Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

You’re a Manager…so manage your job search!

Posted on: March 1st, 2014

A management tool is a critical part of your toolkit that many people ignore because they feel it is not necessary or that they can use their email Sent box as an effective way to stay on top of job applications and relevant communications. The reasons for managing your job search include: having a timeline so that you know when to follow up on a submission; ensuring you don’t apply to the same position five different times; monitoring trends of the kinds of positions that you like or the companies that seem to be doing the most hiring in the industries that you are interested in. Additionally, your ability to self-manage is now a highly sought after skill by many employers. You are building your skill set in this regard. This should give you confidence in what can be a frustrating and timely pursuit – finding that elusive dream job.

I use a simple spreadsheet that allows me to track my actions, record employer or company names and add links so that I can quickly reference the company or job opportunity should I need to. I often copy/paste summary details into the job postings column and manage hundreds of postings at a time. You can also leave comments and tasks for yourself to keep things moving forward at all times.

 

Job Postings Employer Website Contact
Bookkeeper

 

 Archstone HTRCareers.com Applied online March 14; follow up via email week of March 21
Accountant KPMG Monster.com Applied February 5; followed up on February 17 – will email for interviews week of May 1
Accounting Instructor DeVry Institute Devry.com Heard from a friend they are hiring for September; visit website first week of May

Guerilla Management Job Search 101

Posted on: February 28th, 2014

Guerilla tactics is a term borrowed from guerilla marketing. It is the practice of using unconventional means to serve a promotional or marketing strategy such as a branded hot air balloon dropping free product samples at a local fair. These “outside the box” ideas are often innovative, non-mainstream tactics that are used in the promotion of an idea, event, product or service.

The concept is powerful and important to job searching as it calls attention to the idea that you can create opportunities for yourself by using your imagination and demonstrating your value. It also shows that you are confident and willing to take some risks by being aggressive and working outside the norm.

Know your audience before trying any unconventional approaches. For example, in my experience, not-for-profit or events based organizations are somewhat more receptive to unconventional approaches as compared to traditional corporations which have a very conservative, mainstream corporate culture.

I have used such tactics in the past to create employment opportunities for myself, once with a proposal to a not-for-profit organization in one of North America’s worst “ghetto” communities. This contributed to raising close to $250,000 to help our organization hire full time staff and assist members of that community start small businesses.

On another occasion I volunteered to do a marketing report for a Sports Hall of Fame. This got a foot in the door and then I pitched them on a full-time position that I created to address the opportunities that I identified in the marketing report. I used PowerPoint to create a presentation based on my positive impact on the organization over a six month period so the hiring team could envision the organization with the benefits of my work and picture me as part of the team.

Employment Proposal Sample

3)            Proposed Employment Arrangement

Title Options: Managing Director; Director of Fundraising and Business Development

(or similar; key consideration is weight that is required to get attention and traction with high level executives e.g. new sponsors)

This role is for the person responsible for fundraising and business development activities, and  management duties including reporting to chair and trustees.

Status: Permanent, Full-Time

Start Date: Immediately

This is desirable as the nature of the work is relationship based and the Hall will benefit from a dedicated human resource to lead the new initiatives and provide leadership and management where needed. I am able to start immediately.

Remuneration

Given not-for-profit status of BCSHF and other considerations of the Hall, I am proposing a below market rate salary of $38,000 – $42,000 (with benefits or whatever standard management receives).  While a salaried arrangement would be favorable, a contract would also serve as an excellent next step to move forward.

4)            Employment Approach and Deliverables

A relationship based approach to fundraising including personal and group presentations will prove successful for individuals and corporations alike. Additionally, I have many relationships which I would like to introduce to BCSHF and proposal generation can begin immediately (e.g. corporate sponsorship).  Each program or project will be managed through to execution and will include ongoing or follow up reporting of the success measures of the initiative.

How to Write an Effective Cover Letter

Posted on: February 27th, 2014

Cover letters are used for personalizing an application and provide a platform for you to really sell yourself to the reader. This can be a powerful component to getting an interview which is one of your basic objectives in your job search.

A simple three paragraph method to follow when doing cover or application letters is as follows:

First Paragraph:

State the job you are applying for and where you found the posting

Middle Paragraph:

State what you have to offer the employer and mention why your skills and experience are a good fit for the job. Keep this paragraph down to 3-4 sentences

Last Paragraph:

Say thank you to the hiring manager for considering you and mention how it’s best to reach you and when you will be following up with them

Always include:

Your Personal Information
:

First Name, Last Name, 
Street, Address, 
City, State, Zip Code, 
Phone Number, 
Email

Employer Contact Information:


Name, 
Title, 
Company
 Address, 
City, State, Zip Code

Salutation:


Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name or Dear Hiring Manager:

Complimentary Close:

Sincerely,

=======

Sample Cover Letter

Date

Your Name, Your Address, Your City, State, Zip Code, Your Phone Number, Your Email

Company Name 
Address 
City, State, Zip Code

——

Dear Hiring Manager:

This letter is to express my interest in discussing the Senior Customer Service Manager position posted on the XYZ Company website. The opportunity presented in this listing is very appealing, and I believe that my experience and education will make me a competitive candidate for this position.

The key strengths that I possess for success in this position include, but are not limited to, the following: Provide exceptional contributions to customer service for all customers by???; Strive for continued excellence by ????; Strong communication skills as demonstrated when I ???? (always provide examples or evidence)

I can be reached anytime via my cell phone, 555-555-5555. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you about this employment opportunity.

Sincerely,

First Name Last Name

Traditional Resume vs. Video Resume

Posted on: February 26th, 2014

A resume is a document that contains personal information and a summary of relevant job experience, education and training for job search or career advancement purposes. You may want to consider more than one version of your resume if you are applying for different positions in a range of industries. As a sales tool, it should generate interest in your reader quickly and deliver the required information. Take advantage of the many free samples online if you need presentation ideas.

An important first section to a resume is the often overlooked Objective Statement. I believe strongly in the value of this in demonstrating the job searcher’s focus and ability to articulate their wants. It is often the first part of the resume that is read so it’s a significant part of the first impression formed about you. Here are a few examples to show a range in effort and quality:

JOB OBJECTIVE

To work as a web developer/programmer on the west coast.

(Software Developer)

vs.

Objective:

To work with an INTERNET and ADVERTISING Agency who’s whole consists of individual talents whom have chosen to work together, and alongside clients, on MARKETING oriented adventures.

(Marketing Assistant or Account Representative)

vs.

OBJECTIVE:

To secure employment in management and/or administrative capacity with a dynamic organization and to leverage my experience and expertise to exceed performance measures and add significant value to key functions such as product/service development, sales and marketing and community development

(Business Manager)

 

TIPS > For your Objective Statement:                                      
+ Make sure its the first part of your resume and clearly articulate your wants while sounding professional
+ Use it as a way to suggest your value or strengths
+ Ensure it has a positive tone and reflects some flexibility about you

 

A video resume is a short, pre-recorded video that acts as a way for job seekers to showcase themselves beyond the capabilities of a traditional paper resume. Video resumes, or Video CV in European  terminology, were first introduced in the 1980s but have been challenged by technical and legal issues that relate to employment law and hiring practices. The video resume allows prospective employers to get a feel for how the applicant presents and articulates themselves. They can have value provided they are not used against hiring laws and practices such as discrimination against minorities or disabled people.

Video resumes are now being widely accepted by companies throughout the world and can act as a tool for you to differentiate yourself or to show the employer that you are tech-savvy and engaging. Most managers feel that a video alone does not give an employer enough information about a candidate to make a proper evaluation of the applicant’s potential particularly when it comes to assessing hard skills.  If you want to produce a video resume ensure that it is high quality and well produced. You should be able to make your key points and leave a positive impression in well under five minutes.

Creating your Management Professional Profile

Posted on: February 25th, 2014

All your relevant personal information and career related content can be organized and displayed online to a standard relating to your profession or career. A professional profile is the summary of all this information along with any other career related content that you’ve uploaded for display. Think of it as an interactive rich media premium resume.

Typically, professional networking websites offer a  virtual space or page of a website where you can build a professional profile and communicate:

  • Your background and what skills you have to offer
  • Your objective and what position or opportunities you’re looking for
  • Your professional experience
  • Your educational background and academic achievements
  • Professional and relevant personal interests
  • School, club and community affiliations

 

Remember to update your professional profile regularly with relevant content that will make a positive impression on prospective employers. You can also link to any industry related articles or resources you have authored or created. If you don’t have any original works of your own, try to find some that inspire you or are directly relevant to your current career objective. The result is that recruiters and hiring managers will easily be able to access, with one click, everything they need to know about you including the following: BASIC INFORMATION (Name, Location, Contact Information, Email & Social Media Accounts, etc.); LOOKING FOR/OBJECTIVE; ABOUT  ME; WORK HISTORY; RECENT ACTIVITY AND STATUS; PROFESSIONAL REFERENCES OR RECOMMENDATIONS; MY GROUPS; CERTIFICATIONS & AFFILIATIONS; CONTACTS ; EDUCATION; RESUMES; WORK SAMPLES; PHOTOS; VIDEOS; BLOG; COLLEGE & CLUB AFFILIATIONS

Sample Professional Profile

 

Rohit Bhargava, a social media pioneer, identified ten key categories of information that could be included in a “social media bio” which is a form of a professional profile. A version of his list is as follows:

Bio (biography)

Background on his work experience, including bios of different lengths that can be used for cutting and pasting into blog posts or to serve other need

 

Profiles

Sites where he has created personal or professional profiles that describe his background and experience

 

Appearances

A list of conferences, seminars and events that he has spoken at over the last two years

 

Interviews

Links to interviews he has done for audio or video podcasts, as well as links to guest blog posts he has done on other blogs

 

Publications

A list of white papers, presentations, published articles or any other thoughts on leadership that have been published

 

Favorites

Sites where he’s published a list of favorite websites, blogs or other resources

 

Bookmarks

Similar to the favorites section, but dedicated to republishing common tags he uses in his del.icio.us account which is his primary tool for bookmarking

 

Rankings & Honors

Widgets that show ranking numbers and stats for his blog, as well as a list of honors or awards over the past year

 

Syndication

A list of sites that syndicate content from his blog and republish on their own networks with permission. Unauthorized syndications of content are not included here

 

Tags

Tags that he recommends using to define the content on his blog and index the content on directory or search sites

TIPS > What to do with my Professional Profile?                                      
+ Include your profile url/link in your email signature so that your  profile link is included in your emails, especially to recruiters and important contacts
+ Invite others to review and get feedback from other professionals
+ Promote your profile on your website or blog. Drive traffic to your profile and open the door for more networking opportunities
+ Create interest or buzz by writing about yourself or citing your professional interests, qualifications and involvement on business information or directory sites and search engines such as ZoomInfo.com, Jigsaw.com or Hoovers.com

Thinking beyond the resume…

Posted on: February 24th, 2014

Work Samples or Portfolio

As they say, seeing is believing. This principle is at the core of why we should all be building our portfolios as early as possible in our careers. Pre-computers, portfolios took the form of large binder type folders with pictures of original works or samples of work. The digital era has enabled us to build online portfolios and use technologies to showcase ourselves whether we are accountants, teachers, interior designers or chefs. Real examples of your work communicate the quality of your efforts as well as demonstrating your passion and commitment to your profession. You can also include certifications, awards and any other documents you feel are important in telling your professional story.

A digital portfolio can stand on its own as a website or blog but can also be easily integrated into your professional profile on many leading networking sites.

The Importance of Self Assessment for a Manager

Posted on: February 23rd, 2014

Self Assessment

A self assessment is a simple evaluation that you can do of yourself to get a better understanding of your needs, competencies and weaknesses. You can do this by looking at your actions and productivity and trying to rank your effectiveness of work related performance. This self-perspective is also valued as part of an evaluation process and is a key ingredient in the 360 degree assessment movement where feedback is provided by you, subordinates/peers, and managers as opposed to just a boss. The multiple perspectives allow for a more well-rounded overall assessment.

You may come across assessment tools in the form of surveys or recommendations on some professional networking websites. For example, Joined has developed a Member Recommendations Survey that starts with the following options:

“What is your Work Relationship?”

Self (for self assessment)

Colleague

Manager/Supervisor

By completing the survey, you will have gone through a simple self assessment and will have chosen your top three assets or skills for the following themes: Work Output, Shaping Culture, Communication. The results are then displayed on your profile.

SELF ASSESSMENT SURVEY

 

TOP 3 WORK ASSETS PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
 
X Energy and Passion Demonstrates passion for work through consistent effort and energy in meeting or exceeding performance expectations
X Self-Management
Applies sound management of self by approaching tasks and challenges with planning and execution
X High Achiever Keeps current with best practices where possible while consistently seeking ways to improve performance
 

SHAPING CULTURE

X Team Player Supports a healthy work culture by putting organizational values into practice and adhering to norms
X Leadership Provides leadership on projects and/or programs through actions and is motivated to succeed
X Image Demonstrates professionalism in appearance and conduct and reflects organization’s image
COMMUNICATION

 

X Conflict Management Demonstrates strong personal control and manages personal conflict effectively
X Tech-Savvy Uses current and emerging tools or technologies well to achieve communication and work objectives
X Collaboration Collaborates and cooperates with others to improve quality and address issues

 

 

Management Resume and Profile Advice: Choose your name wisely

Posted on: February 21st, 2014

Email & Social Media Accounts 

When it comes to communication, remember to always keep it professional. At one point in time as a hiring manager, I used to filter out internship requests solely based on the professionalism of candidates’ email addresses as a first criterion. If someone had anything remotely strange or inappropriate, I never even got to their qualifications. While I am not proud of this approach, it was an easy way to exclude about half the candidates who I felt should have taken the two minutes to set up an appropriate email.

Make sure that you have at least one email account that is professional and for job searching. This way all communications can be referenced in one inbox and managed more easily.

GOOD – lacy.j.boneville@gmail.com   BAD – lazy_bonez4eva@gmail.com

 

Social Media Options

The emergence of social media has impacted professional communications greatly. The following table highlights popular communication or content brands that offer a range of services. Many of these are free and thus embraced by companies looking to minimize costs. Most of these brands would be considered part of the social networking domain and not professional networking. However, you should be familiar with these in case you come across them in a professional situation or have to activate an account as part of a future employment.

Brand Description Website
AIM Instant Messenger Service www.aim.com
Blogger Blog Publishing Service www.blogger.com
Delicious Social Bookmarking Service http://delicious.com/
Digg Content Sharing Service http://digg.com/
Facebook Social Networking Community www.facebook.com
Flickr Photo Sharing Service www.flickr.com
Gchat Google Chat Service www.google.com/talk/
Live Windows Email and Chat Service www.live.com/

 

MySpace Social Networking Community http://www.myspace.com/
Skype Phone and Chat Service www.skype.com
Slideshare PowerPoint and Slideshow Service http://www.slideshare.net/
StumbleUpon Content Organization Tool http://www.stumbleupon.com/
Twitter Microblogging Service twitter.com
Youtube Video broadcasting Service http://www.youtube.com/

Your Tools for Success findng a Job in the Management field…Not just a Resume

Posted on: February 20th, 2014

Every job requires tools. This chapter will focus on helping you build your professional profile and fill your toolbox with the tools that you need for your search in today’s job market. I should also preface this with a stern call to action – do your networking online AND offline! The shift towards online recruiting and hirings doesn’t mean that you should sit behind your computer for eight hours a day and think that’s enough. Face-to-face networking, balanced with online efforts, can only help your chances of finding a job and will build relationships that will serve you well over your entire career. Get out there, shake hands and deliver your pitch face-to-face as this is still the most powerful way to make a good impression.

Your Tools for Success! Not just a Resume…

The Tools

Self Assessment
Survey or process of gathering information about yourself and analyzing it in order to help make informed career decisions

SWOT Analysis
Mapping tool that identifies the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

Email & Social Media Accounts
Addresses or relationships involving information shared between a user of a communication service and a service provider or business

Work Samples or Portfolio
Collection of work or representations thereof gathered to showcase your skills and talents

Resume & Video Resume
Brief summary document of your work experience, qualifications and education; a short pre-recorded video offered as a complement to a paper resume

Professional Profile
All information and career related content, organized and displayed online as a summary, relating to a profession

Guerilla Tactics
The practice of using unconventional means of promotion and marketing (and creating opportunities)

Cover Letter
One page personalized document that serves a range of functions during a job search or application process

Management Tool
A spreadsheet or organizational document that allows you to track and update actions and developments during the job search process

Management Tools: SWOT Analysis

Posted on: February 18th, 2014

SWOT Analysis

The SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and is a simple tool comprised of four sections that can be applied to almost any situation in order to better understand the big picture. Part of the value in this tool is that it forces you to self-reflect and work on your self-awareness. Remember these are skills that are in demand in the workplace because they help you identify where you can improve your performance at work and are closely tied to learning and skill acquisition.

For our purposes, the SWOT complements your self assessment and allows you to see a summary of the full picture in one snapshot. It functions as a simple visual mapping of key points. You can refer to this for motivation or in the event that there are questions in an interview that relate to any of these themes. You may be asked for specific strengths and weaknesses at a job interview and completing your job search SWOT will ensure that you have thought about this and prepared a suitable response. It acts as both a personal development tool and an interview preparation tool.

 

SWOT JOB SEARCH

 

STRENGTHS  WEAKNESSES
 

Your skills and how applied

Communication

 

Honest assessment of skills that you are working on or would like to acquire

OPPORTUNITIES  THREATS
 

Training

Mentorships

 

Financial

Other/Lifestyle