June Was Our Outdoor Month

June was certainly an outdoor month for me.

I ran the Inaugural 13.1 in Boston, which was a real doozie.  There are not many times in your life when you can say that you were part of a “first ever” so I was glad that I ran the race, even though I was cursing myself about half way through.

I have also taken part in two runs with City Sports Boston run club and finally spent some time at Revere beach getting some sun!

All of this success in running and lack thereof in terms of finding a job is making me wonder if I should somehow make running a big part of my job search and focus on securing a place for myself in an apparel company.  But…that’s easier said than done seeing as I have applied to such companies at least a dozen times…time will tell what my true calling is.

I wanted to round out this month with some free ways to spend your time outdoors around Boston.

* Did you know you could climb the Bunker Hill Monument for free?

* Visit Best Cellars on Boylston street for a free wine tasting.

* Tour the Sam Adams brewery.

* Get some culture during Museum of Fine Arts’ free days. There is one coming up at the end of July!

And don’t forget about some truly outdoor activities:

* Visit a park for free by getting a day pass at a participating library.

* Visit Honey Pot Hill Orchards when it opens up on the 13th of July.

* Join lululemon for a Zumba class at Legacy Place.

Have a wonderful day and…what did you do today?

Overcoming Obstacles

As we continue our national tour I wanted to check out what the Atlanta area newspapers had to offer in terms of advice to their local job seekers.

After reading a few articles, I settled on one titled, “How to Overcome 7 Obstacles to a Job Search.”  My personal obstacle is that while re-reading my new resume I noticed that I had stuck in an extra word where it didn’t belong.  I am so annoyed at this!  I guess that’s what an extra pair of eyes is for.  After reading your own resume so many times you begin to miss things as you skim over the content you put together.

Having said that, lets look at some other obstacles we may face and how to overcome them.

1. Having No Plan of Attack: You need to set some short term goals of what you plan to accomplish.  Make a list of when you want to finish your resume by, followed by a cover letter and a goal for how many jobs you will apply to.

2. Lacking Commitment: After you’ve set some goals for yourself you need to commit to these goals!

3. Lacking Structure: This piece of advice goes along with “Having No Plan of Attack.”  If there is no structure or plan of attack you will be working on a million different things and won’t get any of them right.

4. Becoming Overwhelmed: Once things begin to happen it’s easy to get overwhelmed.  It’s also easy to get overwhelmed when things aren’t going your way.  You begin doubting your skills and if you will ever find a job.  Just let these feelings fade and then get back on the horse and perhaps plan a new plan of attack.

5. Losing Momentum: Yet again, it’s easy to lose momentum if nothing is happening…for example during the summer slowdown.  Don’t let this phase you.  Keep applying to jobs!  It’s better to have your name out there in more places rather than less.

6. Getting Distracted: It’s also easy to get distracted with everything else that happens in life.  If you find a part time job or spend more time on errands then the job search gets put on the back burner.  Don’t let this happen! In order to find a job, you first have to apply to it!

7. Losing Confidence: Don’t get discouraged.  Not everything will always go your way.  It’s all about getting over some of the rejections you will face.  This is a difficult time and you will hear the word “no” a lot more often than the word “yes.”

Now go out and get ’em!

What did you do today?

Backdoor Candidates

Last week I wrote about Dumming Down your resume…so tonight I’d like to visit the topic of getting around having an “overqualified” resume.

I decided to search the New York Times and see what kind of tips were out there for those in a slightly different geographical area.  Well, I was happy that I was finally able to find a rosier outlook for those of us who are looking for work but are in the middle bracket…between entry level and senior management.

What the “How an Overqualified Job Candidate Clears the Hiring Hurdles” article talks about is networking and getting past HR.

It’s unfortunate that this is what the job search has come down to but unfortunately HR folks and recruiters are tasked with looking through hundreds of resumes and most of the time your resume may look just like another and to boot, you may have an MBA that they don’t require.  Hence, you have two things going against you.

In order to stand out and convince the hiring manager that you are worth it and won’t go running when something bigger comes along you should try to go through the backdoor.  If you know someone who can put in a good word, the reach out to them!  If this is THE job you want, then lay out your skills and tell them why you are worth investing in.

Good luck and…what did you do today?

Virtual Business

I wanted to get back to some new techniques to sell your brand, i.e. YOU!

We know that business cards are key, especially for those of us interviewing.  We are able to e-mail our interviewers and in some cases call them directly. However, we all know that when we do get business cards at work we rarely use them.  Unless you are in PR or advertising you don’t really meet that many people that NEED your business card.  So in essence, the 200+ cards just sit there and you are just wasting paper.  This is the number one reason why I still haven’t ordered my business cards from Vista Print.  What am I to do with 250 business cards?

What’s the next step?  Get virtual business cards.  We are all familiar with the digital signature and our contact info that we put at the bottom of an e-mail.  Employees and business people are now taking that up a notch and using such applications as “Bump” on their iPhone’s or Android’s. The application is just what it sounds like, you bump your phones and your contact info gets shared virtually.

Looking for more information on this topic?  Check out the following articles:

8 Ways to Create Paperless Business Cards

Why Your Next Business Card May Be Virtual

Create a Virtual Business Card With All Your Social Profiles

Create Your Online Card

What did you do today?

P.S. I’d like to thank all of my readers, 500+ of you this week, for reading my blog.  This is the highest readership since I got mentioned in Boston.com a month ago!  Thank you all!

Moving On…Down?

First of all, I’d like to thank Baskin Robbins for making my day a little sunnier.  After applying for yet another part time job, until one day I find something steady, I finally used my birthday scoop coupon!

I also checked in on Career Builders facebook group and saw that they were collecting questions they could ask HR managers during a conference they are going to.  One thing seemed clear, people are very frustrated and by my score these are the top questions Career Builder should ask:

1. Should we highlight our education, if we have an MBA? –> One HR manager chimed in and answered flat out that if an MBA is not called out in the job description then a lot of people may just pass on your resume because you are “overqualified.”

2. Why don’t HR folks let us know if we are or are not going to be hired after we interview?  Any response will do.

3. Is it true that HR managers pass on those who are currently unemployed?

I look forward to hearing what Career Builder finds out and will keep you posted.

What did you do today?

The Terrible Woes of Unemployment

Today I decided to look into what my benefits would be when I renewed my claim in a couple of weeks.  After talking to three different people on the unemployment hot line I was told three different stories about what extension I am on and about my eligibility.  In my last conversation I was told that my benefits may be reflective of what I have made in the last year.  I decided to look into this a little further and found an article about reduced unemployment rates due to working part-time.

So, basically here are the rules no one really talks about but you find out too late about:

* Don’t work more than 20 hours a week otherwise your unemployment will be taken away–> i.e. don’t work.

* Make sure if you do work you don’t make over 1/3 of your benefits, if you do it’ll just take away from your benefits.–>i.e. don’t work.

* DON’T WORK AT ALL, because if you do your new claim will be reflective of your new income while unemployed. However, if you don’t work at all you will receive the same amount as you did previously.

This is completely ridiculous.  All that unemployment encourages is for one to sit at home and do nothing unless a full time job actually comes their way. Had I known, I would have just sat here for the last year and done absolutely nothing.  What am I encouraged to do?  Find more part time work because clearly, my benefits will be slashed for working.  Thankfully, I’ve been saving money in case something like this may happen.  Now I may just need to start selling stuff on ebay.

What did you do today?

Running to Network

Well thank you all for reading my blog entry about dumming down your resume.  Today was the biggest readership day in about a month!

This evening I decided that it was time to start running again.  I had lost all motivation for one of my favorite sports and running 3 miles felt like climbing Mount Washington.  I had previously mentioned some free running groups in my June Will Be Outdoor Month entry, and decided that today was the day to get back on the horse.  Having registered for the Inaugural 13.1 in Boston I felt pretty unprepared seeing as the furthest I had run was a little under 5 miles…and that was about two weeks ago.

I got to City Sports on Boylston a little before 6pm and found out that Karhu, one of the sponsors for the 13.1 run was sponsoring today’s run.  After running and then learning more about the company I decided to talk to the people that were there from the marketing department.  What’s my point?  Networking can be done anywhere!

What did you do today?

Dumbing It Down

I hope everyone is happy that summer is officially here.  I myself had a wonderful birthday weekend and was able to capture it with my new camera!

Upon my return I had to start the week off at my part time job, at 7am.  As I may have said before, I enjoy the people I work with and I also enjoy being around fashion.  However, every now and again I just think, “is this what my undergrad and MBA are for?  To clean a store and help sometimes very ungrateful people dress themselves?”  On the other hand, it’s a job and it’s helping me get by.

So what am I possibly doing wrong?  The last entry talks about new tips for resumes and how to step it up.  But, should we be stepping it down?  An article on boston.com titled Job-seekers hope deflated resumes hold more appeal suggests just that.

Katie Johnston Chase says you should make your resume appealing but in this economy it may be smart to dumb down a few things, such as some certifications or some experiences.  It’s true that you may be overqualified for some jobs but it’s also true that we may not want to go back to entry level positions and earning what we did just out of college.  I don’t feel that my salary expectations are inflated, they simply reflect my experience and my educational level.  Unfortunately, I haven’t seen as many jobs requiring an MBA.  I also have not seen many jobs that would allow me to leverage my international experience…hence why I don’t push that a lot on my resume or in my cover letters.

How will you sell your skills…unfortunately, in a dumbed down way?

What did you do today?

Refreshing Your Resume

This weeks posts have so far revolved around inspiration and “growing a pair.”  Overall, I just came to a wall and was not at all inspired to keep going with this blog.  My friend JoAnne actually wrote an entry of her own titled “Who has time to blog?” after which I decided that I either need to anounce a hiatus from the blogging world or buck up and keep seeing where this will all take me.

After a few very frustrating days and a very interesting encounter, I ran into a woman I interviewed with a little while back and as it turns out she is the wife of a good friend of my boyfriends, I’ve decided that I should stop being pissed about not yet being employed and instead think about my short term goals and how I can change some things up. (The reason for my frustration is due to the fact that my time line, and wish, was that I would have a job by the time my birthday rolled around…well, that day is tomorrow and here we are.)

Now, on to being optimistic:

In a few of the marketing job postings I’ve seen, a knowledge of the program InDesign is required.  I looked the program up and have had an open tab on my computer for it. So far it’s been a week and I haven’t done anything about that but with a pretty open week coming up I’ve decided to keep learning as much as I can and plan to take some basic In Design courses on line.  If you are looking to learn more about this program here are a couple options for online classes:

Seneca Design and Training

Marrutt Software Training

But first, you may want to download the program from Adobe Downloads.

So, I’m hoping that by learning this new program I will stretch my skill set and be able to add another buzz word to my resume.

And…speaking of buzz words brings me to refreshing your resume.  A friend of mine is looking for a new job and has begun revising her resume.  She reached out to me in the hopes that along with all of the other services out there I could take a look at her resume as well.  First she sent it out to get tweaked by a professional who gave her the following tips.  I have decided to share them with you because they are ones I had not come across myself but plan to implement now.

At the top of your resume, under your name, address and phone number you should have a title.  This title should reflect the title you hope to have.  I would advise that you change this up depending on the job you are applying for as Brand Marketing Manager may not apply to a Marketing Communications opening.

The next part should be a paragraph about your accomplishments and how you will help a company if they hire you.  Following this paragraph you should have a little area with a list of keywords.  I have talked about the importance of key words in a resume but have never seen a resume with a specific section for them.  If you’re not entirely sure where to start then look at LinkedIn which generates some key words for you in their “specialties” section.

For example, mine would be the following:

* International Marketing * Inbound Marketing Professional * Product Marketing * Marketing Communications * Licensee Communications * Newsletters * Market Research * Intranet Portal Management * Content Management * Presentation Skills * Russian Translation * Social Media * Product Management * Proposal writing * Russian, Spanish, Latvian * Sales *

I would assume that you could also add in a list of the programs you are knowledgeable in.  The last tip that I’ll share today is to give a sentence long description of the companies you’ve worked at after your title at the time.

I am suddenly looking forward to revising my resume and hoping that this will only help in my search.

I am taking tomorrow and the weekend off from blogging for my birthday and Latvian festivities.

What did you do today?

Inspiration

Today I have really been inspired to either change-up this blog or start a new one altogether.   My friend told me about younghouselove.com, a blog that was started by a couple who wanted to keep their loved ones informed about their new house and all of the projects they were doing.  Their blog is really inspiring me to make some kind of change.  I’m not sure what that change may be but here are my ideas:

* Budget driven living

* Boston on a budget

* Events on a budget

Yes, I know, there is one main theme running through all of the above but finding a deal gives me kind of a thrill and why not write about something I am passionate about.  I still plan to contribute to this blog as it is “my baby” but I think I have focused a lot on the unemployed life and tips to help one get out of it.  However, I haven’t focused enough on the finer things in life…on a budget.

I hope this all leads to something, but if nothing else…this week is one full of renewal and inspiration.

What did you do today?