Posts Tagged 'Resume'

Pinkslipparty and Stone Soup!

Photo BY Hypernaut
Photo BY Hypernaut

Social media has really been an adventure for me in the past couple of years. I spent much of my free time in the fall reading and commenting on blogs that I found through Twitter. I love technology! But that is a post for another day.

This post is cutting it very close because the latest pinkslipparty in Boston will start in 15 minutes from this writing. But it will be there for the future, for all the potential pinkslipparty questions people may have in the future.

My adventure with pinkslipparty began when I saw a post by @Pistachio (aka Laura Fitton) on Twitter on the afternoon of January 9. She was announcing a pinkslipparty for the Boston area which she was putting together for that evening. She had found someone to donate a place and food and was looking for help from career services for both resources and prizes. I’ve given resume packages to church auctions and other projects before so I sent @Pistachio an e-mail volunteering to help with a donation of a resume package if she wanted. She replied that it would be great and there I was, a distant helper to a pinkslipparty half a continent away. I pointed her to the package on my very new web site www.designresumes.com and she was set.

Laura said on Twitter that it was like Stone Soup and that made me smile. I knew what she meant. She was referencing one of my favorite children’s stories, one I had seen over and over on Captain Kangaroo. Soldiers enter a village whose inhabitants don’t want to share anything with them. They suggest that they will make stone soup and then ask for one ingredient at a time. I don’t remember the order anymore but it was a carrot, a potato, an onion, until they had all they needed for the soup. The townspeople became more generous as the story went on and more trusting. I have used the analogy for Stone Soup which transcends beyond soup ingredients when I am organizing an event and want things to come together. I ask for just one thing and it expands until I have exactly what I need.

In Laura’s case, the pinkslipparty designed to help unemployed people gather to exchange ideas and just get past the feelings that come upon you when you are out of work. The pink slip party concept is explained here by Galen Moore of www.masshightech.com “Like those festivities held after the dot-com bubble burst the last time the economy crashed, 2009’s pink-slip parties are popping up to provide a jump start for networking job seekers and a petri dish for growing new startups. Perhaps more importantly, they offer shoulders to lean on for the newly laid off.”

By later in the evening @Pistachio had sent me a DM letting me know that @JamesonBull had won the package. Even before that I caught Jameson Bull’s Tweet that the pinkslipparty was awesome and he was the winner! You can see the shorter web version of the resume I created for Jameson in his portfolio.

Tonight another Initial Launch Package will be given away in Boston. I told Laura that I would be happy to help out with another donation. This afternoon I e-mailed my Career Directors International colleagues to give them a heads up on what I am doing and open the door to other donations for other pinkslipparties. On March 6, one more Initial Launch package will be given away in Chicago at the pinkslipparty that Brendan Murphy, @dendari on Twitter, is planning.

I think that this is the time that the country needs to pull together, all of us need to work together. I’m a resume writer and make my living by writing resumes but I can contribute in a small way with a few packages to help someone move forward in their career. If you are unemployed, check for pinkslipparty on Twitter or Google and you will find yourself with others who share your concerns. At the same time, people like Laura Fitton are trying to find ways to pull in the career services industry, the hiring companies, and help people move forward. Together, we will survive the economic challenges, perhaps by making our own version of Stone Soup!

Advertisements

When an Interview Expands

A resume client called in this morning to gave me a recap of her interview yesterday. She has agreed to let me share her story. I’ll let you know how the interview went soon, but first some background.

How it all Started

We updated and refocused the client’s resume on Monday afternoon and submitted her resume for two positions in the dental field. I’ve worked with this client previously for positions in other industries so I had already gained her trust. I coached her that she should be prepared that the dental field in our area is fairly saturated and many of the new dental hygiene graduates from the area will apply for dental assistant or lab positions to get their foot in the door. (I have done resume and career development seminars to the students in the dental hygiene program for the past 7 or 8 years, so I understand the market.) My client has 11 years of prior experience as a Chairside Assistant but it isn’t within the last 10 years. The positions were advertised on Career Builder and I train my clients to network whenever possible, so I cautioned her to understand that it might be challenging to get an interview. I have had clients with success on Career Builder, I just don’t want the job boards to be their primary source for positions and I want them to work on actual networking whenever possible.

Interview Scheduled

Amazingly, she called Tuesday to say she was scheduled for an interview at one of the two targets. We agreed she would stop by yesterday morning for new prints of her resume and references. We talked about her objectives. She was nervous but determined to make a good impression.

The Interview

This morning she called to share what happened. The interview scheduled at 11am with an orthodontist was very detailed. After meeting with him and answering a battery of questions, she went to work with the dental assistant and go over instruments, procedures, and other details of the job. After that she was asked to return to the practitioner and he expanded on some of the prior information and then asked her if she would like to return in the afternoon to observe. She agreed she would do that and spent the afternoon watching the staff work directly with patients. This interview ended up to be about four hours of her day yesterday but she left feeling as though it would be a great place to work.

I am well aware of team interviews and detailed company tours for many positions as well as multiple interviews for a position, but this was still unusual from my experience. My client’s attitude was excellent. We discussed many of the questions and her answers and agreed that it went very well. She also shared that the dentist from the other position also contacted her and gave her a phone interview.

She was off to write a thank you note next after I coached her on what content she might like to include.

What did I learn?

Career Builder postings can result in quick responses and interview requests. Interviews can surprise you, so be prepared for longer time commitments.

What I knew already

Interviewing styles differ from position to position, company to company.

What can you learn

Be prepared for the unusual and stay positive throughout the experience. Each interview opportunity is the chance to learn more about interviews in general, build confidence, and grow in industry knowledge. Practice good business etiquette in every phase of the job search. Never forget the thank you note.

Tested but not crushed

Andrew Plath, Wildlight Photography

Photo Credit: Andrew Plath, Wildlight Photography

Tested but not crushed… I’ll explain where that phrase comes from in a bit.

 

 

As you get to know me, you will find that I become very passionate about people or things that help me grow. In about 2003, a friend e-mailed me and her group of friends a link to Flylady (www.flylady.net) and said, someone might find this helpful. That was an understatement for sure! You’ll have to check out Flylady for yourself but she has definitely changed my life. A life coach could probably describe her. Yes, she’s a life coach to about 500,000 people around the world right now.

 

A brave woman, also known as Marla Cilley, she has steadily expanded her network of helpers to include a wide range of individuals specialized in areas that can help anyone. She teaches babysteps and connects you with her base of contacts. You can find all about Flylady’s friends by going to her website but the one that got me started on this blog topic today was her virtual personal trainer, Jonathon Roche, who has become my virtual personal trainer too.

I waffled about getting Jonathan’s Momentum Weight Loss System and have now found it to be right up on one of the best decisions I ever made. His heart rate monitor and the encouraging DVDs make me realize why I reached a plateau with my fitness goals. I wasn’t working hard enough! My target heart rate this morning was 153. Jonathan teaches how to use intervals (working for 3 to 5 minutes to get to a specific heart rate and building those incrementally through a 30 minute workout with recovery time between each 3 – 5 minute build up). On non-interval days, he advises you to do his No Excuses Workout which works on strengthening your muscle groups. Throughout the workout he is coaching and encouraging. His pet phrase is “We want to test you but not crush you.” He encourages you to work to meeting the goals of each session but not to the point of hurting yourself.

 

As I think about those words, “test you but not crush you”, it reminds me too of a Bible passage which talks about not giving you more burdens than you can bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13).  “He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to see you through it,” is how my Message version of the Bible puts it.

 

With the challenges of the economy, Wall Street, election, and everything else happening on the news these days, I think many of us relate to feeling crushed. I’ve been in business for 25 years as a résumé writer and never have I seen my new résumé client numbers for Design Resumes drop as low as it has for the past month or so. I have to cling to both Jonathan’s advice and the Bible’s advice and know that I am being tested but I am not meant to be crushed.

 

I pull all my resources together at times like these. I read the Word more, I network with friends both to stay positive and let them know I am looking for business, I work on learning new marketing strategies, and I catch up on all the projects that got stuck while I was so busy for years. I use strategies Flylady has taught me, like using her timer, “You can do anything for 15 minutes” to keep working toward goals. Don’t forget to check her out on www.flylady.net!

 

My business contracts with Wausau Whitewater so my résumé writing side is not my only source of income. As the non-profit’s Operations Coordinator, I stay busy working on marketing and planning for the next whitewater season on the downtown whitewater course in Wausau, Wisconsin.

 

Again, all of my resources get pulled together and I remind myself that I am being tested but not crushed and I think this is critical for all of us these days. What about you? Are you being tested?

Proactive or Reactive?

Proactive or Reactive?

Proactive or Reactive?

The other day I had a client call for an appointment. In the process of setting his appointment, we talked about how the economy is affecting people’s choices for everything they do. Investing, purchasing, or scheduling appointments, it seems like people are holding back right now. He said that he believed that could change on November 5 (the day after the election) but at this point, he was going to be proactive. He wanted to get his résumé updated so that when the tide turns; he is ready for whatever opportunities materialize.

 

 

His strategy is one that I have shared with clients for years. If you continuously update your résumé so that the content is fresh and reflects your newest and strongest accomplishments, then you will be ready when that networking opportunity surfaces and you find a potential opportunity that matches your skills. Many people wait until something catastrophic happens, either they are terminated from a position, permanently laid off, or the company goes out of business. At that point, the emotions are running so high, a range of being angry, depressed, lost, or sad that you are not in the frame of mind to think of accomplishments. My client’s strategy of being proactive meant that he could clearly assess what he wanted to talk about on a résumé and share with the next potential employer.

 

Clients that take this proactive strategy are able to use the tools I and other professional résumé writers provide to select keywords that match their skills and remember stories about their accomplishments that can be transformed into “résumé speak” for them. They are better able to retrieve testimonials or endorsements from their employee evaluations or client thank you letters which can be incorporated into the résumé to demonstrate their value to future companies.

 

In addition, clients who are proactive are also generally better networkers. They maintain a presence on LinkedIn and are actively building their contacts and connections. They may be using a tool like Jason Alba’s JibberJobber,  www.jibberjobber.com to track their network connections and start building a list of companies that they might like to approach for their next career move. Jason has labeled the difference career management versus job search. Today in his blog, Jason invites you to play fill in the sentence comparing the two. Check out www.jibberjobber.com/blog to see if you can find more comparisons than he did.

 

In this entertaining exercise, Jason is pointing out how career management is critical in today’s world. It is increasingly obvious that nothing is forever these days. You can’t expect to have a job for 20 or 30 years the way that prior generations did. You can expect that you will transition to new jobs and possibly new careers multiple times in your working lifetime.

 

A professional résumé writer can certainly work with clients who are pushed into action by sudden job loss but clients who are proactive in their career management will be able to feel more in control if they suddenly find themselves in the job search mode. Which would you prefer to be? Proactive or reactive? If you want to be proactive, email me at design@dwave.net to schedule your appointment to get your resume ready for your next career move.


Subscribe to Feedburner

Follow Me on Twitter

http://twitter.com/JulieWalraven

12for12K

12for12k-banner-234x60-3-animated