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:

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 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.