Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What Does A Capture Manager Do?

A Capture Manager is a term that’s been tossed around on career job sites lately. If you do a search you’ll be surprised to see lots of openings for Capture Managers. But what exactly does a Capture Manager do to earn them a hundred thousand plus salary?

At first it seems that a Capture Manger is a new name for Proposal Manager in the Federal market place but after investigation, the duties of a Capture Manager are similar but involve a lot more responsibility. For example, a Capture Manager must have experience managing deals from $10 – $100M. They use their big nets to target and capture large federal contracts. They sell products to large agencies or bid on proposals to get work for their company. In the proposal writing area, tasks include coordination of timelines, writing assignments, value proposition creation and ensuring that the sales message is articulated throughout the proposal. Normally, the proposal must demonstrate that the companies solution is superior to other bids. As well having great organizational skills, a Capture Manager must have a strong background in business practices and knowledge of Federal Acquisition (FAR) regulations and a record of winning bids.

Some Capture Managers have a direct sales background or work with a Sales Manager. They may have held positions as Sales Managers selling products to other companies and have worked as business developers finding new customers for products. They develop sales and bidding strategies to win proposals to gain work for the company. In addition, they sell the idea of bidding on a proposal to higher ups in the company as well as managing small proposal teams. In most instances, they write the less technical sections of an RFP and work with technical staff members to answer technical proposal questions. They also review, write and revise proposal content to achieve target messages.

How to write a resume for a Capture Management job.

Every resume should have a summary that describes sales and business development experience. You should mention a figure that shows how you’ve driven revenue growth within competitive markets in sales. Since you will be capturing federal contracts in the market place list the highest awards you’ve won. Your proposal management experience and skills should focus on the types of documents you have written as well as the number of people that you have supervised. Mention your sales and organizational skills, knowledge of business practices and ability to work with a variety of people as well as your ability to handle stress.

List your accomplishments—the number of proposal wins, how you increased the bottom line or saved money for the company.

Next create a section on your resume for computer and software skills.

Under Career Highlights, list your experience chronologically as it relates to your capture management experience, sales management and business development. Mention your writing skills and how you used them to write, evaluate, and revise proposals. Discuss employment during the last ten years; this is as far back as employers want you to go.

Create an Education section listing your degrees and training that pertains to the job you are applying for

Develop an awards or affiliation section and list your recent awards within the past 10 years

Leave references off your resume.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

How Much Am I Worth?

The prospect of coming up with an answer at an interview to this question makes most of us queasy. Yet, in this down economy many employers insist that you reveal a salary range during the interview. If you ask for too much you might believe you can ruin the deal or ask for too little and be unable to pay your bills. So what should you to do?

Experts say prepare before the interview to identify your salary range. This can be accomplished by researching your salary on the internet through Google. There are several businesses that ask you questions and for $49.00 will come up with info on what your skills are worth in today’s job market given your background, experience, and education. When using an on-line salary calculator answer the questions truthfully to get the low, the average and above average salary.

After Googling several free online careers and working through the process, I discovered some of them did not have information about a senior technical writer, my specialty or information systems but there was plenty of free information on many occupations. I also noticed that in general the salaries were a few thousand higher than they were last year. I guess to compensate for the decrease in the value of the dollar some employers have raised their salaries. When dealing with headhunter’s who specialize in contract jobs they try to get you to name a rate before they will submit you for the job. Recently four job shops sent me emails for the same job. I talked with one who demoted my rate by $10 dollars per hour. I said no to that offer. I did not give up and when asked by the next recruiter from another company who was selling the same job; my range was $15 dollars more per hour. He said that the beginning of the range that I had quoted him was “Ball Park” and he would bid me at that rate which was actually $16 dollars more an hour than the previous offer.


When you’re applying for a permanent job, it is best to let the employer bring up salary before disclosing a salary range. Some of employers will try to get this information from you before inviting you to an interview as a way of screening you out. You can always provide a verbal defensive move, “I will be happy to discuss my current salary when we talk about the issue at the interview.”

When asked about salary at the interview you can ask “Are you offering me the job?”
If the answer is yes, be enthusiastic and appreciative. Mention the range you researched and where the information came from. If they give you a low ball offer say you’d like 24 hours to think it over and mention that your expectations for the salary are higher because of your expenses, experience, former work history and compensation. Market your self by documenting your skills and accomplishments and emphasize the reasons why you should get the offer. This will give you the opportunity to see if the employer is flexible with the salary. Try to get their offer in writing before you make up your mind in case you decide to decline the offer. If you say no, be positive and gracious so you can say goodbye on the best of terms. “

There is more to a job than a salary, so it helps to have a long-term strategy, according to Nancy Rehnquist, a Program Management and Communication expert .
“I once needed a job and got a low offer, but the benefits were very good including money for education and professional development. Instead of asking for a higher salary I asked if they could pay my last class in graduate school. They said they could not do it but ended up increasing their offer so that I could take the class.”


Refuse to be intimidated and act with self confidence according to Sandy Bloomberg, a Senior Windows engineer for the government.
“It all depends on what you bring to the table—if you are confident in your skills and capable of talking about it through verbal communication, resume and references than negotiating a salary is a must. Role play and do your homework!

Whether you will negotiate for a better salary depends on your state of mind. For example, one of the first things you learn when playing QB in high school and college is to take what the defense gives you,” according to GM Ralph Medlow.

“If there are eight guys in the box and they are inviting you to pass you’ll likely win yardage, if you run you’ll be thrown for a loss. When you’re in a position to negotiate without fear – you will play hardball. If you have been unemployed you’ll probably take the offer without negotiations.”.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Do You Need Keywords?

How Relevant are Keywords When Applying for a Job?

 It’s very important to add key words to your resume in a summary and include them in a description of your job history while writing down the duties at each job, according to Patrick Larkin, a recruiter at Superior Technical Resources, Inc. An average recruiter has to deal with the problem of selecting the right candidates to bid on jobs everyday. Sometimes a job candidate will leave out keywords in their resume listing only that they have experience but not describing what kind.
“ Just the other day I received resume information from an Administrator who failed to include any information about her 16 year career besides listing her job titles and dates. Employers want to know what you did at each job.” says Larkin.

Today’s recruiting businesses subscribe to database services that captures resumes from top search engines such as Career Builder, Dice, Monster and HotJobs and others. When you submit your resume on-line at these job sites it goes into a database where it’s reformatted according to job description, location, and contact information and sent electronically to different recruiting clients.

Recruiters have software which allow them to perform searches on these databases. The process involves entering criteria.

“Sometimes I enter up to five keywords to describe a job because no one thinks of the same exact keywords for every position.” added Larkin.

Other areas that should be included in the job history are technical skills and competencies.

The search results save thousands of hours for recruiters when they are trying to indentify the perfect candidate for a job. The recruiter reviews the results and calls or contacts the candidates whose background best matches the job description through email. At this point, the job seeker is encouraged to send a copy of their resume to the recruiter who will follows up with a telephone interview. If the candidate has the right experience, location and salary range their information is sent to an employer who decides which prospects they’d like to interview.

Looking for Job Leads as a Lobbyist

Tonight I attended a networking event for lobbyists or public relations professionals sponsored by Washington Network Group (Wing) (http://www.washingtonnetworkgroup.com/). There was a crowd of 90 well-dressed people who slowly meandered into a private room located at Bar Louie near Gallery Place and shared the hors oeuvres. The event partner was the American League of Lobbyists, founded in 1979 to enhance the professionalism, competence and ethical standards of lobbyists. The president of the group said he’d like young people to email their resumes to the American League of Lobbyists because the association has members who know of lobbying jobs. Employers who are looking for more experienced folks would like to see candidates who have a legislative background as an analyst and have run a Congressional Office.

I met an attractive woman in her mid-forties who said she was lobbying on her own for the environment. She’d been looking for a job for more than six months – her expertise was health care related—she was also selling insurance. She’d moved to the District two years before from Virginia and seemed discouraged. She said that it’s been very hard to find a new job—she’d been laid off and blamed her situation on age discrimination.

Another man who previously worked for the health care industry talked about his trade negotiations and policy experience. He had several master degrees and an MBA and was also was working on a doctorate in finance. He was getting flack from potential employers who apparently didn’t like the idea he was working on his Doctorate and so he wanted to leave it off his resume. One employer said that they were afraid to hire him because he would be too distracted working on his thesis.

One man started his own company called StrategiConneX International,LLC during the last two months working with groups who were devising strategies to grow their business and focused on helping POW’s. He makes connections for clients by introducing them to the right military contact where they can get funding. Starting his own company with partners has brought in some business with more jobs in the pipe line, he said.

Several people had their own businesses. One man had a software company that was intertwined with Congress providing data analysis to support a data warehouse for Congress. Another person who was looking for lobbyists in the Healthcare field gave me his card. A lot of people were attending the event for the first time such as a Business Development Officer Roumen Boudin from Eagle Bank.

A young man who was seeking a job as an energy lobbyist said he’d been looking for a year for work and had volunteered on the Hill for a Senator and for the Republican party as well as a few other organizations but still did not get a job, He had sent out 130 resumes received 10 phone interviews and nothing happened. He was very passionate about saving energy and was in a fight to gain more experience.

There were about eight women at the event, one had her own business in education and training, another had a graphics and publishing enterprise, and then there were two selling insurance. Bill Stokes an executive search consultant and a board member for WING, mentioned a man who has a digital IT business verifying negative things that are being said about job candidates and through his programming expertise is able to manipulate Google so that the negative feedback is buried and appears as search comment 500. He can’t get totally rid on negative events or comments but is able to bury it. For example, my friend who sued two companies she worked for and received a nice settlement has had a difficult time since then landing another job. At the previous company she worked for for eight years as a manager she was involved in a sexual harassment suit. It took her four years to get her present contract which is half her pay and will expire in February. She could use this firm.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Resume Trends


Here's some info on the latest resume trends...

  • Write a career summary that’s a snapshot of your career accomplishments.

  • Tell an employer about your strengths.

  • Use key words to show you have the qualifications and the personal qualities an employer is looking for.

    Showcase your accomplishments in a dynamic Career Summary:

    High octane Executive with 15 years experience marketing consumer products in the telecom industry producing $175 million in sales. As an outgoing, energetic thought leader, developed the knack of sizing up individuals and creating successful partnerships. Background in management, sales, engineering and technical knowledge of consumer products. As an Executive VP, manage a sales team of 250 and lead $200 multimillion dollar ad campaigns for products that sold RoboTV via the internet, newspapers and magazine articles. Handled all marketing campaigns for devices and marketing plans for brochures, flyers, web content. Direct maintenance and development of website and managed advertising campaigns with retail sales. Cultivate relationships with Press. Serve as point of contact. Lead briefings for events.

    To write an accomplishment oriented resume that focuses on different skills., match your skills with the appropriate work experience. Tell an employer what you’ve done as well as your accomplishment.

Below you’ll see a Job Title and a List of Skills. In another column, you’ll see accomplishments associated with a skill.



Manage- Managed 250 direct reports at xyz company
Finance- Added $20 million to the bottom line and saved the company $1M by changing suppliers
Train - Oversaw training of 150 sales reps at xyz company and increased sales by 20 percent
Leadership- Led seminar on emotional intelligence and increased performance by 30 percent

Technical Writer






Graphic Design

Write - Wrote three user manuals in two months
Design- Designed style sheet and format document
Edit- Edit text written by others
Interview- Interview managers and programmers to get information
Research - Researched information on the internet
Graphic Design - Created format, schematics, and drawings in Visio

Public Relations



Website administrator

Relationship guru


Supervise staff comprised of : Manager, Communications Manager, Creative Services, Webmaster AdministratorImplement marketing campaigns for publications.
Develop marketing plans for brochures, flyers, web content
Direct maintenance and development of website
Cultivate -relationships with press.


  • Limit your resume to the last 10 years of work experience

  • Become an expert in your field. Join a social networking group like Linked-in to write a profile and build contacts.

  • Join alumni organizations or groups in your field.

  • Comment on discussions, write articles, or refer articles by providing links to them.

  • If you have an interview don’t arrive more than 10 minutes early.

  • Research the company to find out how the market has affected the company.

  • Check press releases, annual reports, media coverage, media blogs and consult your network to learn about events and the corporate culture.

  • At the interview you must differentiate yourself like never before. Make yourself memorable. Know about the company products.

  • Wait until you’ve been offered the job before talking about money. Before research the average pay range in case you are forced to name your price.

  • After the interview, send a thank you note to the right person.

  • Wait a week before calling the company to see how you did, and always call the employer at the office.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Curious About New Jobs Created By The Government Read This..

What Jobs Will the Stimulus Create?
By John Rossheim, Monster Senior Contributing Writer

In his first address to Congress, President Barack Obama put his top priority for America’s beleaguered workers in simple terms: “Now is the time to jumpstart job creation.” The work of reversing the labor economy’s slide will not be so simple. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act seeks to bring timely relief to 11.6 million unemployed Americans and 734,000 discouraged workers -- so called by the Bureau of Labor Statistics because they have given up looking. The jobs created by the Recovery Act will make a world of difference in the lives of millions, even though it can’t put everyone back to work tomorrow. “The approximately 3.5 million jobs created or saved will reflect the current distribution of jobs across the economy,” touching all industries, says Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute. Due to the severity of the recession, “that’s not going to fill in the employment gap entirely,” she says. About 3.6 million jobs have already been lost in the recession that began December 2007, according to a February 2009 BLS report, and no one expects the losses to stop anytime soon. Four strategic sectors will receive money targeted for job creation, either directly or indirectly: energy (459,000 jobs), infrastructure (377,000), education (250,000) and healthcare (244,000), according to a report by Obama administration officials. And the broader stimulus created by government work, recession relief and tax relief is projected to create even greater numbers of jobs across the economy. Alternative Energy Jobs Get a Jolt The stimulus package calls for unprecedented spending on clean energy, including $60 billion in loan guarantees for alternative energy projects such as wind turbines and coal gasification. The money is sorely needed, because the green sector has been especially hard-hit in the downturn. “Since November, hiring has been in a lockdown,” says Doug Scott, regional managing director for recruitment firm the Mergis Group. “It’s starting to improve, because companies who have the money to make a play are now doing so.” Engineers and tradespeople should see demand for their services rise when federal funding reaches their prospective employers. “Electrical, electronic and mechanical engineers will transfer their skills the quickest to alternative energy, to work on solar panels and wind turbines, for example,” says Scott. “Technical salespeople will be needed, as will skilled tradespeople to work in installation, infrastructure and field service.” Learn more about energy-related opportunities and search for jobs.Construction and Infrastructure Win Major Support “Job growth from the stimulus will be heavier in industries that have been hit harder,” says Shierholz. “Those industries have the most opportunity for bounce-back.” Construction, with its free-falling housing sector, desperately needs that bounce. So hardhats and their coworkers should be somewhat reassured to see that Recovery Act infrastructure spending will be measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars, and so-called shovel-ready projects will receive funding as soon as this spring. For example, the infrastructure stimulus will include billions of dollars for public transit, encompassing projects ranging from railway repairs to the purchase of hybrid buses. Learn more about construction-related opportunities and search for jobs. Education Gets into the Rebuilding Act Recovery Act funding for education is projected to create or save hundreds of thousands of jobs, from teaching positions to bricklayers. This may give school officials across the country a breather as they struggle to balance budgets while state and local funding dwindles. Education spending will include a variety of initiatives, from billons of dollars in school repairs to additional millions for programs for students with learning disabilities. Learn more about education-related opportunities and search for jobs.Healthcare Gets a Shot in the Arm The stimulus package includes many billions of dollars for healthcare, including $21 billion for healthcare information systems and technology. “The new administration will emphasize capturing information to better deliver pharmaceuticals and healthcare services,” says Jason Hersh, managing partner of Kline Hersh International. “Professionals in medical informatics will be in demand over the coming years. Job seekers who are looking to transition skill sets into this environment should look into healthcare IT,” he says. Learn more about healthcare-related opportunities and search for jobs.Millions More Jobs to Be Added Across the Economy Beyond the four strategic sectors, some 2.3 million jobs are projected via other components of the stimulus package, such as extensions of unemployment benefits, aid to states and tax cuts. These jobs will be born in diverse industries, including retail, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, professional and business services, government, financial, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information technology and services, mining and utilities. Employment in these areas will likely come online sooner than jobs created in the strategic sectors. “Because it takes time to carry out new spending programs authorized by legislation, we expect the jobs created by spending on infrastructure, education, health and energy to be concentrated in 2010 and 2011” rather than this year, the administration report notes. Even given this jobs-building program of historic proportions, the rising tide of unemployment is unlikely to reverse itself in the near term. “If we can start adding net jobs in early 2010, we can say the stimulus did its job,” says Shierholz. Get Ready to Land a Stimulus Job Whether you are hoping to find a job in one of the four strategic sectors -- energy, education, infrastructure, healthcare -- or one that is indirectly created by the stimulus package, you can take action right now to be ready to stand out as the jobs are posted.
· Research: Narrowing in on the types of jobs you want and are most qualified for will help you keep your job search on task. Check out Monster’s Career Snapshots to learn about different jobs and get insiders’ perspectives on what it is like to work in these fields. This can also help you identify any skills gaps you may have so you can seek the appropriate training.
· Update Your Resume: Now that you have some potential career goals in mind, you need to make sure your resume will get you there. Be sure your resume is ready to go with your most up-to-date skills and accomplishments, and consider customizing your resume to the different jobs you plan to apply for.
· Keep an Eye on Jobs: As the stimulus begins to have its impact on the economy, the job postings will trickle in. Set up saved job searches now for your different target jobs so that Monster can notify you as they are posted. And look for when Monster’s Keep America Working Tour will come to a city near you, so you can take advantage of the on-site career-building opportunities.

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