Education Career Services

March 3, 2009

Recipe for Success: Attitude

How can two people with the same skills and abilities in the same situation have different outcomes?  I believe the difference maker is attitude. Many people will tell you if you can believe – you can achieve.  That is certainly important, but I know a lot of good people with great out-look who haven’t reached their goals yet.  Attitude isn’t everything, but it is the main thing that will make a difference.


It is THE DIFFERENCE MAKER, when you’re going for a job; meeting new people are simply doing chores around the house.  For example: two athletes with the same skills compete for the same position; but one is going to have a good team attitude and the other is not. Which one would the coach pick?  It really is the difference maker and with all things being equal, a good attitude will set you apart.


We all have a chosen attitude.  Our self-image, how we see ourselves, is going to greatly influence our tendency to be either negative of positive in our appearance and the way we convey our thoughts to others.  In the long run it is our choice and that choice does help determine the outcome of our efforts.


Now, attitude cannot replace competence and experience.  Great skills combined with experience are a hard combination to turn down.  However, when you mix their dynamics with a great attitude this is a recipe for excellence.


Competence in the work place and in living your life is the continuing ability to handle situations effectively, producing a positive outcome.  Experience, of course, is something you continuously gain as we work and enjoy our lives.  Those two things are facts that employees are looking for in a person.  Although attitude cannot replace competency or experience it will show your desire to learn and grow in your chosen career.  I believe a good positive attitude allows us to approach people and our responsibilities in such a mental way it gives all of us the best shot of walking in, taking off and succeeding.


The above was submitted by K. D. Byrne:  A former owner of multiple, successful businesses, has built start-up companies with diversified venues in the oil, food, and educational industries.


Let me know what you think,


Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP

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February 10, 2009

Getting Creative… Not!

I reviewed a resume recently with a drawing of a warrior woman in leather and metal armor taking up the left side of the page from top to bottom.  And I applaud it’s inclusion.  The resume is for a costume designer/conceptual artist.  The colorful drawing was completely appropriate for it’s audience.

The same drawing on a graphic designer’s resume when applying for a job creating brochures for a mainstream company would be wildly inappropriate.  I say this because it appears (from the dozens of writer’s resumes I’ve recently reviewed) that creative professionals tend to blur their boundaries.dancerfairy

Everything on a resume should have a purpose, and that purpose is to show your benefit to the prospective employer.  Let me say that again; your resume is not about you, it’s about what you offer to fulfill your employer’s needs.  The fellow who sent me a six-page resume/essay on why he’s a writer, beginning with a lonely childhood and spritely imaginary friends and ending with the ability to paint the night sky with rainbow words of color does not demonstrate the ability to meet my professional needs.

Let’s look at another example.  Say Sears is looking for a web designer.  Should you include the web address for a personal website expressing your love for The Rocky Horror Picture Show?  Or the site you designed all about vampires and werewolves?  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say “no.”  Sears needs to know your ability to build professional e-commerce sites, so only include such site samples on your resume.

Returning to everything must have purpose, do not use clipart, webdings, or flourishes that satisfy your creative bent and have no other purpose.  If the prospective job DOES have a strongly creative element, match your creative additions to the needs of the company and be sure not to use copyrighted or trademarked material.  If Disney is looking for an artist to illustrate their children’s books, it will be very tempting to use Disney characters as border art on your resume.  While that is arguably fair use under copyright law, it’s better not to approach that line.  Use your own characters that coincide with the intended market.  Disney will not be responsive to bloody, child-snacking gnomes in the border of your resume.

In the same way, creative professionals should tailor their portfolio to be a targeted tool of display.  While your master portfolio should have examples of everything you ever produced, you should cull those samples for work relevant to your target company.

Employers do want creative people, but as Paul Newman put it in The Color of Money, they need to know if you can “flake off and on at will.”  In other words, creative individuals need to cultivate their professional muse as much as their fanciful muse, and know when to bring forth the right one at the right time.

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