THIS Week’s Workshop: Implementing Your Personal Marketing Plan… Thursday, September 3rd 8:45 AM @ The Egg and I Restaurant in Addison

WAVE I

You’ve already begun to implement your PMP when you connected with your intended references back in Step 4.  Your first efforts are rightly aimed at creating visibility for your candidacy, without causing premature rejection.  You may also be using this first wave to settle on your positioning and targeting (Step 2, leading to Step 3)… If you are truly committed to finding your next ideal employment, you’ve already dug a little deeper into assessment (Step 1) of your personality, experience, knowledge, and skill sets.

Your First Wave, then, is beginning to ‘get the word out,’ reconnecting with established contacts, and beginning to develop new contacts… both without prematurely creating rejection.  Waypoint #3 reminds you to “Always have a next contact to make… for the rest of your career.”  This is both an effective career strategy and an efficient job search tactic!

The by-product of a dynamic first wave is the identification of actual job leads… you may even be invited to forward your resume to influential people… and you’ll certainly begin to secure referrals to develop your personal contact network…

Networking is a contact sport

The real value in your first wave is gaining confidence in your job search manner, more comfort in telephone work… KNOWING that, YES You CAN take the chill out of cold calls down the line!


Thursday September 3rd we will dissect an efficient job search in REAL TIME, drawing on the actual experiences of our participants.  This session also serves as a good overview of the first nine steps of our 12 Step Approach.


WAVE II

Your first wave of activity will actually create the impatence for turning the opportunities you identify into INTERVIEWS.  Further, having successfully developed visibility in the marketplace, you will now fold in your Internet-based search for open opportunities to supplement your embrace of the OTHER Job Market!

WAVE III

You’ve broken the mysterious “code” of the traditional marketplace… You’ve taught yourself the value of efficient networking.  It IS a skill that can me practiced and mastered.  In your third wave, you’ll be combining your best practices, discovered in the first two waves.  You can become your own best coach!

Who Should Attend?

  1. Anyone who wants to create a strategic plan for the rest of their working life… job changes will occur!
  2. Job seekers who find themselves in a rut…rapidly crashing into the black hole of depression
  3. Any job seeker looking to create focus within their search efforts
  4. Any professional to give substance to their next steps
  5. Newcomers to DFWCareerpilot… including tire-kickers

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THIS Week’s Session: A LinkedIn Primer… 8:45 AM On Thursday, August 27th at The Egg and I Restaurant in Addison

Your Career Compass The Careerpilot’s high TECH-HIGH TOUCH philosophy comes into play with the explosive growth of business professionals using social networks to build relationships, meet new contacts, and market themselves.  While the Internet provides many choices, diving into the virtual meet-and-greet can represent a real challenge.  Which one is worthy of your start-up investment: learning curve time and actual ROI of your efforts…

Where to begin? The Careerpilot encourages a choice that reasonably assures one’s confidentiality, has a multitude of useful applications, and can serve as your focal point of networking decisions. A terrific launching site for such an effort is LinkedIn. Developed specifically for business, the site doesn’t run the risk of blurring your professional life with your private one; and it serves virtually every industry and profession.

Joining a network like LinkedIn is simple, but turning it into a powerful networking tool takes a bit of savvy…However, it can be accomplished  without HIGH TECH, social-networking anxiety.


Thursday, August 27th… A LinkedIn PRIMER (back by popular demand!)


In this week’s session we will explore LinkedIn in general, getting down to the business of developing a high-impact Profile… Your TASK#1  … 

Pilot Onboard While your page will detail your work history, don’t assume you can copy and paste your resume and be done with it. Your profile page should reflect your professional interests, passions, and ambitions at this point in your career.  It becomes the core of this high tech-high TOUCH, written collateral.

As you proceed, keep your goal in mind…

  • Do you want to have that fully optimized, SEO-centric magnet that attracts interested parties TO you?…Let’s call this PULL Marketing  -OR-
  • Do you want that terrific, user-friendly home page and profile that is easy for a reader to navigate?… Let’s call this PUSH Marketing  -OR-
  • Do you want your profile and homepage to be appealing to both?

A checklist of things to include:

  1. A picture. It’s been said that, “People do business with people.”
  2. A specific and high impact “headline” with keywords relevant to your industry… your headline follows you around through several of the interactive applications.
  3. Preferred contact method and data… At the bottom of your profile, you can let people know how you want to be contacted — through LinkedIn, by e-mail, or over the phone.
  4. Desired information, networking “targets… What you want to be contacted about… At the bottom of your profile, you can select interests like reference requests, consulting offers, or career opportunities. Be sure to update your profile to stay in synch with your career.

…and don’t overlook the “power” of recommendations… start thinking of who you might want to encourage to endorse you and your services.  Job seekers: your references are a great start to a powerful, influential network!

You’ll want to think ahead about two areas:

POSITIONING Yourself

Just like on a GREAT RESUME, directly underneath your name will be a short headline of four or five words. More than anything else in your profile, these words are how people find and define you. Are you seeking to connect mainly with others in your field and industry? Then a simple, title-oriented headline like “Senior Product Development Director at The XYX Corporation” is best.

Are you seeking to branch out into other areas? “Leader of High-Performing Engineering Projects” alerts others quickly to the value you would bring to an organization. Regardless of how you phrase your headline, make sure to use keywords that will help others find you.

… BE CLEAR on What You’ve Done, and What You Want to Do…

Whether you are an active job seeker, or simply using LinkedIn to extend the reach of your personal marketing plan, POSITIONING yourself clearly is the epicenter of efficient networking… just as if you were beginning to launch an active JOB search to implement your Personal Marketing Plan!

When listing your past job experiences, use verbs as much as possible. Show what you’re passionate about, and what you’ve learned from each job. Consider listing “non-jobs” you’ve done, like chairing a conference or leading a panel.

THIS WEEK’s Workshop: Developing Your Personal Marketing Plan… Thursday, August 20th, 8:45 AM @ The Egg and I Restaurant in Addison

Your Career CompassNETWORKING

Building a network is a vital part of today’s strategic career development. Each planned contact can lead to others if you ask the right questions and explore the possibilities.  Networking is a two-way street, sometimes with you, the information seeker, being able to provide information to the same person from whom you are seeking it, and at other times being a source of information to other people. In order to get information from others, we must be a good source of information. All it takes is being willing to share information, ideas and resources.  It’s the INTER-ACTIVE, front-end of relationship building.


On Thursday, August 20th, we will be taking a long look at developing an effective PLAN… Your Personal Marketing Plan.  Our focus is on effective time management to create focus and efficiency in job search efforts.


To put it another way, “What goes around, comes around.”  A network is not something you establish overnight. It requires work and time, but the rewards are incalculable.

Pilot Onboard  If employed, be aware of confidentiality issues and scale down your efforts accordingly (There is an excellent article inside of LinkedIn: Conducting a STEALTH Job Search).  If you are unemployed and in active job search mode, and do not have a good network already in place, there are several ways you can begin to build one.

  1. Start with people you know from previous employment.    However, most jobs are not found at the first level of networking.  In fact, very few jobs are found simply by calling the people you know.
  2. Constantly build the layers of your network.  Even at the second level, the number of job openings you will find is still modest. Networking does not usually start to pay off until about the third level, and sometimes even beyond that.
  3. Attend professional association meetings and network.   Most of us probably work in a line of work that has a national professional association to which we could belong, and most of these associations have local chapters.Get the Most From Networking…

Remember TIME MANAGEMENT…

Allow for regular time in LinkedIn in order to direct and focus your networking activity.

Make networking calls in a block of time.  Each call is more comfortable than the one before. Do not call people and ask them if they have any openings at their company… This is almost always totally non-productive.

Be sure to ask the person if they have a minute to talk to you, and when finished talking thank them for their time.

Who Should Attend this value-packed Workshop?

  1. Anyone who wants to create a strategic plan for the rest of their working life… job changes will occur!
  2. Job seekers who find themselves in a rut…rapidly crashing into the black hole of depression
  3. Any job seeker looking to create focus within their search efforts
  4. Any professional to give substance to their next steps
  5. Newcomers to DFWCareerpilot… including tire-kickers

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THIS WEEK’s Event: In-sync Personal Marketing Materials, 8:45 AM at The Egg and I Restaurant in Addison

The implementation of a well-thought out, Personal Marketing Plan, has always been built around productive and pro-active networking toward your next appropriate employment…getting your message out to potential employers!  Most of us refer to this activity as a job search. To be efficient and to avoid confusion in the marketplace, it is important to develop your message around those keywords that define your candidacy… your communication strategy.

Further, it is important to be consistent and regular in delivering your message to the marketplace, always BEST in a “target rich” environment.  Because you will be using multiple distribution approaches for your message, it becomes important to assure that those approaches are in-sync with each other.  In other words, your written collateral materials (resume, bio, a networking profile, and all job search correspondence–including email), your verbal collaterals (all permutations of a well-thought out 2 minute commercial, elevator pitch, qualification statement, and self-introduction), AND your digital “footprint” (social media branding) need to be developed using the same strategies.

This may seem overwhelming to some job seekers, especially those attempting to be everything to everybody.  Rather, it simplifies the process, making it easier to create “top of mind awareness” with potential employers.  These communication strategies are actually built on 3rd Grade Grammar!  Read on…

(Key)Words, like “problem solving”… every professional is a problem-solver!

Phrases, like “practical problem solving” (adding an adjective that fits you) or “solving problems professionally” (adding an adverb that fits you) allow you to add your uniqueness to your message.

Sentences, like the accomplishment bullets of your professional experience, allow you to showcase your experience, supporting your ability to perform to an employers expectations.  When this ‘proof’ is well designed, it can trigger the right questions to set up your use of…

Paragraph(s), like your best W.A.R. stories to support your candidacy and address behavioral questions.

Words that build phrases, sprinkled in to your message within your accomplishment sentences, create your opportunity to get your message across to potential employers!   And that, my friends, we all learned in 3rd grade grammar!  When applied through your communication strategies, you, too, can become an effective job seeker!

What Makes a Resume GREAT?

There is no “template” or formatting of a perfect resume.

Let that set in for a moment.


Next week, Thursday, August 13th, DFWCareerpilot will explore the development of in-sync Personal Marketing ‘collateral materials,’ most significantly the epicenter called your resume.


Most jobseekers have experienced the Internet’s ‘black hole’ in resume reception and feedback.  Sure, you could listen to any number of ‘experts’ on making it through the digital screening process of today’s world of recruitment…OR you can accept the fact that a resume that is requested by a real human being is viewed and acted upon more often.


FACT: Your best ‘unique identifier’ for any database your resume has found its way to is your name and contact information… it helps an employer find YOU, as opposed to anyone who FITs their screening profile (keyword match…a ‘hit’).  So, THE most effective strategy of being found and acted upon is to be personally known within an organization’s recruitment circle.  Simple solution?  Network your way to an opportunity before applying for it!


The point being, you’re the one who needs to decide if your résumé is ready to go. Do you want to drive yourself nuts by having a slew of people give you their “expert” advice, revising your résumé twenty times over? Or do you want to take your destiny into your own hands? Now, there are certain rules on writing effective résumés that you should heed in no particular order. These are ten sure things that need to be in place to offer you the best chance of success…in BOTH the digital world AND the ‘REAL world’ of recruitment.

1. Quantifiable results are a must. Employers are not interested in a grocery list of responsibilities (strategic) or duties (tactical); they’re drawn to evidence of what you’ve actually DONE. It’s always stronger to incorporate significant accomplishments that are quantified with numbers, dollars, and percentages.

2. Closely related to #1… Please no clichés or unsubstantiated adaptive skills. The new rule is to show rather than tell. Yes, you may be innovative; but what makes you innovative? Did you develop a program for inner-city youth that promoted a cooperative environment, reducing violent crime by 50%? If so, state it in your profile as such.

3. Tailor your résumé to each job, when possible. Employers don’t want a one-fits-all résumé that doesn’t address their needs or follow the job description. It’s insulting… Start with your positioning statement,’ clearly specified, including keywords that an employer might use to “find” you.

4. Your résumé needs to show relevance. Employers are interested in the past 10 or 15 years of your work history; in some cases less. Age discrimination may also be a concern, so don’t show all 25-30 years of your work life with equal use of vertical space. Following your Positioning Statement, a ‘qualification summary‘ can help the reader quickly determine interest in your ability to meet their needs.  In this manner, your ‘professional experience’ can be written to show that you not only meet their screening requirements, but can perform to their true expectations of performance.

5. Keywords are essential for certain occupations that are technical, or functionally specific in nature. They’re the difference between being found at the top of the list or not at all. Again, you simply must have your keywords peppered throughout their résumé.

6. Size matters. The general rule is two pages are appropriate providing you have the experience and accomplishments to back it up. More than two pages requires extensive experience. In some cases a one-page résumé will do the job. Your use of the available ‘vertical space’ is the key.

7. No employer cares what you want. That’s right; employers care about what they want and need. If you happen to care what they want and can solve their problems and make them look good, they’ll love you. So drop the meaningless objective statement that generally reads, “Seeking a position in a progressive company where I can utilize my experience and skill to grow along with the organization.”

8. Make it easy to read. Your résumé should not only be visually appealing, it should be visually readable. Employers who read hundreds of résumé s will glance at them for as few as 10-15 seconds before making their YES-no–Maybe determination… before deciding to read them at length. Make your résumé scannable by writing shorter word blocks, three to four lines at most. Keep your bullets flush left… and no excessive graphics/fonts.

9. Make sure your accomplishment “bullets” are in-sync with your Qualification SUMMARY.  No excess baggage…everything in your resume should support your candidacy.

10. WOW them. Use WAR stories, told in brief statements in your professional experience section in the form of accomplishments. That’s right, grab their attention with quantified accomplishments early on.

(What did you face)… Volunteered to assume the duties of…

(Actions taken) website development and design, while also excelling at pubic relations,

(Results) resulting in $50,000 in savings for the company.

Such strong statements will entice the reviewer to continue reading. And, as a bonus, will trigger the right questions to keep the conversation in a FITting mode during an interview.

At some point you need to go with what works—a document that will land you interviews. It may not even be a formal resume or CV.  It could be a BIO or a well-written letter of introduction.  I don’t care if it’s written on a napkin and delivered in a Starbucks’ cup (it’s been done). If it’s getting you interviews, go with it.

Why CareerFIT? I just want another job…

The old “round peg in a round role” theory of career planning is dysfunctional.  In the typical professional environment today, job descriptions are changing faster than ever before to keep up with the challenges of an economy in transition. In every marketplace, there are buyers and sellers.  In the traditional job market, job seekers are the sellers and their potential employers are the buyers.  The commodity is JOBs and the competition is fierce.

In The OTHER Job Market, buyers and sellers hold equal responsibility for the recruitment process.  The commodity is available, productive WORK… When employers have a need for someone to fulfill a specific role, often the most desired candidates are employed individuals with the credentials they seek.  Thus the employer must sell their Company to potential employees in the marketplace in order to attract the best of the lot.  Once identified, they simply select their choice and buy their services.  This is why assessment and objective setting (first two steps of our 12-step process) represent CAREER Strategies, not simply job search tactics.

Seize control of such challenges.   Understand the nature of FIT.  You understand that managing your own career involves three key ingredients:

  1. Confidence in knowing that your career is on the right path and moving forward;
  2. Continuous research and networking leading to awareness of potential “next steps;”
  3. Competency with job-changing skills.

This week, at DFWCareerpilot on Thursday, August 6th, we will address this elusive issue of CareerFIT.  Brian Allen will facilitate our group as we explore the integration of professional skill sets with our personality: Strengths, skills, preferences, interests, aptitudes and values.  We will learn to apply our awareness of self to career-decision-making and setting our communication strategies in our Personal Market Plan.


What is a Good, Career FIT For You? 

To achieve a good “fit” between you and any future opportunity, you have to ask yourself some basic questions about yourself and your prospective employers. The fit depends on how well the jobs meets your needs and how well your skills and abilities meet the employer’s needs. The employer will make a decision and extend an offer to you: now it is time for you to make your decision.

Write out the factors that are important to you in a job… actually write out your list.  During your career transition, learn the value of setting your offer criteria, a key element of your Personal Market Plan:

  1. Creates an objective target for your efforts ahead;
  2. Gives you a meaningful set of questions to ask during research and networking;
  3. Provides an objective way to analyze and react to offers as they occur.

To manage your career wisely has you extending the same concept.  Consider some of the factors listed below … Examine each factor through the questions listed – and then ask “does this opportunity fit me?”

Work Requirements and Expectations: What is the next  appropriate work for you? Is the work process or project oriented?  If it’s process oriented, are the requirements and expectations clear?  What kinds of projects will you work on? Will you work on one project at a time, or multiple projects? Are the projects long term or short term? Will you work on a project long enough to see the end result? Is it important to you to be able to see the project as a whole, including the result? Or will you be content to do the work without a big picture understanding?

Work Environment: Will the work space be a source of comfort and confidence for you? How formal or informal is the environment? Hectic, fast paced? Will you have the opportunity to have flex time, or to tele-commute? How many hours a week does the employer expect you to work? Will you have the freedom to wear casual clothes? What is a typical day like at the company you are considering?  Would they allow a “trial visit” or at least a site visit?

Career Path: Is there a defined succession plan? What position(s) can you move to next? How long do new hires generally stay in the same job? How quickly do people get promoted? Are your opportunities for professional development well defined and available to you? Are mentors available?

Training and Personal Development: what kind of training will you get from the employer to do the job? What kind of training will you get to stay current in your area of interest? Are the answers to these two questions different? Does it matter to you if the answers are different?