Archive for October, 2008

Keppie Careers Invited to Participate in Job Action Day

I’m happy to announce that Quintessential Careers’ Founder and Publisher, Randall S. Hansen, invited me to participate in Job Action Day 2008, which is set for Monday,  November 3rd. I am thrilled to be included in this initiative to help “job-seekers and workers to confront the current economic crisis head-on and take action steps to improve their careers.” (Read the full press release HERE.)

It’s wonderful to be in such terrific company as an invited Job Action Day blogger. Other participants listed on the press release include:

Alexandra Levit: Alexandra Levit’s Water Cooler Wisdom
Barbara Safani: CareerSolvers
Career Manangement Alliance Blog
Curt Rosengren: The M.A.P. Maker [Meaning Abundance & Passion]
Diane Danielson: THE WOMEN’SDISH with Diane & Friends
Lindsey Pollak: Lindsey Pollak Blog – Career Advice & Commentary
Louise Fletcher: blueskyresumesblog
Maggie Mistal: what if…
Steven Rothberg: CollegeRecruiter.com Blog
Wendy Terwelp: Rock Your Career
Willy Franzen: One Day, One Job

I hope you’ll support Job Action Dayby reading and commenting on the blogs from these terrific career professionals! Be sure to come right back to this blog on Monday to read my contribution!

Could you use some free career advice?  Subscribe for free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt! Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

Need help to jump start your search? We can help you with a successful job hunt. Need a great resume? Career search advice? Mock interview? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

Ask for What You Want At Work. Or: Don’t Ask for Orange Juice if You Want Grape Juice

Have you ever known someone who doesn’t ever seem to know just what he or she wants? I know someone like that. In fact, I know him really well. He’s my 2-year old. He is in a constant state of not knowing exactly what he wants. A typical conversation:

Him: I want peanut butter and jelly. On bread.

Me: You want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Can you ask in a nice way?

Him: No. I want a waffle. (He proceeds to start removing an apple from the refrigerator.)

Another typical conversation at our house:

Him: I want orange juice.

Me: What’s a nice way to ask? (Pouring orange juice.)

Him: Please! No, I don’t want orange juice. I want GRAPE juice. In a cup.

I think you get the picture. If I’m lucky, he changes his mind before I prepare what he initially requested, but more often than not, I’m faced with trying to convince him to eat what he originally wanted or starting over. If I had a dollar for every time I say, “Oh…I should have known that when you asked for orange juice (and took it out), it really meant that you want grape juice!” – I would be on some island somewhere – someone would be serving ME drinks!

So, what does this have to do with the topic at hand? What does it have to do with your job?

Think about it – Do you really know what you want? Are you like the 2-year old who is asking for orange  juice, but really wanting grape juice? Are you impulsive, asking for (or wishing for) the first thing that comes to your mind? Unlike my 2-year old, whose only real consequence for his indecision is needing to say a few extra “pleases” or being stuck with whatever he first requested, there are real consequences for professionals who either don’t know what they want or don’t know how to ask for it.

What to do? Stop and think! Tiffany Monhollon writes that you should “stop, listen and move.”

It isn’t always easy to figure out what you really want. It certainly isn’t easy to decide to make a major change in the hopes of accomplishing what you really want. It is worth it, though. Don’t let life, or your job, just happen TO you. Stop. Listen. Move. If you want grape juice – don’t just ask for it – do what my 2-year old does when he is really desperate and I’m taking too long – get it out and pour it yourself!

Realize that you are ready to leave your job? Subscribe for free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt! Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

Need help to jump start your search? We can help you with a successful job hunt. Need a great resume? Career search advice? Mock interivew? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

Stress on the Job and Looking For Work: Tips to Manage

It seems as if every time I turn around, the economic news gets worse. More people are being laid off. Recent college grads are having job offers rescinded. Retirees are going back to work because their investments took such a hit. No question that this is a stressful time.

If you are lucky enough to be currently employed, but are in the midst of a job hunt, you have a whole different set of stress factors to manage.

Your career is your responsibility. If you look around and don’t envision yourself in the same organization for the long haul (or even for the short haul), it is up to you to take steps to find something new. No matter how difficult it is or how little time you have, if you don’t take the wheel, you can’t drive your own career bus. My colleague, Alphonse Ha at Tele-Ressources in Montreal asked me to share some tips to help the busy employee who leads a double life as a job seeker. This appeared on their blog yesterday, and I’d like to share it with my readers as well!

So, some tips to help the busy employee who leads a double life as a job seeker:

Do NOT – I repeat – DO NOT conduct your job search while AT work. Even using your employer issued computer on your own time is iffy. If you don’t want to be shown the door before you are ready, conduct your search on your OWN time. What? You don’t have any of your own time? That’s the reason you are looking for a job? Carve some out. Searching online job boards, blogs (!) and sending emails applying for positions from your company computer is risky. Just don’t do it.

Manage your time. You need to take a break from work. If that “break” also involves spending some of your “down” time prepping for a job hunt, so be it.

Invest in yourself. Hire someone to help you or put in the preparation that you deserve to ensure that you know how to look for a job and that your materials represent the best you have to offer. Do not sell yourself short by sending around a resume that isn’t optimized. The investment you put into your search at the outset will pay off for you in the long run with a shorter hunt.

Network! Open your eyes – networking opportunities are all around. Soon,  holiday parties will begin. Family get-togethers are in the offing. Take advantage of social situations to grow your network. Too busy for parties? Social networking (online) will fill in the gaps. I recommend a dual-prong networking strategy that involves in-person and online networking for full exposure. Investigate Twitter. Optimize your linkedin profile.

Keep connected and engaged in your current job, no matter how difficult it is. Sporting a positive attitude will help make you desirable to potential employers (and make it easier for you at work). Even if you have one foot out the door, don’t start acting as if you are already off the payroll. When’s a good time to tell your colleagues that you are looking for a job? When you give your notice! Turn to non-work friends for support during your search.

Gather information. If you interview for a job, be sure to ask about their timing. You want to know if they will be making a hiring decision soon or if you are the first of 100 interviews! Having information will help you manage your search. Ask questions that will help put you in the driver’s seat down the road.

Above all, recognize that the positive steps you take now to manage your own career will pay off in the long run. Don’t wait. Don’t let stress or fear get the best of you. Take the wheel and turn the key.

Ready to make a move? Subscribe for free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt! Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

Need help to jump start your search? We can help you with a successful job hunt. Need a great resume? Career search advice? Mock interivew? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

photo by Georgie Sharp

New Issue of Personal Branding Magazine

If you want to drive your own career bus, you must first learn how to manage your online presence. Your “personal brand” is what makes you special and unique – it is what you are known for in your circles (and beyond). It is amazing how a well-constructed online strategy can form a successful personal brand.

Dan Schawbel is one of the authorities on the topic of personal branding, particularly for the Millennial generation. I was happy to join Dan’s leadership team as a co-editor of Personal Branding Magazine.

This issue of Personal Branding Magazine helps readers learn how to build a personal eBrand. Contributors share tips and ideas for how to get in on the gold rush online before it is too late!

FREE sample available today (HERE)

Title: The Personal Branding Gold Rush

To subscribe to the magazine please go to:
http://www.PersonalBrandingMag.com

Have no idea how to “brand” yourself? You aren’t comfortable self-promoting? I can help! From writing a great resume to showing you how to move your career forward – Keppie Careers is here for you.

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you!

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Should You Be Looking for a Better Job? Take Time to Choose Your Organization

“The single most important marketing decision most people make is also the one we spend precious little time on: where you work… Think about this for a second. Your boss and your job determine not only what you do all day, but what you learn and who you interact with.”

Marketing guru and author Seth Godin

How much time do you spend trying to choose your workplace?  Read the rest at GreatPlaceJobs…

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a linkto receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

Need help finding a great employer? Looking for career search advice? Mock interview? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

photo from NBC’s The Office

Can You Identify Your Single Greatest Accomplishment?

I’m working with a client whose documents include a note about a specific role that she performed in one of her positions. She indicates that this was “her single biggest professional accomplishment.”

This led me to ask: How many of us can identify our single greatest professional accomplishment? Can you? What if someone asked you in an interview what work experience made you the most proud? Could you pick one?

Maybe we are all too busy trying to identify our weaknesses to describe in an interview, when we should be focusing on the best things we have to offer. Think about it…If you don’t know your greatest strength, who does?

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a linkto receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

Can’t figure out how to optimize your resume with key words? Need a great resume? Career search advice? Mock interview? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

photo by ducktourer

Is Your Resume Holding You Back?

If you’ve been looking for a job for a while, and you know that you are qualified, but no one is calling (on any of your phones!) What should you do?

I speak to potential clients who fit this category regularly. Clients suggest many possible scapegoats as to why the phone isn’t ringing:

  • Age discrimination.
  • My experience doesn’t exactly match their needs. No one will give me a chance to prove myself.
  • I’m trying to transition from non-profit to for-profit and they just don’t want me.
  • They look at my previous industry and discriminate against me because they don’t like (fill in the blank).

I would never tell potential clients that these factors have NOTHING to do with their hunt or that it is easy to overcome these possible roadblocks. However, when I review resumes from these job seekers, I usually identify fatal resume flaws that have nothing to do with age, experience or industry. Many times, it is clear to me that these job seekers are approaching their searches with resumes that are doing them more harm than good.

Some examples:

Age Discrimination. Many resumes appear old-fashioned and outdated. They include information that isn’t necessary (such as date of birth), but  omit key resume details (such as dates of employment). If the job seeker is “experienced” (read: older), an outdated looking resume only puts a spotlight on a factor that might be considered a drawback.

Lack of experience. Job seekers who don’t have direct experience in their field of choice make mistakes when they don’t attempt to address the needed skills and stick to a basic “this is the stuff I did” resume. Listing “stuff” isn’t going to cut it when you’re reaching for a job. Focus on those transferable skills. Look at your “soft” skills. Figure out what you have to offer and highlight it for the reader.

Transitioning. Consider how you describe your past experiences. If you are moving to a for-profit, use language that appeals to that employer. Always write for your target. I recently worked with a client to re-write a “non-profit” sounding job description using “for-profit” language. She landed an interview within 24 hours of sending the resume.  If you are applying for a job in France, you’d write your resume in French. Similarly, be sure to use lingo and descriptions that will make sense to the reader. Don’t expect them to translate it!

Industry Discrimination. I’ve worked with clients who believe their current industry isn’t an asset in moving to a new field. For example, a chiropractor who wants to work in accounting. It is easy to write a resume that makes accounting skills and experience the first thing employers will read. I’ve seen many resumes of job hunters who highlight the very information they think detracts from their candidacy!

So, if your phone isn’t ringing, don’t start assigning blame and throwing up your hands until you take a good, long look at your resume. You may be surprised at what you DO control in your job hunt.

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a linkto receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

Can’t figure out how to optimize your resume with key words? Need a great resume? Career search advice? Mock interview? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

photo by friendly123


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October 2008
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