Tag Archives: education career services

Hooray, You Failed! More Than the Bright Side

I don’t tend to be an advocate of not-great movies. However, if a mediocre (or bad) movie holds a true nugget of wisdom, I am certainly not above digging it out and sharing it when I believe it to be helpful.

DSC_0038The movie “Meet the Robinsons” is one such case. It was not great. All it truly offered was one part with the power to make one laugh every single view. This one little nugget of share-worthy wisdom, the one which genuinely moved me, created an “ah-ha” moment is the driving force illuminating the bright side.

The main character accidentally traveled to the future and has been taken in by a very eccentric family. The traveler tries to show the eccentric family an invention, and it goes disastrously wrong. As he awaits their fury and begins to retreat into humiliation, a strange thing happens. They cheer for him.

Are you thinking, “Okay, what’s the point of humiliation and how can retreating possibly progress career aspirations?” Thing is, we’ve all experienced humiliation… but how we react to humbleness often defines personal AND professional success or failure…

Getting back to the movie, they celebrate his mistake and bring him to an understanding that it is only by failing that you can ever succeed.

As one (of many, I’m sure) who had never considered this notion before, it hit me pretty hard. Not in a position to deny or confirm, this moment may or may not have brought a tear to my eye. My “ah-ha” moment forced me to ask: how long have I prolonged my success by not embracing my failures?

Of course, the idea of celebrating failure seems oxymoronic. It goes against everything we’ve been socially, culturally, and professionally trained, it goes against our instincts, and, worst of all, it threatens the ego. Truth is (?), we have an inherent need to feel in-control and accepted at all times, and we will protect that need at all costs… even if it means stagnation.

Tom Harford states that the ego is the enemy of improvement, and in so many ways he is right. Sometimes, the idea of being wrong, rejected, or otherwise humiliated is so overwhelming that we will avoid anything (even something great) that bears the potential (Can you say network avoidance due to fear of rejection—I certainly can).

Let’s look at a couple of the factors behind failure’s massive intimidation factor.

Past Experience – Embarrassing moments from the past can stick out in your mind like a bad scene in a movie. If you had a physical reaction when it happened, chances are it’s magnified when you look back on it. One way to get caught up in an avoidance quagmire is by repeating negative thoughts you had about yourself in that moment. “I’m so stupid,” “I’ll never live this down,” “this always happens to me.”

This may seem harmless; it may seem like something you can’t help. But it isn’t harmless by eroding self-esteem, which only makes it harder to make better decisions or handle situations better in the future. Good news is, self-doubt is entirely something you can do something about. Take time to affirm and visualize events in a positive light… to believe is the first step to becoming.

Future Implications – There is a big difference between planning for a negative outcome and expecting one. Often we take our bad experiences from the past and project them onto our futures, and we most often do this inaccurately.

Our brains are hard-wired to make short-term predictions based on past experiences. The front-polar cortex, the front-most part of your brain, is what tells you to expect a light to come on when you flip a switch and gives you three different scenarios in the event you run that stop sign.

Problems are encountered by allowing our overactive imaginations to do this job instead. No matter what statistics you may have heard, you can still fear lightning in the same place you were last time it struck.

I am not suggesting the disregard of caution. I am suggesting the disposal of irrational fears that hold us back from our true and great selves, and to understand the difference between the two.

Allowing the irrational fears of an overactive imagination to stop you from trying is failure at its worst.
* Does a bad breakup keep you from dating?
* Would a bad interview bring your job search to a halt?

Slipping does not mean your next step will find you sliding. Quite the opposite, slipping often allows great insight while bestowing greater resolve to take advantages of opportunities to the fullest. Can you think of anyone who has not slipped? Unfortunately we all know someone who has slipped and allowed that one misstep to take control of their personal and professional life.

Ultimately YOU have control. It is up to you to act on a failure and conquer self-induced fears. The key is to be honest with yourself about past mistakes, the risks involved in current decisions, and the line between your reputation and who you know yourself to actually be. This can free you to take calculated risks and act with the kind of confidence that allows you to claim your rightful place in this world.

Personally inviting you to share your stories, send questions and professional stories my way.

For those interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters, visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer, rpayne@edu-cs.com
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Your Career: Recharged and Relevant

Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to make you feel irrelevant.

Sometimes it takes a life-changing event.

DSC_0004Maybe you’ve lost your job recently, and you don’t know how likely it may be for someone else to hire you at this point in your life. Maybe a new-hire at your current job seems to threaten your career status.

Maybe you feel you’ve been performing on a lower level than you know you can, and you just feel like you’re in a bit of a rut.

Or maybe, and even better, you just want more: To know more, to learn more, to achieve more. This is an exciting place to be, though it can be uncomfortable if you don’t have the appropriate challenges in front of you.

Then again, maybe, you’re simply…bored.

If any of the above describes you, there are some great tools out there that will keep you recharged and relevant.

Refresh Your Network

When’s the last time you updated your LinkedIn account? Even if you’re not in desperate need of professional connections right now, it can only help to look at your network and your profile with new eyes, expand wherever possible. Hey, I know the hassles and how professional networks can be a total time drain but a nudge may be all you need. With this in mind, find one new person to professional connect with and you’ve introduced change into your life.

Learn Something New

Continuing education may initially sound like a no-brainer. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go back to school. There are many prestigious colleges that offer free courses (sans credit, sadly) online, ranging from film and music to history and economics. Whenever you feel you may be getting stagnant, be it mentally or professionally, go to http://www.openculture.com and add something to your current education.

Recharge Your Resume

Even if you haven’t been swept back into the job market just yet, pull your resume out and have a fresh look at it. Remind yourself of your experience, education, and skills. Rebuild your view of the asset you are, not only to your company, but to any team at any company. Go ahead and practice interviewing with someone you know and introduce a few affirmations or dedicated plans for the short term. Make the mock interview fun, but use it as a valuable reminder of your professional worth. This can give you a fresh confidence that can improve your overall demeanor and free up creative, productive thought processes.

We all go through peaks and valleys, so don’t think for a second you are alone. Good news is, you’d be amazed by what can be accomplished when you take small steps like these few mentioned above. Even if you are fully content with your life and your career, you stand more to gain by being proactive about staying content than by reacting to a sudden and desperate need.

Whatever you do, don’t let yourself get stagnant in anything. As Albert Einstein said, “Life is like a bicycle. To stay balanced, you must keep moving.”

Personally inviting you to share your career stories, send questions and professional stories my way.

For those interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters, visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Bloge: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Empowering, Energizing, Employment

Today your life can change.

For job seekers, recently graduated students, and/or professionals dissatisfied with their current career track, the Central Florida Jobs Initiative offers a life changing FREE seven-session-job–readiness program. You heard right, free. Well, there are a few strings attached…

The pre-qualifications are as follow:
*  Eighteen years or older
*  High School or G.E.D. (minimum)
*  Transportation to session location
*  Adequate childcare (if applicable)
*  Ability to complete a criminal background

Here’s how this complementary seven-session workshop can empower and energize your employment journey: Developed by the Christian HELP Foundation, the goal is to “equip and empower job seekers to become excellent employees.” This is, in part, achieved by identifying and altering traits, behaviors, and attitudes necessary for success not only during the job search process, but also after a job offer has been accepted.

Though offered monthly, the upcoming module/session dates (with career-focus) are as follows:
Module 1: Creating Your Job Search Plan is scheduled for July 15, 2013
Module 2: Crafting Your Cover Letter and Resume is scheduled for July 17, 2013
Module 3: Networking in the Digital Age is scheduled for July 22, 2013
Module 4: Job Search Tactics is scheduled for July 24, 2013
Module 5: Interviewing and Impressions is scheduled for July 29, 2013
Module 6: Mock Interviews, Financial Wellness, and Legal Assistance is scheduled for July 30, 2013
Module 7: Performance Excellence is scheduled for July 31, 2013

Class times are from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm and are held at the Willow Creek Church, 4725 East Lake Drive, Winter Springs, Florida 32708.

The selection process is as follows:
*  You are required to complete an application
*  Engage in a phone interview
*  Be prepared for a face to face interview

One more thing, participants must attend all modules to complete the program successfully. Not only will these free workshops strengthen your career potential, participants are guaranteed an interview upon successful completion of the program! Additionally, the six-book series used throughout the sessions are another free takeaway. This series, created for the sole purpose of helping you in your career journey, was developed in partnership with local publishers and writers at Education Career Services (www.edu-cs.com) whose career material has helped thousands globally and is yours to take advantage of. This complete hard copy career empowering series is offered only to those participating in the classes.

No doubt about it: Today your life can change.

Please email Zeynep@christianhelp.org for additional information.

Currently, Christian HELP is in the process of looking for instructors for these upcoming classes and would love it if you wish to teach one of our job employment program sessions. Please let Mackenna Bowles, project management intern with Christian HELP, know at mackenna@christianhelp.org that you are interested in instructing one of these classes or participating in mock interviews.

It has been an honor to align with Christian HELP to bring this opportunity to so many throughout Central Florida. If you have any questions, please reach out at the above email addresses or if you wish to contact education career services directly, email me at dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how we can help you.

Together we can make the world a better place, one step at a time.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Writer/Editor with Education Career Services
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Emotional Intelligence: Your BEST Career Move

Mo-Duck
Mo-Duck

Listen to Plato. He was a smart, crafty guy who said, “All learning has an emotional base.” He figured out an important skill, one gaining more and more traction in the modern career marketplace, ages before us fancy, savvy moderns dubbed it “Emotional Intelligence.”

In typical fashion, researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while others claim it is an inborn characteristic. Regardless of this conflicting data, students and young adults need to be aware of and embrace the growing importance of this ever more popular, sought after skill.

Ironing out semantic wrinkles, time to clipboard emotional intelligence:

1. Perceiving emotions.
Students and young adults new to the workforce need to exhibit this important skill. They must learn to understand the difference between colleagues’ emotions, such as anger, sarcasm, humor, seriousness, etc., in order to know how to respond appropriately. This is a critical skill for both the networking world, as well as the workplace. They must be able to read verbal and nonverbal language or queues. Mastering this factor makes it possible to accomplish the remaining three.

2. Reasoning with emotions.
This EI trait means being able to understand important skills like problem solving, creativity and analytical thinking. Candidates possessing this skill can adapt to situations that require said skills. Especially for students and young adults with a shortage of solid job-related skills, showing and putting these abilities to use is vital.

3. Understanding emotions.
This trait means being able to distinguish between what’s in your control and what’s out of your control. It involves possessing the ability to realize that people display a variety of emotions and for a variety of reasons. Students and young adults must be able to see the reality behind certain workplace situations. For example, a co-worker, boss, or friend may be acting angry because they’re upset with you for some reason, but they also may simply be having a bad day… or are perhaps upset because they forgot to record last night’s episode of The Voice.

4. Managing emotions.
This is the ability for simple self-control and controlling your emotional response in reaction to the emotions of others around you. A good example would be not reacting negatively to a colleague or a customer who is upset or not taking their complaints personally, rather simply dealing with the conflict. A student or young worker who can achieve this will always be a valuable part of the workforce by possessing a knack for getting people to join his or her team.

The above list may seem like obvious, common sense knowledge when one lists it all out like this. It may seem more like sense than skill, but then you have to stop and ask yourself: When was the last time you were in conflict with another human being, personal or professional, because you perhaps didn’t pay such close attention to one of those four skills?

Chances are you won’t have to search your memory much farther than within the past few days to get an answer to that question.

Do yourself a personal and professional favor and pay a little closer attention to yourself, looking for new opportunities at home or at work to brush up on and put some of your emotional intelligence skills to use.

Being able to better understand the people you most often connect with is such a personal, marketable skill that it will always be in demand. In any job. In any relationship.

Interested in securing cutting-edge career focused books, including how to write effective resume/cover letters, visit “Danny at ECS” on Amazon or go to www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available products and support. Contact our professional staff directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how we can help you.

Article penned by Bret Hoveskeland
Writer/Editor with Education Career Services
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Career Etiquette: DOA?

Fact: Job postings are presented because hiring managers want YOU to be the right candidate for an open position.

DSC_0001Are you (or your student base) delivering or destroying on arrival? Before responding, take a look at what’s going on now… really… now.

Currently seeking a writer/office associate for our Longwood, Florida headquarters; for those interested in working with a team of professional writers and partnering with academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and individuals seeking career transitions, send cover letter and resume to dhuffman@edu-cs.com.

The above posting remains active, unfortunately.

Our management team is in the initial phasing-out stage and what is going on is rather disturbing: When it comes to candidates seeking employment, professionalism and career etiquette are an ignored strategy.

Let’s begin with a showing of several email responses in their uncut, uncensored form to the job posting mentioned a few moments ago:

1. “im interested.Evaluation: Grammar aside, responding to a job posting with two words is a slap in the face. By the way, no cover letter, resume, or sample was attached. Result: Not a chance to be part of our organization.

2. (No text at all) Evaluation: The prospective applicant submitted a dat. file which could not be viewed. No words were stated in the subject line; no words in the email at all. Our team replied with a Word of pdf format copy but a second dat. file was generously returned an hour later.  Result: Do I really need to say?

3. (No introduction or attachments—simply copied and pasted a resume to the open field) Evaluation: Without a cover letter or introduction, the resume lacked a reason to read… not to mention the disfigured display. Result: Another easy no even though this applicant did appear to offer a few positive attributes which may benefit ECS. Unfortunately the lack of professionalism forced a quick and negative reaction.

4. Four candidates did not submit a copy of their resume… is this really happening?

Our team could continue highlighting what not to do but I believe you know where this is going without further confirmation.

Over all, over 35 candidates responded to the writing position thus far. A slight majority (63%) did not supply a cover letter or formal introduction;
meaning most simply pasted their resume without forethought or intent to be called for an interview.

A total of one candidate appeared to perform research on our organization and the position (company name and contact was clearly stated within the posting). I say one because only one mentioned our company mission and/or products/services we offer.

Career etiquette means a brief introduction as to the value, contribution, and support as to why the candidate makes a good fit.

Career etiquette means designing a resume specific to the job posting, organization, and industry.

Career etiquette means letting the hiring manager know you really want the position… by way of following up.

5. Speaking of following up, NOT one of the 35 candidates submitted a follow up note, call, letter, telegraph, smoke signal, or message by pigeon.

Evaluation: Hiring managers know nothing about the candidate other than the job posting response. By not displaying professional courtesy (providing a tailored cover letter, resume, and follow up), you place yourself at a distinct disadvantage instantly.

With so much on the line, it would be a pity a few moments of diligence got in the way between an ideal/dream job and reality.

As a rule:
*
Compile a cover letter based upon the job posting and company research
* Send the resume as an attachment, Word or pdf
* Create the belief that you want the position by sending a follow up note, phone call, or both
* Professional courtesy will lift you above the many too busy on Twitter to show career etiquette

In regards to the open writing position, if you know of a writer in the Orlando area, send him or her my way. Before you do, make sure he or she follows proper career etiquette… or is that too much to ask?

Fact: Hiring managers desire the right information delivered in the right package and in the right way.

We’ll continue offering professional insight and review career marketing strategies so continue checking for the next submission. With this in mind, if you have career questions and would like a team of professionally certified writers and coaches input, don’t hesitate to ask.

For those interested in securing cutting-edge career focused books, including how to write effective resume/cover letters. Visit “Danny at ECS” on Amazon or go to www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available products and support. You may also contact our staff directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how we can help you.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Follow me on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blogsite: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Job Opportunities for Adults with Disabilities

Perfect Petroleum and other local businesses/community employers partner with Bishop Grady Villas to offer job opportunities for adults with disabilities, giving individuals with disabilities a chance to achieve their dreams.

DSC_0032Orlando, Fla. – May, 2013 – Bishop Grady Villas, a residential and employment services provider for individuals with disabilities, is proud to recognize the local businesses that have made an impact in the lives of their residents and clients. Over the past several years, the organization has had the privilege of partnering with dozens of local employers that have offered adults with disabilities invaluable employment opportunities to share their talents and achieve their goals.

At a time when Florida Governor Rick Scott is urging lawmakers to approve $36 million in much-needed funding to serve individuals on the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) waiver waiting list, as well as $2.5 million in employment services to individuals who will continue to wait for waiver services, Bishop Grady Villas programs are more important than ever.

Robert Halliburton and Lorene Schalow have been a part of the Perfect Petroleum team for several months. They love coming to work and our customers love seeing them, but above all, we love having them as a part of the Perfect Petroleum team,” said Ashish Kapadia, President of Perfect Petroleum, an Orlando-based CITGO Marketer. “My son has some disabilities, and so I know first-hand how much people like Robert and Lori can offer not just by the actual work they do, but with the inspiration and blessings they bring by their mere presence, smiles, and laughter. We consider ourselves blessed to be able to work with them. There are still so many individuals in our community that want the chance to make their own mark, and I hope that more local businesses will open themselves up to this incredible opportunity.”

Bishop Grady Villas’ mission is to support persons with disabilities and use their God-given gifts to achieve greater independence, physical and emotional well-being, and spiritual growth. “We are incredibly grateful to all of the businesses who have chosen to hire one or more of our residents,” said Desiree Robles, Employment Programs Manager at Bishop Grady Villas. “It is truly amazing to see the transformation that these opportunities have on our residents’ confidence, happiness, and overall quality of life. It is also a joy to hear how much our corporate partners feel they receive in return when they are able to work with these individuals first-hand as they discover and share their many talents.”

In 2012, Bishop Grady Villas Employment Services helped 116 men and women become permanently employed in Central Florida with the support of corporate partners
like the Walt Disney World Resort, Perfect Petroleum, School District of Osceola County, Publix, and many more. In addition, Bishop Grady Villas provided full-time residential support to 48 individuals through its residential programs.

Its partnership with Bishop Grady Villas is one of many ways Perfect Petroleum helps people with disabilities in the local community. The company also has a history of supporting the Muscular Dystrophy Association, The Smile Train, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, and many more.

To learn more about Perfect Petroleum, visit http://www.perfectpetroleum.com/index.php.

To learn more about Bishop Grady Villas, the services it provides, and how to get involved, visit www.bishopgradyvillas.org.

To learn more about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the services it provides, and how to get involved, visit http://apd.myflorida.com.

West Orlando News Online is proud to take an active role within our community. If your organization is helping to improve our community, let us know.

On a personal note, thank you Perfect Petroleum, Walt Disney World Resort, Publix, School District of Osceola County, Bishop Grady Villas, and all those individuals putting action behind intent. A special recognition goes out for Jennifer Monje, Senior Human Services Program Analyst for Area 7 Agency for Persons with Disabilities.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Follow Me on Twitter @dannyatecs
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Twitter: YOUR 140 Character Opportunity

Though small, remains bigAre you taking full advantage of instant updates from your friends, industry experts, favorite celebrities, and what’s happening around the world? Unless you live in a machine and reside eternally within the digital networking world, priorities need to be your guide. After all, who in their right mind has the time to respond to every Tweet, LinkedIn discussion, and Facebook entry?

Perhaps it’s ripe time to evaluate the benefits of digital networking without bogging time down to a crawl. Though most individuals are familiar with the basics of Twitter, there’s a method of self-career marketing many are not taking full advantage. So, what exactly is this Twitter craze sweeping the nation and are you in the round?

Keeping you in the loop, Twitter is a social networking site and micro-blogging service that enables its user to send and read tweets, text-based posts of up to 140 characters. The key feature of this site is the ability to “Follow” individuals. Whenever a user tweets anything, all of his or her followers are notified instantly.

Twitter tip: Be careful to keep your Tweets relevant and not too personal or what you say may come back to haunt you.

While some users write what they’re fixing for dinner or give blow-by-blow descriptions of their favorite soap operas, as professionals, we’re only interested in the “industry experts” of our field. With the right strategy and proper planning, Twitter can become an effective tool.

For those yet to be within the Twitter family, begin by opening a web browser and entering http://www.twitter.com into the address bar to reach Twitter’s home page.

If you are new to the site, look for “New to Twitter?” Here is where you’ll start creating your free Twitter account. The Sign up entry fields for Twitter are simpler than other sites, only requiring Full name, Email, and a Password.

Once in and ready to take on the world, remember that an online presence represents you, your skills, accomplishments and creativeness. Ultimately, your Twitter resume/profile presents a brief version of personal, educational, and professional qualifications as that of a job applicant, all in 140 characters (or less).

According to the latest, Twitter is more than a social networking site and its use within the career management field has expanded beyond boundaries. Twitter has become one of the first sights hiring recruiters venture to in order to locate high quality candidates… and this is where your 140-character profile must be strong enough to lift you above the crowd of millions.

Atop a stingy foundation, many recruiters and job seekers are turning to Twitter to impress companies by way of quality, not quantity. Throw in a six-second video and the world can be your oyster. Though in its infancy stage, in corners of the job market, such as media and technology, candidates and recruiters are claiming Twitter’s value.

Twitter, stating that it has more than 200 million monthly active users, just may be the elevator pitch medium of the future. I know what you’re asking and shaking that bobble head about: how does one write a 140-character career marketing document/slogan that summarizes one’s experience and unique attributes?

Glad you asked, as so did a recent graduate I have been coaching asked. Here’s the scoop, Megan had been using Twitter for several years, providing insight on dining, her whereabouts, and whatever happened to fancy her throughout the most peculiar times of the day. In other words, like most of us, she held a Twitter account but did not take advantage… until now.

With several creative sessions and less than drab correspondence, Megan came to recognize the many contributions she can add to an organization. Our next step was to ensure she could transfer her uniqueness quickly. Our first attempt more than doubled the allowed character limit so we knew multiple revisions were in store.

Working back and forth, Megan created a Twitter profile packed with industry keywords that would arouse the recruiter interest. Let’s take a look at her Twitter resume/profile as a format and then tailor your Twitter marketing document on the spaces provided.

Megan: “Recent health service grad, dedicated to patient care and support, ethical, creative, multi-tasker looking for a career in #atl.”

Megan replaced her personal profile with the above and three weeks later received several inquiries. As of this date, she has yet to land her dream job but has received four phone interviews and one face-to-face interview… pretty good odds… now we have to work on her interview skills!

Are you taking advantage of Twitter? If not, no better time than now to work on your profile. To push you along the way, in the space below, create your 140 character (or less) Twitter branding statement:

Once completed (and before submitting it live on Twitter), send it along our way for a quick critique.

Twitter tip: Some career professionals say Facebook and Twitter have surpassed LinkedIn as Job-search networking tools.

We’ll continue offering professional insight and review career marketing strategies so continue checking for the next submission. With this in mind, if you have career questions and would like a team of professionally certified writers and coaches input, don’t hesitate to ask.

For those interested in securing cutting-edge career focused books, including how to write effective resume/cover letters. Visit “Danny at ECS” on Amazon or go to www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available products and support. You may also contact our staff directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how we can help you.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Follow Me on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blogsite: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Resume Essentials, Part Two

First thing first, according to the top career management associations, “the resume is dead” rumor is significantly overstated as the resume continues to serve as an essential job-search tool and is expected to remain the foundation for additional career marketing communications.

competitive modeNow that we have that out of the way, bickering in the background needs to settle down… at least for the next five years or so.

Last session we reviewed five essential resume strategies designed to place you, your staff, and/or your students in the advantage. For those who misplaced last session, you are welcome to refer to the original post at https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/resume-essentials-part-one.

To gain your career advantage, let’s get right into business:

  • Resume trends. Over the past decade, resume length has been shrinking at an alarming rate. Rarely should a graduating student warrant more than one page while senior executives remain the exception. The key remains in placement; keep the most impactful (and relevant) information within the top third of the document as reader attention span is also shrinking.
  • Email host. Keeping up with the times includes keeping up with social perceptions. Oddly enough, your choice of email hosts may be sending a message. For example, using an AOL account is currently being perceived as an antiquated vehicle. The most popular email host at the current time happens to be “Gmail.”
  • Focus, focus, and focus. Gaining the advantage requires an active role. Sitting back and sending hundreds of cover letter/resumes instantly at the punch of a button is NOT putting the applicant on top of the heap. To enhance positive responses, tailor the cover letter and resume to the specific job opening. In other words, for each submission, make sure keywords and text placement reflects the job posting, company mission, and your contributions. With the increase use of ATS platforms, matching keywords has never been more important.
  • Proof in the pudding. Nothing shows the reader that you are the right candidate for the job like actually proving it. Simply stating overused terms did not work in the past and will not work in the future. Situation, Task, Action, and Result (STAR) stories tailored to your accomplishments can be a powerful took within your career documents as well as during interviews. In other words, show how you led a group project, a team, or an office by giving actual numbers, what your action was, and then what happened. Is the process still in place? Did your recommendation increase revenue or decrease labor expense?
  • Keep it consistent. Ensure that all documents as well as online profiles and website information highlight the same message. Your LinkedIn profile must match your document branding statements (though not word for word—be creative and consistent).

No doubt the resume remains the career wheel hub with other career collateral serving as spokes around it. By recognizing and applying best-practice approaches, the advantage will go to you as well as your students.

We’ll continue offering professional insight and review career marketing strategies so continue checking for the next submission. With this in mind, if you have career questions and would like a team of professionally certified writers and coaches input, don’t hesitate to ask.

For those interested in securing cutting-edge career focused books, including how to write effective resume/cover letters. Visit “Danny at ECS” on Amazon or go to www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available products and support. You may also contact me directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how I can help you.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Follow Me on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blogsite: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Resume Essentials, Part One

Best practice approaches to career marketing are in a state of constant flux (due to technological advances and the sort), but there remain proven fundamentals which should not be neglected as you seek to heighten your professional standing.

No matter what strategy you subscribe to, when it comes to creating effective cover letters and resumes, consider the following:

  • Place yourself in the employer’s shoes. Simply stated, research the desired position AND the company under consideration. Once you determine what the company is truly seeking (the posting simply touches the surface of candidate expectations so you must delve several layers deeper), target your material to confirm how you are capable of satisfying the need. For those unable to gather a great deal of information, check out www.ONETOnline.org, this free site is a great tool to learn about industry occupation    expectations, responsibilities, and salaries.
  • Incorporate keywords into all documents. Once position and company expectations are known, introduce specific terms from the posting into your resume and cover letter. Don’t smother your documents with terms though as the reader won’t appreciate it. By the way, merging keywords will help you get through an ATS filter and also demonstrates functional knowledge and expertise… and that’s a good thing.
  • Take advantage of being recognized for outstanding performance. To your advantage, much of the competition applying for the same job as you neglects to let others share insight as to the value they offer. Think of it this way, if former supervisors, professors, colleagues, and/or customers  praise your performance, what does that say (and prove) about your work and team ethic? In case you are wondering, quotes can be taken from professional networking sites such as LinkedIn… just don’t use more than one quote per page.
  • Cover letters ARE worth the effort. True enough, some hiring managers don’t read cover letters or request on with the application, but others give cover letters serious attention. Since one rarely knows what hiring managers are looking for, ALWAYS send along a cover letter. While constructing your cover letter, be sure and use the same header as your resume. Keeping consistency shows an attention to detail and many hiring managers look for detail. Regarding content, highlight information that      will draw in the reader by showcasing how you stand out from the competition.
  • Keep it quick. There appears to be an indirect relationship between technology speed and reader attention; as electronic gadget speed increases, reader attention decreases. As a result, most career experts agree that a typical resume is scanned by a hiring manager for less than ten seconds, leaving you no time for idle, misplaced, or irrelevant information. To give you the advantage, place the most important information within the  top third of the resume, making sure you include keywords and immediate      value or contributions you bring. For those with an added or unique value (for example, bilingual, secret service clearance, and/or knowledge in a related industry skill), be sure and share this with the reader.

With a global applicant pool exceeding hundreds fighting for a single position, the need for you to prepare and deliver an effective marketing strategy has never been greater. For those willing to invest in themselves by way of diligence, the future can be quite bright.

We’ll continue offering professional insight and review career marketing strategies so continue checking for the next submission. With this in mind, if you have career questions and would like a team of professionally certified writers and coaches input, don’t hesitate to ask.

Are you interested in developing your own career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused books, including how to write effective resume/cover letters? I can show you the best strategies for a successful interview, how to take advantage of social/professional networking, and ways to overcome barriers to employment (arrests and/or convictions). Visit “Danny at ECS” on Amazon or go to www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact me directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how I can help you.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Follow Me on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blogsite: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Veterans Clashing Expectation and Reality

Anyone who has served their country is a hero, and should be treated as such.”

Courtesy of APUS
Courtesy of APUS

As Americans, we hear that saying a lot. Our veterans have served our country and deserve to have the red carpet rolled out to them. That’s the expectation many veterans have when leaving the service; everyone and every organization will roll out the red carpet to them.

In reality, the first cultural clash is often relived immediately upon return… rolling the rug is more often the exception. Do those who fought for our freedom deserve red-carpet treatment? Of course each veteran does; no one would argue against that. But that’s why it’s called an expectation.

Bridging civilian and military reality and expectations takes more than a plane ride, a bus ticket home, and a hope that the return will have a fairytale ending. Between two world views that rarely see the same thing, finding common ground is imperative to professional success. More often than not, common ground is defined by contributions.

Contributions come in various forms and phases. Christian HELP and the Central Florida Employment Council teamed with Education Career Services to create and provide free courses open to audiences ranging from high school graduates to entry-level candidates to those who have dedicated much of their lives to ensure freedom breathes on American soil.

Keeping it real, part one

Veterans have done their duty and served our country; now comes the hard part. Most veterans who are separating from the service have not planned on how they will go about taking the next step into civilian life. The decision to leave the military varies depending on the person and the circumstance, but all of them — whether they’re married or single — share in asking themselves, “What’s next?”

As they found out in the first week of boot camp, they all come from different places across the country and from different backgrounds. They all signed on the dotted line for different reasons and brought with them a different story. That was the first week, and they were quickly forced to realize that none of it mattered and that their success in boot camp would be determined by working together.

Being able to depend on their fellow comrades was instilled in them from day one. No matter the situation, there was always someone around that could relate or help them work through a problem. That’s the beauty of being in the military: they’re part of a family that extends across the world. And although their veteran status will always signify this, their physical separation from it is a new challenge.

The courses offered through Christian HELP and the Central Florida Jobs Initiative takes challenge and resolution to a level threaded by realism, empathy, compassion, and progression. Leveraged between expectation and reality, the veteran (as well as all students) is supported by six single-topic books to ensure a maximum learning and “becoming” experience is achieved by all.

Keeping it real, part two

It is not uncommon for a newly separated veteran to expect, “Hey, I just served my country. I deserve the best it can give back to me.” While this thought process is not illogical to someone who has made that sacrifice, it is unreasonable to think that society will cater to it — unfortunately. The quicker the veteran realizes that society doesn’t think it owes them anything, the quicker they can move on and not depend on it.

Yes, it can be a bitter truth, but it’s a truth requiring acceptance. This is the reality of what it is to be a recently separated veteran. They may have traveled across the world, gained priceless experiences, and adopted a surplus of skills to add to their arsenal, but it doesn’t matter in their transition unless they accept that they’re not entitled to a career and will have to work harder than the civilian to attain it.

Transitional reality: Truth can be painful, even rewarding, while ignorance of truth leads to anomie.

Putting on that uniform, whether the military personnel knew it or not, gave them a sense of comfort and security. They belonged to something. They were respected. They knew that no matter what, they would be sheltered, fed, and paid. One of the hardest, if not the hardest, phase they will go through in their transition is embracing a civilian world that may not be as endearing to what they’ve done, as they may have expected.

The military gave them a structure and forced them to abide by it. They did so and received the benefits of it in return. In “the civilian world” it is up to them to create a structure that works best for their needs and to establish themselves in a market where their skills will allow them to receive those same benefits in return. With the right research, resources, and effort, this will all be made possible to them… a strategy embraced and encouraged through Christian HELP… a strategy threaded by empowerment.

As a whole and consistent with economic reality, transitioning military personnel are hit hard when it comes to finding an appropriate job. Determined by the Veterans Career Confidence Index, 78% of veterans are not confident about finding a job that meets their abilities, meaning less than 22% actually do feel secure. Held by the keyword “confidence,” when asked, the most important skills veterans felt they gained in the military were intangible skills: self-discipline, attention to detail, teamwork, decision making, problem solving, respect, calm under stress, multi-tasking, and willingness to help others.

Four-fifths of employers agree that their company will hire the best talent regardless of veteran status. Many employers refer to several intangible skills veterans bring to the work place, such as, self-discipline, teamwork, attention to detail, and more. The key to transitioning success is clear: effective translation of tangible military skills to business-use gives veterans a leg up. Here resides strategic maneuvering and the essence of an American culture driven to do the “right thing.”

Keeping it real, conclusion

When it comes to doing the right thing for those loyal to our safety, security, and freedom, action begins on the micro-level… at the you and me level. Wishing never to shy away from responsibility while de-clashing expectations and reality, Education Career Services’ newest hire, John, is a recent veteran who also happens to be an outstanding writer. John’s influence and perspective will prove to be beneficial during Central Florida Jobs Initiative efforts as well as for those unable to attend classes but desire the collective books, including the most recent Veteran Transition is the Mission book(s) offered through Education Career Services.

Anyone who has served their country is a hero, and should be treated as such” can no longer be a social-numbing rationalizing mantra designed to justify misplaced stereotypes. From this point forward, the journey from the military world onto the civilian world must be paved with compassion; compassion defining America and all the people proud to be an American.

Christian HELP deployed a six-session workshop designed to connect the unemployed, underemployed, and military personnel to companies seeking quality candidates ready for hire. The complete and intense workshop goes beyond the surface of simply finding a job. As opposed to template classroom sessions and courseware, each participant takes an active role onto a journey so succinctly stated by a recent graduate as: “The most effective career tool I’ve ever been involved with.”

Without hesitation or debate, veterans are saddled by challenges, mostly phantom ones created by civilian unfamiliarity; herein resides the crack gapping veteran expectations and civilian realitya gap needing eviction.

Education Career Services is proud to partner with Christian HELP and the Central Florida Jobs Initiative. For those interested in career management courseware, full length books, or employment-targeted booklets, go to www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available military and non-military support.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Author, Publisher, Nationally Recognized Speaker
Follow Me on Twitter #dannyatecs
Education Career Services for civilian and transitioning military career: www.edu-cs.com