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How Can That Co-Worker Be So Smart – and So Clueless?

Have you ever worked with someone who, despite being obviously really smart, was pretty much just clueless when it came to being a productive human being? You know the one. Sheer brain power: off the charts. But people skills? Nada. Team collaboration? Zilch. Empathy? Not in her vocabulary.

And as you’ve probably observed, all those smarts often can’t compensate for a lack of people skills. In fact, it turns out that having a high intelligence quota (IQ) isn’t nearly as important to a successful life – and career – as is having a high level of emotional intelligence (EQ). Read More…

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Bridges – Build Them, Don’t Burn Them

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will every regret.

– Ambrose Bierce

Yep, it’s only normal to want to drop-kick them out the office window and through the field goal uprights. You know who I mean: that jerk down the hall the fourth time she breaks out her with her rendition of Barry Manilow’s greatest hits – and that’s the fourth time today….

Or that co-worker who nuked his anchovy pizza in the office microwave and now your nostrils (and stomach) are in full revolt….

Or that boss whose idea of team motivation is group hugs and a mean game of Friday afternoon charades…. Read More…

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Resume Tips: Use a Summary Statement to Lead with Your Strengths

The last time I was putting together a resume, I had an “Objective” statement at the top that read something along the lines of “Seeking an opportunity to grow and contribute my professional skills in a dynamic corporate environment.”

Okay, what I really wanted to say was “After the group of psychotic bosses and co-workers I’ve had so far, I’m desperately trying to find an employer where intelligence and professionalism are actually valued rather than used for target practice!” Fortunately, those outmoded Objectives statement have been replaced by something much better: a Summary statement.

Resume Summary Statements

Basically, a summary statement is a very brief paragraph – think perhaps two or three sentences – that showcases all of your most important strengths. The language is concise and businesslike, and generally (because you’re trying to keep the wording as tight as possible), you drop pronouns (“I”) and focus only on those terms that deliver the greatest impact.

What Wording Might You Use?

As an example, if you had a background in healthcare customer service, your summary statement might be something like:

Healthcare customer service supervisor with 5 years managing increasingly large customer service teams for two largest HMOs in the U.S.  Track record of leading teams with high customer satisfaction scores and low employee turnover rates.  Especially skilled at managing multicultural, multi-generational, and virtual teams.

Or, if you had a background in managing retail establishments, for example, an art gallery where you’d been responsible for setting up art events, your summary statement might be along the lines of:

Experienced retail manager with demonstrated strengths in events planning, customer/client relations, website management, and administrative coordination. Marketing and operations management skills have been primarily deployed in the art and higher education environments, but are easily transferrable to additional business settings.

My background includes working as an information strategist for organizations, so my summary statement if applying for a job as an information strategist might look like this:

Experienced content strategist and content developer, working with corporations and nonprofits to develop information resources and processes that meet strategic goals. Expertise includes print and online content development, project-based research, information project management, and creation of information strategies that drive key organizational strategic goals.

Tailor Your Statement to Your Potential Job

When you craft your summary statement, you want to keep several things in mind. First, you want to keep it brief and focused on your most compelling strengths. Second, you want to highlight any differentiators that really set you apart as a job candidate (“especially skilled at coaching new hires for fast performance results”). Third, you want to proactively address any concerns the resume reader might have about your appropriateness for the job (“…skills have been primarily deployed in the retail and higher education environments, but are easily transferrable to additional business settings”).

Lastly, you want to make sure your summary statement is specifically tailored to the job you’re applying for. This may mean that you revise your summary statement for each different job you’re targeting, but it’s worth the effort – this is your best (and often your only) chance to catch the attention of that potential employer.

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Temping Can Deliver Permanent Benefits

Wondering if working a temporary job, or “temping,” might make sense for you? Actually, depending on your circumstances, temping can be a terrific option for keeping your career moving forward.

It can be a great solution for those in the midst of career transitions or life changes, those who’ve just moved to a new community and need to build professional contacts, or those who prefer the variety of temporary or project work to the predictability of a permanent position. Read More…

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How to Use LinkedIn to Advance Your Career

By now you’ve probably gotten the message that being on LinkedIn is a career must-do. But are you actively using its Groups feature to advance your career? If not, here are five ways to make the most of this valuable LinkedIn function.

Build your professional brand visibility. Search for groups in your professional discipline that seem to be the most active (most members, lots of discussions and comments), and join, then lurk for a bit to get a sense of the group’s interactions. Once you feel comfortable with the group dynamics, begin to engage by sharing your knowledge in response to posted questions, sharing information resources, asking thoughtful questions, and commenting positively on others’ posts. The quality of your contributions will begin building your visibility as a knowledgeable, engaged professional in your area of expertise. (Tip: check out the previous discussion threads before posting a question, just in case it’s been covered before.) Read More…

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Make Sure Your Professional Brand Stays With You

By now most of us have gotten the message that we’re all self-employed, regardless of whom we work for. We’re in charge of our careers and job opportunities, and that means being ready to land on our feet should a pink slip happen to land on our desk. And a big part of that “being ready” is making sure that you’ve built up professional visibility – your brand – outside your employer.

Although losing a job is tough, finding a new one will be much easier if you’ve taken steps to become professionally visible outside the universe of your company and co-workers. What are some of the ways you can do this? Read More…

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4 Reasons to Contact your Dream Company Today

The job market continues to be competitive and job seekers looking for career information may find this tidbit helpful: do not wait for your dream company to contact you. If you wait for a company to contact you or post a job opening, you may be losing key opportunities. Still not sure that proactively reaching out to a company is in your best interest? Below are four reasons why it could help your job search efforts. Read More…

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5 Tips to Help Women in Business with Career Management

Though there has been significant progress concerning gender equality in the workforce, women are still lagging behind men when it comes to executive positions in business. According to career information at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Center for Women in Business, women are particularly underrepresented in the C-suite and on corporate boards. The center’s data finds that women currently hold just 4.2% of CEO positions in Fortune 1000 companies.

Sheryl Sandburg, chief operating officer at Facebook and a high profile woman in business, recently asked women to “lean in” to their careers. Her book of the same title has sparked conversations across the country on how to empower women to reach their full potential.

Follow these five career management tips to help you stand out and assert yourself as woman in business. Read More…

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Resume Writing 101: Resume Help for Today’s Job Search

The first step in any job search is writing a resume. While some of us have experience doing this, there are many people entering or returning to the workforce who might need resume help. Regardless of if you have written a resume in the past, it isn’t a bad idea to brush up on some basics. resume

At the Employability Summit, hosted by Bryant & Stratton College Online, a panel of HR and hiring experts touched on some fundamentals that can help you prepare your resume.

Types of Resumes

The three most common types of resumes are chronological, functional and hybrid. Chronological resumes present job history and education in reverse chronological order. Functional resumes don’t focus as much on job experience, but rather the relevant skills you possess. Those who have gaps in job history or may be changing careers most often use this type of resume. The final type of resume is a hybrid¾as the name suggests¾of both a chronological and functional resume. The hybrid resume allows you to be more creative in presenting your job experience and skills. Before you decide on a resume type, keep in mind the industry you are job searching in and how to best showcase your relevant skills and experience. Read More…

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Should I Stop Using Social Media?

We’ve all heard horror stories about individuals who have gotten fired from their job or weren’t considered for a job because of something they posted on Facebook or Twitter. These cautionary tales have us double and triple checking our privacy settings. Does this mean you should stop using social media if you are on the job hunt or as a safe way to approach career management?

According to panelists at the July “Job Ready or Not?” event, hosted by Bryant & Stratton College Online, if used appropriately, social media can be an asset during your job search. The event’s panel consisted of HR and hiring experts from CareerBuilder, Enterprise, Humana, Marriott International and Microsoft

Rather than offering anecdotes about why you should be careful about what photos you post, panelists focused on how to leverage social media to your advantage. Read More…

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