Monday, March 30, 2009

Half of Life is Showing Up (and Being on Time)!

I volunteer at a local job and career assistance organization where I teach a once per week resume writing workshop. Every week the staff overbooks my class just so a reasonable amount of people will show up...usually it is half. Why don't people come? I suspect that these folks have not yet learned that half of success in work life (and also life in general) is showing up! Some people also do not understand the importance of being on time. Frequently, I have latecomers...I allow those folks in a few moments late, but after five minutes, no one is admitted. The other half of success in work life (and also life in general) is appearing on time. Perhaps this is why your polished resume did not get you an interview. Did you submit it by the deadline date? Might your colleagues at work be upset with you because your share of the latest project was not in on time? Was a reason why you were denied a promotion because you have to be chased for items due..and everyone else around you resents that? Being on time is a necessity in the American workplace these days. Just something as seemingly slight as being there and being there on time can make a world of difference.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Personal Branding

I have been reading so much about personal branding lately. Articles on it are everywhere; there is even a blog on it! While as a career coach/consultant and a professional I well understand the importance of developing a personal brand in this economy, my concern is that in trying to forge that "personal brand" in resume writing, we miss out on the importance of showing skills and abilities in all aspects of the career/job that we are targeting. Remember that employers want well-rounded employees first and foremost. Your resume should contain about 50-80 keywords, not 20 or 30. Make sure that you can truthfully "comment" on most of the items in the job description in front of you as you write. Then concern yourself about how you are unique, and how you can communicate bringing added value to the employer.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Using the Internet for Your Job Search

The Internet has become the single biggest tool that most Americans use when searching for a new job, and it is a wonderful tool...but it is just that...a tool, and how you use that tool will have a huge effect on how successful your job search will be. First, you must do your homework and find out which one of all those job boards posts the most jobs that you are qualified for, and with the salary that you feel you can command. While social networking sites like Linkedin and Twitter are all the rage, nothing beats face to face, one on one contact, so do not ignore old-fashioned ways of networking. Tips from friends, a mention of something available from a web contact to whom you have offered help ...this is the way to tap the job market. Talk to everyone, even if you cannot fathom how that person might be able to help you...you never know.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Further Education, Anyone?

So many times lately, there have been articles in the media about the number of adults going back to school for further education and/or retraining, rebranding, as an answer to today's job and career challenges. As a teacher and trainer, I have always believed that furthering one's education is great...however, these days I am not so sure. If you think that going back to school is your answer, you first have to decide in what? Many of these articles tout the education, finance or healthcare fields as prime targets, but there are many different avenues in all of these as well as in other areas..so which one do you choose?? and what if none of those avenues appeals to you? How will you know that you will both enjoy and profit from the going back to school experience before you commit?

The answer is research,,and a targeted step by step search leading you to a decision that is right for just you...right in that you will have the personality, ability, and interest to profit from the training/education. Make that decision carefully...and seek out the consultation expertise of a trained professional ( and not the admissions counselor at an institution of higher learning near you). You will be glad you did.