The Career Club

a blog providing support & information on career building

Today’s Tip

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For 2010, I’ll be documenting all the “Today’s Tip” statuses right here so that you can always refer back to them!

27 January 2010: “Being fake during an interview is setting yourself up to be fake every time you go into work.”

28 January 2010: “Resumes do NOT need to be pretty, resumes need to be professionally presentable.”

6 February 2010: “When one has no desire to be positive, then let them keep their miserable company and go about your day.”

28 February 2010: “Making little money in a job you enjoy is better then making more money in a job you loath.”

Written by Ms. Hala

28 February 2010 at 8:25 am

Posted in Series, Today's Tip

JOB ALERT: AT&T is Hiring in California

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I just received word that AT&T is hiring in their California offices. Below is the information where you can create an account and receive direct information on their hiring application and process.

These jobs are in the state of California. If you are interested in learning about AT&T jobs in your state, click here.

Good luck everyone!

Real Careers With Revolutionary Inventions.

Ready for AT&T? Visible career paths. Trend-setting technologies.  Together in one dynamic environment.  Experience it for yourself.

Now Hiring Retail Sales Consultants and Assistant Store Managers!

For your next step, think AT&T, the world’s largest communications company. You will find yourself connecting communications and technology with opportunities that will take you to places you never imagined. Discover all of the options that AT&T can offer you.

CLICK HERE to learn more and apply!

Written by Ms. Hala

1 February 2010 at 9:47 am

Put THIS in Your Resume

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Previously Posted 12 May 2009
Updated 15 December 2009

Lately, I’ve been receiving an astounding number of resumes a day to critique and edit. I take resumes seriously because it is the most important way to present yourself on paper; followed by applications and cover letters. However, some resumes that I’ve received have been so horrifying that I decided to dedicate a blog on what to put in your resume. If I don’t have it in here, you don’t put it in your resume. PERIOD.

So whether your putting together a functional or chronological resume, there are a few items that will be there regardless as well as those specific for either type of resume. For both types of resumes, you’ll be placing the following:

  1. Header – The header should only have your full name, address, phone number and email address. Oh and for all those that use other names, you must list that as well. For example, if your name is Edward Smith but everyone calls you “Bob”, then you’d write Edward “Bob” Smith. Simple.
  2. Qualifications or Skill Set – Mainly this is 3-5 bullets of what skills you have that make you a top choice for the position. On a functional resume, you’re listing “qualifications” including years of experience, specialized training in that line of work and special knowledge or expertise in that line of work. On a chronological resume, you’re listing “skill set” with skill traits such as being bilingual or receiving an award relevant to the line of work.
  3. Education – This area should only have the degree, school name, location and the year your expected to graduate if you haven’t already. Also, if applicable, note your minor or course work, no more then 3 bullets. If you completed any project of importance (and was through a semester or a good period of time), that should go in your work experience. Please don’t write out a summary of your masters’ thesis here!

Now the main and most important part of a resume is your experience versus your major skill sets. How you want to showcase what best represents you determines which resume format you use between a functional resume and a chronological resume.

In functional resumes, you will place under the header the job title or position in which you are applying for. Then, pick three major functions related to that job and below it list of at least three bullets of the appropriate tasks in which you did in your previous jobs. Then you simply list in the end your job title, company name, city and state location then the time period in which you worked there. This resume format is perfect for students or those with minimal job experience as it highlights your major skill sets rather then your long work history.

Functional Resume Template

For chronological resumes, you will list each position with the job title, company name, location and the time period in which you worked there. Under each job title, you’ll list at least three bullets of the tasks in which you did your previous jobs. This resume format is recommended for those who have a long history of working in a specialized area or want to show case their work history.

However, if you do have a long work history, you can list the most relevant history and note that should they require a complete work history, it is available upon request. From my personal experience, I’ve actually have shown this long history only twice but noting it’s availability is important. Make sure you keep an updated list of your work history so that you can also update your master application as well. Remember that your work history includes volunteer work and any major projects or contract work you completed. This is especially important for students who have done more volunteer work then paying jobs because any type of experience is relevant and should be listed.

Chronological Resume Template

Please remember that if you aren’t presented well on paper, the employer will not call you in for an interview. I recommend having your resume proof read and critiqued by at least two trusted individuals for constructive feedback.

Written by Ms. Hala

15 December 2009 at 2:27 am

Leadership Principles Part 1

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This is the first of a three part series on the major principles of leadership. These principles are viewed as a guideline of standards to best describe an effective leader. These principles resulted from an extensive psychology research group I lead as part of my candidacy as an MBA (& later MHRM) undergrad student.

Who comes to mind when you think of a good leader, Barack Obama? Andrea Jung? Donald Trump? Oprah Winfrey? Jack Welch? Hillary Clinton?

In almost all aspects, leaders come in a variety of moralities and characteristics. What makes a leader successful? Personality, skills and one that can fit into any audience of any environment they encounter. Even so, having a set of principles helps guide individuals into becoming great leaders.

The principles set forth came from an extensive research on what guideline of standards best describe an effective leader. It then became an initiative to help encourage a more accurate and positive evaluation of one’s self. Many don’t see themselves as leaders until they are able to evaluate their characteristics, skill sets and experiences in a more positive light.

Vision To “see the big picture” is a trait of leadership when evaluating the organization from the inside out. In order for a leader to reinforce the efficient behavior, the team before them must be well aware of the goal. Conceptualization is to create and support concepts that will structure the will of a team. A leader in management must think outside the box and comprehend how the production of the ground level benefits the entire company.

To begin with the end in mind, such as the 2nd habit in Dr. Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, is to be conceptual in a sense. Dr. Covey has been able to present his vision of reinforcing efficient behavior and being an effective person no matter the environment. Over 20 million of his books have sold in multiple languages across the world. Such success goes to show that Dr. Covey is a great example of a leader who can visualize a concept and be able to present it to such a broad audience.

Inclusion There are leaders who believe that people have an intrinsic value beyond their tangible contributions as workers. As such, leaders are deeply committed to personal, professional and spiritual growth of each and every individual within the organization. When a leader is committed to the growth of the people who follow, the strength of the team will become unbreakable.

An excellent example of a business leader who showcases inclusion is the co-founder and CEO of Costco, Jim Sinegal. With Costco being considered to be the world’s seventh largest retailer, it isn’t run by your typical CEO. Sinegal is known to look just like any of Costco’s store clerks, dressed casually with a name tag as he visits up to 10 stores daily.

Almost 90% of his casually dressed employees enjoy a wide range of benefits such as health with dental and vision plans, a 401(k) plan, child care, life insurance and stock options. He believes that when employees go out there and bask on the goodness of Costco it helps the image and the word of mouth. He believes it is giving his employees the best is the reason behind Costco’s high sales, productivity and the sense of “getting what you paid for.”

Persuasion A key technique of effective leadership that is a powerful tool of motivation. To persuade can be expressing value behind a specified task or line of work, embracing a point of view through reasoning or creating an extrinsic inspirational tool. Of course the intention behind persuading followers in a constructive manner is to establish an incentive. A group will take the initiative once the sole purpose is understood and visualized. A strong leader will express the value of labor to enrich the moral of their subordinates.

During his presidential campaign in 2008, Barack Obama showcased his persuasion technique into his speeches.  His consistency, constructive manner and his inspirational speeches persuaded people to vote him into the presidency. His persuasion also influenced how the nation voted in the majority of congress during last year’s elections.  Even outside the United States, politicians in many countries were inspired by Obama’s campaign that their campaign slogan was also a convincing “yes we can.”

Now the world waits to see if his persuasion skills can work as he works to bring in health care reform and the next steps on the war in Afghanistan.

Stay tuned for part two when we discuss the next three leadership principles.

Written by Ms. Hala

23 November 2009 at 9:00 pm

Job Hunting Errors

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Since the economic downfall, I’ve been critiquing almost triple the resumes and conducting one on one counseling than the year before. I’ve also been scheduling several trainings on more campuses then ever before. It still completely boggles my mind the lack of education many of our students receive when it comes to the basics of looking for a job.

In this tight job market, employers are being very selective then before. Candidates need to be well aware of any habits or mistakes that could be the reasons they are not being hired. Years ago I came across an article by Costello, Erdian & Company thats to the point on the top job hunting errors. Here are the top 10 job hunting errors:

1. Poor Resume: The resume is used as a quick screening device by  most employeers. If it doesn’t strike them as outstanding, your chances of an interview may be nil. The resume should describe education and experience in a concise, well-written format. More importantly, it should emphasize accomplishments, over duties and responsibilities.

Create a quality resume using one of the following templates:
Functional Resume Template
Chronological Resume Template

2. Failure to Network: Friends, acquaintances and people you know should be sought out and their information be used in developing job leads.

3. Limiting Job Sources: Classified ads, employment agencies and other sources are often overlooked. Use all possible methods to learn of appropriate jobs.

4. Unplanned Approach: Pre-printed cover letters, quick and unimaginative phone calls and short non responsive resumes save time for the candidate but turn off employers who feel they will take short cuts in carrying out job responsibilities.

Write a simple but personized cover letter using the following template:
Simple Cover Letter Template

5. Too Short Work Week: For the unemployed, the job search should be a 40 hour per week proposition. You don’t get a job by only using part of your free time.

6. Inadequate Interview Preparation: Each situation is a separate challenge and requries unique preparation. Responses must be timely, flexible and address the specific needs of the employer.

7.  Poor Interviewselling  Techniques: A “give and take” honest relationship must be established during the interview. Candidate should exchange information while listening attentively, selling themselves and demonstrating enthusiasm for the job and the company.

Learn more about interviews by clicking here and here.

8. Restricted Job Search: Restrictions on geographical locations, commuting time, parking facilities, size and type of employer, and other personal matters should be secondary to the overall merit of an opportunity. Financial and professional pressures may also change your outlook later and make the opportunity more feasible. Remember that you can always decline a job offer if it is judged to be unattractive or a better one develops.

9. Negative Attitude: Candidates who “have all the answers criticize their managers, second guess employers” are seldom invited for second interviews. Negative attitudes toward prior jobs are seen as predictors of future performances.

10. Poor Physical Appearance: While there is no need to look like a movie star, candidates who do not demonstrate self-respect by creating a positive image are usually judged to be unacceptable.

Costello, Erdian, & Company
a national outplacement counseling and human resources consulting firm
as posted on University of Wisconsin’s Career Center

What’s Your Intelligence Type?

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Often times, we see our barriers before our skill sets when it comes to what is it we can be in our lives. As we evaluate ourselves and our skill sets during our job searches, we can also learn of what types of intelligences we have. From there, we can better understand what skills we are good at as well as how we can improve ourselves as we learn new one.

It has been proven that there are eight types of intelligences. This is also relevant to the science behind how one uses either side of their brain for the learning processes. Before I go into the types of intelligences, one must realize that no one has only one type but maybe stronger in one then the other. Once one is better aware of their intelligence type strength, one can learn faster, gain confidence and improve on any weaknesses one may have.

1. Interpersonal – This intelligence is about social interaction and working with people. One who is always working in a group, especially surrounding themselves with like minded individuals.

2. Intrapersonal – Some what the opposite of an interpersonal intelligence. One who is self conscious and with a strong sense of individuality. One who is very well aware of their inner self, can work alone and set themselves on task with very minimal supervision.

3. Kinesthetic – This intelligence is connected with movement and the sense of touch. One who can be seen doodling while in a meeting or prefer conversing while taking a walk. Many children have a strong kinesthetic intelligence from birth and learn by touching (and tasting) everything!

4. Musical – Another stimulating type of intelligence, recognized in many studies that those participating in musical activities, even just listening to their favorite genre of music, as they work get far more ahead then without. Something also connected with the way either side of one’s brain works, one who is strong in this intelligence are strong in areas utilizing patterns such as music of course, math & programming.

5. Naturalistic – One who is comfortable and knowledgeable about nature and the environment. One who can be seen outdoors, prefers to be surrounded by natural scenery such as the ocean or trees. Individuals strong in this type of intelligence are mostly known for their creativity and sense of being focused yet relaxed.

6. Visual/Spatial – This intelligence is all about the visualization of things. One who understands colors, shapes and see how things seem to fit together. This intelligence strength has been recognized in recent years now with the popularity of visuals such as mapping an idea through an image or video and being easily made and shared throughout the internet, placed in professional presentations and taught in educational systems.

7. Verbal/Linguistic – One of the two most popular types of intelligences very much emphasized in public schools. Ones who utilize their strong vocabulary either when being spoken or written. Individuals with this strength can handle the load of paperwork, language specific types of documentation such as the “legal lingo” and speech writing.

8. Logical/Mathematical – The second most popular type of intelligence emphasized in public schools. Ones who can handle formulas such as algebra or statistics. Many with this intelligence strength take on careers as computer programmers, engineers, physicists and of course mathematicians.

With the knowledge of the eight intelligence types, one should be able to recognize the type of learning and working styles they are best at. Again, not any one person has just one strong type of intelligence, but I think each of us definitely has one that can be stronger than the other.

If you must know, my intelligence type would have to be interpersonal, visual, musical and verbal. What’s your intelligence type?

Written by Ms. Hala

19 September 2009 at 6:13 pm

Fear Not the Unemployment Rate

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According to Sify News today, the unemployment rate in the nation is currently at 9.7%, the highist in 26 years. That’s with the job cuts being at it’s lowest this year, with 216,000 labor jobs cut in August.

What do these numbers mean? First of all, the unemployment rate is higher because it’s including those who did not find jobs from the months before. It is also high because blue collar jobs such as construction (with 65,000 job cuts) and manufacturing (with 63,000 job cuts) are being cut at a faster rate then white collar jobs, with the exception of the financial institutions (with 28,000 job cuts).

However, this report should not scare anyone. For one, the Department of Labor is working to bring in more jobs and make the job cuts even lower next month according to Secretary Hilda Solis. Remember that the stimulus package is slowly starting to fund many infrastructure projects which will help the construction sector. I do believe the government needs to mandate the overseas job sourcing for cheap labor. However, that idea will have to wait for another blog.

What can you do when you hear something like this? What ever you do, DO NOT PANIC! You would be surprised how many jobs are available out there, especially in many metro areas such as San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Houston and Miami. At least in San Francisco where I live, companies are going out of their way to not have any layoffs, but pay cuts so that their employees maintain their jobs. You will have to work harder then just posting your resume on an online job board. You’ll have to expand on your network, utilize the social media and even make a few cold calls. Organize your time as to what your tasks are in order to get back into the work force. Something as simple as looking up templates to perfect your resume can do you a lot of good in the near future.

Functional Resume Template

Chronological Resume Template

If you are self employeed as I am, you will have it tougher getting those contracts when businesses are on a strict budget. If you are willing to take on part-time job or even a second job along side your freelance work, I recommend you do so. I also recommend to all my job seekers to take refresher courses in their fields at their local community colleges. If you used to work in the construction or manufacturing sectors, I recommend going back for higher education in another feild or even a certification in a similar sector. It is never to late to pick up new skills that could even help you improve the skills you already have. The Department of Education is encouraging it if anything, they are helping fund it! I had much of my BSBA student loans bought out by the DoE at an extremely low interest rate!

In short, there is much hope in getting back into the workforce by doing your research, organizing your job search tasks, as well as going back to school. Until next time, fear not the unemployment rate reported, stay positive as you continue to work towards your goal.

Happy Labor Day!