December 07, 2011

Your Social Media Reputation

Are you aware of your social media reputation? It is so easy to relax and let your hair down on social media sites. Facebook has a friendly format to encourage socializing and sharing information about your self. The information you share online and on Facebook stays on the web. You can’t erase it. That’s great if you are building a positive online reputation. It could cause you problems later if you say something negative about someone else or if you show irresponsible behavior or language.

When employers, clients, and customers Google your name to learn about your character and values, do you know what they will see? In her article, “Fixing a Faulty Social Media Reputation,” Janet Wall shares important tips on how to check your reputation and repair damage you may have already caused. Take a few minutes to read the article and share it with friends.


Nancy Miller’s article, “More Than A Job Search: Enhance Career Management Skills Using Social Media,” discusses ways to build a positive reputation online while building important job search skills. Linking to groups that share your interests, making thoughtful comments, giving recommendations, and building a network of friends and colleagues that share your values will help build a reputation that will attract employers and customers. Whether you are a seasoned professional or a novice job seeker, you can take advantage of all of the digital tools available to show who you are and what you can do.


There are so many uses for social media to connect with friends, classmates, clients, and prospective employers. We have amazing tools and instant access to people all over the world. Take time this week to make meaningful connections on and off line. Your reputation is worth it!





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November 04, 2011

Job Action Day 2011 Skill up for Employment

To address the current mismatch between job seeker skills and employer demands, the theme for Job Action Day 2011 is Skill Up, Start Up, or Speak Up. Watch for advice and tips from Career Experts coming November 7, 2011. Why are skills so important?

Whether you are currently employed and want to stay employable, or you are looking for a job, you need to stay active and keep learning new skills. The key to staying employable is to have the basic skills that all employers want. Then learn and practice specific skills in your career field that will help you stand out from the crowd. There are so many opportunities for learning new skills and staying current in your career.
  • Job training, apprenticeship, and internships
  • Update certifications, self-study, internet classes
  • Volunteering (especially valued in medical, nonprofits, and law enforcement)
  • Temporary work assignments 
You have skills and abilities that come naturally to you and some that you have learned through experience. When you find the skills you are good at that match the skills you want to use, you will have the energy to master those skills. Work on them and improve them until you excel. Then look for opportunities in the job market.

There are many valuable skills that are not well compensated by employers. If you find it difficult to fit the skills you want to use into today's job market, you may want to "Start Up" your own business, or "Speak Up" as an advocate for good business practices and "empowering workers and job seekers." Career professionals share their expertise on how to "Fire Up Your Job Search."

Thank you, Quintessential Careers for the opportunity to participate in Job Action Day for the past two years.

November is National Career Development Month. Find articles, ideas and information for supporting your business and/or career. Enjoy fall and embrace change!

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July 15, 2011

Where are the jobs?

There are no jobs people often say. Of course there are jobs. You may not see the job you want, at the pay you desire, in a convenient location, at a particular time. You may need to create your own job, get your foot in the door, or go through the network of the hidden job market (unadvertised jobs.) Make financial and lifestyle decisions that will give you the most opportunity to find your place in the work world. Balancing work, values, and lifestyle can be a challenge if you live in an area with high unemployment.

As you look for a job, investigate your options. Don't pay for costly programs and training unless you ask questions and do your research. Will this program give you the skills you need? Is there a demand? If you have the luxury of following your heart to the career of your dreams, by all means, take the leap. But if you need to work, find the least expensive option, and work while you train. Build the skills you want to use in your future work.

A recent article in the "Sac State Magazine" discussed cutting-edge curriculum. New programs include Stem Cell Research, Environmental Studies, Journalism and Communication Studies, and a PhD in Physical Therapy.

The Environmental Studies degree added the Master of Science with courses in chemistry, geology, biology, and geography as well as their Master of Arts studies in culture, policies, and economics. The journalism degree now includes a Digital Media Minor to cover multimedia production. The Physical Therapy program is expanding to reflect the expected increase in work throughout the nation.

What does this tell us? There is a growing demand for technical skills in computer technology, math, and science as well as many of the health and rehabilitation fields. With so many new technologies people are living longer and recovering from injuries and illnesses that require different types of therapies.

There will be an increase in technical jobs that require a high level of skill, but there will be many supporting occupations in technology and health. With technology exploding into every career field, having the basics is a must. Get up to speed on your basic skills, network, meet people, and find a direction for your career. Talk to a career counselor, career coach, or advisor for general information. Find out if the professional has an incentive for the advise they are giving you. If they are marketing their program, be sure to do your own investigation. Your career is your future. Invest in it!

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June 23, 2011

Resume Process

The process of writing your resume is as important as the resume itself. As you decide how to present yourself on your resume, you are also deciding what you want to talk about in an interview. Your resume shows the employer what is unique about you.

Your resume is more than a paper you write once. It is a process of discovering what you can do for the prospective employer. The design, fonts, and paper (if you are still using paper) should be simple, adaptable, and specific. Let yourself shine rather than having a showy design.

The purpose of your resume is to get an interview. It needs to be truthful and honest, but you only need to share the education, skills, and experience that are relevant to the job. As I review resumes for job seekers, I often see a list of excellent skills at the bottom of the resume and experience that doesn't relate to the job. If you are short on skills that relate to the job you want, consider a Functional Resume.

Employers often prefer a Chronological Resume with continuous experience related to the job. But for career changers or those with interruptions in their work history, a Functional Resume would better represent their skills. You can download these simple resume templates in Microsoft Word and type over the information to develop a simple resume format that you can adapt for emails, online, and printed resumes. Use as little formatting as possible and avoid bullets when submitting your resume online.

Start with a master resume that lists all of your work history and dates of employment. Then when you find a job you want to apply for, you can adapt your resume. Look for skills and experience you have that matches the preferences and requirement for the job. You will be forced to look closely at the job description and scrutinize your skills. When you are finished with your resume you will be that much closer to being prepared for the interview.

When you finish your resume, have it reviewed by a career professional. A career coach or counselor can tell you if you have your highest level of skills at the top of your resume and results oriented experience. Keep it simple, concise, relevant, and powerful. Use a word list and thesaurus to find action words for your resume. Avoid overused words that are vague and trite. Be consistent in your spacing and punctuation, use correct spelling and grammar, and get the readers attention in 5-10 seconds. Your resume needs to grab the employers attention, especially when you have not been introduced formally or informally. A resume is still necessary, but less important as an attention grabber if it is a small company or you know the person reading it.

Executives and professionals in specialty occupations may need to hire a professional resume writer to advise, format, and review their resumes. Professional managers and executives are often hired from within the company, although experienced professionals may be brought into the company with fresh ideas.

Understanding what makes you unique, how to get the prospective employers attention, and how to network are skills every job seeker needs. Go to a workshop, class or career coach for help with your resume. Ask a friend or relative to check your resume for errors and inconsistencies. You are not alone in your job search.

June 10, 2011

Temporary Employment

Feelings of uncertainty about the job market, consumer spending, and technology come from employers as well as employees. New hires are a huge investment of time, money, and training for many employers. Law suits, theft, and low productivity are the burden of employers trying to meet consumer demand for low prices.

With constantly changing consumer demands, the need to stay profitable, and deliver the product, businesses often hire temporary employees or hire from within the company. Knowing the ethics, skills, and personality of an employee before making a permanent hire can eliminate the need to fire, downsize or layoff employees later.

As an employee, unless you have a strong employment track record and skills that are in demand, you may need to work temporary or part-time. Temporary work gives you the opportunity to build new skills, get into the workforce, show an employer what you can do, and network. You may be wondering how you can afford to work temporary or part-time. You can't afford to NOT be working at something if you want to get your foot in the door. If at all possible find employers, jobs, or occupations that will help you build the skills you want to use, network with people of interest, and learn about occupations. Temporary work gives you the opportunity to find out how well you like the work, employer, and product or service.

Businesses for profit often hire temporary employees while nonprofits often hire from their pool of volunteers. Volunteering is an excellent way to network and build skills. Community gardens, legal work, counseling, camping, etc. offers the opportunity to give back to the community while working on your job search and/or education.

Share your experiences with temporary work. Which employment agencies have you found helpful for yourself or someone you know?

April 21, 2011

Job Search Best Practices

Best methods for job search:
(Depends on industry and size of company)

  • Referrals. Talk to family, friends, and colleagues about what you love to do and what makes you good at it. Most hires are through referrals.

Take Action
  • Informal Interview. Talk to receptionist, manager, or human resources. Leave your resume. Go early. Call. Go back.
  • Career Fair, Job Club, or Workshop. Practice communication and job search skills, network, and find job leads.

  • Internet and social networking. Use the internet to identify subjects and fields of interest. Find the pulse of the culture and economy.
  • Vision. Look up company vision and culture. Companies are looking for a match.

Planning and Self-examination
  • Life-changing job search method. With each career transition ask yourself, “How would I like to use my Transferrable Skills to do something I value?” 
  • Know your skills and what skills make up each skill.

basic tools for career mastery
(Depends on industry and size of company)

  • Master resume: complete list of education, skills and experience.
  • Focused resume: short, job specific, and focused on employer needs.
  • Format: use Word.doc format with content in the body of the email.
  • Know your resume: be able to speak on the content and let yourself shine.
  • Master Application: be prepared to fill out applications.
  • Letters and eLetters: Introduce yourself and follow up.

core competencies
(Show your unique value)

  • Bilingual
  • Diverse background
  • Multicultural experience
  • Specific skills for industry

New frontiers
(Learn to say it in 140 characters or less)
  • eLetters
  • Virtual interviews
  • Google the new resume
  • Linkedin #1 site for professional job search
  • Email and one phone number on resume
  • Vocational/skills jobs in demand
  • Contract, temp, and interim jobs soaring 

Adapted from Richard Bolles & Career Thought Leaders Consortium 3/14/2011

LifeWork News is for your information only. Not intended as career advice. For more information, contact Nancy.


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December 13, 2010

Reward for Work

"The highest reward for a person's work is not what they get for it, but what they become by it." Paul Stevens, The Centre for Worklife Counseling.

The work we choose to do, whether we are working for pay, helping the family, or working toward the greater good of the community becomes a part of who we are. Our identities, values, skills, and character are all developed through our daily habits, activities, and thoughts.

Smile! Enjoy a walk and a vegetable whether you want to or not and become happier and healthier.