what's your career plan?

Have you ever really looked at blueprints? We had our own experience with them last year when we expanded our office. They can make most people’s eyes glaze over, but  those professional schematic drawings are the reason buildings don’t fall down, plumbing works efficiently, and electric outlets are located where you want to plug in your hair dryer. Professional plans mean that using the hairdryer in the bathroom doesn’t blow a circuit because the wiring is sufficient for the task.

Professionals use the training and experience they possess to create building plans that will safely accommodate the activity anticipated there. If there needs to be a remodel, professionals know how to do the adaptations successfully. That same level of expertise applies to a lot of other areas in life, don’t you think? How about your career plans?

Your career is certainly as important as the building you live in, and should be planned with as much expertise. There are many good suggestions for career plans to be discovered by reading blogs and doing the research, and that is a good place to start. Many people live quite happily in buildings designed for the general population and you do the equivalent with your career by following the general advice you read from professionals.

But a custom home involves blueprints drawn up by experts with input from the home owner to ensure that every aspect of that home is perfect for the people living there. This could mean shorter counters, a special sewing room, or bathrooms with enough outlets and load capabilities to run a couple of hair dryers at the same time while listening to music. The blueprints would show those specifics: lower counter heights, cabinets for sewing materials, and a bathroom that won’t go dark when the hair dryer comes on.

Your career plans can be customized by working with an expert, a career coach who is qualified to draw up a blueprint for your job goals and help you figure out what needs to be on the plan.

 

 





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Written by - Visit the website to hire executive resume writer Erin Kennedy, CERW, CPRW

Erin is an internationally renowned certified resume writer specializing in professional and executive level resumes and career services.

heartbleed

 

 

 

 

By now, I hope you have heard of Heartbleed, that notorious bug that has been infiltrating “secure” sites for the last two years and quietly stealing information without a trace. It’s ugly, but it also is a good reminder that there will always be some hacker out there trying to get past everyone’s guard. Neil Rubenking at SecurityWatch  says the fallout of Heartbleed is the need for everyone to change every one of their passwords.

“Your secure sites fall in to three categories, those that are still vulnerable, those that were vulnerable in the past, and those that were never vulnerable. It’s absolutely essential to change your password on those that were vulnerable in the past. It couldn’t hurt to change those that seem like they were never vulnerable, especially because you can’t be sure. As for those that remain vulnerable, you’re going to have to change those again, but by making a clean sweep now and ensuring you have no duplicate passwords, you’ll make that second round of password updates easier.”

I recommend you read the article and do what this security expert suggests, go back to all sites you have joined and change your passwords or close your account there. I did this myself last night. Most security experts change their own passwords regularly anyhow, and if the security guy does it, the rest of us should think about doing it. Better safe than sorry.

If you’ve been searching for a job or have done so online in the past (think: job boards, online career centers, professional development sites, etc.), there may be some sites you joined in hopes of a job lead. It’s a good idea to have a unique password for each site anyway, but depending on how much information you gave on the site, that might be a place to critically examine for security risk. We need to be careful of online resume submissions because identity theft is growing, partly due to sophisticated bugs like Heartbleed that siphon off encrypted data like login credentials and security keys.

 





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Written by - Visit the website to hire executive resume writer Erin Kennedy, CERW, CPRW

Erin is an internationally renowned certified resume writer specializing in professional and executive level resumes and career services.

don't waste your profile pic on these things!

The photo you use for your profile on social media and professional sites is prime real estate. This is the face of your online brand, right? This picture is what comes up on an internet search by a potential employer, colleagues looking at your LinkedIn profile, and networking contacts. People are normally visually-oriented, and that profile pic is what their eyes go to first. So why waste that advantage?

  • No profile pic at all is like saying you don’t care — so why should they care?
  • Using a logo markets that logo, not your career
  • Poorly lit, grainy photos don’t say much about your professionalism
  • Selfies rarely look like anything but selfies (and please, NO FISH LIPS!)
  • Wild party profile pics look like HR nightmares
  • Your kid is cute, but they aren’t hiring your baby. The sames goes with pics of you and your significant other. Don’t use those for your professional pic–unless you co-own a business together and are building your brand based off of that
  • Using a different profile pic for each site weakens the impact of your brand

If you want to maximize the potential of your profile pic, think seriously about what it looks like and where you put it.

Having the same photograph as the face of your online brand on all your profiles; LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, your blog, etc. gives you consistency. People associate consistency with reliability, and that instant recognition of your photo acts as a logo for your brand. But the photograph itself also matters quite a bit, so it should be excellent. You can set up proper lighting and background then use a timer, but it generally will work much better if a photographer friend takes your picture or you opt for a professional session.

Background should reflect your industry or be a color flattering to you. Lighting should come from several sources to avoid weird shadow effects (this is why self-portraits rarely work well) and smiling is more appealing than a deadpan mug shot. You should be dressed the way you would be at a job interview and look professional. It’s a good idea to renew your profile pics once a year so they are current.

Your online brand is a combination of everything someone like a potential employer can find about you on the internet. Your profile pic is the face of your online brand, and profile development should include making sure you aren’t wasting its potential.

 





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Written by - Visit the website to hire executive resume writer Erin Kennedy, CERW, CPRW

Erin is an internationally renowned certified resume writer specializing in professional and executive level resumes and career services.

are you putting your resumes in the right places?

Have you ever gone past a series of modern windmills? I just did recently-they were amazing. At first, they don’t look real. Then as you get closer, they begin to loom in jaw-dropping proportions because they are huge. These gigantic pinwheels are carefully placed to catch the wind in the best spots available. A lot of study goes into how tall they need to be, where they should be located, and which direction they should face. This is because they are very expensive to manufacture and install so they need to be where they will catch the most wind and generate the most power. Why would anybody put this expensive piece of technology in a random spot because it is easier? No matter how well the windmill is constructed, it will not do what it’s designed to do if it’s not in the right place.

A well-crafted resume is the result of a similar type of investment. Just like the modern windmill, they are carefully designed and can be expensive to create. So why distribute that resume in a random pattern because it is easier? If your resume is not being put in the right place, it will not be able to do what it’s designed to do.

Professional Resume Services has the ability to put your resume in the place where it will be most effective through our Recruiter Resume Distributions. Since we maintain a database that is updated weekly, we know which recruiters are working in the various industries out there and we can specifically target your unique preferences and project parameters. We will only put your resume where it will act like one of those high-tech pinwheels and generate the most energy for your career goals.

 

 

 

 





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Written by - Visit the website to hire executive resume writer Erin Kennedy, CERW, CPRW

Erin is an internationally renowned certified resume writer specializing in professional and executive level resumes and career services.

have you looked at your credit report?
Among the rest of the things you need to do before that job interview, looking at your credit report is up there in priority. Actually, your credit is something you should be in the habit of checking several times a year. Here’s why it should be done before that job interview:

  • The Fair Credit Reporting Act is the federal law covering the whole issue. This link is to a pdf of the law. It’s a little overwhelming.
  • According to Workplace Fairness,  it boils down to the fact that if an employer asks and gets your written permission, they can do a credit check any time after that, even if you have been employed for a while.
  • If there is something negative in your credit report, and they decide that is reason not to hire you (or reason to fire you), the federal law doesn’t have any remedies for it even if the report is inaccurate. Some states have laws covering this area.
  • If you are rejected for a job based “in whole or in part” on a negative credit report, the employer has to follow guidelines laid out in the law: give you a copy of that report, and written instructions on challenging the accuracy of the report (like handing you a brochure like “A Summary of Your Rights Under The FCRA” by the FTA).
  • Employment Background Checks are a fact of life in the US, so the Federal Trade Commission monitors them. This link is to their page explaining things in a quick summary.
  • If you have been keeping up on your credit report monitoring, you are already prepared to explain any negative things on that report. You are familiar with the way it all works because you’ve been consistently learning about it. So you aren’t being hit with a bunch of unfamiliar stuff and you are ready.

Honestly, if you aren’t paying attention to things like your credit report, you are kind of like the guy who puts his dollar bills in a pile and gets surprised when they disappear in the wind. He is making the mistake of thinking a minor detail won’t affect much. It’s really important these days because identity theft happens to anybody and that regular credit check will let you know it happened to you.

Professional Resume Services has covered credit checks along with a lot of other topics on this blog. You can poke around in the archives and get a lot of information! Best of all, you’ll see a little popup (Let’s Talk!) that gives you a chance to ask questions and get answers.

 

 





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Written by - Visit the website to hire executive resume writer Erin Kennedy, CERW, CPRW

Erin is an internationally renowned certified resume writer specializing in professional and executive level resumes and career services.