Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Better You

Often, in the daily 9-to-5 it is easy to overlook the importance of what you are actually doing. The bigger picture of your career is your selling point. I often see at the bottom of blog-posts the mini-bio. But the importance of having your bio ready is not for such instances as you'll be ready for an impromptu-blog post. You should have it ready for the vague question: what do you do at [insert company name here]? Here are some tips from Yahoo!: [How to Write a Killer Bio]

My example: "[name redacted] grew up in [You've Never Heard of It], New York, and graduated from [Fancy Private College] in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering and again in 2006 with a Masters in the same field. [name redacted] currently lives in New York City where he work's for the [Random Government Agency] focusing on water quality improvement and climate change adaptation and mitigation."

Friday, August 14, 2009

Worst Canned Phrases

I'm currently in the process of getting my first (fingers crossed) promotion at my current job. Through the process, I've been required to update my resume. I've also helped out a friend with revamping their resume. Though its been a few years since I've really seen a resume, there is always one key thing you look for: does this individual stand apart from the rest of the pile.

So to start, you need to avoid the typical canned phrases that job search websites love. The last thing you want to appear like to your future employer is a drone. At The Savvy Networker blog, they assembled a list of the worst canned phrases in resume building:
  • Results-oriented professional
  • Cross-functional teams
  • More than [x] years of progressively responsible experience
  • Superior (or excellent) communication skills
  • Strong work ethic
  • Met or exceeded expectations
  • Proven track record of success
  • Works well with all levels of staff
  • Team player
  • Bottom-line orientation

Friday, July 24, 2009

Working The Crowd

For the socially inept, networking is a big challenge. Alexis Bauer steps us through some guidelines for working crowds, making connections and simply networking. [ignite]

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Phone Interview

I've only had one phone interview. I didn't get the job.

Looking back, I can see where I made mistakes. I won't share them with you, but reading this article, I saw it touched on my own successes and failures.

How To Ace A Telephone Interview

[Shine via Lifehacker]

Worst Case Scenario: You've been Laid Off

This is my first post to this blog. And it seems only fitting that what everyone is in fear of takes the subject of the first post. Its due to the economy, or a series of bad business decisions by your CEO, or whatever they say it is this week, it seems relevant to start this blog with: how to deal when you've been laid off.

Lifehacker, which willl be my biggest source for this blog, posted an article from Fortune that looks at avoiding lay off in its 10-point survival guide. Some of my favorites include:

2. Set 30-day and 60-day goals. Share them with your boss and then, as you get closer to your targets, update him or her on that, too. "Not only will measurable progress keep you upbeat and creative," Bright notes, but in practical terms, "your boss needs to know what his department is accomplishing, so he has ammunition if someone wants to chop it in half." Gulp.

3. Watch your attitude. "A pessimistic, bleak attitude makes it hard for people to work with you," Bright says. "And why be miserable eight hours a day, anyway?"

4. Keep your network active. "People always talk about networking, but they don't do it," says Bright. "I ask my clients to give me the names of five people they want to stay in touch with, and then make a plan for how they're going to do that, whether it's lunch or just a phone call." Always bring something of value to the conversation, even if it's just a tidbit of information or the name of a useful contact.

5. Update your skills. "Take a class, read a book, keep up with trade publications," Bright says. "You always want to be up-to-the-minute informed about what's going on in your industry that could affect you."

9. Never badmouth anyone. "If you can't be positive toward someone at work, be neutral," says Bright. "In the next reorganization, the person you were trash-talking could be your new boss, and then you're gone."

TIME wrote this article which specifically addresses how to handle yourself at the moment you are laid off. If, of course, you are laid off.