Are You Telling People You Are Desperate?

Does Your Resume and Profile Cry Desperation?

I see many resumes and especially on-line profiles crying out in desperation for someone to help. These people need a job and it just isn’t happening, but the problem is they are more interested in someone helping them versus their helping themselves. If you want someone to help; you must give them something so they can help!

Think of the movie, “Jerry Maguire”, with Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding, Jr. The part where the Cruise character says to the Gooding character, “You want me to help you, then help me help you!” The Gooding character wants a new football contract but is so caught up in himself, he doesn’t bring anything to the table for the Cruise character to use as justification for the new contract.

The people you reach out to must be able to connect the dots between you and the opportunities they see. Simply saying you need a job only tells a story of desperation. Telling your connections the skills you have to offer and how you have applied those skills gives your connections the information they need to work with on your behalf.

What Did You Do in the War Daddy?

In 1966 a movie came out titled “What Did You Do in the War Daddy?”, it was a comedy with James Coburn.

The title makes me think back to my time in the Air Force. The Air Force how exciting! When my kids would ask me about what I did they would have these visions of my piloting an airplane, flying high over enemy territory (I was in during Vietnam), being in a dogfight, etc. All exciting visuals from what they have seen on TV and with my younger kids what they see in video games. Was it that exciting for me? Nope, but my answer has always been I flew a desk. My answer was in jest, but the simple statement “I flew” would resonate and fortunately they didn’t picture a flying desk.

Today I reflect on the movie title much differently; I do it relative to what people put in their resumes and profiles and when I read I’m looking for the answer to the question: What did you do in your previous life? If the resume or profile cannot quickly tell me; I lose interest and move to the next always looking for the resume or profile which answers this question.

My question to you is: What Did You Do in the War or, in this case, Your Previous Life?

Is Your Resume or Profile Telling Your Story?

Recruiters and hiring managers want to read and then ideally hear what you have accomplished! They don’t want to simply read about your skills, they want to know how you put those skills to work. They want to know how those skills benefited you and the companies where you worked.

My story: I enjoy researching and analyzing information. On one engagement the client had a vendor support agreement for their computer equipment. One day I decided to review the charges and found they were being over charged hundreds of dollars each month. Additionally I was able to go back and challenge charges over the life of the agreement recovering over 12% of their total billings.

When you can relate your skills to a story of how you used those skills it drives home the point and the value. I’ve referred in other posts to the old adage facts tell and stories sell. You can tell your resume and profile readers all day about your skills but until you demonstrate how you use those skills; the message does not stick and you want stickiness.

Apply the KFC Approach to Your Resume and Profile

Nicholas Boothman in his book, “How to Connect in Business in 90 Seconds or Less”, he presents the KFC concept.

  1. K= Know what you want;
  2. F = Find out what you are getting; and
  3. C = Change what you are doing until you get what you want!

This is a very simple concept but one few people use, especially when it comes to their career.

Your Stories Will Set You Apart from Your Competition

In light of what Boothman says with the KFC approach, look at your career. Can you pass his test and answer each of those statements? If not, it is time to reassess your situation. If you have answers you can put the KFC approach to use in your career and change what you are doing so you will get what you want!

First know what you want for the next phase in your career and the relevant skills necessary to succeed. Identify how your skills match and write a story for each skill.

Do you want to make a difference in how your resume or on-line profile is received? Tell stories describing how you have put your skills, your education, your intuition or your experience to work and made a difference. It will matter!

Don’t just tell what you can do, show what you have done!

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve! Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it.

Check out our career site at http://toyourcareersuccess.com and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

Your College Student Can Benefit from Your Network

This is a post from one of my other blogs that fits the category of resumes and career planning for college and even high school students.

Helping Your Children by Building Your Network

Job Search – Are You a Survivor?

Job Search Challenge

Are you struggling with your job search? Does it seem that around every corner is another dead end? Are you receiving advice upon advice, but none of it is helping? Have you written, rewritten, and written your resume over and over?

If there is any comfort in this; you are not alone. Job searches are challenging, frustrating, and full of disappointments. Even sadder is that there is no quick or sure answer; except perseverance.

With all of this appearing to be stacked against you; what do you do? How do you move forward?

There Are No Easy or Guaranteed Answers or Solutions

I am not about to tell you that there is some easy solution, because there is not. What I am going to tell you, however, is that you will survive. How do I know that you will survive? Because I have survived!

I have a great education, excellent work history, I have been in a great industry full of opportunities; but that does not mean that I was protected from unemployment. In fact my unemployment has never included unemployment benefits.

I have had unemployment or underemployment periods from two or three months to 30 months over a four year period. You can lose your home, you can lose your cars, I have even slept in a car. I have gone from $125.00 per hour to $8.50 per hour. Every time, however, I have pulled through and you can to.

By nature we are survivors; we are born to succeed and to win. It may not seem like it; but it is the truth. You need to do whatever you can legally do to pull yourself and your family through.

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Tom Staskiewicz is a survivor of multiple bouts of unemployment. He understands that you cannot get down on yourself, you must keep pushing forward, and you must have perseverance. He did it and you can do it too! Tom is a Career and Accountability Coach. He helps people through the tough times. If you need help contact Tom.

Are You Afraid of Networking?

The Networking Challenge

I wrote Networking May Be Right Up There with the Fear of Speaking article in another of my blogs and thought you might find it interesting.

Networking can be a challenging and slippery slope, especially for the job seeker. As a job seeker you encounter the “no” answer when you apply for jobs which leads you to avoiding other situations where the answer may be no.

Getting “hung up” on no; is a problem that stands in the way of your success in getting a new job and moving forward. You cannot take the no answer as rejection, because it will stop you in your tracks.

What Does NO Mean?

No does not mean no, it simply means that this particular route may be blocked and that you need to take an alternative route. When you have a goal (which is imperative), you must always keep your eye on that goal. You may have to take alternative routes, but you can never allow yourself to lose sight of your goal.

One of the keys to goals is not to picture the goal, but to picture yourself from the goal. When you picture yourself from the goal you strengthen your desire and commitment.

Job Seekers – Is a Professionally Written Resume for You?

Professional Resumes

I had two LinkedIn group members comment about professionally written resumes. The first was an advocate and said that she has received interviews since having it rewritten. The problem is she had it rewritten in 2008 and is still looking. The second said that she spent a boat load of money and it got her nowhere.

My experience is similar to the second individual; the professional resume brought me nothing. The problems that I see with professional resume writers is that most write to impress the person paying the fee, rather than the person that will be reading the resume.

No One Knows Your Skills as Well as You Do!

The truth is that no one knows your skills as well as you do and although your resume writing skills may be lacking; working with someone that will HELP you craft your resume is much more effective. The place where most fail is in self-promotion. We are not very good at tooting our own horn. You need to get the reader’s attention and leave them wanting to know more.

It Is Who Knows You that Counts

The point where I differ with Denise is it is not who you know, but who knows you! What are you doing to get your information out? How are you educating the people that you come in contact with and do you leave them with the ability and desire to promote you to their contacts?

You want the people that you talk with to want to present you to others because they feel they will be helping that third person solve a problem and make themselves look good at the same time.

Job Seekers: 13 Signs That You Are Surrounding Yourself with the Wrong People

Not All Advice Is Good Advice

There are many people that are more than willing to give you advice; the question is whether that advice has any value. How do you recognize the good advisors from the bad?

The 13 Signs telling you that this is the wrong person to be talking to:

  1. They tell you your dreams are too big.
  2. They tell you you do not have the skills.
  3. They tell you that you do not have enough money.
  4. They tell you that you do not know the right people.
  5. They tell you that you are from the wrong side of the tracks.
  6. They tell you that your ship has already sailed.
  7. They tell you that you are too lazy.
  8. They tell you that you do not have the education.
  9. They tell you that it cannot be done.
  10. They tell you that you are too old.
  11. They tell you that you are too young.
  12. They tell you that you failed previously, so what makes you think you can succeed this time.
  13. The first thing they say is why you cannot do it.

What these people are really telling you is that your dream or aspiration is too big for them and therefore it must be too big for you. They see themselves as being unable to meet the challenge and put in the work and therefore either they believe you cannot succeed or they simply do not want you to succeed.

People that have not been successful find it difficult to support people with dreams and goals. It is just not in to succeed themselves and therefore, they resent success in others.

Change Your Advisors

If this is the type of advice you are receiving; it is time to change your advisors. You will never accomplish those things you are capable of doing if you have naysayers hanging around your neck.

Find Solid Support

What you must do, not just need to do, is find solid support. Find people that can help you achieve your goals, either directly or through positive support.

Sure maybe your goals are a stretch today, but that does not mean that you cannot overcome educational, monetary, networking, and other challenges. If your dreams are real to you and you are willing to do what is necessary; do not let others stand in your way.

Zig Ziglar in some of his many books talks about people allowing themselves to be SNIOPed. SNIOP is allowing yourself to be Susceptible to the Negative Influence of Other People. You cannot allow others to have this power over you.

Job Seekers: Build Your Network to 100 People in Two Days

Most Job Seekers Are Not Networkers

I work with many job seekers and what I see repeatedly are people who think they are networkers. The reason I say they think they are networkers is because I do not see them working at building their LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or any other networks.

As a job seeker you should be growing your network daily. If you are not adding at least 3 to 5 new contacts daily; you are not doing your due diligence. Statistics say that upwards of 70% of jobs are found through networking contacts; but even with that knowledge many job seekers still struggle.

In my non-networking years, I was pathetic. I had many contacts, but I did not have them organized on my behalf. I suffered through long periods of unemployment because I was inept at networking. I believe I have finally matured and it only to 20 years. Learn from my experiences, because I want you to avoid some of the pain.

Why Do I Need to Network? I Have Enough Connections.

There will never be a time when you have enough connections and do not need more. As you progress through your career; your network needs will change. Those that were previously peers may no longer be in that category. Those that were a level or two above you may now be your peers. The industry that you were once in may no longer be your industry. Your connections or you, yourself, have moved; so your needs have changed. Regardless, as change happens, your network must change as well.

It Is Easy to Build Your Network

Building your network to 100 or more connections should happen in no more than two or three days. Simply start by inviting your family members, your friends, your church members, the parents of your children’s friends, your neighbors, former classmates, and members of any other groups or organizations to which you belong. There are hundreds of people who you can invite into your network; so do it!

Do Not Use Default Invitations

Successful invitations are personalized. DO NOT USE the default invitations provided by LinkedIn, Facebook, or any others. You need to reach out to these people to get them to respond and accept your invite. Let them know how you know them – build the bridge.

Where to Next?

Once people start accepting your invitations look through their Friends or Connections list for people you know and invite those people into your network. Again use the personalized invitations identifying how you found them and how you know them.

Tell Your Connections the Type of Connections That You Want

Let your Friends and Connections help you build your network by telling them the type of people who you are looking to add. If they know of anyone meeting your criteria or that they believe would be a great connection would they please arrange an on-line introduction for LinkedIn or a Friend suggestion for Facebook.

Do Not Be Shy

This is no time to be shy or use that as an excuse. When you are unemployed you must be willing to step outside your comfort zone and make connections. Identify the places where potential employers and hiring managers can be found and go there. Whether it is a face-to-face meeting place or an on-line site; you cannot afford to be missing in action. Whatever it takes; get yourself to that location!