CAREEREALISM http://www.careerealism.com Career Advice & Job Search Magazine Fri, 24 Oct 2014 06:01:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 This is weekly program whether career expert J.T. O'Donnell reviews skills and techniques needed to succeed in your career. She also answers question live from our views. Tune in Tuesdays at 1pm ET on www.careerealism.com to join our weekly Career Q&A! CAREEREALISM clean CAREEREALISM info@careerealism.com info@careerealism.com (CAREEREALISM) Career Q&A with J.T. O'Donnell CAREEREALISM http://www.careerealism.com/home/jtodonnell/careerealism.com/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/CTV_Podcast_Image-01.png http://www.careerealism.com 5 Rules For Celebrating Halloween At Work http://www.careerealism.com/halloween-work-rules/ http://www.careerealism.com/halloween-work-rules/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 06:01:25 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=40916 It's Halloween! There's a chill in the air. When it comes to celebrating Halloween at work, my best advice is to keep these five rules of thumb in mind.

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It’s almost time for Halloween! The chill is in the air. The leaves are turning on the trees. Bags of candy of every description practically fall off the shelves into your basket as you wind your way through the grocery store. And everyone—especially the kids—has started to think about what their Halloween costumes this year will be.

Related: How To Throw An Amazing Office Holiday Party

Halloween isn’t just for children, however. Many adults enjoy having the opportunity to dress up in costume and celebrate “All Hallows’ Evening.” And many businesses feel obligated—or enjoy, as the case may be—decorating for Halloween the same way they decorate for Christmas.

The dilemma one faces as Halloween approaches is what sort of activity and what type of “costume” one should consider wearing to work? While you want to have fun, you also need to display good judgment.

Let me share with you an example of poor judgment. I was a teacher and librarian for a mid-size elementary school for many years in a past life. We celebrated Halloween by allowing the children to bring their costumes to school, dressing up after lunch, and going on “parade” through the school. Each class, then, had a party that consisted of cupcakes, popcorn, Kool-Aid, and party games. Everyone had fun, and the kids always enjoyed themselves. Some of the parents also got into the act and dressed up.

Imagine the horror of the teachers and the principal when one parent showed up one year in white jeans, a white tee shirt and “fake” dynamite sticks attached to his belt. In our book—in most people’s book, I would hope—that was the height of bad taste and insensitivity. The principal was placed in the awkward position of telling that father that he was not welcome in the school dressed in that manner. He was ticked off over being asked to leave the premises… but, let’s face it…that sort of costume for an elementary school was in extremely poor taste. He was the only one who thought he had been “clever” with his costume. And while that particular costume may have been appropriate for an adult party later in the evening, it was most inappropriate for a school setting and a school party.

Unfortunately, as time went on, the costumes even for the children got more and more outrageous and inappropriate. By the time I left that school, Halloween costumes even for the kids became a thing of the past. There might be a small party at the end of the day, but costumes were banned because they became increasingly ghoulish, grisly, and age inappropriate.

This week, I saw on the news that someone has already come up with the idea of selling a Halloween Hazmat costume. You know, some things just aren’t in good taste.

5 Rules For Celebrating Halloween At Work

So, when it comes to celebrating Halloween at work, my best advice is to keep these five rules of thumb in mind:

1. Check The Policy

If you are new to the company, check out what the policy is around the celebration of Halloween at work. It may not even be allowed, and you don’t want to show up as the only one in costume looking foolish or worse—having to go home to change.

2. Be Tasteful

If costumes are allowed or even encouraged, use good taste. Be clever but not ghoulish. Be original. Think of something you can put together from things you have at home. You don’t need to spend a fortune to have a clever costume.

3. Decorate Your Office

If you can add to the festivities by decorating your office (or your cubby) with something that is seasonally appropriate, do that as long as it falls within whatever guidelines there may be at work.

4. Don’t Go Crazy

Make sure you aren’t the one who goes “too far” in celebrating the season. Use good judgment around everything you say and do around the holiday.

5. Put Candy Out

If you are in a position to have candy on your desk or in an area where people can help themselves, it might be appreciated. Make sure the candy is the type that is individually wrapped, however.

At the end of the day, the main point to remember is that Halloween is one of those holidays that some people enjoy and appreciate, and others do not. Be prudent and do your homework ahead of time so that you know that whatever you choose to do is within the organization’s/company’s guidelines. The last thing you need is to be called to the boss’s office because you used poor judgment or displayed poor taste over a holiday.

Related Posts

4 Tips To Keep Your Holiday Job Search Moving
4 Tips For Staying Productive During The Holidays
How To Celebrate Holidays With Employees


Kitty Boitnott

About the author

Kitty Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT is a Certified Life Strategies and Stress Management Coach and is an ICC at CareerHMO. Visit her coaching page here.

 

 

 


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CareerHMO coach. You can learn more about coach posts here.

 

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4 Ways To Avoid Looking Like A Job Hopper On Your Resume http://www.careerealism.com/resume-job-hopper-avoid/ http://www.careerealism.com/resume-job-hopper-avoid/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 05:30:20 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=20047 If you have had a series of jobs lasting one to two years, then you may look like a job hopper and these are big red flags on your resume.

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When an employer scans your resume for 20 seconds, what will they see? If you have had a series of jobs lasting 1-2 years, then you may look like a job hopper and these are big red flags on your resume.

Related: 7 Ways Your Resume Is Boring Just Like Everyone Else’s

Securing a candidate takes time and money for employers, so a candidate that has a record of job hopping does not leave a positive impression and sways employers to move on to consider other candidates instead. Short periods of employment generally indicate that you were terminated due to lack of performance and that is not the impression you want to convey.

If your resume contains several short employment stints, here are ways to avoid looking like a job hopper – especially if your situations involved layoffs, company mergers and temporary assignments.

1. Company Changes

When the reason you leave the job is because of structural changes within a company or the company closes down, these are situations that are not within your control and should not be cause for you to appear like a job hopper on your resume. Whether you were laid off, the company moved out of state, or went out of business, indicate that as a brief note on your resume next to your dates of employment.

Also, for company mergers, rather than relisting each company name and your position, simplify matters by listing the company’s current name and indicating in parenthesis, “formerly [previous name(s)].” An employer reviewing your resume will immediately understand and not assume the worst – that you’ve been job hopping.

2. Consulting And Temporary Assignments

It’s not a surprise to see more of today’s candidates resorting to consulting and temporary assignments. The market for jobs is not where it once used to be. Many in consulting and temporary assignments are offered short-term projects.

One way to handle this is to pull all these experiences together into one pool on your resume. You may indicate on your resume “Consultant” and specify the full length of time you were in the role. Underneath this section, highlight the companies and/or specific experiences and accomplishments in the role. An employer will view all the individual experiences and temporary assignments – and its significance in furthering your career experiences – as a whole.

If that doesn’t fit your situation, just make sure to indicate it was a contract position next to the dates so people will see right away the short tenure was planned.

3. Reformat Dates Of Employment

Rather than listing the specific month and year you were employed with an employer, indicate only the year. It can appear less obvious that you were only on the job for 16 months, and appear more like two years.

4. Demonstrate Contribution And Accomplishments

There is little you can do to change the amount of time you were on certain jobs, but what you can do is divert the focus to your contributions and accomplishments on the job. Even if you were on the job for under a year, highlight significant contributions you made to show outstanding performance on the job.

Employers care about and are impressed by candidates good at what they do and who are effective on the job; even if you only had a short period of time in the role.

Use these tips to make sure you are sending the right message to an employer and avoid being categorized as a job hopper.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

Related Posts

4 Steps To Break Your Job Hopping Habit
4 Ways To Edit Your Resume Like A Professional Resume Writer
Are You A Job Hopper? 3 Reasons Why You Can’t Stick It Out


Don Goodman

About the author

Don Goodman’s firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013 & 2014. Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109  for more information.

 


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

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3 Reasons Why Your Dream Job Is In The New ‘For-Benefit’ Sector http://www.careerealism.com/dream-job-for-benefit-sector/ http://www.careerealism.com/dream-job-for-benefit-sector/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 05:22:58 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=40912 For-Benefit companies have two jobs: Make a profit. And make a difference in the world. Here's why your dream job falls in the for-benefit sector.

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Mike used to think it was all about money. Working hard. Moving up the ladder.

Related: 3 Modern Job Seeking Strategies You Need To Know

But after years of effort and achieving a 6-figure income – he was miserable. And at first, he couldn’t understand why.

He had a beautiful home. A new car. Everything he thought would make him happy.

Then, he finally pieced it together.

He discovered how to earn the income he desired and enjoy his life.

And that’s what you’ll find in…

The New ‘For-Benefit’ Sector

My blog post “The Ultimate Guide To Discovering Your For-Benefit ‘Dream Job” goes into more detail on what makes this new sector so special. And it shares a couple examples of inspiring ‘For-Benefit’ companies.

For the purposes of this article though, let’s keep it simple.

Traditional companies have one job. Make a profit.

Meme

For-Benefit companies have two jobs: Make a profit. And make a difference in the world.

3 Reasons Why Your Dream Job Is In The New ‘For-Benefit’ Sector

Now that we’re clear on that, let’s get into the three reasons why your dream job is in the new ‘for-benefit’ sector.

1. The Perks

For-Benefit companies believe in empowering and engaging their employees.

And why wouldn’t they? Happy employees are more productive. More productivity = more profit and more impact.

Some of the more famous benefits include annual team retreats to paradise islands. Another example is having fun in the office with laser tag battles. Then there’s flexible hours, and the ability to work from anywhere in the world as well.

The perks vary from company to company, but one thing is certain. You won’t find many of these benefits at traditional organizations.

2. The Impact

In addition to contributing your time and effort to the inspiring missions For-Benefit companies have, there are also unique opportunities to go above and beyond.

Like Patagonia, who has an environmental internship program where:

Employees from all parts of the company are allowed up to two months away from their regular roles to work for the environmental group of their choice while continuing to earn their paycheck and benefits. This year, 29 individuals, nine stores and two departments (approximately 136 people) took advantage of this program—totaling 7,162 volunteer hours for 36 organizations. – Source: Patagonia.com

That’s a serious commitment to environmental and social responsibility, and an awesome reason to get your dream job with a For-Benefit company like Patagonia.

3. The Future

The For-Benefit sector is where the world is going – so you might as well jump on board now.

Environmental and social responsibility is here to stay. People care about it, a lot. And in order to attract staff in the future, organizations will have to become For-Benefit – proving they care about more than the bottom line.

91% of consumers would switch to a different brand of similar cost and quality if that brand stood for a good cause. So in order to make a profit in the near future, organizations will have to prove to the public that they’re socially and environmentally responsible.

Your Next Steps

All signs point to the For-Benefit sector as being the way of the future. Plus, with the amazing culture and perks, why wouldn’t you want to work in this new sector?

If you’re wanting to join this movement, you can check out the free video I put together for you to get started on finding your dream job. I partnered up with the founder of the GameChangers 500 list (of the world’s top For-Benefit companies) to create it.

In this video, you’ll get three tips you can apply today to get your dream job with a For-Benefit company.

Enjoy!

Related Posts

5 Exciting Career Moves That Will Change Your Life
10 Inspiring Quotes About Career Success
Beware: The #1 Myth About Getting Your Dream Job


Ryan Niessen

About the author

Ryan Niessen is a keynote speaker and co-creator of The Gateway Method: a simple, proven way to gain inside access to the world’s best employers and get your dream job. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Facebook.

 

 

 


 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

 

Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com


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5 Reasons To Follow Up In Your Job Search http://www.careerealism.com/5-reasons-follow/ http://www.careerealism.com/5-reasons-follow/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 04:30:11 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=11828 Many job seekers miss the one step that can land them an interview and job they're applying for - following up. Find out why follow up is crucial.

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Many job seekers miss the one step that can land them an interview and the job they’re applying for. Sure, they send in their resume or application – they may even send the additional information requested – but many of the unemployed simply fail to follow up with the employers to whom they apply.

Related: How To Follow Up On Your Resume

Why follow up? Here are five good reasons:

1. Consideration

Care to guess how often an online resume or application is not received or mis-routed to the wrong person or department? I didn’t think so! Following up can ensure your resume was received and by the right person so you can be considered for the job you THOUGHT you applied for. If an employer doesn’t have your information, you won’t be considered. It’s that plain and simple!

2. Recognition

Any contact with an employer is a chance to stand out from the rest of the applicants. Following up will allow the employer to place a voice or face with the name. If everything else is equal, the employer will be more likely to call an applicant with whom he or she has interacted in some way than with one he or she has not.

3. Impression

Employers, regardless of industry, are looking for eager, proactive workers who go the extra mile. Follow up is a simple way to show you meet this expectation.

4. Information

Following up by phone or in person may allow you to obtain additional information about the job, employer, or interviewer that may give you an edge in an interview.

5. Interview

If you are able to speak to an employer contact you may be able to ask about when interviews are being scheduled and to ask to schedule an interview while you have him or her on the phone. Again, employers are looking for eager, proactive workers who go the extra mile – be one!

All this seems to make sense, so why don’t more applicants follow up on their resume? Usually it boils down to just one thing: Fear!

It may be fear of rejection. This is often the case; job seekers have to apply for so many jobs to get an interview and finally a job offer, they come to view even non-contact as rejection. Given they are rejected virtually every time they apply for a job, most are not inclined to stick their neck out only to be further rejected. Job search is partially a numbers game: The more you do to work to work toward your goal the better your chances.

Others feel a fear of failure and worry they will not be able to conduct themselves well in a follow up situation. What if they “flub up?” That will surely ruin any chance they might have had to be interviewed and potentially offered a job, they think. Job search is partially a numbers game:  The more you do to work toward your goal the better your chances.

Some job seekers fear that they will look too pushy or bother the employer if they try to follow up. Not so!

If an employer is bothered by follow up calls or visits you will be blocked from doing so. A person following up will find out very quickly they are not able to reach anyone in any positive way that will be helpful. This may feed into those who fear rejection, but shouldn’t bother those fearful of looking pushy! Besides, job search is partially a numbers game: The more you do to work toward your goal the better your chances.

How To Overcome Your Follow Up Fears

Notice a recurring theme? A job seeker has to overcome his or her fears to apply for jobs and to follow up. So, how does a job seeker overcome his or her fears and follow up? Several things will help:

1. Target those employers for which there is special interest and/or opportunity.

2. Research those employer to the best of your ability – include an in person visit if this is possible. This site has comprehensive information about industries and some specifics about employers.

3. Develop a telephone script paying special attention to the goal of your call. Of course, make sure you are well situated and will not be interrupted.

4. Practice both in front of a mirror and with someone whose opinion you respect. Practice until you feel comfortable and sound natural.

5. Just do it. Jump in and start calling the employers on the list – it will get easier and more comfortable with each call. If you want, start with employers or positions that you’re not as interested.

6. If an employer does not respond by phone, try e-mail or in person – again take care to develop a script, practice and review with someone else prior to sending an e-mail or visiting in person.

Much like the application process, follow up will provide success the more often it is done. More follow up equals more interviews/job offer. Not that you shouldn’t be smart about what you apply for or follow up on, but you should actively do both. Remember, as a job seeker you are only looking for the one employer who is offering you the job – not those who aren’t!

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

Related Posts

How To Follow Up After An Interview
The Secret ‘Sauce’ to Any Job Search
Project Plan Your Job Search


Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

About the author

Mary Sherwood Sevinsky is a career and occupational consultant who is masters-prepared and certified. She is a business owner with nearly 20 years of experience in Corporate Management, Career Assessment & Counseling and in writing Career Articles and Educational Materials. She has worked as a corporate manager experienced in hiring, firing, and managing a staff of professionals with a multi-million dollar budget. Learn more about Mary and her services: www.life-works.info.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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3 Reasons Why You Should Think Like A ‘Business-Of-One’ http://www.careerealism.com/business-of-one-reasons/ http://www.careerealism.com/business-of-one-reasons/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:37:28 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=40557 You are responsible for carving out a successful career. Here are three reasons why everyone should think of themselves as a business-of-one.

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This post is part of the Professional Independence Project series.

Despite the doom and gloom of the current job market, you’ll find that a revolution is forming that’s quickly changing the world of work as we know it. Many Millennials have jumped ship in favor of being their own boss, while older generations are learning to build side businesses in tandem with their day jobs.

What do they know that most of us don’t? The economy has changed and we’re no longer handed a job upon graduating college. In fact, a college degree doesn’t do much to set you apart now, and you’re lucky if you can get a job at all. In 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released an alarming stat; the average American worker stays at a job less than four and a half years.

You are responsible for creating your own job title and carving out a successful career.

This is why being the CEO of yourself is so important now. You are responsible for creating your own job title and carving out a successful career. We can no longer rely on having a secure job for the next 40 years and applying for Social Security during retirement at age 70. Both of these ideals are completely dead.

Why You Should Think Like A ‘Business-Of-One’

Here are three reasons why everyone should think of themselves as a business-of-one.

1. Building a personal brand.

Whether it’s right now or in the future, you need to have the flexibility to control your income. The harder you work, the more money you can earn, which means that building your personal brand – with a good reputation – is key.

What can a personal brand do for you? Well, a lot actually. For one, it can connect you with influential experts and help you get on the radar of industry experts. This comes in handy if you need to pull some strings to land a job, or if you want to work with big-name companies to become a brand ambassador.

2. Accurately build your reputation.

The Internet isn’t going anywhere, neither are social sites like Twitter or Facebook, so instead of shying away from these public outlets, it’s time to embrace them. You can control what the media says about you, and curate your own perspective.

Media nightmares are a real thing, but you can put out those fires by establishing a personal website, while controlling what comments are shared about you and your business on social media.

When a potential influencer, client, or employer does a search online, they’ll be able to view the accurate information about you, instead of pulling up rumors and other incorrect data. That is a priceless benefit to both you and your family. You can establish a reputation that even your children can lean on and use as a jumping off point.

3. Reaching independence and freedom.

Having the freedom to do what you want and create an unconventional lifestyle is something many of us crave. The only way to achieve this is to become the CEO of your life and create your own dream job.

Career conscious go-getters no longer strive for work-life balance; instead, they strive for a blending of work and life that’s only available through a location independent lifestyle. Most bosses don’t allow work-vacations (called workcations) but if you’re the CEO, you can travel anywhere you want, while taking the work with you.

This kind of freedom not only affects how and when you work, but your financial standing as well. You can have control over your income since you’re not wasting time building some else’s dream. You’re able to branch out into different income streams and diversify how you make a living. This nearly eliminates the possibility of becoming bored and enables you to reach the freedom you’ve been striving for.

Essentially, the reason you should think of yourself as a business-of-one is because you are one! The economy and job market are no longer the same and in order to evolve with the new world of work you have to adapt at becoming the CEO of your life.

Want to take control of your career?

If you want to take control of your career, check out our fall series, the Professional Independence Project. Throughout the month of October, we will be sharing expert advice and insight on how you can build a successful career you love.

Sign up now to get five FREE video tutorials that show you how to market yourself to anyone, anywhere. Start your path the professional independence. Sign up today!

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5 Tips For Reclaiming Your Career & Finding Happiness http://www.careerealism.com/reclaiming-your-career-finding-happiness/ http://www.careerealism.com/reclaiming-your-career-finding-happiness/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:45:32 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=40900 Dread going into work every morning? Wish things just magically changed? It's time to take control. Here are some tips for reclaiming your career!

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This post is part of the Professional Independence Project series.

Which one describes your morning more accurately?

a) Waking up excited to head into work and do what you love.

b) Waking up dreading work and seriously considering calling in sick.

If the second scenario sounds more like you, it’s time for a change, don’t you think?

Related: 4 Ways To Take Ownership Of Your Career

Here are five tips for reclaiming your career and finding career happiness:

1. Figure out what the heck is causing the problem.

What is it that you HATE about your job? Why do you DREAD going to work? Is it the work itself or the people you work with? Is it a specific task or a specific individual who makes your life miserable? Once you determine the stressor/misery-causer, you can take steps to fix/eliminate the problem.

2. Manage up!

I’m sure you’ve heard this term before, but what the heck does it mean to “manage up” anyway? Well, it means that you need to step it up a little bit with your work, and go above and beyond what you’re being asked to do.

Managing up will help others recognize your value within the organization, making you an asset. By going the extra mile with your work, you take stress off of your manager/boss, which can help you build a better working relationship with him/her. Remember, your job is to make your boss’s job easier. If you’re not doing that, you’re not doing your job – and you’re not showing your value as an employee.

3. Attend workshops & seminars.

Find some local workshops and seminars that will help you enhance your skills. By attending these events, you not only will learn new, valuable skills, but you will prove that you are willing to take that extra step in order to get ahead.

Figure out what areas you feel you should improve – Do you need better time management skills? Would it help you to learn the HTML basics? Maybe you just want to brush up on your business writing or public speaking skills. There are workshops and seminars for everything!

4. Find a mentor.

It’s always nice to have a little extra guidance and support. Find someone who has extensive experience in your field and ask them if they would mind being your mentor. They can provide valuable insight and contacts that will help you get ahead.

Not sure how to find a mentor? Read this article for some tips!

5. Get out there and meet the RIGHT people!

If you really want to take control of your career, you need the right people in your corner. Are you going out there and meeting the right people? Although networking with people outside of your industry has its benefits, it’s important to have a focused networking strategy that builds a solid network of contacts.

There are several ways to connect with the right contacts. Here are a few:

  • Attend industry-specific events (don’t have to be networking events!)
  • Join industry-specific organizations and clubs
  • Use keywords and hashtags to find potential contacts on Twitter and LinkedIn

Check out an article I wrote on connecting with relevant contacts on Twitter!

Want to become a master networker? Try Mingle!

Do you want to be a better networker? Check out our Mingle virtual networking events! They’re free, easy, and fun! To learn more about Mingle events, please click here. Click the button below to register for our next event.

Mingle is sponsored by Brazen Careerist. Learn more about Brazen Careerist and its virtual networking technology here.

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Job Seekers: What Should My Email Signature Say? http://www.careerealism.com/email-signature-job-seekers/ http://www.careerealism.com/email-signature-job-seekers/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:38:30 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=40894 Are you making full use of your email signature to brand your candidacy as a job seeker? Here are some ways to use your email signature to your advantage.

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Are you making full use of your email signature to brand your candidacy as a job seeker? With a few tweaks, this simple tool can play a key role in sharing your brand with recruiters, companies, and hiring managers.

Related: Why Communicating Through E-mail Is An Ineffective Job Search Strategy

Because email is a primary form of business and job search communications these days, it is imperative to think about how your signature is marketing you. If you think about LinkedIn as your online brand “portal,” your email signature is one small but important pathway to lead traffic (recruiters and hiring executives) to you.

Every email provider provides a way for you to sign-off at the bottom of your message. Usually available via your email system’s settings page, signature files can always contain plain text and can often contain HTML or images. The typical length for an email signature ranges from four to seven lines. A job seeker’s signature can contain any of the following as appropriate:

  • Name – List your first or full name in a way that matches your resume, LI profile, and employment record. If you normally go by a nickname, be sure to include it.
  • Title – Since it won’t work to alter your title each time you send an email, use one that reflects the broad positioning of your LinkedIn profile. For example, if you’re looking for a CIO role but are open to director- and VP-level roles depending on company size, you might want to use a title such as Senior IT Executive.
  • Career Email Address – Never use your work email address for job search communications. Select a dedicated email you can use not only for your search but for all future career communications, and maintain that address for the balance of your working life. The most professional email provide is generally considered to be Gmail, which offers generous storage, great spam blocking, and many helpful features and apps. By the way, use an email address that includes some version of your name and avoid cutesy extensions that will raise eyebrows.
  • Contact Information – Include one phone number rather than multiples; choose the one that represents the best way to reach you. Make sure the voice mail message is in your voice and is strictly professional.
  • Photo – Some email systems allow you to attach a photo to your signature. If you elect to include one, I suggest using the same one on your LinkedIn profile to reinforce your brand image.
  • Career Targets – Since you’re using this email for job search purposes at least part of the time, it may be appropriate to briefly note your preferred position types, levels, industries, company types, and geographic locations.
  • Links – Embed hotlinks to your LinkedIn profile and any relevant online portfolio, website, or social media accounts you may wish to include. Make sure to use your custom LinkedIn URL rather than your default profile URL.
  • Closing – A courteous close such as “Sincerely,” “Regards,” or whatever word or phrase you are comfortable with.

In your email settings, include a shorter signature on replies and forwards so you don’t annoy your readers with too much detail about yourself. And remember to proofread, proofread, proofread to be sure your signature is perfect.

Although most email systems will allow some simple text, others allow you to construct a signature out of tables or HTML, either of which gives you more extensive formatting options. If you like the simple approach, by all means set your signature up as a list of text with keyboard characters as section separators. Here’s a quick example:


 

Best regards,

Jim

 

James Tyland, MBA

Senior IT Executive

Career Targets: Software Engineering Firms in the Western & Southwestern US

555.5555

www.LinkedIn.com/jamestylandmba


 

If you prefer a more elegant email signature, try an app or software such as Wisestamp, BrandMyMail, V-Cards, or EmailSignatureRescue. Here’s a more stylized signature I created in MS Word:

Email Signature Example

Don’t waste your email signature space – use this valuable digital real estate to showcase your brand and your candidacy. And if you’re not currently in or anticipating a job search, check out these seven must-haves you need to manage your career proactively.

Related Posts

5 Email Etiquette Tips For Job Seekers
E-mail Etiquette Matters During Your Career Search
Your Job Search: 5 Tips For A Professional E-mail Address


Cheryl Simpson | Executive Job Search Coach

About the author

A 15-time, award-winning resume writer, Cheryl Lynch Simpson serves mid-career to senior executives as a credentialed resume writer (ACRW), LinkedIn strategist (COPNS), and Get Clear, Get Found, Get Hired (G3) coach. Like her advice? Check out her website, ExecutiveResumeRescue.com for a complimentary copy of her popular Polish Your Profile LinkedIn presentation, or follow her on Twitter!

 


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

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The 4 Essential ‘P’s’ Of Your Dream Job http://www.careerealism.com/dream-job-essential-ps/ http://www.careerealism.com/dream-job-essential-ps/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:32:26 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=40883 Life it too short to be unhappy at work. It's time to find career happiness! Here are four essential P's of your dream job and why their important.

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We’ve all been told that if you choose a job you love, you will never work a day in your life. But, how many people actually have the opportunity to work somewhere they love? In a world where we spend the bulk of our waking hours at work, it seems impossible to think that unhappy employees outnumber the happy ones by two to one. This startling statistic makes many of us wonder, what can we change?

QUIZ: Are You Getting Ignored By Your Dream Jobs?

By placing more emphasis on what makes us happy, a dream job is entirely attainable. There are four essential things every professional should look for, in any industry, to find a dream job of their own: the people, the purpose, the product, and the potential.

1. The People

The hours spent at work are seriously more enjoyable when you have awesome co-workers by your side. The most effective teams are made up of people who trust and support one another, collaborate, and succeed together. Not only are you most productive with teammates you can relate to and rely on, but you might just find some of your closest friends. Take a look at some of The Grommet employees, for instance. The staff members of this start-up company have weekend hang-outs and even go on trips together. Marketing Specialist Maggie Schulz described “French Toast Friday” as one of The Grommet’s go-to events. (And frankly, french toast any-day is something I can get behind!)

Maggie Schulz

Maggie Schulz | Photo credit: The Grommet

 

“They are also the kind of people you want to spend time with even if you aren’t getting paid to.“ -Maggie Schulz, Marketing Specialist, The Grommet

 

 

 

Although the people you work with don’t have to be just like you, if they share your work ethic and interests, you’re bound to enjoy seeing them every day. At The Grommet, Maker Programming Associate Matt DiStefano, says his co-workers are “mission driven, smart, and fun” and that they’re all there for the same reason. Schulz points out that the staff are “the kind of people you want to spend time with, even if you aren’t getting paid to.”

To find co-workers like this, look for what Ryan DeChance, Discovery Manager, calls “good people.” That’s how you will find a place where you “GET to go to work,” as he says. When you enjoy being in the company of your co-workers, you’ll be closer to finding a job you love.

2. The Purpose

If you’ve ever asked yourself at work, ‘Why am I doing this?’, it probably isn’t your dream job. Great jobs give us a sense of pride and accomplishment, and the best ones really let us contribute to the company’s success. By being aligned with your work, there is a motivation to get up and going in the morning, knowing that your work’s purpose has value.

Ryan DeChance

Ryan DeChance | Photo credit: The Grommet

 

“Every day has a success story.” -Ryan DeChance, Discovery Manager, The Grommet

 

 

 

DeChance explains that, at The Grommet, there is a success story of its emerging products and businesses every day. As a company that launches undiscovered products with a purpose, the staff is “constantly challenged to do things differently,” shares Site Operations Manager, Jennifer Gokhale. Compared to other companies where you might be just another person punching in and out of the timeclock, Mimi Wong, the Sr. Customer Experience Manager, points out that The Grommet is a place where “you have a real opportunity to shape the product and processes involved.” These types of sentiments illustrate the difference between a job you love, and one where you just go through the motions to get paid.

Mimi Wong

Mimi Wong | Photo credit: The Grommet

 

“I love how passionate everyone is about the mission.” -Mimi Wong, Sr. Customer Experience Manager, The Grommet

 

 

 

When you understand what your values are and what motivates you, you can find a company that shares that understanding. Being aligned with your work will help you feel about your job like DeChance does of his career at The Grommet, “like a hobby I get paid for.”

3. The Product

It’s easy to fall in love with a job when the products are amazing. If you don’t understand the purpose of a product or just plain don’t like it, it’s difficult to imagine a world where you’d enjoy selling it. Not only does this make for a dull day, but also for poor productivity. Standing behind a product will help you stand behind the job, too. Whether you’re providing a service or producing a product, what your company sells impacts your experience at the job.

Matt DiStefano

Matt DiStefano | Photo credit: The Grommet

 

“We all are here for the same reason: to get the Maker’s [new products] to that next level and to help this company that we all believe in succeed.” -Matt DiStefano, Maker Programming Associate, The Grommet

 

 

 

4. The Potential

When you’re driving and come to a dead-end, you back up and try a different route. The same thing should be true of a job where you don’t see a future. Companies that encourage you to grow professionally will foster better employees and provide you with the potential to do more. A dream job will let you hold on to the people, purpose, and products you signed on for, while having a shot at something bigger. As a professional, you should always look for a job that lets you live up to your potential.

Jennifer Gokhale

Jennifer Gokhale | Photo credit: The Grommet

 

“It’s the open-ended potential that results in business pivots at a high speed with a flexible team, and it’s why I find it so energizing.” -Jennifer Gokhale, Site Operations Manager, The Grommet

 

 

 

It’s about time we start turning the numbers around and becoming happier employees. Consider the 4 P’s you would love to have in a job, and find the position that offers them!

You can find your dream job!

Is finding a purpose important to you? Do you dream of helping a company grow?

The Grommet is looking for creative, driven professionals to join their team. With high-potential positions to fill, you could find yourself launching the next big thing! Click here to learn more about a career with The Grommet.

Related Posts

3 Reasons No Experience Will Land You That Dream Job
The Intriguing Truth About Your Dream Job
Is It Ever ‘Too Late’ To Get Your Dream Job?

 

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10 Tips For People Who Hate Networking http://www.careerealism.com/hate-networking-tips/ http://www.careerealism.com/hate-networking-tips/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:30:15 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=29786 Networking has a bad reputation as a forum for superficial small talk. Do you hate networking? Here are 10 networking tips made for you!

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Do you associate networking with shameless self-promotion and ‘more = more’? Does that make your stomach turn? Me too!

Related: 18 Easy Conversation Starters For Networking Events

Networking has a bad reputation as a forum for superficial small talk. Yet real networking is about establishing mutually beneficial, lasting connections, one person at a time. And with my modern approach to networking, even you can shine and thrive at a board meeting, convention, or free-floating cocktail party.

The reason so many of us hate networking – and profess to stink at it – is because we’ve been futilely following the wrong rules. Rules that only work for a paltry 15% of the population and require us to be phony – a sure fire way to short circuit.

10 Tips For People Who Hate Networking

Networking for People Who Hate Networking (Berrett-Koehler 2010), which is translated into 11 languages, offers a completely new – and infinitely more effective take – on networking. Networking isn’t about working a room or telling everyone how fabulous you are. Real networking is building meaningful, lasting, mutually beneficial connections one person at a time.

This new and improved definition of networking means being true to you; capitalizing on your strengths, and tossing aside ‘rules’ that don’t match your temperament. The book’s self-assessment identifies your networking style. However, here are a few tidbits designed especially for you:

1. Be True To You

You are better qualified to be you than anyone else. Stamp out networking advice that demands you behave in ways that drain you. Harness natural abilities as networking strengths rather than liabilities. Like to listen, not talk? Do it. Energize alone? Go for it. Prefer one-on-one conversation? Arrange it.

2. Realize Less Is More

Be selective. Go to fewer events and be more focused when attending – rather than dragging your weary self to every business opportunity and showing up like a networking prisoner.

3. Plan Your First Impression

Cognitive scientists say it can take up to 200 times the amount of information to undo a first impression as it takes to make one. Who has that kind of spare time? Not you! Show up with the best version of you, every time. You never know who you are meeting.

4. Volunteer

Many of us dislike networking events because we don’t know what to say to a group of strangers. Free floating through a room is a fast track to free-floating anxiety. What to do? Simple. Volunteer to help out. Voila! You have a purpose and something to talk about. Even better, you position yourself as someone helpful – proving how indispensable you are rather than telling everyone about it.

5. Get In Line

This strategy is brilliant. You walk into a networking event with nowhere to go and no one to glom onto. What’s a desperate networker to do? Get in a queue. Any queue. The longer the better!

Why? A queue gives you a place to put your body and a temporary purpose in the world. There are only two people to talk with – the person in front and person behind you. There is a reward – whatever is given out at the front of the queue. And a natural ending – the front of the queue. Nice meeting you!  Ta-ta!

6. Set Challenging Yet Achievable Networking Goals

Well-formed goals vary by personality. At a networking event, task yourself with meeting one or two people, not a dozen. And follow up (see #10!).

7. Show Don’t Tell

Rather than boring others with a canned advert of how marvelous you are, demonstrate live-time your fabulous self. Be useful and gracious. Greet others with a warm smile and leap at every chance to be helpful.

8. Research

Rather than wandering cavernous expo halls at industry events, do your pre-work. Learn in advance what organizations are of particular interest. Spend more time with fewer people. Impress key targets with your knowledge of who they are and why you are a perfect match.

9. Listen

Ever sense your remarks just shoot off a cliff and crash to the ground? Who needs that kind of pressure? Instead focus on those around you, asking thoughtful questions. Network via a sincere interest in others rather than promoting your fine self.

10. Follow-Up Or Forget About It

If you’re not following up, you’re not networking! We forget half of what we hear within 48 hours. Write personalized follow-up within two days or risk having your brilliant remarks erased permanently from the minds of those you wowed. If you’re not following up, you’re not networking.

Good luck out there! See you at a networking event. I’ll be standing alone by the buffet. Come say hi!

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

Related Posts

5 Quick Tips For More Confident Networking
5 Ways To Break The Ice At Networking Events
Building Your Network: 5 Tips For Shy Networkers


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Where Buzzwords Fit In Your Resume http://www.careerealism.com/buzz-words-resume/ http://www.careerealism.com/buzz-words-resume/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:20:20 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=16519 Every time buzzwords take over from substantial fact, your resume becomes weaker, until it could apply to any job applicant anywhere.

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Where do buzzwords fit into your resume? Read this post to find out!

Related: Optimizing Your Resume With Keywords

Compare these two statements:

  • “Proactive leader of manufacturing teams.”
  • “Achieved a 20% increase in productivity by reorganizing manufacturing teams.”

The first statement uses the buzzword “proactive” but is unsupported by facts.

The second statement would light up the eyes of any manufacturing executive or recruiter.

Every time buzzwords take over from substantial fact, your resume becomes weaker, until it could apply to any job applicant anywhere. But your goal is to stand out, to become the one candidate everyone wants to meet. To achieve, that, you have to throw out the buzzwords and become specific.

Compare these two statements:

  • “Expert in the use of state-of-the-art technology to design fully functional websites.”
  • “Designed corporate website using Joomla for $4 million company.”

The second sentence is three words shorter but a whole lot more impressive. When you avoid buzzwords in your resume, you create room for the facts that will win you your next job.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

Related Posts

Top 100 Most Powerful Resume Words
5 Things To Fix Before Your Resume Leaves Your Desk
How To Present Skills For A Resume


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