How Others Perceive You

HowDoYouPerceiveSuccessI love meeting new people, following them on LinkedIn, Twitter, or meeting through a blog. But, when someone googles resume writers and career coaches, you receive an overwhelming list. I checked out several before making my decision concerning a coach. The websites showed great testimonials, stats etc., but I wanted to gain insight into who they were, what their morals were, work ethic, and how they would work with me. It’s difficult figuring out who someone is online. Are they who they say they are? What are others saying? What is their client’s experience? And, if I’m spending my hard earned money and investing into my business, I need to understand as much as I can.

With all this in mind, I recently took the 360 reach and sent out a questionnaire to a group of people so that I might gain insight into my core self and work ethic through other’s eyes. How might I serve clients better, learn more, or communicate clearer? However, it became more than gaining clarity concerning my brand; it became about my potential clients so they could have a view into part of who I am as a human being and business owner.
I wanted to share some results with you. Here are a few of the comments from different sections of the questionnaire.

Type of Car:
* A Lexus hybrid: dependable, diverse, quality and sassy
* The top of the line Toyota because her work is polished and high end. She is reliable, hard working, and proven to work
* Dune buggy because she is fun and enjoyable to work with and be around
* Honda – nice, dependable, good vehicle
* Honda – reliable, easy to use, won’t break down
* Honda, reliable, trustworthy, stable
* Lexus – because she is classy, refined and experienced and likes to make life easier for those around her
* Sporty el Camino because she’s got the power under the hood to handle any road she travels
* Subaru because she’s dependable
* Toyota Camry – reliable, consistent, long lasting
* Volvo…classy…study….individualistic

Household Appliances:
* A scale, because it is honest
* Blender – the ability to transform bits and pieces into something good
* Bose sound system: she makes your work sound as beautiful and crisp as possible
* Sewing machine, she sews words together to form interesting stories
* Space heater because she is a positive and comforting influence. She has a way of making others feel warm, and she fits in well in all social circles.

Comments:
* Jennifer is one of the most determined people I know. She has an infectious positive attitude and a love for seeing people around her succeed
* Your compassion and caring are nurturing and much appreciated
* Your recruiting and staffing background helps you to see the way through the trees for you clients
* Multi-talented, good at multi-tasking as well
* You do amazing work
* She can do anything she sets her mind to

Those are all things I feel good about and live those traits in my personal life and implement them into my business.
Utilizing tools to find out how others perceive you can help differentiate who you are on your resume and LinkedIn profile. There’s so much competition with other job seekers every advantage takes you a step closer to your ideal job.

Jennifer Owenby is a professional resume writer located in Portland, Oregon. Please visit ONB Professional Resume Services for additional information and scheduling an appointment. Also visit here for LinkedIn Profile Services.

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Happy Holidays to You

Red Shopping BagsHappy Holidays to everyone, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or any other day that brings you together with your loved ones.

During the holidays, I like everyone else, is rushing to the finish line for presents, food menus, holiday parties and trying to grab a bit of rest in between the festivities. During conversations at the holiday events, I’ve realized most people have a general idea, but no concrete plans for 2015 and won’t firm those up until after Christmas or closer to the New Year.

Another great thing about the holiday seasons is the sales! Who doesn’t love a good sale especially when it’s truly a great value? As everyone is trying to organize and plan during the next week and a half I wanted to let you know that I’m offering $100 off any mid-level, management or executive level resume through December. The offer will expire December 31st, 2014 at midnight.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to begin your new year off with a strength based professional resume!

Please visit http://www.onbproresumes.com and fill out the contact me information for your consultation today.

Jennifer Owenby is a professional resume writer located in Portland, Oregon. Please visit ONB Professional Resume Services for additional information and scheduling an appointment. Also visit here for LinkedIn Profile Services.

How to Fly Under the Radar With Your Job Search Pt. 3

under-the-radarWelcome to part three of flying under the radar with your job search. Here are some other Don’ts To Consider in a Confidential Job Search.

Don’t attend job fairs. One job seeker reviewed the roster of participating employers at a job fair and didn’t see his company listed. However, as he made the rounds of the booths, his current boss spotted him, leading to an awkward conversation and his departure from the company sooner than he had originally planned. Some job fairs collect résumés and distribute them to all participating companies. A few companies enter these into a database to search for their company name to identify current employees looking for new jobs.

Don’t respond to “blind ads.” On a related note, do not submit your résumé for positions where the company name isn’t listed. More than one job seeker has applied for “the perfect job” only to find it was their job being advertised!

Don’t conduct your job search at work or on company time. This includes not making calls from your work phone or on your company cell phone, or listing either of these numbers on your résumé. You may still receive incoming calls from recruiters and prospective employers on your work land line or cell phone, but you don’t want a record of you initiating these contacts using company resources. Only make calls at work when you’re on break or at lunch — again, from your personal cell phone. (If you take an early or late lunch, you’re more likely to catch the hiring manager or recruiter at his or her desk.) And make sure you make the call from somewhere you won’t be overheard.

Don’t use your company computer for your job search. First, your search history is trackable, and all your inbound and outbound emails are probably logged as well. Don’t store your résumé on your work computer, and do not use company printers or copiers to make copies of your résumé. It might be overkill, but also don’t connect to your company’s Wi-Fi — even when you’re conducting job search activities on your own time, using your own devices.

Don’t use your company email address on any of your job search correspondence. Again, not only is it probably being monitored, but also it looks bad to a prospective employer that you are using company resources to support your job search.

Don’t post your résumé online. Not only is it likely to be found by someone at your current company, but also résumés posted publicly stay out there “forever.” Even removing contact information might not help you from being identified. When possible, apply only for positions you’re interested in, and apply directly on the company website, if possible, instead of through a job board.

Don’t schedule interviews during work hours. Schedule your interviews on your day off, before work, during lunch, or after work. You may have to be creative about when — and how — you interview.

Don’t post about your job search on social media. Also, don’t post about being unhappy in your current job on social media — no matter how locked down you think your privacy settings are. Anyone can take a screen shot of your post and share it with anyone else.

Don’t suddenly start attending lots of networking events if you haven’t regularly attended them before. However, if you do want to attend professional association or networking events, volunteer to help at the registration desk. You’ll get a chance to meet everyone who attends, without appearing that you’re trying to meet everyone.

Don’t lie if you are asked if you’re looking for a job. That’s especially important if that question comes from your current boss. If you’re asked, be honest — but you should also re-double your job search efforts. In the event of a layoff, you’ll likely be the first to be let go, “since you were planning on leaving anyway.”

Jennifer Owenby is a professional resume writer located in Portland, Oregon. Please visit ONB Professional Resume Services for additional information and scheduling an appointment. Also visit here for LinkedIn Profile Services.

How to Fly Under the Radar With Your Job Search Pt. 2

under the radarWelcome back for more tips on how to keep your job search discrete.

Here are some specific actions you should take on LinkedIn to support your stealth job search, while still being visible for business connections and to facilitate unsolicited job opportunities:

Turn off your activity broadcasts. This is the first step to take, as it will ensure that your entire network isn’t notified every time you make a change to your profile. If you don’t turn off this setting, all of your Connections will receive notifications of every change you make to your LinkedIn profile. So turn off your activity broadcasts before making any changes!

On the main menu, click on the thumbnail of your profile photo (which appears at the very top right of your profile, on the main menu bar).

From the drop-down menu, click on the blue “Review” link next to “Privacy & Settings.”

Once on the “Privacy & Settings” page, click on the blue link for “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts” under the “Privacy Controls” section.

A pop-up page will appear. Make sure the box is unchecked where it says, “Let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies.”

Click the blue “Save changes” button.

You’ll be taken back to the Privacy & Settings page. Continue to use “Privacy Controls” to make some additional changes.

Select who can see your activity feed. Your choices are: Everyone, Your Network (these include “friends of friends”), Your Connections, and Only You. Choose “Only You.”

Click “Save changes.”

Select who can see your list of connections. The choices are: Your Connections or Only You. Who you know is actually valuable information for future employers who are considering hiring you or searching for you on LinkedIn, so leave this as “Your Connections.”

Select the type of messages you’re willing to receive. Do not click the “Career Opportunities,” “Job Inquiries,” or “New Ventures” boxes — these will show up on your Profile. However, you can check “Expertise Requests,” “Business Deals,” “Personal Reference Requests,” and “Requests to Reconnect” boxes.

And be sure to fill in the “Advice to People Who Are Contacting You” section on that page. In particular, include your personal phone numbers (home and/or cell) to facilitate employment-related contacts.

Manage your Recommendations. Cultivate these over time — suddenly adding several Recommendations at once may raise suspicion. So request Recommendations over a period of time (for example, one per month), so that they appear to be more organically cultivated.

Don’t reveal confidential information on your LinkedIn profile. You want to quantify accomplishments, but not disclose company secrets. Focus on how you’ve helped the company stand out and be successful, not how you stand out and are successful.

Don’t participate in LinkedIn Groups for jobseekers while you’re employed. Instead, participate in LinkedIn Groups where you might be found by recruiters or future employers. Contribute your expertise (and carefully considered comments) in job function-specific or industry Groups.

Build your network of contacts slowly. Do not send out multiple connection requests within a short period of time. If your number of connections jumps from 20 to 120 in just days, that’s suspicious to anyone who might be checking out your profile. (However, you definitely want to get your connection number above 100. But do it over a period of time, not all at once.)

Do not use LinkedIn’s profile blocking feature to minimize your LinkedIn visibility to your current boss or colleagues. This will only raise red flags if they know you have a LinkedIn profile but can’t access it. (They can simply ask a friend or colleague to log into their own LinkedIn account and pull up your LinkedIn profile.) If you had previously blocked supervisors or colleagues for this reason, LinkedIn now allows you to “unblock” these individuals. Instructions and your list of blocked individuals can be found at: http://www.linkedin.com/settings/member-block-list

Don’t upgrade to the paid job seeker membership level. The last thing you need in your confidential job search is a job hunting icon on your LinkedIn profile.

More on your confidential job search coming soon.

Do I have to Write a Cover Letter?

Cover-letterThe cover letter is often expected from a company when applying, but is it really necessary? Many things have changed concerning applying for jobs so can you get away without one?

I was talking with a few fellow resume writers and one of them shared this:

My husband was hiring for a position, and they had several great applicants. After the interview process, the company was having great difficulty narrowing it down. The applicant’s qualifications and experience were all great. They reviewed the resumes again and then went back to the cover letter. The cover letter was the deciding factor for who landed the position. It was the tie breaker.

The majority of the cover letter isn’t read first, but skimmed through. It’s pertinent that you have key qualifications easily noticeable. In a lot of cases, the cover letter is read after the review of the resume and used to continue to qualify or disqualify an applicant.

With this being said, my advice is yes to a cover letter. If you hire a professional resume writer, you should also hire them for your cover letter. You don’t want to submit a resume in a different voice and expertise than your cover letter. You need to show across the board that you are a solid and well-qualified candidate.

Jennifer Owenby is a professional resume writer located in Portland, Oregon. Please visit ONB Professional Resume Services for additional information and scheduling an appointment. Also visit here for LinkedIn Profile Services.

Holiday Savings

holiday savingsI’m excited to announce that for the rest of 2014 I’m offering a holiday discount.

Contrary to popular belief,  November and December are excellent months to conduct your job search.

In order to help you land a new career during these months, I’d like to offer $100 off any mid-level professional, management or executive level resume for the rest of 2014! (Prices vary per individual.) If you refer someone, they will receive the discount, and you will receive an Amazon gift card as a thank you.

Simply contact me at jennifer@onbproresumes.com with your current resume and schedule a time to chat about your new resume and job search. (Visit http://www.onbproresumes.com to schedule an appointment on my calendar). During our conversation I’ll give the pricing with $100 discount.

Feel free to pass this newsletter on to your friends and family.

I look forward to working with you!

Jennifer Owenby is a professional resume writer located in Portland, Oregon. Please visit ONB Professional Resume Services for additional information and scheduling an appointment. Also visit here for LinkedIn Profile Services.

How to Answer That Pesky Salary Question

MinionThere is always lots of chatter when it comes to answering the question
“What’s your current salary?” This is a well-recognized “weeding out” tool for companies. If you list a salary too high, they toss your application, to low they might assume you don’t possess the required skills.

The process may work for the busy recruiter searching hundreds and maybe thousands of resumes for one position, but is it fair? Many of my clients were affected with the downturn of the economy having no choice but to accept jobs with lower pay. Many people with the skills and experience to take a $20K increase, but they are becoming increasingly frustrated with feeling as though they have to reveal their current salary.

And, how do you as a job seeker handle this question? Most online applications won’t let you move forward if you leave it blank, forcing you to answer.

I advise my clients to answer the question like this:
current salary $1.00
expected salary $999,000

Any recruiter that sees this understands you aren’t willing to rule yourself out without further information. If you’re a qualified candidate, this won’t eliminate you.

Jennifer Owenby is a professional resume writer located in Portland, Oregon. Please visit ONB Professional Resume Services for additional information and scheduling an appointment. Also visit here for LinkedIn Profile Services.