Brand of You
Brand of You
by Renita Hunt, Guest Blogger
Dress for Success Greater Orlando President
Your mind is the center of creating your brand through your internal image! It’s not just about what is on the outside but what is on the inside. Your mind is your wealth ticket to creating your personal brand image.
Do you know you are a brand just like Apple, Google, and McDonald’s? Of course you are! It is imperative that you live and thrive in the core values of your brand everyday. How do I craft my own personal brand you might ask? Here are 3 awesome ways to be on your way to building a successful personal brand:
Knowing Your Why: Being aware of your life’s purpose sets the standard for the direction you want your life to go. Finding your why is being clear on what your dreams are for your professional self. Is your purpose and dream to lead people, but your current position is admin assistant? Sometimes your current situation is not aligned with your purpose but you have the power to change. Build your personal brand by volunteering or freelancing opportunities that are aligned with your purpose until it can become your full time gig. To find your “WHY” spend time to understand:
– Mission-What do I stand for?
– Passion-What do I love to do?
– Expertise-What do I do really well?
Becoming a Subject Expert: Now you know your purpose. It is time to expand your knowledge on the subject by learning all you can on a subject. We live in a time where information is at a touch of button. Stay current on trends, industry buzzwords, and network with thought leaders in your industry. After you increase your knowledge, showcase it and become an expert by:
– Starting a blog or guest blogging
– Writing for a company newsletter
– Writing for a nonprofit newsletter
– Volunteer for local speaking engagements
Investing in your Mind: Never stop learning is a common quote we hear people say about personal growth but many people don’t understand how to put it into action. Develop a yearly learning plan. Set a portion of funds each month to invest in attending conferences, buying books, meeting with a career coach, and attending workshops. Don't wait for your employer to make the investment for you; if it is value to your brand invest in it for the future. Other ways to invest in mind:
– Join local industry associations and attend national and regional meetings
– Obtain an accountability partner to help you achieve your goals and craft your brand
– Invest in additional education online or offline if needed to take your brand to the next level
So now you know three important keys to build and grow your personal brand. Always live and work so your personal brand can thrive after you have left the room. Next time on the blog, I will explore how to grow your brand on the outside with Dressing for Success.
About Renita Hunt:
Renita Hunt is a marketing communications consultant and motivational speaker. Renita Hunt is also the Board President of Dress for Success Greater Orlando. Renita has been with the organization for over 4 years and has held such roles as: Personal Shopper, Event Director, Vice President, and now President. She has been instrumental on re-launching the organization’s career development series, Next Level to Success Internship program, networking efforts, and individual donor giving.
Renita has a 16- year professional background in marketing communications. Through the course of her career, Renita has worked with such brands as: Home Depot, Ford, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s just to name a few. Renita is extremely passionate about giving back, women empowerment, diversity and inclusion, and all things fashion. In addition to Dress for Success, Renita is apart of many professional boards such as: Central Florida Employment Council, National Black MBA Association, and Orlando Museum of Art-Council of 101.
Renita holds a MBA from University of Phoenix and a BA in Public Relations from Clark Atlanta University.
The Raft Called the Career Change; Steps for Planning and Maneuvering the Waves
It’s summer and the glowing sun outside coupled with the ocean breeze remind me of renewal and introspection. Are you with me?
New eating habits, a good workout regimen, and new favorite restaurant. New career may be? Many individuals I come in to contact with contemplate their career. They are satisfied with their existing role, and they are successful, their organization is successful and they have a sturdy title, relatively large staff and job security. Yet may be that’s the problem. Too much satisfaction is the enemy of innovation and growth. They tell me they have an aching within that desires change. They don’t feel challenged anymore. That feeling of confidence is making them feel almost bored. They yearn for excitement, intimidation and that adrenalin rush of sink or swim.
I tell them, your instincts are telling you its time to swim, so swim. To them and to you, who are even considering the possibility of a career change, or position change for that matter, I offer the following:
1. Are you ready to hit the waves?
Start by weighing the risks. Know that there always will be that. Family, your identity, and financial responsibilities will always be there, but so will fear. The fear of change and the fear of the unknown. At some point you would have to push away the fear and swim with the waves. Once you accept that reality, your mind and heart will unite and you will be ready to make the proper recourse to weight the real costs and benefits for your decision, without the common denominator of fear.
2. Go for the plunge!
At some point the weighting would need to stop. The decision must be made. Plan your course with plan B’s along the way and start what will undoubtedly feel like an uphill or upstream swim.
3. Enroll an Audience and Cheerleaders
You ‘re going to need all the emotional support you can get. Set yourself up to be around supportive, calm and clear people. Your network will help you get the position you want, but your support system is the one that will get you through this phase of the game. The AA mentality applies here. The buddy system is meant to create accountability. When you share what you are doing with an invested person, you are more likely to persevere. We all like to achieve and part of achievement is the reinforcements we get along the way. Stay on course and celebrate small wins.
4. Assess the Course and foresee Obstacles
Get a clear assessment of your knowledge, skills, abilities and network. It doesn’t mean you can’t expand on them, but you want to be realistic in setting your goals. Many people assume that because they like a type of job, they have to bend backwards to fit themselves within its walls. Think about industry, and organization type, the everyday nuances, and the type of people you want to be working with, the key players and whom you are already connected to. When I do career assessments with my clients, we do a lot of work together. It is deep. Often times, they themselves are shocked at how far they were from their vision, by the time we complete and interpret all the quantitative and qualitative data. The research is imperative. Let me say that again: the research is imperative. The reality is we are all born with certain traits that make us who we are, are family and upbringing solidify them as well. So I always recommend going after something you know you are good and knowledgeable at, rather than going after something you think you like. The other neat thing is that we get attracted to people whom we can relate to, so your network of people will serve you better being that you have built them through “connections” rather than ambiguity. At least that’s the network that we need to be making. Not random and without follow-up. Challenge is good, complication not so much.
5. Get on the Diving Board and Jump.
I like the analogy of the diving board because when you get on a diving board, it means three things: 1. You are making the conscious effort to jump and you know it’s going to be a high jump, 2. You are letting the world know you are jumping, and 3. When you are up in the air, there is no way going back. When you started this journey, you had internal conversations about it. May be you discussed it with a significant other, a colleague or a family member. But your paradigm is still the same. You are in comfort zone. You get the paycheck and the boss still assumes you will be at the next monthly meeting. If you stop here, you don’t have to fear. You are not committed to anything. You didn’t loose anything, but you also didn’t gain anything. Half the battle is the mental decision, but the other half is get on that diving board. You have to make the decision irrevocable. Our brains are trained to form habits. We are creatures of repetition. So unless the walls of the maze are reset, our brains will command us to repeat the past and to not rock the boat. Pull the anchor and let the ship sail where it needs to and don’t look back.
Fear is a defense mechanism to protect us in life. But it’s also there to motivate us and propel us forward. I am not saying live life in fear. But I am saying don’t expect fear to ever disappear. It’s through fear that your interests get peaked and you search for that truth and possibility. Fight fear and it will haunt you, look at it in the eye and it will guide you. Life is a raft, not a ship. Life of Pi was the perfect demonstration of that. Ships have navigation system, propellers, and radars. Your career is one aspect of your life, and just like any other, demands determination, patience and exploration. There are no guarantees, you have to do your due diligence, and take a leap of faith. Let the waves take you where they may.
Author and CFEC guest blogger:
Getting the Most Out of a Career Fair
By Guest Blooger: Jessica Mattison, JobFinderUSA
Getting the Most Out of a Career Fair
The effectiveness of a career fair is often debated. Some paint them as a huge waste of time, while others swear by them. If you simply show up and expect to land a job based strictly upon your mere presence and winning personality, you’ll fall into the first group. Like most things in life, job fairs take hard work and a lot of preparation. If you are willing to put forth the effort, a career fair can become a truly valuable job finding tool.
Think of a career fair as one big interview. Just as you would if you were being called into a company’s office, you need to be prepared and do your research. Most often, a list of companies that will be in attendance can be obtained. Take this list and research any and all companies you are interested in. Look at their company website and social media pages. Make a list of notes and rank each company based upon which you would like to work for most. Your time is limited at a career fair and you want to make sure you visit with the right companies.
Take this time to customize your resume and cover letter to match with the culture of each company you plan to visit. Also, have some generic ones on hand in case you come across a company that you had not originally planned for. You might even want to have your own business cards printed. They should include your name, desired position, and contact information. They don’t need to be anything fancy, just make sure it looks clean and professional.
Compiling a list of questions you might want to ask each business is also a good idea. Include some blanket questions that can be asked of any industry as well as some more specific ones for companies you have taken the time to research.
You should also dress the part. Make sure you look neat, clean, and professional with your clothes pressed and stain-free. Your best bet is to wear a dress suit of some kind. As a general rule, it is better to be overdressed than underdressed.
While you’re there, don’t just network with the recruiters on hand, but also with your fellow job seekers. You will most likely be stuck waiting in more than a few lines, so take advantage of that time to exchange information—those business cards would come in handy here as well.
Following up is just as important after a job fair as it is after an interview. To make your life easier, ask each recruiter you meet for a business card. This way you’ll have their name, position, and all contact information at your fingertips; no worries about a bad memory or writing down something incorrectly. In return, give them one of your own cards to remember you.
Remember to send thank you notes or emails to each of the representatives you met with whether you liked their company or not. It is important to make good contacts with as many people as possible—you never know when you might run into them again.
After your initial contact thanking the recruiter, you’ll want to continue to follow up on the position you are seeking. You need to be persistent, but not annoying—there is a fine line. You want the employer to know how interested you are in the position, but you don’t want to come across as desperate and overly anxious.
Generally, no matter the position or form of contact, try to be overly polite and humble. As annoyed as you may be that your phone calls and/or emails have gone unanswered, don’t take out your frustrations on your potential employer. Stay away from statements like, “I still have not heard from you” or “you ignored my previous email.” Maintaining a polite tone throughout your email or phone message will keep the person interested, not angry.
Career fairs can be tough and some might not be as great as others, but generally, they’re a good time investment as long as you’re prepared to put the work in.
Article Reference URL: http://www.jobfinderusa.com/article/getting-the-most-out-of-a-career-fair/
How to Deal With Gaps in Your Employment History
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:
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:
Employment Coordinator, Orlando Office
Brevard Achievement Center
Hope for the Hurting
Volunteer Employment Counselor
Founder, Empower Creative Services, LLC
Hope for the Hurting
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
3 Tools to Help You Build Your Personal Brand in 2015
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.
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.
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/
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
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
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 $1 which 21Habit donates to one of several charities.” Now that’s motivation!
Link to Tool: http://www.21habit.com/
What’s your New Year’s Resolution for 2015? Keep us posted on your progress. To a productive year ahead!
Author: Ryan Mickley, Career Advisor at DeVry University
Called to cultivate servant leaders, Ryan helps young professionals discover, define and deliver their gifts to the world. He is 1 of 20 Master Certified Personal Branding Strategists worldwide and is the youngest person to ever earn this status. Educational institutions have asked Ryan to speak on topics pertaining to professional development and content marketing, most notably DeVry University, Full Sail University, University of Central Florida and the Drop Back In Academy. With extensive experience in producing informative programs, Ryan has been practicing content marketing for over 5 years. Clients have expressed appreciation for his welcoming demeanor and ability to simplify and explain complex issues, which he attributes to the years he spent in the hospitality industry.
In 2014, Ryan joined the Career Services Team at DeVry University in Orlando, Florida. He serves students and graduates from the College of Business & Management and the College of Media Arts & Technology.
Thomas Jefferson Would Tell You to Write a Résumé Before You Need It and to Support Our Veterans
By Scott Vedder - #1 Best-Selling Author and Résumé Expert
April 13th marks the 271st birthday of Thomas Jefferson. Often called the "Father of the Declaration of Independence," Jefferson gave some fatherly advice to his granddaughter including the famous quote, "Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today." That's also great advice for job seekers. The best time to start writing a résumé is today.
Don't put off writing your résumé until you see your dream job posted tomorrow... or the next day, or next week! Today is the best day to start writing a résumé full of !@#$%, 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.
Job Seekers over 45: re-branding, overcoming obstacles and how to present added value to an employer
"Do you have vague, childhood memories of milk being delivered to your door? Can you recall when your Mom would bring your shoes to be fixed at the shoe maker on Main Street and you might get a Root Beer float at the counter at Woolworth’s afterward? Was your older sister learning to type on an IBM Selectric so she could get that great job after she graduated high school?
Did you think when you choose your career as a young adult that you would work in that field until you retired and are now finding out that’s not quite true? As a job-seeker over 45 years of age, loaded with experience and wisdom, are you finding it hard to get a good-paying job (or any job)? Are you discouraged? Then this segment is for you (honestly, it’s for everyone).
Our time together will be fun and productive. We will explore what it takes to overcome your obstacles, how you can present your added value to a potential employer and how to effectively position yourself for a good paying job in a difficult job market through branding. Laugh if you must, but let me ask you this: ”What brand of bottled water do you buy?” You think about that until we meet together."
To find out more about this great topic by Tracy E. Trimblett, Consultant join us Thursday evening, April 3, 2014 from 6-9pm for our Re-Charge and Re-Energize Your Job Search Seminar© in the fellowship hall at College Park Baptist Church 1914 Edgewater Dr., Orlando, FL 32804.
Guest Blogger for Job Seekers:
Tracy E. Trimblett, Consultant
Staying Positive during Crossroads-What you say will come following you!
I was recently speaking to a local licensed mental health counselor, Cheryl Malone, M.A., about the mental struggle we all go through while looking for employment. She stated, “Humans feel the most stress and anxiety during a cross road in their life.” Think about it and look back in your life to some of the worst times. Some of those times were due to events in your life that caused a cross road. What is a cross road? A cross road is a time when your life seems to be stuck or literally standing still. You feel like you don’t know what to do or that there isn’t anything moving forward. Cross roads can be mentally and physically painful.
When you are looking for employment you are at a cross road and it’s very easy to think negatively, get depressed, and lose hope. Every application that you submit goes into a black hole, your phone never rings, and your email inbox is empty which all has a physical and mental effect on your body and self-esteem.
In my book, “The Recruiting Snitch, Recruiting Secrets to Help Land Your Dream Job”, I’ve provided an arsenal of tips and ideas to help get you through this time in your life. I never admit to have all the answers but I know after reading “The Recruiting Snitch” you will feel empowered to keep going and achieve the success in life that you deserve.
Please join me at the CFEC Job Search Seminar on April 3rd, 2014, to learn more about the “employment game” and secrets recruiters don’t want you to know. I would love to meet you!
Change your circumstances today by following these tips:
1. Stop saying, “I’m unemployed.”
Whatever you say and put in the universe will come following you. So if you keep telling people you are unemployed, guess what? You will stay unemployed. Change that sentence to, “I’m currently in transition and on a mission to find my next career.” Then guess what will happen? You are going to find your next job. I know it sounds crazy but the power of your words is beyond mighty, so begin by putting an end to sending negative words in the universe.
From here on out, only positive statements and words will be released from your lips.
2. Stop saying, “No one is hiring.”
If no one was hiring, I would be unemployed. I’ve been a Recruiter for 10 years. This means for the past 10 years I’ve been working for companies that are hiring. I receive hundreds of emails, LinkedIn messages, and see all day companies who are hiring and looking for talent every day. So, the truth is, companies are hiring, you just aren’t holding the skills they are looking for or you are looking in the wrong places.
By using the excuse, “No one’s is hiring”, you are immediately showing your lack of research in the current economy and job market because the fact is companies are hiring everywhere. You are also sending negativity out in the universe, which again will only breed negative reactions.
So the best way to rephrase that sentence is to say, “I hold a very niche skill set so I’m currently looking for a company that can use my skills to provide me with an opportunity.”
3. Stop sitting behind your computer.
In “The Recruiting Snitch”, I provide a detailed plan on how you should spend your days looking for employment. In summary, the first 2 weeks are heavily on the computer but then in week 3, I advise the reader to get out of the house at least 2 times per week to meet up with other people. This can be at a professional networking event (www.meetup.com), meet up with a family member, old co-worker, past teacher, professor, cousin, friend, or just start a friendly conversation with anyone at the mall, gas station, grocery store, or library.
The fact is you have a better chance of receiving employment through a personal referral. So you need to expand your personal network as much as you can. This does NOT mean sending more friend requests on Facebook or liking more pictures on Instagram. Have a face to face conversation and interaction with at least 2 people a week. You may meet someone out at the library and find their cousin is a manager at the company you’ve wanted to work. That’s all it takes sometimes.
4. Stop comparing yourself to others.
Social media has made it easy for us all to look in to everyone’s life and immediately think, “Man, they have an awesome life.” Then what do you do? You immediately think, “Gosh, my life is horrible, I wish I had what they have.” The depiction of your friend’s life is based on the pictures they chose to post, it’s an edited or Photoshoped version of their life. So of course! They post the most attractive pictures or the most exciting stories to share.
Here’s the truth, we are all going through our own struggle and you are not in the boat alone. When you are feeling bad about your current situation say to yourself, “Everyone goes through this and I’m not alone, it may be a tough time, but I know this is just a moment in my life that isn’t fun but it will get better very soon.” See how you changed the negative to a positive?
In summary, this method of positive thinking will not come easy but it is worth the change. Once you can start viewing this time as an adventure, a change for the better, and just a bump in the road, you will start to see little opportunities open up for you. The universe will bring you people that will inspire and help you get to where you need to go, and you will take your life and happiness back.
If you enjoyed this reading or want to hear more, please join me at the CFEC Job Search Seminar on April 3rd, 2014. I will be speaking on recruiting secrets, how to ace the interview, networking, and resume writing. All very valuable topics if you are looking for employment.
Also, make a $15 investment in yourself and pick up a copy of “The Recruiting Snitch” at www.recruitingsnitch.com today!
The Recruiting Snitch
Out to Pasture after 55…..not me!!!
Some say that after 55 (I’m 66!!) you are “set out to pasture” to graze for the rest of your life. I take issue with that. The question really is what’s in that pasture?
I see a pasture with 3 distinct sections. Section one has an abundance of grass. The “Senior Citizens” (SC) there are grazing to their hearts content, loving it. They are making money, they are relaxing doing what they really want to do and don’t care what their age is.
The second section of the pasture is sparse. There is some grass and the SC who have “settled” there are complaining that there is some grass there, but they want more. They are working on a “Plan B” because during their prime (before they were set out to pasture) they were making a salary and loving it. Now they have to work, and work harder so that they can eventually meander over to “Section one” where there’s an abundance of grass.
The third section is sandy. It has no grass. There are a few SC over there, but they are constantly complaining that there is absolutely nothing out there (do I hear apathy?). They have worked hard and now they are standing there trying to find SOME grass to graze on, but they are just not finding it. They are not prepared for this eventuality. They have been given advice by dozens of people and have opted to take the wrong advice as those people didn’t have a clue as to what they were talking about but felt comfortable just “giving advice”. These are people who are “doubting Toms”.
Now, let’s revisit that second area. What led them to the path where there is some grass? Preparation? Great advice from those “in the know”? Networking with the right people? A high quality resume and LinkedIn profile? The answer of course is yes to all the above. Will they (or can they) meander quickly to the dense grassy area and make something of their life? The answer is a definite YES.
Preparation is the key word. There is no genetic or DNA issue here. There is no magic formula. There is no large bank account. There is no large “silver spoon”. It takes hard work to get to that middle patch. Yes, we all want to be in the far left grassy patch (Section one). We can do it….won’t happen overnight….it may never happen, but we can’t say we didn’t try. We all went to bed those nights saying, “we did the best we could all day and into the night. We are being paid what we are worth. We are not being paid what others feel we are worth. If we took a tablet and put two columns, we’d see something like the following:
Plan A (a paid position) Versus Plan B – The alternative
Plan A – The job we love to hate or hate to love
Plan B – I’ll do my own thing and make the best of it
A paycheck each week
A commission check saying this is what you accomplished
This chart depicts the difference between working for someone and working for yourself. As the “new crop of senior citizens, we all want to have a weekly pay check. We all want to have our bills paid on time. We want all stores to have “senior discounts”. This is a new age for us. We are used to working in our comfort zones, that “box “ called 1980 when we saw life a lot easier.
Newsflash, this is the 21st century and we are (by our own admission) BabyBoomers or “Boomers” for short. We were born post WWII. We didn’t have a choice!!! Now we have children and grandchildren. We are in the same or similar boat that our grandparents and parents may have been in during the 60’s and 70’s. Only the economy IS NOT the same. It is terribly different.
Are your skills where they should be? Should you go to school to update those skills? There is a mountain of questions to be asked and, yes, answered. Should you seek help? A resounding YES is in order here. What kind of help should you seek? Help comes from those who either “have been there” or from those who ARE there and are struggling just like you. The word NETWORKING comes to mind. These could be your peers and (yes) even your competition.
The biggest selling point YOU have is YOU. That’s right. Walk up to someone and smile. Stand on a street corner and look up. How many will stop and look up right beside you? Your “soft” skills are just as important as your “hard “skills. Soft skills are that grin or smile you always display. That sense of humor. Having “people skills” is over used.
The next selling point is your resume. Does it tell the whole story? Although I am an expert resume writer, I will not sit here and tell you to meet with me. This is not my time to self-promote. I will say this though, and that is that your resume is not an android. YOU are not an android! There are rules and rules governing how a resume should be written. I am not going to expound on ANY of them at this point. I will say, however, that if you talk to 12 different people, you are going to get 12 DIFFERENT ANSWERS. Some may be the same, some will be different. Who makes the decision ultimately? You do!!!
The last selling point is your LinkedIn Profile. It MUST match your resume. Again, I am not going to promote my seminars, aside to say that they deal with creating a polished LinkedIn Profile. If you don’t promote yourself….no one else will. Remember, if it is to be, it’s up to me. If you don’t self-promote, someone else will and that person (could be a good friend in the same field) will get the position before you do!! So you ask, “What’s in it for me”. Plenty….a job or new position for starters.
Being “put out to pasture” is no fun. No matter what section of the pasture you end up being in. Growing up and getting gray, is (hopefully) a time that we are all looking forward to. Better we are vertical than horizontal. We read obituaries every day about those in their 60’s who opted to take their own life because they admitted to being (in their own view) losers.
I heard the statement, “God didn’t make junk”. We need to regroup, realize that we have peers and we have support groups who exist simply to help. Are you taking advantage of them? Leaders of these groups can “lead you to the trough” but we can’t make you drink.
You have to do your part. What is your part? Simple, don’t stay in “Section three”. Meander over to the sparse grass and get used to it for a while. Build and keep building. Then, after you’ve built, meander over to the dense grass and START EATING. After all, we are “boomers” and we are what we make of ourselves. Plan B DOES exist. Will you use it? Or will you simply stay by the fence and watch others go for success?
Written by one of CFEC's Guest Bloggers:
Signs of a Great Résumé: How to Write a Resume that Speaks for Itself Scott Vedder, a Fortune 100 Recruiter and Best-Selling Author of Signs of a Great Résumé
"Scott Vedder is a Fortune 100 Recruiter and #1 bestselling author. Scott will share his expert insight and answer your résumé questions in a lighthearted, interactive presentation at the CFEC Job Seekers Seminar on Thursday, April 4th. Scott will give you the inside scoop on what recruiters are really looking for on a résumé. Learn how to write a résumé that speaks for itself. Find out why your résumé should be full of !@#$%, the Signs of a Great Résumé."
If you are job searching in Central Florida, we have the privilege to hear Scott’s presentation on this topic at our Re-Charge and Re-Energize your Job Search Seminar, Orlando, FL Thursday Evening, April 4, 2013 at College ParkBaptistChurch / Fellowship Hall, 1914 Edgewater Dr., Orlando, FL32804. This Seminar will have two adjoining professional presenters to help you with your job search. You will not be disappointed, but instead you can expect to be re-charged, encouraged, and engaged. Help another unemployed friend by inviting them too. Reserve your seat below, mark your calendar, bring a few resumes just in case, and we will see you there! All Central Florida job seekers are invited to Rsvp for this event.
For more details and to RSVP for this event please click here.
Additional Information about this speaker:
"As a Fortune 100 recruiter, Scott conducted over 5,000 interviews. Scott’s
book, Signs of a Great Résumé became the #1 best-selling résumé book on
Amazon.com. Scott has helped thousands of job seekers in presentations at
college and universities, networking groups, non-profits, chambers of commerce
and more! Scott’s expert insight has been featured in syndicated newspaper
columns and blogs and he’s been interviewed on national television and radio.
Put Scott’s experience to work for you!"