Internet Inspirations: Last Gasp for Winter

March 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

Winter's last gasp!

Winter’s last gasp!

Enjoy these interesting reads from around the internet as we wait for spring to evict winter from Maryland!

Here’s some great tips over at PT Money about checking out a potential employer’s approach to work/life balance. Even in this tight job market, it is still important to align jobs with your values.

We’ve written about how Craig’s List can be a great source for job listings, but as we mentioned, do your due dilligence. The Job Bait scam is described in this Wise Bread article. Use common sense and be careful about what personal information you share.

This article is part of a series on Women and Money over at Bargaineering.com and includes some good ways to keep your professional life moving forward even when you’re out of the traditional 9 to 5.

I loved, loved this article at the Jane Dough weighing in on the whole women and working debate that has been raging lately. The title alone is fantastic: “Why We Don’t Need Any More Female Billionaires Telling Us How To Have It All”. I really like the point Colette McIntyre makes that not all women have the same advantages as billionaire CEO’s and where are the men in this conversation?

And for something completely different…

I thoroughly enjoyed this guest post over at Mr. Money Mustache from David Cain entitled, “How To Walk Across A Parking Lot.” No, really. Read it and think about it.

Posted by: Heather C.

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A Recruiter’s Perspective: Staying Ahead in 2013 with LinkedIn

February 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

This is a guest post from local recruiter Stuart TenHoor, who provides some valuable insight on how he uses LinkedIn to evaluate potential candidates with some tips on how you can harness LinkedIn for your Job Search!

Are you using online resources to maximum benefit for your job search?

Are you using online resources to maximum benefit for your job search? Learn more here.

Today’s everyday technological advances are head spinning, and that applies in the job finding and career building arena as well. Who would have looked for a job without a resume in past years? Today, the question is who would look for a job without being on LinkedIn? As a legal search consultant (recruiter/headhunter others might call me), when I look for talent to help my law firm or corporate clients, I do it in multiple ways. One way I always use is to check a candidate’s resume against LinkedIn. Essentially LinkedIn is making advances toward replacing the resume as the most important job finding and career building tool.

LinkedIn does three things for you. First, it establishes a certain aura of “being with it.” Some employers would see you as being behind the times or not taking yourself seriously if you lack a well written and informative summary of your career on line. Further, most entries have a photo with them. Ten years ago I frowned on candidates with photos on their resumes; today, the savvy entries all include a photo. If you don’t have one, probably someone you know has a digital camera or smart phone that can produce quality photos. You don’t have to look like a movie star to produce a confident looking photo.

Second, you control entirely what goes in your LinkedIn profile so, as in writing a resume, put your best foot forward. The rules for a LinkedIn entry are much looser. Not everything should go it your entry–just the highlights. So spend some time thinking about how you want to present yourself on LinkedIn; in other words, those things that show you headed in a clear direction. I will uniformly ask a candidate to rewrite her resume if it tries to be “all things to all people.” When I work with a Supreme Court law clerk looking for a position, their resume is invariably one page with a lot of white space. So do your best to project how your abilities will meet an employer’s need, as succinctly as possible. The more your confidence oozes out of your resume/LinkedIn entry, the greater your chance of landing an interview for a job you want.

Finally use LinkedIn in searching for information about employers that interest you. Find out who the President and key officers or the person interviewing you is by first using the employer’s website. Your next step is to then look up the individuals on LinkedIn and see their career paths. You might find out that a prospective interviewer went to your high school or college, or they are active in a civic association of which you are also a member. Remember employers want to hire people that “fit in” and learning about potential commonality that you share with a prospective employer’s key people can help you win big bonus points.

LinkedIn is an excellent tool which should be in the “toolbox” of every job seeker and career builder. I am sure there are many uses I have not even begun to tap into even with my years of experience with it! There are many low-cost seminars and how to use it for your career advancement purposes. Explore all tools to help you find that next good job but be sure that LinkedIn is one of them!

Stuart TenHoor is President of TenHoor Legal Search Services, Inc. and has over two decades of experience matching candidates with the right employers. You can learn more about him at stuarttenhoor.com.

Want help with updating your LinkedIn profile? Contact us at410-782-3002 xt 501 to schedule an appointment!

The Right Tool for the Job

January 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

PEC Board member Cheryl Pullins shared this piece with us from her own blog which is chock full of great information and inspiration!  Cheryl works with women entrepreneurs to elevate their businesses to new levels.

The right tools can showcase the fabulous gem! (Photo by Mauro Cateb via Wikimedia.org)

The right tools create interest and highlight positive attributes! (Photo by Mauro Cateb via Wikimedia.org)

In years past tools for a job search included the help wanted section of the Sunday edition of the local newspaper, a red ink pen and your resume. You could spend hours on a Sunday afternoon combing through the help wanted section to identify jobs within your industry and/or skill set.

How have things changed.

With the onset and growth of social media, the job search has progressed to a whole new level. The development of the internet created an opportunity for job seekers to do some detailed research on a prospective employer. However, if we fast forward, job seekers can not only do research about the company they can now interact and connect with potential employers on a deeper level. With access to sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn individuals can now experience the prospective employer’s culture, become exposed to the organization’s corporate values and engage with key staff.

Facebook and Twitter ranked number one and number three in social media popularity, but LinkedIn is a robust social media site where job seekers can find enormous value. With over 75 million members and executive level representation from all of the Fortune 500 organizations, LinkedIn has created a platform for job seekers to showcase their skill and experience, in addition to building and connecting with those who can provide value to the job search.

For more information about LinkedIn visit www.linkedin.com.  Don’t forget to join the Pinnacle Empowerment Center group to stay up to date on the latest from PEC!

Photo by Mauro Cateb of a diamond measuring tool via Wikimedia.org.

Possibilities and Opportunity: Where your talents and the needs of the world intersect

January 3, 2013 § 2 Comments

By Lisa Dolce

New Year’s Day has always been a day of reflection for me for as long as I can remember.

Find the intersection where your talents meet the needs of the world!

Find the intersection where your talents meet the needs of the world!

I celebrate the successes as well as the learning that came from the challenges of the past year. I take a deep breath in and exhale anything that may be holding me back and then breathe in all the possibilities of the coming new year.

The last few years have been tough for many of us personally and professionally. There seemed to be much that was out of our control. The good news is that not everything is out of our control. One of my favorite quotes comes from Aristotle, he said, “Ones purpose is knowing where your talents intersect with the needs of the world”.

The job market may still be tight but it is not without it’s needs, possibility and opportunity. So the big question is where do your talents intersect?

For some of us it may be the perfect time to reinvent ourselves. You have probably known for a long time that it was time to do something else, but it never seemed to be the “right” time to do it.

It may be a career change, going back for that degree or finally starting that business you’ve been talking about. Now is the time.

For others it might be time to find more meaning or balance in their work and in their lives. What are we chasing after and why? What beliefs or dreams are we holding onto that no longer serve us?

So as we enter 2013, breathe in all the possibilities this new year has to offer, and take the time to clarify what your talents are and how you can share them to fill a need in this new economy. Make a list of your top skills that you already have and ways you can reconfigure them to meet the opportunities that the new job market will yield–then go out and explore, network with others and learn what new jobs will emerge as government bail-out plans unfold, companies restructure and new leadership takes over.

And to help get you started, and as a New Year’s gift to you, the Pinnacle Empowerment Center is offering free monthly career clubs, empowerment circles.Come join us and other career seekers for inspiration, motivation and strategies for matching your talents with the needs of our community.

Wishing you a new year filled with exciting possibilities and opportunity!

Let’s Go Fishing! Maybe?

October 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

By: Cindy Virtue. Job Search Coach.

Are you serious about landing your next job or are you just giving hiring managers a near death experience?

This week I was preparing for my upcoming workshop on how to help teens with their job search and getting ready for a family camping trip to Point Look Out in Southern Maryland where my sister likes to go fishing off their pier. I came across this question from Dick Bowles, Author of “What Color is My Parachute” – How do you fish? Do you choose Pond One that has two fish and ten fishermen or do you choose Pond Two that has twenty fish and only two fishermen?

When I go fishing I like Pond One. Why? I really don’t want to catch anything. I like hanging out with my sister but I have a fear of touching the worm and the fish. I’ll sit there all day, sort of hoping to catching anything only to reel it in and to let it go. This is the “Open Market” in job searching. The Open Market are the job boards, want-ads, placement agencies, etc. This represents less than 20% of all jobs are advertised and yet more than 80% of all job seekers look here!

Now let’s talk about Pond Two. This pond is for the real fisherman, like my sister, who enjoys catching fish all day. The more fish she catches, the more motivated she is to keep trying for that Big Catch of the Day! This is like using the “Hidden Market in Job Search Method”. You access this job market through your personal network, company websites, yellow pages, social media, and by developing leads before they are advertised. More than 80% of all jobs are filled this way but less than 20% of all job seekers look here!

In today’s job market you have to get out of your comfort zone, step up and take charge of your job search, and build relationships that can help you move forward. So, how do you fish?

Cindy Virtue has over seven years of coaching experience. Drawing on her own career transitions experiences, Cindy helps clients chart a path for career success. You can meet Cindy at one of the Empowerment Center’s free monthly Job Clubs.

What Can Coaching Do For You?

September 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

This Harbor Seal at the Oregon Coast Aquarium is a natural swimmer but she might benefit from coaching for her job search!

I learned to swim as a kid in a succession of hotel and friend’s pools during the summers of my childhood. I can pass the Boy Scouts swimming test but I am not going to break any speed records! My son has learned to swim the same way so I recently enrolled my son in a swim conditioning class at the local rec center. The goal was to make him a more confident and efficient swimmer. This is accomplished by having his swimming technique observed, corrected, and refined by an experienced swimming coach.

His coach breaks down the complexity of a swimming stroke and using various techniques focuses on one thing at a time – breathing, arm movements, or kicking. Then she brings it all back together. When they do it all at once though, the perfect stroke may degenerate as they try to do it while kicking and breathing – all at the same time. The coach brings her experience to bear, provides feedback, and cheers the kids’ on to continue working at it even though the payoff isn’t immediate.

Does this feel like your career or your job search? That’s why career and job search help is called “coaching”. The coach isn’t going to do the work for you but will help you identify problem spots and work with you to refine your techniques and help you become more confident and efficient. Over the last few years of working with the lovely ladies of the Empowerment Center, I have been privileged to watch how they help and work with their clients and truly coach clients toward their goals.

When you’re job searching, how much time are you spending looking at job postings on the internet? You may be spending hours doing that weekly and feel like you’re being productive in your search, but the reality is, you can’t hide in your house and expect to find a job that way. Job Search Coach Cindy Virtue points out you shouldn’t be spending more than 5-10% of your time using the internet. She notes that you get more bang for your buck networking in person. You’ll have more success with those job postings if you can make a live contact at the company via your network. As part of her coaching technique, Cindy evaluates clients and identify areas that need strengthening such as whether they’re spending too much time on activities that won’t pay big dividends when job hunting. She provides feedback and encouragement as the client moves forward on her job search.

Perhaps you’ve been in your position for years. You’re bored with the work and would like to move upward in your career but you’re not sure if it is within the same company or another job altogether. You live for the weekends when you can hike and bike outside and volunteer with a local recreation league that helps adapt outdoor activities for people with disabilities. You meet with a Life Coach who helps you identify that what you like about the job is the security of the paycheck but the work itself isn’t what you want to do for the next 20 years. The coach helps you develop a plan to go back to the local community college and get your credential as a physical therapist while keeping your day job. Life Coach Maria points out that much of what she does with clients is to help find a path, break complex issues into smaller, more manageable pieces, and holds the clients accountable as they work through their plan toward their goals.

Consider some of the biggest names in sports – Michael Phelps or Gabrielle Douglas. These athletes have amazing talent but they still have coaches in their corner helping them work on their weaknesses, inefficiencies, and pushing them to continue to work harder. Who is in your corner? How can one of our coaches help you meet your goals?

Conflict: A Catalyst

August 9, 2012 § 2 Comments

I ran across this wonderful TED Talk from Margaret Heffernan discussing the constructive role of conflict within organizations.

To summarize the video, Heffernan shared the story of Dr. Alice Stewart who was a epidemiologist in the 1950’s. She specialized in the study of patterns and she began looking at the rise of childhood cancers and trying to find a cause. Her partner, George Kneale,was a keen statistician and his role was to review her data and prove her wrong. She used conflict with her partner to strengthen her argument for the cause she discovered which turned out to be doctors using the relatively new technology of x-rays on pregnant women. Unfortunately, it continued to take the medical establishment another 20 years before they stopped the practice. Dr. Stewart knew that she needed her data and analysis of it to be as strong as possible and she used conflict constructively to achieve that.

As Heffernan notes, as individuals, we generally do everything we can to avoid conflict. When there is conflict, it creates stress and we take steps to avoid conflict. But, could we turn this conflict into an opportunity to become stronger? Isn’t that really what change boils down to – conflict?

Now, I am not talking about the useless kind of conflict that goes nowhere (think all the arguments you ever had with a sibling in the backseat of a car on a long trip).

I am talking about the conflict you have when you hate going to work every day because the job is boring. Maybe that conflict is telling you its time to move on to a better and more challenging position.

Have you ever had a conflict with a friend who is asking you to do something different? Is she pushing you to expand and try something new or address a habit that’s not constructive?

Ever had conflict with your children? Isn’t that usually them trying to exert their own influence and independence?

Conflict starts a conversation. I think Margaret Heffernan is right to recommend embracing conflict and using it as a tool to dig deeper and understand the issues. The next time you encounter conflict, can you reframe it and use it to develop an action plan to move forward?

Posted by: Heather Comstock

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