By Kimberly Fusaro

If everything’s going smoothly, you probably won’t interact with the folks in human resources much between the day you’re hired and your last day with the company. But every day in between, it’s their responsibility to make sure you’re doing your job well. Which means they know a lot more than you might think. We checked in with human resources experts to see what your current employer is keeping tabs on—and how your next employer could be judging you based on a whole lot more than the résumé you submitted.

1. Background checks have gone beyond Google.
Before calling in applicants for a job interview, HR will snoop around online to make sure there are no virtual red flags. “Social media ‘stalking’ has become the norm—especially at larger companies,” says Mary Hladio, who worked in human resources for more than 15 years and is currently CEO of leadership group Ember Carriers. “Beyond typing names into a search engine, companies will also employ sophisticated online monitoring platforms that dig even deeper. If there’s something on the Internet you wouldn’t want your boss to see, it’s probably in your best interest to take it down.”

2. Arriving super-early for an interview is almost as bad as arriving late.
Of course, if someone shows up late for an interview, he or she isn’t going to get a callback, says Amy Habedank, human resources manager ofPinnacle Services. But she’s also hesitant to hire someone who shows up an hour early. “It feels like they have no regard for my time,” she says. If you’re headed to a job interview, don’t show up more than 10 minutes before; if you get there with time to spare, catch up on email or listen to relaxing music before heading in.

3. Your physical appearance matters.
“Research suggests that the decision to hire or to deselect a candidate is made within the first 90 seconds of the interview,” says human resources consultant Steve Cohen, author of Mess Management: Lessons from a Corporate Hit Man. That means you must arrive at a job interview in a clean, well-put-together outfit with neat fingernails, smoothed-down hair and fresh breath. Also, think twice about any eccentricities. “Some people might be able to look past pink hair and black nail polish, but it will affect their decision,” says Hladio.

Check out a foolproof outfit that’s perfect for a job interview.
4. Personal hygiene counts, too.
Smelling like cigarette smoke can work against you, as can having body odor. Because both conditions are within an individual’s control, an employee or job candidate who smells bad is viewed as lacking professionalism, Cohen says. Plus, an employee who smells bad is a public relations liability. Most companies won’t tolerate poor personal hygiene in an employee or potential employee.

5. You won’t get hired to work from home if you aren’t a “home professional.”
If you’re applying for a work-from-home position, you need to present yourself as a “home professional” from the get-go. This means that when HR first calls to express interest, there better not be crying babies or barking dogs in the background. “When an applicant has no control over the noise level in her home, it’s a signal that she’s not ready for virtual work,” says Shilonda Downing, who’s in charge of hiring for Virtual Work Team. You’ll also need a quiet home office space if you’re petitioning your current boss for work-from-home hours.

6. Being overweight can work against you.
Even though overweight individuals can be fast on their feet and slim people can be lazy, an interviewer might assume an obese job candidate won’t be able to keep up at a “high-performance” company. Cohen gives the example of a manufacturing company that prided itself on efficiency and speed. Every prospective employee was taken on a walking tour of the large plant before being hired. If the prospect couldn’t keep up with the owner’s fast pace on the facility tour, he or she wouldn’t be hired. If you’re worried your size may be working against you, Cohen suggests emphasizing how adept and resourceful you are.

7. Ageism (illegally) exists.
“People who have seen their 50th birthday are losing jobs to younger people, even though ageism is illegal,” says Dennis Kravetz, head of human resources consulting firm Kravetz Associates. Older employees hoping for a promotion need to be extra-vigilant about staying on top of trends and technology. In a job interview, emphasize what you’ve learned from years of experience and explain how you’ve grown along with your industry.

8. Your relationship is being monitored if you’re dating a coworker.
“Sometimes people meet their future spouse at the office,” says Cohen. “But mostly, dating coworkers is risky.” Even if dating among colleagues is allowed, a relationship that ends badly is going to affect other people in the office. It gets extra-tricky if a romantic relationship between a supervisor and his or her subordinate sours. “Human resources is watching behavior that could turn litigious,” warns former human resources executive J.T. O’Donnell, founder of

9. Your Internet usage is probably being documented.
Don’t assume there’s any level of confidentiality when it comes to company technology, whether it’s email, voicemail or indiscriminate use of the Internet, Cohen says. “In a situation where an employee’s integrity or credibility is in question, there will always be an audit of her computer usage.” That means your boss probably isn’t randomly checking to see how often you log on to Facebook. But if he’s looking for a reason to fire you, your computer records could provide easy ammunition.

10. Your good and bad behavior matter—but the bad matters more.
“Promotions have favoritism built in,” says Hladio. Good behavior and positive experiences have a “shelf life” of three to six months. You need to continually impress your employer in order to stand out as an exceptional employee. Bad behavior and negative experiences, on the other hand, can linger in an employer’s mind for years.

Original article appeared on

I would like to add some items to this list for everyone to benefit by:
Branding yourself in your interviews is important but don't stop there. Continue your branding statement is your work philosophy and ethics. Show how you are prepared and take charge with your career at your employer:

11. Volunteer at committee/group meeting with insightful views and suggestions
12. Don't be late for meetings
13. Set a meeting with your direct report to document your goals and expectations for the next year. By documenting and meeting and exceeding these goals will not only help in securing your job but marketing yourself for a raise/promotion.
14. One month prior to your review document to your direct report the accomplishments you have made. It's very easy for them to forget and by reminding them in advance will lead to a more positive performance review.
15. I can't tell you the times I held a meeting or called someone into my office to find out that come in empty handed. ALWAYS carry a note pad and pen/pencil.
16. Don't let your title go to your head when interfacing with fellow employees. Be courteous to everyone. You never know who is friendly with whom.

I know there are many more tips out there. Please share your own thoughts on the career saving survival tools you have acquired.

Everyone have a great weekend.


Frank P. Zisa
Frank P. Zisa, MBA
1357 Hillgrass Court
Toms River, NJ 08753
Cell: (908) 278-4618 Preferred Contact
Home: (732) 244-1943

How Can You LEAD Even When You’re Not in a “LEADERSHIP” Role??

What makes a leader in the corporate world? It isn’t holding an executive level role or supervising other employees. It isn’t something you can learn overnight or even with 20 years of work experience. A leader, in the most basic sense, is someone who can guide or inspire others. Many leaders are born with innate leadership skills but some learn how to lead from great role models.

In fact, leaders can be all around us from the bottom to the top of the corporate ladder. We all have the opportunity to express a number of leadership qualities, even if we don’t necessarily see it. Wherever you are in the working world, you may exhibit leadership in your everyday work.

Show Initiative. If an opportunity presents itself, take it! Stepping forward and showing you are proactive can be a great way to lead in your organization. Don’t be afraid to offer suggestions and show your boss you can lead, rather than relying on others to do it for you.

Take risks. No one can be a leader without taking some risks. Sometimes they pan out and sometimes you have to pick yourself up and dust yourself off, but the risk is where you can show your leadership abilities and rise up. You may even want to consider taking the risk to get involved in something even if it doesn’t fall within your immediate responsibilities (just make sure you aren’t overstepping your boundaries or stepping on any toes).

Listen. Pay attention to what people are talking about. No really, listen. People want to be heard and if you can give this to them, even for a few moments, they will respect you more for it. Plus, listening to others may lead to all new ideas and opportunities for an organization. Often times, leaders follow their own views or experience by default, when sometimes it is staff recommendations that switch on the light bulbs and spark up improvements in organizations.

Be fair. In any position you hold, you can show the strength of your personal character and corporate moral values in how you act with others. Good leaders respect each and every individual and understand the contributions they make to the overall functioning of an organization. You can exemplify fairness by making sure your peers are treated fairly in your presence and in return, treating others with dignity and respect.

Be a problem solver, not a problem identifier. While identifying a problem is an important first step (especially if no one else has the courage to speak up), it is less valuable to management than someone who is thinking of creative ways to solve the problem. A problem solver is an instant leader because doing so immediately shows positive results for company time, money, morale, etc. Be a leader by taking charge of problems, figuring out what it takes to get a job done, using your resources and resolving these issues.

Prioritize. A good way to lead is simply putting first things first. You can’t be a leader of others if you don’t understand what is most important to the company, your own boss and yourself. Setting your priorities is an important part to achieving successful results!

Stay positive. People want to work with and for people who are enthusiastic, confident and who are enjoyable to be around. You can lead simply by being positive because it in turn motivates those around you! Others may look to you as this kind of leader because your demeanor makes the days go by a little easier, makes the hard times seem like they’re not so tough and just makes the overall office a more enjoyable place to be.

In conclusion, it can be said that good leadership doesn’t necessarily happen overnight but everyone can certainly do their part to exhibit positive examples of leadership in their everyday work. However you choose to exhibit leadership in your career, never forget that being a good leader comes down to a few basic things: it’s about getting things done, inspiring and encouraging others and always being an positive example for those around you. (Brazen Careerist)

Harvey Mackay's Column - The ABCs of networking

The ABCs of networking

By Harvey Mackay

If I had to name the single characteristic shared by all the truly successful people I've met over a lifetime, I'd say it is the ability to create and nurture a network of contacts. I could lose all my money and all my factories, but leave me my contacts and I'll be back as strong as ever in three to five years. Networking is that important.

The alphabet is a great place to start as you build your network -- organize your contacts from A to Z. I've written two other ABC columns -- the ABCs of selling and the ABCs of teamwork. Now it's time for the ABCs of networking:
A is for antennae, which should be up every waking moment. Never pass up an opportunity to meet new people.
B is for birthdays. It's always advantageous to know the birthdays of your contacts. You wouldn't believe how much business our sales reps write up when they call on their customers' birthdays.
C is for contact management system. Have your data organized so that you can cross reference entries and find the information you need quickly.
D is for Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty, my networking book.
E is for exchange and expand. When two people exchange dollar bills, each still has only one dollar. But when two people exchange networks, they each have access to two networks.
F is for Facebook and all other social media. These sites open unlimited possibilities for networking. Use them wisely.
G is for gatekeeper. There usually is a trusted assistant trained to block or grant your access. Don't waste their time, and make sure you acknowledge their significant role in reaching the boss.
H is for hearing. Make note of news you hear affecting someone in your network so you can reference it at the appropriate time.
I is for information. You can't (and shouldn't) talk about business all the time. Learn everything you can about your contacts' families, pets, hobbies and interests. Humanize your approach.
J is for job security, which you will always have if you develop a good network.
K is for keeping in touch. If your network is going to work, you have to stay plugged in and keep the wires humming.
L is for lessons. The first real networking school I signed up for after I graduated from college was Toastmasters. Dale Carnegie schools are designed to achieve similar goals.
M is for mentors. In the best of all possible worlds, your role models can become your mentors, helping you, advising you, guiding you, even lending you their network as you build your own.
N is for a network of contacts. A network can enrich your life.
O is for outgoing. Be the first to introduce yourself, lend a hand, or send congratulations for a job well done.
P is for people. You have to love people to be a good networker.
Q is for quality. A large network is worthless unless the people in it can be counted on to answer in an emergency at 2 a.m.
R is for Reciprocity. You give; you get. You no give; you no get. If you only do business with people you know and like, you won't be in business very long.
S is for six degrees of separation, the thought that there is a chain of no more than six people that link every person. Someone you know knows someone who knows someone you want to know.
T is for telephone. Landline, cell, internet -- this is a critical tool for staying in touch with your network.
U is for urgency. Don't be slow to answer the call, even if you never expect to have your effort repaid.
V is for visibility. You've got to get involved in organizations and groups to get connected, but don't confuse visibility with credibility. You have to give in order to get.
W is not only for whom you know, but also for who knows you?
X is for the extra mile. Your network contacts will go the extra mile for you, and you must be willing to do the same for them.
Y is for yearly check-in. Find a way, even if it's just a holiday card, to stay in touch.
Z is for zip code -- do you have plenty represented in your network?

Mackay's Moral: You don't have to know everything as long as you know the people who do.

The Five W's of Marketing--By Steve McKee

When developing a marketing program, it's not enough to know who, what, when, where, and why. You need to keep them in order, says Steve McKee

You've heard of the Five W's: who, what, when, where, and why. They're the elements of information needed to get the full story, whether it's a journalist uncovering a scandal, a detective investigating a crime, or a customer service representative trying to resolve a complaint. There's even an old PR formula that uses the Five W's as a template for how to write a news release.

Most of the time it doesn't matter in what order the information is gathered, as long as all five W's are ultimately addressed. The customer service rep's story may begin with who was offended, while the journalist may follow a lead based on what happened. The detective may start with where a crime was committed while details of who and what (not to mention when and why) are still sketchy.

The Five W's are helpful in marketing planning as well. But unlike in other professions, the development of an effective marketing program requires that they be answered in a specific order: why, who, what, where, and when. The reasons may not be obvious, but by following this pathway you can avoid a great deal of confusion, trial and error, and blind alleys, preserving your company's precious time and resources.

Many marketers instinctively begin with questions about what and where, as in "what" their advertising should say or "where" it should appear. That's what gets them into trouble. They may have some success putting their plans together by relying on intuition and experience, but both can be misleading in a rapidly changing marketing world. These days it's easy for anyone to become confused by (or fall prey to) the latest and greatest trends and tactics.
First, Why Marketing?

Smart companies begin by asking "why"—why are we expending our limited resources in marketing? Why do we believe they're better invested here than in other aspects of our business? These questions, properly considered, force company leaders to clearly define their business and marketing objectives and confront their (often unrealized) assumptions before they get too far down the road.

In some cases they may have unrealistic expectations of their marketing efforts. In others, they may be looking to advertising to solve a non-advertising problem. In still others they may be reflexively reacting to a competitor's moves, or to any one of a number of other marketplace or internal dynamics (see "Who's to Blame When Growth Stalls?"). Beginning with the "why" can be challenging, but starting here is critical to ensuring that your subsequent efforts are on target.

The second question is "who"—who is essential to our achieving our goals? To whom should we be directing our message? Whose hearts and minds must we win in order to succeed? The answers to these questions should be derived from the business objectives identified above so that the target audience(s) for your effort are clearly related to them.

For example, a marketing plan meant to generate significant new top-line revenue would likely focus on new customer attraction. An effort that's meant to enhance margins may concentrate on improving your brand's value equation among existing customers. And a plan to enhance your company's price/earnings ratio would focus on prospective investors and industry analysts as its primary target. The better any company defines its "who"—and the more it can know about their lifestyles, behaviors, attitudes, opinions, wants, and needs—the more effectively it can address the remaining three W's.

Branding Issues

Next comes "what," as in what it is you need to offer your target audiences in order to accomplish your objectives. This, of course, encompasses a host of business decisions, from product to pricing, policy to packaging, and everything in between. But it is also where key branding issues are addressed, including positioning, differentiation, and a determination of the personality dimensions that are appropriate for both the brand and the task (see "Building a Better Brand").

To be sure, as market conditions and customer needs change, the "what" of your offering will be a continually evolving proposition. But by having a solid understanding of the "who" and "why" of your efforts, you'll be more likely to get, and keep, the "what" right.

Finally, the last two W's can be addressed as you dive into the specifics of campaign planning. The questions now revolve around where and when the best places and times are to communicate your "what" to your "who" in service of your "why." At this stage you'll be required to make many tactical decisions, but if you've effectively addressed the first three W's you'll have the context and perspective you need to make the final two work as hard as possible on your behalf.

To be sure, as market conditions and customer needs change, the "what" of your offering will be a continually evolving proposition. But by having a solid understanding of the "who" and "why" of your efforts, you'll be more likely to get, and keep, the "what" right.

Finally, the last two W's can be addressed as you dive into the specifics of campaign planning. The questions now revolve around where and when the best places and times are to communicate your "what" to your "who" in service of your "why." At this stage you'll be required to make many tactical decisions, but if you've effectively addressed the first three W's you'll have the context and perspective you need to make the final two work as hard as possible on your behalf.

In some ways the principles of marketing are simple, but their simplicity can be deceptive. Beneath them often lie hidden complexities that you ignore at your peril. The common way of citing the Five W's—who, what, when, where, and why—rolls off the tongue and is a great mnemonic device. But if you want to optimize your marketing efforts, think why, who, what, where, and when. The order makes all the difference.

Steve McKee is president of McKee Wallwork Cleveland and author of When Growth Stalls: How It Happens, Why You're Stuck, and What to Do About It. Find him on Twitter and LinkedIn. of Bloomberg Busniness Week>

10 Reasons Why Your Network is Your Biggest Asset

By Steve Tobak |

10 Reasons Why Your Network is Your Biggest Asset:

What’s a senior executive’s biggest asset? Most would say it’s their network. Not their social network, their real network. Ten thousand Twitter followers or Facebook fans aren’t worth ten solid network relationships to an executive.

Not that social media isn’t one way to make those contacts, but they’re only effective if and when they become real relationships. That means someone you can call, email, or get together with when you need to, and vice versa.

Vistage International is an organization of senior executives and business leaders with over 14,000 members, worldwide. One of the top reasons people sign up? The network.

I’d even go as far as to say that senior-level executives can’t be really successful without a robust network. Sure, they may pull in a decent paycheck, but they won’t rise to the top. If this is news to you and you aspire to be a successful manager or executive, then it’s time to take your head out of the sand and start networking. Here’s what you stand to gain from the effort:

1.Introductions. Whether you’re an entrepreneur in need of venture capital or a marketing VP looking for the best PR firm, you’re more likely to find it through your network than by any other means.

2.Opportunities. Over a 30-year career, most of my major career and business opportunities came from my network. Business associates, friends of friends, casual conversations, business meetings, social events, whatever. But you’ve got to pay attention.

3.Sorting out thorny problems. Anyone who thinks they’ve never met a work problem they can’t resolve has never been a CEO. The problem with problems is that they keep getting escalated until there’s nowhere left to go. The buck has to stop somewhere. And getting a fellow exec to help sort out a monster problem is a big plus.

4.Recruiting. Perhaps the most critical job of any manager is to hire talented people, and the best place to find them is through your network. And not just for direct reports, but also for recommendations on peers, key employees, board members, you name it.

5.Ideas. I don’t know about you, but most of my best ideas come from bouncing them around with like-minded people.

6.Competitive intelligence. It’s a big, hairy global market and smart executives dig for competitive intelligence. Much of that info comes from sales and marketing, but where do you think they get it from? That’s right, their network.

7.Sensitive issues. Top executives often face sensitive issues they can’t discuss with others at the company. Sometimes they just need an outside perspective from another CEO. For example, some of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s friends are Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Mark Hurd (when he was CEO of H-P, as well). Makes sense, doesn’t it?
8.Seeing the big market picture. A huge component of any manager’s success is her ability to anticipate significant market changes. While nobody has a crystal ball, if you get enough anecdotal data from enough sources, you can get a pretty good picture of what’s going on.

9.Moral support. Business is full of tradeoffs. Rarely are critical and complex issues black and white. When top execs wrestle with gray issues, it’s nice to be able to pick up the phone for advice and support.

10.You don’t know what you don’t know. While there are exceptions, know-it-alls don’t typically get ahead. Smart managers know what they don’t know and that means they depend very much on comparing notes with others in their network.
Is your network your biggest asset?

The Corner Office
Steve Tobak

A Recurring Theme for a Sourcer on LinkedIn... Help Me Help You!

I thought in my old job that I was little too "in" to LinkedIn.

It's worse now. I'm on it all day. And what I'm seeing, well... to be honest... it's not pretty. And while we mostly give advice for recruiters and HR pros here on FOT, time for some advice from a sourcer to the job seekers out there. If you're a jobseeker on LinkedIn, if you're even thinking about being a jobseeker on the down low, help me out here.

Linkedin Fill in your profile. I don't need the Great American Novel, but give me a job title, some skillset information, professional certifications, whatever makes you "you" and gives you a step up on your peers. And think carefully about your "industry". I see a lot of people who pick their industry based on their profession. That's not always a good idea. If you have worked in telecomm, select it. Same for Non-profit, Accounting, etc. Research pro's often get tasked with finding professionals with specific experience and will use LinkedIn's search functionality to whittle down candidates, For example, if I need an Accounting Manager with Non-Profit experience, I'm going to look at Accounting Managers working in the Non-Profit industry. And don't forget your resume. LinkedIn will let you upload your resume or use it to complete your profile, but if you're not really looking, yet, keep the scope somewhat narrow. Hit the high points.

Use your profile like a business card. Link it everywhere and make your information available.

References are great, but if I see you have the background I need, I'm not going to stress that. I'm still old school enough that I'll ask for them during the vetting process.

Give me some way to contact you. Sure, I'll use inmails. Quite happily I will. But I can let you know quicker that I've got an awesome opening if you give me a link somewhere in your profile or even embed your email in the traditional imajobseeker[at]abc-company[dot]com. I'm completely cool with the fact that no one wants spam - but at least link to your resume somewhere else or something.

Get rid of your duplicate profiles. Yeah, I know you have 'em. Find a way to dump the old one. Help LinkedIn do some quality control.

Network. There are lots of ways to do this. Some free, some incredibly cheap. But grow your network. You have a better chance of being seen by a recruiter searching the site internally if you do this. Look for open networkers to get yourself started. There are tons of us on there.

Pay It Forward. Get notified about a job but it's not your cup of tea? Send it out to your network. You never know who's looking, and there are so many jobs not being advertised through traditional channels that your network will thank you.

Got a question? Want to connect? Awesome. You can find me at If I don't have a job for you now, I may in the future. And who knows, maybe our mutual networking can help us pay it forward for a jobseeker who needs a job now. Want more advice on using LinkedIn as a jobseeker? Bill Boorman wrote a piece here that has some really valid suggestions.

Editor's Note -- Kelly Dingee is a professional stalker Strategic Recruiting Manager with Staffing Advisors. Prior to joining Staffing Advisors, her experience includes developing and training material for AIRS-A Company of The RightThing, sourcing for Thales Communications, Inc., and Internet recruitment for Acterna (now known as JDSU). Follow her on Twitter and get the lowdown on what's going on each day in sourcing - she's a Twitter machine.


What drives people to work and succeed? There are two main sources of motivation in careers: being yourself (ESSENCE) and seeking the approval of others (EGO). So, it can be your career, it can be “theirs,” or some combination of the two.

A lot of career unhappiness derives from an unsatisfied Ego. And the more a person feels bad about what she has or has not “accomplished,” the more she may neglect being herself.

From the time we hold our breath and show our school report cards to our parents, we sense that approval-seeking is the game. Parents morph into teacher, bosses, customers, and the general public. We want them all to say we’re great!

The biggest problem with Ego fulfillment is that people never get enough. More is always better. Their contracts are only renewed a year at a time. Once they attain a certain level of approval, they feel obligated to maintain it.

“What have you done for me lately?” is a chilling question.

People who are excessively Ego-driven often say things to themselves such as:

“When I _____________, only then will I be happy.”

“I want to ____________ by the time I’m _________ (age).”

“I won’t rest until I ____________.”

Ego is very future-oriented and results-oriented. Essence is very present-oriented. Ego-oriented individuals worry about “how it’s going to turn out.” Essence-oriented professionals accept outcomes and assume that being themselves will work out OK.

Ego is a voracious devourer of career energy. Our culture glamorizes success, celebrity, money, and status, so that people are constantly seeking them. In the process, they may lose the peace of mind and happiness that comes from being themselves.

Essence asks that you live entirely in the present, letting her energy go where it takes her. In Essence, a career choice is not a plan, but answering, “What do I want to be doing right now?” Essence is you turning to your intuition, inner energies and deepest drives.

EGO/ESSENCE – an interesting conundrum…

Best wishes and keep networking alive,

Rod Colón, Career Coach, Professional Speaker & Author

CEO & Director of Career Management

Empowering Today’s Professionals

Running the Business of "ME"


Connect with me on:

ETP Charlotte Networking Group

On Thursday, October 28, 2010 ETP Charlotte Networking Group had the honor of having Mr. Carl E. Reid, as our guest speaker for the evening. Mr. Reid is the Chief Operations Officier of ETP. In adition to being a sought after speaker and published author, Mr. Reid advises small businesses on Internet Business-2-Business opportunities. Combining 40+ years of business experience with 27 years in the Information Technology field, Mr. Reid has a proven track record in identifying emerging technology business opportunities, before they become trends. He has also helped many people successfully advance their careers and start businesses with 15 years as a Business Career Coach.

It was a honor having Mr. Reid attend our meeting and coach the members of our team on the The 7-Step Job Search Methodology. I would like to also extend congratulations to our newest member Edwin Martinez for winning the WIN THE RACE for 21st CENTURY JOBS by Rod Colon.

To get your copy of WIN THE RACE for 21st CENTURY JOBS by Rod Colon
you can order it now from AMAZON

FREE $20 Membership Gift Certificate with Book Purchase

I want to thank all our members for attending. I also would like to thank ETP Network for honoring me as the ETP Charlotte Networking Leader I could not have done it without the ETP Members standing behind me and allowing me to grow as a leader in the group.

I had the awesome opportunity to speak at the ETP Charlotte Networking Group. This career management training education team located in Charlotte, NC is hosted by Empowering Today's Professionals (ETP) faculty leader Amanda Sherman. She is also CEO and founder of Gala Affairs by ATUrBest, which provides event planning services in the Charlotte area. On behalf of the ETP executive committee, I also had the honor of presenting a leadership excellence award to Amanda. This places Mrs. Sherman in the ETP Who's Who Hall of Fame, for outstanding leadership in pioneering the Charlotte Networking Group, ...

The Four Capacities Every Great Leader Needs (and Very Few Have)

BY FC Expert Blogger Tony SchwartzFri

When I was a very young journalist, full of bravado and barely concealed insecurity, Ed Kosner, editor of Newsweek, hired me to do a job I wasn't sure I was capable of doing. Thrown into deep water, I had no choice but to swim. But I also knew he wouldn't let me drown. His confidence buoyed me.

Some years later, I was hired away by Arthur Gelb, the managing editor of The New York Times. This time, I was seduced by Gelb's contagious exuberance about being part of a noble fraternity committed to putting out the world's greatest newspaper.

Over the last dozen years, I've worked with scores of CEOs and senior executives to help them build more engaged, high performance cultures by energizing their employees. Along the way, I've landed on four key capacities that show up, to one degree or another, in the most inspiring leaders I've met.

1. Great leaders recognize strengths in us that we don't always yet fully see in ourselves.

This is precisely what Kosner did with me. He provided belief where I didn't yet have it, and I trusted his judgment more than my own. It's the Pygmalion effect: expectations become self-fulfilling.

Both positive and negative emotions feed on themselves. In the absence of Kosner's confidence, I simply wouldn't have assumed I was ready to write at that level.

Because he seemed so sure I could--he saw better than I did how my ambition and relentlessness would eventually help me prevail--I wasted little energy in corrosive worry and doubt.

Instead, I simply invested myself in getting better, day by day, step by step. Because we can achieve excellent in almost anything we practice with sufficient focus and intention, I did get better, which fed my own confidence and satisfaction, and my willingness to keep pushing myself.

2. Rather than simply trying to get more out of us, great leaders seek to understand and meet our needs, above all a compelling mission beyond our immediate self-interest, or theirs.

Great leaders understand that how they make people feel, day in and day out, has a profound influence on how they perform.

We each have a range of core needs--physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Great leaders focus on helping their employees meet each of these needs, recognizing that it helps them to perform better and more sustainably.

Arthur Gelb helped my meet not just my emotional need to be valued, but also my spiritual need to be engaged in a mission bigger than my own success. Far too few leaders take the time to figure out what they truly stand for, beyond the bottom line, and why we should feel excited to work for them.

3. Great leaders take the time to clearly define what success looks like, and then empower and trust us to figure out the best way to achieve it.

One of our core needs is for self-expression. One of the most demoralizing and infantilizing experiences at work is to feel micromanaged.

The job of leaders is not to do the work of those they lead, but to serve as Chief Energy Officer -- to free and fuel us to bring the best of ourselves to work every day.

Part of that responsibility is defining, in the clearest possible way, what's expected of us--our concrete deliverables. This is a time-consuming and challenging process, and most leaders I've met do very little of it. When they do it effectively, the next step for leaders is to get out of the way.

That requires trusting that employees will figure out for themselves the best way to get their work done, and that even though they'll take wrong turns and make mistakes, they learn and grow stronger along the way.

4. The best of all leaders--a tiny fraction--have the capacity to embrace their own opposites, most notably vulnerability alongside strength, and confidence balanced by humility.

This capacity is uniquely powerful because all of us struggle, whether we're aware of it or not, with our self worth. We're each vulnerable to believing, at any given moment, that we're not good enough.

Great leaders don't feel the need to be right, or to be perfect, because they've learned to value themselves in spite of shortcomings they freely acknowledge. In turn, they bring this generous spirit to those they lead.

The more leaders make us feel valued, in spite of our imperfections, the less energy we will spend asserting, defending and restoring our value, and the more energy we have available to create value.

All four capacities are grounded in one overarching insight. Great leaders recognize that the best way to get the highest value is to give the highest value.

Reprinted from

Tony Schwartz is President and CEO of The Energy Project, a company that helps individuals and organizations fuel energy, engagement, focus, and productivity by harnessing the science of high performance. Tony's most recent book, The Way We're Working Isn't Working: The Four Forgotten Needs that Energize Great Performance, was published in May 2010 and became an immediate The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. Follow him on Twitter @TonySchwartz.


By Chip Hartman

Empowering Today's Professionals, Editor-in-Chief

Sept. 6, 2010

As more and more professionals discover the value of running their careers as a business,the need for high-impact personal branding becomes a necessity, not a luxury.

The judicious use of taglines can be a powerful tool for helping ME, Inc. professionals announce their unique value to the business world.

Good things come in small packages. This is especially true of taglines, those often-overlooked word groups strategically placed near corporate logos to announce the unique value and benefits of a brand. As such, taglines have what Eric Swartz (The “Tagline Guru”) calls “marquee value.”

Taglines have been around ever since businesses started using advertising to generate sales. Over the years, some have actually become quite memorable, e.g., Morton Salt (“When It Rains, It Pours”), Hallmark Cards (“When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best”), and American Express (“Don’t Leave Home Without It”).

In the world of marketing, branding and advertising, taglines often get a bad rap. That’s because development of a “winning” tagline is an unusually daunting task; it must convey the essence of a brand in a powerful, concise way without being vague, pretentious, or overly trendy. Copywriters often spend long, tedious hours developing the perfect tagline.

And while the graphics team can misfire on a precise shade of lavender for a brand’s logo and still deliver powerful visual appeal, copywriters have no comparable margin of error. They either nail the one, indisputable winning tagline to the thunderous ovation of a wildly approving crowd — or give it a quiet, nondescript burial. Mediocre taglines — and even some better-than-average ones — never see the light of day.

OK, now for the twist.

Most of us have been conditioned to associate taglines with products or services provided by companies to keep their brands resonating in the minds of clients and would-be customers. But a growing number of professionals — especially those in transition — are latching on to the 21st century paradigm of managing their careers as a business. As CEOs of their own “ME, Inc.” enterprise, they become responsible for all functions carried out by actual CEOs (e.g., R & D, Sales & Marketing, Public Relations, Finance, Legal, etc.) and that, in turn, means they must be just as well-branded as any other viable commodity in the marketplace.

[Note: For those who have adopted this model, described fully in the new book “Win The Race for 21st Century Jobs” (by Rod Colón and Chip Hartman, etp press, © 2010), the primary reason this must be done is because the actual product of a ME, Inc. business is the business-owner himself/herself.]

Is it far-fetched to think of an individual branding herself with a clever and succinct tagline? Not at all. Most ME, Inc. business owners can benefit greatly by creating a genuinely memorable tagline following their names — electronically and in print — everywhere it appears. If the tagline successfully captures the individual’s unique “value added component”, then the consistent use of this phrase becomes a mantra that reinforces the promise in an exceptionally powerful and innovative way.


It’s easy to write about an idea such as “ME, Inc. taglines” or “vanity taglines” but it’s a totally different task to develop a sufficient number of plausible examples to illustrate the message.

The list below presents the concept of personalized taglines. If you understand the basic idea, find a copywriter to help you craft your message to achieve realistic brand quality. Since the examples below are for illustrative purposes only, they should be regarded only as branding fiction, not standards of excellence in tagline development.

GRAPHIC ARTIST (possible taglines might be …)

· Graphically agile, creatively nimble

· Formidable imagery … unbeatable value

· A full spectrum of ideas and solutions

· We visually translate your most complex thoughts.

· We remove the need to airbrush your bottom line!

TAX ACCOUNTANT (possible taglines might be …)

· In taxing times, count on us.

· Find an error in our calculations and we’ll pay your fee!

· We axe the tax so you can relax.

· Think Positive. Think Refund.

FORENSIC SCIENTIST (possible taglines might be …)

· We will unravel evidence of underperforming personnel

· Our solutions are the chalk outlines around your biggest problems

· We’d appreciate your fingerprints, signature, and DNA on a contract

DENTAL HYGIENIST (possible taglines might be …)

· Invest in your smile … call us today!

· Your gentle dental health engineers

· Enjoy life: Get the crud out of your mouth!

· Your frontline defense against Toxic Mouth Syndrome

INVESTMENT MANAGER (possible taglines might be …)

· Think of us as your money’s personal day care center.

· Our idea of fun is dollar-cost-averaging the night away

· Our portfolio of ideas will expand your portfolio of investments

WEB DEVELOPER (possible taglines might be …)

· You need a web site. We need a contract. Let’s talk.

· We eat, breathe, and dream HTML 24 by 7

· We build web sites to die for … although it’s quite unnecessary to do so.

· ROI-driven, business-savvy, technical artistry. But enough about me …


While the idea of a personalized tagline may sound like a great idea, you’d be well advised to discuss your ideas and examples with a branding professional before making the commitment to publish. If you fail to capture the unique essence of your ME, Inc. business in a catchy, concise and high-impact way, you could easily be headed for a large-scale branding disaster.

The reason for this should now be apparent: There is a veritable obstacle course of language and semantic pitfalls just waiting to sabotage your best efforts in devising that perfect personal tagline. The fact that the tagline must speak for you when you are unable to do so makes it all the more risky. Whatever you do, be sure to consult with a branding expert who also has a masterful grasp of language to increase your chances for success.


As a ME, Inc. business owner, you have an obligation to brand yourself, recognizing that if you fail to do so, others will inevitably do it for you — and their perceptions may fall far short of yours.

You say you’re an aspiring event planner but haven’t been able to land the position of your dreams? If you’re signing your name as “Very truly yours, Mary Smith”, you’ve completed the basics of closing out your letter but you’ve missed a terrific opportunity to distinguish yourself from the other 829,000 individuals going after the same position.

By contrast, what if your closing went something like this: “Very truly yours, Mary Smith, Inc. : Event Planners to Make All Your Moments Memorable” — do you think that might garner some extra attention? Or maybe just a little curiosity to find out more?

Let’s put it this way: In an era marked by an ever-increasing need to stand apart boldly from your competition, the wisely-developed and judiciously selected personal tagline can clearly promote your CEO of ME, Inc. business. As the global marketplace becomes larger and more complex each day, it’s vital for the survival of your business to stake out every possible opportunity to differentiate yourself from the masses.

A personalized tagline may be just the answer.


1. Colón, Rod, Win The Race for 21st Century Jobs, etp press, © 2010

2. Cone, Steve, Powerlines: Words That Sell Brands, Grip Fans, & Sometimes Change History, Bloomberg Press, © 2008

3. Swartz, Eric, The Tagline Guru (personal research of his published work on taglines and telephone interview)

4. Swartz, Eric, The Tagline Guru (web site:

5. Trout, Jack, Differentiate or Die – Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition, John Wiley & Sons, © 2000


Chip Hartman is an online marketing and branding specialist based in Montville , NJ . He is the owner of, LLC, a visual communications company that has distinguished itself with its unique emphasis on the tight integration of powerful writing, web technology, and graphic design ( Chip is the Editor-in-Chief of Empowering Today’s Professionals and can be reached at

Chip Hartman

Powerful – Polished – Professional, LLC

The RELEVANT Style Resume Format

David Anderson’s “Relevant” style resume format engages the resume reviewer quickly in the area of need – technical skills. David shows his experience with KSM Associates first because it is his strongest work experience in technology rather than listing his resume in the standard reverse chronological or functional style formats.

The “Relevant” style resume is a creative approach to resume writing. It allows the candidate to engage the resume reviewer immediately by sharing pertinent work experience rather than the weaker functional format. David than provides the resume reviewer with a full reverse chronological experience listing, making sure no deception was intended.

The typical resume reviewer will evaluate the resume looking for the recent work experience and make a quick judgment if the candidate has the required skills - What have you done over the past few years and is it relevant. The “Relevant” style clearly puts the onus on the reviewer to make a decision based on looking at relevant experience first rather than reviewing irrelevant experience first.

The “Relevant” style resume, a different way to market and empower the professional.

Rod Colón, Career Coach, Professional Speaker & Author

CEO & Director of Career Management

Empowering Today’s Professionals

Running the Business of "ME"


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Maintaining Your Network

by Keith Ferrazzi
Never Eat Alone

One way I’ve found to make maintaining my network of contacts, colleagues, and friends easier is to create a rating system for the network that corresponds to how often I reach out. First, I divide my network into five general categories: Under “Personal,” I include my good friends and social acquaintances. Because I’m generally in contact with these people organically, I don’t include them on a contact list. The relationship is established, and when we talk, it’s as if we’d been in touch every day. “Customers” and “Prospects” are self-explanatory. “Important Business Associates” is reserved for people I’m actively involved with professionally. I’m either doing business with them currently or hoping to do business with them. This is the mission-critical category. Under “Aspirational Contacts,” I list people I’d like to get to know, or I’ve met briefly (which is anyone from your boss’s boss to a worthy celebrity) and would like to establish a better relationship with.

Rod Colón

Career Coach, Professional Speaker & Author

Empowering Today’s Professionals

Running the Business of "ME"

LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter


By Rod Colon

I have 26 years of experience as a corporate HR management insider, outside agency recruiter, professional networker, adjunct professor/lecturer on career management and career coach with an unusual but common sense approach to networking and career management. In addition, I have in-depth knowledge of international staffing, recruiting and networking which gives me the ability to both coach and consult with today’s professionals and with executives around the world.

Obviously, I’ve seen the job search challenge from both sides of the interviewer’s desk. Along the way, I’ve seen many people struggle with the job search and interview process. As a result, I’ve discovered some of the more obscure pitfalls which trap people when they seek new jobs.

This discovery convinced me to devote my life to helping as many people as possible avoid these traps. I also wanted individuals to experience a much higher success rate in landing the jobs and managing their careers. Because I knew I had a gift for teaching, training, and coaching, I decided to leave the corporate world and pursue my one true passion: the development of an organization committed to networking and helping people in transition. And I didn't want to help these people merely get close to their next job — I wanted to help them nail it down and develop a long-term strategy to career management!

I started Empowering Today’s Professionals in 2004, at first just to eliminate the tedium of repeating nearly identical coaching and networking training to a long line of individuals. As the organization sprouted roots through e-mail exchanges, I made the decision to move to a virtual community style forum to exchange documents, questions, and job search issues and then supplemented that with a weekly Sunday evening conference call. In the beginning, there were just a handful of attendees. Today, our membership is global and growing steadily.

The foundation of our community service organization is to educate each individual (student or professional) to manage their career as a business. Each individual will promote himself or herself to the position of CEO of ME, Inc. and make a conscious decision to run their career as a business. I have seen personally how transforming one’s career to the CEO of ME, Inc. has powerful impact to individuals globally. It is - the priceless reward of what we do.

Empowering Today’s Professionals is here to support the business owner within you.

Best wishes for a wonderful Labor Day weekend and keep networking alive,

Rod Colón, Career Coach, Professional Speaker & Author

CEO & Director of Career Management

Empowering Today’s Professionals

Running the Business of "ME"


Connect with me on:

Seven Truths about Change to Lead By and Live By

By Rosabeth Moss Kanter

I call these the Change Agent Bumper Stickers. Here are seven universal sayings that can comfort and guide anyone engaged in the effort of setting a new direction, orchestrating innovation, establishing a culture, or changing behavior.

"Change is a threat when done to me, but an opportunity when done by me." I coined this truth in my book The Change Masters, which compared innovation-friendly and innovation-stifling corporate cultures, and then saw it in operation in personal relationships, too. Resistance is always greatest when change is inflicted on people without their involvement, making the change effort feel oppressive or constraining. If it is possible to tie change to things people already want, and give them a chance to act on their own goals and aspirations, then it is met with more enthusiasm and commitment. In fact, they then seek innovation on their own.

"A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step." Big goals can seem overwhelming. The magnitude of the problem, the difficulty of the solutions, the length of the time horizon, and the number of action items can make change feel so complex that people feel paralyzed, and nothing happens. This saying from China's Chairman Mao is a reminder to get moving. Do something, get started, take the first steps however small they seem, and the journey is underway.

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." A clear destination is necessary to guide the journey of change. Many change efforts falter because of confusion over exactly where everyone is expected to arrive. In the children's book, Alice in Wonderland, Alice, who is confused anyway, asks the Cheshire cat which road she should take. The magical cat responds with this helpful reminder to pin down your goal first. Zoom in on the destination on your mental map, and then zoom out to pick the best path.

"Change a campaign, not a decision." How many people make vows to improve their diet and exercise, then feel so good about the decision that they reward themselves with ice cream and sit down to read a book? CEOs and senior executives make pronouncements about change all the time, and then launch programs that get ignored. To change behavior requires a campaign, with constant communication, tools and materials, milestones, reminders, and rewards.

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it." Baseball legend Yogi Berra was known for oddball sayings that contain gems. There is an aspect of change that involves trial and error. Fear of mistakes can sometimes leave paths unexplored. It's important to seize unexpected opportunities. Some sidelines are dead ends, but others might prove to be faster routes to the goals.

"Everything can look like a failure in the middle." I've observed this so often that I call it Kanter's Law. There are numerous roadblocks, obstacles, and surprises on the journey to change, and each one tempts us to give up. Give up prematurely, and the change effort is automatically a failure. Find a way around the obstacles, perhaps by making some tweaks in the plan, and keep going. Persistence and perseverance are essential to successful innovation and change.

"Be the change you seek to make in the world." Leaders must embody the values and principles they want other people to adopt. This famous Gandhi quote reminds us all — executives with associates, political leaders with followers, or parents with children — that one of the most important tasks is personal: to be a role model, exemplifying the best of what the change is all about.

Copyright © 2010 Harvard Business School Publishing. All rights reserved. Harvard Business Publishing is an affiliate of Harvard Business School .

Best Regards,
Daniel Arbeeny
Phone: (917) 597-2006

Buy Win the Race for 21st Century Jobs by Rod Colon

Chapter 1
Welcome to the ETP Network
The ETP Network (Empowering Today’s Professionals) was established specifically to help individuals in transition find jobs. Find out the how’s, who’s, what’s and why’s of this amazing organization and its Founder and CEO, Mr. Rod Colón.

Chapter 2
The Machinery: Build, Track and Maintain Your Network
The modern day job search is built on the machinery of networking. If you’re new to networking, this chapter gives you the basics, beginning with the art of small talk all the way up to the development of a warm, trusted network.

Chapter 3
The Mentality: Run Your Career as a Business
Once you start the network machinery running, the next step is training yourself to think of your job search as a business with you as its CEO. All of the decisions affecting your job search begin and end with you and you will learn the fine art of taking responsibility for them.

Chapter 4
The Magnet: Your Value Proposition
As you begin to identify opportunities that look like a good fit for you, you’ll learn how to develop a solid value proposition (the job description, a “targeted resume” and a special cover letter called a “T-Letter”). This is the magnet that will attract employers to you.

Chapter 5
The Methodology: The 7-Step Job Search Methodology
The centerpiece of my Job Search System is a precisely-engineered 7-Step Job Search Methodology. You will locate perfectly matched opportunities, find and leverage advocates within the company using polished networking skills, and submit your value proposition

Chapter 6
The Hidden Job Market
Many individuals who are looking for jobs are unaware that there is a Hidden Job Market! The Hidden Job Market consists of positions that have not been advertised and positions that don’t yet exist undefined because the employer has not yet realized the need for the position!

Chapter 7
The Interview and Negotiations
Discover the secrets that will make you shine during an interview. Yes, there is significant preparation; but this list of tips has been assembled from years of experience as a hiring manager. These are the tips and techniques that provide the inside track to effective interviews.

Chapter 8
Once You’ve Landed
The time to put new energy into your networking activities is when you're offered a new position. Ironically, this is exactly when many people abandon their networks only to discover their mistake later when they need help and their networks have withered.

Chapter 9
Putting It All Together and Troubleshooting
Networking, the CEO of ME, Inc., the Value Proposition, and the 7-Step Job Search Methodology: You learned them as separate pieces; now it’s time to put them all together so that the whole program makes sense. This is where we’ll do some extensive troubleshooting, too.

Chapter 10
Social Networking: Be A Part Of It!
The explosion of social media and social networking web sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook demands that those in the race for 21st century jobs remain well-connected. Networking makes my system work; social networking sites are places to make new connections

Chapter 11
The Awesome Power of Attitude and Behavior
If there is any true obstacle to overcome in learning my Job Search Methodology, it’s the battle that must be fought in your own mind to embrace and adopt all its components. Getting your attitude and behavior “in line” is the key step in helping you to win the race.

Chapter 12
Break Away From The Pack
Everyone has unique talents and abilities, but not everyone knows how to draw them out and leverage them for success in the business world. In Chapter 12, you’ll discover how you can differentiate yourself from the competition and break away from the pack. Most importantly, you’ll get a sense of just where the “finish line” in the race for 21st century jobs really is!
Beyond ME, Inc.Just when you thought the story was over there’s a whole new beginning undefined and it’s got “business success” written all over it! After establishing yourself as a winner in the race for 21st century jobs, find out what it takes to leverage your victory into profitable business ventures.

News from CPCC Institute for Entrepreneurship----Free Seminars

Networking a Tool for Success SBX 7888-501
Networking is more than just a social hobby. It's all about who you know and how you utilize those relationships. Effective networking is a skill that is developed by practice and can be a very rewarding tool for your business.

Date: Thursday, October 7
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Location: Central Campus

So You're Thinking About Exporting SBX 7881-501

Are you currently selling only in the United States? Then you are only reaching about five percent of the world's population. Find out how to tap into today's global economy and increase your businesses profitability. Gain a basic understanding of the role of exporting, the steps involved in the export process and how to develop a strategy for going global.

Date: Monday, October 18
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Location: Central Campus

Creating a Meaningful Brand SBX 8015-501
To create a lasting and meaningful "brand" it's important to understand your brand, define it and live it! Your brand is more than your company name, logo or color scheme, it's a differentiator from your competitor through the creation of expectations in the mind of your consumers relating to trust, affection, loyalty and brand recognition.

Date: Monday, October 25
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Location: Central Campus
SBX 8003-501

Everyone has a great idea. The challenge is transforming it into a great product. Learn the five questions to ask before attempting to take a product to market. You will also discover how to examine your idea for feasibility before making a monetary investment.

Date: Tuesday, October 26
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Location: Central Campus

To register for seminars please call 704-330-4223 or register online.

Targeted Resumes -- From Win The Race For 21st Century Jobs

As a fifteen–year veteran of Human Resources recruiting in both a corporate and an agency setting, I've devoted a third of my life to reviewing resumes. During this time, I saw every combination of resume fads and styles. It is abundantly clear to me that professionals spend too much time and money developing a winning resume when the client is not looking for a resume at all.

The client is not really interested in a full accounting of your education and employment. What he or she wants to know is if you have the required skills for the job and if you've successfully demonstrated mastery of those skills, preferably within the last 3 – 5 years.

Here are the questions most likely to be running through the client’s mind:

· Does the candidate have the required skills?

· Does the candidate clearly describe how he/she used the skills in his/her last few positions?

· Does the candidate demonstrate success in the skill sets required?

· Does the candidate have enough of the skills to be worth pursuing even if he/she is not a perfect fit?

· Is the candidate able to clearly communicate this on the resume or is it poorly written?

· Are the compensation expectations in line with the role?

· Is the candidate a fit from a “level” (grade) perspective? Is he/she looking to take a major step down just to find employment and then leave once a better opportunity presents itself? What is the risk in hiring the candidate?

· Will the candidate fit within the culture of the organization?

Most decision-makers review a countless number of resumes each day. On average, you only have 10 - 15 seconds in which to make a powerful first impression. If your Targeted Resume doesn’t “grab them” right away, there may not be another opportunity to grab them at all.

Still more food for thought: In the race for 21st century jobs, we are now living in an age of consensus hiring — the decision of “yea” or “nay” is not up to just one individual but rather a whole team. Your ability to “connect” with the entire team matters a great deal.

Finally, you'll have a much better chance of being considered for an interview if the experience you cite is relevant, current, and clearly written. This way, no one with input on your suitability will misunderstand or misinterpret what you’ve written. That is the power of the targeted resume.

Separating Resume Fallacies From Facts


· The purpose of a resume is to list all your skills and abilities.

· A good resume will get you the job you want.

· Your resume will be read carefully and thoroughly by an interested employer.

· The more good information you provide about yourself in your resume, the better.

· If you want a really good resume, have it prepared by a resume service


· The purpose of a resume is to spark employer interest and generate an interview.

· All a resume can do is get you in the door.

· Your resume probably has less than 10 seconds to make an impression.

· Too much information on a resume may kill the reader’s appetite to know more.

· Resumes are written to impress, not inform. Think of your resume as a marketing tool, not an historical record. It is valuable real estate, so use it for your most impressive but relevant information.

Specific Steps for Preparing a Targeted Resume:

1. Copy and paste the core requirements and responsibilities from the job description into a blank document.

2. Place a bullet “·” before each key requirement/responsibility.

3. You now have a list of key questions the client/company will ask you on the interview.

4. Now put the list in priority order — here, you must try to think and act as if you are the decision-maker to determine priority.

5. Select the top 5 to 8 skills from the list and write below each one how you have accomplished the requirement/responsibility including the impact/result of your work.

6. You now have the content to build both a great targeted resume and your talking points for the interview.

7. Incorporate your answers into the generic resume and you now have the beginnings of a powerful targeted resume.

8. Delete/remove from your resume facts/details that have no value for the job.

Don’t forget to listen to our weekly radio show Your Career Is Calling – Sunday at 8am (EST).

Best wishes and keep networking alive,

Rod Colón, Career Coach, Professional Speaker & Author

CEO & Director of Career Management

Empowering Today’s Professionals

Running the Business of "ME"

732.367.5580 ( ETP SOLUTION CENTER )

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Special Value of Being an UNTOUCHABLE

by Rod Colon

In his book The World is Flat (copyright © 2005 by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux), New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman presents a view of the future in which evolving technologies will level the playing field for business owners worldwide. Traditional corporate hierarchies will likely be replaced by highly specialized online communities sharing similar business interests.

According to Friedman, to survive in this ever-flattening world, individuals must diversify their skills so that they remain viable competitors across many different careers.

Those who do, those who attain a level of specialization that cannot be outsourced are, he claims, "untouchable." So if you want job security, join their ranks. Become an “untouchable" now.

Are there specialized skill sets or talents you have that very few others have? If so (and better yet), are they solid enough and flexible enough to permit you to claim value as an employee across a range of industries? If you haven’t given much thought to this question, it would be wise to invest some self-assessment time now. It may turn out that the “untouchables” among us will be the only people who can compete in the race for 21st century jobs.

Best wishes and own your career,

Rod Colón, Career Coach, Professional Speaker & Author
CEO & Director of Career Management
Empowering Today’s Professionals
Running the Business of "ME"

Win The Race For 21st Century Jobs Slide Show

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The CEO of any company runs the company. CEOs direct all critical operations such as sales and marketing, research and development, strategy, finance, corporate culture, human resources, community affairs, public relations, and so on.

CEOs are primarily responsible for setting the corporate strategy and vision. They decide which products to introduce into which markets and against which competitors. CEOs decide how the company will brand itself and differentiate itself in the marketplace.

Ultimately, the CEO is responsible for the success or failure of the company.

Here are some key CEO responsibilities that you must learn to incorporate in managing your career as a business:

As the CEO of your career you will:

· Learn to partition your responsibilities to ensure that all critical operations are carried out and none get overlooked. For example, your Research & Development Department will be in charge of networking — making connections, digging up new leads, gathering business information, etc… Right from the start, anything you do that's part of this effort is processed in the R & D “department” of your mind. Likewise, your Sales & Marketing Department will oversee the development of a powerful value proposition and various parts of the 7-Step Job Search Methodology until every task is properly niched.

· Take responsibility for making tough decisions — there’s just no way around this. Tough decision-making is a skill with tremendous short and long term benefits. It trains your mind to weigh options before you commit to a course of action.

· Accept the consequences of your tough decisions — both good and bad. You can savor the good results and analyze why the bad results occurred. Most importantly, don’t waste time beating yourself up when a decision yields poor results. Pick up the pieces and move on. Learn from every aspect of the failure experience because it will move you closer to winning the race for 21st century jobs.

· Bring a new level of personal accountability to managing your career. Why? Because you have a “governing body” to which you now have ultimate responsibility: your Personal Board of Directors (e.g., spouse, family, extended family, significant other, etc…).

Still not convinced your career can benefit from thinking like a CEO? Are you saying, "Why bother? This sounds like a whole lot of work for very little benefit."

If that’s how you see it, consider this: For every terrific opportunity you identify — and for which you’re qualified — there could be hundreds, maybe thousands of others competing for the same position. But there’s one critical difference: Most of them fail to adopt the “I’m in charge” attitude and their race for the finish line becomes a mediocre performance at best. They remain mired in the “employee mind-set”, a part of the Black Hole crowd that inevitably lags behind in the race to get the job that you are busy targeting. And while most of us don't want others to fail, there’s nothing wrong with capitalizing on the inept business decisions of others to gain a tactical advantage whenever possible. In other words, if you are thinking like a business owner and your competitors aren’t, you have a significant edge over them in the race for 21st century jobs. Do not fail to leverage it!

Will you absorb this paradigm shift overnight? No. In a week? Unlikely. In a month? Maybe. People internalize it at very different rates. Most of our members can tell rather quickly if they are cut out to be the CEO of ME, Inc.

The good news is that this mental model will work if you make it work.

Best wishes and own your career,

Rod Colón, Career Coach, Professional Speaker & Author

CEO & Director of Career Management

Empowering Today’s Professionals
Running the Business of "ME"


Win The Race For 21st Century Jobs Slide Show

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7 Ways to Look Good to a Lender

Even as interest rates remain at attractive levels, many people looking to start or expand a business venture are having trouble getting a loan. Banks may be pushing great deals on home-equity credit lines and other loan offerings, but they also are being extremely selective about who they lend to.

Now more than ever, you must engender the trust and confidence of your lender.

There's no magic bullet that you can fire to bag yourself a trophy loan. But there are some guidelines that can put you on the right path to your quarry.

Here are seven dos and don'ts when applying for a business loan.

1. Even if you're not organized, look organized. Yes, it's especially hard when you're trying to grow a business and changing your company's internal systems to meet that growth. But this is when looking sharp is even more important."I think the thing that will really impress a banker and get him excited about a borrower is a well-organized package," says Bob Bifolco, executive vice president with Progress Bank in Blue Bell, Pa. What Bifolco likes to see: Three years of tax returns, an interim financial statement, listings of receivables and payables, insurance records that show what equipment the company owns and the assets' possible replacement value and a cash-flow statement for the past year."You bring in a package like that and the banker is likely to immediately deem you as a sophisticated prospect who is running the business in a sound financial manner," Bifolco says.

2. Clean up your "a/r" and your "a/p." That's accountant-speak for accounts receivable and accounts payable. The problem is pretty simple: Lenders don't like it when they see a business waiting for lots of money to come in (accounts receivable)."If somebody is getting paid in 90 days but has to pay his vendors in 30 days, we feel like he has a problem," says Merv Shorr, senior vice president with Banco Popular North America. Old accounts receivable aren't just an indicator of slow-paying clients — they also can be a red flag for nonpaying accounts. Lenders may want to see a reserve for bad debts to reflect potential uncollectible bills.

3. Your assets: Know that lenders care about what they are worth now. "Bankers are going to want to tie up more assets than the loan is worth whenever possible," says Dana Barfield, a financial planner in Richardson , Texas , who specializes in planning for businesses with up to $80 million in revenues. So lenders will look at your assets not in terms of what you paid for them, but rather in terms of what they could be sold for if the business is ever to be liquidated. Overall, this is going to favor the manufacturer with a brand-new production line over the information services business with rapidly depreciating computer equipment. You can't do much about this, but be aware and plan accordingly.

4. Improve your loan-to-value ratio. Desirable loan-to-value ratios vary by industry. Leasing companies, for example, tend to have higher acceptable loan-to-value ratios. Bifolco says that, in general, he likes to see loan-to-value ratios of 3-to-1 or less; Shorr suggests that 4-to-1 is a winner. But there isn't a strict bar for this ratio. "What I'm looking for is a snapshot that will tell me if this company can make it through a few rainy days, through a couple of recessions," Bifolco says. "Not being overleveraged is part of that."

5. Remember that lenders want interest payments plus. It's not unusual for people looking to borrow money to consider themselves good risks if they can show that they can service the debt — that is, produce enough monthly cash to pay the interest on the loan. But that's not enough for lenders these days. Most of them want to see that you can generate enough cash to not only service the debt but also to pay back principal. So instead of just interest coverage, you have to think about — and be able to show — how the business will have total debt coverage.

6. Yes, they want you , but not too much. A business that has a track record of borrowing and repaying always has a leg up on getting a new loan. But lenders don't like to see debt servicing consuming too much income. Debt-to-income ratios of less than 40% are preferred. That means if you are making $10,000 in profits monthly, not more than $4,000 of that should be getting siphoned off for debt servicing."In general, we really don't like debt-to-income ratios of 50% or more," says Melissa Hammit, commercial credit analyst for Woodforest National Bank in Woodlands, Texas .

7. Personal credit dings? Hold back a bit. Lenders say that good personal credit can help with a business loan, especially since many small-business borrowers have to guarantee the loan personally. The reverse is also true: Some dings on your record could hurt you. So try to hold off on applying for a business loan if you've recently missed some payments or had other credit problems. Going more than a full year with a clean personal credit record can make a difference when signing that business loan application.

Your Marketing Bang: Is it Worth the Bucks?

By Joanna L. Krotz

When it comes to getting bang for marketing bucks, too many business owners close their eyes, throw up their hands and resign themselves to guesswork. But if marketing efforts are ruled by luck or instinct, at best, you squander money. At worst, your sales head south.

"In today's business climate, we won't even propose a marketing strategy to our clients unless we can easily measure its success," says John Rarrick, whose Nyack, N.Y., marketing consultancy serves the hospitality and entertainment industries. Rarrick now relies on easily tracked, quantifiable promotions "such as coupons, survey-driven Web promotions and partnership bounce-back promotions."

Here are six other ways to benchmark your marketing campaigns without breaking the bank or overburdening your staff.

1. Get a handle on costs and customers. With business having slowed, many owners are so laser-focused on sales that they forget the other crucial stuff. What could be more important than sales? Well, profits. Sometimes, the more you sell, the more you lose. Before planning marketing campaigns or mounting promotions, Jim Warren at direct-marketing agency Warren Direct in Austin , Texas , suggests that you analyze the cost of marketing versus the profit it must yield. How much, for instance, will it cost to acquire a new customer? Who is your potential new customer? What will get that potential customer's attention? Most importantly, after getting attention, what will drive a response and close the deal? Find out.

2. Set clear goals and define success. The return on marketing investments you seek is likely predicated on your overall strategy. Benchmarks, after all, are set against a standard — be it an industry or individual ruler. "Formulating a marketing strategy that articulates a set of outcomes has to be the starting point," says Karen Webster, president of the Center for Marketing Effectiveness in Boston . After that, "return on investment" for marketing can mean many things, including: Before spending a dime, make sure your expectations make sense for the marketing you plan. Professional associations, community college small-business divisions and local marketing agencies can help you set goals.

3. Stay disciplined and understand your market., an online student-loan consolidator based in San Diego , reaches its target customers via online advertising — a marketing channel that has befuddled and burned dozens of other firms. Launched in February 2000, around the time many dot-coms were fizzling, has grown to 33 employees and expects revenues of $12 million this year. The company spends a hefty $200,000 a month on online advertising, according to chief executive Michael O'Brien. But he aims for a very cost-effective 50-cent CPM (cost per thousand). The ads avoid razzle-dazzle. "Our big rule is 'Keep it simple, stupid,'" O'Brien says. To avoid tying up his small staff, O'Brien works to attract only motivated customers — callers with a low level of interest or those who do not have student loans are weeded out early in the process. "You need to understand costs," he says. "It's the conversion rate, not the click-through, that counts."

As a result, O'Brien places ads only on Web sites that provide, as he puts it, "all you need in 30 seconds" — such as Once people visit such sites, says O'Brien, they look for a reason to click on something else. "We have an opportunistic product and a compelling enough argument to make people want to click on our application. But it's a big learning process."Advertising on stripped-down, quick-hit sites works to's advantage. Then tracks which Web sites deliver what customers to it. Conversion occurs an astonishing 50% of the time, O'Brien says.

4. Survey customers by offering a benefit. Inexpensive e-mail newsletters not only provide value to opt-in customers, through relevant editorial content and promotional offers, but they can also reveal who the customers are and what they want. For example,, an e-newsletter application provider based in Newton , Mass. , formats and distributes newsletters and then analyzes how customers interact with them. Along with the newsletter, iMakeNews builds a companion micro-site on the Web, so customer mailboxes aren't overloaded and newsletters can be archived."The micro-site analytics give you e-mail open [rates] and click-through rates," explains chief executive Kathleen Goodwin. You also learn who looked at the information, what they did with it and whether or not they took action — data critical to e-mail marketing. Identifying features or content that attracts strong responses lets you hone messages or refine your product lines. Costs, says Goodwin, run $300 to $2,000 a month, depending on volume and services. "E-mail open rates average 20%," she says.

5. Monitor customer responses throughout the sales process. Once customers are drawn to you, you need to know what brought them in as well as what they want. Find out, as suggests Shel Horowitz in his book, "Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World," why customers chose you instead of a competitor, which benefits pulled them in, and — often overlooked — what else they need that you can potentially supply. You can uncover such information in lots of ways, including simply asking customers who walk in the door, sending out postcard queries, offering incentives for filling out satisfaction surveys, phone research and so on. Then, make sure you can use the information you collect. Set up a database of customer responses — or, at the very least, keep a card file. That way, you gain a history of your tactics and can spotlight what worked with which customers.

6. Kick the tires and keep testing. Don't simply put a campaign or series of events into place and move on. Instead, keep measuring results. Try low-cost experiments and then put resources behind what works. For example: Besides the details you gain from analytics, the real test of marketing is very straightforward. If your marketing is not increasing business, stop doing it. And try something else.

By Joseph Anthony

The Personal Branding and Marketing of ME, Inc

The total relationship people have with you gives them a certain perception of you. This perception is your brand. As the CEO of ME, Inc., your brand helps others decide if they want a relationship with you or not.

Here are some of the hallmarks of brands:

· You only get “credit” for what you do consistently.

· The reliability of your behavior establishes your brand.

· Brands are based on actions, not intentions.

· Inconsistency weakens brands and suspends belief.

This is how your brand will affect your ME, Inc. client search:

· It establishes your value.

· It establishes trust.

· You consistently deliver value, therefore …

· You can negotiate!

Remember this important marketing principle: Benefits Always Trump Features. If a new car dealer tells you about 8 cylinder engines, state-of-the-art emission controls, moon roof, and racing stripes, she’s describing the car’s features. However, if she tells you things like, “It will easily save you over 50% on gasoline”, or “the front and rear sensors warn you if you are too close to another vehicle”, she’s describing the car’s benefits to you as the potential owner.

Since you are the CEO of ME, Inc., always try to emphasize how you can solve someone’s problem or save them money rather than going on and on about all the achievements you’ve racked up in your professional career. If people begin to associate you with consistently providing benefits that will become part of your BRAND— and you’ll be remembered for it!

Learn to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Always provide value. Bring something to the table they can’t. Find a niche that shows the world you are someone with unique skills and talents and that you know how to use them!

Learn more on personal branding and other ME, Inc. tips by joining our weekly membership conference call on Wednesday evening (9:00PM – EST). Register via – “Training Events”.

Best wishes and own your career,

Rod Colón, Professional Speaker / Author

Empowering Today’s Professionals
Running the Business of "ME"

Win The Race For 21st Century Jobs Slide Show

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