Career E-News: September 2009 

Monthly E-Zine for People in Career Transition. Written and Published by Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin: "The Career Success Coach" 

In this issue:
Tips for Making Better Connections on LinkedIn
Mastering the Mechanics of Online Job Applications
Stuck, Stalled or Confused in Your Job Search or Career?
Quote of the Month: On "Belief"
Applause - ClappingCareer Success Story of the Month
Ariel Dagan
Tech Success, Inc. 
Ariel participated in one of my Success Teams (a group coaching program) after losing his job as an educator at a synagogue in the South Boston area. After this six-week program, he decided to go full steam ahead with his side business -- Tech Success, Inc. -- to make it his full-time venture, which is on-track to be a multi-million dollar enterprise.
He specializes in helping companies maximize their digital capabilities through social media channels, to help build a larger presence for their businesses.  
Here's what Ariel said about our work together:
"What do Béla Károlyi, Bob Bowman and Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin all have in common? They are career coaches whose clients are like gold medalists. No, Joellyn is not a sports coach, but she can be likened to an Olympics coach. Joellyn works with her clients and helps them in their career choices through a comprehensive, supportive and compassionate training. In helping clients to empower themselves and deepen their self-confidence, Joellyn's clients become champions in their own right."
We'll be expecting great things of you, Ariel!  
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Greetings!                             Joellyn Headshot 2009 
Happy September!  Hope you had a nice Labor Day weekend. The weather in Worcester was lovely the entire weekend - sunny skies, low humidity and no rain!
Here's some encouraging news about the economy: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that as of Tuesday, September 15, the recession of the past year is over. Positive economic data continues to punctuate assertions that the Q3 growth will be anything but lackluster. Read more positive news about the economy at the Good News Economist blog.
LinkedIn has grown to 45 million users, since May 2003. But many people don't know how to maximize this tool's potential. In a recent Boston Globe article, the author interviewed two consultants (one who was on LinkedIn's founding team), who summarize their best tips for making connections, "whether you are looking for a job, trying to generate new business, researching competitors, or simply establishing connections on the site that may help you somewhere down the road."  
On the subject of job search and technology: I know that many people struggle through the confusion of completing online job applications. In my brand-new article: "Mastering the Mechanics of Online Job Applications" I provide a blueprint to help you complete them, quickly and accurately - which also includes a link to a quick tutorial for creating "plain text" résumés.      
Stuck, stalled or confused in your job search or career?
Whether you want to make a career change, re-enter the job market after a long absence, need to get a job after a layoff, invested too much time in an unproductive search and don't know why, or are unclear about what it takes to get the job or career you want -- a Career Action Planning (CAP) Session will help get to the root of your career problem and get you moving in the right direction. 
Here's to your Career Success!
:-) Joellyn 
P.S. A great big "Welcome" to my new subscribers!
BostonGlobeTips for Making Better Connections on LinkedIn
"LinkedIn can be a valuable networking tool - but are you maximizing its potential?"  (Scott Kirsner - Boston Globe)  

Lee Hower knows a thing or two about using LinkedIn. As a venture capitalist at Providence-based Point Judith Capital, Hower often uses the business networking site to check references on entrepreneurs whose companies he is considering as potential investments. Oh, and Hower was also part of the founding team of LinkedIn, reporting directly to the chief executive.   

Still, when Hower met with David Gowel, he admits he learned a few new tips and tricks. Gowel, a former Army Ranger who is also a kind of Jedi knight of LinkedIn, is one of two local consultants who have started offering training sessions to help people discover the site's hidden features and make the most of its more obvious ones.
"LinkedIn is like a Swiss Army knife with a thousand blades,'' Gowel says. "There are lots of intelligent, Internet-savvy people who don't know how to use it.''
I asked Gowel and Patrick O'Malley, a Medford-based consultant and speaker, for their best tips on using the site - whether you are looking for a job, trying to generate new business, researching competitors, or simply establishing connections on the site that may help you somewhere down the road. Here are their top 10 recommendations: 

OnlineJobAppsMastering the Mechanics of Online Job Applications          

by Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin
Applying for jobs has become a complex process, with the advent of the Internet and email. In the past, you would mail or hand-deliver your credentials to targeted employers. Now, you're required to complete online applications and post electronic copies of your résumé and cover letter to company websites and job boards. In theory, technology should make the application process easier; but to many folks, it adds a confusing piece the mix.  
Some Online Applications Are Disguised as "Computer Literacy" Tests. According to a recent article by Jim Pawlak ("Beyond the Three R's," Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Money Section, August 30, 2009), "online applications aren't just 'applications' - they are designed as 'computer literacy' tests."  He says that many companies measure applicants on how long it took them took to finish applications -- completely and accurately.    

Follow these tips, to help you complete applications correctly and quickly, the first time:  
 Scan through the application after you register on the site, so you know exactly what information is required.  It's okay to register first, logout, gather required information, and complete the application later.
 Have copies of your résumé and cover letter open on your computer, for quick posting (upload to the server) or pasting to required sections on the application.
 Make sure you have a strong Internet connection to avoid unplanned "timeouts" which could erase your work. Save your work frequently, as you complete each section.   

4) Use Correct Résumé and Cover Letter Formatting
The requirements for online applications vary for each company, especially when you have to upload your résumé and cover letter. Use these guidelines to translate the format requirements from website instructions:
Attach / Upload your résumé and cover letterThis means that the only acceptable formats are Microsoft Word or PDF (Sorry, WordPerfect of Microsoft Works users). Each company or job board may stipulate limitations about how many kilobytes for MS Word documents or megabytes for PDF documents, so check your document properties before you upload; otherwise your documents will be rejected by the server. When creating PDF documents, don't use security features; otherwise, your documents can be opened, but not saved.      
Copy and paste your résumé and cover letter: These instructions provide a box to copy and paste documents. Don't copy and paste Word documents here, because they'll be stripped of all formatting. Use a plain text format (with line breaks) so your documents will be visible within the screen frame, instead of having lines wrapping beyond the margins.  
Create an online résumé: This means you'll be copying and pasting sections of your résumé (and/or cover letter) into sections specified by the website.  What you need here is a plain text format (without line breaks)
(Here's quick tutorial for creating Plain Text résumés...)   
If you've done everything correctly, you'll receive a confirmation email, tell you your information was received by the company. Then, you can either sit tight until hearing back from the company -- or find an inside contact to check the status of your application. I'll vote for the latter, because it's the squeaky wheel which nearly always gets the most attention!  
 ©  2009  All Rights Reserved.
CAPSessionStuck, Stalled or Confused in Your Job Search? New Question MarkCareer Change Stuck in Neutral?
Whatever career problem you may be  struggling with -- whether you want to make a career change, re-enter the job market after a long absence, need to get a job after a layoff, invested too much time in an unproductive search and don't know why, or are unclear about your career direction -- a Career Action Planning (CAP) Session will get to the root of your career problem and get you moving in the right direction. 
In this two-hour, strategic breakthrough consultation, you and I will talk about your work situation, your job search, and whatever seems to be making you feel stuck or stalled. We'll even discuss your career history from your early decision-making days to the present, to identify patterns and themes which stand out.
I'll listen, ask important questions, and provide you with feedback:
(1) What's working: Career decisions / job search strategies which are on the right track;
(2) What's standing in your way: The reason(s) why you're stuck, stalled or confused;
(3) Next steps:
Initial action plan steps to land your ideal career position.
Then, you can decide if you want to continue working with me or otherwise. Either way, you'll finish the session with a sense of "Aha! Now I know what I need to do!"  plus the beginnings of a strategy to help you move forward.    
Investment:  $175.00.  This includes:
  • MP3 recording of the session, plus a written summary.
  • 40-page e-book: "The 12 Biggest Mistakes Job Hunters and Career Changers Make -- and How to Avoid Them."
  • 45-minute follow-up session (no additional charge)
Still skeptical?  Here's what one client said:
"After going through your Career Action Planning (CAP) Session I quickly realized that you were someone that I felt comfortable with and would tell me the truth. Together we uncovered my talents so that I could have fun at work again. After completing your coaching program, I started my own business and am having the time of my life! 
Visit my website to learn more or contact me to schedule this single session. (Note: this session is conducted by telephone).
Quote of the Month: On "Belief"
New Q
 "Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can." -- Richard Bach


© 2009 The Career Success Coach

 All rights reserved.