Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday Tips: Updates on Linkedin

This Tuesday I have a real live example, my own, of something very important to remember when making edits on Linkedin. I always coach my clients to turn off their broadcast settings when they are making changes and tweeking their Linkedin Profile. Last week, I was coaching a client and showing her how to add logos for each of her companies of employment. I was so intent on the "how to" that I forgot to turn off my broadcast settings - activity controls. (For instructions see end of this blog.)

This past week, many people, some close contacts and some more distant connections, have been reaching out through Linkedin and emails to congratulate me on my new position. Of course, there is no new position but because I added a company logo, it sent out a change notice that indicates I have changed jobs. There are times when you want your connections to receive notification about you - a link you are sharing, your blog update, a company you are following, and, yes, when you do land a new position. However, for me, this was not one of those instances.

So, advice to self and readers, remember to always turn off your activity settings before you start your Profile edits. Then, turn it back on so that any blog, links, or good news updates are shared through your activity feed with your connections. This is when you do want to get "noticed".

~  ~
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."~ Dale Carnegie

Marianne   408-295-6656  

Instructions for turning on/off your activity settings on Linkedin.
  1. Go to upper right hand corner and find drop down menu from your photo.
  2. Click on privacy and settings.
  3. The page that appears will have a heading Privacy Controls and directly under it "turn on/off your activity broadcasts". Click on this.
  4. You will go to a screen that looks like screen shot below* and have the option to turn off your activity settings by removing the check in the box in front of "Let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies." 
  5. Remember to click on save.
  6. You may turn the settings back on by checking the same box when you have completed your Profile edits.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday Tips: Q & A

Here are a three commonly asked questions from my clients and the related recommended resources:
  1. Is there a good site with resume samples? A. I have sample resumes, cover letters, and templates that are shared with my clients. For additional examples, Susan Ireland has an excellent resource site: http://susanireland.com/. One thing to remember - steer clear of any functional resume samples and templates. Functional resumes are "red flags" to recruiters and hiring managers who wonder right away why you aren't using the standard chronological format.
  2. What sites should I use for job search? A. There are many sites out there. I start with two. Indeed.com is a spider site that will bring jobs to you from all the web sites - jobs that fit the criteria that you enter including title, key words, location/distance, etc. You should also post your resume on this site. Then, I tell people to use craigslist. When I was a recruiter that was the first site we all used. Why? Because you knew right away if a good candidate had posted her or his resume as only a small percentage of people post their resume on craigslist. That gives you a competitive advantage. It's easy to do. Use the anonymous email presented to you by the site when you are posting. Take off all your contact information from your resume. Look at October 1st blog for more ideas on how to approach a craigslist resume post. 
  3. How do I research salary ranges? A. First of all, it is important to understand the theory behind compensation and the setting of salary ranges and market trends. I use part of my time with any client to educate about compensation theory so that each person knows how to determine industry and company targets for their profession. To find general salary information for professions, the following sites are recommended: 
      • www.glassdoor.com
      • www.salary.com
      • http://www.onetonline.org/find/ - This is an interesting government site with trends and more. Salary information is general not geographically driven.
      •  www.salaryexpert.com
When researching salaries, always consider the geographic source. You must build in differentials for your specific location. The Cost of Living Wizard on salary.com will give you salary and cost of living comparisons of two geographic areas.

~  ~
I will send you off with a quote:
  • “I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life'.”~ Maya Angelou
Have a great week! 
Marianne   408-295-6656

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday Tips: Follow Up & Follow Through

A silly cartoon caught my attention last week.  Here it is below ~

Now, admittedly, it's pretty darn corny. But somehow the colors and the command to do something right now caught my eye. It made me think about how often we may procrastinate on getting back to someone, instead of doing it right now. 

In this season of extra networking with holiday events coming up, year end parties, and just general meet up times, we have the opportunity to greet and often later re-connect with people. Sometimes they give us resources, meet us for coffee, or make beneficial introductions for us. This is a reminder to myself, to all of us, to follow up and let  people know what comes of those resources, ideas, connections, etc. People like to be thanked and kept informed. It's common courtesy. It's a way to stay connected.

So, remember to let others know how a resource given to us, or an introduction made, helped us out. And, it's never too late in my opinion. If someone comes to mind as you read this, get on your email or phone and connect. Say thank you and let him or her know how you were helped out. Do it "right now"!
~  ~
Have a great week and watch for more career success stories coming up soon.

Marianne   408-295-6656

Friday, November 8, 2013

Celebrate Success: Landing the Right New Job

Over the last couple of weeks, I have heard from four clients who have landed new positions. It's a great time to step back and celebrate with them and acknowledge all of their hard work. Three of my clients were not working and diligently focused on finding the best next step.  Two of the three had a background in the sales profession. One had left her sales position several months before and was targeting a new direction in the financial area, leveraging her love of numbers and customer skills, not an easy transition but one that she was committed to.  I supported her exciting goal. After many months she landed her "dream" job. And, it was through her resume posted on craigslist. She had a special approach to get noticed by prospective employers and not spammers.  It worked!

The second sales professional had moved to the Bay Area and was up against candidates who brought their books of business in local territory accounts. This talented individual knew she would come up to speed quickly and add value. She just needed her new employer to recognize this and invite her into this new territory. We worked on positioning her "differentiators" on her resume. She ended up taking a non-sales role where she will have the opportunity to prove her business development skills to this employer's sales team. It was a step back to get in and get noticed. I have no doubt she will "wow" them quickly.

The third client had worked at two leading edge companies in system IT roles. This client worked with me to revise his resume so that it marketed unique project management and solution generating skills. It took time but he has just landed a position at another leading edge company. He continues to have what I call a "resume" advantage.

The fourth client was working very successfully in sales but had targeted a move half way across the country. His commitment to our interview coaching and much more preparation behind the scenes  brought out his unique, competitive edge.  And, it paid off!  He will be starting in a new role at the new year.

There is a lot of hiring activity going on. So, stay connected, ask for help, surround yourself with a good support system, and keep your eye on the target.  You may also land your next role for the New Year!

~  ~
Have a great weekend!  And, watch for next week's Tuesday Tips.
Marianne   408-295-6656

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

TUESDAY TIPS: Job Search at the Holidays

Over the years, I often hear clients, who are in job search mode, say that they will cease job search and start up again after the holidays. They note the reason as being everything slows down. I happen to have a bias that, in a good economy, this is a great time to continue or even start a job search. I myself have hired over the holidays for starts at the first of the calendar year. I started a new job in the first half of January one time. Here are some additional thoughts on why to keep the momentum of your job search going for the rest of this year: 

  1. The competition (all those people who say they will start up after the first of the year) drops off.
  2. There are job requisitions that have to be filled before year end and job reqs get approved for new year hiring.
  3. There's a lot of networking to be done at the holidays and that's great because 50% of jobs come through your network.
So, keep your plan in place. Beef up your networking if you are at any holiday events, professional ones and even those in your neighborhood. You never know from where your next job lead will come.

~  ~

Have a good Halloween. Stay safe! Have fun! And, expand your network while you are at it.

Marianne   408-295-6656

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday Tips: Sharing Article by former Magazine Editor 

(This is a look at the tech professional world from outside it.)

Stop That Bus (I Want to Get On)Kitty Morgan |  September 27, 2013

A former high-ranking magazine editor—first in the Midwest, then in New York, and ultimately here—helping steer some of the industry’s biggest and most lucrative powerhouses: Better Homes and Gardens, Oprah, Sunset. Read the provocative article about her transition out of publishing and research and insights about the world of technology in the Bay Area.


Have a great week everyone ~

Marianne 408-295-6656

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

TUESDAY TIPS: Using "craigslist" for Job Search

Did you know that you may both search for jobs as well as post your resume on craigslist? I just had another client find her perfect opportunity that way. Many people are aware that you can search for jobs there. Few know to also post a resume on craigslist.

Several years ago, I recruited for IT positions for a well known, leader in the IT staffing field. craigslist was one of the first places we looked because it was a "quick" resource. Why? This was because few people are posting there. As a recruiter or hiring manager, you quickly know if there is a good candidate resume and you can proceed from there.

If you choose to post your resume, you have little competition because not many are posting resumes in percentage to the number who are looking.  Here are some suggested guidelines for you to follow in order to avoid the spam that is out there.
  • First of all, use an anonymous email- you will be instructed on this as you go through the posting process. 
  • Take your name and contact information off of your resume. 
  • Leave your professional summary and include, at the end of your summary, a paragraph such as the one below, given as an example by this client who landed her great job:
If my skills match your needs, please reply with your company name, address, telephone and person to contact. Please no direct sales opportunities. Thank you for your consideration.
One more thing, remember, you will need to re-post your resume but don't do it so often that you look desperate. I recommend every 21/2 to 3 weeks. Both reps of hiring organizations and job seekers  have had success using craigslist. So, before everyone finds out, make it your friendly resource, too.

~  ~
Marianne   408-295-6656

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Last week, the  Networking Tip centered around "asking for assistance." I admitted that my own ego often gets in the way of doing this. So, I set a goal over the past week to reach out to others and let them know how I could use their help or advice. Now, depending upon the type of relationship, close friend, acquaintance, close work colleague, more loosely connected colleague, etc., what we ask for might be different. Using common sense here is important. And, if you aren't certain, then ask someone else who can advise you on whom and how to approach. 

I started with close friends who knew me and it was a safe way of practicing. I had lunch with a long-time friend and former work colleague who listened to my work goals and gave me some wonderful guidance. In exchange, I treated him to lunch and knew that we were also spending time that continues to build this friendship. I ended by asking permission to take him to lunch again in the next two months to continue to gain his support and guidance as I moved forward with my plans.
Important note here: The plans aren't necessarily completely formulated. Part of meeting with my friend is assisting me in making plans and goals more solid and realistic.

There were a few others whom I went to and told about my need for help with a personal project. One of my friends knows how difficult it is for me to ask, even admit to myself that I need help, as I think I always have it "in control."  Again, I knew she would understand and welcome this.

Over the last week, I have learned that it's much better to seek assistance in my network and not "go it alone." It will take me time to get used to doing this until this becomes more of a natural way of life for me. So, I'm continuing the practice and going to extend out to a wider circle in my network. I encourage you to do the same. 

How does this all relate back to networking? We are networking when we reach out like this. It's either going back to a connection we already have or seeking out a new one. And, don't forget, ask your friend or colleague: "Who else would be a good contact for me in this situation?" So, let's pick up the phone (or send an email) and get started.

 Good luck with your networking and seeking out help and guidance for your career and life plans.

Marianne   408-295-6656

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday Tips: Ask for Help. It Works!

Why are some of us afraid to ask for help and/or admit we don't know the answer or how to do something? I'm one of those people. I'm known as a knowledge expert in my field. I'm always giving resources and guidance to others for their successful job search, career advancement or change. However, I often don't ask others when I need advice or help. Why? For me, my EGO gets in the way. I should know the answer already. Or, my fear of asking arises. And, sometimes it's a self-esteem issue, left over from early childhood days.

This month we are looking at how to network. Well, networking is about giving and receiving help. And, almost everyone likes being asked to give assistance often because they get to share expertise in an area that they love and want to discuss. So, I'm going to give us all a goal for this week. Ask one person for help related to your job search or career. Notice, not only what results you get, but how it feels. Take notes. I'm going to do the same and report back.

Good luck and have a great week!
Marianne 408-295-6656

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

TUESDAY TIPS: Network Your Way into a New Job

Years ago research was performed with Bell Lab engineers, some of the brightest professionals in their field, to find out what set apart the top 20% of these engineers. The research results indicated one reason that the top 20% were so successful. That reason was because they "networked." Networking or "connecting with others" gave these top engineers access to others for collaboration, information share, etc.

With that in mind, if you are looking for a new opportunity, the first place to go and seek assistance is to people in your network. And, it's never too late, to re-connect. Linkedin makes it very acceptable and easy to reach out to former colleagues and friends whom we haven't seen, sometimes for decades.  When you reach out, be prepared to let the person know how they might help. Also, be prepared for a wide range of responses. Everyone has different skill sets and some will be more inclined to help you by making an introduction or forwarding a resume to someone. Don't take it personally if they aren't able to assist you. Move on and continue to "network."

Something encouraging and interesting to do is ask everyone you know, even those in your more professional networking meetings, how they landed their last position. You will hear a lot of great stories about how someone in one's circle of contacts played a part in it. I do contract work at a major biotech company in the San Francisco Bay Area. One of the people who put in a good word for me was formerly on the executive team at the company. I had sent her a short email letting her know I was looking, so she was aware. Low and behold she ended up on the elvator with my future boss and put in a good word. Lucky for me! You can't make those connections happen but, as we call it in the career development world, you are ready for this planned happenstance*.

So, get on linkedin, set up coffee dates, phone an old friend or colleague, and talk to your neighbor and the person behind you in the grocery store line. You never know where that connection will lead you.

For more ideas about linkedin,  stay tuned for next Tuesday's Tips! Have a week of connecting and re-connecting.

Marianne   408-295-6656 

*John Krumboltz, an eminent psychologist at Stanford University coined a term for the process of scientific research – 'planned happenstance'.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

TUESDAY TIPS: Education, Training, Networking, and More

During the month of August, Resume was the theme of our Tuesday Tips. This month the theme will be Networking. To kick us off, I want to mention a "2-fer" (two results gained from one action taken). This "2-fer" comes when you take a skills building workshop or certificate program or undertake additional education. First of all, by doing this, you are almost always adding value to your resume content and you may increase your viability as a candidate for a new role, advancement, or job. Secondly, you have the opportunity to expand your network at the same time.  Read on to hear how this happens.

When you are in a class, you have the opportunity to meet new people. Hence, you increase your network. Remembering to exchange cards when getting to know others is important. Set a goal to add at least 2 class participants to your contact list and keep in touch with them. Some of you reading this may want to get to know everyone in the class. I set our bar at the lower end - getting to know 2 people - because networking doesn't come easily to a lot of us. I have found that I have more success in meeting others at events when I don't overwhelm myself by thinking that I have to connect with everyone in the room.  When a goal is set lower and viewed as achievable, there is still the option to set a higher goal next time or exceed the goal the first time.

So, now you know about this "2-fer". However, before you sign up for additional education and training, there is one very important item to address. If you are taking workshops and classes in order to achieve a target job, ask yourself if you would be able to attain this target today, without additional training or education. Sometimes the additional coursework will not be the way to reach the target. It might be your way of procrastinating. Or, there might be new job related skills that you would be able to attain through a project or assignment at work. Or, perhaps you volunteer and gain new skills through that experience. A client of mine attained recent HR experience through a volunteer opportunity. We have added it to her resume. It's right up front along with her work experience in other areas. Or, sometimes, what you really need is more visibility for the work that you are already doing and you aren't quite certain how to go about gaining that visibility and recognition. This is a time to reach out to mentors and those in your work network for advice about how you might gain "good" attention for your work.

In conclusion, please make certain that you are addressing the entire landscape surrounding your job target. Seek guidance from experts in that field to find out what next steps will be the best ones to take. I always recommend to my clients that they go through an information gathering process before signing up for coursework. This brings additional assurance to them that they are taking the right next step in reaching their next career journey destination.

In wrapping up Tuesday Tips today, here's a tip that will assist you in your emails and email responses. Always put your contact information at the end of your email. As a former recruiter and hiring manager, and now as a career coach who receives hundreds of emails each week, it's so helpful when I don't have to go back to a former email or attachment or saved file to find a phone number. It makes my job easier and gives you more insurance that the call will come to you from the receiver of your email message.

I hope you found this information helpful and that you have a great week ahead. 

Marianne   408-295-6656

Friday, August 30, 2013

CAREER SUCCESS: This Made the Difference in Landing Their Jobs

In the past week, I heard from two people about the same
new job a client of mine landed. First, I heard from the successful candidate himself: "...I  just wanted to say thank you again for your help last week before my final interview. It's amazing the amount of clarity I was able to get in our short conversation.  Oh... I did get the job!"  Then, I heard from his mentor letting me know that both he and another referral landed their jobs. Of course, this  really made my day as a career counselor. And,  I've since been thinking about what each person had in common. One important thing they had in common - both came to me for interview coaching and were very prepared for their interviews.

Being prepared for the interview is extremely important. With each of these clients, we talked about strategy. We looked at what each would be bringing to the role - the competitive advantages over other candidates. We also looked at barriers, or disadvantages, and how to overcome those on the interview. It wouldn't be by saying "my skills cross over" or "I can do this job."  It would be by sharing examples of success in a role. Each of the clients I coached prepared several examples targeted to the job requirements and were very prepared to share their stories in the interview, using the following PSR format:
  1. Talk about the Problem at hand and any barriers you had to overcome.
  2. Give the Solution to the above problem with enough detail for the interviewer to see you in action on her or his team.
  3. End with the Results you gained or what I refer to as the "exclamation point."
 You will want your answers to be no more than 1-2 minutes. The objective is to give specifics but not too many details. And, you don't want to mention the product name and/or organization names for the prior role too much. This is because you want the interviewer to picture you doing the same thing for their company. If you follow this advice, the interviewer is more likely to remember you and your story even after you leave the interview. See the importance of being very prepared with examples relevant to the new job at hand!  And, always interact as your professional, authentic self when giving these story examples to your interview team.

In wrapping up a month of Tuesday Tips about Resumes, here are two more. First of all,  it is extremely important to make sure your bullets are not too short or too long. If they are too succinct, you aren't telling your story to the reader. If they are too long and wordy, you will lose your reader. For those of you who are more wordy in your writing, have a goal to edit and reduce the content of your resume by at least 10%.
Secondly, a dear friend and colleague, Pat, advised me to read the content backwards as a final review. This causes you to read for correctness and not to be "unconsciously" filling in content. 

With all of the above advice on resume and interviewing success, I wish you much enjoyment over the long, Labor Day weekend and remind you to watch for Tuesday Tips next week!

Marianne   408-295-6656

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

TUESDAY TIPS: Make Yours a "Killer" Resume

This month is all about resumes. Your resume is your marketing collateral that gets you in front of the hiring manager. Research is telling us that networking and linkedin are still the 2 largest means (very high percentages by the way) that people are getting in the door. Once you're in, your resume will show what sets you apart and why they want to hire you and what skills and background you will contribute. Also, once you have a "killer" resume so to speak, you have already built the foundation for your interview prep.

So, to make it a killer resume you want to have your resume visually appealing so that the reader wants to read up on you in the content of the resume. Important to remember:
  1. Have a nice border but not too much white space. Too much white space looks like you didn't have enough to write about yourself.
  2. Put the dates on the right hand side of your resume so that you aren't wasting white space and so you lead with your resume advantage/s which are typically known companies where you've worked, progression of titles you've held, etc. (If you don't know how to think this through, it's time to confer with a career counselor.)
  3. Have just the right amount of spacing to set your sections apart and use nice headings and font sizes for your name and  titles for each section. I recommend the use of a font without a serif for your name and section headings and a serif font for the content (see the last two blogs).
  4. Always have contact information on the second page and it's nice to have page numbers in the header area, too.
  5. Keep it to two pages. Remember when writing your bullets and overall content "less is more for impact."

Have a good week and enjoy the process of writing or updating your resume.
Marianne   408-295-6656

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

TUESDAY TIPS: Begin With the End in Mind

There are many things that will make your resume a very marketable document in your job search or  career transition. Last week, the type of font to use was emphasized. Using a font with a serif (see last Tuesday's blog if you need more information on that) makes a difference for reader engagement. Book Antigua, Times and Times New Roman were mentioned. Another good font to consider using adding to your list is Georgia. This tip came from an author.

For today's tip, I'm going to make certain you all know how important it is to use your full name in the document title. As a former recruiter there is nothing worse than trying to quickly bring up someone's email and you can't because that person uses a fancy or unique email address that doesn't include the name. Take it from me, if you don't have a simple email with your name, create a gmail account just for that purpose. And, to further assist the hiring managers and recruiters, always include your contact information in each email. Make it very quick and easy for the person trying to find you, able to contact you.  

Continue to evolve your resume with the tips given each week. There will be more next Tuesday. Good luck and enjoy the process!  

Marianne   408-295-6656

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

TUESDAY TIPS: Resume Tips that Will Get You Noticed!

Starting this month, you will be receiving Tuesday Tips to help with Career Transition and Job Search. On Fridays, you will read about Career Successes and receive additional information to guide you in the direction of your own career success. Your input, comments, and ideas along the way are all valued. Thanks in advance for your contributions.

For Tuesday Tips, August and September are going to be all about Resumes - what makes your resume stand out. I chose the topic of resume because the resume is foundational to everything you do in changing jobs. It's the foundation of your unique information that sets you apart.  And, once you have your resume "nailed" you are also that much more prepared for the interviews that you will land. The resume is your marketing material. It's your "resume real estate" of content that sets you apart from anyone else and tells the reader why they will want to contact you. 

So, the tips throughout the next two months will assist you in creating that excellent resume document. And, you may want to consider working with myself or another career coach if you don't know how to get started, how to figure out what sets you apart, or how to implement the tips you will be reading all about. Just keep this in mind as an option as you read the tips for resume writing.

Here's your first resume Tuesday Tip: Use a font style that has a serif. Research tells us that a serif creates an automatic response by the reader's eye to continue on with reading. According to Wikipedia a serif is a small line attached to the end of a stroke in a letter or symbol. You will notice that the title of this blog uses a font without a serif - straight letters with no curve.  The rest of the content of this blog has small lines, curves on the ends of the letters. One recommended serif font is Book Antigua. Of course, the standards,  Times New Roman and Times, also work very well.  Try your resume with and without a serif font and see what you think. Because the research continues to support the use of a serif font, that's what I continue to recommend to my clients.  And, clients have been very successful in getting their resumes "noticed" over the years. Let me know if you have questions. Watch for Friday's Career Corner for Success blog. All the best to you in your career journey this week!

Marianne   408-295-6656