How to Deal With Gaps in Your Employment History

Whether you have been out of work for some time due to an illness or a family situation or simply have not been able to find the right employment opportunity, at some point you will have to answer the dreaded question of what you did while you were out of work for so long. Don’t panic! Think of this time off as a positive rather than a negative. Consider the examples below:

Negative

Positive

I was out of work because I had kids.

I gave birth to two wonderful children in the span of 2 years and my family and I made the decision that I would stay at home to raise and nurture them during their younger years. I am now eager to jump back in the workforce and hit the ground running using the time management and conflict resolution skills that I sharpened during the time I spent with my children. I’m sure these skills will greatly benefit your bottom line.

My mother was sick so I had to take care of her.

I spent the last two years as the primary caregiver to my mother who was diagnosed with a terminal form of breast cancer. During my time off I attended many appointments, treatments, and support groups with her. I learned a great deal about the disease and truly developed empathy and understanding for those going through treatments. I’m eager to bring this experience to this position which will help me understand and relate to your customers in a genuine way.

My last job burned me out.

In my previous industry the status quo was an 80 hour work week. In the summer of last year I decided that for the sake of my health and well-being I would take a sabbatical. After taking time to get to reconnect to my family and friends a little better I found that I truly enjoy working with teens and young adults. I volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters and found my true calling.

 

Do you notice a pattern here? The negative examples all sound like they are excuses, as if you are blaming someone else for your situation. In the positive examples, you put yourself in the driver’s seat and you show what you learned and gained from taking time off. This will set you apart from the masses and ensure that an employer will remember you for your abilities and not your excuses.

Written by Guest Blogger and CFEC Board Member:
Sarah Siraj
Employment Coordinator, Orlando Office
Brevard Achievement Center
www.bacbrevard.com

(repost for upcoming job fair) By #1 Best-Selling Author and Recruiter Scott Vedder

It’s always best to customize your résumé and explain exactly how your experience has prepared you for the specific qualifications listed in a job posting.  That’s a key point I teach in my best-selling book, Signs of a Great Résumé.  But what should you do when you’re attending a job fair where you’ll meet with lots of different employers?  In a job fair setting, employers will know it’s nearly impossible for you to customize a cover letter and résumé for every single company in attendance.   To quantify what makes you a great candidate for several prospective employers, you should showcase examples of your accomplishments and skills related to the most common requirements in your field.

Before you write your job fair résumé, search for online job postings roles related to the career you’re pursuing.  Take a look at the qualifications that different companies require.  You’ll likely find some common trends and frequently used terms which appear in job postings at several different companies.  With this bit of research, you’ll be able to write a résumé that speaks for itself and a cover letter which addresses your qualifications to fulfill the most common needs of your desired career field.

Next, before going to the job fair, try to determine which companies will be represented.  Take a look at the jobs these companies already have posted on their web sites.  If there’s a specific opening for which you’d like to apply, customize a separate résumé and cover letter for that posting and bring it with you along with your job fair résumé.  If there’s not one particular opening that appeals to you, consider how that company generally evaluates prospective candidates.  What key words do they use in their job postings?  What types of skills and leadership attributes do they value?  What can you learn about their corporate culture and business priorities from their web site?  Then customize a résumé for that company with those ideas in mind.

Consider making a list of the companies you know you want to approach at the job fair and write a customized cover letter for those prospective employers.   Your cover letter should explain why you want to work for that specific company and can also indicate the general field for which you’re interested in applying.  When you submit a customized cover letter with your job fair résumé, you’ll stand out from your competition.  Remember, most other applicants, if they submit a cover letter at all, will be handing over form letters written “To Whom it May Concern,” and not to a specific employer.

In your job fair résumé and cover letters, be sure you use specific examples to quantify what makes you a great candidate in your field.  Whether you’re attending a job fair or you’re applying for a single position, your résumé should always be full of !@$%, the Signs of a Great Résumé. 

! - Any part of your experience that was "amazing!"

@ - Defining points, places, dates and things in your experience

# - Numbers that quantify and prove your past successes

$ - The dollar value of your contributions

% - Figures that easily show growth and results

When you write a résumé that’s full of !@$%, your résumé will speak for itself and you’ll be on your way to a successful job fair!

Scott Vedder is a Fortune 100 recruiter and the author of the #1 best-selling résumé book, Signs of a Great Résumé.  Scott has taught thousands of students and job seekers in résumé workshops at high schools, colleges, universities and non-profit organizations across the country.  Scott’s book has been endorsed as “Recommended Reading” by groups including the Central Florida Employment Council and the Central Florida Jobs Initiative. Scott has been recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management and has been featured as a career expert in nationally-syndicated newspaper columns, on international blogs and in dozens of live interviews on radio programs and television news.  For free résumé and interview tips, visit http://scottvedder.com/freestuff.html

Written by
Chris Hammett

Volunteer Employment Counselor
Founder, Empower Creative Services, LLC

Hope for the Hurting

Rejection hurts.
I feel betrayed, beaten.
I draw into my shell for protection.
How easily I retreat
to stay untouched.
I wrap myself in pity.
With my body rolled into an
impenetrable ball, my muscles grow
weak, my mind dim.
Lord, untangle me, please.
You were rejected by many.
I know you understand.
Fill my drained body
with energy and courage,
Help me to try again.
Lois M. Ludwig, Seattle, Washington

     I’m a wounded soldier. How silly of me! I didn’t expect to get hurt when I picked up the cross to follow my Commander. He warned me that I would have to suffer with Him to be raised; that I would have die before I could truly live.

     I didn’t count the cost beforehand; death didn’t even occur to me. Totally disregarding the enemy’s strong arsenal and my orders, I failed to put on the protective armor. With reckless abandon feeling confident that my Commander was fortunate to have me in His troop, I grabbed my slingshot of sincerity and stones of child-like faith rushing headlong to the front-line of battle. Assuming that ministry was a picnic, I was engaged in spiritual civil war.

     My first reaction to being “shot” was shock and denial. I ran a few feet before falling helpless and numb. The pain was not as intense as I would have expected. The danger of the wound seemed minimal; hardly life threatening. Besides, the location and cause were embarrassing— imagine telling a physician that you were dumb enough to go to war without your armor!

     So, I picked myself up, put on a Band-Aid, and persisted. I managed to fight a few more battles feeling relief when my wound scabbed over a bit. But one day, rampant infection burned and festered refusing to be unheeded! I wanted to mask my emotions, but I was bleeding like someone who had been riddled with a virtual machine gun.

     It’s much more difficult, for me, to receive ministry than it is to give it. Suddenly, I’m not in control, but vulnerable and dependent. I hate the trauma of transparency! I don’t like to bleed on the floor and make a mess for someone else to clean up. Even now, with healing well on the way, battle fatigue keeps me very sensitive. If someone inadvertently touches my wound, I burst into tears: it’s so embarrassing. I desire the hurt to disappear quietly and the ghastly scar to fade. Crying, however, is a normal part of healing which God allows for our benefit and considers priceless.

     Chuck Swindoll, in his precious book, For Those Who Hurt, says this about tears: “A teardrop on earth summons the King of Heaven. Rather than being ashamed or disappointed, the Lord takes note of our inner friction when hard times are oiled by tears. He turns these situations into moments of tenderness; He never forgets those crises in our lives where tears are shed.” Such comfort!

     I see myself as one still on a stretcher. The stretcher has four poles. One is prayer; the second is the healing Word of My Commander; the third is the leave of absence for rest and relaxation (although I want to be active); and the fourth is the love of the fellow soldiers.

     The first handle is my prayer journal which I’ve been keeping since I got “shot”. Most of the entries are embarrassing to me now. (In my confusion, I actually turned and started fighting my own army. Some friends were hurt before I was stopped.) It is wonderful to know that I can be completely honest with my Commander and Chief, Jesus. Nothing I say will cause Him to turn His back on me. The prayers of others on my behalf have obviously been answered, also.

     The Word, the second handle is probably the most helpful. Really, it was right there all the time; I should not have been surprised. In James 1:2 – 4, J. B. Phillips paraphrased: “When all kinds of trials crowd into your lives, my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they have come to test your endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men (and women) of mature character . . .”

     The third arm of R&R is very humbling. It’s hard to sit on the bench when you were once in the thick of battle. It seems like people are saying, “What’s wrong with you; are you lazy or backsliding?” But when I try to get up too soon, my wound reopens. So I sit and wait, not too patiently or gracefully, I’m afraid. Healing takes time and God gives us refreshment and room to mend our broken hearts.

     This leads to the fourth pole, which is the love of my fellow soldiers. Oh, how I need acceptance and touch. I feel so unworthy and rejected, and as I said, my wound is still sensitive. I’m very thankful for faithful friends who are willing to overlook my grouchiness and self-pity and don’t take it personally when I bark and wince. One precious lesson they’ve taught me is what comfort and compassion are. I used to think that people wanted answers for the questions asked in crisis: “Why me?”, “Why now?”, “Why this?” But grief doesn’t respond to pious platitudes, however true they may be, except as healing makes its long procession. Joseph Bayly in “A View from a Hearse” said, “Don’t try to “prove” anything to a survivor. An arm around the shoulder, a firm grip of the hand, a kiss: these are the proofs grief needs, not logical reasoning.”

     Hebrews 11, Faiths Hall of Fame is full of stories about real people like you and me who have experienced and, best of all, survived suffering, fear, temptation, loss of friends, family and support, failure and yes; even death. Hebrews 11:13 says they were all “controlled and sustained by their faith, but not having received the tangible fulfillment of [God’s] promises, only having seen it and greeted it form a great distance by faith, and all the while acknowledging and confessing that they were strangers and temporary residents and exiles upon the earth.”

     I may not belong in that famous group yet, but I have learned that there is certainly no one with a better offer than the grace of God through Jesus Christ (whom I lean on desperately). Therefore, with Job I say, “Why should I take my flesh in my teeth and put my life in my own hands: though He slay me, yet shall I trust Him”. Although sometimes discouraged, I echo Simon Peter, “To whom shall I go? You alone have the Words of eternal life, and I believe and am sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

     Jesus Christ was offered to us not only as our Savior, but as a role model. Peter wrote, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” (1 Peter 2:21). I think that must have been in the small print. If you are feeling that way now, you are not alone.

     As C. S. Lewis said, “There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket (safe, dark, motionless, airless) it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy or at least to the risk of tragedy is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”

     I believe that my needs were ignored, had a pity-party, questioned God, and blame-shifted. That didn’t bother my Commander-and-Chief at all; He wasn’t offended. Instead, He met me where I was and listened patiently. He spoke to me from His written Word and through fellow soldiers. He gave me room and time to adjust to the changes in my life. Like the man in the famous “Footprints” poem, I am so glad to say that when I have only seen one set of footprints in the sand of my life, I know that it is because He has carried me. I would not change the course He has for me because I trust my Savior with the life He has given me. Although still not thrilled with all my circumstances, my position on this Solid Rock is just fine.

     What will the outcome of this situation be? Just what the Master promised in the beginning: first, there must be a crucifixion; then a resurrection. He first must bring His warriors to the place of realizing that we cannot accomplish this mission of salvation on our own… He does not share His glory with clay. A. W. Tozer said, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.”

     I want to encourage you not to waste your sorrows. Remember, above all, that God loves you and keeps His promises. He will never leave you or forsake you. He is there when the pain is too great for you to believe it. He will not even leave if you tell him to. “For He (god himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up, nor leave you without support [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless, nor forsake you nor let [you] down, (relax my hold on you). Assuredly not! So, we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper, I will not be seized with alarm; I will not fear or dread or be terrified. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5:6, Amplified)

© Copyright 2015 Chris Hammett

If you have made a New Year’s resolution for 2015, you are part of the estimated 40% of Americans who have done so. In comparison, roughly 1/3 of Americans watch the Super Bowl. So more Americans make resolutions each year than watch the Super Bowl. Yet despite the good intentions, research conducted by the University of Scranton shows a mere 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s goals. 

Why?

Well…that’s a topic for another post. 

But it might help to consider the most common New Year’s Resolutions. As documented by USA.gov, three of the most common resolutions among Americans are: losing weight, managing debt, and getting a better job. 

If one of your New Year's resolutions is to find a job or earn a better position, let me help you become one of the elite 8% that actually achieves your 2015 goal. 

Job seeking in the Digital Age requires you to discover, develop and deliver your personal brand to the world. Put simply, your personal brand is your unique promise of value. A strong personal brand can help you land your dream job, earn a promotion, or make a successful career transition. It is what allows you to stand out from all other candidates in the mind of the decision makers or those in your network. 

While there is no shortage to personal branding tools to help you build your brand’s presence online and off, here are 3 of my favorite tools to help you build your personal brand in 2015. 

LinkedIn 9-a-Day

Social media is not, I repeat, NOT a fad. Social media is not going away. Yes, the tools/ platforms of social media will change but the concept of connecting and building relationships online will never fade away. If Facebook falls, market demands will cultivate another platform to take its place. LinkedIn has managed to brand itself as THE professional social network in more than 200 countries. LinkedIn grew from 259 million users in Q3 2013 to 332 million users in Q3 2014. That is more than 28% growth in users in 1-year. 

To help users develop personal brands on their social network, LinkedIn created the 9-a-Day tool. This tool makes creating your profile and building your network uber easy. It is designed to empower you by providing the insights and techniques to get ahead in your industry in just 9 minutes a day. You can customize your 9-a-day plan with the drag and drop features. Once you are satisfied, simply export your plan to your personal calendar (the tool is compatible with iCal, Outlook, and Google). 

According to LinkedIn, they "consulted experts and professionals across the globe, and found that spending just 9 minutes a day, and no more, developing your ‘at work’ brand, could keep you better informed and make you better at what you do. 9-minutes can be slotted easily into your day, and it gives you complete focus."

Link to Tool: http://www.linkedin-9aday.com/

SlideShare Visual Career Journey

When making decisions, we use both rational and emotional thoughts, but research has shown that emotions play the primary role in final decisions. Antonio Damasio, M.D., heads the department of neurology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. Antonio’s studies found that, “pure thought untainted by emotion and other "lower" mental functions is less useful than commonly supposed. The brain often "decides" among alternatives by "marking" one alternative as more emotionally salient than another.”

Storytelling is the best way to touch the emotional triggers that inspire someone to make a decision in your favor. Sure you could share statistics, job duties and data points with hiring managers but telling them your story will leave a lasting impression; one that allows you to stand out from the other qualified candidates.

SlideShare partnered with LinkedIn to bring professionals a visual storytelling application guaranteed to give job seeker’s a leg up on the competition. This new app allows even the most technologically inept job seeker to create a visually stimulating version of their career journey with a single click!

Make sure to update your LinkedIn profile completely before creating your visual career journey. Add as much information and multimedia pieces as possible and then create your masterpiece! 

Link to Tool: https://www.slideshare.net/professional-journey

Online ID Calculator

Long before an employer meets you in person, they will meet you online. First impressions in the 21st century consist of what I call “digital handshakes”. This is when a potential employer searches for you online before they meet you for an interview or networking event. Therefore, however Google sees you is exactly how your potential employer or professional contact will see you.

Say you share the same name as a convicted felon. His/her mug shot is now representing your name (your personal brand) online. Granted, this is an extreme example but this does happen. If you don’t show up in a Google search, then you don’t exist. Sad but true. Think about it – how many times have you searched for local restaurants on Google and went to the most favorable option that appeared? How many times did you patronize the restaurants that did not appear? Just like a business, your target audience needs to first know you exist and second believe you can add value to their lives in some way.

The perfect tool to help you proactively manage your personal brand online is the Reach Online ID Calculator. It is free to use and within 5 minutes you have a report that tells you just how strong or weak your online personal brand really is. It even gives you suggestions as to how to improve your online identity, which is rated by your brand’s Volume, Relevance, Purity, Diversity, and Validation within search engine results pages. 

Link to Tool: http://www.onlineidcalculator.com/index.php

Bonus! 21Habit.com

Although the tools listed above are incredibly powerful and can certainly help you build your personal brand in 2015, habit forming will inevitably decide whether or not you are successful in achieving your new year’s resolutions. I’ve found the studies to be true that indicate it takes 21 days to form a new habit, which is why I am recommending you use this tool to form habits that strengthen your online presence in 2015. 

21Habit is a digital motivational coach that emails you each day to remind you of the habit you are trying to form. The email reminders are interactive such that you answer YES or NO to if you completed the habit that day. The tool records your answers and provides a calendar at the conclusion of 21 days that shows how well you stuck to your plan. 

If you are really committed to improving your personal brand in 2015, I recommend using the “Committed Mode”, which is a brilliant concept. According to 21Habit, “you invest $21 towards your 21-day challenge. Each day you succeed you get $1 back. Each day you fail or do not check in you forfeit $1 which 21Habit donates to one of several charities.” Now that’s motivation! 

Link to Tool: http://www.21habit.com/


What’s your New Year’s Resolution for 2015? Keep us posted on your progress. To a productive year ahead! 


Author: Ryan Mickley
 Author: Ryan Mickley, Career Advisor at DeVry University 

Called to cultivate servant leaders, Ryan helps young professionals discover, define and deliver their gifts to the world. He is 1 of 20 Master Certified Personal Branding Strategists worldwide and is the youngest person to ever earn this status. Educational institutions have asked Ryan to speak on topics pertaining to professional development and content marketing, most notably DeVry University, Full Sail University, University of Central Florida and the Drop Back In Academy. With extensive experience in producing informative programs, Ryan has been practicing content marketing for over 5 years. Clients have expressed appreciation for his welcoming demeanor and ability to simplify and explain complex issues, which he attributes to the years he spent in the hospitality industry.

In 2014, Ryan joined the Career Services Team at DeVry University in Orlando, Florida. He serves students and graduates from the College of Business & Management and the College of Media Arts & Technology.

Courtesy of and written
by Jessica Mattison is a freelance writer in Cary, NC. | JobFinderUSA



Using social media to find a job is not for everyone. You have to be passionate about your career goals and ready to work hard at “branding” yourself. You cannot expect to simply create a Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter page and instantly find your dream job—it takes a lot of time and a solid effort.

Begin by retooling your existing social media profiles to reflect a more professional persona. Start with your picture; it should be clean and crisp and the definition of professional. The majority of potential connections and employers will view your accounts and if your profile picture is of you partying with your friends, they will simply move their search along to the next candidate. This same idea applies to everything you post. As a general rule, if you wouldn’t be comfortable with your grandmother viewing it, don’t post it for all to see; that’s what privacy rules are for. After all, you only get one chance at a first impression.

Your profile should include as much professional information about you as possible. Include any major accomplishments, experiences, education, skills, honors, and professional achievements. Basically, build your résumé without actually posting your résumé. Your goal is to draw interest and make a prospective employer want to find out more about you.

Once you have properly updated your accounts, it is time to start networking. “Like” businesses on Facebook and follow professionals on Twitter and LinkedIn. Generate a posting letting everyone know that you are looking for work and specifically what type of work that is. Regular updating is essential and not just any update, it needs to be of valuable, interesting content. If you don’t care about what you are posting, no one else will either.

Find blogs about your industry or create one yourself about something you are passionate about. This will show discipline,—if kept up to date— your knowledge of your field, as well as basic writing and communication skills. Follow others and invite them to join your blog. Also, post links to your blog on all of your social media accounts. The point is to either enter into or create a community of members within your industry to network with.

It should be noted that social media outlets should not comprise your entire job searching repertoire. More traditional methods like viewing job finding websites or papers should also be utilized. You can even follow job finding sites on Facebook and Twitter since they often post new jobs on a daily basis. Social media should aid you in your search, not be the entirety of your search. The chances of getting a job using social media alone are slim, which is why they should be used as tools.

You also need to be careful of tone in your postings. Most people are more confident when posting something online than they are in person. If you come across too impersonal or condescending with prospective employers, you might turn them off and lose out on an interview opportunity.

Using social media does not end once you finally get that promising lead on a possible job opening. Upon receiving your lead, the first thing you should do is look up the company and hiring manager. Most likely, they will have some form of a social media profile if not multiple ones. There is so much you can learn about a company’s culture, hiring process, how they treat their current employees and more that can help you to determine whether or not it is worth it to pursue trying to get an interview. If it doesn’t seem like a good fit with your personality, don’t waste your time on it and just move along; something better will inevitably come your way.

   Really excellent article about Facebook that you should check out...

by Kathy Kristof

The whole social networking phenomenon has millions of Americans sharing their photos, favorite songs and details about their class reunions on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and dozens of similar sites. But there are a handful of personal details that you should never say if you don't want criminals — cyber or otherwise — to rob you blind, according to Beth Givens, executive director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

The folks at Insure.com also say that ill-advised Facebook postings increasingly can get your insurance cancelled or cause you to pay dramatically more for everything from auto to life insurance coverage. By now almost everybody knows that those drunken party photos could cost you a job, too.

You can certainly enjoy networking and sharing photos, but you should know that sharing some information puts you at risk. What should you never say on Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site?

Your Birth Date and Place

Sure, you can say what day you were born, but if you provide the year and where you were born too, you've just given identity thieves a key to stealing your financial life, said Givens. A study done by Carnegie Mellon showed that a date and place of birth could be used to predict most — and sometimes all — of the numbers in your Social Security number, she said.

Vacation Plans

There may be a better way to say "Rob me, please" than posting something along the lines of: "Count-down to Maui! Two days and Ritz Carlton, here we come!" on Twitter. But it's hard to think of one. Post the photos on Facebook when you return, if you like. But don't invite criminals in by telling them specifically when you'll be gone.

Home Address

Do I have to elaborate? A study recently released by the Ponemon Institute found that users of Social Media sites were at greater risk of physical and identity theft because of the information they were sharing. Some 40% listed their home address on the sites; 65% didn't even attempt to block out strangers with privacy settings. And 60% said they weren't confident that their "friends" were really just people they know.

Confessionals

You may hate your job; lie on your taxes; or be a recreational user of illicit drugs, but this is no place to confess. Employers commonly peruse social networking sites to determine who to hire — and, sometimes, who to fire. Need proof? In just the past few weeks, an emergency dispatcher was fired in Wisconsin for revealing drug use; a waitress got canned for complaining about customers and the Pittsburgh Pirate's mascot was dumped for bashing the team on Facebook. One study done last year estimated that 8% of companies fired someone for "misuse" of social media.

Password Clues

If you've got online accounts, you've probably answered a dozen different security questions, telling your bank or brokerage firm your Mom's maiden name; the church you were married in; or the name of your favorite song. Got that same stuff on the information page of your Facebook profile? You're giving crooks an easy way to guess your passwords.

Risky Behaviors

You take your classic Camaro out for street racing, soar above the hills in a hang glider, or smoke like a chimney? Insurers are increasingly turning to the web to figure out whether their applicants and customers are putting their lives or property at risk, according to Insure.com. So far, there's no efficient way to collect the data, so cancellations and rate hikes are rare. But the technology is fast evolving, according to a paper written by Celent, a financial services research and consulting firm.

Source: Ask Sandi | Seminole Voice

What if employment searches were like eHarmony where you each answer a questionnaire and come up with potential matches of who you would possibly be paired up with? No resumes, just an online profile. Interviews would be more like dates, getting to know each other.

That is what networking is all about. It is about meeting people, building relationships, and helping each other to meet your goals. I wish it was as easy as an online search, but it takes more effort than a 40-minute quiz and an online profile. (Although I do know a few people who have met their match on eHarmony.)

Back to the idea of online networking: The best place I can suggest is LinkedIn. I know I have talked about this many times before, but it still stuns me when I find out how many people have not invested the time it takes to get “connected” through LinkedIn.

I have other people who tell me they get lots of requests from Linkedin, but they are not on there. I highly recommend all professional job seekers, including passive job seekers, to put up a profile.

The process is pretty simple, just login to LinkedIn.com and follow the instructions. If you have a good resume, you can copy and paste most of the information. If you would like me to take a look at your profile once you get it online, please send me an email. I would be glad to look at it.


Guest Blogger CFEC Board Member:

sandi14  Sandi Vidal, Executive Director, Christian HELP Foundation, Inc.
  Staff Writer for Seminole Voice

Thinking about starting a job search? Need a little nudge to get going? We’re here to help. Today’s job search may be a bit more complicated than you think. There’s a lot more to it than just searching the internet for jobs and pressing a button to apply; at least there is if you want a better chance for success. So how do you get started? We will share our top 10 ideas on how to jump start your search.
In this webinar, we will outline both new and old methods for your job search. From things like traditional networking to social networking, resumes to online profiles and in-person interviews to video sessions; we’ve got you covered. A successful job search can require a lot of dedication and motivation. We will share our tips on how to make things just a little easier.

By participating in this webinar, you’ll learn:
•The importance of networking and useful tips
•About today’s interview process
•Ways to tune up your resume
•How to incorporate social media into your job search
•Why your personal brand matters


To register, visit: https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/10617/106343.

BrightTALK is building professional communities around current and relevant industry and business thought leadership content. Every day thousands of thought leaders are actively sharing their insights, their ideas and their most up-to-date...

Above information was provided by CFEC Board Member and guest blogger:

World of Work Professional
Manpower Florida

Whether you’re a hiring manager, employer, looking for your next opportunity or currently employed, the talent shortage affects everyone in the U.S. workforce.

Results of ManpowerGroup’s ninth annual Talent Shortage Survey look at the extent to which employers are having difficulty finding the right talent, which jobs are the most difficult to fill, and subsequently, where you’ll find the most opportunity if you’re looking for a new job.

ManpowerGroup's Talent Shortage Survey identified the 2014 top 10 most difficult jobs for employers to fill.
1.            Skilled Trade Workers
2.            Restaurant and Hotel Staff
3.            Sales Representatives
4.            Teachers
5.            Drivers
6.            Accounting and Finance Staff
7.            Laborers
8.            IT Staff
9.            Engineers
10.          Nurses





This report was recommended by CFEC Board Member:

Lisa Hancock, Manpower

Find an office near you or search jobs with www.us.manpower.com

If you are unemployed and looking for a pathway to the future, HBI’s trades skill training is for you....

HBI is a national leader for career training in the building trades. HBI graduates earn a certificate that proves to employers that they have skills they need to be successful on the job.

HBI Offers:

             Training in OSHA 10 safety, construction tools and materials, green building, and industry basics.

             Links to possible internships with employers in the building industry.

             Building trades training from journey-level instructors

             Career counseling and assistance with job placement

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By Scott Vedder - #1 Best-Selling Author and Résumé Expert

April 13th marks the 271st birthday of Thomas Jefferson. Often called the "Father of the Declaration of Independence," Jefferson gave some fatherly advice to his granddaughter including the famous quote, "Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today."  That's also great advice for job seekers.  The best time to start writing a résumé is today.

Don't put off writing your résumé until you see your dream job posted tomorrow... or the next day, or next week!  Today is the best day to start writing a résumé full of !@#$%, the Signs of a Great Résumé

! - Any part of your experience that was “amazing!”

@ - Defining points, places, dates and things in your career

# - Numbers that quantify and prove your past successes

$ - The dollar value of your contributions

% - Figures that easily show growth and results

It is critical that you customize your résumé for each job application.  However, you can start writing your résumé today, beginning with your core skills and most significant accomplishments. Then you can customize it to directly align to the qualifications listed in each job posting.

For example, Thomas Jefferson may have started writing his Summary of Qualifications by highlighting his outstanding written and verbal communication skills.  We hold the truth that he was a great communicator to be self-evident.  And in addition to writing the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson’s résumé would surely include the fact that he spoke four or five languages!

If TJ started writing a résumé to apply for a leadership role in government land acquisition, he’d likely describe one of his most significant accomplishments, the Louisiana Purchase, using !@#$%, the Signs of a Great Résumé.  Perhaps he’d write:

"Increased the size of the continental United States by nearly 100% through the $15 million purchase of 828,000 square miles of land."

That’s certainly an “amazing!” achievement which is explained and quantified with lots of !@#$%.  If Jefferson applied for a position where the job posting also required experience negotiating international treaties he could customize the statement on his résumé to match the posting:

"Negotiated an international treaty to increase the size of the continental United States by nearly 100% through the $15 million purchase of 828,000 square miles of land."

By customizing his résumé based on the job posting and using !@#$%, Thomas Jefferson would be writing a résumé that speaks for itself.

From the early days of the militia that won the American Revolution to today's modern military, Americans have enjoyed life, liberty and a pursuit of happiness thanks in large part to the brave military men and women who have proudly served our country.  I'm sure Thomas Jefferson and all of our Founding Fathers would encourage you to support our nation's veterans.  Jefferson did his part to prepare and support our service members when he signed the Military Peace Establishment Act to create the United States Military Academy at West Point.  One way you can support our nation's military veterans today is to join our Indiegogo campaign to help 2,000 veterans, transitioning service member and military spouses get to work.  You can send deserving veterans a copy of Signs of a Great Résumé: Veterans Edition and help them find a great new job in the civilian sector.  Don’t put it off until tomorrow, contribute today.

Jefferson loved to read.  In a letter written in 1809, Jefferson said "I have often thought that nothing would do more extensive good at small expense than the establishment of a small circulating library in every county, to consist of a few well-chosen books."  I'm grateful that the Central Florida Employment Council has identified a few "well chosen" books to help job seekers and has recognized Signs of a Great Résumé and Signs of a Great Résumé: Veterans Edition as recommended reading.

In an 1815 letter to John Adams, Jefferson said "I cannot live without books."  When you write a résumé that's full of !@#$%, you'll wonder how your résumé ever lived without at least one book... Signs of a Great Résumé.

Scott Vedder is a Fortune 100 recruiter and author of the #1 best-selling book, Signs of a Great Résumé and Signs of a Great Résumé: Veterans Edition.   Scott has been recognized by the White House and Pentagon as an expert on veteran résumés.  He’s taught thousands job seekers in résumé workshops at colleges, universities, conferences, veteran service organizations, military installations and non-profits across the country.  Scott has been featured as a career expert in national and international media. For free résumé and interview tips, visit http://www.authorscottvedder.com/free-stuff-.html.