Education Career Services

December 31, 2008

Do You Need Career Management Help?

Recognizing the need to accept guidance in your career management strategy is an important step to securing success.  With the economy continuing to struggle and the pool of applicants continuing to rise, the sense of overwhelming drowning can easily seep into the soul.  Take it from someone who is a poor swimmer, I embrace inflatable life boats now and then.  Perhaps no man (or woman) can exist as an island.  Or does one begin staying afloat by learning the doggie-paddle and then, and only then, reach for guidance?

 

CB101945In the previous post the topic of self-help was introduced as a building block for personal career management.  True enough, before I can seek a helping hand or life jacket, I am obligated to stand on my own two feet (perhaps wobbly at first) and, as ABBA exclaimed, “take a chance on me.”  If this is the case, where do I begin and what do I do with what I have?

 

Effective personal career management is not a life-changing event to be taken lightly.  According to the top three career management associations, reviewing and updating your resume should occur at least once a year.  Let’s venture onto the island of “self” and examine resume refreshing guidelines:

 

  • Out with the old and in with the new; this includes formatting.  Nothing can be less exciting than seeing the same shape, tone, and template over and over again.  Many hiring executives review up to a hundred resumes a day—imagine, if you dare, living in an homogenized setting where each island serves the same landscape.  To be effective, you must change the way, the feel, and the look of your resume throughout the year.  If you have an accomplishment, express it and prioritize your contribution and value by keeping the cream at the top and the “ho-hum” on the bottom of the sheet.
  • Resumes reflect more than your educational achievements and career background; they are the window in which you are judged, professionally and personally.  This may not be fair but it is reality.  To the person critiquing your resume, it is not only what you state but how you state as well as what you elect not to state.  Being a student of semantics, the very words we choose to select tells a great deal about the author.  This is where position, company, and industry research pays a high dividend or may cause you to sink in a sea of misconstrued verbs…not a fun place to tread!

 

In the next few posts we will begin examining the concept of partnering with professional companies, describing the pros and cons as well as tips on selecting what may be best for you.

 

Charting career management territory as we go; time for me to get the map out and dust my compass.

 

Until then, Happy New Year!

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Do You Need Professional Help? Your Career May Depend on It!

Filed under: Career Development — EducationCS @ 1:34 am
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Coaching thousands of individuals over the past decade has proven one thing: from entry-level students to well-seasoned professionals, help IS a four-letter word.  Oh, how times have changed!  Back in my day, a simple resume and a smile was all one needed to get a position or at the very least, an interview.  Unfortunately, that’s not the way it is…anymore.  Perhaps the Beatles got it right years ago with their “help, I need somebody” mantra.  If so, is help really out there and where do I find it?  After all, I may need somebody, but not just anybody.

 

For every cause, there is a company offering help—career management is not the exception to this adage.  True enough, some well-connected candidates do find success going solo; unfortunately, many more require the advantage and guidance of a dedicated team.  I wonder if Paul, John, Ringo, and George were referring to professional career management and prophesized today’s economically strapped reality and the high difficulty in securing satisfying employment.

 

The unemployment rate keeps on ticking up and company pink-slips are not hesitating to keep pace.  Where does that leave you economically and emotionally?  For those fortunate enough to be employed, the fear of company closings has never been greater (at least in my lifetime).  For those not employed, seeking and accepting help may be the most sensible mantra for the New Year.  Either camp you currently find yourself in, there is no better time than now to prepare for all circumstances.  Thus, resolve to be proactive, the time to get ready for employment transitions is NOW.

 

Our four letter word “help” begins with the self as in “self-help.”

 

  • Refresh your résumé, cover letter, professional informational letter, and reference letter
  • Reinvigorate your network, simply put, revisit those contacts you seem to have misplaced in a file box tucked away and currently collecting insect prints

 

Times have changed and tactics have evolved to new and oftentimes frightening heights.  In the segments to come, we will uncover tips and venture to explore the various types of career guidance companies as well as the pros and cons of each.  Additionally, we will evaluate recommendations from the top three career management associations in the United States.  These are the National Resume Writers Association, The Professional Resume Writers Association, and the Career Management Alliance.  Threading career association concepts with decades of professional experience promises to be an adventure of many takeaways as we navigate today’s career atmosphere and develop your professional strategy.

 

On a side note, who knows when the fabulous four will infuse more of their wisdom and lyrics?  Keep your eyes and ears open as tomorrow promises to be more than a song and dance.

December 23, 2008

Welcome to the Career Cafe! (Bring Your Own Java)

cup-coffee-daily1College is a time to prepare for your career…  most colleges do a great job at it, too.  Forget what the press says, our centers of higher education are turning out exceptional graduates, and despite the stereotype, you and your fellow students take career preparation seriously.

Unfortunately, what you may not be taking seriously enough is career management!  If you have, if you’re actively involved with the career center at your school, we applaud you.  While the rest of the university is preparing you for driving on the highway, your career center is going to help you find the on-ramp–an important aspect to all highway driving!

That’s why we’re partnering with career centers to provide curriculum for in-class and take-home instruction, we’re also publishing this interactive “Career Cafe” to:

  • Share our insights (we’re career management professionals as well as academic professionals.  A happy fusion, IOHO.)
  • Gather your questions, feedback, and concerns so we can even more accurately serve your educational needs.
  • Network you with visiting executives and career professionals.

We welcome Students, Executives, Educators, and anyone else interested in contributing to the next generation’s career management development!

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