Friday, December 31, 2010

How To Protect Your On-line Reputation

By Barbara LaBier

These days it seems that anybody can say negative things about you on the web, but what can you do to fight back?
Through data mining Google and other search engines collect millions of facts and data that your future descendants might access to find out about you after you’re gone, according to Christine Schiwietz an Assistant professor of Sociology at George Washington University.

Dr. Schiwietz and Nino Kader President of International Reputation Management (IRM) spoke at the National Press Club last month offering tips on protecting your on-line image. The talk was supported by the Washington Network Group (WING).

Unfortunately, the days of privacy and unanimity are gone, if you don’t like what the world is saying about you the only thing you can do in response is change your name, revealed CEO Eric Schmidt of Google in a Wall Street Journal article.

Most of us do not want to go to this extreme to find peace of mind. As Google real-time search and sites like Facebook and Twitter continue to grow, it becomes more necessary than ever to monitor your on-line reputation.The first step in protecting your reputation is to Google your name on the net to see what comes up, suggests Kidder.

Schiwietz advises setting up a Google alert to capture what different websites or blogs are saying about you. Once a week or more often new instances of your name will be tracked and the information sent to you. Continue the tracking process by subscribing using your full name to, a bog search engine and BackType, a blog comment search engine to reach blogs that Google alerts do not contact. However, negative comments may be difficult to remove.

There are folks outrageous enough to steal a resume on-line. A Project Manager at GSA was given someone’s resume by her boss who said it looked very familiar. After reading it, she was shocked to discover that it was her resume that she’d used to apply for her current job several years before. Instead of finding her own name and address on the resume, there was a strangers. This person had stolen the content of her resume that she’d uploaded to When she requested that the search engine take down the counterfeit resume, they refused. She tried to contact author of the phony resume, but she could not be found.

Another kind of problem occurs if a negative comment about someone appears in a blog; generally, it’s usually not worth fighting over on-line. Contacting the owner of the blog off-line it is much better idea. Adding fuel to the fire could create a situation where the owner of the blog continues to broadcast untrue or negative information about you. Knowing who you are dealing with will determine how far you should go in pursuing a problem. Some people are decent and will remove the information but not everyone. If you are forced to clarify the issue on-line take an open, peacemaking attitude when answering comments.

 Of course, you can try to sue the person for defamation of character. However it seems that legally the law has not caught up with the problems produced on the internet. According to employment law of the 1940-60’s, requesting a photo or any information regarding skin color, nationality, or origin was considered illegal and could have possibly lead to discrimination. Social media has produced a lot of change that has not as yet been challenged in the courts.

One solution according to Nino Kader of IRM is to counteract bad publicity by minimizing it by incorporating new material about you so that detrimental comments are pushed farther and farther back in the pages of Google. For example, you could have several people recommend you on-line and, consequently, revitalize your reputation.

• If you have a website purchase your own domain name including the following versions: .org, .com, .gov, .net. When you have two names in the title of your website, also buy the domain name that has a hyphen between the two names. If you don’t do this and your name is popular you may be subject to competitors who steal your name by creating domains very similar to yours.
• Write blogs and articles and post them from your own computer and distribute them to different sites. Identify blogs and forums you contribute to within your professional circle in your profile.
• Create content with video and audio to broadcast on U-Tube.
.Provide links listing your name and the location of the article and place a John Doe link to site.
• Establish an identity through Linked-in to provide a professional profile for work and networking. Update your profile frequently. Also highlight your experience as a board member and other activities.
• Write recommendations for others and they may reciprocate.
• Join groups on-line and contribute your opinions.
• On Facebook create an identity to reconnect with old friends.

Save On-line Reputation         

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Identifying Career Changing Skills by Barbara LaBier


By Barbara LaBier

Identifying transferable skills is necessary when changing careers.

These skills can be used to market yourself to employers during interviews as well as writing cover letters and resumes. Transferable skills are universal and are used to describe experience in every occupation regardless of the type of work. They are more important than job-related skills which are used to describe one type of work since transferable skills are unrelated to past employment or educational experience.

You can use transferable skills to create a self-inventory that can be adapted to evaluate and describe any working situation. Put a check mark next to each of 10 skills that match your background and review in your mind the tasks you’ve associated with this skill.
Study a job description and the key words to determine the type of career that you want to apply for. Do a search on or other job search engines to review job titles and match them against your background. Highlight keywords that you can use in a new context to describe your experience.

Learn the jargon or buzz words of your potential career. When you review the Transferable Skills Sheet located in a the same article located at, notice that each list of skills has a heading. In the first column you’ll see Analytical and underneath the title are descriptive key words you can use to describe your tasks in your resume. The table and columns contain transferable skills as well as specific examples of how the skills have been used. Putting each keyword in the context where you have previously used it on the job or to highlight activities such as part-time work, internships, special projects, volunteer work, and education is a great help when it comes to writing your resume and cover letter. Transferable skills are also used in statements to answers competency based questions for knowledge, skills and ability questions (KSA’a) that are part of a Federal resume or other questionnaires that may be part of other applications.( Unfortunately the Transferable Skill Sheet is a table  that is not transfered properly inside this blog.

You can find the article and table at

Monday, September 27, 2010

Gossip At Work

By Barbara LaBier

Gossip at work benefits individuals and organizations—although in some manager’s opinion it is derogatory. When caught gossipers are punished with lower performance ratings.

Doctoral students in management from the University of Kentucky performed a study surveying 30-40 employees about their social networks and who they gossiped with and the influence that each colleague had. The more staff members gossiped the more influence they showed and the better was their understanding of their social environment.

Gossip can be useful if there is change going on in an organization when the flow of information is stifled then the few that are in the know can spread it and relieve anxiety. Conventional wisdom says just the opposite – supposedly gossip breeds stress and uncertainty. While it can cause fear research shows it does the reverse by building an emotional connection which provides social and emotional support. On the negative side, gossip consists of half-truths and hearsay and can absorb the staff’s time. So how can it be valuable?

By studying the network the study indicates it’s easy to discover who is a bully, or who is difficult to work with. For the manager it can be a great tool for hearing troublesome issues. Positive gossip is more typical than negative. Out of 72 percent of gossip relationships, positive gossip ranked 21 % while negative was only 7%.

Some bosses believe that gossip is subversive because the more someone gossips the more influence they have among peers. In away, it has a democratizing force and levels the playing field between managers and employees and is a threat to bosses who want complete control. In this study managers gave lower ratings to employees who gossiped more. Often managers try to squelch gossip without addressing the problems that was generating it.

Managers gossip too, because they say they need a lot of information to do their work. But are they gossiping with the right people? Do they say what the manager thinks or introduce information about the state of the company or are they people who are critical about the functioning of the company. If they are not happy at work, they can find many ways o bring the organization down. The number of people supervisors gossip with  are 7.4 people. The average numbers of people nonsupevisors gossip with are 3.9. 

The study was carried on by Giuseppe Joe Labianca , a Gatton Endowed Associate Professor of Management at the University of Kentucky/ Linked Center for Research on Social networks in business exam med social interactions in a branch of a US company

Gossip At Work

This article was excerpted from the August/September 2010, Harvard Business Review.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What Resume Do I Submit For a Federal Job? by Barbara LaBier

The appropriate “Resume” to submit for a Federal job has become confusing. Despite the Obama administration’s efforts to focus on corporate resumes and eliminate KSA’s--- the majority of agencies still do their own thing. The best advice is to read each job description and instructions carefully before applying for a federal job because each agency has different standards.

The Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities questions are known in govspeak as KSAs. Answers to these questions show that you are qualified for advertised jobs. During the 1980’s, KSAs were originally used as a replacement for the old civil service exams. A few agencies have stopped using them, including the Army and the U.S. Customs Service. Others, however, are still requiring them.

According to The Office of Personnel Management KSAs will soon be a thing of the past. The Obama administration has asked agencies to stop requiring the time-consuming essays and instead accept a corporate resume. The government form when compared with a corporate resume contains details such as an employer’s name, phone number, address, time at the job, salary, and references for each job. The corporate resume on the other hand is about two pages. The text is written in phrases and may contain a career summary and never reveals salary for each position.

Elimination of KSAs is part of a comprehensive initiative by the Obama administration to overhaul the federal government’s hiring process. Right now, the USAJOBS form filled out on-line is acceptable by all agencies. Go to the USAJOBS site to research and apply for jobs. This format used to be called the “Remix” resume and was updated six months ago.  Some agencies will still accept a 171. Depending on the agency you are applying to, once this form is completed on line, you may be transferred to another registry where there is yet another form to fill out during the application process. Paying attention to the closing date and time is also very important. You don’t want to be shuffled from different registries as the window of time disappears as you try to make the application deadline.

For the moment, KSAs (and their equivalent for senior executive positions, the ECQs) are still a reality for the vast majority of federal jobs and they are taken seriously by HR officials. Make sure your answers be error free by using spell check and the help of a friend to proofread for you.

Rely on your resume for information. Your challenge is to insert everything that would be in your normal private-sector resume somewhere in concise and coherent answers to the questions.

As far as KSA’s are concerned you must fill out every question to your fullest ability. Some questions may require research to complete because you may have forgotten the material they refer to. If you don’t have the complete response nailed you may get partial credit. You want to emphasize experiences and examples that support your answer to the question. If you have to repeat information in another KSA rewrite it focusing on other points. Also important is to emphasize recent achievement, degrees, certifications and training.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Next Chapter

By Barbara LaBier

Today’s retirees will live longer than other generations and still have working on their minds. For many, a second career will supplement social security and offer opportunities for new areas of self-fulfillment. Many people have told me that finding work different from what they did during 40 years of their lives will add a new dimension to living where they are better able to match their passion with doing something they like.

This attitude is prevalent among retirees who come from successful careers who are seeking opportunities to make more money while finding self-fulfillment through work.

Instead of taking any job after retiring, experts say it is time to focus on a career that brings you some pleasure.

“It has been a voyage of self discovery according to Sam who worked as a salesman and real estate broker for Long and Foster for 30 years. Sam always knew that he enjoyed the teaching and training aspect of his career. When he retired, he soon found that he was bored and broke staying at home playing the stock market. After visiting a career counselor, he learned to evaluate what turned him on about a new career and chose coaching for real estate professionals. Now, Sam teaches strategies for building real estate businesses through career coaching seminars and retreats for professionals looking to build their sales and businesses. He enjoys the travel and participating in retreats and public speaking where he earns thousands of dollars for his advice.

Rob who spent 30 years in the restaurant business as an owner, manager, chef, bartender and server was burned out. He wanted to retire and utilize his skills in the restaurant industry in second career in a job that was easier on this body.

After a few sessions with a career coach he was able to redirect his career skills to a large corporation where he is working in the area of corporate sales in the retail and industrial food services area.

“Sysco was delighted with my skills because I had intimate sales knowledge of purchasing equipment, recipe planning, food services and sales. When I meet new clients in the corporate world, we speak the same lingo, ” Rob said happily.

But what about the folks who retire and feel devalued by the experience? Many people are enraged about loosing their title, job, and income as well as the way they were once defined by society. When they start a new career their seniority is gone, they make mistakes and stumble, they have lost their mentor status, they are reduced to the status of an apprentice. Comparing themselves to a youthful culture is often painful.

Cynthia who is in her middle sixties will be retiring next year. For 35 years she worked in the IT industry as a technical writer and now is getting ready to embark on a second career as a Financial Planner.

“I am very excited about trying something new.” she said. “A career that capitalizes on my love of people, interest in stocks, companies and business and my delight in creating strategies to help others succeed is what I want. ”

But what about failure? For Cynthia her long career filled with ups and downs has made her philosophic.

“During my working life, I developed wisdom about how to fail gracefully and recover. Not everything has to be achieved in a day. My youthful impatience of expecting over- night success has been replaced with an inner confidence, knowledge and an expanded sense of humor. I know that I will be successful given time,” she added.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Six Ways To Stay Unemployed

I was perusing an old diary that belonged to my Uncle Willy who lived through the Great Depression and found this bit of advice on how to maintain your mental health.

“Baring your soul can be therapeutic,” he wrote. “So the next time you are depressed and you can’t afford a psychiatrist make an appointment with a potential boss at a job interview.”

1. When the employer asks why you are leaving your current job tell him why you hate your work and your boss is such a jerk.

2. Also reveal why you’re so dissatisfied with your current buddies at work.

3. After he or she brings up salary tell them you are flexible but with your talent and experience and won’t settle for peanuts.

4. If the interviewer asks what you’re planning to do in the next five years- don’t be shy tell them the truth …that you’d like to be retired.

5. Should they ask you if the job you are interviewing for is the perfect job for you tactfully explain that you like the job as a Contract Specialist but would be better suited as a Radio Host.

5. And finally, if you’re asked if you could hear people at work talking behind your back what would they be saying about you… say “Nothing, I lip read and am deaf in one ear.”

6. Be sure to send a thank you note a week after you have finished the interview.

Follow Barbara at

Saturday, August 7, 2010

What’s Going On With Social Media At Work?

Social Media can be a boon for any business when it’s used to promote products and a company. For many entrepreneurs it is free marketing. Clients get to know the company on a personal level and feel connected. A Facebook Page brings customers to a website to find out more information or to contact the business owner.

Marketing businesses understand that emailing potential clientele during business hours can result in building stronger relationships that will eventually bear fruit with more business. Collaboration and creativity improves office morale and sparks participation in online communities such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Govloop. Staff in this environment are treated as mature adults not disobedient children who are constantly monitored by their bosses.

Yet, employees using social media can create problems for some business owners. Executives say they block social media sites because of breeches in security and the belief that social media leads to lack of productivity. Others think that employees spend too much time updating their profiles rather than working.

Computer World reported in 2009 that 54% of companies in the USA banned social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and My space; Nineteen percent allowed only social networking sites for business. And only 10 % of 1400 CIO’s  are allowed full access during office hours. In a more recent study of companies that have 1000 employees – 8% percent of them have been fired because of their behavior on social media sites. Some got caught on-line revealing confidential information about the business or clients.
Social media critics take a negative approach and say that using social media as a strategy takes too much time to bear fruit and that it removes marketing resources and taking them away from other marketing plans. And, most important customers are annoyed by emails.

Social media in the private or the governmental arena has become a management problem. Social media sites are currently in place at every Government site. GAO, for example, performed a study that showed that these technologies could actually expose government records and sensitive data. Privacy issues may be compromised until methods are established for protecting and managing personal information. A balance must be achieved where networks are protected from threats and intellectual properties maintains compliance with internal and government regulations. Every employer should be prepared to develop management policies ahead of time regarding social media. What has been your experience using Social Media in the office?

Link to

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hone Your Talents If You Want To Be Truly Successful

Some people will tell you that the secret to success in life is identifying the things you don’t do well and get better at them. Actually, it is just the opposite because if you spend all your time focusing on your weaknesses you’ll end up with a lot of strong weaknesses. Instead, focus on your strengths and delegate weaknesses to someone who has passion and talent in that area. If you want to have the opportunity to excel focus on your strengths and let the rewards that follow pay for help to do the things you can’t.

For example, I am mathematically challenged so when tax time comes around I hire a gifted accountant to handle my taxes. When I did them myself, the IRS would send me love notes about my mistakes and since the errors were simple they’d even recalculate my taxes for me. Not that I don’t trust the IRS or am not grateful for their help—but I decided it was time to seek other services.

So it makes sense to focus on capabilities and multiply your confidence. When you feel confident you can do amazing things. Lacking confidence makes it much harder to put your capabilities to work.
Thinking about how you can grow your clients capabilities instead of just selling them products and services is a leap for most entrepreneurs. However, it can be the key to innovation that can lead to exceptional customer loyalty, enthusiastic referrals, brilliant testimonials and dramatic increases for future growth.
No matter where you find yourself try to make your future bigger than your past—identify and capture opportunities to multiply your efforts, results and contributions to others.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Getting Up Early Can Influence Your Career, according to Scientific Study

Early morning people are better positioned for career success because they are more proactive, according to a survey of 367 University students in Heidelberg Germany. These students were more successful because they were willing to take action to change a situation.  Also they tended to get better grades which got them into better colleges  leading to better job opportunities. Eventually their proactively resulted in better job performance, career success and higher wages.

However evening people tend to be smarter and more creative than the morning types. They have a better sense of humor and are more outgoing even though they may be out of sync with the corporate schedule, reported Christopher Randler, professor of biology who conducted the study.
Can you change your biorhythms? In one study half of school students were able to alter their daily sleep/ wake schedules by one hour. The facts are that about 50% of a person's chronotype is due to genetics.
To change your biological clock you must change your type. This means that people who get up early have more time to prepare for their day but there is no guarantee that they will be more conscientious.
Getting up early also is deeply ingrained and part of societies Calvinist beliefs. There are different traits associated with each type. For example, morning people are thought to be agreeable, optimistic, stable, proactive ,conscientious and satisfied with life. Evening people, on the othe hand are creative, intelligent, humorous, extroverted, pessimistic, neurotic, and depressed.
Science still does not completely understand the circadian cycle. More research is needed to understand how to bring out evening peoples’ potential benefits in an organization. Studies also show that evening people adhere to another schedule during the week and weekends while morning people maintain the same time schedule during their time off according to an article which appeared in The Harvard Business Review, July-August 2010.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Golden Rules to Increase Your Salary in 2010

By Barbara LaBier

Believe it or not salaries will actually do more than double in 2010. Since in 2009, they hit a historic low of 2.1 percent and one-third of all companies froze raises!
By 2010, salaries are projected to rise to 4 per cent a year according to a survey of employers conducted by WorldatWork, a global human resources association.
However, jobs don’t usually recover in sync with the economy. Some employers plan to use raises as a carrot to motivate and retain talent but not for everyone. They plan to give out raises based on performance. Some will get bigger salaries and others will get none according to WorldatWork experts.

Here are some tips for getting rewards

Do your job well – Optimize your efforts by doing your job professionally. Produce high quality work.

Be visible – Don’t try to hide because you believe if you disappear you won’t get on the layoff list. This is faulty logic because when it comes to recognition if no one thinks about you, no one will know what you’ve done.

Help out your boss – If you don’t know how just ask. Show a good attitude by offering to do chores.

Ask for a raise – Tell your boss what you’ve done and how it fits in with your department’s goals and why you deserve an increase. If the answer is no ask what you can do to improve your performance and don’t give up.

Excerpted from Margaret Steen’s article “Companies Cautiously Prepare to Raise Salaries.” and an employee survey at

Does Mailing Your Resume Make Sense?

By Barbara LaBier

While everyone in the world is sending their resume over the internet, a contrarian may be sending  his by old fashioned snail mail. Some people actually use snail mail to send their resume and it works if you apply the proper strategy. The best results come from a tailored resume that addresses a specific employer in the cover letter. Nothing gets attention more than saying “I want to work for you.” And it doesn’t matter how you send the resume say career experts.

Others for example, use a three pronged approach to get attention by starting with voice email. If you know the name of the hiring manager leave a voice mail to let them know you mailed your resume. Next, send a fax with a cover letter noting on the cover page that you sent your resume and cover letter both ways by mail and by fax. This works best with small companies who are less likely to have a sophisticated HRIS system that can slow down your job campaign.

Key to this technique is to know who the boss is. You send an InMail via Linkedin or if you have the title and address of the hiring manager send your resume in a Priority US Mail by special delivery the most cost effect way to send your job related materials.

Never use mass mailing according to experienced career coaches, because statistics demonstrate that the chance for success is very small and the resume can not be targeted to all the jobs descriptions.

However, targeted mailing works if you know the name of the potential hiring manager. If this is the case, send then your resume and cover letter. Another tip is not to send it to (whom it many concern) because it will never get to the right person. Next, call the hiring manager within three days to determine interest. This proactive approach can be a dynamite strategy that can gain an employers interest in you 15 seconds after they open the envelope!

McJobNews: Golden Rules to Increase Your Salary in 2010

McJobNews: Golden Rules to Increase Your Salary in 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

What is more correct--- Chronological or Functional Resumes?

There’s a  hot controversy brewing when it comes to marketing your career with a chronological or functional resume. Resume writers have logical arguments for supporting the type of resume they recommend. Some strongly disagree about what kind of resume a potential employer wants to receive from a potential applicant.

Displaying your skills in a functional resume is still an important way of attracting a potential employer. Yet, it remains controversial. Other professionals see it as a red flag that a person is trying to use to cover up gaps in their work history. This is sometimes true in other cases it is not.

Still others believe that if a resume is well written and the skills and achievements are properly highlighted, it doesn’t matter what format is used.

"Whatever works is based on knowledge of the industry and company. Functional resumes are generally used for the mid to upper six figure jobs. I just coached an executive with a $155K income and he put together a functional resume and got four interviews.” according to Mark Harris, an Outplacement Consultant and Trainer.

Your resume is still the major way of capturing an employer’s attention. So it makes sense to become familiar with problems associated with these two resume styles and learn how to positively change them.

Chronological Resume 
A chronological resume starts by showcasing your work history with the most recent position listed first. The rest are written in reverse order containing details about what you did. You also should list the beginning and end date of each job. This resume works for job applicants who have a strong, solid work history with a series of the same types of positions. It is easy for an employer to see how you’ve moved up in the company and have a consistent work history with few job gaps.

However, this type of resume does not normally focus on your job skills. You can change this into more of a hybrid resume by breaking out your most important achievements in a section called major  skills or accomplishments. These skills can also be described in a summary at the top of your resume located under your name, address, phone etc.

Similiar to a proposal
Writing your resume is similar in some ways to writing a proposal—you must know everything about the product and the prospective customer to make a sale. Strategy, content and design must be superior to get noticed. and the average length is two pages for an experienced professional. Candidates with less experience can format their background and qualifications into a one page resume.

Functional Resume
The functional resume divides your resume into a summary of your work experience and two or three different skills sets. For example, one heading could be management, another administrative and the last sales skills. Relevant jobs are formatted and fit under the appropriate heading. Generally, the dates are not included. This style resume is good for someone who has had several different types of jobs and wants to focus on experience. Often this job seeker wants to change careers. They may have job gaps or want to emphasize a particular set of skills that would not be highlighted in a chronological resume. Perhaps the skills they want to emphasize occurred at a job that is more than ten years old. This style resume acknowledges that work was performed but does not focus on the dates. Some employers object to the functional resume because it may hide job gaps but not always. In some cases, the person has a steady work history but the type of career they want in the future uses different skills than those mentioned in a chronological resume. To show consistent employment, you can always turn your resume into a targeted resume by adding a section entitled Work History. The work history section lists the job title, name of business and the dates. A targeted resume highlights only the experience and the skills you have that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

If for any reason the functional resume is not getting interviews, you must try another kind of bait to meet the conditions to attract new fish.


Friday, March 12, 2010

McJobNews: Hark! Its Time to Brand Your Resume.

McJobNews: Hark! Its Time to Brand Your Resume.

When you’re searching for a job the rules of the game have changed, say social media marketing experts.

Now, you must brand your resume to capture your career identity, passion and image. It is not good enough to produce a resume to help recruiters find you join social media sites such as Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter. The best situation is when a recruiter types in your job type and does a search on Google and comes up with your name.

Define your brand

Branding is defined as a promise of the value of a product that it is better than all others. There are 6.9 billion people on the planet and each one of us is different. Branding defines your unique image. You create it by defining who you are at the top of your resume and follow up with a personal/career statement. The top line should say “Marketing Executive” instead of your name on your resume. Underneath that title, write your name and address just like in an old fashion resume.

Develop a branding statement for your resume

A branding statement is similar to a sales presentation that tells an employer what makes you special as well as the qualities that make you unique and accomplished. It mentions what you can do for an employer such as the benefits you offer and the problems you have solved for other. The basic formula according to Brand Yourself by David Andrusia and Rick Haskins is Skills plus Personality/Passion plus Market Needs = Branding Statement.

Use words like poised, positioned, equipped, prepared or delivered to start off your description of what you can do for an employer and finish the statement by adding and skills and personal qualities.

For example:

Educational Non-Profit Executive

Deliver strong sales and leadership skills with a significant record of progressive success at non-profit organizations. Developed a keen ability to forge relationships and recognize multidimensional levels to turn business opportunities into vibrant centers of profit. Excel at strategy building, marketing, and fundraising while functioning as a highly articulate and effective communicator.

Certified Sterile Processing Technician

Poised to deliver excellence while performing decontamination, preparation, sterilization and distribution of surgical instruments, hospital trays and medical equipment used at medical facilities. Skilled at nuclear waste disposal as well as organizing and maintaining laboratory inventories. Productive, courteous, efficient and reliable with a strong commitment to providing superior service.

Brand business cards and cover letters

Your business cards, resume, and cover letter must show a unified format. Every word, bullet point and border must reflect a consistent branded look and should support the message you want to send. Today not developing your brand can be compared to attending a business meeting with a blindfold on and cotton stuffed in your ears.

Support your branding statement with effective sentences that build layers of skills and accomplishments and support the general premise.

Focus on your unique accomplishments

The content of your resume should focus on your unique accomplishments and tell how you increased profits or efficiencies at prior jobs. Focus on developing keyword density by repeating key words loaded in the job description in your branding statement and work history. Apply the same strategy in creating a cover letter.

Build an on-line branding plan to get your resume posted on the front page of Google and Facebook. Recruiters search for candidates on Google and through other social media to fill job openings. Getting found is extremely important. They have to be able to find you by typing in the job tile you entered on your resume. Join linked-in to develop a professional rich keyword profile. Join groups and participate in discussions and grow your contacts through networking on-line and by meeting others. Respond to discussions and blogs on-line by leaving comments and a link to your resume, blog or website called link backs.

Submit your resume to different search engines such as and which will allow you to advertise your resume on their site.


The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott 15.49 Hardcover: 276 pages. Wiley. ISBN-978-0470-11345-5.

Career Distinction Stand Out by Building Your Brand $21.95 Hardcover: 244 pages. Wiley. ISBN-10: 0470128186.

Branding You: How to Create an Identity for a Brilliant Career. Paperback: 256 pages. Ballantine. ISBN: 0345423593

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Blogging for Dollars $$$

Make Money Blogging, an ebook by Daniel Scocco reveals trade secrets, tips and tricks that in combination with persistence, knowledge, and luck may result in generating cash from your blog. The book is a good basic read for newbies and experienced entrepreneurs who are trying to expand readership of their blog and produce an income stream.  The recipe for generating cash is a long one that contains lots of foreplay before the climax. Scocco takes his  flash light and illuminates a series of useful steps that must be completed before your blog hyperventilates and its tentacles cozy up to Technorati. Once this happens the big  blog bucks may start  pouring in.

Scocco builds on basic concepts presenting what you need to accomplish and how to do it. Some content and terms of the book could be developed more. Perhaps the author wrongly assumes we know more than he reveals.  He doesn’t discuss  the other side of monetization where the blog shakes you down. There are advertising vehicles that could bring you success, notoriety, traffic, articles, and affiliate business quickly but these are pricy solutions that require a larger budget than some novices are ready for.  In general found this book very useful and compact and I’d highly recommend it.

To get your copy of this ebook go to



Monday, February 22, 2010

8 Tips For Getting Hired As An Older Worker

Honing your negotiation skills is a bonus at any age but becomes a necessity as we grow older. Negotiating a satisfactory salary worthy of your experience is a challenge for mature workers. As we age and retire, salary prospects may decline because of age discrimination, transition to self-employment, consulting or part-time employment. Mature workers often times must convince an employer to pay them more than the salary associated with the job. The criteria for a decent salary is based upon experience, education, job responsibilities and the average pay rate of pay for a position. Career coaches advise never to reveal your salary history or salary requirements until an offer is made. Revealing your salary requirements before you’ve been offered the job can lower your starting salary.

Be prepared to negotiation by gathering information and planning a strategy that requires that you assess your strengths and those of the competition. Before an interview evaluate the state of the economy as well as the unemployment rate. Also learn about the history and culture of the company. Rehearse several scenarios and your responses to questions concerning salary with a mentor, career counselor or friend. Practice until the information flows easily off your tongue.

When you are older it takes longer to get hired according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. For example, people over the age of 55 take an average of 29.9 weeks to find gainful employment, and those under 55 look for a job for about 21.4 weeks. According to the American Association of Retired Persons, the desired salary of the job hunter also affects the length of the search. Those looking for $40,000 to $75,000 take an average of 25 weeks to find a job, and people who expect to earn $100,000 take more than 30 weeks to secure one.

Being savvy to new market trends plays an important role. Older workers may require career coaching to learn how to better market themselves. Others believe that the same methods that worked for them when they first started their career are still as effective today. While some techniques may still be successful, people don’t realize that the content, style and format of a resume, for example, has changed in the last 20 years and marketing techniques have changed as well. Money spent on career counseling can save time and help older workers to learn new marketing skills. Getting feedback from a career coach can help in developing self awareness about how you come across to a potential employer. Practicing interviewing with a professional can target skills that need to be developed as well as improving their delivery. While a mature worker offers a background of diverse skills and multi-tasking, updating their resume style plus the ability to send out dynamic cover letters can help them stand out from the crowd in today’s competitive market place. They must write their resumes for the future demonstrating how their skills can earn money for their new employer and help others.

Having too much experience can be tricky. Earlier in your career lack of experience may have resulted in not being qualified for a job. Now when you are older, too much experience can backfire because to an employer experience also means you want more money. Often expectations of an older worker are painfully unrealistic. They need to research how to get a job using social marketing sites on the Internet . A crash course on how to join networks, build a profile and market themselves as well as Networking Netiquette and making contact with others on-line may be needed. The series has published books on marketing for Linked-in, Facebook and Twitter that are helpful in understanding how social media can work for you.

To better grasp the market and apply for long-term assignments, identify industries in your region that are growing or at least stable. Select markets that do reasonably well in good or bad times such as the food industry, transportation, utilities/energy, healthcare and accounting according to the MetLife Study of the New Realities of the Job Market for Aging Baby Boomer.

To succeed in today’s job market workers skill- set must be continually evolving. Mature workers should have a basic awareness of their strengths, passions and values. Rather than enroll in an academic program for a degree, job experts recommend taking on-line certification classes. is one organization that provides on-line certification classes in IT and business subjects. For example, the program includes reading on-line books that are part of the program, software, practice session and tests on material that lead up to a certification exam as well as a mentor can help you achieve your goals.

Hiring managers will often judge a candidate based on their technology skills. Aging Boomers who do not keep their technology skills up to date are creating barriers for themselves in the job market because it gives employers one more reason to reject older job seekers.  Seek out organizations that demonstrate a management style and work culture that is respectful of all workers. has more than 60 companies that pass a test through its “Age Friendly Employer Certification Program as well as AARP, according to MetLife Insurance.

Networks are critical for Boomers who often must count on personal relationships to cut through the impersonal electronic application process and age bias. Job coaches advise you to continually build a network and evaluate your skills through skills and assessment testing to give you better insight into your strengths to make sure that they are in sync with the market place.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How to Avoid Career Change Blunders

Making a career change without a strategic plan can wreak havoc in your life. Seasoned executives make unfortunate and ill-timed career moves according the Harvard Business Review.

Job moves are inevitable but seldom easy. The average baby boomer will switch jobs 10 times, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Too often job changes lead to a decline in performance that can last up to five years. People who switch organizations face an upheaval in their home and social life that can involve potential relocation expenses and adjustment to a new corporate culture and political environment. To minimize these effects careful and conscious assessment of risks can help prevent making mistakes that can ultimately sabotage your career.

Job hopping errors were analyzed from data from three executive research teams comprised of a survey of 400 executive search consultant from more than 50 industries, HR heads at 15 multi-national companies and interviews with 500 C-level executives in 40 countries. Executives surveyed were not young, untested managers but experienced individuals who had substantial practice in making hiring decisions on themselves.

Avoid these nine mistakes when searching for a new job:


Search consultants revealed that often job seeking clients don’t research their own industries. Many of candidates have not looked for a job in years. Since they are not informed about the present job market, they have unrealistic expectations about how long the search will take. They assume, for example, that companies offering them a job are financially sound. Yet, many businesses hire for senior level positions even when there are problems ahead. So it is up to the applicant to investigate to see if the job will exist in six month.


While hiring managers are supposed to supply this information, often they don’t. It pays to take the time to contact people who work for an organization to determine what the corporate culture is really like.


In poorly managed organizations people find themselves in jobs that have little relationship to their formal titles. One executive, for example, was given a CFO title even though most of his work involved duties of a COO. As a result, he lacked the credibility he needed to get the job done.


Job candidates often fail to ask potential employers about how their performance will be measured. Without an understanding of this information a job candidate’s success depends totally on luck.


Often executives rank income fourth or fifth in terms of importance when contemplating a job search but move it to first place when making their decision. In one case, an executive was about to make a move but realized that he would be increasing his salary by $10,000 but realized it was not worth it since he would be leaving behind his old contacts and relationships.


Unhappy with their present position a candidate mayl rush to another position without waiting for the right offer. Job seekers do not take the time to do intensive research when they have the opportunity to move on to what they think are greener pastures. They forget to look strategically at their current company for other opportunities that may still exist for them. They may fail to imagine what their job would be like if their boss left.


According to search consultants some applicants over estimate their skills and contribution and undervalue the strengths of their company in helping them achieve their goals. They do not realize the length of the job search and what the costs will be. They may also miscalculate their new salary and the ability to deal with the challenges of a new organization that could be too large to easily implement change.


Short term decisions can feed into each of the mistakes listed above and create problems. Pressure can force candidates to focus on details such as salary and job title instead of raising deeper questions that involve long term evaluation.

Creating strategies outside traditional thinking can prevent you from accepting an easier solution. Self-awareness is very important say experts. With the help of a mentor you can create a list of positive and negative scenarios that can be used to plot a three year path at each company evaluating what decisions would be right in each situation before leaving a job for a new one. With more self knowledge you will be aware of mistakes you’re prone to make, how to correct these errors, how others perceive you, and the elements of a job that can help balance life and work.

*material excerpted from "Five ways to Bungle a Job Change," by Boris Groysberg, associate professor at Harvard business school and Robin Abrahams, research associate which appears in the January & February issue of Harvard Business Review

Friday, January 29, 2010

Surviving Mentally After a Layoff

Here are some tips to stay focused:

• Write a list of your goals for the year.

• Make yourself more valuable now and in the future by taking courses or learning new material from the internet and library.

• Keep up with social marketing and blogs in your industry.

• Start exercising regularly

• Read a best seller and keep current with the news so you have something to talk about that isn’t focused on you.

• Build an attractive resume website.

• Call old contacts and tell them about your plans.

• If starting a business find a mentor. Explain your goals and ask them if they will help you define them. Start with SBA’s Score.

• Have lunch with someone new

• Improve your speaking skills by joining Toast Masters

• Develop an elevator speech and go to several networking activities a month

• Earn income as an adjunct teacher through a college or adult education program.

• Develop outside income through freelancing or by teaching a skill.

• Search for a job boards through Google and post your resume

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Washington Networking Event - International Folks

Attended a Washington Networking event for international folks. Met MBA graduates from USA and Russia looking for government and international jobs. Talked with Roxan Kerr who recently started RA Kerr, a law firm which targets employment issues, Tonietta Wheatle who founded WHEATLEPEART, an educational business that trains youth in the art of entreprenureship and Shonika Proctor,a blogger-commentator for PBS who talks and writes about young entrepreneurs. Others businesses focus on providing help to grow US firms into international enterprises; serving as international movers,and performing statistical measurement and analysis for industrial psychology project. Ecoprint was represented by Dave Michaels, an outreach coordinator who manages environmental consulting, report writing and printing functions. During the three hour event, bought our own drinks and gobbled down three kinds of thin-crusted, tasty pizza.

Monday, January 11, 2010

How can the Goverment's reorg of help you?

Tips for Understanding the Government’s On-line Revolution

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) plans to present a stream-lined version of as part of a general reorganization which will occur by January 23, 2011 according to OPM. The site, for example, will display a lot more features than before in close proximity of each other. With the click of a mouse you will be able to see the pay scale, grade and occupation for the job you’re applying for. You can also share your document on LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media sites. The Remix on-line resume format has been updated and will serve as one uniform resume which contains all the information necessary to apply for all types of government jobs on-line. Although, currently you can store up to five resumes on

OPM says you can use keywords to communicate multiple skills and qualifications that you can discover by reading the job announcement. When constructing a resume, they advise putting all your selling points at the top of the page. This sounds a lot like a kind of summary of your work history describing your background, skills and accomplishments. The Government suggests that you highlight your activities by describing them using figures or percentages.

For example, “Produce 10 publications by using lower cost paper reducing costs by 15 percent.”

Since time equals money, OPM suggests that you describe other accomplishments with time as part of the consideration.

For example: “Produce twice monthly payroll or write four 750 word articles for a monthly newsletter consistently meeting 3 pm deadline.”

Another tip is to add figures when you describe how you save money, for example, managing the office supply budget.

“Buy yearly office supplies on sale at Staples saving over $500 dollars.”

Or when describing how many people you manage you could say:

“Manage 450 people in the five offices of OGP, prepare performance appraisals and assist 40 employees implement a plan for personal growth.”

Job seekers interested in grade GS15 jobs have the choice of using the 612 form which can be downloaded from the OPM website and when completed faxed or mailed to the appropriate address at OPM. Applicants must answer ECQ questions that represent three types of qualifications described as cases. For example, A- cases are based on demonstrated executive experience.

B-cases support successful participation in the OPM approved SES Candidate (SESCDP) program. There is a form executives can fill out that leads to eligibility for non-competitive appointments to the SES. On this form, you can document short and long term developmental activities, managerial, or leadership skills developed through reading books, attending webinars/Pod casts and other training which helps deliver broader perspective and deeper knowledge of the agency and Federal government. This form can be downloaded from the OPM website.

C-cases are based on having special or unique qualities that provide evidence of the likelihood of success in the SES.

While completing a resume candidates must address all five ECQ’s for each job or write a general resume and then attach a narrative that contains a discussion of the five Esq.’s statements: The ECQ statements are: Leading Change; Leading People; Results Driven; Business Acumen, and Building Coalitions. For an in depth discussions of the key words related to each ECQ go to where you can download the Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualifications.

Another way to apply for an SES job is to organize a narrative that follows the (CCAR) model which describes skills needed to be successful in a variety of SES positions. The CCAR model describes the context of the challenge, the action you deliver, and the result. You can start with this model as the basic structure of the narrative. Then integrate the Executive Core Qualifications (Esq.’s) along with key words into your statement to describe how throughout your career you have provided strategic leadership and commitment following the goal of one of the cases mentioned earlier such as in case A-- demonstrating executive experience.

Your resume and the narrative can be faxed or mailed to the appropriate personnel office. The entire job announcement and other attachments are found by doing a search on SES jobs by utilizing the search engine. When the job announcement information is downloaded, you will see listed the personnel specialist assigned to answer your questions and a phone number as well as the address of where to send your application