Five for the Weekend… Organizing Your Search

Welcome to what will be a new weekly feature, “Five for the Weekend.” There will be tips and tricks on various aspects of your job search or career each weekend.


This week we’re looking at getting your search organized from the beginning.

  1. Get or utilize a calendar/planner to organize your job search, interviews, notes, and contacts. You want to be able to instantly look up needed information and have it with you at all times. This should always hold at least one resume, ready to go.
  2. Put together a list of companies to research and apply to. Have direction, know the background on the companies, and don’t go in blind to any interview.
  3. Know what you want and don’t want in a job and apply accordingly. No matter how much you need a job, KNOW what you want and don’t want. It doesn’t help to get hired by a company that doesn’t hold your values, no matter how much you need a job… It will never work out.
  4. Even if you don’t carry your resume with you, have all resume information located centrally, so it’s easily accessible for updating and utilizing. There’s nothing more frustrating than to have to start an emergency job search and not be able to find necessary documents and information.
  5. Create, maintain, and consistently add to a solid contact list. Keep your contact list fresh and up to date. If someone needs eliminated because they’ve moved out of the area and you no longer have up to the minute information, do it. Don’t wait until you’re in a panic trying to put contact numbers on your references page.

These are just five small areas to consider during your job search, but it’s the little areas that can make your life either difficult or easy. Be prepared from the beginning and you will be amazed at where your career can take you.

Have a wonderful upcoming week.


The Multi-Faceted Job Search

Friendly InterviewerFinding a job used to be a much simpler process than it is today… You used to send a résumé, get an interview, and if they liked you, you were hired.

Today, there isn’t just one area to consider, the modern job search is multi-faceted and there’s a number of areas to consider, but with a little preparation, it can come together nicely.

Prepare the following and it will make your job search go much smoother…

Résumé: Have an up-to-date résumé ready at any given moment and with you. You never know when the opportunity to offer it may arise. Be prepared. If you can make it shine on your own, do it and if you can’t; hire a professional. This is the most important document of your career… Make it shine.

Connections: From alumni groups to lifelong friends, you never know where an ally in your job search could come from. Be active on LinkedIn because it’s a solid resource. I’ve had several offers come from LinkedIn connections, so it’s well worth the effort. There are also some wonderful professionals that you’re likely to learn from, you can follow. Brilliant minds worth tapping into.

Online Presence: Do a search on your name to see what comes up… You may be surprised and that can be a bad thing, if you “express yourself” in any questionable ways. From politics to an out of control social media presence can be the kiss of death to a career and job offers, if you aren’t careful. If there are questionable posts, try to clean up your presence, but remember that nothing really ever goes away online. It’s safer to not have anything to hide and easier than trying to clean it up.

Phone Interviews: It used to be that you were called in for a face-to-face interview based istock_000021392184_doubleon your résumé alone, but those days are pretty much gone. You can go through several phone interviews before you ever meet anyone face-to-face. Even possible Skype interviews. I strongly suggest dress for phone or Skype interviews because it puts you in the best mindset for a professional presence.

Appearance:  In my humble opinion this is one of the most important areas to cover… Image is EVERYTHING! Companies want a professional image and if you want to get hired or advance, you need to know what the company expects and be that. You have to prepare to adapt to the corporate culture and not expect them to adapt to you.

Follow the above tips and you’ll be ahead of many… If you need assistance, feel free to contact me and I can assist you with the process.

Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value. ~Albert Einstein





Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You SHOULD Post It.

iStock_000009570308_XXXLargeIn recent months, I’ve noticed that people are thinking less and less about the consequences of what they say and do online. The warnings are everywhere, but people think that it’s their right to post whatever their heart desires. Whatever it takes to gain attention… Their 15 minutes of fame, their RIGHT to say or do anything. It’s their RIGHT! This is the United States and we have rights, right? Of course, you have the right, but that doesn’t make it right. Is that an overuse of “right” or what??? 😉

The problem with this is that they don’t take into consideration the cost. The cost can be quite high and once it’s done, there’s rarely ever a way to make it go away completely. Even if you take it down, relatively quickly… The internet NEVER forgets!

From the gentleman that had the tirade at Chick-fil-A to the local guy that posted a video on YouTube of him in the Burger King sink on his birthday, like he was taking a bath… There is a cost and for these two , it was their jobs.

What I find amusing is that regardless the HUGE public disasters these events create and no matter how much media coverage there is of the damage, people are still doing it. It’s an attitude that says, “It can’t happen to me.” From stomping on the flag to making uncalled for statements against the police, you hear it happening each week.

The bottom line is that if you’d get fired for saying to your boss or if what you’re doing might get you arrested, you likely shouldn’t be posting it online. It’s much easier to avoid the damage, than it is to clean it up.

So my advice for the week… Think before you post.

Have a wonderful week!

Five Ways to Get Your Career Ducks in a Row

iStock_000020614872_LargeThere’s an old saying, “Have all your ducks in a row.” It means that you are completely prepared, right down to the last detail. You might ask how this applies to you and how you can make this work for you…

So, you’ve decided to look for a job… Are you prepared? You should ALWAYS be prepared, because you never know what the future holds. From great opportunities, to downsizing… ANYTHING can happen.

Let’s go over just a few ways you can get those ducks lined up:

  1. Documentation: Is your resume up to date? How long has it been since you last updated your resume? This is an area most wait until they need it and then end up in a panic because they are unprepared, when In fact it should always be current and ready to go. Whether you write it yourself or hire someone, get it together today. You’ll find that this makes the entire process much easier.
  1. Style: Attire and hairstyle, modern and professional? You don’t want anything dated, nor do you want something out in leftfield. Proper professional attire and hairstyle are necessary for interviews and believe it or not, it can be done affordably. This is another area that you shouldn’t wait until the last second for.
  1. Education/Training: Education information and skills current? We should always be a student in our chosen fields and in life, in general. It keeps the mind sharp and keeps you current within our fields. Skill sets: are you staying current in all of your skill sets? What many consider age discrimination is very simply put, outdated skills caused by complacency. It’s all too easy to sit back and get lazy with one’s skills when you’ve been at a job for a long period of time (even if you hate the job).
  1. Attitude: although age discrimination is a very real thing, often it is a mindset one creates. I’ve met many a person that are so young at heart that age has NEVER been an issue and they’re well into their 60’s and 70’s, but I’ve also met some in their 40’s that come off ancient. Don’t allow a bad attitude become your greatest hurdle to finding a new or better job.
  1. Contacts: your network shouldn’t be seen as simply a “network” you fall back on when you need it. These should be both personal and professional friends. I can’t stress this one enough… You can’t expect people to put their neck out for you, if they only hear from you, when you want something. Be a friend and friends will want to help, in a heartbeat.

These are just a few areas that can help you in finding a new job or even advancing within your present company. Don’t take them for granted.

Have a wonderful week!

Ladies… Seven Deadly Sins of Professional Attire

iStock_000005892300XSmallRecently, I was at a dinner with a number of young people that were supposedly dressed professionally and the guys did it nicely, but the young women were almost entirely wrong. I hate to say it, but it seems many young women are clueless to professional attire. Because of this fact, I’m writing to enlighten those that need it to the seven deadly sins of professional dressing.

  1. If your tummy bulges are hanging over your pants or skirt for the world to see… You’re NOT dressed professionally.
  2. If you’re wearing a top that clings to all your tummy bulges for all to notice… You’re NOT dressed professionally.
  3. Flip flops and sandals… Not professional.
  4. Super short skirts… Nope!
  5. Tattoos uncovered… Do I need to say it?
  6. The “Goth” look… Really???
  7. And finally, if your bosom is exploding from your top…NOT PROFESSIONAL!!!

For most of us, this should be common sense, but WOW, I see it all the time! This isn’t acceptable; by just about any standard (The last few might work for a stripper, but let’s hope that isn’t where you’re going!).

It’s not that hard to find acceptable clothing at even Walmart or a thrift shop, so cost shouldn’t be the issue. Besides that, there are places that will assist you in finding proper attire. Clothes That Work is a great group for assisting women with clothing choices, if cost is an issue. Dressing appropriately can be the difference between a strong future and unemployment, so don’t risk it.

You can easily look online for clothing suggestions, examples are literally everywhere. If you must, do a little research before going shopping. Great, affordable looks are out there and easy to find… You won’t regret doing a little research.

Play it safe, so you don’t end up destroying a great opportunity.

A Passion for Our Heroes

Over the years, I’ve worked with a number of veterans and have found great joy in helping them find work. Some, I’ve even assisted while they were still active in the Middle East, soon to be coming home. I find it an honor to work with our heroes, those that sacrifice, so we don’t have to.

These days, I’m reading so many articles and seeing a number of reports on how these great individuals are struggling to find work and get back to normal life, once they’re out of the service and it breaks my heart. My personal goal has become to do all that I can in an attempt to do something about this national problem.

Once upon a time, we respected these returning heroes… I’m not sure what’s happening, but they’re being ignored and need to be grabbed up by companies. They have the discipline; you just don’t see in the young people of today and deserve the opportunities that are out there.

In the days ahead, I’m going to be contacting numerous organizations to see how I can help and from my business perspective, I’m also going to offer discounts to veterans, as well as seeking out a list (hopefully, ever-growing) of companies that are looking for vets to hire. We need to do whatever it takes to make a better future for our heroes.

In the mean time, I’m looking for veteran organizations to start donating a portion of my sales to. As I find ones that I feel strongly about and support, I’ll share them with you, so you may also get involved.

As I said, serving our veterans has always been a passion of mine and now, I’m going to take it a step further. Will you consider joining in this endeavor? There are so many opportunities out there to reach out and help our returning heroes… Take a look around and see what you can do.

The first I’d like to share is Boot Campaign… They have a great way of sharing patriotism through boots. Check out this great new commercial with a couple of the guys from Sons of Anarchy, Theo Rossi and Kim Coates and please check out the site.

Thank you.

Our Kids Should Have a Backup Plan…

iStock_000021337330LargeLately, I’ve seen a number of college students seeking degrees that are going to be difficult, if not impossible to find jobs with; building mounds of debt, with little hope of being able to pay off anytime soon. I’m seeing fields that experienced workers are struggling to find jobs and kids coming out of school, with hopes of finding the dream job. The worst part of what I’m seeing is that there’s no backup plan… No other options; besides minimum wage.

We need to make sure that our kids know that in this job market,  a degree is certainly no guarantee. We need them to be prepared, when it comes to their education. To do their research, so they know what jobs are out there in their chosen field. Our kids need to make the hard choices, knowing that their financial futures are at stake in this game.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I don’t want people to go after jobs that they’ll hate, but they have to understand that there’s more than one job that they could love. There are jobs that are rewarding and pay the rent, which is what they should be aiming for.

Yes, macramé may be a joy and an idea for a future business, but it’s not something they should want to go into some serious debt for, without any hope of recouping losses. They need a backup plan! Students can study business, with the goal of starting their own business in the future. Then there’s a degree that one can build on and one that will only help in the future.

There’s countless ways that goals and career hopes can blend, that have solid footing. We need to make sure that our kids know this fact and they think their goals through. Make choices that will build a solid base for their career goals, from the courses they take to the extracurricular activities they participate in and NEVER let them to forget about internships. They can make all the difference in the world!

There are so many people out there willing to assist our kids with these choices (because we all know that as parents, we don’t know ANYTHING). We need to have our kids seek these people out and ask the necessary questions. From people in the field, school counselors, and simply doing job searches online, these will all help make decisions.

Sit your kids down and have a talk with them, if they’re thinking of some questionable career goals and assist them in doing the research needed, not to have a useless degree (and YES, they exist!). This is especially important if you’re name is on those college loans, you don’t want your retirement to go to pay off that Masters in Macramé. 😉

Have a wonderful week and do great in your work and your life…