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News Flash – Never Take a Break from Being a Professional

Every City, Every Province/State (August 26, 2016) – At exactly 12:01 tonight all major corporations will no longer use social networking as a means of finding new, qualified candidates.

In a recent statement to the press, Every-Major-Corporation-Worldwide made simultaneous headlines with the unanimous decision to “never access popular social networking sites in the effort to recruit qualified, eager candidates.”

In a bid to “try new things” – Every-Major-Corporation-Worldwide agreed it will “no longer access, facilitate, promote or engage” in any social media said Aristocrat Bigshot, Executive of Public Relations and Communications for Every-Major-Corporation-Worldwide. The purpose, according to Mr. Bigshot, is to “go where we’ve never gone before – in the hopes we come back in a different place.”

The fallout is expected to be catastrophic as Everyone-Who-Regularly-Uses-Social Networking – will likely experience high levels of confusion, panic, disillusionment, paranoia and loss of life purpose.

Stay tuned for up-to-the-minute reporting at 12:02 tonight.

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Blast Apart Employment Roadblocks – For Good

Some people get job interviews at the drop of a hat. Some spend huge amounts of time and resources, only to net a few interviews over a lengthy period of time. What separates the two? 

A myriad of things. Here’s a quick take on a few that really matter:

• Do you qualify for the job?

Have you looked – really looked – at the job posting qualifications? It might be the case that some employers upon failing to find their best hire, take to bending the “requirements” a bit. Overall however, you should meet whatever qualifications they list, to a tee. The most important qualifications usually reside at the top and the least necessary at the bottom of the list. If you’re amongst the half (or more) candidates who apply to a position without meeting the basic requirements, you’re setting your job search back by leaps and bounds. 

• Be aware that customizing your resume will yield greater results

Are you one of the many who employ a one-resume-fits-all tactic? You’re right, sometimes quantity can win the day over quality. But this instance is not one of them. Many employers either employ automated systems to screen resumes – or use good old fashioned human eyeballs to do the job. Either way, your resume needs to match specific keywords that more than likely sync up with postings. Can you say “keywords are my new best friend?” Laborious as it may be, customizing each resume to each application (using appropriate keywords) is the path to the gold at the end of rainbow. 

• Make your resume short with key data at the top

Summarize your key strengths for the position. Make your job titles and where you worked clear and easy to find. And make sure it’s well written and error free. You’ll get the boot if the reader can’t quickly and simply locate where you worked with the corresponding positions you filled. The closer those job titles match the one you’re applying to, the better. Be mindful of education also. Many jobs require certain educational credentials; if you make the mistake of omitting them, sadly, you might get screened out based on this mistake alone. 

These are just a few key points – but critical to your success. Evaluate your strategy and documents, minimizing those pesky roadblocks for good.

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The Walking Job Seeker

Do you feel like you’re wandering through a wasteland of desperate survival tactics, fending off snarling, insatiable job hunters at every turn? Such is the plight of today’s job seeker, bravely attempting to navigate the ups and downs of a turbulent economy, and even more turbulent employment outlook. 

In many ways, we are beholden to look at our brave new world in a different light. We must be vigilant and determined. Focused yet flexible. Poised to take on new challenges in a fluid, continuously-changing landscape. In short, much like the fictional characters of a post-apocalyptic world seeking the proverbial new beginning, we too must seek new beginnings in the workplace. Holding on to the dream of an idyllic profession – and workplace – can seem daunting, to say the least. It is a task only the most hearty will survive. 

On that note, do you feel like you are one of the lost souls of the new economy? Or a figure of hero-esque magnitude? Leaping and bounding ahead of your competition through seemingly cataclysmic obstacles? 

Answer the following to get a beat on where you stand. 

A friend tells you the job he/she recommended you for, sadly, has been filled. Not by you. You:

A. Head for the nearest bar/all-you-can-eat joint and make like a plough
B. Consider the merits of selling sandals and sea shell necklaces on the white sand beaches of (insert island name here)
C. Position your thinking to assume said successful candidate will invariably botch up the job, fortuitously positioning you as the second strongest choice

An online social networking job posting has now closed. To your horror, you realize that have not been contacted. You:

A. Take down your profile in a fit of passive-aggressive, self-righteous rage, vowing that one day you will “smite all who have crossed you in your job search!”
B. Vet and compile a list of suspiciously successful candidates, submitting their names to zealous telemarketing outfits 
C. Meticulously audit your profile: resume, cover letter, social networking profiles etc., ensuring that you are the man left standing in the next round

After two confident interviews with the higher ups of a potential employer, 
you are informed you are not the successful candidate for the position. You:
A. Run an ad in the local newspaper that reads: Employee available for well-educated, astute employers who succeed in making winning hiring decisions. Managers and human resources professionals who are able to recognize superior individuals need only apply
B. Bill said employer for gas expense to and from the interview(s)
C. Contact said employer and politely inquire as to the reasons for passing you over. From there, make a plan going forward that incorporates lessons learned

How did you do? 

Are you a picture of resilience and fortitude in your quest for new and exciting employment opportunities? Or, ahem, otherwise? :)

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Expressing Yourself – How Far is Too Far?

Arguably, we are at a time in civilization when the democratic freedom of expression is either the best it’s ever been – or the worst. Arguments in both directions abound. When it comes to social networking, where do we draw the line? 

I’m thinking of a “comment” that was posted on a very popular social networking site that quite frankly, blew my hair back. Awash with a mixture of cringe-worthiness and awe, I re-read the message which went something like this: 

Jobseeker: “Is this job posting for real, or are you just collecting emails and personal information for email marketing reasons? I really don’t like when companies post fake job ads for their own selfish reasons … ” 

The comment was directed at a recruiting agency that had posted an ad for various open positions. By all appearances it seemed legit. On the other hand, who knows what wayward marketing tactics companies will attempt, especially on social network sites. 

Was any of this good? Productive? Meaningful? Is there a point? 

The following three outcomes are probable:

1. The agency considers The Messenger to be unprofessional at the least; hostile at the worst and effectively blacklists The Messenger for present and future opportunities
2. The other, more restrained Social Networkers who read and balked at the message will steer clear of any and all communications with The Messenger as a means of damage- control-by-association
3. The Messenger will most assuredly seek other means of securing employment opportunities in the near and far future having acquiesced to the fact that in the light of day said “comment” was not the wisest or most productive

The moral? Think twice before reacting online, particularly whilst in the throes of frustration and bewilderment. About to hit the “send” button? Take a breath. Read your message of passion and committed hysteria again. Consider your words. Deeply. 

Although it’s tempting to consider the online world as quasi-realism, many people have suffered career losses at the hands of comments, messages, photos and posts – that do little to advance professional interests, and a lot to deter them. 

Prudence will always be the order of the day.

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Do What You LOVE – Is it Possible? 

Everyone knows one person who says he or she simply loves their work. Every day is a blissful enchantment of puppy dogs and rainbows. Is it possible that this person truly loves every single moment of their work? 

The answer is – not likely. 

There is no work on the planet that’s 100% happiness at all times. What you’re really hearing is an enthusiastic description of a career path, job or profession that comes pretty darn close. So, for practical purposes, how can you evaluate where you stand on the “bliss” scale? Take a look at the following and check your happy quotient. Find you need a change? Think about taking steps (calculated) toward a new role in the work world. Sometimes a little risk does truly pay off. 

The 50/50 question

It’s simple, what side do you land on: 50% satisfied – or 50% disgruntled. Answer honestly and find out where you stand on the scale. You don’t have to have a perfect outcome – but you do need to feel comfortable about where your personal 50/50 is. 

Commute time – Some people don’t mind the hour-long train ride to their workplace. It’s a chance to read the daily newspaper. Some people find it hard to tolerate more than a twenty minute drive through relatively traffic-free terrain. Calculate time, distance, stress – and make a decision based on personal preference. 

Productivity vs. workload – This one is tricky. Are you simply overworked – or just not that productive at work? Take a close look at how many tasks, duties and overall workload you’re being given and then determine how much time in the day you spend doing it. Is your workload fair and equitable? If you went to another company or profession, are you comfortable with undertaking the same amount of output? 

Workplace relationship harmony – Do you get along with your workplace teammates? Can you answer questions, complete projects or find assistance easily and without drama? 

Skill level with the profession – This component weighs heavily on whether you’re a junior, mid-level or senior worker. It goes without saying that skill comes with time, but do you find that your skill is being hampered by your workplace – or cultivated and encouraged? Being allowed opportunity to gain more skills is just as important as the skill acquisition itself. 

Create a criteria list that suits you – only you can decide what’s important to you in terms of job satisfaction. If your 50/50 evaluation lands mostly on the side of satisfaction in your respective categories, congratulations, you’re one of the lucky ones! If not, be realistic about how you can tip that scale in your favour, or seek new work. Remember no one is 100% over the moon about their work. Everyone has good and bad days.

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Seeking a Friend for … Job Searching?

Sometimes being proactive, rather than reactive – is the order of the day. Case in point? You need a new tennis partner because your current one recently emigrated to China. You place an ad seeking uber-athletic tennis God. 

You suddenly have the urge to watch as many DVDs of 80s classics as humanly possible. You place an ad stating your top price is 5 bucks/box.
You broke your blender and can’t live without your morning smoothie. Hello Internet advertisement detailing the exact duplicate you’re seeking. 

Any one of these scenarios might send you to popular buy and sell sites – seeking the answer to your particular quandary. But how about when it comes to job searching? 

People always talk about thinking outside the box – let’s challenge ourselves to blow the roof off the box. The solution? An ad that looks something like this:

Enthusiastic Job Seeker in need of equally ambitious Employment Hunter. Mid-career but certainly would consider position of equal or lesser value. (Given economic times.) Collaborative and open-minded. Willing to spend just as much time on your job search – as mine. Not into groups. Your picture gets mine. 

Happy Saturday everyone :)

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Cold Call – Your Way to a New Gig

If you’re cringing reading the above headline, fear not, you’re amongst friends. Cold calling prospective employers is right up there with giving a speech or presentation for many. 

What you need to know is that getting over the fear involved with this stalwart tactic, is well worth the sweat. It’s ranked as one of the most successful job search maneuvers time and again. Think about it and follow these steps. 

The method

Look for suitable companies within your present industry and outside your particular business niche. Odds are you’ll land your next job with a company that sells, manufactures or services similar products as your present company, but it’s always good to remain open-minded. Once you know where you want to work, make sure you include what exact position you are seeking and that you are not responding to an advertised posting. Many employers appreciate the assertiveness and keen interest in their company in particular. It’s a great way to truly stand out from the crowd. 

The research

So where can you locate your next lucky company? Try newspapers, the phone book, social networking and good old fashioned Internet research. Key in your target industry and geographic location – and away you go!

The tactic

Call, write or speak in person. Ask for the hiring manager if you want to inquire over the phone and address the human resources manager for a given company if you intend to send out emails. Best of all? Get an information interview. Approach it honestly but with tact. Selling yourself too hard at this stage might turn off some hiring professionals. 

The approach

Keep in mind you are the aggressor here. Act with confidence – but also with diplomacy. If a given manager or employer seems put off by your call or email etc., chalk it up to a closed door. Having said that, try again if and when you know there’s been a change in management. Tenacity is the way to true success.

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Selling Yourself on Your Resume

One of the golden rules of business is accepting the idea that people will buy a product if they think they need it. When it comes to your resume, ask yourself the same question: will employers feel they need me? A few thoughts in that direction … 

What are the key verbs associated with your job title?

Your resume should satisfy the employer that you can do the job. In fact, it should convince them you can do the job – great. Key verbs and phrasal verbs such as:

• Verbal communications
• Typing
• Relationship building 
• Analyzing
• Researching
• Collaborating 

Find out what your “key verbs” are; and apply them to your resume. 

What’s your #1 strength?

For some people it might be their work experience. For others it might be their post-graduate education in the field. For others still it could be some community involvement via volunteering. Have a look at your target position’s most important qualifications. (They’re usually at the top of the job posting.) Do you match? What specifically? If so, put that qualification (or two) nearest the top of your resume. It’s as simple as that. 

Bring some sizzle

This one’s just like it sounds – add some interesting phrasing, design formatting or some other quality features to your resume that catches the eye of the reader. Depending on your profession, you can really knock this one out of the park. Innovative design ideas and graphics come to mind. Or, simply add some basic attention-grabbing content that puts you at the top of the “yes” pile. 

Your resume is the most important tactic in your job search strategy. Make it count.

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The Five Ws – For Success

In the world of writing articles, reports, presentations or otherwise, the five Ws remain constant. Why? As with many things in life, structure plays an important role. Construction and design when writing your resume or cover letter is just as key. 

Answer these questions and add that necessary quality and substance to your documents. Remember, you might get only one chance to impress your potential new employer. 


Try and make your resume and cover letter as closely targeted to your target job posting, employer etc. as possible. What industry, sector, field is your best fit? Who would benefit the most from your expertise? Make every application count in terms of who you target. 


What are you hoping to achieve with your resume? Again, what industry or product or service draws on your knowledge and experience? You can change industries in your career but the reality is that in a tough market, better more lucrative positions will come to you if they match your intelligence and know-how. 

The closer to home the position, the more likely to get the call. It’s that simple. HR people, employers etc. want to minimize risk and maximize expediting the right candidate. Where you live, and the convenience of you commuting to said job, is critical. Go with jobs that capitalize on your availability. Many employers expect overtime today also – another key factor. 


When are you available? When did you last do the role and duties of the position in question? Make your resume as accurate as possible. It saves time and money and answers critical questions prior to interviewing. 


Why do you want this job? Why are you the best candidate? Why should we hire you? Why are you interested in this company? These are all likely suspects in an impromptu telephone screening – and the real thing, the in-person interview. 

Make sure you get your data as closely matched to the five Ws – and bring home the big W. (The win that is.)

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Mind Over Matter – How Deep Does it Really Go?

What inspires you? What motivates? What, at the end of the day, lights the fire within? 

These are all great questions that every person explores at some point in their lives. Highly successful people are those who explore – and conquer – this topic. 

There are many greats that believe a person’s mental condition is directly related to success. One of the absolute best is an iconic bodybuilder, actor and one-time politician. This uber-success story is centered on the belief that a human being’s will is the single greatest precursor to success. And, that people who grow up in difficult or challenging environments often have a tremendous drive to succeed, above and beyond most. 

Get this advice into your head and never let it go:

If they say you can’t – you must say “I can and I will”

You must not be afraid to fail

You must work hard, above and beyond others

What motivates you? Answer this question and you can achieve any employment possibility.
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