Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year, New Job?

It's a common practice - a new year brings the desire to change jobs.  If you have decided to hunt for a new job in 2016, let's get our job search house in order:

1)  Update your resume and make sure there is appropriate detail.  A resume is not a duties and responsibilities document - but a marketing document.  Tell the potential employer the successes you have had in your current and past jobs, and be sure to include appropriate key words and key phrases to your career target.  Also, don't fall for the one-page myth.  A two or three-page resume is fine, and is what most jobseekers will have after they have been in the workforce for a few years.  Your experience, education, professional development, technical/computer profile, and professional and civic involvement warrants a depth of information.

2)  Consider more than one resume.  You are not a one-trick pony and most likely have two or three different career types your can pursue.  Don't try to make one resume fit two or three career choices. Instead, tailor a resume and cover letter to each career type to ensure your career marketing documents work for you and not against you.

3)  Use job board aggregators, not single job boards. and are my two favorites.  Why search ten different job boards when you can search thousands at a time.  Sign up with just an email and a list of job titles (you may have two or three searches per site depending on your career choices) and let these sites do the search for you and send you a digest of new jobs that posted daily.  Then you can go direct to the company or recruiter site and apply for your job at the source.

4)  Set a specific amount of time for your job search and plan it into your schedule every week.  If you do not make time for your job search, and just work on it when you feel like it, you will have a long job search indeed and typically get very little done.

5)  Set up or update your LinkedIn profile, including a professional picture, and completed profile. You can make your updates private so they don't show to your connections unless they go directly to your profile page (just go to the Privacy and Settings area).  Once your profile is up to date, target individuals from the organizations you have the most interest in and recruiters in your field(s) of expertise.

6)  Keep at it, a job search is not a short race, but a marathon.  That new job could be just around the corner, so don't give up.

To your job search and career success!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week!

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Ridding your life of complainers and cynics is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. ~ Unknown

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week!

“The past is not your potential. In any hour you can choose to liberate the future.” ~ Marilyn Ferguson

Learning is easy. Application is hard. Most of the time we know what to do, but never do it. Doing it is the difference. ~ Unknown 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Career Tip: Track Your Project Participation

Project Management seems to abound in just about all job types now and your work in those projects can have a significant impact on your career, and in a job search.  Although the phrase Project Management used to mean a technical or construction project, it now encompasses any large project that an organization undertakes, regardless of nature.

To maximize your project involvement, keep notes on important projects you have participated in at work, including your specific role.  Track successes in the initial development of the project concept, gathering any requirements, meeting timelines and budget targets, implementation, any training you might have performed, documentation developed, project methodologies employed, and any software used.

From performance reviews and promotion possibilities, to raise requests and job searches, documenting your role in a project and the various achievements throughout its lifecycle can reap huge dividends in your career.  To your career success!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Your Resume is a Marketing Brochure!

Always think of your resume as a marketing brochure, never as a duties and responsibilities list.  Your resume must market you towards a specific position and show how you have been of value to your past employers.  It is never just a general career document.  Remember, companies look for keywords and key phrases that relate to the position they are hiring for, and the explanation of how you used those skills, software, competencies, career-related acronyms, etc., in your bullet points under each position.  To your job search success!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Job Search Quotes of the Week!

"Being busy is a form of laziness — lazy thinking and indiscriminate action."  Tim Ferriss

“Without passion, you don’t have energy. Without energy, you have nothing.” – Warren Buffett

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week!

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs

 “If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.” – James Cameron

Monday, December 14, 2015

Why You Should Ask Questions Targeted to Your Potential New Manager in an Interview

Sometimes an interviewee is hesitant to ask questions about their potential new manager, thinking that this will somehow look bad or make the interviewer angry.  Asking questions though will not only help you to look good to the manager, but to find out some very important information that may help you determine whether the job will be right for you.  What should ask?  Here are a few questions to use in your next interview:

Can you describe your management style and give me three examples?  This question can help identify a micromanager, as no one ever thinks they are a micromanager, but will often give an example that will clue you in to the truth.

Can you describe a typical workday for me?  Always ask the question with you being on the job in mind.  Give them the vision of you already working there and also find out if the “boss” knows what your job really entails.

What brought you to this organization? 

What do you like best about working here?

Why do you stay with this organization?

Yes, sometimes for the last three questions above you will get the “B.S.” answer, but more often than not you will surprise them with good questions and get a truthful answer.  One of the major complaints of interviewers is a candidate who does not ask any questions.  Be the interviewee that asks great questions, and increase your chances of getting that job.  To your job search success!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Job Search Quotes of the Week!

“Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. ~ Jim Rohn

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week

"Change how you react to rejection... every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past, or a pioneer of the future." - Deepak Chopra 

"Learning is not done to you, it is something you choose to do." - Seth Godin

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Don’t Give Up On Your Job Search During The Holidays

Every year around Halloween I start hearing those individuals pursuing a job, whether currently employed or unemployed say the following:  “I think I will take a break on the job search over the holiday season.”  This is the very last thing you should do. 

People use a litany of excuses for this annual trend, including:

--No one interviews during the holiday season.

--No one hires during the holiday season.

--No one is really working until January 2nd

--Everyone else job seeking is taking off for the holiday season.

--My friends, family, or other people I know said "blah, blah, blah" about the holidays and a job search.

--Only part time, temporary holiday jobs are available during this time of year.

--Companies don’t have any money to spend on new employees during the end of the year.

All of the above reasons are patently false.  Here is the truth:

First, many companies have an established budget for hiring year round, and their fiscal year may or may not be the same as a calendar year, and regardless of timing, they often need to spend that money or lose it for the next year – so they will hire people year round.  

Second, companies do not have time or money for endless holiday parties and fluff time.  In fact, more organizations are short staffed and they work just as much or more overtime during the holiday season trying to keep up with work and hire additional staff. 

Third, not all companies may hire, but they will interview to make those decisions in January and if you aren’t in the mix, you won’t get the job. 

Fourth, your friends, family and acquaintances don’t know what most companies do and most likely don’t know what the company they work for does in hiring,  stop listening to amateurs.   

Fifth, let other jobseekers take the holidays off and lose out on job opportunities.  Remember what your parents used to say:  “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump off too?”  We are not concerned about what other jobseekers are doing; we are concerned about getting a new job. 

Sixth, actually the trend is a boost in both part time and full time hiring at the end of each year, including a Career Builder article for 2014 citing the following results of a survey on permanent hiring for fourth quarter in 2014:

Company size
Permanent hiring in Q4
Seasonal hiring in Q4
50 or fewer employees
51 to 250 employees
251 to 500 employees
More than 500 employees

So, get out there and job hunt and take advantage of a period that so many people ignore as a prime time for a jobseeker.  To your job search success!

Job Search Quotes of the Week!

A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits. ~Richard Nixon

There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from. ~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D. 

Let a man lose everything else in the world but his enthusiasm and he will come through again to success. ~Unknown

Monday, November 23, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week!

You cannot be fair to others without first being fair to yourself. ~Vera Nazarian

Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them. ~Robert Jarvik

Friday, November 20, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week

"If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it."  -John Irving

"Life is not about the kind of money one earns, but the goal and the desire to achieve success".  -Unknown

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give."  -Winston Churchill

Monday, November 16, 2015

Job Search Quotes of the Week!

"People who wonder whether the glass is half empty or half full miss the point. The glass is refillable."   - Author Unknown

"I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying." - Michael Jordan

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hire a Veteran!

On this Veteran’s Day, and as a veteran myself, I wanted to take the time to encourage companies to incorporate more veterans into their workforce.  Many companies have already started an initiative to bring these incredibly talented and dedicated individuals into their organizations, including General Electric (GE), Amazon, Google, Paychex, FedEx, Canon, Cintas, BNSF Railway, Dollar General, Northrup Grumman, Sears/Kmart, Waste Management, Inc., Barnes & Noble, Bayer, Bank of America, Humana, Sodexo, Burns & McDonnell, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Comcast, United Health Group, and Zurich.  

Let go of the thought that veterans might be too regimented or not fit into your organization due to their time in the military world – these are old, outmoded myths.  Also, learn about veterans with PTSD or injuries and what they can also bring to your team so as not to shy away from hiring them.  With a veteran or guardsman you get an employee that is highly trained, disciplined (they will show up early and leave late), a leader, tenacious, flexible and adaptable, teamwork oriented, and technologically savvy. 

Acquire a few skills yourself in translating military jargon, there are many tools available on the Internet to help, and find the veterans that are the right fit for your company. If you truly want to thank a veteran who has given so much for our freedom – give them a job!

Companies that actively hire veterans:

Skills Veterans Bring to the Workforce:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” --Albert Einstein 

"Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work in hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus." --Alexander Graham Bell

Friday, November 6, 2015

Taking Notes in an Interview, it’s a Must!

There are a few books and bloggers out there that claim you shouldn't take notes during an interview.  I am here to tell you that advice is wrong.  While you don’t want to sit and take notes constantly as if you are copying the interviewers every word, you can take notes on the most salient points of the conversation, including skills and tasks they most want from a candidate, salary info, benefits, your managers management style, and what they think the most important part of your job will be ultimately.  You cannot possibly remember every part of an interview conversation without taking a few notes on the most important facts.  Not having notes will keep you from writing the best possible thank you note, and it will mean you have no reference of information for the next step of the process, often a second interview.  Take notes, the interviewers expect you to, and having them will help you to make the best decision for your career.  To your interview success!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Be Original: No More Resume Templates!

Even though you will use a traditional reverse chronological resume for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) when applying for a job online, traditional doesn't have to mean a template.  The same goes for the resume you hand to the interviewer or networking contact.  Looking at lots of different samples to determine how you will overall format your resume is fine, but just picking a generic template that employers see way too frequently will not make for a positive first impression. Be a bit more original while keeping within the boundaries of what ATS and those viewing you resume expect, and see more response.  To your job search success!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Job Search Quotes of the Week

”Someday is not a day of the week.” ~ Denise Brennan-Nelson

"Don't wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect." ~ Anonymous

“Action is the real measure of intelligence.” ~ Napoleon Hill

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

To think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted. ~ George Kneller

“Talents are common, everyone has them - but rare is the courage to follow our talents where they lead.” ~ Anonymous 

Friday, October 23, 2015

CAREER TIP – Take Your Break

Workers often post and bloggers frequently write articles about employees not taking breaks or their lunch hour in the workplace.  Think about it, all that wasted break time when you could refresh your coffee, eat your lunch, chat with a friend or loved one on the phone, play a game, take a walk, or just veg out.  Your breaks are not paid time, technically you have a four hour work day with a half-hour break, or an eight hour work day with two half-hour breaks, which means a half hour for lunch and two 15 minute breaks during the day or however you would like to break that time up.  Besides the obvious problem of working and not truly being paid, you are actually making things worse for your productivity and mood by not taking those rest opportunities at work.   

Recharging your batteries during the day is important and if you constantly work through lunch and your breaks you will often work slower, make more mistakes, have less patience for issues that come up, and begin to suffer from burn out.  Take your breaks, for both yourself and your company and see your productivity and attitude improve.  To your career success!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Job Search Quotes of the Week

 An obstacle is often an unrecognized opportunity. - Petteri Tarkkonen

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” - Andy Warhol

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Colored Fonts and Resumes – That’s a Big NO!

From critiquing resumes brought to me by students seeking jobs after graduation or during the summer, to fielding applications in the past, I am surprised at how many job seekers use colored fonts in their resumes.  Sometimes it’s because they don’t know how to reverse the blue color in a web address (put the cursor at the end of the web address and hit the backspace key), but at least this one I understand.  More often than not, it’s purely an issue of neglecting to change the printer cartridge or selecting black in your print choices. When color shows up on a printed resume the reader immediately has less respect for the document.  Perhaps it shouldn't be that way, but presentation is everything.  Always print your resume text in black to ensure you showcase a professional document and present yourself in the best possible light.  To your job search success!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week

“We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to mankind.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

"If you are willing to do more than you are paid to do, eventually you will be paid to do more than you do." Anonymous

Friday, October 9, 2015

Changing Careers: Is it really the career causing the problem?

Before you change careers assess why you might want a change.  Often it isn't a change of career that is necessary.  Here are some questions you can ask about where the dissatisfaction exists:

--Do you like your current company?
--Do you like your current boss?
--Do you like your current fellow employees?
--Is there an issue in your home life affecting your work?
--Do you like your daily work?
--Do you like the potential of working at a job related to your current career?
--Do you prefer to work alone, in a team, or a bit of both?

Frequently a person wants to change careers when the issue is the company the work for, the boss (one of the most common reasons), or fellow employees and their actions.  You must first analyze whether your unhappiness is truly with the career or another reason.  Sometimes the motivation has nothing to do with work, and is something happening in your personal life.  If, after evaluating the above, you determine the reason is still the work, then you need to ask yourself if you might like a related career,  something different within your current company (maybe you aren't challenged anymore in your current role), or if you are working within an environment that isn't ideal?  Too many people have changed careers when the real issue was something else entirely.  Make sure you investigate all the possibilities before reaching a decision.  To your career success!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Job Search Quotes of the Week

"The most difficult thing is the decision to act.  The rest is merely tenacity.  The fears are paper tigers.  You can do anything you decide to do.  You can act to change and control your life and the procedure.  The process is its own reward." ~
Amelia Earhart 

"Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go." ~
William Feather

Sometimes a storm in your life is what will blow you to the place you are longing to be. ~ Beth Moore

Friday, October 2, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week

“Without passion, you don’t have energy. Without energy, you have nothing.” – Warren Buffett

“If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.” – John D Rockefeller

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The “Secret” to In-Person Networking

Most individuals, and especially those in a job search, see networking as a formal event where they attend with the purpose of meeting lots of people.  I would like to challenge jobseekers to think of networking as something you do anytime you go to the store, out to dinner, after a wedding or other event, at a party, etc.  If you leave your home and go where there are other people, you can network.  Allow yourself to bring networking to a conscious level whether you are in a job search or not, and make it part of your daily routine.  Networking doesn’t have to be hard – it is in essence a conversation and should never be done to “get something” from another person.  So, if you think of networking as a conversation to find out about the other person and how you might help them, provide them with something of value (tips, hints, referrals, expertise) you will be ultimately be successful in your interactions and achieve your goal.  To your jobs search and career success!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Job Search Quotes of the Week

Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time. 

O. Mandino

Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go. 

Napoleon Bonaparte

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week

“To find a career to which you are adapted by nature, and then to work hard at it, is about as near to a formula for success and happiness as the world provides. One of the fortunate aspects of this formula is that, granted the right career has been found, the hard work takes care of itself. Then hard work is not hard work at all.”
Mark Sullivan

“The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career!”

Earl Nightingale

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

September is Update Your Resume Month

On an annual basis Career Directors International runs a September Campaign to “Update Your Resume.”  In this day of job uncertainty and workers constantly moving or being moved between positions, it is highly recommended all employed individuals keep their resume updated.  From company mergers and acquisitions, to layoffs and dismissals, you never know when your job could be changed or even disappear, and having a resume ready to go at a moment’s notice could pay huge dividends.  Far from just being for a negative reason, you want to keep your resume updated for potential promotion opportunities, that recruiter that might call or email you out of the blue, or for an annual performance review to “remind” your boss of your many contributions throughout the year. To your career success!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week

“To be successful, the first thing to do is fall in love with your work.”
Sister Mary Lauretta

“Trust not what inspires other members of society to choose a career. Trust what inspires you. From this decision alone will come over a third of your satisfaction or misery in your life.”

from The Lazy Person's Guide to Success

Friday, September 11, 2015

Job Search Quotes of the Week

“Desperation works in job search as well as it does in dating.” 
― Darrell Gurney

“What someone may lack in talent can be more than made up for in self-motivation, self-direction, and follow-through.” 
― Miles Anthony Smith

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The “HOBBY” Question

Hobby questions can be precarious and you want to consider what you will say before going into an interview.  Most hiring managers and HR personnel like to hear about active hobbies, like walking, gardening, running, travel, etc., volunteerism, and interesting hobbies like woodworking or aviation.  Reading materials can also be nice to include, but stay away from political, religious, romance or science fiction related materials, and instead talk about business related, motivational-type books, doing crossword puzzles or Sudoku.   Avoid talking about watching lots of television or spending lots of time at home in general.  The more active you show your mind and body to be, the more the interviewer will see you as an active and engaged person for their team.  To your job search and interview success!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week

“Don't ever let economic alone determine your career or how you spend the majority of your time.”
Denis Waitley

“Desire! That's the one secret of every man's career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire.”

Bobby Unser

Friday, August 28, 2015

References and Your Job Search

Obtain your references just ahead of starting a job search or right at the beginning of a “forced” job search.  Your first three to four references should always be professional, as what companies really want to know is how well you perform in the workplace.  For instance:  are you dependable, do you have the skills required by the potential employer, do you complete projects on time, do you manage your time well, are you a self-starter?, etc.  Personal references should also be someone who can talk about your work ethic, how you get along with others, and dependability.  They should not be your drinking buddy, the person you haven’t seen in 10 years, or an individual who can’t answer the “biggest weakness” question without torpedoing your candidacy.  Never use an individual as a reference you haven’t spoken with personally; no one wants a surprise call suddenly asking for a reference about you.  Quality references significantly improve your chances of being hired, so select them wisely.  To your job search success!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Phone Interview Tips

Phone interviews are incredibly important and there are several things you can do to have a more successful outcome.  First, before the call ensure you have all the information needed in front of you, including your resume and cover letter, job ad, and company research.  Second, have something to take notes on (and with) so you don’t distract the interviewer with the noise of the computer keyboard.  Third, take the call in a quiet room at home or in your car with no children, dogs, television or radio sound in the background.  Fourth and last, have some water at the ready since your nerves will most likely make you thirsty.  Try these tips before your next phone interview.  To your job search and interview success!

Monday, August 17, 2015

10 Tips for a Standout LinkedIn Picture

LinkedIn is such an important tool for career management, job search, and even for business owners, yet many hesitate to put a picture on their LinkedIn profile.  We don’t always like our picture, but having a shadow avatar is not the answer and keeps people from connecting with you and taking you seriously.  Here 10 tips to help you achieve a great LinkedIn photo!

--No Selfies:  You look like you took a selfie, and everyone knows it’s a selfie.
--Smile:  Many people on LinkedIn look angry or unapproachable, and it is simply because they don’t smile in their picture.
--Head and Shoulders Shot:  You do not want a full body shot for a photo, as the picture is fairly small, and no one will be able to see your face in a full length photo.
--Makeup and Hair Color:  Ladies and Gentlemen, if you don’t like your hair, get it cut, change the style, change the color, add some color, etc., and for women a little makeup will enhance your look and avoid a very pale or tired look in a snapshot (sometimes a little concealer can help the men too).
--Professional Looking Background:  No garage doors, Christmas trees, closets, plain walls, fountains, etc., in your picture background.  Whether you use a bookcase with books and decorative items that look nice, or a more standard photo background, the setting can matter almost as much as you.
--Professional Photographer:  If you have a relative or friend who takes wonderful pictures you may not need a professional headshot, but make sure whomever takes your picture gives you many photos to choose from and if necessary can fix an issue like red eyes or too much eye crinkle.
--Glasses or No Glasses:  If you like your glasses and wear them all the time, then please include them in your picture.
--No Photoshop Cutout:  Please avoid the cutout of you from another picture at the family reunion, church/synagogue/temple directory, family photo, or any other picture you would need to manipulate heavily.
--No Extras:  Your spouse, your child, funny signs, puppy dogs, parrots, or any other “stuff” with you in the picture can be seen as unprofessional.
--Promote You:  Use a photo of you, not another person, a cartoon figure, your dog, or anything else that isn't YOU!

Remember, LinkedIn is a professional social media venue, not a Facebook page.  To your career, job search and business success!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week

“Criticism of others is futile and if you indulge in it often you should be warned that it can be fatal to your career.”

Dale Carnegie

“Analyzing what you haven't got as well as what you have is a necessary ingredient of a career.”
Orison Swett Marden

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Interview Tip - What to do prior to an interview

Here are 10 tips to help you be more prepared prior to going into an interview. 

--Make sure you know where the interview location is, and if necessary, travel to the location the day before to ensure you can get there in the estimated time and find a close parking space.
--Bring nice copies of your resume and cover letter, on stationery (if possible), to the interview.
--Bring a bottle of water.
--Bring a notebook or portfolio to take notes during the interview.
--Bring a book, a real book not digital, to read. Choose a book with a business-related or motivational topic, no politics or religion, or anything like science fiction or romance novels.
--Write out questions you want to ask prior to the interview and take them with you.
--Arrive 20 minutes early.
--Turn off your cell phone and any other digital devices.
--Check your outfit and make sure it is clean and neat in appearance.
--Get rid of chewing gum, check for food caught between teeth, or lipstick smears around mouth or on teeth.

To your job search and interview success!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Job Search Quotes of the Week

“There are costs and risks to a program of action, but they are far less than the long range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”
John F. Kennedy

“The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them.”

George Bernard Shaw

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great.”
Mark Twain

“The decisions you make about your work life are especially important, since most people spend more of their waking lives working than doing anything else. Your choices will affect not only yourself and those closest to you, but in some way the whole world.”

Laurence G. Boldt

Friday, July 31, 2015

American Management Association

Today’s fourth and final low cost or no-cost online professional development resource is the American Management Association and probably my favorite of all the sites I have blogged about this week.  The American Management Association offers a variety of membership levels, including a free membership when you go to their site and click on the MYAMA Tab on the Home Page.  Once you sign up they allow you access to free training in the form of webcasts, podcasts, and resources like industry related articles and whitepapers, book recommendations, and monthly newsletters.  This site is full of rich content regardless of your career need.  With 20 Webcast categories alone that include Communications Skills, Finance and Accounting, Human Resources Management, Leadership, Strategic Planning, and Training and Development, there is literally something for everyone.  Courses are regularly added to the webcast area, and number as of today 280, each lasting about one-hour.  These can definitely be included in a resume for job seeker or a person seeking a promotion, for overall career management, or learning opportunities for career transition.

I am sure even AMA has under anticipated the popularity of their site, but the offering of the free training has truly helped many a jobseeker laid off during the economic downturn.  The AMA is also well known by companies as many of them send their executives to the paid programs that often cost thousands of dollars and run for up to a week.  Join AMA and try some of their webcasts, and perhaps, if you can, pay or have your company pay for an Internet or full membership and pay it forward.  To your career success! 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

For the 3rd recommendation in my blog series on professional development I want to discuss  This site offers free online learning in business and enterprise skills, IT and digital literacy, personal development, languages, and financial and economic literacy.  Course offerings include Fundamentals of Human Resources, Fundamentals of Project Management, Accounting-Control and Monitoring of Cash, Business Intelligence and Knowledge Management Systems, and Fundamentals of Operations Management.  These courses include assessments where you much complete with 80% accuracy to achieve a certification, and the site tells you time to complete lessons and minimum level needed to take class.

Courses are provided by a number of publishers (sources), and encompass MIT and MIT Media Lab, Saylor Foundation, Khan Academy, Stanford, Cambridge University, Microsoft, and Sun Systems. seems quite suited to the majority of online learners wanting to bolster their resume, transition into a new career area, or learn more about their current industry.  Give a try, it’s free and a great resource.  To your career success!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Don’t let the name fool you; (a LinkedIn company) has some incredible professional development opportunities for career management, promotion, transition into a new career, or a job search.  Offering both online courses and video tutorials, on the go learning with mobile, tablet and desktop devices, and a range of course skill levels from beginner to advanced; it has something to offer for everyone.  Unlike Coursera (discussed in yesterday’s post), which is an online classroom with a traditional schedule of coursework, is a “set your own pace” program.  The organization also has an impressive list of corporate clients like Microsoft, Adobe and NBC, which lends more credibility to their training offerings.  

This site is particularly suited for techies with programmer/developer, game design, website development, video, audio, and 3-D courses and videos.  However there is still ample training for the business side, as provides 1,200+ classes and nearly 50,000 video tutorials just for business-courses, and even has education/teacher-related training's. You can try the site free for ten days and then choose one of several low cost monthly or annual subscription models, including two that allow for downloads of accompanying course project files.  To your career success!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Our first stop on the professional development tour is  Coursera is an exceptional site offering college/university level coursework from well-known collegiate institutions for FREE.   For instance, you can take an MBA-level Marketing course from Wharton Business School (University of Pennsylvania), Introduction to Finance from the University of Michigan, Cryptography I from Stanford University, or The Data Scientist’s Toolbox from Johns Hopkins University.  Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Rice, and Vanderbilt are also represented with a variety of coursework options.  You can take the course for free, or pay a small additional amount and receive a Verified Certificate.  All students who successfully complete a course typically receive a Statement of Accomplishment from the instructor.  These are all real courses presented by the actual college and university instructors that teach them daily.  The universities and colleges providing courses have purposely partnered with Coursera to offer these classes for universal access.    

You can read about the course syllabus, course format, language availability, suggested readings, resources required, and recommended background for taking a course at prior to signing up for a class.  Sign up for the site is also free and will allow you to target courses for email reminder that you may want to take in the future.  If you would like some additional coursework to pad your resume or take that next level step in your education, give a try.  To your career success! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Professional Development Resources

Last week I touted the need for continuing professional development in your career.  However, what if your company doesn't really offer opportunities for additional learning, or you are unemployed and feel you have no real options as you try to save every penny?  How do you find reasonably priced or even free professional development?  Well, each day, Tuesday through Friday this week, I will be posting options for professional coursework that often have no cost or a very low cost.  Keeping yourself ahead of the curve in learning can make a huge difference in your appeal to a new company or for a promotion within your current organization.  Let’s start, continue, or upgrade your training through the resources I will discuss this week.  To your career success!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Value of Ongoing Professional Development Coursework

Whether provided by your current employer, past employer(s) or training seminars/workshops/conferences you participated in and paid for yourself, professional development is highly valued by employers.  While you wouldn't want to list everything on your resume if you have taken a great deal of professional development in last 10 years, you want to track everything you take, and ultimately provide the best of the best info for the resume document.  Furthermore, a secondary addendum document with a full listing of development opportunities taken in the last seven to 10 years can also be created to supply for performance reviews, networking, interviews, or promotion opportunities.  

There are many different types of professional development that should be tracked and these include:  leadership, management, marketing, sales, customer service, business protocols, EEOC, sexual harassment, computer applications and systems, specialized compliance or technical training related to job or industry, and OSHA, just to name a few.  Keep those professional development completion certificates, listings from your employers, and any accompanying educational materials.  Now you will have both a terrific list of coursework along with the proof!  To your career success!    

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week

“Communication--the human connection--is the key to personal and career success.”
Paul J. Meyer

“A good manager is a man who isn't worried about his own career but rather the careers of those who work for him.”
H. S. M. Burns

“What is the recipe for successful achievement? To my mind there are just four essential ingredients: Choose a career you love, give it the best there is in you, seize your opportunities, and be a member of the team.”
Benjamin F. Fairless

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Job Search Quotes of the Week

Fall seven times, stand up eight.” –Japanese proverb

“Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It’s OK to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.” –H. Stanley Judd

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”–Wayne Gretzky

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Career Tip

Keep track of your accomplishments at work on a regular basis.  From being part of a project team to saving the company money, anything you do to make a difference for the organization should be written down and saved.  Now, during performance reviews you have a list of achievements to review with your supervisor, and lots of information to choose from for a resume update.  I recommend having a file just for career accomplishments at your home where you can easily find the information.  Whether you track it month-to-month or year-to-year you will have a comprehensive account of your work success. 

Interview Tip

Try scheduling your job interview towards the end of the workday or after 5:00 PM when possible, particularly if you have a current job.  Besides being respectful to your current employer and their time, you can determine some great information about your potential employer.  First, are they flexible, as some companies will only schedule within a narrow timeline regardless of your employment situation.  Second, if you are at the potential employers after 5:00 PM you can see how many people are still working.  This can give you some insight into potential overtime.  To your job search success!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Career Quotes of the Week!

“Think not of yourself as the architect of your career but as the sculptor. Expect to have to do a lot of hard hammering and chiseling and scraping and polishing.”  BC Forbes

“If you follow the crowd, you will likely get no further than the crowd. If you walk alone, you're likely to end up in places no one has ever been before. Being an achiever is not without its difficulties, for peculiarity breeds contempt. The unfortunate thing about being ahead of your time is that when people finally realize you were right, they'll simply say it was obvious to everyone all along. You have two choices in life. You can dissolve into the main stream, or you can choose to become an achiever and be distinct. To be distinct, you must be different. To be different, you must strive to be what no else but you can be.”  Unknown wise person

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

If You Are Early You Are On Time

The title of my article is an old military adage and very concisely communicates that to merely be on time means you will get started on your task late.  This applies to both a person’s job search and their career.  When you get that coveted interview you want to put your best foot forward, and arriving right at the start of, or late to your interview certainly won’t make a good impression.  Starting out to your interview early with a plan to arrive 20 minutes ahead of schedule can ensure extra time if you get caught in traffic, enable you to check over your outfit and pre-interview notes one more time, and to feel less rushed and less nervous. 

In your job/career, getting to work a little early can help you as well.  How about not having to drive over the speed limit, risking a speeding ticket, just to make it to work on time?  How about not having your boss or coworkers mad at you again for being late?  Imagine the feeling of getting ahead of your work for the day and maybe even being able to leave a little early on occasion without feeling guilty?  Perhaps you will miss some of the rush hour traffic or get a better parking space.  Regardless of the benefit, you will definitely avoid the hurried and stressed out approach that everyone else takes who doesn’t make a little extra time for their commute.  Start your day out a little earlier and reap the benefits of more peace and calm in your life!  To your job search and career success! 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Career Quote(s) of the Week!

Perhaps I should change the name to Career Quotes of the Week, as I keep finding lots of quotes to share with you.  To your career success!

"I am not a product of my circumstances.  I am a product of my decisions."  Stephen Covey

"The harder I practice, the luckier I get."  Gary Player

Friday, June 26, 2015

Job Search Quotes of the Week

  1. “Desire! That’s the one secret of every man’s career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire.” (Johnny Carson)
  2. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” (Thomas A. Edison)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Don’t Take Time Off Before You Start Your Job Search

While you may be tempted, avoid taking time off after a layoff or firing, and before you start your job search.  Certainly many want to relax for a week or two after a great deal of stress, but that week or two typically turns into a month or two, or even more.  Once idle, you will often remain idle for a significant time which will increase your feelings of stress and worry in trying to find a job.  Even those at the brink of financial ruin often find it very difficult to search for a job once they have taken some time off.  This is not the time to paint the house, run lots of errands during the day, or to get all of the honey-do-list projects done.  Start your job search immediately, and treat it as your full time job!

So, in order for your job search to be a full time job, you need to plan your job search.  Mix it up with networking both online (LinkedIn) and in person, apply for jobs online, visit job clubs, attend onsite and online seminars and workshops that teach you more about various aspects of the job search, tweak your resume, and practice interviewing.  This way you are not stuck in your home seven hours a day trying to apply for jobs online, which will quickly turn to frustration and lack of motivation.  Using several different avenues to search for a job, planning that search, and putting variety into your job search day, will mean a faster job search and much less disappointment.  To your job search success!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How Long Does It Take To Find A New Job

We have all heard it from someone who recently lost their job “Oh, I should have a new job in a couple of months.”  Unfortunately this is rarely the reality.  While I certainly know individuals who have found a new job quickly (two months or less) after being laid off, that is not the case for most job hunters.  Even a job hunter who is currently employed, a much better situation for a job search, will take longer than two months.    

So how long should it take?  Although giving a number can be a bit of a challenge, I have found the common belief that for every $10,000 of income you want to earn, you will spend at least one month looking, is a nice rule.  If you want to earn $40,000 a year, then expect at least four months in a job search.  The more you earn, the longer it will take to find that new job.  Giving someone in a job search this data can be a bit depressing, so I offer a little additional advice.  If you want to have a faster job search, then network both in person and online, apply for jobs that you are qualified to pursue (not every job that strikes your fancy), and search five days a week using job board aggregators, networking contacts, job fairs, and other venues.  My last bit of advice:  don’t allow every rejection to turn your world upside down.  Since it has been reported that the average jobseeker interviews with 16 different companies before getting a job, you will most likely be turned down for few positions.  Maintaining a positive attitude throughout the job hunt will increase your success.  

Monday, June 8, 2015

Cover Letter Tip

Most cover letter introductions seem to start with “To Whom It May Concern,”  “Dear Hiring Manager,” or “Dear HR.”  There are better ways to introduce your letter and avoid boring the reader or worse yet, insulting them with the wrong title.  First, try to find the name of a person in the advertisement.  With a name you have an immediate personal connection and it shows you truly read the job announcement.   If you cannot locate a name, you can use “Dear Ladies and Gentlemen” or “Greetings,” and although these are general, they rarely offend anyone.  There are times when the ad identifies an area of the company, like the HR Department, but there will often be a name associated with that department in the ad itself.  Read your job announcements carefully, not only for information to tailor a resume or cover letter, but to provide a specific name or department when available and show your attention to detail.  To your job search success!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week!

"The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand."

-- Irene C. Kasseria

"Be so good they can’t ignore you."
-- Steve Martin 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Job Search Quotes of the Week!

Yes, I decided to do two again this week - a lot of great quotes to share!

"Begin while others are procrastinating.  Work while others are wishing."  William Arthur Ward

"Luck is quite predictable.  If you want more luck, take more chances."  Brain Tracy

To your job search success!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Quick Resume Tip

Never lie on your resume.  While you may be desperate to get a specific job, or even any job, a lie can truly come back to haunt you.  First, your experience is good enough if applying for the right jobs.  Second, a lie, even discovered years down the road, can result in immediate dismissal (think of the Yahoo CEO who lied about having a degree on his resume and was ousted from his position within days).  It will never pay to lie, whether discovered immediately in an interview or checking references, or years from now, the damage is done.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Job Search Quotes of the Week!

This week I have decided to offer two quotes of encouragement to those in a job search.

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending."  -Maria Robinson

"One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged.  Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself."  Lucille Ball

While a job search can be difficult and time consuming, taking multiple positive actions daily to move yourself forward will always win out in the the end.  To your job search success!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Interview Tip: Dealing with Illegal Interview Questions

Interviewers are often inexperienced and will ask illegal questions out of ignorance, not due to an underhanded motive.  Questions that seek information about your age, national origin, religion, marital status, race, gender, sexual orientation, or disabilities are TYPICALLY illegal and can be giant red flags within an interview situation.  Most of the time illegal questions are more about having a conversation versus trying to discriminate against you, and your task unfortunately, is to determine whether they are being discriminatory or are merely uninformed.  So, if you decide the person interviewing you “doesn't know any better” what should you do?  1)  Answer the question just like any other interview question.  2)  Tell them it is illegal for them to ask such a question.  While certainly we don’t want to be put in this situation, it may be best if you really feel they are just ignorant of what is permissible, to answer the question.  The moment you point out the inquiry is illegal you will scare the interviewer(s) and most likely lose the job.

If you are unsure as to their reasoning for the question, ask them “why do you ask?”  This could bring up a red flag on their end, but their answer should offer you more insight as whether the question could be discriminatory in nature.  Here are a few things that can help you pinpoint the potential for bias in interview questions:

--Multiple illegal questions are asked.
--They aggressively ask illegal questions.
--Explanation they offer about “why” makes you uncomfortable.
--They act insulted that you inquired as to why the question was asked.

Since most of these queries are innocent enough, answering them like any other question will pay dividends in the end, especially when you may not mind providing the information anyway.  If you suspect you are the victim of discrimination in an employment interview, contact an attorney that specializes in employment law or your local Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) office.  As always, to your job search success!