Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays

The holidays are upon us. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and wonderful holiday season.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Resumes that Increase Interview Opportunities

Looking for a new job or wanting to change jobs? Here are some tips for preparing a resume that will get you noticed:
  • Use a heading that includes your name (typed in bold and capitals), address, phone number (where you can be reached easily), and a professional-sounding email address.
  • Limit the resume to one or two pages--employers do not have time to read through several pages no matter how much experience you have.
  • Use a current style--check one of the many resume books or find a sample online.
  • Add a summary of your skills and accomplishments in two or three sentences at the top of your resume in place of a job objective.
  • List your work experiences chronologically backwards, highlighting accomplishments instead of just listing tasks. Limit work experience to the last ten years. Do not include irrelevant work experience.
  • Make sure your achievements stand out--you don't want them to be overlooked.
  • Show that you can deliver results and solve problems--demonstrate your skills through examples.
  • Use numbers, dollars, and percentages where possible.
  • Customize the resume to the specific ad you are answering or to the position you want.
  • Make your resume internet friendly by eliminating bullets, underlines, and fancy fonts.
  • Eliminate personal information such as health and marital status.
  • Proofread carefully and then have someone else proofread for you.
Once you polish your resume, send it out to as many places as possible. It cannot do the job if it is not circulated.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Meet Deadlines

Since it is tax day, I thought I would give some tips for meeting deadlines. One of the biggest obstacles to meeting deadlines is procrastination. It is one thing to know you have to do something, but it is another thing entirely to motivate yourself to do it. If you are not passionate about doing the task (and I assume you are not passionate about doing your taxes), you will have a difficult finishing the task on deadline.

Here are questions to ask yourself when you have a deadline looming:
  • Can I break down this task into smaller parts?
  • What will I gain by putting off this task?
  • What will I gain by completing this task?
  • What will happen if I miss the deadline for this task?
  • What would make me take action on this task?
  • What one step can I take to start this task? (Oftentimes getting started is the hardest step.)
  • Can anyone help me with the task? (If so, solicit his or her help.)
  • Can anyone else cheer me on?
  • How will I feel when this task is completed?
Actions to take include:
  • Find a reason to get excited about doing the task. (This can even be as simple as rewarding yourself in some way when the task is completed.)
  • Create a to-do list and set priorities.
  • Schedule important work first.
  • Take a step toward completing the task and then take another one.
  • Focus on one task at a time.
  • Eliminate distractions.
  • Hold yourself accountable.
  • Do something; get started.
  • Find a way to push yourself to complete the task.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Promote Career Success

Spring is coming. Don't be fooled by thinking career success will automatically happen without input on your part. Career success needs to be cultivated and attended to daily. Here are some things to do every day to make sure you are promoting career success:

  • Plan for your advancement by writing down your goals.
  • Maintain a positive attitude.
  • Do something every day to add value to your company. This can be as simple as doing the best job you can do each day.
  • Do more than required.
  • Look for solutions to problems.
  • Maintain a professional demeanor.
  • Be a results-oriented employee.
  • Make yourself valuable to your boss.
  • Hone your leadership skills.
  • Ask your boss to evaluate your work and provide feedback.
  • Ask if there is anything else you can do be valuable to your boss.
  • Steer clear of gossips and troublemakers.
  • Get along with everyone in the workplace.
By maintaining a "success" mindset, you can steer your career in the right direction. What steps have you taken to ensure your career success?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Choose a Mentor Who Will Help You Succeed in Your Career

If possible, find a mentor who is willing to teach you what you need to know and do in order to attain your goal(s). This mentor should be someone who has the character traits you admire and who is in a position you aspire to hold or is doing what you hope to do. He or she should give you straightforward information and honest, positive critiques. You don’t want someone who says, “Yes, you are wonderful,” without providing proper guidance and criticism that will mold you into the person you hope to be.

How do you find a mentor? 
  • Network, network, network. You have to put yourself out there and ask for help. Most people are willing to help others
  • Join groups and seek successful members.
  • Observe others in the workplace. Who would be the best person from which to learn?
  •  Take a class, get a tutor, or hire a coach.

Your mentor should be an expert in the area in which you want to learn. In addition, he/she should be able to teach; that is, get information across in an easy-to-understand way. Some people are experts in their fields, but they cannot convey information to others clearly.

Modeling successful people who have achieved what you want provides a readymade road map to reach your goals.

Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 Career Assessment and Setting 2014 Career Goals

Where did 2013 go? I mean literally where did it go? How did you spend your time in 2013 while on the job? Did you:

  • Contribute to the best of your ability?
  • Manage your time and keep yourself organized?
  • Value learning and embrace new technology?
  • Perform each task with efficiency and in a timely manner?
  • Make yourself stand out in a positive way?
  • Connect positively with the boss, coworkers, and customers?
  • Accomplish everything you set out to do career wise?
  • Advance appropriately on the job?

Your answers to the above questions can help you prepare for a stellar 2014 career.  As we head into the new year, I will be blogging about making yourself indispensable at work—giving yourself that edge over the competition and earning a rewarding career.