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    Posted on 26/11/2014 by | 0 comments

    I don’t mean to brag, but I make a mean chocolate chip cookie. The hint of happiness you taste, is a tiny, teeny bit of cinnamon and clove. These cookies taste like a memory, and I’m proud to say it happened by accident; just like my resume style.

    Good resumes are hard to come by. Ask any recruiter or H.R. pro. They’ll talk your ear off about length, edits, keywording and content. I do things a little different and it’s proven to be a bit more successful. The secret for resumes, sometimes, is the spice behind them. Want to learn my secrets?

    1. Let others tell your tale. If you’re not using recommendations on your resume, then you are missing out on the value of selling yourself through testimonials. Don’t make recruiters search LinkedIn for how much others love you. Use a quote in your signature line of the email, your resume or cover letter to grab their attention. A cleverly-placed quote will leave a recruiter scanning for more and back-up your claims of greatness with human touch.

    2. Keyword your accomplishments, not your work history. Everyone can claim success, it’s the metrics that truly matter. Solidify who you truly are by remembering that companies care more about what you actually did, than by what you know. Look at the difference between the following:

      Conceptualized and directed large, media campaign with multiple external and internal partnerships.


        Conceptualized and directed large media campaign with the use of Social Networking, (Twitter/LinkedIn) with ROI measurement in Google Analytics and AideRSS. Campaign resulted in

     72% increase 

        of traffic and

     20% increase 

      of sales in the 3rd quarter.

    It really is that easy. Your resume is a sales campaign, pure and simple. Why each resume has to be a page of boring ‘I did this,‘ statements is beyond me. Results, matter more than tasks. Show those hiring your worth through your accomplishments. Dangle the cookie, and leave them wanting more.

    3. Throw out the template. (Really.) Resume programs can be your worst enemy. If you hate being put into a box, the template will do exactly that. This is your future, don’t let a computer program tell you how your accomplishments should look. A few things are ‘must haves’ in your resume.

      Name, City, Phone Number, LinkedIN Profile address, and Twitter address.
      Bio: Forget an objective. It’s about what you BRING to their table. Imagine someone is reading your bio in a newspaper or hearing about you on the radio. The words should resonate with professionalism and wit. Anything less is a disservice to you.
      Accomplishment statements: Your three to five largest accomplishments should be placed first. Tell them what you are most proud of, professionally and leave them with reason after reason to talk with you further.
      Career History: Under each company name, title and years of employment, list key worded accomplishment statements, just like those shown above.
      Mouth-Watering Quote.

    Try it out. Watch the reaction and pass it on. Together, we can change the demands that a resume should have no personality. Your personality and accomplishments will make you stand out.

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    Posted on 13/11/2014 by | 0 comments

    I certainly do have advice on turning down a job offer. While every situation is different, here are some general rules of thumb to follow. The principal objective is to keep the people at job you’re not taking as contacts, in case you want to revisit the job or company in the future.

    Call your contact at the job and let them know that you won’t be taking the position. Communicate in a heartfelt and sincere way that you are grateful for the offer. Be sure to mention a specific thing or two that impressed you about the company during the interview process. In the interest of full disclosure, you should inform your point person that you will be taking the other job.
    Share a reason or two behind your decision, taking care not to paint the rejected job offer in a negative light. You might say something like, “Company X works with clients in Y industry, one that I’ve been interested in working in because of Z reason.” Or, your reason for choosing another job might involve geography or compensation.
    If the company is a small one, consider referring them to one of your contacts that you think might be a good fit for the job. Recruiting is expensive, and a small company might appreciate the referral. Plus, you can potentially help a contact in the process.
    Follow up your telephone call with an official letter, reiterating the positive points you made in the call.
    Maintain a relationship with your contacts at the company, if you think that in the future you may want to revisit job opportunities there. This might be as simple as connecting on LinkedIn or Facebook, or sending periodic emails to talk about industry happenings.
    Readers, do you have anything to add?

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    Posted on 29/10/2014 by | 0 comments

    A new study from found that men and women were more drawn to job ads that used language describing typically masculine or feminine traits, respectively.

    The interesting part is, the participants in the study did not consciously realize they were reacting to the gendered language. “When we ask people why they don’t like a job, they come up with all kinds of explanations. Not one participant picked up on gendered language,” said an author of the study.

    For example:

    The masculine advertisement for a registered nurse read, “We are determined to deliver superior medical treatment tailored to each individual patient,” while the feminine advertisement said, “We are committed to providing top quality health care that is sympathetic to the needs of our patients.”

    The authors of the study say the findings might explain why women are less likely to apply to jobs in scientific and technical fields.

    The most surprising part of this is that the participants didn’t realize why they preferred one job description over another. Are we limiting ourselves to certain jobs typically geared towards women, without realizing it?

    Wanted: Gender-free job ads

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    Posted on 28/10/2014 by | 0 comments

    Post-interview thank you letters have always been an element of good business etiquette. But in this day and age, where jobs are scarcer and more candidates are vying for the same position, a solid thank you letter could be the push you need to stand out from the crowd.

    A good thank you letter need not be elaborate, and composing one won’t take up too much time. But make sure you follow these rules when you’re writing — otherwise your letter may do more harm than good.
    So you’ve completed an interview for a great position as a corporate consultant or law firm associate — you wowed them with your interpersonal skills and decided not to show them that trick you can do with your tongue — and now all that’s left to do is wait for their decision. Right?

    Wrong. A well-written letter thanking your interviewers for their time is a matter of common courtesy, cements your interest in the position, demonstrates your sophisticated and succinct writing style, and allows you to reiterate important points. Follow this guide to compose a winning thank you letter.

    The initial question: Email or snail mail the thank you letter? Lots of people obsess over this question, and there’s no clear answer. Emailing the letter has the advantage of speed; the letter will arrive same-day, and your interviewers will see it while you’re fresh in their minds. On the other hand, snail mailing it is more formal. Use the potential employer’s behavior as a guide: How formal have they been in their communications to you? Go with your gut. Whether you email or snail mail, you should send the letter on the same day as the interview.

    If you decide to correspond by email, that doesn’t mean go casual! You should still use the formalities you would use in snail mail correspondence. Consider email as just a method of delivery, having no bearing on the content of the letter. The body of the email should be formatted like a business letter would be.
    If you’re mailing it old school, do not handwrite. Use a word processor for both the letter and envelope and print on nice paper. Again, use a traditional business letter format.
    Send a letter to each person with whom you interviewed. It is not necessary that each letter be completely different, but make sure you’re not just sending a form letter to each person. For example, if you met with one person at 9 am, say it was wonderful meeting you “this morning,” if you had lunch with another interviewer, reference your conversation “over lunch.” If your interview file contains five copies of the same thank you letter, that won’t reflect well on your judgment or diligence.

    Keep it short and simple. Use short sentences, simple phrasing. Remember, this letter is a reflection of how you write — and brief and direct writing is preferred in all business contexts. And of course — proofread! Potential employers will use mistakes in correspondence against you.

    Stress information you want them to consider when making their decision. Whether it came out in the interview or not, now’s your time to (re)iterate. Have experience that suits this job perfectly? Mention it again: “My experience as a [former position] at [former company] would serve me well at your company.” Be sure to express your enthusiasm for the job — they want to know that if they offer you a position, you’ll take it.

    Here’s an example:

    [Your name and address]

    [Interviewer’s name and business address]

    Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

    Thank you for an enjoyable and informative interview on [date]. I appreciated the opportunity to speak with you about the firm over lunch.

    My time at Dewey, Cheatham & Howe confirmed my initial impression of the firm as one which provides its attorneys with a challenging work environment and an opportunity to work on a variety of interesting matters. I hope that I was able to convey my strong desire to join your firm as an associate.

    I particularly enjoyed our conversation about the firm’s recent handling of X contract matter. Dewey, Cheatham & Howe’s reputation as the premier law firm for government contracts disputes is what first interested me in this position, and my experience at Lohan LLP handling similar matters would serve me well in a position at your firm.

    Once again, thank you for your time. I am extremely interested in Dewey, Cheatham & Howe and look forward to hearing from you soon.


    [signature if snail-mailed]

    Marcia Clarke

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    Posted on 24/10/2014 by | 0 comments

    …compared to men’s. Based on the language commonly used in recommendation letters for women versus men, a University study concluded that employers viewed men’s recommendation letters more favourably.

    The language describing women in letters is more “communal” — words like “affectionate,” “helpful,” and “kind.” Men are more often described as “confident,” “aggressive,” and “outspoken.”

    The more communally-based the language in the recommendation letter, the study found, the less favourably employers view the recommendation. This means that the words more commonly used to describe men leave a better impression on employers.

    There are a few issues here. First, is the language in the recommendations prompted by traditional concepts of gender roles and attributes, rather than a faithful depiction of the female job applicant’s best qualities? The more the language is premised on traditional attitudes, the more unfair this practice is.

    Second, do employers improperly value aggressiveness over team-driven traits? Probably. Certainly some jobs require aggressive, outspoken people. But I’d be willing to guess that in most jobs, the collaborative effort is what counts more.

    In any event, the study’s findings aren’t good for women. Whatever the reason, women are more often praised for their kindness, ability to work as a team, and nurturing qualities. And employers are more inclined to pick the “aggressive” candidate over the “nurturing”

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  • 10 Things NOT to Do When Interviewing for Jobs

    Posted on 09/10/2014 by | 0 comments

    It’s an unavoidable reality that employers will nix a job candidate for the slightest of reasons. Interviews can be short and may provide few opportunities for interviewers to truly distinguish between potential hires. Because of this difficulty, an employer may use a slight mishap as a quick excuse for rejection.

    Don’t give an employer an easy reason to pick another candidate over you. Stay away from these 10 interviewing blunders.
    1. Wear tons of perfume or cologne

    In fact, you should probably forget the scent completely (make sure you bathe, of course). Lots of people are allergic to perfumes and colognes, and strong scents can be offensive even without allergies. You will never get rejected for not wearing perfume — but the same assurance can’t be given if the interviewer can smell you before you walk in the door.

    2. Ramble

    An interviewer wants to see that you can follow direction, and an easy test is whether you answer the question that’s asked. Be personable and reasonably comprehensive in your answers, but do not go on and on and on and on. Let the interviewer direct the interview — don’t hog all the time by giving a treatise on why you’re best for the job.

    3. Interrupt the interviewer

    Interrupting the interviewer might communicate two things about you: 1. You lack social graces. 2. You have no qualms at undermining supervisors. Neither is good.

    4. Listen to your iPod or make phone calls while waiting

    I know it can be boring if an interviewer keeps you waiting, but making calls or listening to headphones just looks unprofessional. Sit quietly and review your notes (or look at unrelated scribbles as if you’re reviewing notes). And be gracious about the wait.

    5. Offer negative information about yourself

    Never do this. You might think that it enhances your credibility, but the little amount it may help your appearance of honesty is totally outweighed by the bomb you just dropped about yourself. This often comes up if the interviewer asks to share your greatest weakness. Share something that is completely abstract (“I’m prone to compromise, and sometimes that can hurt me when I need to stick to my guns”) rather than something the interviewer can negatively connect with actual job requirements (“I’m always late” or “I procrastinate”).

    6. Badmouth a former employer

    Trash-talking a professional contact is always a bad idea — you never know who knows each other, who’s worked together, and it leaves the potential employer assuming you’d do the same against them. And talking badly about someone else generally makes the speaker look bad. Remember that old rule, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all? There you go.

    7. Wear heavy makeup

    Your real self should shine through — and not be buried under a thick coating of makeup. Heavy make up is distracting, and it may announce to your interviewer that you spend too much time thinking about surface matters, rather than the important stuff.

    8. Forget information in your resume

    Anything you give to the employer, you should know cold. Don’t stumble over things in your resume when asked about them at an interview. Your resume is all about you, and if you can’t even get that down, an employer would be worried about ever sending you to represent the company to potential clients.

    9. Fail to follow up afterwards

    You should always send a thank you letter to interviewers as a way to show your social graces, remind them of you, and impress them once again with your succinct and clear writing. Read our advice about sending post-interview thank you letters.

    10. Chew gum or eat once you set foot in the building

    You need to show that you mean business, and that you can set aside your own comfort or habits in that pursuit. Plus, having bits of candy stuck to your mouth or crumbs on your suit or sticky hands when you shake is bad news.

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  • How to Find a Job on Twitter

    Posted on 05/10/2014 by | 0 comments

    Our readers are savvy, so I don’t need to wax poetic about the connections you can build through social media. But did you know that you can take your job search to Twitter? And that it’s a primary tool for many in the career industry?

    We’ve gathered a list of can’t-miss resources so that you can jump on the bandwagon and take your job search to Twitter.
    1. TwitJobSearch — a Twitter job search engine

    A simple search describing the type of job you’re looking for will yield tons of results — and often high-paying positions. You can also filter for location, full-time or part-time status, and skills required.

    2. How to: Find a Job on Twitter — Mashable

    A comprehensive guide to finding a job on Twitter, from getting your profile in order to where to find the job openings. Strongly recommended.

    3. 11 Twitter Tips: Job Search in 140 Characters —

    This article provides ideas on how to get yourself out there in the tweeting world, so that you’ll be noticed by the people you want to work for.

    4. TweetMyJobs — Twitter job notification engine

    If you sign up with this service, you can get relevant job listings sent right to your mobile phone. But be careful — with 1.2 million job posting last month, be sure to keep your focus narrow.

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    Posted on 28/09/2014 by | 0 comments

    If you’ve been shortlisted for an interview, congratulations.  It’s always great to win an opportunity of an interview.

    Job interviews can vary from having to speak to one person, through to facing panels of up to nine people, as I’ve done.   Alternatively, you might be presented with a problem facing the company and asked questions to test how well you’d deal with it.   You must remain calm in order to present your talents at their optimum.  Here’s some help to stay calm in any interview.


    Whether you’re facing a job interview, or a few thousand at a conference, the principles of conquering nervousness are the same.

    Within my Public Speaking Success e-Program you’ll read that it’s almost all down to the preparation – of your material and of your self. You can’t possibly feel confident or calm if you’re neither competent nor informed.


    I will say that it’s totally appropriate to ask questions about the selection process you’ll face, including:

    * Who will interview you, how many, what are their roles?

    * How long will the interview take?

    * Is there a written component to the interview?

    * Is it task-based or more exploratory?


    Imagine that between now and your interview you think:

    I’m not good enough;

    I don’t really have the skills they want;

    I’ll be really, really nervous like I was last interview;

    Thinking those thoughts can make them a reality.

    When you do the following, you can realistically start to re-write the negative with the positives.

    1. Remind yourself that you’ve been selected for interview because you have what the employer seeks.

    2. Divide a sheet of paper in three. In the first column write the key selection criteria. In the middle write questions related to the skills, experience, qualifications and attributes sought. A great site to source some likely questions is Ask people who’ve applied for similar jobs for help. In the third write your answers.

    3. Strategies are applicable to your job interview, so use your answers as the script for your visualising success exercise.

    4. Enlist the aid of a friend or family member to let you practise a run-through of the interview questions and your answers.

    5. Ask for constructive feedback. Re-do the interview practice if necessary.

    Once you feel that you’re ready to answer questions clearly and concisely, you’ll automatically send that positive message to your subconscious mind. When you hear your calm and confident answers you can start to construct what we call your non-anxious reality for your subconscious mind.
    Remember to listen to that cool, calm and confident voice. That positive memory is a key to replacing your fears of failure with your visions of success.


    That voice, that calm person, is you. The unafraid you. S/he can automatically re-emerge in the interview once you’ve realised that your nervousness is a result of only one thing.

    Your thoughts.  Your thoughts of the last time you were nervous, even terrified. Just remembering, re-living the last time you were anxious and nervous brings back the symptoms of fear!

    To prepare for a great interview, remember the opposite. Remember your calm confidence at the practice interview.

    Every day before the interview visualise how relaxed and happy you’ll be in that interview. Send the first flutter of butterflies or nervousness away by this simple mental ‘trick’.

    1. Say.   STOP!

    2. Smile.

    3. Breathe in deeply through your nose. Feel the breath slowly go down to your belly. Breathe out.

    4. Think to yourself. “I’ll be wonderful”


    Most offices have hot water. Fill your glass with hot water, let it cool. Just two sips of warm water before your interview will instantly dispel all nervousness. It’s magic. Sip warm water throughout your interview to re-inforce your calm. As always, to your continued happiness and success.

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  • 5 Most Overused Resume Buzzwords

    Posted on 27/09/2014 by | 0 comments

    LinkedIn came up with a list of the 10 most overused words and phrases in resumes, using 85 million LinkedIn profiles as its data. Top 5 on that list: extensive experience, innovative, motivated, results-oriented, and dynamic. Their lesson? Use a thesaurus!

    But I don’t think this list gets at the heart of the problem. “Innovative” might be an appropriate word when used to describe the solution you invented for a specific problem, but not when used in a string of generalized mumbo-jumbo. The key is to avoid generic descriptions that might apply to anyone’s work experience and highlight what sets you apart.

    Be specific about your accomplishments. Don’t say “gained extensive experience in social media marketing”; instead say “created a comprehensive social media marketing plan from the ground up by using demographic and market research.” Describe the technology you used. Don’t say you gained experience, show it. Using specific examples rather than generic, conclusory statements is the way to go. And if you happen to use the word “dynamic” in those examples, so be it! (Although I agree that “extensive experience” and “results-oriented” should be retired, forever.)

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    Posted on 27/09/2014 by | 0 comments

    I, like many women, are in that shaky part of life where it is time to find the perfect job. Struggling with it, I saw some similarities of my recent excursion into online dating.

    “I’ll bet the rules of dating apply here.”

    Indeed they do…
    1. Don’t wait until you are ready; start now.

    It’s okay to hang out with Mr. Right-Now for a little while, but that doesn’t mean you should stop looking. Translation: The it-pays-the-bills (IPTB) job is fine as long as you are actively seeking your true passion. Don’t wait until you want it so bad you can’t stand it. Start right now.

    2. Be prepared, always.

    Keep your hair sexy and lip-gloss on, even if you are running to the grocery store. Translation: Always carry business cards. And make sure they have your personal brand, not the IPTB job. Even a trip to the grocery store might net you an interview. (It did for me a month ago!)

    3. Try different profiles to see what you get.

    If they are running a special and you can get some free time online, post a few different profiles. Make them all about you, but from different angles and using different writing styles. Translation: Rewrite your resume as much as you want. Make one that highlights your clever, witty side, one that is ultra-conservative, one that plays up your volunteer work. (I even have a resume in rhyme.)

    4. Show interest in every man who looks okay.

    You can’t know everything from a person’s online profile. If he looks remotely good, give him a “wink” and see what happens. Translation: Apply, apply, apply. Keep a handful of different paragraphs that can be mixed and matched for your cover letter. Streamline the process and see who bites.

    5. Research before the first date.

    Google him, check him on Facebook and/or LinkedIn. Make sure he’s not creepy-dude. Translation: Once you land the interview, read the company’s website and Google them. Are they on best or worst companies to work for lists? Do they have a good image?

    6. Be you.

    You don’t want to end up in a committed relationship with someone who thinks you are someone else. Don’t show your freakiest side, yet, but do make sure he sees that there may be one. Translation: If you are inclined to sing and skip in the office, don’t act crazy conservative. Wear a suit, but make sure your sparkly camouflage socks show. (I have two pair of these.)

    7. Show interest, but only if you are interested.

    If you are into him, show it. But if you are not, don’t lead him on. It will be harder to get rid of him in the long run. Translation: If you like the job, say it. If it’s not for you, don’t fake it. If they make you an offer based on feigned excitement, you’ll be stuck.

    8. Don’t do IT on the first date.

    You won’t like yourself in the morning and neither will he. Translation: If you talk money on the first interview, nobody will walk away happy. The idea of “if the money’s not right, then there’s no sense in moving forward” is rubbish. If it is a good fit, you’ll figure it out.

    9. Learn from the date.

    If you realize five minutes into the first glass of wine that he’s not, and never will be, Mr. Right, use the date as a learning experience. He just might have some neat qualities you want to put on your “want” list. And he might exhibit some new deal breakers. Translation: If you see for sure you don’t want the job (and it won’t work for an IPTB job), enjoy the interview as practice. Ask some questions that you have been considering asking employers but were afraid of how they might land. See what happens.

    10. Don’t settle.

    If you want someone to take you to dinner and a play occasionally, keep him around, but don’t commit. If he’s not Mr. Right, don’t make him (or you) think he is. Translation: If it isn’t the dream job and you need an IPTB job, take it but keep looking. Don’t try to convince yourself that this is good enough for your career.

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