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What is Career Collective?

The Career Collective was formed by Miriam Salpeter (www.keppiecareers.com) and Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter (www.careertrend.com) as a way for resume writers and career coaches to utilize social media and share ideas on certain topics monthly.

Each month a topic is decided upon and each member of the group offers their thoughts on their own blogs. We then link to each other to offer readers every member’s view on the topic.

This is a fantastic tool for job seekers as there isn’t another resume writer/career coach social network community out there like this. You get the benefit of having 23 career experts all neatly linked on one page.

Check in around the first of the month for the next great topic. You might want to follow the thread on Twitter:  #careercollective

Until next month!


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I am a member of  the Career Collective, a group of  resume writers and career coaches. Each month, all members discuss a topic. This month, in collaboration with Quint Careers, we are  participating in Job Action Day!
This month we are discussing helping job seekers in a changing economy. Please feel free to visit the links below to read other members’ posts as well!     +++++


Two years ago, if I’d told you what I’m about to tell you now on how to conduct a job search, you’d look dumbfounded and frustrated. You’d say that conducting a job search like this, while strategic, is not practical and very risky.

Most job seekers turn to want ads in newspapers and online websites as the crux of their job searches. Here are the facts: an online search is akin to going to a bar to find a mate. Most people will be forgotten amid other suitors wearing similar scents and attire.

I’ll tell you right now: ditch the newspapers and job search websites. The current job search is about being cutting-edge and taking risks.

Say no to tradition

I’m telling you to ignore the old advice of going to newspaper and online websites first. They’re for the desperate, the uncreative and the people stuck in the 20th century. They can be useful, but not as a primary place to search for jobs. Most of those jobs often get filled internally or by someone who knows someone either before they are posted or soon after the jobs gets posted. These jobs are better choices for someone who is desperate and needs to apply to as many jobs as soon as possible or they’ll be in financial peril.

With the average job search at a three decade high of over 9 months, save the online and want ads after you’ve worked the blueprint.

The cutting-edge job search blueprint

  1. Scout- The first step is not to search for available jobs, but to search for companies. Pick the most appealing companies to you. These should be the companies you want to work for.
  2. Sort- Sort your list of companies by letter grade from A to F after you’ve weighed the pros and cons, checked for unlisted openings and scaled the jobs for desirability.
  3. Focus-At this stage, we’ll ignore anything that gets lower than a C on your scale. Focus on the jobs you want. These are the jobs where you should invest the most time, resources and creativity. Start with your A companies and then go to B companies after following the other steps.
  4. Research- You’ve already scouted the companies, now is the time for the research. Learn about the areas they need to improve and where they’ve had success. This insider information will set you apart in your job search.
  5. Adapt- With the information in hand, adapt your skills and message to how you can help them. Make sure your message shows that you’ve done your homework.
  6. Impress- These companies may or may not be hiring. Either way, your goal is to impress. You’ve spent time on these specific companies for a reason. Treat this like a first date. Start with a phone call then send your package. Wait and deliver a friendly call back. During these calls, establish a rapport so you can call back in a few weeks to keep inquiring about openings and keep your name in the game.

Rather than send out dozens of resumes, you’ve put your best forward with a few jobs. This cutting-edge job search blueprint will first separate you from the mob of online job applicants. The blueprint then puts you in a position to take advantage of opportunities you want. There is no worse feeling than having rushed to take an average job when you could have had your dream job, but you thought they weren’t hiring or limited your job search to only what you and everyone else saw.


Enjoy these other posts by the Career Collective members in support of Job Action Day.


Meg Montford:  Job Action Day: Finding Your “MOJO” After Layoff

Debra Wheatman: Plan B from outer space; or what do you have in case your first plan doesn’t work out?

Heather Mundell: Green Jobs – What They Are and How to Find Them, http://dbcs.typepad.com/lifeatwork/2009/10/green-jobs-what-they-are-and-how-to-find-them.html

Grace Kutney: Securing Your Career While Navigating the Winds of Change http://sweetcareers.blogspot.com/2009/10/securing-your-career-while-navigating.html

Hannah Morgan: Career Sherpa– Why Our Job Search Advice is the Same but Different http://hannahmorgan.typepad.com/hannah_morgan/2009/10/why-our-job-search-advice-is-the-same-but-different.html

Gayle Howard: The Enlightened Jobseeker http://www.theexecutivebrand.com/?p=500

Laurie Berenson: Making lemonade out of lemons: Turn unemployment into entrepreneurship http://blog.sterlingcareerconcepts.com/2009/10/30/making-lemonade-out-of-lemons-turn-unemployment-into-entrepreneurship.aspx

Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter: You Can Thrive In, Not Just Survive, an Economic Slogginghttp://careertrend.wordpress.com/2009/10/30/you-can-thrive-not-just-survive-an-economic-slogging/

Rosalind Joffe: Preparedness: It’s Not Just for Boyscouts http://workingwithchronicillness.com/2009/10/preparedness-its-not-just-for-boy-scouts/

Rosa E. Vargas: Are You Evolving Into The On-Demand Professional of Tomorrow? http://resume-writing.typepad.com/resume_writing_and_job_se/2009/10/furture-careers.html

Dawn Bugni: Your network IS your net worth http://thewritesolution.wordpress.com/2009/10/30/your-network-is-your-net-worth/

Miriam Salpeter: Optimize your job hunt for today’s economy http://www.keppiecareers.com/2009/10/30/optimize-your-job-hunt-for-todays-ecomony/

Barbara Safani: Where the Jobs Are: 2009 and Beyond http://www.careersolvers.com/blog/?p=1301&preview=true

GL Hoffman: The Life of An Entrepreneur: Is It for You? http://blogs.jobdig.com/wwds/2009/10/30/the-life-of-an-entrepreneur-is-it-for-you/

Katharine Hansen: Job Action Day 09: His Resume Savvy Helped New Career Rise from Layoff Ashes http://www.resumesandcoverletters.com/tips_blog/job_action_day_09_his_resume_s.html

Martin Buckland: Job Search–The Key to Securing Your Future Careerhttp://aneliteresume.com/job-search/the-key-to-securing-your-future-career/

Chandlee Bryan: Where the Green Jobs Are: http://emergingprofessional.typepad.com/the_emerging_professional/2009/11/where-the-green-jobs-are.html

J.T. O’Donnell: Actions that got people jobs in this recession http://www.careerealism.com/4-actions-that-got-people-jobs-in-this-recession/

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Capital - Washington D.C.

Recently, I was at the Career Directors International Empowerment Summit in Orlando, Florida.

While I learned lots of interesting things, probably one of the most surprising for me was the talk on Federal Jobs.

Barb Adams, the President & CEO of CareerPro Global Inc., taught us what agencies were hiring  and how the Obama Administration is growing government. There are plans to expand services for many agencies and fund new programs including expansion of of the FDIC and SEC. There are thousands of jobs available for financial, lending and banking job seekers.  Even more at the highest levels of government that are looking for CEO, CIO, & CFOs. You can find these jobs at www.usajobs.com

Here are some tips you need to know that I learned from CareerPro Global:

  • The government will be hiring over 293,000 mission-critical jobs in the next two years in over 2,000 different departments, agencies and career fields. (Woot!)
  • More than 40% of the 1.6 current federal employees will retire within the next 5 years. (hint: thousands of open jobs)
  • Thanks to the Obama Administration and the Stimulus Plan, more federal positions are opening every day to manage grants and contracts associated with these projects.
  • Obama Stimulus Plan will create 5 million new green jobs by investing in biofuels and fuel infrastructure, manufacturing new technology, and green technologies.
  • Department of Defense has 3,000 open jobs for Admin positions and 1,000 for IT (cyber defense and security).

According to Barb, the government is looking for “new blood” and are hiring new employees at the Upper-Level grades starting at GS-11 and above. What’s more, the SES is looking for new leadership outside of government walls with strong core executive competencies. According to Obama’s budget, it will increase the number of civilian employees in the Executive Branch to more than 2 million workers— for the first time since President Clinton took office in 1992.

Lastly, did you know that federal jobs will pay up to $60,000 in student loans?

What are you waiting for? Go here to find the job and go here to have CareerProGlobal write your KSA!

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Hello. I am back from being GONE. And when I say ‘gone’ I mean at a conference.

THE conference.

Career Directors International’s Summit 2009. It was fabulous. To top off a weekend of learning, networking, fun and enormous amounts of food, the setting was beautiful.

And of course, as soon as I returned to Michigan, the cold I was trying to hide from attacked me full force and I have been miserable and whiny succumbed. I usually never get sick, so I have been very unhappy that my body caved. THAT is why I haven’t blogged in what feels like months. I miss my blog and you, dear readers.

Anyway, that is where I’ve been. Now, where was I? Oh yeah. The flight.

I haven’t flown in years, 13 in fact (yes, I know), so I was a bit, um, nervous. Needless to say, the Bloody Mary’s did nothing to quell my churning stomach, rapidly beating heart and seriously scary thoughts. I used to like flying, but I guess time and too many plane crash movies did me in. I am so grateful to my seatmate, travel companion, and lovely sister, who flew with me and did not mind when I clung to her arm, closed my eyes, and did deep breathing exercises to keep from vomiting/ screaming worrying.

The Summit.

First, I just have to say… the conference center was breathtaking. Laura DeCarlo (President of CDI, for those of you who just landed on planet Earth) and her very cool husband, Chris, picked this place out (nice job, guys!). This was one of the first views I had to stop and capture on film:


Isn’t it beautiful? Remember, I’m from Michigan. Palm trees and waterfalls aren’t anything I experience that often.

Look at this one…



I met so many wonderful people. Talented, strategic, and creative resume writers and career coaches. I met writers whose work I have admired for years. I met a writer who just launched her resume business this year. I met a writer who specialized in writing resumes for police and firemen. I also met a career coach who specialized in career, interview and education coaching for “moms & dads, teens & grads”. How cool is that?

As a bonus, I got to meet folks who I tweet with including the fabulous @resume_writer (a.k.a. August Cohen), executive branding queen @ceocoach (a.k.a. Deb Dib), web 2.0 and expert resume writer @barbarasafani (as herself), witty @jasonalba (as himself), and fun @LauraLabovich (as herself).


I was fortunate to sit at the conference table with Laurie Berenson, Kris Plantrich, Deb James, and Dee Duff (my cohorts from the Detroit Women for Hire/GMA Career Fair in May). We had a great time together. What an interesting group of people. I felt so blessed to be there among our industry’s best of the best.

(August Cohen & Kris Plantrich)


(From L to R)

Karen Smith-Hanney, Kris Plantrich, Laura Drew, Laurie Berenson, Me (in brown), and Dee Duff.



Lastly, it wouldn’t be right to end this post without posting pics of the lunch desserts. They were just… incredible. Yes, it was tough eating these delectable delights (lying), but I managed to do it, hardly leaving a trace of their presence. WHY did I take these pics? See for yourself (cake-aholics cover your eyes):




In my next few posts, I will discuss what we learned during the conference.. it wasn’t all delicious food and steel drums. I brought back lots of new information and topics to discuss, so stay tuned!

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confusedmanSocial networking has become deeply rooted in the vast majority of everyday life. People use it for entertainment, communication and now, increasingly more for work. Yet, there are  still many people who don’t want to either invest the time or don’t know how to set up profiles and use these different sites. It is not a passing fad that will be gone in a few months—it’s here to stay, so why not make the most of it?

Initially it may seem absurd, but social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook are actually an ideal way to take the employee screening process a step forward. It is a way to get a glimpse into the lives of employee’s or potential employee’s lives. These personal pages are often rife with information. Just note that employers using social networking sites as a screening tool must be cautious. This technique is fairly new, and the legal issues surrounding it are evolving slowly. Until the legal rules regarding this practice are solidified, it is definitely always wise to err on the side of caution.

To stay legal while using networking sites and personal blogs for screening, it is mandatory that the business stay in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA. This act does not prohibit this type of screening, but is does require the employer to disclose to the employee or potential employee when information gathering using this method results in a negative employment decision.

Creating a set of company rules regarding social network screening is also very necessary. It will give those with the power to hire and fire something concrete to go by. If not, it will be very hard to keep all actions legal. It is also highly recommended that this person not be the one doing the research. This information needs to be gathered, and any non relevant data should be censored, as is does not pertain to the business. These words of caution should not be a deterrent from using this method. As long as the employer stays smart about it, social network screening is an invaluable tool.

Social networking can also be used to create an online presence for a company. It is not an uncommon practice for businesses to have their own page on popular networking sites. Blogs and Vlogs (video blogs) are also very common. It is a great way to communicate with Internet savvy customers. As this customer base is likely online as much as possible, an easy way to interject your business into their lives is through what they love: social activities on the Internet.

Use social sites such as MySpace to create a page for your business. It is a great promotional tool. Give your customers, both current and potential, an inside glimpse into your business’ world. Let them meet the people behind the scenes. Done correctly, this technique will bring a contemporary vibe to your company. Drive customers to your site offering promotions to those who choose to be your online “friend.” It creates a type of personal relationship with the customer. Into day’s market, an online presence is expected.

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Editors Note:  Here is another fantastic article from Jack Canfield, author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul”, and America’s leading Success Coach.

I love this article. It aligns with my own personal belief that we CHOOSE our lives. We CHOOSE our responses to things. We CHOOSE the outcome. Sort of like ‘is the glass half full or half empty?’. It’s a matter of choice. Mine is half full. We can choose to change our thoughts and that will change the outcome of any situation. Don’t sit idly by and say, ‘my life takes control of me, I have no choice’.. no, YOU get to choose to take control of your life or any situation. Make YOURSELF happy. Align your thoughts with how you want the situation to turn out. Watch your life go smoothly and exactly how you want it to. It’s not rocket science. It’s just a matter of choice.

by Jack Canfield               

In today’s economic times, when everywhere you look there’s a rumbling of great uncertainty, I think we should all take a pause (and a deep breath) to think about our lives.

Are we moving in the direction we want to be? When things happen in the world that seem so far beyond our individual control, it can feel unsettling. And even though we think we are the masters of our own success, watching the news these days can chip away at our beliefs.

Even in tough economic times, you get to decide how to respond to certain conditions, opportunities, and outcomes—both good and bad.

While I don’t claim to be an economist, I do know one important fact. The economy is the same for everyone, it’s how you respond to it that determines how you feel about it.

It’s yet another example of what I’ve been teaching for years. . .

E + R = O
(Events + Responses = Outcome)

The basic idea is that every outcome you experience in life (whether it’s success or failure, wealth or poverty, wellness or illness, intimacy or estrangement, joy or frustration) is the result of how you have responded to an earlier event (or events) in your life.

If you don’t like the outcomes you are currently experiencing, there are two basic choices you can make:

Choice #1: You can blame the event (E) for your lack of results (O).

In other words, you can blame the economy, the weather, the lack of money, lack of education, racism, gender bias, the current administration in Washington, your wife or husband, your boss’s attitude, the lack of support, and so on.

No doubt all these factors exist, but if they were the deciding factor, nobody would ever succeed.

For every reason it’s not possible, there are hundreds of people who have faced the same circumstances and have succeeded.

It’s not the external conditions and circumstances that stop us — it’s us!

We think limiting thoughts and engage in self-defeating behaviors. We defend our self-destructive habits (such as drinking and smoking) with indefensible logic.

We ignore useful feedback, fail to continuously educate ourselves and learn new skills, waste time on the trivial aspects of our lives, engage in idle gossip, eat unhealthy food, fail to exercise, spend more than we make, fail to tell the truth, don’t ask for what we want, and then wonder why our lives aren’t working.

Choice #2: You can instead simply change your responses (R) to the events (E) until you get the outcomes (O) you want.

You can change your thinking, change your communication, change the pictures you hold in your head (your images of the world) and you can change your behavior (the things you do.) That’s all you really have any control over anyway.

Unfortunately, most of us are so engrained in our habits that we never change our behavior.

We get stuck in our conditioned responses-to our spouses and children, to our colleagues at work, to our customers and our clients, to our students, and to the world at large.
You have to gain control of your thoughts, your images, your dreams and daydreams, and your behavior.

Everything you think, say, and do needs to become intentional and aligned with your purpose, your values, and your goals.

If you don’t like your outcomes, change your responses!

Here’s an example of how this works…

Do you remember the Northridge earthquake in 1994? I do! I lived through it in Los Angeles.

Two days later I watched as CNN interviewed people commuting to work. The earthquake had damaged one of the main freeways leading into the city. Traffic was at a standstill, and what was normally a 1-hour drive had become a 2-3 hour drive.

The CNN reporter knocked on the window of one of the cars stuck in traffic and asked the driver how he was doing.

He responded, angrily, “I hate California. First there were fires, then floods, and now an earthquake! No matter what time I leave in the morning, I’m late for work. I can’t believe it!”

Then the Reporter knocked on the window of the car behind him and asked the driver the same question. This driver was all smiles.

He replied “It’s no problem. I left my house at five am. I don’t think under the circumstances my boss can ask for more than that. I have lots of music and Spanish-language tapes with me. I’ve got my cell phone. Coffee in a thermos, my lunch-I even have a book to read. I’m fine.”

Now, if the earthquake or the traffic were really the deciding variables, then everyone should have been angry. But everyone wasn’t.

It was their individual response to the traffic that gave them their particular outcome. It was thinking negative thoughts or positive thoughts, leaving the house prepared or leaving the house unprepared that made the difference. It was all a matter of attitude and behavior that created their completely different experiences.

If we all experience the same EVENT, the OUTCOME you get will be totally dependent upon your RESPONSE to the situation.

If you want to take control of how you respond to life, you’ll start noticing that your outcomes will be more along the lines of what you have always hoped.

Remember, you control your destiny so make it a fantastic one!

© 2009 Jack Canfield

* * *

Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com

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5 Executive Job BoardsHappy smiling businesswoman with computer at office

If you’re an executive searching for a job, you know how difficult the job search is. You can’t just follow the same rules and patterns that most sites recommend for job searches. Additionally, most sites don’t gear their writing or even dedicate a portion of it to covering what executives need to do to get a job.

When executives search for a job, they don’t look at career web sites. If you’re an executive, knowing where to go can be just as important as who you know. Besides knowing the right people, when it comes to executives seeking to find a job, there is one other place to look:  job boards.

Job boards get a bad rap. I’m one of the many career folks who says, ‘don’t rely on using just job boards to find your next job’. Job search requires a combination of techniques, however, I think using the right job boards can greatly enhance your chance of getting the next job.
What is a job board?

If you’re an executive who climbed the ladder without job boards, congratulations. If you’re an executive needing to get back on the ladder, well welcome to the job board circus. A job board is an online listing where companies seek out top tier candidates. Companies in the know ignore mainstream job sites so they can avoid being inundated with hundreds and even thousands of applications from mid-level candidates who simply don’t have the experience and skill set to be an executive.
In short, a job board is similar to those mainstream sites in that they list executive jobs. They offer the same search and filter features, but only accept jobs for companies seeking executives. It weeds out the riff raff, shall we say.
The second, and most unfortunate, way the job board weeds out non-executives is by a fee. They understand that because there are fewer jobs posted, the payment for access to those jobs must come from the applicants. Since those applicants are executives, the companies figure they can afford the investment.

Below are a few job boards I like and a couple that seem interesting to me:

      • Execunet: No job board list would be complete without ExecuNet. Around since 1988, ExecuNet caters to executives making over $100,000 each year. The service offers resume and networking programs throughout the United States. The site made Forbe’s Best of the Web list and has been featured in many magazines.
      • Netshare: Anyone that knows job boards may not have heard of this company. They are lesser known, but offer many of the same services as the big executive boards. The service is exclusive to executives making in excess of $100,000 per year. Their site also includes features written by or about top-tier executives that could be helpful and inspirational.
          • Executives Only: This company was included primarily because it is great place for mid-levels supervisors to make the leap into executive status. The reason is the service caters to executives earning over $70,000 annually. The site focuses on providing the educational tools to land the job, as much as finding the job.
            • Rite Site: This board takes a different approach. The services offers the same networking and resume services as other boards. In addition, they select certain companies of a high reputation to guarantee the executive jobs being sought are actually available and credible since some top-tier companies post jobs that they, in reality, do not intend to fill. That’s a key component of their operation, but a minor feature, which is why they barely cracked this list of  job boards.
            • Executives Network: The company provides the ideal blend of in-person and Internet job search opportunity. The company connects users with other executives in the job field both online and in person. The group offers meetings in most major cities across the nation. The job is primarily for top-tier executives such as CEOs, CFOs and Vice Presidents.

              If you know of any other executive job boards, let me know. I’d love to hear!

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              lying on a resumeIn 2007, Marilee Jones, called the “most celebrated Admissions Dean in America” resigned from MIT — the reason? A lie on her 1979 job application, fabricating several degrees.

              In 2006, David Edmondson stepped down as Radio Shack’s CEO, after he was caught lying about his academic record —again, claiming degrees that he didn’t earn.

              Lying on one’s resume can provide rewards unless one is caught, and then the fall-out can be enormous.

              Due, perhaps, to the recent rise in applicant lines, more applicants are being caught lying. Experts estimate that as the economy continues to plummet, the numbers of those lying on job applications will increase. Various sources state that between one-third and one-half of all job applicants lie on their applications, even though in some states, it’s illegal.

              And, moreover, the employer of a person caught lying on her or her application can potentially sue the person for losses and expenses incurred.

              Just ask Richard Clark about his employment at Coopers Lybrand consulting agency in Canada. He lost his employers several clients when they found out he didn’t have any of his three claimed degrees. He paid for his mistake in cash!

              According to a study done by Careerbuilder.com, almost all managers who catch a potential hire lying on his resume will automatically cross him off their list of applicants. Nearly half will automatically dismiss him even after he is hired, should such a lie come to light.

              And the potential ramifications are even greater than that — once fired for lying on your resume, do you list that job on your resume and have your new boss call and find out the truth, or do you leave it off and just keep lying, hoping that you’re not caught again? It’s a vicious cycle.

              More and more managers are doing background checks on employees, so common lies, like claiming a degree that you didn’t earn or inflating your previous title, are more likely to get caught. Another common lie, changing dates to hide gaps in employment, is especially easy to catch.

              And the lies aren’t just from the little people. Executives and other high profile personalities are getting caught, too. Laura Callahan lost her senior position in the Department of Homeland Security when her diploma was shown to be a fake in 2004. Experts state that lies about education are often early resume lies that are carried on throughout a career.

              In fact, resume-padding has become so popular, not only are there sites dedicated to resume lies, but there are also entities referred to as “degree mills” and “diploma mills” to further aid pretenders in their goals.

              So-called “diploma mills” fabricate degrees from real colleges, while “degree mills” refer to colleges that are not accredited (though they may claim to be) and require either no, or substandard, work.

              Even a small exaggeration, such as stating that one has already earned a degree that is still a few months away, can be grounds for automatic dismissal. Is it really worth the risk?

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