Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why Should I Concern Myself With Your Problem?

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.
What food might this contain?' the mouse wondered - - - he was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard,the mouse proclaimed the warning :
'There is a mousetrap in the house!
There is a mousetrap in the house!'
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said,
'Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.'

The mouse turned to the pig and told him,
'There is a mousetrap in the house!
There is a mousetrap in the house!'
The pig sympathized, but said, 'I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.'

The mouse turned to the cow and said,
'There is a mousetrap in the house!
There is a mousetrap in the house!'
The cow said, 'Wow, Mr.. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose.'

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap . . . alone.
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.
The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught.
In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught.
The snake bit the farmer's wife.

The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever.
Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient.

But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock.
To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.
The farmer's wife did not get well; she died.

So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.
The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember ----when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.
We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.

~Author Unknown~

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dicipline and Six Steps to Living Debt Free

Once you return to work after that long career search, you realize that in the process, you have cut back your spending and have done away with things that once thought to be necessary. Things that you now realize that you can actually do without.

The positive cash flow has now returned and you can go back to increasing your spending dollars, right? Well, if you want to work towards living debt free, then increasing your cash spending is not entirely true. Yes, you can buy a few more groceries and yes, you deserve a night or two dining out (moderately).

It's all about discipline. Before you go back to all the things you learned to do without and discovered that you really don't need, Develop your game plan, working toward living debt free. After all, haven't you realized that's it's all about people and relationships, not material things?

The first decision that you need to make is to pay cash for things or do without them. DO NOT go back to putting everything on those plastic credit cards. I'm not telling you not to use them, but if you do, use a card with a zero balance and only charge what you intend to pay off when the bill comes due. Set a spending budget, and if after a period of time, you've built up extra, sock it into savings.

Then, start working down the list that I mentioned, the SIX STEPS to Living Debt Free.

1. $1,000 Savings Get $1,000 into a savings account as soon as you can. This will establish your survival cash flow. If you use money from it, get it back in there right away.

2. PAY OFF ALL DEBT EXCEPT HOUSE MORTGAGE After you have your cash reserve in savings, work off all of those credit cards and other outstanding debts like car loans. Start with the higher interest rates and work your way down, paying off as much as you can afford to pay each month and meeting the minimum payments on the others. Once the credit cards are paid off, DON'T use them again other than what we discussed earlier.

3. SIX MONTHS SALARY IN SAVINGS Now that you have paid off all outstanding credit except your mortgage, you can start socking the bucks away. Set up a separate savings account if you need to, but save up enough money to cover at least six months of your salary. This will help ease the pain, should you find yourself in career search once again.

4. 15% INVESTMENT - RETIREMENT Once you can help yourself during a career search period, you need to set yourself up for retirement. Fifteen percent of your income should help you toward that goal.

5. CHILD'S COLLEGE Your next investment should be in your child's (grandchild's) education.

6. PAY OFF HOUSE MORTGAGE After all of the previous steps are taken, pay off the house. Then, you can start tucking the majority of your earnings into savings, CD's, annuities, inheritances or other investments that will provide a return that will satisfy your needs. Plus, you can give to and help others.

Depending upon the amount of your outstanding debt, I realize that it can seem overwhelming. There are folks that can help you if need be. But, like I said earlier, it's all about discipline. If you don't have the money for it, don't buy it. Again, NEVER buy it with credit unless you intend to pay it off when the bill arrives in the mail.

All that said, I make one exception, provided that it works within your budget. If interest free credit is being offered for something that you've budgeted for, use it. But, make regular payments each month and schedule to pay if off at least two weeks before the final payment is due. That way, the entire credit amount will be paid off well before the terms of the loan and remove yourself from the possibility of owing the entire interest amount for the length of the loan. Again, it's all about discipline.

Good luck with this and I wish you financial peace and debt free living in your near future.

These steps were notes taken from Dave Ramsey. I've actually added his seventh step into my sixth step.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sell Yourself Into That New Position With a PowerPoint Presentation

Once you define your market plan, you need to take that professionally formatted resume and turn it into a flashy PowerPoint.

Craft a presentation that makes a "WOW" statement about you, your accomplishments and your goals. It has to be a presentation that, as the individual views it, will gain and keep their interest. But it must be short enough and to the point so interest is not lost, but in depth enough for them to see the value you can bring to the team.

Don't forget to include a few pages, allowing a tweak to a specific company. A little something that ties you directly to them, the industry and the job that you are targeting.

Upon completion, there are several ways to use your presentation. The greatest thing to remember, is that it can be used as an attachment to e-mail. Target the companies that you want to work for, tweak the company info segment in your presentation and send it to the email address of company executives and known hiring managers.

In many cases, you can send it along with your resume when applying for a position, but to be perfectly honest, I doubt that it will be viewed much this way. More often than not, your resume is printed out and anything other than possibly a cover letter, or T-chart, will remain unprinted. But, it can't hurt. It just might gain enough curiosity to be viewed and shown to many key people in the company.

Another use for the PowerPoint is to post it within Your LinkedIn profile utilizing the SlideShare presentations tool. (slide presentations also help your LinkedIn climb to top billing by Google, after you have your rating @ 100%)

I've also heard about an individual that loaded his PowerPoint presentation onto a laptop and used it during his interview. A salesperson is comfortable with doing this, but you should be as well. After all, as you search for your next career move, you have to sell yourself. The sooner that you are at rest with this concept, the sooner you will land that next position with confidence.

You can also post the PowerPoint on your career search website. You can either Google and get a free one (be careful that one like this doesn't add a lot of sexual or dating advertisement, which certainly wouldn't help you land that job). The safer way is to invest a small amount, like ten bucks for a year from someone like "GODADDY.COM" Then get someone as you network, to help you with setting it up. You can usually buy a domain with your name as the domain. Then, this info can be included in your resume header and in your LinkedIn.

One more thing to think about would be a resume video. This also can be e-mailed and included in your career search website.

Invest a little time, even if you need to get a few folks to help you. Maybe suggest a network group workshop to get this project under way.

I hope this helps. It just may be that one thing that stands you out above the other applicants, to land your next career position.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Okay, I Got the Interview That I Wanted, Now What?

Yes, I recently landed a job. That's why I hadn't posted anything for a few weeks. I was out of town, then got called to an interview, had to quickly prepare, interview, got called with a job offer, and within a quick week, was walking through the door of my new employer.

Many things have been posted about the interview and the process. I won't go into deep discussion about telling you to practice, practice, practice.

Nor will I cover common things about what questions that you will be asked or how to sharply dress (by the way, err to the formal side. I was told to show up in business casual, even a golf shirt would do. I wore a jacket and tie).

Other things that are covered in depth are things like, provide bright and professional copies of resumes in special folders along with your business card, putting the resumes and everything else needed for the interview in the car the night before so it's not left behind, making a dry run to find the interview location, studying traffic patterns so you arrive about ten minutes before the interview. Don't arrive sooner and for heavens sake, don't be late. You will be watched from the time you drive onto the company property, until you leave. Be courteous to everyone that you meet. These brief encounters may help to determine your fate.


Take your time during the interview, think about the response that you are about to make. Be professional. Be as brief but as thorough in your responses as possible. Make the interviewer interested enough to ask you more. Don't ramble with your response and don't do all the talking.

Do your home work. Know the company. Search the internet for recent news articles about the company where you are interviewing. Study their web site. You don't have to memorize everything there, but know what's there. Also, if you are changing industries, know a s much as you can about the industry.

One thing that I've learned from one interview to the next is that you should always have ten to twelve good questions prepared to show those that are interviewing you, that you have a deep interest in becoming a team member in their company. You should not ask them all at once, one after the next, but rather, work them in at appropriate times during the interview.

During my Career Search process, I've refined my list of questions. I'll share those with you. They may not work for you as I have them listed, nor the order in which I listed them. But this may provide you a little guidance, should you need a little help.

1.) How do I excel at this position?
2.) What are the position major responsibilities?
3.) Beyond the job description, and what you've already told me,what are your expectations?
4.) How would you describe the candidate that is a great fit for the company?
5.) How long has this position existed? Why is it vacant? How long has it been vacant?
6.) What situations, with respect to this position, need immediate attention?
7.) What are the growth areas and/or what is the career progression from this position?
8.) What are the company goals? What is the company vision for the next 5-10 years? What about long term goals?
9.) How has this economy affected this business, the company?
10.) How do you see my candidacy for this position?
11.) What skills, experiences am I lacking to perform this job successfully?
12.) What is the next step in the hiring process?
BONUS QUESTION: Do you have a business card (this way you'll more than likely have their e-mail address so you can send a "Thank You" e-mail)?

Be energetic, this shows an interest in the position.

IMPORTANT NOTE: ASK FOR THE JOB! Don't ask directly, but you can say something like this; It looks as if my skill set and experience are a match for this position. I'm definitely interested in this opportunity. I think that I would be a great fit and look forward to the next step in the hiring process.

Also, hand the interviewer a copy of your business card (and tri-fold, if you have one)while you are asking for the job.

Don't forget to send a "Thank You" e-mail and a handwritten "Thank You" note as soon as you can physically get it done. I can't tell you how many stories that I've heard over the past few months where the folks interviewed, were selected above a tie, because they sent a simple "Thank You".

Well, I'm certain that I forgot something. Practice, practice, practice your interview!

I hope that this blog article helps you land that next job and soon!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Faith Is Deep, So Why Is My Job Search Taking So Long?

The pains taking process of job search drags on. You're networking, submitting resumes, improving your writing skills with all those crafty cover letters, attending seminars & webinars, and you're visiting every conceivable body or organization that offers a potentially helpful program. Elevator speeches are rehearsed, changed and put to test. You keep gathering every "out of the box" tool that you can find, in hopes that one of them will give you that very edge that will allow you to stand out from the hundreds that are applying for the same job. Phone interviews and face to face interviews take place,to no avail.

The road is long, the times are difficult, and perhaps ones patience, at times, is put to test. So, why does our Maker, allow our search to drag on so long?

Stop, for a moment, to reflect about what you have done since you first began your search. First out, be thankful for what you do have. Then, give some thought to the following questions;

What have you learned?
Have you taken the opportunity to pursue your passion?
How many new people have you met?
How many of the folks that you've met, have you been able to help?
You'll never know for certain, but how many lives have you touched?
(Always keep in mind that, when interacting with people, sometimes a smile or an uplifting gesture at the right time to someone in need will be remembered for life. Often without you knowing it.)
What is really important in life?
Has your faith strengthened?

I could go on, but I think you understand that you have probably changed for the better through the job search process. I hope that you will take the time to reflect on these questions and others that may come to mind.

As I close, I leave today's blog with this thought;


A simple letter of gratitude that we should all write for this experience in life, should go something like this:

Dear GOD, Thank You!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Increasing Interview Odds From a Digitally Read Resume

Many companies scan resumes with word scan programs. HR types use them to scan for key words that they have used in their job posting descriptions.

I've recently read a few articles about folks that have tried the following method, who claim that the number of call backs have increased significantly. I'm not certain if this approaches an integrity issue, an honor issue, or neither. But then, I'm uncertain about the same questionable issues by the HR folks that use the word scan method of singling out qualified candidates.

After you have written your resume to about one and a half to two and a half pages (I know, most say two pages, max), copy the text used by the company for the job description. Then, paste the text that you've just copied onto the blank area of your resume. Change the copied text to the smallest font, less than three if possible. Next, convert the text to white in color. You will not be able to see the text, but the scanner should pick it up.

For those using the scanner method, your resume should appear near the top of the heap because the program has picked up the programmed key words. Your odds of receiving a call for an interview are increased. Then, it's entirely up to you.

Good luck with your interview!

CAUTION: It is recommended that you only use this method if you have a great match between your resume and the job description. DON'T do this if you know that you don't qualify for the job anyway. You'll certainly look like a complete idiot!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Free Resources

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Six Figures Tip of the Week

I found the Six Figures web site a while back and subscribed to their weekly e-mail. They are from the land down under and provide a good piece of info or tip from time to time. They provide a little insight to the global economy as well.

For job seekers, self reflection is a valuable career tool that is often overlooked. If you have a clear idea of your values, key skills and personal characteristics you are ahead of the pack. Being able to articulate these areas in interviews assists in answering that inevitable interview question "What are your strengths?" or "Why should we hire you?" Visit the Six Figures Career Assessment area to run through these brief yet effective exercises.

Friday, September 4, 2009

LinkedIn Top 10 HOT Business Generation Tips - New for September

Once you land that job, continue your networking through LinkedIn. There are many ways that you can use your contacts to generate new business. Remember, people like to do business with people that they know.

I attended a webinar earlier this week, put on by Dean DeLisle. I'm sharing his presentation with you. I hope this provides a little insight to additional uses for LinkedIn, well after job search is over and you are successful in that next position.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Word! Uh, I Mean, Wordle

How about a good tool for matching the words in your resume to that of the job description that you are applying for?

It's a tool that, reportedly, is gaining popularity in the Human Resource and Recruiter circuit, to match up candidates with their job descriptions.

It's a web site tool named "Wordle." You can find it at: www.wordle.net

Their web site says; "Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends."

Once you copy and paste either your resume or the job description that you are applying for, you can click on "Language" at the top of the page. This will give you a pull down menu. Go all the way to the bottom and select "Word Count". This will give you a pop-up list of words used in the selected text. Click on the word "Frequency" twice. This will show you the most common used words first, and show you how frequently they are used. The more frequently the words are used, the larger the words appear in the "word cloud".

Then you can play with the layout, font type, colors and "word cloud" shape.

It's actually fun to play with. Enjoy and discover other uses for Wordle.

The "Word Cloud" at the top of this blog article, is a cloud created with the words in the blog.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


The Job Seekers reading this blog have certainly experienced the ride on the emotional roller coaster that job search provides. You're up when you finally talk to someone on the phone about the applied or interested position, you set up an interview and are pumped afterward, feeling that it went real well. Then after the fist, second or up to the fifth interview, you learn that you didn't get that position. You then are at the low of lows and have to drag yourself back up, getting back with networking, researching and trying to get that next interview.

There are plenty of roller coaster ups and down in between. There are even a few cork screws and upside down moves. But, somehow, we manage to press forward. Persistence and pride! We all know that we have a good bit to offer. So, we trudge on, looking for inspiration a perhaps a friendly face along the way.

As I seek prayerful guidance in my search, I've gathered a few inspirational blurbs along the way, and have them posted at my work desk. I was asked to post them here to share, by an individual that I met through networking.


"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - That's why we recommend it daily." author unknown

"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors." African proverb

"I'm not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship." Louisa May Alcott

"Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength." author unknown

"I have not failed, I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Thomas A. Edison

Sunday, August 23, 2009

That's Not My Job (poem)


by Author Unknown

This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody,

There was an important job to be done.

Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody's job.

Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Reel Resume Tweet

So, you want to keep paced with today's world of job search? Do you want recruiters to find you quickly?

Well then, it's time to tweet.

Go to Tweetmyjob.com and create a profile. You should then be able to upload your resume.

You can retweet every 24 hours to stay at the top.

Oh, you want to know when that ideal targeted job, in that area you want to relocate is first posted? Create a Job Channel. Once that job is posted, it will be sent to your cell phone immediately. (text charges with your carrier apply)

How tweet it is!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Five Interview Types and How To Ace Them

I found this on a blog by a Carol, but looks like she posted it from
Tania Khadder @ AllHealthcare.

I found this to be written fairly well. I hope you find it as helpful information.

1. The Traditional Interview

What Is It?

You know this interview. I know this interview. We’ve done it a million times. So why are we still so afraid of it?

Interviews — no matter their style — are always tough. With traditional interviews, you need to be able to answer broad-based questions in a very specific, personalized way. And to sound sincere while doing so.

You’ll face questions like, “Why do you want to work here?” and “Tell us about yourself.” The interviewer’s goal is to identify your skills, experience and enthusiasm for the job.

The interviewer will closely follow your resume structure. He or she will probe you about the experience, education and achievements listed.

How to Ace It:

Practice, practice, practice!

Take a look at some of the most common questions from traditional interviews, and write down your answers. And keep in mind that if ever you’re faced with a question that is too broad, ask for clarification. For example, if the question is “Tell us about yourself,” it’s perfectly fair for you to reply with “What about me do you want to know?”

Often, it’s helpful to practice your answers out loud. Find a friend who’s willing to play “interviewer” and go through a mock interview from beginning to end.
Know your resume inside out. Think hard about the accomplishments you list, and be prepared to express what you learned through each.

And as with all interviews, prepare a handful of examples to back up every skill or quality your claim to possess. Real life examples make the difference between a vague, fluffy, might-as-well-be-made-up answer, and the winning response that gets you the job.

2. The Behavioral Interview

What Is It?

The behavioral interview assumes that the most accurate indicator of future success is past performance in a similar situation. The interviewer will have in mind a set of skills they’re looking for in a candidate, and will assess whether or not you have said skills based on how you’ve demonstrated them in the past.

So instead of asking more general questions, like “Why do you want to work in this industry?”, someone conducting a behavioral interview will say “Give an example of when you faced XYZ situation.” Once you’ve answered the initial question, they’ll probe further, asking you how you felt, what you said, what you did and what the final outcome was.

How to Ace It

The behavioral interview is growing more and more common, so it’s essential you learn how to prepare for it.

At first, it may seem an impossible task. After all, there’s no telling what specific scenarios an interviewer might ask you to describe. But don’t fret. By preparing – in detail – a few stories from your professional experience, you can likely adapt one of them to any question they throw at you. Think of instances where you overcame a challenge, performed memorably, and motivated yourself and others.

For each story, be prepared to address the following points:
• The situation
• What actions you took
• How it made you feel
• What you learned

And the more familiar you are with the job description, the better your chances for success. By looking at what qualities they’re looking for in a candidate, you may be able to predict what type of questions they’ll ask.

Whatever you do, don’t lie or give an overly vague response. Behavioral interviews are especially useful at exposing made-up answers – which is one reason employers like them. Make sure you know what you’re talking about and that you’re ready to provide more detail if necessary.

3. The Case Interview

What Is It?

Just because you’ve never heard of it doesn’t mean you never will.

In a case interview, the interviewer will present a real or hypothetical business problem, and ask you to analyze the situation and present how you might go about solving it. These types of interviews are typically used when applying for investment banking or management consulting posts.

The interviewer is usually trying to assess your critical thinking skills and general business knowledge. Normally, you’re not given enough information in the outset to identify the problem and come up with a solution. In fact, you are expected to ask smart questions to get to the desired outcome.

How to Ace It

In a case interview, there really is no perfect answer. You’re going to be judged more on how you approach the problem than on the specific solutions you come up with.

Start by fully understanding the situation, based on the information you’ve been given. Remember, this type of interview is a two-way conversation, and the interviewer will likely deliberately leave key information out to make sure you ask the right questions. If at any point, you are unsure what is being asked, make sure to ask for clarification before proceeding.

Once you are sure you understand the problem at hand, take time to organize your thoughts and present a possible solution. If you need to ask more questions, go ahead and do so.

One way to prepare in advance for this type of interview is to practice with case examples you can get for free online.

4. The Stress Interview

What is it?

It’s just as it sounds: an interview designed to stress you out. The point? To see how you cope. The interviewer will try to intimidate by asking off-the-wall questions (like, “if you were an animal, which would you be?”). Or perhaps a panel of interviewers will greet you, firing questions at you in quick succession. They might make you wait for an hour before seeing you, give you the silent treatment, or respond to your answers with rudeness and/or mockery. If you’re really unlucky, they’ll use a combination of the aforementioned techniques.

It’s all part of a game to see just how much abuse you can withstand before you crack.

Although these types of interviews tend to be frowned upon by the experts, who claim they are not useful or fair, they continue to be used from time to time.

How to Ace It

Stress interviews may be unfair, unrealistic or downright cruel. Unfortunately, they’re here to stay. And while you’re unlikely to experience the whole sadistic shebang, you may, at the very least, endure a few isolated stress questions.

The key to surviving this nightmare is to stay calm. And the first step to doing so is to recognize that you are in the midst of a stress interview. Instead of taking their ill-treatment personally, learn the rules of the game and play it well. Be firm about your main message is so that if you are asked a stress question, you’ll be less flustered and can quickly adapt an appropriate answer.

One way to prepare is to ask for an agenda beforehand. They can tell you how many people you’re going to meet on the day. They may even tell you what type of interview you’re going to experience.

And whatever you do, don’t get aggressive or argumentative. Be courteous and polite, even if no one else is. Don’t, as one Lehman Brothers interviewee allegedly did, throw a chair through the window in a fit of rage.

5. The Phone Interview

What Is It?

For some, there is nothing more terrifying than an over-the-phone job interview.

Unfortunately, they’re used more and more as a way to screen a large pool of candidates before deciding who to invite for an in-person meeting. Phone interviews can be set up in advance, but they can also be completely spontaneous. At any point while you are job searching, a recruiter can call you up for a quick chat. But be forewarned – this quick chat is anything but. It may feel informal, but it’s still an interview.

How to Ace It

First thing’s first — always be prepared! Since the phone interview can come at any time, have your desk set up accordingly. Tape up your resume and some bullet points of your accomplishments for quick reference. Have a pen and paper handy at all times. And if, as it turns out, the timing is bad or your location less than ideal, don’t be afraid to say so and reschedule. The last thing you want is to try and talk over a crying baby or while navigating through traffic.If you’re lucky enough to have fair warning, it’s a good idea to get dressed for the interview– nothing will make you feel less professional than taking questions in your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pajamas.

And remember, unlike an in-person interview, you can’t rely on body language to help carry your message or express enthusiasm. One way to overcome this is to stand up while you’re on the phone. Everyone speaks more confidently and clearly when they are standing. And smile. It sounds crazy, but people on the other end can hear you smiling.

Finally, don’t let a pause or awkward silence throw you off. They’re a natural part of conversation, albeit more noticeable over the phone. Your interviewer is probably just taking notes or preparing their next question. Don’t feel the need to fill the silence with a nervous giggle or pointless comment. If you are finished with your answer, wait patiently for the interviewer to pick up the conversation.

Tania Khadder | AllHealthcare

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Reading List Collection

Over the past few months, I've had quite a few recommend reads. Some are recent and some date back a few years. But, they all have something to offer. There are books that are subject specific, while others provide either directional or general information.

Most of these books are available at your local public library, and most, if not all, are available through websites like Amazon Books.

I hope you find this list useful.

~Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do! by Robert H. Schuller
~Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham, Donald O. Clifton
~Flawless Execution: Use the Techniques and Systems of America's Fighter Pilots to perform at Your Peak and Win the Battles of the Business World by James D. Murphy
~What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Boles
~Resumes That Knock em Dead by Martin Yate
~Atlanta Jobs by Steve Hines
~The Atlanta Job Bank published by ADAMS
~Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
~Discipline of Market Leaders by Michael Treacy & Fred Wiersema
~E Myths Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
~48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller
~The One Page Business Plan for the Creative Entrepreneur by Jim Horan
~The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris
~Words That Sell by Richard Bayan
~Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
~Who's Got Your Back? by Keith Ferrazzi
~The Machine That Changed the World: The Story of Lean Production-- Toyota's Secret Weapon in the Global Car Wars That Is Now Revolutionizing World Industry by James P. Womack
~Lean Thinking by James P. Womack & Daniel T. Jones

Thursday, August 13, 2009

LinkedIn Tid Bits

Just a few little things that make a difference with sending link requests on LinkedIn.

These are a collection of the messages that others and I write when requesting to be LinkedIn. I'll throw out a few ideas and let you combine and customize as you wish or as the situation warrants.

A real time saver for me is that I have these written in a saved .DOC file. I copy and past from that to LinkedIn.

You should always conclude each request with a Thank You, your name and your e-mail address. Your phone number is not real important at this point, unless it's a hiring manager or someone that you would like for them to contact you via phone.

Do you accept invitations? If so please provide your e-mail address.
I got your note wanting to connect. Thus, I am sending you an invitation.

If you prefer not to, please select "Archive" instead of "I don't know this person", and accept my apology for the interruption.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to be introduced to any of my direct contacts.
Thanks for saying that you accept inventions. I would like to connect with you.

If you prefer not to, please select "Archive" instead of "I don't know this person", and accept my apology for the interruption.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to be introduced to any of my direct contacts.
I saw you on LinkedIn & I would like to connect with you.

If you prefer not to, please select "Archive" instead of "I don't know this person", and accept my apology for the interruption.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to be introduced to any of my direct contacts.
It was nice meeting you at (insert where you met individual) & I would like to connect with you.

However, if you prefer not to, please select "Archive" instead of "I don't know this person", and accept my apology for the interruption.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to be introduced to any of my direct contacts.
(Insert reference name) suggested that we connect.

However, if you prefer not to, please select "Archive" instead of "I don't know this person", and accept my apology for the interruption.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to be introduced to any of my direct contacts.
Glad we are connected.

Please let me know if I can help you in any way.
I'm looking forward to expand my network with mutually beneficial contacts. I would like to link with you professionally.

However, if you prefer not to, please select "Archive" instead of "I don't know this person", and accept my apology for the interruption.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to be introduced to any of my direct contacts.
Through a LinkedIn search, your name came up. I'm looking to contact (insert target person's name). Wouldyou mind introducing me to them?

However, if you prefer not to, please select "Archive" instead of "I don't know this person", and accept my apology for the interruption.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to be introduced to any of my direct contacts.


It was nice meeting you at (insert where you met individual) & I would like to connect with you.

However, if you prefer not to, please select "Archive" instead of "I don't know this person", and accept my apology for the interruption.

I'm currently looking for key contacts within these or similar companies: FORD, DELTA, KOHLS, BANANA REPUBLIC, TARGET, and CHICK-FIL-A. Your time and assistance is greatly appreciated.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to be introduced to any of my direct contacts.

I hope this helps you make a few key connections through LinkedIn.

Please share other ideas with me so I can consider them for a future posting.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Is Your Cup Half Empty or Is It Half Full?

Does your career search have you bogged down because the unemployment rate in the area(s) that you are searching is at or near double digits?

Snap out of it right now! Grab yourself by the scruff of the neck and get active in your search. You are a valuable asset to a company somewhere. Maybe not today, but certainly tomorrow.


Even if the unemployment rate is as high as 12%, remember this; 88% are employed. Is your cup half empty, or is it half full? People are leaving companies, for personal reasons, health and for retirement, every day. Employers are letting select people go, in hopes of finding you, a better, more reliable employee, for the same money.

Government employees are, and will continue to retire at an astonishing rate, as our government employee sector is older than our private sector. Maybe you don't want to work for the government. That's alright, the replacement employees for our government will be coming from the private sector, so that creates an opening in the private sector where you are searching.

Companies are doing less advertising through the job boards. Research the companies that you wish to work for. Google them, then go to their company job or career site. Look them up on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. That's where you will find the jobs.

Okay, so you did all of that and came up empty. Maybe you did check yesterday, but did you check today?

This may be hard to understand, but the experienced job pool will completely dry up as early as the Spring of 2012. No, I can't wait that long either, but I just wanted to put it in proper perspective.

To coin a phrase and book title by Robert H. Schuller, "Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do!"

I pray that we both find that job that we are looking for, and soon!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tweet, Tweet. Now We're Supposed to Twitter?

Twitter is a powerful social networking tool that helps you to brand yourself and grow a community of followers with “tweets” of 140 characters or less. Just as with any professional or social network, everything you do on Twitter can have a positive or negative impact on you, your brand and your reputation. Here are 20 tips for optimizing your personal brand on Twitter:

Brand Your Image
1. Name - When signing up for Twitter, make sure to choose your real name as your username. Don’t choose a cutesy or unprofessional name for your Twitter profile. If you have a business that you would rather use as your username, just make sure to include your real name in your profile account information so that other people can link you to your business and contributions.
2. Location - Identify your actual geographic location, such as “New York, NY” or “Chicago, IL,” rather than “Worldwide,” “Everywhere” or “Universe.” This makes you appear more transparent and approachable and helps you connect more effectively with potential followers.
3. Picture - Put your face to your name and/or business name with a real photo of yourself. Not only will a real photo make you come across more genuine and real, but using the same photo on all of your profiles helps others recognize you across networks.
4. Bio - Plug your one-or-two-word personal brand here and include your personal highlights and achievements in the form of a mini resume. This is a simple, yet effective way to brand and easily identify yourself to visitors on your profile.
5. Link - Connect people viewing your profile to your personal blog, website, LinkedIn profile or even your VisualCV, anything that provides them more information about you.
6. Background - Create an attractive background that is consistent with the format, colors and logo from your personal or business blog/website. Include additional information about yourself or your business and links to your others sites and profiles. Use sites like Twitbacks, Twitpaper and Twitterimage to help you develop your own custom background.
Brand Your Contributions
7. Tweets - Provide value in your tweets by pointing others to interesting articles, news and tools in your industry or field. Referring your followers to quality and relevant information will help you establish your personal brand, position yourself as an expert and resource and gain a strong following.
8. Updates - Track specific keywords using Google Alerts and Trackle in articles and news from across the web to share with your followers on Twitter and to build your brand and reputation.
9. Hashtags - Search for relevant hashtags or keywords using the Twitter search bar or Hashdictionary that you can include in your posts to make your tweets more searchable. You can also use them to keep track of other relevant tweets of interest on Twitter.
10. Syndicate - Automatically post your blog posts via RSS as tweets to your Twitter account using Twitterfeed. This saves you time and effort and helps to keep your account active.
11. Automate - Schedule tweets to post automatically at set times in the future using Tweetlater. This also saves you time and effort and helps to keep your account active.
12. Privacy - Don’t protect your updates under your account settings or you will limit the growth of your following and the expansion of your brand presence.
13. Share - Allow readers of your blog to share and retweet your content and your expertise at the touch of a button on their own across their Twitter networks using Tweetmeme.
14. Influence - Use Twitter Grader to see where you rank in terms of influence on Twitter. You can also use it to identify new contacts with whom you should be networking.
Brand Your Community
15. Network - Follow your own network of current contacts and ask them to follow you. This is a great way to lay the foundation of your Twitter community. Use Twellow, a comprehensive Twitter directory of over a million Twitter users, to identify new contacts in your industry or field to follow and with whom to network.
16. Connect - Use the @ symbol to direct certain tweets to specific contacts for more networking. Use Tweetbeep to get alerts through email when your name appears on Twitter.
17. Answer - Search relevant keywords in Twitter’s search engine to find questions in your area of expertise or interest and network by offering your insight and answers. This will really help you establish yourself as a go-to expert in your field and will help build your brand.
18. Manage - As you become more active on Twitter, consider downloading a desktop control center for all Twitter activity, such a TweetDeck. It will allow you to manage all of your brand building efforts and networking from one easy-to-use application.
Brand Your Presence

19. Online - Promote your Twitter account by linking others to it via your websites and blogs, your newsletters and announcements, your guest posts on others’ blogs, your professional networks and even your email signature.

20. Offline
- Also promote it offline via your business card, any presentations or workshops you might offer, word-of-mouth and more.


Chris Perry, MBA is a Gen Y brand and marketing "generator," a career search and personal branding expert and the founder of Career Rocketeer.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Using Social Media Tools to Enhance Your Job Search

I found this slide presentation on LinkedIn SlideShare Presentations. Tom Carbonaro does of pretty good job of defining the various online network media currently available. He outlines the importance of branding yourself to rise above the numbers and carrying that brand through all media. Then he explains the importance of tying it all together. I hope you find it as enlightening as I did. Have a little fun marketing yourself through the various media available to you. They're all just a few keyboard strokes away.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Market Yourself in a Tri-Fold ~The Latest Attention Getter

It's the one of the latest items that is being used to set yourself apart from your competition. The use of a tri-fold as a personal marketing piece is spreading like wildfire in the career search market.

Getting in front of the right person(s) at that company you'd love to work for, can be a seemingly impossible task. In as much as you attempt to network, whether it be face to face or through LinkedIn, to reach the key personnel at the firm, you still have a difficult time gaining the attention of your intended audience.

There is still no guarantee that you will reach beyond the HR department, but certainly an attention getter if you do. Your tri-fold puts a face to the targeted position. The tri-fold can include your strengths and skills, a narrative of your work history, your recent career high points and list your name and contact information in several places. I also included three of my LinkedIn recommendations, copied word for word, in quotations and with the individual and their title of the individual that provided the recommendation.

This tri-fold slide presentation provides a good idea of what I'm talking about. You can conduct a Google search for tri-fold templates that will provide you with a head start.

Don't forget to put your business card in the first flap of the tri-fold before mailing. When the flap is opened, your business card will fall out on the desk. You now have two pieces of contact information that must be handled. You increase your chance of being noticed and having your name hang around for awhile.

Research the companies that you want to work for, looking up key names of at least Vice Presidents of your targeted department or department heads and managers (hiring managers if they can be determined). Mail the tri-fold to these people at the company and the published company address. Also, mark on the front of the envelope; "personal" and/or "confidential". This should increase the chance of the intended individual to receive the tri-fold.

Give it a week or so, but don't wait too long. Call the individual(s) that you sent the tri-fold to. Ask if they've received the tri-fold. This will open the dialog for you both. You might not want to come out and ask for a job, but perhaps show an interest in the company, ask about their needs, or problem areas that they are willing to share with you. Ask for their opinion, people love to provide free advice. Ask if you could meet with them, preferably off site, perhaps over coffee early one morning before they go to work.

I wish you well in your search. Please come back and let us know how this worked for you and perhaps what you've done differently with the tri-fold.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Are You Using LinkedIn?

I've found LinkedIn to be a very resourceful tool. It's arguably the best professional networking tool in today's cyber world. It is extremely useful for networking and locating key individuals in your career search.

Once you land that job, it can be a very useful tool for researching and making contact with key folks within a company that could possible help make that sale.

Linked In, if used to it's fullest extent, can provide a place for you to input your past job experiences, like to groups and sub-groups of interest and keep up to date with what folks are doing in your network.

Several limiting switches within the site will provide you with the level of information that you share to both network and out of network people.

My personal recommendation is to link only to people that can be useful, or that you may be able to provide information and support to, that you know and trust.

There are folks that will link to anyone and everyone. They are referred to as LION people, which is an acronym for Linked In Open Networker. These folks generally will have the word LION in their name title in bold capital letters.

If you are not linked in professionally, I suggest that you do so with out further delay. It can be a powerful resource for you. If you are currently in job search, please understand that rather than spend the big bucks on the job boards, human resource people are turning to LinkedIn for applicants.

You can simply go to www.linkedin.com (but come back and visit or follow my blog)