Debra Wheatman: Expert in Building Your Career

With many years of experience in Human Resources and recruiting, Debra Wheatman founded Careers Done Write in 2005 to provide professional career coaching and resume writing services.

Debra, who possesses both Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC) designations, received her Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Journalism from Adelphi University.

Debra is a featured blogger on numerous sites including Glassdoor and Résumé Resource, where she covers multiple career topics. She posts regularly on her own site at, and she has been featured on Fox Business News, WNYW with Brian Lehrer, and quoted in leading online, print, and trade publications, including, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNBC.

Debra and her team at Careers Done Write provide comprehensive career services to senior level candidates in a variety of sectors including financial services, legal, information technology, healthcare, pharmaceutical, law enforcement, academia, and manufacturing. Below are the many ways you may reach Debra or follow her to obtain more information:

Articles by Debra Wheatman

New Articles

  • To Succeed Today, Execute a Targeted Job Search
    Unemployment can be scary and overwhelming. It’s not only the uncertainty of not having a steady paycheck; it’s also the disruption to your routine, and the loss of your work social life. Many people who find themselves unemployed are encouraged to apply for and to pursue every single opportunity that is out in the market. This feels productive, but it is often a waste of time.

Guide to Building a Successful Career:

  • Building a Successful Career Home
    The best candidate for a new job is a person who is successful in her current job, continuously improving, always learning, and actively networking. Savvy individuals are constantly “working” their career plan, even when not actively job-searching or doing typical job search functions, such as resume writing, interviewing, networking, or research.

How to Build a Successful Career

  • 5 Ways that Negativity Can Harm Your Career
    Career building extends beyond training, resume writing, and performing your job. Your attitude has a tremendous impact on how you are perceived by others. If you have a pattern of negativity, this can harm your career. They also make job search more difficult and stressful.
  • Managing Rejection for a Successful Career
    Building a career does not happen overnight. A career is cultivated over time, built through education, training, and experience. Your career is also influenced by your successes, failures, side-steps, stops, and renewals.
  • Physical Fitness to Build Your Career
    Have you considered physical fitness when you create a strategy to build your career? If not, this could be an element you are neglecting to ensure you are “fit,” both emotionally and physically, to drive continued advancement.
  • Building Your Career Through Public Speaking
    Public speaking is one of the many ways you can build your career. Being known as an expert is a great way to advance your career, inside and outside of your employer’s organization. When you deliver a presentation to a group, you can showcase your communication skills, your expertise on a subject, your ability to think on your feet, and many other important skills.
  • Building Your Career Through Professional Development
    One of the best investments you can make for your time and money is an investment in your career. The time and money you spend on a college degree or professional training will produce short-term returns in the form of a job with greater responsibility and authority.
  • Laying the Foundation for a Successful Job Search
    If you have decided today is the day to launch a new job search campaign, there are at least four things you should do before you begin. Without this preparation, your job search will take longer and not be as successful as it could be.
  • Let’s Have Lunch!
    A networking lunch is a great career-building tactic. You may arrange lunch meetings with peers or you may ask an established leader in your market or industry. If you are considering a career change, a networking lunch is a way to gather insider information so you can make an informed career decision.
  • Building Your Career Through Volunteering
    Volunteering is rewarding — in many ways. Knowing that you are helping others and making your community a better place provides a sense of accomplishment and belonging.
  • How to Stop Making the 3 Biggest Job Search Mistakes
    You have probably heard the famous quote attributed to Albert Einstein: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” So, why do so many job seekers continue the same routine, optimistically waiting for that call, only to be disappointed as weeks turn into months?
  • Improve Your Job Performance (and Career) Through Feedback
    Receiving feedback about your work can be very uncomfortable. Reality is that — like everyone else — you are not perfect.
  • How Mentors Can Help You Build Your Career
    A career mentor is a more senior person in your same field or occupation, who advises you regarding professional growth. Excellent mentors are experienced, knowledgeable, and generous. A good mentee is respectful, appreciative, and considerate of the mentor’s time. If you make the right connection, a mentor can be the guide and inspiration to help you achieve your career goals.
  • Returning to Work After Retirement
    Many Americans retire, but soon after they are yearning to return to the workforce. It is a choice each individual must make based on his personal situation and goals. If you are thinking about re-launching your career after retiring, here are some things to consider.

Company Research Fundamentals:

  • Company Research to Avoid Career Regrets
    Do you ever wish you could go back in time and reverse a decision that you made in your career? Perhaps you accepted a job with a company only to find that they were on their way to bankruptcy.
  • The 20 Minute Company Research Guide
    Many clients tell me that they don’t have time to research a company. That’s not a valid excuse. You can accomplish significant research for an initial job interview in 20 minutes. That is the same amount of time many people spend catching up with friends on Facebook on a daily basis.
  • Evaluating the Company’s Fit for You
    There are numerous resources on and across the Internet to aid your research of companies. You know where to look, but do you know what data is important to know?
  • Researching Nonprofits
    What is your passion? That is the first question to ask yourself when considering a job search, especially if you want to work in the nonprofit sector. The more passion you feel for a cause, the more likely you will be successful in all aspects of your job search.

Handling Special Situations

  • Safely Looking for a Job While Employed
    One of the questions I frequently field is about looking for a job while you are currently employed, and how to go about it. While you should always be mindful of other opportunities in your field, and explore them, even if you are satisfied with your current role, the best time to look for a new role is while you are employed.

Using Social Media for Company Research:

  • Company Research Made Easy: There’s an App for That
    Company research does not have to be a dreaded chore. The word “research” creates images of hours at your laptop hunting for proprietary information that only a few privileged may access. Nothing could be further from the truth.
  • Using Facebook for Company Research
    A common myth about company research is that company information is inaccessible or difficult to gather. Would you be surprised if I told you that a website that you already visit on a daily basis is a rich reservoir of company information? Facebook should be an important part of your company research regimen.
  • Company Research Using LinkedIn Company Pages
    You know as a professionally oriented social networking site. LinkedIn is also a resource for company research. If you are in the early stage of company research, start broad with an industry search.
  • Advanced LinkedIn Strategies for Company Research
    Hopefully, you have been able to use Job-Hunt’s extensive database of potential employers to identify companies that interest you. Now that you know where you might want to work, tapping into the power of LinkedIn can be a great strategy for researching companies from the inside out.
  • Tapping into LinkedIn’s Data
    LinkedIn holds a meaningful mass of data for careerists and companies. Using LinkedIn, one can study an industry, a company, a group of professionals, or skills spread across a field.

Online Sources for Company Research:

  • Researching Lists of “Top” Jobs, Companies, Cities
    Tis the season of top-ten lists and predictions. Day after day, we see lists of the top employers, occupations, and cities in which to work. If you are an employee of one of the top 100 companies of the year, in an occupation that’s in high demand, and living in a boom town, you probably feel secure. However, what if you are not?
  • Using Yelp for Company Research is a resource for millions seeking reviews and details of service for businesses. Yelp has approximately 61 million registered users and more than 20 million posted reviews.

Off-Line Sources of Company Research:

  • Researching Employers at Industry Expos
    Industry expos and conferences are an excellent opportunity for one to gain first-hand company information. Exhibitors are excited to talk to attendees about the company’s newest products and upcoming projects.
  • Researching Small Businesses
    With this week’s news showcasing the layoffs at Bank of America, opportunities at smaller companies are likely to become increasingly attractive to job seekers. While we don’t yet know the outcome of President Obama’s proposed American Jobs Act, he did point to some very interesting statistics that relate to small businesses.

Finding Specific Information:

  • Finding the Hiring Manager
    If you email your resume to the main corporate HR address or apply online, you may be one of hundreds. If you only had an inside track, you could have a better chance at that dream job.
  • Identifying Hiring Manager Contact Information
    If you are job seeking and have taken time to do your due diligence using tools like Job-Hunt’s Employer Directory to identify companies you would like to work for, the next logical step in the process is to determine your point of contact.
  • Finding Unadvertised Jobs
    If you are struggling to find new opportunities in a sluggish job market, you are not alone. Surfing the web for openings or posting your résumé on the job boards in the hopes that someone will call with your dream job is not the solution for most job seekers.
  • Researching for Internal Job Opportunities
    If you are looking for a new job inside your current employer’s organization, don’t assume getting that new job will be easy. You are competing against the best external applicants, many of whom have experience doing the job to which you aspire.
  • Researching Early-Stage Start-Ups
    Is your goal to get in on the ground floor with a start-up company? If so, be prepared to perform some research on the company’s credibility and viability.
  • Researching Employer Diversity
    In modern times, most employers have grown to understand the value of each individual’s strengths, and how diversity leads to the generation of ideas and solutions. Companies are richer for having a strong diverse employee population.
  • Researching Possible Company Lawsuits
    Is it important to know if a prospective employer is involved in pending lawsuits? It might, depending on the nature of the law suit and any factors that might impact your employment.

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