts on reading as part of career growth. A few things to consider...
3 Steps to Better Writing Through Reading
May 30, 2014
As a writer, one of the essential pieces of your job is to read. By continuously reading and taking in new information, you can use what you read to improve your writing style. When you see something that you like in someone else’s writing, you can borrow that and implement it in your own.
Moving on From A Stable Job
May 23, 2014
It’s time for another reader response.Ramit writes - “I have been associated with a single organization without the need to switch jobs [after college]; but I fear someday when I will feel stagnated here, I may be pretty ill equipped in the job market on the resume front.”
Best Word Forward Newsletter
May 20, 2014
Any frequent visitors to the blog may have noticed an added section in the column to the right. If not, please look there now.
Call For Questions
May 16, 2014
It’s that time again, a simple call for questions. This time I’m looking for anything you want to know about editing, grammar, punctuation, proofreading, etc. Please submit your question in the comments below, send me an email or leave a post on Facebook or Twitter.
Time For A New Look
May 13, 2014
I have a short update today regarding the look of the blog and website. I am in the process of finalizing a new logo for Best Word Forward. I will soon be featured prominently on the webpage here, along with the Facebook page header and Twitter page header.
Three Resume Essentials
May 09, 2014
A few weeks ago I asked you to send me some of the things that you find hard about writing your résumé. I will be tackling some of those in the coming weeks as blog topics.
Homonym Help Line
May 02, 2014
One of the hardest parts about the English language is the prominence of words that sound the same, or very similar, yet mean different things. My recent favorite is “there,” “their” and “they’re.” If you read these to someone and they can’t see them printed on the page, they will have no idea which meaning is intended without some additional context.
The Hardest Part of Resume Writing
Apr 25, 2014
There is no one part about writing a résumé that is THE hardest part. Many people have trouble talking about themselves and especially lauding their accomplishments. They think that they are bragging and will be seen as pompous, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Go Ahead, Ask Me Anything!
Apr 04, 2014
This is my last post for a few weeks. I know I had pledged to post on this blog every Friday moving forward, but I have a planned vacation coming up and have decided to take a break from posting on the blog as well.
If You Could Care Less, Then Do
Mar 27, 2014
Perhaps it’s the English nerd in me, but this is one of my biggest pet peeves in terms of misuse of the English language. So many people speak the phrase “I could care less” in the wrong context, assuming it is correct because that is how they have heard it used in the past. But let’s take a closer look at this statement.
How to Avoid a Toxic Workplace
Mar 20, 2014
Have you ever started a new job and after a month or two realized that your new co-workers are all backstabbers, or that the entire leadership structure is so corrupt that it makes the politicians look like angels? Many people have been in this situation and felt that they were duped when they first interviewed for the job, but there are things you can do to find out about the culture of a company before you start on your first day.
3 Overly Used Words/Phrases to Avoid
Mar 13, 2014
Writing is hard. Anyone who has ever sat down at a computer (or typewriter or blank sheet of paper) knows that it can be a daunting task to set your ideas down in writing. Because of the difficulty of the task, many people often fall back on comfortable words and phrases to help them get by.
Best Word Forward Now on Twitter
Mar 13, 2014
Great news! Best Word Forward now has a home on Twitter. Follow Best Word Forward (@bestword4ward) by clicking the link to the left. You’ll be glad you did.
Is The Objective Statement Dead?
Mar 08, 2014
Would you leave home on a road trip without any idea where you’re going? Of course not. How about flying a plane without a flight plan? Never. Whenever you travel, even if it’s just a short trip to the store, you probably have an objective.
Don't Yell, When You Can Whisper
Feb 28, 2014
Regardless of what you’re writing, always pay attention to your tone. Your graduate school thesis is a much different piece of writing than the short story you wrote in third grade about the bunny that lost his way and the tone of each piece of writing should reflect the audience for which it is intended. Finding that voice can sometimes be difficult but when you do, your writing will become much more effective and engaging to your readers.
Two Tricks to Getting Your Resume Noticed
Feb 20, 2014
I have mentioned in at least one previous post that the days of cookie cutter résumés are gone. With most big companies doing their initial hiring online, computers are doing much of the initial grunt work sorting through résumés submitted online, the use of keywords is becoming increasingly important. But what about when your résumé gets in front of a human?
What Not To Do...
Feb 14, 2014
I have been working for the last few weeks trying to get the word out about Best Word Forward and I came across something that astounded me. I found a website called ProfileTree which allows people or business to post their services. I quickly took advantage of this opportunity to get some more exposure for Best Word Forward.
What Is Your Olympic Moment?
Feb 07, 2014
It is that time again. The Winter Olympics have arrived. By the time you read this, there will have already been one full day of competition in Sochi and the Opening Ceremonies will be in full swing.
How Long Is Your "Short" Story?
Jan 30, 2014
So you’re writing a short story. You moving right along and suddenly realize that your story is over thirty pages long. It’s starting to move from being a short story into being a short novella.
References - A Brief Guide
Jan 25, 2014
Chances are you have filled out a job application at least one in your life. You probably filled in a section on that application asking you to list professional references. You sat and thought for a minute before writing down the name of a friend that you worked with at your last job that would give you a glowing recommendation if and when the HR manager called them.
Writing in Plain English
Jan 17, 2014
I was playing around in MS Word the other day and noticed an option to include readability statistics when doing a spelling and grammar check. I decided to mark the box and see what happened.
New Year, New Plan
Jan 14, 2014
I posted a note about this on the Best Word Forward Facebook page yesterday but wanted to make an official post about it on the blog. I originally wanted to make posts here at least three times a week, but that proved to be far too much to handle. For the time being, I will be making weekly posts every Friday, alternating between an editing topic and a résumé topic each week. Hopefully this will keep the blog moving forward and will help you the reader know when to expect new content each week.
When Famine Becomes Feast
Nov 29, 2013
Almost ten years ago, I encountered a situation where I had two companies offer me jobs at the same time. I was in a situation in my life where I was able to actually start working both jobs before making a decision which one I should keep. I know I made the correct decision all that time ago.
Free Writing Review
Nov 06, 2013
Do you have a story that you’re writing or a big paper due at school? Always feel like you can’t just get your point across the way you want to? I have an opportunity for you.
Learn From Expectations
Oct 24, 2013
Sometimes, one of the best ways to learn how to do something well is to practice it over and over again. Other times, the best way is to read about how others have done it successfully and try to emulate that.
Rules of The Interview
Oct 21, 2013
There are plenty of things that can be considered dumb, especially when interviewing for a job. Normally I would try to work on my own list, but I found this recently on LinkedIn and decided to just pass the word along.
Free Resume Review
Oct 11, 2013
Yes, that’s right. You read that correctly. From now to the end of the month (that’s October for those keeping score at home) I am offering a free review of your résumé. Simply fill out the form below and submit it and I will get in contact with you within 24 hours. Don’t wait, act now!
Oct 10, 2013
In the words of the great Jedi Master Yoda, “make one smart, using big words does not.” OK, maybe he never actually said that, but if he had been a high school English teacher, I like to think he might have.
Oct 08, 2013
As a writer, I compose short stories as well as poetry. One question that has come up in conversations about writing poetry is how it should be edited.
Say Thank You
Aug 20, 2013
One of the most overlooked things in the world is saying “Thank you.” It seems so simple, yet people don’t do it often enough.
More Interview Prep
Aug 13, 2013
I posted a few weeks back about preparing for an interview and wanted to offer a bit more insight here on that topic. My main point here is to make sure that you are prepared to answer any question that the interviewers will throw at you. Of course we can’t predict every question, but I’ve listed some samples of popular questions below along with explanations of what interviewers are often looking for when they ask them.
Carbon Copy Resumes
Aug 06, 2013
I mentioned in the Job Hunt Series last week that it is important to have a master résumé that has your entire work experience on it. The question I have received is “should I keep my entire work experience on me résumé when I submit it for a job?”
Jul 31, 2013
One of the most common grammatical mistakes I see people make it misusing “its,” “it’s,” and “its’.” I can understand the confusion and honestly it is sometimes hard to determine which one is correct so I hope this brief overview can help clear up the confusion.
Sound Smart, Be Simple
Jul 29, 2013
Everyone wants to sound smart. Being smart can help you get ahead in the world but being smart and using big words do not necessarily go together.
Job Hunt Part 4 (Rinse & Repeat)
Jul 26, 2013
Congratulations! You’ve finally landed yourself a new job! My last piece of advice is to keep updating your Master Résumé on a regular basis. Set a reminder for the first of every month or every six months and when the reminder comes up, pull out your master file and make sure everything is still accurate. Don’t stop preparing for interviews either.
Job Hunt Part 3 (Interview Preparation)
Jul 25, 2013
We’ve all heard the saying “practice makes perfect” but when was the last time you practiced a job interview? If you’re like most people, it was probably DURING your last job interview and you were sweating the entire time because you felt you were out of practice.
Job Hunt Part 2 (Following Up)
Jul 24, 2013
10-15 years ago, when the economy was booming and companies were hiring at a rapid pace, job hunters would often receive calls for interviews within days or even hours of an application being submitted. Not so anymore. Because there are often dozens if not hundreds of candidates applying for jobs both in person and online, only people who are being selected for interviews are contacted. This often leaves everyone else wondering what their status is.
Job Hunt Part 1 (Master Résumé)
Jul 23, 2013
One of the most common mistakes regarding résumés is to assume that one size fits all. In the competitive job market that exists today, updating your résumé and applying for jobs can be a full time job in itself.
Jul 21, 2013
Are you on the hunt for a new job? Did your employer just post a promotional opportunity that is the role you’ve been waiting two years for? Did you pull out your old résumé and realize that it hasn’t been updated since you took your current job?
Let Me Edit For You
Jul 18, 2013
Everyone has a story to tell. I’m sure something has happened in your life in the past year that you could write a story about. It doesn’t have to be as long and involved as Tolstoy, elegant as Shakespeare or even as funny as Vonnegut (yes, I know some people don’t “get” Vonnegut’s humor). But there is a story in there that needs to be told.
Someone Should Have Hired Me
Jul 16, 2013
Small disclosure, it was recently my son’s birthday and he received a gift of a remote control car that is supposed to be able to drive on walls. I have yet to make it do this, but I’m hoping batteries might be the culprit.
Death of Punctuation...
Jul 10, 2013
At the risk of angering John McWhorter I’m going to proclaim that the sky is indeed falling. The proper use of punctuation is a dying art. More generally, it sometimes seems like ANY use of punctuation is a dying art.
Why So Tense?
Jul 09, 2013
Are you two tense? Rather, do you use two tenses in your writing? This can be a cardinal sin in writing and something that makes an idea very hard to follow. When you’re writing something that “is” happening, make sure that it continues to happen “now” and doesn’t suddenly become a past or future event. What exactly do I mean by this?
Brand New Day
Jul 08, 2013
I have decided to move my Best Word Forward page to Weebly for two reasons. Firstly, I like the design interface better than at Wix and I am able to get started on a new blog to help drive traffic to the site. Secondly, I felt like the site needed a reset and the best way to go about that was to move it completely.
After being asked to review some co-workers résumés, it became apparent to me that my own was written in a very outdated style. I found it very difficult to update my own in a modern fashion and decided to have it professionally reviewed. I chose Best Word Forward at the recommendation of several people. Jonathan Ytreberg provided clear and concise critique and recommendations. He pointed out several issues that would never have occurred to me. He did so by using an easy to follow format, which included specific points tied in to my current résumé, and a corresponding letter with detailed explanations for each point. He has provided me with the tools to keep my résumé updated and tailor it to specific opportunities.
Jonathan’s résumé services put me back on the map. His vast knowledge of résumé writing and his clear, precise tips produce real results. Jonathan will make you a superstar.
Recently I was forced to update my resume, and did the best I could as I’d not even thought of this thing in over a decade. In search of an outside opinion, I turned to Jonathan’s service, Best Word Forward, thinking I’d either receive feedback that it was just fine the way it was, or a complete tear-down/rebuild into something I wouldn’t be comfortable with. Boy, was I wrong! What I got instead were succinct, easy to implement suggestions which left my resume feeling like my own, with a great format and to-the-point content that I’m confident will deliver. The letter accompaniment helped explain the suggestions that Jonathan gave in a convenient Word document format; reading it felt like he was right there explaining everything to me! I thank you, Jonathan, as I approach the job market with renewed confidence. I look forward to reporting back my positive results!