Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Social Media and Your Job Search

Posted by:    Darlene Duncan CWDP, JSS, CCC, JCTC, JCDC
                   Training Coordinator

Everyone is all a twitter about Social Media. What is it? Do I need to be involved? Should I use it find a job? The list goes on and on.

Let me answer some of these questions.

What is Social Media?

I’m going to give a very basic answer to that question. Social Media is a group of digital tools that you can use in a variety of ways. You can use them to connect with friends and family. You can use them to connect with people who share your interests. And yes, you can use Social Media to job search. In a recent human resource article, 79% of employers are using LinkedIn to recruit new employees.

Do you need to be involved in Social Media?

That’s a question that you as an individual will have to answer. Are there advantages to being involved? Yes. Are there dangers in being involved? Yes. Anytime you put information about yourself on the internet there is risk. I’m not going to go into great detail here about the dangers of being active in Social Media. Life is full of dangers, real and imagined. Each person must do his or her research and decide for themselves about their level of involvement in Social Media.

Should you use Social Media to find a job?

In today’s digital world people are using all forms of Social Media to find jobs. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are all valuable tools to find your next job. There are other Social Media formats out there; however, those three are the most well-known. If you’re new to the digital world of Social Media and you plan on using these tools for your job search the first thing you’ll need to do is to learn how to use them. Almost all social media formats offer tutorials on how to use their system. Make sure you know how to use their privacy settings and set them to match your comfort level.
Up until recently we had a client that came through the Daytona One-Stop whose self-appointed mission was to get a job using LinkedIn. He taught himself what he needed to know about LinkedIn and was kind enough to post what he learned in several blog posts. He no longer has time to post to our blog because, drum roll please, he found a job using LinkedIn.

The truth is that computers are becoming more and more integrated into our lives. Like it or not, they’re here to stay. Does this mean that you don’t need to do the face-to-face networking that has been around for a very long time? No, that’s not what it means. The electronic networking you do is simply an additional tool to boost your network.

It may be politically incorrect but in the real world, it has always been and will probably always be more about who you know than what you know. Yes, you need to know how to do the job. However, there are a great many other people out there who also know how to do the job. That’s why who you know becomes so important.
Can Social Media help you find your next job? Possibly, if you learn to use it correctly. Regardless of economic conditions, finding a job has always been and will probably always be the most difficult job any of us ever have.
Will you be able to find a job if all you do is complete job applications? Maybe, but it will take a very long time. Using Social Media, face-to-face networking, and a good résumé will probably get you faster and better results.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Is someone cruel to be kind or are they really just jealous?

By: Lori McMullin, APR
Director of Business Operations & Communications
Center for Business Excellence

Most of us think of children competing for their mother’s attention or dogs fighting over a bone when we think of jealousy.  As adults, we are supposed to be self-actualized and far beyond the capability of being jealous, right?  Or are we?

Whether you encounter jealous behavior in a volunteer group, at work or among friends and family, it does exist.

A few months ago, I had a guest in my new home for dinner. I was so proud of what my husband and I had accomplished beautifying our home in such a short time frame.

I should have known the evening would be a disaster when the first words out of the guest’s mouth were, “Are you depressed?  Your home is so drab!” 

I know, right?  Who says something like that?

In any case, it took several days to shake the evening’s transpirations off and I ultimately realized the guest, for some reason, acted terribly out of jealousy. 

Here’s a link to understanding jealous behavior and how to constructively deal with it:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Posted by:   Darlene Duncan CWDP, JSS, CCC, JCTC, JCDC
                   Training Coordinator
Just the other day a client sent me an article about 12 totally ridiculous résumé mistakes. The article quotes information from a survey done by CareerBuilder.

Following is an excerpt from the article, “The survey asked almost 2,300 hiring managers nationwide what would make them automatically dismiss a candidate. Among the top responses were typos (61 percent), an inappropriate email address (35 percent), not listing skills (30 percent), and sending in a résumé more than two pages long (22 percent).”
To read the whole article click here.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Having class…it’s so not about being rich!

By: Lori McMullin, APR
Director of Business Operations & Communications
Center for Business Excellence

Grace Kelly.  Need I say more?  She truly exuded grace, style and class and still serves as an icon today.

Well, most of us are not blessed with even a fraction of the monetary and material riches she possessed, but we can be as classy as the princess was in her lifetime.  It’s all in our attitudes and behaviors. Sometimes, it seems to be a lost.

Here are some cool tips on how to lead a classy life:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Buried Treasure

Posted by:    Darlene Duncan CWDP, JSS, CCC, JCTC, JCDC
                   Training Coordinator

In today’s job market finding a job is like searching for buried treasure. Here are some non-traditional ideas you can use for your search:

  1.    If you’re interested in a specific employer; Friend them on   Facebook, seek them out on LinkedIn and Twitter.

2.    Be more than a voyeur on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Get involved in discussions, especially if the discussions are relevant to the type of work for which you are looking.

3.    Connect with people on LinkedIn that work for the company for which you would like to work. Get to know them.

4.    Visit the websites of companies for which you would like to work. This will help keep you abreast of what’s going on in those organizations.

5.    Set up Google Alerts on companies for which you would like to work. This way whenever they’re mentioned in the news, you’ll be notified of the issue.

6.    Volunteer somewhere doing the kind of work for which you’re trying to get hired. There are multiple benefits to this. One, you’re keeping your skills sharp. Two, you might pick up some new skills. Three, you’re out there in the world meeting people, people who might have job leads for you. Four, the place you’re volunteering for may decide to hire you. Five, you can put your volunteer work on your résumé. This lets employers see that you’re not sitting at home waiting for something to happen. You’re out there trying to make something positive happen for yourself.

7.    If you belong to a specific profession, find associations and other websites related to that profession.

Remember, people like to help people who have helped them. When you go to these social media sites, don’t just be there as a taker. You need to give of yourself. Offer helpful suggestions. This applies to face-to-face situations as well as social media sites.

Maybe you’ve connected with a person who works at the company you really want to hire you. They have posted a request for help with a work related problem. If you know of a solution or have an idea to offer them, do so.
One final note today, don’t whine. Be positive. Negativity is a huge turn off.
This is a repost from January 2012.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Office communication among various generations

By: Lori McMullin, APR
Director of Business Operations & Communications
Center for Business Excellence

This topic seems to be evergreen around my workplace and I’m sure it is in many other companies. 

Technology is phenomenal, however, it can often leave us even more out of touch, frustrated and confused.

In my role, I receive a ton of emails that need to be shared with a large amount of staff members.  While I have embraced texting and the like, it is currently much more efficient for me to email time-sensitive, action-required information to the masses.

I do not have time to text or call staff to alert them there is an email they need to look at, nor should I have to, in my opinion.  Does any of this sound familiar?

What I can promise is to continue to learn and embrace new technology as well as try to understand where our staff members are coming from in terms of their personalities and generational characteristics.

Here’s a link that explores the latter.  Hope you find it useful, or as my generation would say, “Happen’en.”

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Nine Résumé Writing Tips

Posted by:    Darlene Duncan CWDP, JSS, CCC, JCTC, JCDC
                   Training Coordinator
Some people think they have a résumé to get a job. Your résumés job isn’t to get you a job. Your résumés job is to get you an interview. If your résumé is getting you interviews, it’s doing its job. Below are some tips on writing your résumé.

1.    Target your résumé at the job for which you’re applying. One size fits all doesn’t work in the world of résumés.

2.    Use action verbs to start each bulleted line. Make certain the action verbs you use are in the proper tense. If you’re still at the job you’re describing you will use present tense. If this is a position you no longer have then you’ll use past tense.

3.    Don’t waste white space. This doesn’t mean that you need to use every bit of white space on the page. It does mean that you should have one inch margins, use an easy to read font and make sure the font size is large enough to be easy to read. The sample résumés we use in our workshops are font size 12.

4.    Bold and italicize sparingly. Bold and italicizing are used for emphasis. If you over use them they lose their punch.

5.    List accomplishments and quantify them whenever possible. The world knows that if you waited tables for three years you provided quality customer service. What they don’t know is how much money did you average in upselling on each check? What I mean by that is this, a customer comes in and orders a burger with fries. The fries come with the burger at no extra charge. However, your restaurant offers sweet potato fries in place of the regular fries for an extra dollar. So you ask, “Would you prefer sweet potato fries?” If they go for the sweet potato fries you just brought another dollar into the business. Depending on the establishment you’re working in you could also add to the tab by promoting appetizers, before meal drinks, after meal drinks and dessert. Think about how you can quantify your accomplishments in different jobs you’ve held.

6.    Spelling is a vital part of your résumé. If you worked as a Manager and your résumé says you worked as a Manger, spell check won’t catch the mistake. Why? Because you spelled ‘manger’ correctly and all spell check does is verify the word is spelled correctly. This is why you MUST proofread your résumé. Also, if you have someone whose skill with words you trust, ask them to proofread it for you.

7.    Correct grammar. An English teacher will tell you a résumé is a grammatical nightmare because of all the sentence fragments; however, that’s the nature of the beast. Despite the fact that you’re using sentence fragments, those fragments must make sense. Not only do they have to be understandable, they have to do a good job of selling you as a potential candidate for the job.

8.    The formatting, otherwise referred to as the physical appearance of your résumé must be consistent, make good use of the available space and be pleasing to the eye. A one inch margin all the way around is sufficient white space for the sides. Your font size should never be smaller than 10. Actually, a font size of 12 is better. If you start formatting your dates using two digits for the month and two digits for the year (03/08) then all your dates should be formatted that way. Consistency is crucial to your résumés success.  

9.    A two page résumé is not a crime. As a matter of it’s preferred over a one page résumé that has no white space left on it and the font size has been reduced to 9 so everything can be put on one page. If you have sufficient accomplishments, skills and work experience to justify a second page, then go to a second page. That said, a second page should be at least half full. So if you’ve written your résumé and one or two lines go to a second page, you have to make a decision. Do you have enough relevant information to expand your résumé so that it fills at least half a page on page two? If yes, go for it. If no, then you probably need to do some editing and get back to one page. The information you edit from such a résumé can be incorporated into you cover letter.

In conclusion, remember that your résumé has one job and one job only. It’s a marketing tool that should be designed to get you an interview. If your résumé is getting you interviews, it’s a good résumé. If your résumé isn’t getting you interviews, you need to fire it because it’s not doing its job. The tips above are the basic foundation of a good résumé. It’s up to you to build on that foundation.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The people we work with…remembering Misti

By: Lori McMullin, APR
Director of Business Operations & Communications
Center for Business Excellence

Recently, I assisted one of my managers in interviewing candidates for an open position.  This process always brings me back to memories of my own experiences as the interviewee.

Bottom line, someone will land the job and other great folks will not.  However, that may not be the end of the road.

Once, I interviewed for a marketing position with Junior Achievement in Jacksonville.  This position focused primarily on fundraising and I had a couple of years of experience in the field at that time.

In spite of a great interview, I did not get the position.  I later interviewed for a program marketing position with the same organization and did get the job!  As it turned out, things really do happen for a reason – it was a great fit for me and immensely expanded my skill set.

Obviously, I worked closely with the young, professional woman who landed the marketing job.  Her name was Misti and she made me feel welcome and part of the team. 

We worked together for several years and both went in different directions – she to the Chamber of Commerce and me to a public relations position with the public school system’s food service contractor.  However, we remained in touch from time tio time – sharing tactics on how to negotiate raises and the like.

I moved back to Daytona Beach in 1997, and never saw her again.  It was years later when I inquired about her through mutual contacts that I learned she passed away.  Prior to her untimely passing, she captivated an entire city with her story of courage and resolve.  It is in the spirit of this blog posting that I invite you to read about my colleague and friend, Misti:  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Birthday America!

Posted by:  Darlene Duncan CWDP, JSS, CCC, JCTC,   JCDC
                 Training Coordinator

Tomorrow is July 4th, a day of celebration. Everybody is either headed for a picnic, a barbeque, or some event with fireworks. In all the hoopla we tend to forget why we celebrate this particular holiday.

 For a reminder click here.

Monday, July 2, 2012

How to get your second wind at work

By: Lori Mcmullin, APR
Director of Business Operations & Communications
Center for Business Excellence

We are always busy at the Center for Business Excellence, but it has been more chaotic than normal lately with a ton of projects in the works.

Sometimes, I find myself crashing around mid-afternoon after what feels like mental gymnastics, bouncing from one “to do” list item to the next.  Sound familiar?

I found some tips on how to get that much-needed second wind.  Check them out for yourself: