Archive for March, 2009

Don’t have the money for a professional resume?

paperwork stack

BlogBreak contributor Chandra Fox gives some handy tips for those that can’t afford to have their resume professionally written. Even if you are on a budget, you can use these tips to avoid getting lost in the paperwork shuffle:

All recruiters know that the quickest way for a candidate to stand out is the resume and its presentation, but let’s say money is tight. Here are 5 things that will at least save you from the circular file.

1. No “I” in a resume. The name on top is the assumed subject. It is redundant to put I at the beginning of each bullet.

2. Resumes typically go back 10-15 years. If you have 40 years of important work history consider an “Early Career History” that briefly hits your early career.

3. No personal information on a resume. No married with two children and a dog. Keep your personal info to yourself. It is illegal to bring it up so why put it out there?

4. No clip art or colored paper. Keep it Simple. It may truly define you with …

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The job application kiosk from hell

submit button

BlogBreak guest contributor Gary Wheeler discusses his experiences with job application kiosks:

Prior to the 2008 holidays, I made a few trips to retailers seeking a seasonal position. Consumer spending wasn’t stellar and many big box retailers who normally hire seasonal workers, held off.

Although they weren’t hiring, they allowed you to complete their employment application. I decided to make store visits, in hopes that I would be able to connect with a real live person, look them in the eye and say, I would like to work for you!

Several companies only had an online application process. This is a very convenient way to apply for a position; however, you have to be a lucky stiff to stand out of the crowd on a computer for an $8.00 to $10.00 hour job.

A couple places still had the paper application but most had a KIOSK. The two-top retailers in the U.S. had very sophisticated systems, and it took about an hour to answer all of their questions, depending on …

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Has being unemployed changed your perspective?

hopeful employee

With unemployment rates skyrocketing and economic growth in various sectors hitting record lows, sometimes it takes something unexpected and even catastrophic, such as the rare snowfall earlier this month in Atlanta, or the current flooding dangers to put things in perspective. BlogBreak contributor Chandra Fox of gives her take on how larger life events can put the daily grind of unemployment into a different perspective:

When natural disasters or other emergencies occur, it means many of us will have to temporarily live without heat, without power, without the core things necessary for survival. An unexpected situation such as the a snow day in Atlanta should make us remember not just the bad things we often read over and over again, but instead make us grateful for the things we do have.

In an emergency situation we remember the most important things – our family, shelter, safety and human kindness for our fellow man. Maybe the focus on the stock …

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Social media tools: Benefit or bust for job seekers?

keyboard lock

Social media tools like Facebook and Twitter are becoming more and more popular. With the increase in use comes an increase in having your words examined by more than just your friends. Your boss or potential employer may be viewing your thoughts as well, so beware.

A recent story outlined how a job applicant basically Twittered themselves out of a potential job offer with Cisco. Here’s what Twitter user “theconnor” shared with the world:

“Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.”

Wow, what a loaded statement, and how ignorant to assume that Cisco wouldn’t be web-savvy enough to utilize Twitter. Tim Levad, a Cisco employee, caught wind of the post and and retorted with the following:

“Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.”

To be fair, the Twitter user is a college student, …

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How do you reinvent yourself?

joy of baking

Jaworski family

With unemployment rising and so many people finding themselves derailed from their chosen career path, some enterprising individuals are considering reinventing themselves. Some are becoming entrepreneurs, others are going back to school or learning a new trade. Read the AJC story profiling Atlanta residents who reinvented themselves after being laid off.

There’s plenty of famous Georgia figures that have reinvented themselves, if you are looking for some inspiration:

  • Arthur Blank: From Home Depot co-founder to Atlanta Falcons owner
  • Bernie Marcus: From Home Depot co-founder to Georgia Aquarium visionary
  • Jane Fonda: Hollywood actress to non-profit founder
  • Ludacris: Rapper to restauranteur
  • Sugarland: Relatively obscure folk musicians to mainstream country music superstars
  • Jimmy Carter: From peanut farmer to president to peace activist
  • Clark Howard: From travel agency owner to consumer advisor on TV and radio.

Have you reinvented yourself career-wise? What tips …

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If you worked for AIG, would you return the bonus?

aig protest

Associated Press

Yesterday, there was a firestorm in Washington D.C., where AIG CEO Edward Lilly was grilled by Congress regarding the multimillion dollar bonuses that some AIG executives received, after the company received federally-funded bailout payments. Everyone from President Obama to Congress and the common man reacted with anger that AIG would continue to pay bonuses considering the collapse of the company and their acceptance of federal funds to stay afloat, even though Senate Banking committee chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut) now admits including a loophole clause in the bailout plan that allowed for the bonuses. Liddy has asked that the executives who received bonuses return half of the money. He stated that a few have stepped up voluntarily to return the bonus.

If you were one of the AIG executives that received a hefty bonus, would you return it? If you would keep the bonus, tell us your reasons why.

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Best jobs for teenagers


Bob Andres /

Soon, many teenagers in metro Atlanta will join the already massive group of job seekers, looking for summer employment. While teens may find the temporary and seasonal job markets to be tougher than in previous years, there are several areas that teens looking for summer employment should check out first. These include:

  • Golf courses: Work on the maintenance and groundskeeping crews, or work in the retail shop or clubhouse environment. Check out this map of metro Atlanta golf courses.
  • Restaurants, especially fast food: Fast food restaurant jobs are quite popular with teens, as they usually don’t require previous work experience for entry-level positions, and there are plenty of part-time schedules available. Starting in food service in high school could help prepare you for a server or kitchen position in a more upscale establishment, which is a way many college students help pay their tuition.
  • Retail stores: Learning basic retails skills can be …

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How far would you go to keep your job?

flirt at work

Lying. Backstabbing. Taking credit for other’s work. Even flirting with the boss. A recent Harris Interactive study illustrates that there’s a rising trend of people who are so desperate to keep their jobs that they are willing to blur the ethical line.

According to the study, 28% of respondents stated they would act immorally or unethically to keep their jobs. And the younger workers were the ones that were the most willing to be ruthless: nearly 40% of employees aged 18 to 34 said they would be dishonest to save their jobs, while only 28% of respondents overall indicated they would lie.

How far would you go to save your job? How do you feel about those who use less than ethical means in order to hang on to their job?

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Do you work with people that annoy you?

annoyed staff

If your co-workers are driving you crazy, you are not alone. Career experts Christine Lambden and Casey Conner have thirty combined years of consulting experience and have encountered and worked with people of all personalities. They have authored a new book together called,
Everyday Practices of Extraordinary Consultants, and they are revealing their list of “The Thirteen Most Annoying People To Work With”:

  • Pontification Person – This person goes on and on, telling you what they are going to say, saying it and then telling you what they said.
  • Um Person – To avoid losing control of the conversation, this co-worker fills every pause with “Um,” not realizing that they might be able to think better if they weren’t talking.
  • Too Much Detail Person – ‘nuff said.
  • 50,000 Foot-Only Person – He or she is eloquent when you talk about the big picture, but refuses to allow anyone to get into the details…which we all know is where the real work gets done. …

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Those profiting from misfortune: Vultures or savvy survivors?

vulture and cash & HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Recently the AJC profiled local residents who have found a profitable niche in this bad economy. They’ve found a way to make money by cleaning foreclosed homes and vacant office buildings, hosting gold parties for people to sell their jewelry and by advising companies going through bankruptcies or other financial troubles. And as the economy continues to sink, their profits are rising.

Do you feel these people are vultures preying upon desperate victims of the sagging economy or are they just savvy entrepreneurs with a will to survive? Would you feel comfortable making money off individuals and companies who have been hurt by the economy?

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