WHAT IS A THOUGHT LEADER (and is it YOU?)
What is a Thought Leader? Lately I’ve had clients discussing this topic with me and wondering what my take was on the term. So, I decided to do some research on the subject and see what others had to say about it.
According to Wikipedia, Thought Leaders are used to describe a “futurist or person who is recognized among peers and mentors for innovative ideas and demonstrates the confidence to promote or share those ideas as actionable distilled insights (thinklets)”.
I have dozens of clients who are thought leaders—organic thinkers, consistently offering ideas that propel businesses forward—and have crafted résumés to position them as such. Thought leadership isn’t anything new—it’s been around for years and years, but the term has grown in popularity the past 5 years or so.
I remember back in the 70’s and 80’s when my Dad worked in sales for IBM, he had a block sign that was at his desk at work—which he later brought home and sat on his dresser—that simply said, “THINK”. It intrigued the heck out of me and I would ask him, “Think about WHAT?” As I later came to understand it, it was IBM’s slogan for (among other things) developing the top technical and sales teams in the industry by thinking ‘outside the box’—being unique “expert” leaders of their product or service.
Just as it was back then, thought leaders of today are being recruited to work within huge organizations to promulgate an idea and teach this learning to others. It’s going beyond ‘business as usual’ and setting yourself apart as an innovative leader and establishing your organization as a trusted advisor and knowledge resource.
The best part, according to Galen DeYoung’s article, “B2B Blogging: Using Thought Leadership to Drive Positioning & Sales”, is thought leaders are sought after and paid more. They are “perceived experts that companies want to hire. In going with an expert, the perceived risk is lower”.
I also like what Execunet’s founder, Dave Opton had to say about it in his “Keys to Influence” post of why leaders of any enterprise continually succeed (it’s the attitude… and people trust the confidence)…“I can’t prove it, but this is what I believe…”
I have had clients ask me if I would consider them a “thought leader” due to their contributions and if it is worthwhile to brand themselves as such. Do your career accomplishments include a history of pioneering new products or processes, or promoting or discussing ideas relevant to departments and/or companies? Are you singled out for your innovation and expertise in a certain subject? Have you been told you “think outside the box” or you are a “change agent”? If you answered “Yes” to any of those, then you have your answer. Brand yourself on your résumé and look for new opportunities within that realm. Have fun!
(**I found this article online and thought it might be of interest to you)
WORK AT HOME OPTIONS FOR SENIORS
The older generation today may prefer a home based career for a number of reasons. You can save a great deal of your time and energy, as you don’t have to travel long distances to reach your workplace anymore. In addition, you don’t have to go through the embarrassing ordeal of attending an interview and get rejected only because you are perceived to be ‘too old’ for the job.
It can be very disturbing to know that you are not being considered for a job only because of your age, even though you have the expertise and the experience.
Work At Home Career Options
Once you decide to work from home, you can research and choose a career that works for you and fits your lifestyle. A lot depends on your individual skills and interests and also the amount of time you would be able to devote for your home based career.
Listed below are some of the most common home based career options:
Website Advertising Programs
You may begin with having your own page that contains useful information about your area of interest. It could include information about consumer products, finance, arts, technology, or any other field that interests you. You can seek assistance from professional web designers who will help you make your web page appealing to online users.
If your web page is able to draw a good number of visitors, you can use it for advertising products of other companies. You can earn a handsome commission every time someone clicks to see these advertisements. However, to be in this business, you need to continually monitor your website and make necessary changes as and when required to increase your web traffic.
The Internet is an important medium for selling any type of products online. If you don’t manufacture your own products, you can partner with a good wholesaler or distributor and help them increase their sales. You can use your own website to sell a wide range of products, from food and costumes to cards and clothes. You can also choose to sell seasonal products; for instance, during holiday seasons, you can sell gifts, cards, and scented candles, while on other occasions you can restrict your sales to books, stationery and other common items.
There are countless companies looking for people who can help them conduct surveys. You can work for several companies at a time on these kinds of jobs.
If you have great writing skills, you can write articles on various topics and post them on the Internet. You can write for several websites that require up to date information on a variety of topics. You can also consider writing product reviews to let the online communities know how a particular product is.
Data entry jobs are probably the easiest way of making money on the Internet. All you have to do is simply key in data provided by the company, so that it can be stored as a soft copy for future reference.
Research is all it takes to find a suitable home business opportunity and make a fresh start. By taking advantage of the myriad of opportunities that are out there, you can share your wealth of experience and knowledge with millions of Internet users across the world.
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solutions – Six Sigma Online ( http://www.sixsigmaonline.org ) offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tony_Jacowski
Job Searching the Hidden Market
In a climate like the one we are in, it’s easy to feel like we will never find the job we want, or that ‘no one is hiring’. However, you can increase your chances of landing multiple interviews if you can tap into the “hidden” job market, or, the one that hasn’t been advertising. Contacting the companies/contacts directly makes a much more powerful impact then random online resume posting.
How do you do this? Have a plan! This may take a little longer, but it’s the best way to control your job search, land quality interviews and increase your pay scale.
1) Get your online presence together. Chances are, if you are going to be Googling companies, they will Google you. Create a Google profile or a LinkedIn profile and put your brand out there for the employer to see. Show your stuff.
2) Make a list of your target information— industry choice, job position, company listings, etc.
3) Do a Google search on your industry and job titles. There may be quite a few, but you can weed through what you like and don’t like. You can also do a local business search with the same requirements and see what you come up with.
4) Send your resume directly to the hiring person. This is usually the person who is 2-4 levels above where you see yourself within the company. Make sure your cover letter is short and concise.
If this method makes you squirm a little, remember that you will see significantly higher results than you would normally. It’s also good to move beyond your comfort zone. Clients who’ve used it report more interviews, shorter interview cycles and less competition. This also works much better than blindly submitting your resume to lots of job search engines and reduces your anxiety of not knowing if the person who you want to see it really saw it or not.
In the end, it will give you greater job search confidence and renewed excitement about the job search process. Try it and see. Then let me know how it went.
I get lots of clients that are concerned about their lack of degree on their resumes. It is very common and is one area that is a sensitive spot. When beginning the process of resume writing, what to put under ‘Education’ can be daunting.
The good news is there are ways to camoflage minimal or lack of education.
If you started college but never finished, you can list the name of the school, years you attended and major. If you want to focus on some relevant coursework taken while there, list the classes.
Adding any professional development courses or training always looks great on a resume and fills in the space that lack of degree left behind.
In the unusual case of no education or training at all, omit the section completely and concentrate on making sure your accomplishments stand out.
Whatever you do, don’t fabricate a degree. We’ve all seen the news and watched top execs be publicly stoned and dethroned after being “found out” that their big degrees were big lies.
Something important to consider: not every employer is looking for education… or will exclude a candidate because of lack of it. Remember: BILL GATES DROPPED OUT OF SCHOOL.
The majority of the time, employers are more interested on your contributions or accomplishments. If your work history is impressive, then you don’t have to worry about education because your accomplishments speak for themselves. You will have to portray yourself as successful WITHOUT the degree. Not all self-written resumes do the trick. That is where a resume writing service comes in. At the risk of sounding pitchy, a certified resume writer knows how to bring out your best qualities and focus on what the employer wants to see– with or without the education.
Remember how hard you’ve worked to get to where you are today. THAT is what you will sell on your resume… what you did for one company, you can do for theirs. THAT is the bottom line.
Many of you know that I was at the Detroit “Good Morning America / Women for Hire” job fair the other day. There were about 25 résumé evaluators and approximately 5000 job seekers. They literally were lined up outside the doors at 3:30 am. Talk about motivated people. Wow. What a busy, productive and fulfilling day.
It was televised (GMA and local ABC news crew) and there were camera people everywhere. Sort made us feel like movie stars except the cameras really weren’t on us, and we didn’t get paid. But still.
I was really impressed by the amount of professionalism, ambition and previous success that most of the folks had. There were just a few people that could have used a few pointers. So in case you think you might be one of those people, here they are:
1- DRESS AS IF YOU ARE AT AN INTERVIEW. Appropriate dress is really a MUST at a job fair. I know you already know this, but I thought I’d mention it again. You know the saying, “First Impressions are a Must”, well they really are. I saw some people that looked gorgeous and really ‘wow’ed’ me. THAT is how you have to look. Not saying you have to go spend a fortune on new clothes. You can put together a new outfit from what you have. Wash your hair, do your nails, trim your nose/ear hair, you know… the usual. And if you have dread-locks, tuck them into your suit.
2- HAVE A RÉSUMÉ PREPARED. (and if at all possible, have it professionally done). Yes, I saw many, many résumés and only about 5% of them were impressive. Remember, lead with your accomplishments, not your job description duties. The Microsoft Word résumé template was used in about 80% of the cases (yuck) I saw at the job fair. Remember, that is a template that doesn’t allow much give, so you may be cutting some significant info out because it won’t fit into the “template”. DON’T USE IT.
3- PACK BUSINESS OR NETWORKING CARDS-A great idea is to bring along your business or networking cards. Business cards work well because they have your name, address and phone number on them. If they have a previous company name on them, better rethink handing them out. You can always make some inexpensive cards on your own home printer for just this occasion. Another idea is networking cards. Networking cards are business card sized cards that hold significant career information along with your contact information. 2 or 3 of your top accomplishments really stand out on networking cards.
4- BRING A SMALL BAG, TOTE OR BRIEFCASE. You will be bombarded with giveaways (pens, company trinkets, business cards, candy, brochures, etc.). It will be easier to carry everything and your résumé portfolio.
5- GET A BUSINESS CARD FROM EVERYONE YOU SPOKE WITH. You might want to follow up with something you talked about. Even better, after you’ve talked with them, write down some key things you spoke about on the back of the card so you will have it to reference when you call, or if they call you!
6- KNOW THE COMPANIES. Find out what companies will be there and get to know a little about them. Nothing impresses companies more then when you display the knowledge you have about them. Show off a little bit. Impress them!
7- GET INTO A GOOD MOOD. I had a few folks come sit down with me who were shaking and scared to death and I wasn’t even the hiring person! People can tell if you are nervous, distracted, moody, having a bad day, etc. That isn’t the best first impression to offer. Instead try to relax, smile, speak slowly and clearly (vs. rushing through what you want to say), and remember, the HR person knows you are nervous and understands. So try to relax and enjoy yourself. Fake it if you have to.
Job Fairs don’t have to be a bad/scary/nerve wracking thing. Remember, it’s just another avenue to try out in the midst of your job search You get to meet new people, learn a few things about different companies, and have free coffee.
Brand New Web Site
I have been MIA lately… it’s not that I haven’t wanted to blog, I really have, it’s just that I’ve been doing something really exciting and had to wait until it was completed until I could blog again. It was worth the wait.
I launched a new website.
It’s been a long time coming.
For those of you who had to double check what you spelled when you realized the page you were on looked nothing like my old site, it really is the same company, Professional Résumé Services.
I’ve had a vision in my head for a long time of what I wanted my new site to look like, but kept putting it off because it seemed like a lot of work, time, money, effort, work, time, time, time…
Then I met Carl Chapman.
Not only is Carl an SEO expert, designer and all around nice guy, but he also creates very cool websites. I took a look at a couple of sites he’s created and thought… SOLD! He has made this a very painless process and took over all of the work I thought I’d have to do (my old web host really didn’t do a thing for me except charge me a lot each month in fees—buh bye!). I like not having to think all of the time on what I could be doing to improve my site. We are all busy, so you can relate. I’ve never delegated a thing in my life. But hiring Carl has been wonderful. Ahhhhh.
So, now I have this new website that showcases what I offer, is fun to look at, and easy to maneuver through. Plus, I’ve been able to add things to the site I always wanted and it has allowed me to expand my product and services offerings.
Having said that, I hope you stop by my site and let me know what you think of it.
Here is the link: http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com
Until next time…
Interview with a Recruiter
Recently, I had the pleasure of having a conversation with a smart, straight-talking recruiter, Peggy McKee.
Peggy McKee is the owner of PHC Consulting. Her firm specializes in matching medical and laboratory sales reps/candidates with companies, and does so with great success. Despite the economic downturn, Peggy’s company has flourished and she’s had to hire additional staff to meet the placement demands. With her strong understanding of the medical sales industry, interviewing and hiring, she’s helped develop teams of top sales talent for laboratory service companies.
Having my clients in mind, I asked Peggy several questions about her recruiting process, what is important to her regarding hiring the right candidates, her thoughts on résumés, and more. I’ve wanted to “officially” interview a recruiter for a while because of the number of questions I get from my clients about what recruiters look for.
Our conversation went something like this:
EK: “Peggy, where do you find your candidates? Do they come looking for you? Do you recruit them? How does it work?”
PM: “40-50% of candidates come straight to my website (www.phcconsulting.com). The other half is split between referrals, direct soliciting and social networking. “
EK: “Are candidates are expected to pay you?”
PM: “Absolutely not. Candidates should never pay a recruiter. Companies pay the recruiter for the placement. That’s how it works.”
EK: “It seems like I remember way back when some candidates had to pay the recruiter a percentage or a fee for the placement. I’m glad to know it’s not like that anymore… at least not with all recruiters.”
EK: “So you use some of the professional and social network sites to find talent?”
PM: “Definitely. I use LinkedIn and Twitter to find candidates by typing in keywords, names, titles, searches, groups, etc.”
EK: “And you’ve had good luck going that route? I’ve heard LinkedIn is really a great platform to find top talent. I tell my clients about it all the time.”
PM: “Yes, I use it all the time and love it.”
EK: “OK, let’s talk résumés. Do you have any pet peeves? What are your likes and dislikes? What do you like to see or not see?”
PM: “Well, I want to see 3 things: how can you make me money?… how can you save me money?.. and how can you save me time? This is what the client wants to know, so this is what I look for. I don’t like to read long paragraphs. I prefer bullets. I like to see experiences and accomplishments. Love to see numbers, rankings, percentages, etc.”
EK: “Just bullets? Ugh. Boring. I tend to stay away from just bullets. It looks like a grocery list. Numbers are great. Especially in sales résumés… definitely a must.”
PM: “No, I like the bullets. Paragraphs are too long. And yes, numbers are great and show me what they are capable of doing. “
EK: “OK. What about cover letters?”
PM: “I don’t like them, but I have to add that if you are going to write one BE BOLD! Don’t worry about “expectations”. Write something interesting!
EK: “I agree. Nothing worse than a canned cover letter. Make it as authentically YOU as possible.”
EK: “Any last thoughts about the résumé or cover letter?”
PM: “Have your references ready. Bring them to the interview. Have a clear and focused objective on your résumé so we don’t have to guess. Be ready to answer “tough” questions at the interview. Don’t shy away from them. Be honest.”
Peggy was so fun and enlightening to talk to that I look forward to continuing this conversation and bringing you more insight.
According to the Payscale.com article, 10 Highly Profitable 2-Year Degree Jobs, by Michelle Goodman, the following careers can be most easily entered by clients seeking career change with only a 2-year degree:
1. Physical Therapist Assistant – average $46,111.
2. Web Designer – average $48,785.
THIS LLAMA NEEDS A JOB
Sweetpea is 5 years old and was born to a life of luxury.
Day in, day out, Sweetpea grazes in the pasture, drinks fresh water from a constantly filled water supply, and eats as much sweet feed, rolled oats and cracked corn as her heart desires.
Sweetpea has a luxurious coat of fleece and fiber, the softest fur you can run your fingers through. She is groomed yearly and has regular checkups. She has produced 2 healthy offspring and is great with (human) children.
Sweetpea needs a job.
She is bored. She paces the fence line, trying to catch the eyes of passing cars by doing her best poses and tricks. She says the past 3 years have been devoted to the care, feeding, and weaning of her babies. She is now ready to work full-time, she wants to contribute… to talk with other “grown ups”.
Together we created her résumé and she was quick to point out her strong points:
1- Leadership. She is the oldest female in the herd and all the others follow her lead.
2- Sales and Marketing. With her quick poses, tricks, head tosses, and trots, people stop to admire her and immediately decide they have to have a llama, hence boosting sales of all llamas ready for purchase.
3- Team Development & Management. She quickly trains her newborns to adapt to the ways of the herd. The other members grudgingly follow her lead and are sometimes not happy about it, but she encourages group synergy by praising accomplishments (proper hay chewing techniques) and motivating them to work harder together (“alright, on three… toss the head to the left, then back to the right… now stretch it to the sky. Just like that. Great job!”).
Sweetpea adds that she is flexible when it comes to pay, but she would lean toward a position that offered fresh veggies daily (versus the old soggy ones in the back of the crisper drawer). Travel is a consideration, but relocation is out of the question.
She looks forward to working with you and says she can be reached by email or on her iPhone.