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Category Archives: Career Advice

APE: Stop Double Spacing Confirmed, How to Self Publish Without Looking It & Other Reasons Why You Must Read the Latest Book From Guy Kawasaki

APE (Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur) How to Publish a Book, by Guy Kawasaki & Shawn Welch  and I had to read it!

I enjoy writing and helping to get people get out of their own way; I have given some thought to writing a book on how I help people accomplish this, but that always sounded way too daunting. Then I read Kawasaki and Welch’s book, which reads like an instruction manual on how to navigate the world of self-publishing.

Make no mistake, they do not romanticize the effort that it takes and it is a bit overwhelming at first read, but VALUABLE? ABSOLUTELY!

Why?

  • Step by step from soup to nuts on what to do, where to look, what to look out for and why.
  • Great overview of the publishing world, how it works and why it works or worked the way it did (past and present)
    • this really helped give some perspective on the process and the market in general and how it has changed
    • it validated why eBooks are the here and now, especially if they are relevant
  • The book provides so much insight and clear direction, with lots of examples and pictures, you feel like you should have paid by the hour to a consultant.
  • Even with this book in your back pocket, you still have to be a writer, and a decent one at that. good news there is a great deal of focus on writing and grammar which I was pleased with (along with additional resources beyond this book).
  • Tons of recommended resources beyond this book from publishing to marketing/broadcasting, cover art to set up. These recommendations would take you hours on google to find and research, only to wonder who was paid for what or $$$ in trial and error or consultancy fees.
  • It is humorous, direct and shoots straight therefore although sometimes you feel overwhelmed up pops a comment that makes you smile even for a moment!
  • It is $9.99 on Amazon for Kindle hardly a major investment

Overall, great book I recommend reading 1st as an overview and then in concert with your efforts in writing your book!
APE: How to Publish a Book

Guy Kawasaki is the author of APE, What the Plus!, Enchantment, and nine other books. He is also the co-founder of Alltop.com, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web. Previously, he was the chief evangelist of Apple. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

Shawn Welch is the author of From Idea to App, iOS 5 Core Frameworks, and iOS 6 for Developers as well as the developer of several iOS apps. Previously he worked as a senior media-editor for Pearson Education. He also helped pioneer many of Pearson’s earliest efforts in iPad solutions. Welch has a BS from Kansas State University.

Job Hopper Need Not Apply!

It has been some time since I have posted under, ADR, however I have not been without words! I have been publishing and writing for a blog I created: Focus MD Blog for adults, children, providers and others affected by ADHD. Through this there were many things I wrote about that would fit well on ADR so I wanted to share them! Here goes:

I was reading a post on how to explain a bad resume on Additude, which got me to thinking about my work as a recruiter, job coach and manager. Those who know me understand I have a no excuse attitude and high expectations. In return for those sometimes difficult to swallow charecteristics I offer help and support for those who are committed to solving problems. I have written a number of different posts on what recruiters look for in resumes and attidudes that will kill you in a job and job search and I have even written about job hopping but not from the persepctive of having ADHD.

There is a reason for that – ADHD is not an excuse, just like a death in your family, taking care of an ill parent, going on maternity leave, being downsized, getting into a car accident, the list can go on forever. These may be some of the reasons a person might be out of work, but they are not what is keeping you from your successful new job.

Most adults with ADHD know what problems or issues they have: can’t pay bills, can’t keep a job, can’t keep a relationship, etc…

What are the reasons for these issues?

What was YOUR role in these issues? What might you have done differently?

Hindsight is 20/20 so use it

Seriously, get out a pen RIGHT NOW and write down why you either don’t have a job or have lost your job in the past.

DO IT

I am actually not going to finish this post because I know you. We’ve met in a former life. You want to go straight to the answer without putting in the effort and I am not letting you go there, yet. Complete the task and I will get back with you soon.

Some Managers Don’t Like Questions a Story in Miscommunication!

Some Managers Don’t Like Questions a Story in Miscommunication!

It has been sometime since I have written and I realized I never actually published this post from before the new year. It is interesting to let things sit for a spell. The one example I used in this post actually resolved itself extremely well, but I will save that for the end.

I have been talking a great deal to people in various stages of their career, one in interview stage, another just starting their job and a 3rd well established, yet the theme is the same don’t ask. Maybe I have been spoiled in my career in that I have always asked questions of my employer or potential employer, sometimes maybe even too many questions, but they are what I felt were good questions at the time. I would even go so far to say that it is my style that has allowed me to grow and help my company and those around me grow, change, be nimble, creative, etc… The list goes on. I would also be courageous enough to say that I have been supportive to my employees questions. That I created a safe environment for them to ask questions and make mistakes, I truly hope that I did this. More about that in a bit, back to the examples.

Someone I know has been interviewing for a high level almost director level position with a very well established and large organization for quite some time. There have been several phone interviews, and face to face interviews and the potential new hire had questions in regards to the structure of the organization to better understand where they would fit and how they would make the most impact. What did the hiring committee hear these questions as, uncertainty about the quick-moving pace of the environment, needing more clear direction and that the person would need a more structured, concrete role. Interestingly enough the potential employee had said, prior to getting this feedback, when discussing how they felt it went, “I am just not sure that they are clear and can all agree on what they want.” The irony in this situation blows me away! Not only did this candidate have the hiring committee pegged, they were probably the best for the environment, if they wanted someone who could understand and read them and the way they make decisions. On the other hand, they may have either just wanted a “Yes” person or someone who would never question the group.

I will save the middle story for another day and skip to the 3rd. Long term manager level employee who tries to work with their very intense power lusting boss. This is the type of boss that just shouldn’t exist anymore, I thought this type went out in the 60’s but they still exist and they are still breeding… ughh. The dictator is completely freaked out by anyone who threatens them, they don’t know how to actually communicate what they need from you and because you are not a mind reader you are an insubordinate and incompetent employee. So after a number of reviews by this new boss that all are leading to the unemployment line the employee finally decides they have tried reasoning, pleasing, pleading, anything they could think of and it is now time to go over their head. Unfortunately 8 out of 10 times this never ends well for the employee.

So why does this not end well for the employee? Well, the manager hired that person in question, or at least manages them and they wouldn’t make a poor decision. Another reason why this typically does not end well for the employee? The employee is nervous and intimidated to dredge all of the issues up to the manager and the bosses boss, they are uncertain, they may sound accusatory, lack confidence, etc… This means that when they are communicating, they are most likely not doing it to the best of their ability.

What to learn from all of this? Awareness. I am not saying that we shouldn’t ask questions or that we can’t. Here is what I would like you to take from this, you can use it in a number of aspects in your life:

What do I want the outcome to be?

That’s right, start with where you would like to see this end up, whatever the situation. Then work backwards. I may have to create an entire post on this… but it should get you started.

So the ending: that power lusting boss I had mentioned – they were actually fired recently after several other employees complained and when the habits of under performing employees began to show a pattern that this may have been more closely tied to the boss than the employees!

Image Credit

Job Search Terms – What is that? Don’t I Just Apply for the Job I Want?

Job Search Terms – What is that? Don’t I Just Apply for the Job I Want?

NO – that is the long and short of it.

Recruiters – agency or in-house all use key words and search terms when sourcing for resumes. Where are they looking these days? Beyond Careerbuilder, Monster and the industry specific job boards you are posting, we are also looking at Indeed (yes you can post your resume to Indeed), LinkedIn, Google and Google+, Facebook Branch Out, the list goes on and on. So first be sure that you are present and accounted for on all of the sites. Next, you need to really look strongly at your resume. This can be very overwhelming, I know. I have hundreds of tips and suggestions for resume but for this we are going to stick to key words and search terms.

There are lots of posts on this topic and you should by now understand that recruiters and hiring managers use similar search technology (that is more sophisticated) that you might use to find a fine dining restaurant in Seattle that is kid friendly and has a vegan menu. The point is that we are looking for is something very specific and with some work and adjustments in our search can typically find what we are looking for whether it is a restaurant or a SVP of Sales in Finance or an Administrative Assistant with Direct Marketing experience.

The key is to review job descriptions that you find yourself qualified for, don’t worry if the company, location or compensation are right, just look for well detailed job descriptions for which you are qualified and review them for key words. I will use what would appear to be a very simple job title, Administrative Assistant, which returned 44k results on Indeed. Just by looking at job titles some stand out to me that you want review and be sure you have in your resume right away. If they don’t apply, please don’t compromise your integrity by adding them.

Key word examples for Administrative Assistant:

  • Titles: Executive, Senior, International, Global, Operations Coordinator, Support
  • Tasks/Skills: Travel Arrangements, Organization, Calender Management, Correspondence, Marketing, Bookkeeping, Order Supplies, Inventory Management, Planning, Meeting Set up, Virtual Meetings, Coordination, Proposals, Call Routing, Filing
  • Software: Word, Excel, Go2Meeting, Visio, Outlook, HTML
  • Industry Specific Titles/Software/Tasks/Certificates: Be sure to use the acronym and the spelled out versions of certificates and programs in your resume. Are you a legal secretary and have your ALS be sure to write it out as well. If you have a customized software system put the description in parenthesis after the title of it, example: Bullhorn (applicant tracking system)

When you are reviewing the descriptions and relaying the information back to your resume be clear and quick to the point. Don’t use an excessive amount of wordy sentences. Be sure that your resume is something that can be skimmed over quickly and has the key points requested in most descriptions. If you are applying for an industry specific position such as legal, medical/healthcare, IT, manufacturing, accounting/finance be sure and add industry specific key words and details at minimum in your objective or purpose statements.

TIP: The more key words you have that match our search string the higher to the top of the list you will appear!

image borrowed from Wiley

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If They Only Look at My Resume for 6 Seconds; How Do I Improve What They are Looking At?

There was a great piece that just came out by Vivian Giang on a study done using heat mapping about what a recruiter focuses on in the 6 seconds they have your resume in front of them. **Please note, as was pointed out to me by a colleague, this artlicle was produced by the Ladders, they have motivation to make money off of their resume writing service, however their was still good reminders in there.

First of all let’s really think about what you can do in 6 seconds, I am not even sure I can get my coffee pot set in 6 seconds, but I do believe that is the average time I look at most resumes.

Here is what she says we are looking at:

In the short time that they spend with your resume, the study showed recruiters will look at your name, current title and company, current position start and end dates, previous title and company, previous position start and end dates, and education.

She goes on to point out that one resume seems to have been reviewed more thoroughly than the other because of its clear format.

What are we looking for:

  • Name: are you someone we know or someone in our network, referral, etc…
  • Current Title: Is this going to be a lateral move, a huge jump, a step back – basically are you over or under qualified
  • Company: Is this a company with similar work ethic, training programs, type of work as the company we are hiring for? Is this company a target of our client or is it one we have been told to steer away from?
  • Start/end dates: are you employable for a long period of time? Were you let go during a certain season or year that is common during the “downturn”
  • Education: do you have any? Does it match the position you are applying? Is it better than those who are also applying for the position? Does it meet the requirements set by the company? Does it meet the requirements set by the recruiter/hiring manager?

 

How to improve:

  • Name: be sure to have your contact info correct street address is not relevant, city/state, phone, email, LinkedIn profile, blog/website ARE
  • Current Title: not much you can do other than make sure it matches what you were hired as and don’t deviate because it could mean falsification of documentation later on
  • Company: can’t change it just be aware of the culture of your company and what the “community” opinions might be on the employees that work there. Examples: hard working, nose to the grind stone, mandatory OT, difficult supervisors OR over paid, only know how to do one job, not team players. Example of culture: Creative, fun, employee centric OR dictatorship, most direction comes from upper management, not a lot of input from employees. Please note: one is not better than the other and even if a company is “known” for certain attributes it does not mean that you have or carry those attributes no matter what they are, but you need to address who you are in your cover letter, phone interview and in all of your face to face interviews.
  • Start and End Dates: There are different schools of thought on adding a reason for position end dates. I am for it. For instance: 1/10-3/12 relocation to NYC OR contract position. What this won’t help you with – things like excessive terminations, if it is one instance on your resume possibly, but if that is the reason you have ended every job you need to work with a career coach/life coach and start with a temp job or job in retail and regain your credibility (IF you are ready for it).
  • Education: Don’t ever mislead us in to thinking you have a degree if you have only taken a few classes most of which you never finished. If you are a more recent grad you want to emphasis your education and academic works if you have been established in the workforce or academics are not as relevant in the position you are applying simply include the school you attended, degree received OR coursework pursued.

Additional Tips:

Recruiters are analytical, use experience, history and deductive reasoning to make decisions quickly. HELP US HELP YOU! Keep your information easy to read, less is more in most cases but I will caution that using only a few words to describe your position is not enough. Use quantitative and qualitative data to support the work that you have done and list out your major accomplishments or successes.

 

What if Recruiters Stopped Using Social Media?

What if Recruiters Stopped Using Social Media?

So I was just reading an article by Erica Swallow  about how recruiters use social media to screen candidates. The article is more of an infograph than an article and it is packed with incredible detail. One of the strongest findings, recruiters who participated in this confidential survey shared that 69% of recruiters had ruled out candidates based on what they viewed on their social media sites. Conversely 68% of recruiters hired a candidate based on the profile or pages of a candidates social media presence.

Obviously this type of information is going to send lawyers and candidates everywhere in to an uproar, but wait a minute I am confused! I personally don’t search out candidates to see their activity on Facebook however I have searched for candidates on Facebook and LinkedIn and I post jobs on both. I also use LinkedIn to review a candidate.

I have put together a hypothetical thought. Here are some potential ramifications if recruiters are not supposed to use social media to make hiring decisions and stop:

  1. No more posting jobs on twitter, google+, LinkedIn, LI Groups, Facebook, etc…
  2. No more asking for recommendations from colleagues, former bosses, customers, etc… on LinkedIn because we won’t be looking at those
  3. re: #2 it will be back to company policy of dates of employment and title only
  4. Passive job seekers will have to go back to putting their resumes on CareerBuilder and Monster for their current employers to see
  5. Most people learn about openings from referrals and people in their “network” that they trust without social media our networks shrink considerably and so do the candidates
Maybe I am in the minority, I believe that what people are doing is working if just as many recruiters have hired candidates based on their online presence as not, they are better odds than the traditional job boards. Honestly, we are looking for strong positive connections to make a good hire that we know will last and by seeing deeper connections through your online profile we feel that much more confident in the decisions we are making.
It is fairly simple what we are looking for:
  • We want to see that you have recommendations from former employers, colleagues, customers, etc…
  • We want to make sure your resume and profile match
  • We want to see that you have connections with a variety of professionals in your industry
  • We want to see that you have joined groups in your field
Does this mean that a recruiter should only be using social media to find the positives about a candidate?  Define what is positive? This DOES vary from employer to employer and job to job. It isn’t feasible.
RE: YOUR FACEBOOK ACCOUNT (this is the one people seem to really struggle with) Here is the biggest thing to understand, as a job seeker or potential candidate, even a current employee “we” see what you let “us” see! WOW, crazy isn’t it! I don’t want to see any interrogating or compromising pics or posts from any of my friends let alone someone I don’t know; it honestly makes me uncomfortable. If you have an issue with an employer, your grandmother or anyone else seeing you sloppy drunk then use your security settings to block us, we aren’t friends, so that should be easy, as far as grandma you will have a few extra steps to take.
Recruiters and Business owners please note that there are unwritten guidelines and ethics we use as guiding principles in all of our recruiting and sourcing efforts, this is no exception. The laws are detailed and vary based on the use of social media in recruiting be sure that you are staying on top of them or reaching out to a professional when you are unsure of proper protocol.
thank you Social Media Sean for the image

Leaves Change and So Can You

I am not an expert on change management but I do happen to believe people, teams and organizations can and do change (sometimes in directions we are not interested in). It could be the change of seasons, it could be the people who have been entering my life or where I am in my current state, I am sure it is a culmination of all 3, I have been writing of growth, change and expansion quite a bit lately.

There is a process to change and when you are in an organization where you are looking to create and motivate change that process should be more structured. Some initiatives you may be looking to change:

  • Mission changes
  • Strategic changes
  • Operational/Structural changes
  • Technological changes
  • Changing the attitudes and behaviors of personnel
Businesses, their plans and the people who support them and make them work are all living, breathing, moving parts therefore it could be assumed that as all living things change occurs. There are also times when we want to initiate change in order to move ourselves, our department, our business forward.
  • We first must review what is our current status and how has it changed and adapted to this point?
  • Why did “it” change in that particular way and what were the driving forces?
  • If we put a plan of action together to implement and manage change what are 1-2 core areas of focus?
  • Who are the leaders to promote this change?
  • What are the top 2-3 results we are looking for?
  • Create benchmarks to judge successes and stress points and be able to continue to ADAPT your plan to move towards desired results
Change is exciting and invigorating to some while for others it can literally freeze them or make them panic. Recognize that not all people react well to change if the plan is uncertain for them. You cannot always share the long term plan and each and every detail with your entire team or group but you can share the vision and direction and what or why you need this to be successful.

I relate it to when you go on a diet but you don’t tell anyone because you are the type of person who needs to  have success on your own and privately first. So you may share with your friends and your family over time that you are really just looking to create a healthier lifestyle for yourself rather than your goal of loosing 25 pounds.

Getting people on board and having support is important but who and how you incorporate different individuals will depend on what you are looking to change, your timeline and what the plan looks like. Like anything, it can be done, but the more invested you are in a plan or outline and setting goals and checking in with various benchmarks the more likely you will see your desired results and with less bumps in the road.
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