Thursday, 2 July 2009

Know your strengths

It is important to understand your strengths when looking for a new job.

Monday, 22 June 2009


Okay so you have lost your job. Perhaps you know your job is going to be lost. Either way you decide to update your resume. You work and work on it and finally it is ready to be sent out to and

Then you hard drive crashes. You loose your updated resume.

I should know, it just happened to me.

So not only do you need to restore your hard drive, but then need to rebuild your resume.

I like saving a copy of my resume on an email account such as hotmail. This way, if my hard drive crashes or if my house burns down, I still have my resume.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

References on a Resume

Many people wonder if they should be including references in their resume. Some favor adding them, others shy away.

With resume's being posted online at websites such as or, identity theft becomes a concern. Also email harvesting programs often target these web sites in order to add to spam lists.

So, I lean towards leaving them off of your resume. Most online job applications allow you to enter in references so they are not needed on your resume.

Friday, 29 May 2009


It's Friday. Thought I would lighten things up just a bit today.

Why is it that many companies still think it's better to let people go on a Friday?

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Family issues and your job search

Normal life places stress, anxiety and concerns on a family. When unemployed, the added burden of a job search can be extremely difficult to handle. In addition to the normal personal issues an unemployed sole provider will also have the following concerns:
A. Family
B. Couple
C. Children
D. Money
E. Time

The family can deal better with a career transition if you can use some of the below tips:
  1. Learn to distinguish things that you can change and those that are beyond your control.
  2. Work together as a family on solutions to minimize stress.
  3. Keep in mind how you dealt with stress in the past.
  4. Find solutions to problems - don't blame someone or something else.
  5. Remain realistic.
  6. Keep in mind that more stress may come from your reaction to a situation than
    from the situation itself.
  7. Find help when you feel overwhelmed. Don't try to deal with stress alone.
  8. Keep your sense of humor.
  9. Try to keep a positive attitude about situations and yourself.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Reason for leaving statement

You need to be prepared when asked for the reason for leaving you previous job. If you don't have a clear, smooth answer, it will impact your chance of getting a new job.

Here is a straight forward reason for leaving example. You will want to prepare your own reason for leaving statement and practice saying it over and over so it becomes second nature to recite.

Always avoid using negatively charged words such as “unfortunately.”

Like many tech organizations, my company is going through a major restructuring. Due to the economic downturn, many IT functions are being combined. This has meant the elimination of many positions, including mine. I am proud of my contributions to my company during my years there, and am looking at this as an opportunity to put my technical strengths and experience to work in a new environment.

(insert company name here) has been impacted by the global recession. As a result, (insert company name here) has restructured many of their internal positions. As a result, my job was eliminated. I value my 10 years with (insert company name here) and have benefited by working on both small and large multinational teams. My experience with (insert company name here) has increased my business strength and I look forward to new opportunities.

Three elements of resume accomplishments

You want your resume to stand out from the crowd. To do that you need to make sure that you write personal accomplishments that make a memorable impact. You want to let the person reviewing your resume that you fit the job requirements with little to no additional training required.

Remember that employers are looking for people with your skill sets. Your job is to make it easy for them to find you and to understand the value you can bring to their organization.

The best way to do this is by including accomplishments presented confidently and assertively. Your resume is not the place to be modest. It is the place to promote you, your strengths and illustrate your contributions to past employers.

To maximize this, you should emphasize accomplishments rather than responsibilities. Responsibilities are the duties assigned to you. Accomplishments are what you personally achieved with that responsibility.

When writing your accomplishments, you need to focus on the following three elements.

1. Active, action verbs.
2. What you personally accomplished.
3. Benefit to the employer of what you did.

Action verbs include words such as “Reduced / Increased, Led, Created, Developed” etc. These verbs make a greater impact on the reader than words such as, “Assigned to or Responsible for”. Remember that active verbs leave a stronger impression than passive verbs.

Don’t forget to include personal achievements that emphasize what you contributed to achieving the benefit. Do not to understate your part.

It is also appropriate at times to include general benefits to employers are. For example, increasing customer loyalty or satisfaction, increasing efficiency and reducing costs are all appropriate accomplishments and can be included.

Examples of Accomplishments:

  1. Employee of the month 3 months in a row.
  2. Increased customer satisfaction by developing a thorough knowledge of company’s policies and products and by maintaining a professional presence in the office and on the telephone.
  3. Ensured customer satisfaction by verifying account reconciliations for accuracy.
  4. Ensured efficient workflow by modifying procedures and staffing.
  5. Effectively trained staff in the reconciliation and adjustments process.
  6. Earned achievement award for excellence by supervisor.
  7. Earned outstanding attendance award.

Some things to consider when preparing your accomplishments.

  1. Did you create or implement a new procedure, protocol or system?
  2. Did you solve a major problem?
  3. Did you save the company money?
  4. Did you identify / implement a better way of doing a procedure?
  5. Did you train any staff?
  6. Did you receive any special acknowledgment or awards?
  7. Did you participate in any recent company sponsored training?
  8. Were you involved in any special projects?
  9. Did you surpass your assigned goals or objectives?
  10. Did your job performance exceed past performance?

Monday, 25 May 2009

Resume Action Verbs - Communication

Here are some strong action words that you can use in your resume to describe communication skills.


Resume Action Verbs - Accounting & Financial Management

Here are some strong action words that you can use in your resume to describe Accouting and financial management skills.


Resume Action Verbs - Customer Service

Here are some strong action words that you can use in your resume to describe customer service skills.

Customer Service
Human Relations

Resume Action Verbs - Detail & Follow Through

Here are some strong action words that you can use in your resume to describe detail and follow up / through tasks


Sunday, 24 May 2009

Reason for Leaving Statement

Friends, neighbors, and colleagues may already be asking you, “What happened with your job?”

You will hear this question frequently as you launch your search. You need to be prepared to answer it capably, regardless of who asks it. Therefore, one of the first things you will do is develop a response that is truthful and acceptable to you, and to your previous and prospective employers.

You probably will edit your Reason for Leaving Statement several times.

When drafting your statement, please consider these 4 points:

Keep it short and factual - The more you try to explain, the more difficult your explanation becomes. Also be prepared to answer follow up questions, but only if they are asked.

Be positive - Negative statements about your former boss or employing organization will only hurt you.

Put Your Best Foot Forward - A number of factors result in someone leaving a job. Pick the one reason that is most positive, accurate and easiest to explain.

What It Takes to Succeed

First, believe that you will succeed in your campaign to find a new job.

Take Stock of Yourself
Identify your current strengths, past successes, personal preferences and your overall work style.

Redefine Your Career Objective
Base your career objectives upon your greatest strengths. Be clear, focused and realistic.

Make a Dynamic Presentation
Your resume and individual presentation must show you at your highest level of
effectiveness. Be positive, strong but sill adaptable to a variety of situations.

Create a Strategic Self-Marketing Plan
A strategic plan helps you use your time efficiently, and is essential to the successful outcome of your career search.

Build a Career Contact Network
Identify and capitalize on your business relationships. They are vital resources.

Polish Your Interviewing and Negotiating Skills
Effective oral skills are imperative to landing lucrative job offers. Practice outloud your responses in front of a mirror to not only hear how you respond, but also see what you look like while responding to questions.

Be Thorough and Persistent in Managing Your Search
Create your plan and follow it. Writing effective letters, conducting productive meetings
and follow up on opportunities. Your total commitment to implementing your plan will
ensure in a successful outcome.

Marketing your Talents

When you are unemployed you want to maintain a positive attitude. A healthy mind a body. Try to establish healthy mental and physical routines.

First always treat your job search as a full time job. You need to commit yourself totally to conducting a disciplined, vibrant search for employment.

Be sure to use strong time management skills (i.e. -use your time wisely).

Broaden your desirability by taking on a personal or professional improvement project. Be sure to balance this with your job search. Choose a project that requires only a minimum of prime-time work hours. You might volunteer for community work or take an evening course at a local college. Set a goal for growth and pursue it – without letting it interfere with your job search.

Keep yourself healthy by eating well and regularly exercising. Exercise will help you maintain your energy levels, manage stress, and project a positive image to key contacts and potential employers.

Finally always maintain the right attitude. Be positive and open. Don’t dwell on bad news like unemployment rates. Focus on trends in the work world, especially those in your area of special
interest or competency.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Plan to Grow Old Much Later in Life!

A recent survey of 3,000 Baby Boomers in 2008 reported 71% intend to keep working.

Other interesting facts....

  1. 66% of people hope to work in new professions

  2. Average Boomers expect to live into their eighties

  3. Retires can expect 30-40 years in New Lifestyle

  4. Boomers (70-80 million) will transform retirement

What does all this mean?

New Model of Life/Work balance with longer, more active lifestyle and freedom for you to plan options

Gathering Information

Gather Information to help you decide on your Course and Map a Strategy

When mapping you strategy you need to gather information to help you decide on your best course of actiong.

Some things to consider are...

Do you want to be in the same or new position?
How long until you want to retire?
Do you want to be an entrepreneur or work for someone else?
What type of work do you want? Part-Time / Consultant work / Temp work?
Where do you want to work? Non-PROFIT sector or public sector?

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Opportunities of change

Loosing you job can provide you with some unique opportunities if you are open to them.
  1. Reestablishing purpose
  2. Confidence based on personal strengths
  3. Freedom & flexibility in use of time
  4. Defining a new future
  5. New possibilities for income by exploring different careers
  6. New family closeness
  7. Creating conditions of being accepted
  8. Social networking opportunities - new ways of meeting people
  9. Focusing on a better future
  10. Chance to learn something new by returning to school
  11. Creating a new structure and security

Dangers of Change

When you loose your job you can experience many of the below negative emotions and concerns.
  1. Loss of self confidence
  2. Loss of purpose
  3. Not knowing the future
  4. No place to go to regularity
  5. Financial concerns
  6. Family issues
  7. Being rejected
  8. Loss of social network and contacts
  9. Feeling resentment about the past
  10. Uncertantity
  11. Loss of structure and security

Having someone to speak with can help you move through these emotions in a healthy way.

Stages Of Transition

There are three main stages of job transitioning…. Endings, Neutral Zone, and New Opportunities

In the endings phase you may experience some or all of the following...


Eventually you will move to a neutral position. In this stage, you may experience.....

Looking Back
Un Focused
Unclear Goals

Finally you will move to the new opportunities phase where you will experience....

Looking Forward

As a person moves from each stage it is not uncommon to move back and forth as you work through the stages. The key is to take each day seperately and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Manage Your Transition

Loosing a job is a very traumatic event. You need to manage your transition from your existing job to a new job. You can do this by assessing your reality.

You have to end your one job before you can begin a new job. Ending a job is not necessarily the last day you work but rather the last day you are unprepared to start seeking out new employment. You don’t want to rush it; at first, take some time to understand your unique situation & possibilities. Figure out who you are.

Between the ending & making a new beginning, there is a gap, a window of opportunity. Use the gap to consider your strengths, values and dreams. This will allow you to identify options that you may not have been aware of. Don’t be afraid to be creative and “think outside the box” to find a “best fit”.

When you build your transition plan, go through it at your own speed; however, don’t ignore tools and strategies that can help maximize outcomes.

Rethink your work habits and begin to develop strategies.

1. Learn to see every situation – as a market. Identify the customers. What are they looking for? What are the changes going on that have left needs unmet or created new needs? What are the niches and interfaces in the market’ that are not being well serviced? What is the product or service needed- that matches your strengths?

2. Forget the traditional idea of qualification. The only things that count are that you really desire to do something, that you have the skills/abilities required to do it, that you are temperamentally suited to the environment in which it must be done.

3. Think of yourself as a small business, a one-person organization with a marketing capability, an R&D effort, a watchful eye to keep your prices down, and a strategic plan for selling your product while maintaining your benefits package. Think of yourself as “You INC.” – as you write up your own business ‘action’ plan.