Tag Archives: education career services

CFEC Jobs Initiative Empowers

cfji-logo InitiaveAre you unemployed, underemployed, and/or recently graduated, this FREE six-session program has the potential to lift you well above other candidates. For those serious about career progression and career satisfaction, make the call today at 407.796.3650 or visit www.cfji.org for details.
January 15th concluded the Central Florida Jobs Initiative launch, finding an overwhelming response from all participants. Following up from a previous shout out, Christian HELP, Central Florida Employment Council (CFEC), and Education Career Services partnered with one goal in mind: YOUR CAREER SUCCESS.

Here’s what fellow participants had to say about the empowering sessions:

*  I am ready like I have never been ready before
*  The books were good, organized, and kept me interested
*  All of the instructors cared about our success, that meant a lot
*  I’ve never been so engaged, the value of the sessions went far beyond expectations
*  Role-playing activities will help me understand how to deal with workplace confrontation better
*  Being a single mom without any college, I couldn’t help but feel for Megan. The way you made us see ourselves in the challenges others faced was so valuable. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

The six-session jobs initiative workshop classes are once again scheduled to begin next week. If you are serious about career development, gaining the right job, or learning time-tested and proven employment strategies, contact Christian HELP at 407.796.3650 for details. Interactive classes meet twice a week for three weeks.

Qualifying to be part of this complementary jobs initiative series, is as follows:

*  Must clear a criminal background
*  Must have reliable transportation
*  If applicable, must have reliable childcare
*  Must be eligible to work in the United States
*  Must have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED
Placing you on top with a competitive advantage, I am scheduled to present and guide session #6 on February 13th. Nothing would be better than to have you join me as we explore what it takes to perform well on the job, gain fellow worker and supervisor respect, and set the foundation to gain promotions and job security.

Each of the six workshops is committed to a specific career lifecycle element. Throughout each workshop, you will be introduced to a wide range of career strategies and applications proven to enrich your personal and professional development.

Highlights of the six complementary classes are as follows:

Creating Your Job Search Plan: Addresses effective job search and career management strategies as well as common techniques to overcome the psychological effects when faced with unemployment.

Crafting Your Cover Letter and Resume
: No doubt the key to finding a job is a well-written, value-filled resume and cover letter. Our second of six workshops cover the basic and advanced methods behind writing an effective resume and cover letter, and also provides examples and tips along to the way to YOUR career success.

Networking in the Digital Age: According to a recent study conducted by Harvard University sociologist Mark Granovetter, 74.5% of all jobs come through networking. No doubt networking is a key in success but how does one network effectively? Series three is an ideal guide to get you on the right networking path, and keep you there!

Job Search Tactics: This fourth of six workshops takes you through each step of a digital job search. Everything from selecting an online job search site, creating an online profile, to uploading a resume is covered. Furthermore, alternative methods such as social networking, job fairs, and walk-in’s are detailed.

Interviewing and Impressions: The fifth workshop breaks the interview process into a series of steps. We start with preparation for the big day, move onto the interview, and then cover the follow up. Let this interview workshop be your guide to acing every aspect of the interview by realizing the many values and contributions you offer an employer.

Performance Excellence: The final workshop walks you throughout your 90-day review period and beyond. Be prepared to learn the meaning and process of on-boarding, develop conflict resolution skills, and examine the best practices to give and receive feedback. Furthermore, you’ll be introduced to concepts such as how to handle confidential information and contractual agreements.

Are you ready to be a superstar on the job?

To learn more, go to www.cfji.org for a complete Central Florida Jobs Initiative overview.

Education Career Services is proud to partner with Christian HELP and play an instrumental role in developing and publishing cutting-edge career management material for the Central Florida Jobs Initiative as well as thousands of job seekers across the United States. For those interested in career management courseware, full length books, or employment-targeted booklets, 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.

See YOU at the workshops!

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

Delivering Career Diligence

As a business owner, professional writer, and career management specialist, I am often asked “what separates a good employee from a great employee.”

Quite bluntly, in a word: diligence. To put this term into perspective, let’s examine the formal definition and then transmit the concept into an actual application, ultimately relating how the practice of delivering career diligence morphs good into great.

According to numerous resources, diligence is:
* To give a constant effort to accomplish something
* To be attentive and persistent in doing anything
* Done or pursued with persevering attention
* Constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken

With the concept defined above, in order to take full advantage of your career opportunities, you need to recognize the underlying meaning. That is, simply doing the job is not enough AND, in the eyes of the employer, going above and beyond job responsibilities will be rewarded by way of recognition, (hopefully) increased income, and (hopefully) job security.

For the following example, you decide which employee is the keeper during rough times and which two employees would be on the wrong side of right-sizing (by the way, this situation reflects an actual event where I had to make a choice—though the details below are thin, I believe you can still decide their fate).

Workplace reality:

While operating a career management firm, I oversaw an operational crew exceeding 65 employees. I was tasked to reduce our customer service staff by two (leaving eight employed). After narrowing the list of possible employees to terminate to three, a second evaluation stage was undertaken. All of the remaining three performed their job as required by defined roles so the determination was made on bottom-line value and overall contributions.

Overall contributions include such things as attitude, willingness to learn roles beyond defined duties, professional courtesy (actions and attire), getting to work on time, and a proven eagerness to represent the company well.

DSC_0024The candidates were as follows (naturally the names have been modified):

Carmen. She always showed up at work on time and rarely called in sick. She enjoyed her position and had been employed with the company for 18 months. Though she did not ask to learn other aspects of operations, she did lend a hand when she felt comfortable with the task and team. During formal evaluations, she never expressed a desire for professional development… she was content with the way things were.

Vicky. She was a recent graduate and had been employed for nine months with the company. Though originally hired for a management training position, Vicky did not work well with others and displayed an attitude of progress complacency. Her performance was above average and customer service skills were also above average. Over the past year, she also showed up on time and rarely called in sick.

Robert. He was still within a 90-day probationary period and was introduced to the company via an externship opportunity. Though “green” in several areas, he seemed eager to learn more than what his job defined. He extended a professional and supportive attitude as well as a positive commitment to progress within the company. Robert completed two professional development on-line courses (on his own) to heighten his customer service skills. Just before his formal evaluation, he presented a proposal to streamline in-bound calls which had the potential to save several hundred dollars monthly.

Of the three selections above, which one would you have kept on the team and why?

I chose the one who I felt would progress the company beyond the moment and deliver benefits well into the future. Needless to say, the one I chose stayed with the company after I moved on and became a director of operations in less than one year.

Diligence means more than simply showing up on time or getting the job done. To me, diligence is a commitment to bring the complete package to the table.

What does the concept mean to you? In the comment box, go ahead and share your ideas with the world.

Delivering career diligence tip: Believing is not enough… To survive, you must do… more than enough.

Interested in developing your own career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused books, including how to write effective resume/cover letters, 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 Amazon” or go directly to http://www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs

Career Breakout: Holiday Networking

The end of the year does not mean the end of career networking. Quite the opposite, NOW is the ideal time to spread the news of your value and contributions. To detail, let’s respond to a brief summary and question submitted last week by a recent college graduate, Chris Alcott:

I graduated with a business degree earlier this year and was hoping that would be enough to get a decent job offer. I’ve been unemployed for the past 18 months due to a downsizing. Looks like no one is  bringing on new employees and the only thing going on are holiday parties, gatherings, and a hiring freeze. Last November and December I resigned to wait until January to re-launch my job search and concentrate on my final semester of classes. What’s your thoughts… are the last two or three months of the year a waste of time for the unemployed? If not, what are your suggestions?”

To set the record straight once and for all, the final three months of the year are not a waste of time for the unemployed and can be quite successful.

Career fact: Seasonal help, even part time, is at a full-time high during the final quarter.

If you’re thinking a low-wage job for a month or two is below your status, crawl out from that rock you are renting and wake up. Though many seasonal positions are for a short stint, not all are. Believe it or not, a solid percentage of those hired during this time progress into full-time positions with promotions and salary increases.

Though I know little about Mr. Alcott, gaining a seasonal position will add strength to your resume by way of added customer service experience. Not only will one achieve a paycheck, the psychological benefits of getting out there and contributing to the household will create a positive impact. Being a recent graduate, many employers look at the soft skills offered and use that when measuring up candidates.

Looking to turn that seasonal position into a full-time position? Here’s a tip, employers are always searching for top-notch employees to join their team, in any industry.

Consider an employer’s perspective… what are they looking for with their seasonal bunch? Here’s another clue (or two) about the evaluation process, gaining full-time status, and what you need to highlight on and off the clock:

* An eagerness to learn and a drive to represent the company mission
* Confidence and an initiative to do what needs to be done without complaint
* To ‘think’ and ‘act’ professionally, without compromising patience, quality, or production
* Dedication, aptitude, and loyalty to perform tasks outside limited job duties
* ‘Show’ you are a keeper… and yes, your boss is watching and his or her observations will be relayed to the company elite

Career fact: Networking is at an all-time high during the holiday season.

While on the topic of networking during the holiday season, I would like to introduce a wonderful resource I have been taking advantage for years,  http://www.cultureandmanners.com.

Thanks to the polite folks at the Culture and Manners Institute, let’s review the following insight…

Networking does not mean you become a walking/talking resume. Think of networking as research. As said in previous Etiquette Tips, the best way to start and continue a conversation is to ask questions:

What do you do for a living?
How long have you been with that company?
How did you first become interested in that company?
What do you like best about your company (or job)?
How did you get started in that field?

Holiday networking is not just job research, its company research; because you learn which company has happy and satisfied employees and which ones don’t. (One person badmouthing their company might just be a malcontent. Three is a pattern.)

Here is the best part. When you ask questions of another person, you show you are taking interest in that person and that makes people feel good about them. This is what etiquette is all about.

Some people who are out of work avoid holiday parties. Never fear to admit you are out of work.  Everyone has been there. Networking skills honed in holiday season are valuable assets when you do find employment. Now get out there and party.

For those interested in receiving an Etiquette Tip of the Week, check out their site mentioned above.

The final few months of the year can prove to be career successful. In other words, Chris, don’t get discouraged and do get yourself out there!

For those interested in cutting-edge career books to guide you along your journey, visit www.edu-cs.com or go to Amazon and search Danny at ECS for a listing of available

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs

Career history, how long is too long?

Throughout the many years as a professional resume writer and career coach, one of the most often asked questions has to be: “how far back do I go on my resume?” Recently Ty Newman submitted the following:

I’m not ashamed to say that I’m an older gentleman who fell victim to downsizing earlier this year. My resume definitely needs to be updated but how far back should I highlight my career history? I’ve worked for five organizations over the past 30 years, nine years during my most recent. What guidelines should I follow?”

According to the top career management associations, it is generally recommended work histories going back beyond 10 to 15 years should not be included in your career documents. The reason for the five year spread is because of the concept “relevancy.”

Here’s the relevancy low-down:
* If the previous job position held ten years+ ago is not relevant to the job position being sought, do not include it on your resume or cover letter.
* If the previous job position held ten years+ ago is relevant to the job position being sought, include it on your resume or cover letter.

Relevant, according to Merriam-Webster.com is defined as:
Having significant and demonstrable bearing on the matter at hand
* Affording evidence tending to prove or disprove the matter at issue or under discussion

With this as our guide, if an individual worked at Tropical-Air of Central Florida (these folks handle all my a/c and heating needs so here’s a quick shout out) as an ace air conditioning installer ten years ago but now has decided to work as a writer with Education Career Services. The experience gained over ten years ago as an installer is not relevant to the writing position and should not be included in his or her career documents. The reasons are pretty obvious so I won’t detail them for you now.

On the same token, if the person in the example above applied for a general construction position or project manager, his or her experience as an air conditioning installer may be considered relevant and should be included.

No doubt the next question might be: “What’s the harm in putting all of the jobs I’ve ever held on the resume?”

At first sight, the logic in letting a potential employer know your professional diversity may sound pretty solid. Problem is, there’s always a second sight… Here are a few potential negatives by saying too much:

* Age discrimination; highlighting too many years on the resume may cause alarm by some employers as age discrimination has not gone away and the perception that you will cost too much to hire is always kicking around behind closed doors.
* Job hopping; training is expensive and if you “appear” to become bored or unhappy after a year or two on the job, a red flag may pop up (and not in your favor).
* Oh so yesterday; technology and operational methods change dramatically every three to five years. Thus, what was considered cutting edge ten years ago is now considered prehistoric and will be received with a shrug of the shoulders and a “how does that benefit me now?” gaze.

Enough of the marginalizing factors, let’s take a quick look at a HUGE advantage of offering a career history highlighting longevity and loyalty. Using Mr. Newman’s example above, possessing a sense of company loyalty is a factor employers look for. As mentioned above, training is expensive and when a company can reduce attrition by hiring and keeping quality employees in it for the long haul, everyone wins.

As a result and on face value, I would suggest to Ty that he go ahead and highlight his long-term career commitment and list his employment history, perhaps even to the 20 year mark provided it is relevant and progressive.

Would listing a career history going back to the 1990’s be in your favor? To be quite honest, I can’t answer that without knowing more and knowing where it is you want to go.

My point is, every situation is different and general rules are made to bend. If you would like a professional review based upon your specific circumstance, send your questions with a brief summary to us and we’ll give you the latest best practice advice.

For those interested in cutting-edge career books to guide you along your journey, visit www.edu-cs.com or go to Amazon and search Danny at ECS for a listing of available material.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs

Does your resume stand up or sit down?

We recently received an often expressed comment and an often-asked question from Nina Burkley, a recent graduate at one of our local vocational schools. Ready to graduate, Nina wants to stand up above her fellow competition (a smart thing to do) and make sure the hiring manager takes a second look at her qualifications.

Nina is worried about losing credibility and career opportunities due to fluff, graphics, and use of colors in her documents… what do you practice?

Crossing the line between standing up and sitting down is a matter of common sense, industry standards, and the ability to think like an employer. Here’s what Nina had to say…

Everyone says I need to make my resume stand out, and I’ve seen some pretty cool examples online where people use photos, graphics, and colors to give their document some pizzaz. What are your thoughts on doing this?”

Thanks for the question, Nina. Using photos and colors will definitely make your resume stand out, but not always in the way you might like. Although there is no global best-practice “official” list of requirements for a resume, the top career management associations do make some rather strong suggestions which I, too, recommend as you consider document development.

Listening to experts in the field makes a great deal of sense when it comes to your career. Put in another way, taking the lazy research way and trusting online recommendations may not be in your best interest as anyone can (and do) jot misguided gibberish. Fortunately, you know better than the follow blindly!

Let’s round up a few best-practice suggestions from the top career management associations:

1) Limit the use of color. Here’s an idea: Use any color you want as long as it is black and white. Naturally there is room for brief moments of shade but, as a general rule, colors are not the way to go.

2) With limited color choices, pictures lose impact so you may want to reconsider using images. Think of it this way: Slipping in cheap clip-art does not say many positives about your creative abilities.

3) If you are a graphic artist (or in another creative industry—accounting not included in this bunch), use common sense when it comes to image branding. Think like an employer when it comes to pictures as what you intend to show may not be what is perceived or recognized, leading the way to confusion and possible insults.

4) With Internet transparency, many folks are going with the flow by placing personal photos on their resume… Here’s the scoop: Throughout the United States, personal photos on resumes is not recommended… unless you happen to be applying to be a swimsuit model. True enough, in some European countries, placing personal photos is fairly common… but we are not in England.

5) Pizzaz does not get you hired… your knowledge, skills, and abilities (along with your soft skills) get you inside the door; getting your foot in the door should be your number one priority.

6) Think like an employer: Hiring managers often receive hundreds of resumes/applications for one job position. Hiring executives are not in the mood to waste time on clip art, fluff, unrecognizable images, or irrelevant clatter. In other words, state as professionally the value you bring and how you will positively affect the bottom line… nothing else really matters.

With the above in mind, if you must, use moderation and common sense when it comes to artistic flare.

Note: If the job you’re applying for doesn’t require any work to be submitted with it, then you should leave colors and graphics out of your resume. There is no need for it.

If the job position requires supplemental material such as a portfolio displaying work accomplishments, you have a creative license to introduce color, graphics, and blue prints. It is recommended that all applicants create a professional portfolio as “showing” your talents is always more effective than simply “telling” what think you can do. Distinct portfolios have the power to lift you above the competition quickly and impressively as long as it is relevant to the job/industry.

To detail a bit further: A portfolio is a hard copy or digital folder containing past work as it relates to the current position you’re applying for. In the graphic design example, the job seeker would use his or her resume to highlight work experience and skills while using the portfolio to actually demonstrate it.

Time to wrap Nina’s comment/question into a branding statement for all to take advantage of:

It is always better to make your resume stand up due to layout of information; overuse or misaligned graphics, color, or pictures often prove to be detrimental to career success.

If you would like our career experts to address specific questions or issues related to your career development and success, reach out by using the comment box.

For those interested in cutting-edge career books to guide you along your journey, visit www.edu-cs.com or go to Amazon and search Danny at ECS for a listing of available material.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs

Career Breakout: Resume length and font

Ron Davis reached out earlier this week with questions about resume length and proper use of fonts. As the topic of length is a common concern, let’s take a look at Ron’s question and our professional advice.

“I’ve read up on a lot of tips and tricks for creating resumes. It’s led to some good information, but I’ve received a bag full of mixed advice that is causing only confusion. I don’t want to screw up so can you tell me how many pages my resume should be and what size font I should use?”

Though at first glance, the answer to the page question is straight forward and simple. Overall, for a good 90% of job seekers out there, a one-page resume is not only all you need but going more than one page could do more harm than good.

Have you ever heard the cliché: Less is more? When it comes to resume length, this may be the chosen path you should take.

Feeling like a one-pager is selling you short? Feel again, but this time consider the person reading your resume and cover letter. Does he or she have time to go in-depth and read hundreds of resumes that are one page? Add another page to the mix and most readers will find boredom taking over quickly… not a good thing for you.

Catch a clue: To your advantage, many people add a ton of non-relevant fluff, thinking more pages mean a better match… another bad move.

Creating a resume several pages long in an attempt to ‘wow’ employers more often than not backfires. While these people may have good intentions, their overachieving is actually not doing them any good at all. Employers, human resources, hiring managers–whatever you want to call them–are very busy people; hand them a several page long resume and you’ve already got a strike against you. Granted, it’s hard to limit your resume to one page, but that’s exactly the point.

It is generally accepted that entry-level candidates as well as recent graduates should always use a one-pager. For senior executives, those in the medical and/or educational field, two pagers (oftentimes even more than two pages, depending upon many factors) are required. The key to career success and resume length is to make sure you include only relevant information… all backed by support.

For most, limiting your resume to one page accomplishes two impressive feats:

1) You’ve selected only the most important AND relevant aspects of yourself to show the employer, which will help them see and remember the best of what you have to offer.
2) You’ve demonstrated the ability to be concise and to-the-point; a trait that is always desirable no matter what the situation is.

Remember, to place yourself in the employer’s shoes and deliver YOUR strengths based upon the job position, industry expectations, and company research.

Catch a clue: Taking advantage of keywords and phrases (speaking the right language) from the posting and research places YOU at an advantage.

Final fact of the day, hiring managers spend between 6 seconds and 15 seconds to filter OUT resumes that don’t hit the target. As a result, you must hit the target quickly and make your shots count, especially in the top half of the resume.

As far as fonts are concerned, it is recommended that you stick to the basics. Arial, Times New Roman, and Calibri are three major accepted fonts. Font size should be anywhere between 10-12, whereas your header may be 2 font sizes larger (not smaller) than the remaining text.

If you would like our career experts to address specific questions or issues related to your career development and success, reach out by using the comment box.

For those interested in cutting-edge career books to guide you along your journey, visit www.edu-cs.com or go to Amazon and search Danny at ECS for a listing of available material.

Written by Brandon Hayhurst
Education Career Services, Your Career Document Headquarters

Career Breakout: Mobile Madness

Several weeks ago I received the following from Julia Nicole:

I have to be honest with you, I’m on my phone more often than I am on my own computer. I’m just more comfortable with it. The other day I tried to submit a resume with my cellphone and just as I was ready to hit send, a friend of mine said it was a bad idea. I don’t understand why that would be a bad idea. Can you shed some light on the subject?”

Julia, you might be surprised to hear the answer to this question. If this were a couple of years ago, your friend might be absolutely right; however, everything in the modern world revolves around technology–especially mobile technology.

Career Tip: Methods of data transfer have evolved to include cell phone technology.

I remember just several years ago that technological limitations did not even allow cell phones to do anything but move voices… nowadays, cell phones are a lot more like computers. In many ways, come cell phones are more robust and applicable than computers so your question may even be a non-issue to most people.

Take, for instance, smartphones like iPhones and Androids. Most of them contain built-in email programs that allow you to send documents just like you would on your home computer. In fact, employers wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference between documents sent from a home computer versus documents sent via an IPhone.

Warning: I don’t recommend creating a resume on your cellphone.

Even though smart phones have apps that work as word processors, the official Microsoft Word is not available at the moment. Therefore, you cannot guarantee your resume will be created in a .doc format that is viewable by all employers.

For best results, create your resume on a computer and then send it by phone if you must.

Sending documents on a cellphone not equipped to do so is NOT in your best interest. In this regard, Julia’s friend was absolutely correct. To simplify things, here’s the fact: Smartphones are the only cell phones qualified to send proper email and documents over the Internet.

Even if you created a text-only electronic resume, text messaging should never be used to send a resume… ever. Text messaging is still considered cheap and tacky, which is a surefire way to seem unprofessional to a potential employer.

At the end of the day and more often than not, it’s simpler to just use a computer. But if you insist, smartphone email is acceptable.

I hope this answers your question and if you did send your resume (and cover letter—always), let me know if you gained the hiring managers eye and was invited back for an interview.

If you would like our career experts to address specific questions or issues related to your career development and success, reach out by using the comment box.

For those interested in cutting-edge career books to guide you along your journey, visit www.edu-cs.com or go to Amazon and search Danny at ECS for a listing of available material.

Written by Brandon Hayhurst
Got Twitter? Shadow us @dannyatecs

Career Breakout: Artist Dyanne Parker Leads

Artist’s Square member and respected artist Dyanne Parker shares professional insight regarding inspiration and the process of capturing and expressing new ideas.

How does an artist stay inspired and get new ideas?”

Inspiration is a 24/7 thought process.

I’ve read many excerpts on this subject and have been amazed at how many self-proclaimed stumped artists there are in the world. Regarding a strict time table, sometimes it takes days or longer too actually come up with an idea that you think will amaze the world. That is, if amazing the world is what you are looking to do.

In all honesty, an artist never really knows what will amaze the world or even speak to a potential client. It is not uncommon to work on a project for a long period of time and think, oh yeah, this one will get attention. Unfortunately getting noticed may take a “long” time, if ever at all. Then again, there have been times where I randomly painted a subject, posted it online, and sold the creation on the same day.

New and fascinating ideas are everywhere.

My professional advice is to paint everything. I’ve also heard many professionals state than an artist should find their own style so that they are known and recognized for their own work. Problem is, the only way you find your passion of what and how to paint or create in any field is just do it, borrowing a phrase from Nike.

Discover beauty and paint everything. When you need inspiration, find a subject as small as an item you have around the house and paint it. Who knows, perhaps the crumb will evolve into a bold cake… in other words, even the tiniest seed can cultivate into a revolutionary position.

Again, paint everything.

As with any passion (no matter the career you find yourself in), get out of your comfort zone and discover new techniques, colors, and effects. If, during the process of painting, you become stumped or truly frustrated, take a breather and simply walk away. I have found it helpful to put work in a different light or sometimes even put it away.

Research current trends but always stay true to your heart and definitely don’t try to be someone else.

Walk, sing, shop, or even clean and see what thoughts come to you. The time away from the chore or stress may do wonders for your psychological health (and those around you).

Here’s a proven rule: For many, inspiration comes while performing the most mundane task. As we all know, great ideas come in the shower, so take a shower. Still stumped? It’s okay, just don’t stop creating.

Finally remember, even if you don’t feel that great inspiration that makes you want to jump out of bed to start your piece of work, you know that you absolutely love to paint, sing, write music, or engage in other forms of creative endeavors. If you have the passion, you WILL create. Just do it!

For those interested in seeing more of Dyanne’s artwork on Artist’s Square, take a look at:

Submitted by Dyanne Parker, Artist
Owner/Found Canvas and Cheers, Inc.

Thank you Dyanne for your helpful insight. For the artist eyeing to network with fellow peers and professionals, check out (and become a member) http://artists-square.com.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Got Twitter? Follow me @DannyatECS

Social Networking and your Resume

“This might sound like a silly question, but should I post my resume on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter? I know they’re not really professional, but can it help me at all?”
– Tim Drake

Don’t worry, Tim. It’s actually a very good question to discuss about online networking.

Unfortunately, there is no short answer to this question. Yes, posting your resume on Facebook or Twitter can be helpful for your job search, especially considering employers are sourcing candidates on social networking sites nowadays.

Warning: Not all good things happen in the digital world.

Placing yourself completely out there in the digital world can also eliminate you from the running just as fast as a misplaced tattoo. Recent legislation makes it all so clear: what is online does NOT stay online. As a matter of fact, many companies hire individuals to scour the Internet to better acquaint themselves to their prospective (and current) employees.

Think of it this way, if you were a hiring executive and happened to see inappropriate images or statements from your next interviewee, would that affect the outcome? In terms of your resume, you definitely have the power to present yourself in the most professional manner… always professional.

Control is the keyword here. If you’re going to use your social networking site during your job search, make sure it’s completely professional. Honestly, this is hard for many people. Go ahead and test yourself and check your social networking sites… are there images, texts, or shout-outs which “could” put you in a not-so great light?

According to a recent survey, a whopping 91 percent of Facebook accounts–alone–contain inappropriate information that can be considered a red flag to employers. This includes photos, posts, and even friends.

Do you think you can manage all of your photos, posts, and friends AND keep them strictly professional? If not, then posting your resume on Facebook might not be the best idea.

Twitter, on the other hand, is a little easier to manage than Facebook. People “follow’ others because they’re interested in hearing what they have to say; therefore, if you keep your tweets professional, you will only attract professional followers who won’t be a red flag to your job search.

Keep this in mind: It only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch.

If this sound overly cautious, it’s because you should be. Social networking sites are a double-edged sword that can hurt you just as easily as they can help you, consider this your final warning!

If you would like our career experts to address specific questions or issues related to your career development and success, reach out by using the comment box.

For those interested in cutting-edge career books to guide you along your journey, visit www.edu-cs.com or go to Amazon and search Danny at ECS for a listing of available material.

Written by Brandon Hayhurst
Got Twitter? Shadow us @dannyatecs

Career Breakout: E-Resume Basics

“I’m new to the whole online job search thing. I’ve been told I need to make an ‘e resume’, separate from my own, to be used on the Internet. I have no idea what an e resume is, I only have my normal paper copy… help!”
-Krista Lovette

This week we’re answering a question that people ask very often. What is an e resume?

An e resume, short for electronic resume, is an online representation of your already existing paper resume. Unlike your paper resume, however, e resumes contain none of the eye-catching ‘fluff’.

E-Resume tip: Since many electronic platforms do not transfer many of the graphics properly, it is wise to play it safe and stick to the basics.

When going electronic, keep your document reader-friendly. In other words, keep away from fancy layouts, wingdings, and graphics.

I know you’re thinking: “Why go through all the trouble of eliminating everything that makes your eye-catching resume stand out? After all, the point of a resume is to display your unique value… right?”

Yes, all of that is true, but when you send a resume to an employer online, you want to make sure they receive it properly, that it looks and reads professional, and you highlight the many skills and contributions you offer in a way that will entice the reader to give you a call.

Different computers–heck, different programs–read information differently. Have you ever tried to copy and paste a document on your computer only to find your information becomes scrambled and out of place? If so, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

By utilizing just a few simple rules and keeping it simple, electronic resumes are your solution to avoiding any reader-friendly problems when an employer receives your resume. Keeping it simple also makes your documents compatible with practically every word processor in existence.

Electronic tip: Make sure and include key words and key phrases in your documents as your material will most likely go through an electronic tracking system… companies often eliminate resumes before looking at them if the electronic tracking system does not pick up industry-specific words.

Okay, so your documents may look plain and boring, but remember the point of an electronic resume isn’t to make yourself stand out, it’s to ensure an employer is able to read your resume when it’s absolutely necessary. That’s why we recommend you have at least two resumes: your standard paper resume and a stripped down electronic resume to go along with it.

As Krista mentioned, e resumes are great for online job search sites such as Monster, Careerbuilder, and Indeed, allowing you to upload and share your resume online with employers.

If you would like our career experts to address specific questions or issues related to your career development and success, reach out by using the comment box.

For those interested in cutting-edge career books to guide you along your journey, visit www.edu-cs.com or go to Amazon and search Danny at ECS for a listing of available material.

Written by Brandon Hayhurst
Got Twitter? Shadow us @dannyatecs