Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Writing a Resume: To Use or Not Use Big Words

One job seeker disagrees with many job-search guides that advise readers to use big words and fancy job descriptions on their resumes.

The Best Companies to Work for in Europe

According to this article from Forbes, some of the best jobs around are actually right across the Atlantic. Cosmetics in France, pharmaceuticals in Denmark, banking in Britain. Could it be true?

Take a Risk and Land a Job

While experience and education are key ingredients for landing your dream job, risk-taking and self-confidence may be even more important, according to this article.

Job Search Clues

This article offers job search advice to three groups of job seekers: new graduates, mid-career professionals, and older workers.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Effectiveness Tip of the Week via a weekly email from the folks at FranklinCovey

What did you expect?

"That's your job!" "We didn't agree to that!" "That's not what I meant!" If your expectations are as "clear as mud," don't expect much else than, well, a pretty messy situation. Clean up on Aisle 5! Clarifying expectations in your family, work, and other relationships will help avoid misunderstandings, disappointments, and lack of trust.

  • Implicit vs. explicit. Some expectations in relationships are implicit, like your boss expecting you to be at work on time. Yet, many expectations are explicit, requiring further clarification. Negative situations are created when you assume your expectations are self-evident and clearly understood by others.
  • Speak up. In new relationships, get all the expectation out on the table at the beginning. Clearly articulate who does what. Almost all relationship difficulties are a result of ambiguous expectations around roles and goals.
  • Time and effort. It's easy to pretend differences don't exist and to hope things will work out. Investing time and effort up front to clarify expectations will save time and effort in the future.
Clarifying expectations -- any questions?

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

MSN Money - A survival guide for the unemployed

"A job loss can be devastating, but it doesn't have to be a disaster. Here are 7 ways to shore up your finances, conserve cash and arm yourself for a long-term drought." Read more...

On a personal note, we just got our food stamps activated today. I also will be receiving my Medicaid card in the mail soon, since I'm dependent on medicine to combat things like chronic depression and anxiety. I think I'll be checking back to the article and even reconsider using the personal finance software we have to track expenses.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Small Business Owners: Good hiring may take attitude change

"The biggest block to finding employees is to recognize you have to change. Two things need to change: your attitude and your approach. We'll cover attitude this month and approach next month." Read more...

Study: Employment in Dayton remains cold

Is it time to start thinking about moving? I'm only slightly serious in asking that question. This story lists some hot and cold spots in the job market around the United States.

What will it take to jump-start the economy? Anybody have any ideas?

Internet recruiting without limits

I just happened to see this page while visiting the online version of the Dayton Business Journal. I would guess that something like this would be set up for other cities under the bizjournal umbrella, but I don't know for sure.

Also, the Career BizCenter application looks interesting.

On Making Oneself Available

Our family uses one phone line for regular telephone and Internet use. Our family is in such financial circumstances that we cannot afford an additional phone line or DSL. I recognized that while I am online at home that potential employers are not able to get through to us. We're trying to make ourselves more available by letting employers know they can email us, but I have a feeling that we need some other way for them to contact us.

Does anyone know of a free voicemail service? We may even want to look at how much getting the phone company's voicemail system is. At least there we could have calls transferred to our voicemail if we were online or busy.

It's funny, but I've asked the above question without doing an Internet search first. If I find anything, I'll post it here.

Update: Good ol' Google, coming through again. Check out BuzMe. I plan on signing up for this when we get home (I'm at the Job Center now.)

Monday, April 21, 2003

Organize and Document lessons from the past tax filing year

I'd like to share some things I've learned from doing our family's taxes last week. The main purpose in doing this is to get this stuff down so that I don't forget. I also invite your input.

If I could sum it up in a word or phrase it would be Documentation and Organization. I rememember when I worked as an Environmental Engineer for Alcoa Building Products, documentation was key to showing our proof that we complied with environmental laws and regulations. If it wasn't in writing, then it never happened.

With that mindset, we needed to have well-organized files. I remember the color scheme for the different types of environmental "media" (for lack of a better word): blue for water/wastewater, green for solid/hazardous waste, orange for toxic chemical information, red for air resource management, and so on. We even had a document that described our file-keeping system. The intent of this was to provide quick and easy retrieval of documentation in the event of an audit and for future reporting.

Our family has a number of things going on that merit good recordkeeping practices. For one thing, both my wife and I are actively looking for employment. Mileage and other job search expenses are tax-deductible, provided you have documentation. And we need to keep track of contacts, companies to whom we've sent resumes, follow up correspondence, and so on.

Additionally, our daughter Keisha, has hearing loss in both ears. Several times we've needed to provide documentation for insurance, education, and medical reasons.

And then there's the bills. Holy cow! Bills for everything related to running a family. There is a huge need to document that bills were paid, along with conversations with creditors and other individuals.

I think a big reason why I've procrastinated in the past is because I've dreaded all the effort in getting this information together. I see now that if I put forth the work up front to get organized and document things, then, when the time comes to retrieve that information, it won't appear as daunting.

So, you could say that I'm having another kind of a "birthday" today.

Follow Your Path - from a Recipes for the Soul Card

This post comes from a "Recipes for the Soul" card, as a matter of fact


  • Perception
  • Individuality
  • Control
"You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was." -- Abraham Lincoln

Have you ever looked at a family photo and discovered an uncanny resemblance to one of your relatives? Did you notice any differences too? Those moments of recognition remind us how connected we are to each other, but also how unique we are. It's important to cherish our common traits, but it's just as essential to achieve our own identity.

  • Treat an older relative to dinner. Ask about their life and interests growing up. You may learn valuable lessons from their experiences that will help you along the way.
  • Parents are not to blame. When life doesn't turn out exactly as planned, we have a tendencey to blame our parents. Instead, look inside yourself for answers. What happens next is up to you.
July 2005 Update: If you know where someone can get more of these "Recipes for the Soul" cards, let me know! Thanks!

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Monday, April 14, 2003

Invisible Matrix

Nick is also looking for work.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Effectiveness Tip of the Week from the folks at FranklinCovey:

Self-Exploration: The Terrain of Heart and Soul

What do you really value in life? Perhaps you have taken some time lately to reflect on what resonates within you -- those ideas and convictions that need no outside validation. Because of demands on your time, you might not contemplate your values as often as you would like as you go about living. Yet it's important to make a conscious connection with those values that govern your life -- the foundations upon which your life is both anchored and navigated; things like family, humor, and respect. To help you explore your values further, try this exercise:

Locate a comfortable environment free from noise and distractions. Reflect on the following questions and listen to your heart and conscience.

  • If I had to walk away from everything I ever loved, what would be left behind?
  • What would I miss most if it were taken from me?
  • What is of greatest importance or value in my life?
As you go about your week, it will be vitally important to determine whether or not there is consistency between where you spend your time and what you value most.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Cope with Unemployment

In a Business 2.0 Magazine article, Ellen McGirt offers advice on getting ahead of the game if you know you're going to be facing a layoff.

What Does Your Answering Machine Say to Employers?

Anyone who has called our house within the last couple weeks has been treated to an answering machine message where we state our names, and then the following:

You know what to do and when to do it!
In the past we've also set it up to say
We will work for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Please leave your message after the beep.
These probably aren't the best messages for potential employers, I've realized.

HotJobs has a link to an article about this topic, but it currently doesn't work. It may work in the future, so I'll post the link here.

Update, 2003 April 22: I'm at the Job Center, and I just checked the link. It works. Great information, too, including a good case for having a "vanilla" type of answering machine message.

Friday, April 11, 2003

BostonWorks - The Job Blog

I just noticed that they've added 'Get That Job!' to their blogroll.

Electronic Recruiting News

I've noticed a large number of referrals recently to this blog from that website. Don't know what that means right now.

Ohio Job Prospector

Job Prospector is a research site, not a job posting site. The career information it provides is meant to provide users with an "Inside Look" at employers that is not available to most job seekers. Since they list career profiles and not job postings, the manner in which you respond to these employers is very important.

If sending a resume, please be sure to explain that you researched the particular employer and are inquiring about potential career opportunities based on that research. This will help the employer understand why you have sent them your resume. It will also help to emphasize your initiative and give you the best chance for success!

Update: I figured out that this site is not free, but you can have access to it at a number of public institutions (libraries, universities, and the Montgomery County Job Center). These organization have their own password, so you will have to use one of their computers that has already been logged into the Job Prospector. So, go there and use it!

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

How to Break Into IT

No, folks, this isn't a guide to hacking. Rather, it's an article from the Encarta eLearning Center on how to get a career in Information Technology. Read more...

Monday, April 07, 2003

Forbes.com | The 25 Fastest-Growing Technology Companies

What?! Can there be such a thing? Did I read that right?

Apparently so:

NEW YORK - American creativity and innovation did not die with the collapse of the Internet bubble or the Nasdaq market. Technology companies with good ideas and good execution of those ideas can still grow at an extraordinary pace. One thing for sure, however, is that such growth won't be even across all parts of the technology spectrum.

With a lead-in like that, you just have to find out who the companies are, don't you? Well, I still recommend reading the article, but here's the table of, believe-it-or-not (believe it), The 25 Fastest-Growing Technology Companies.

Forbes.com | Alternative Routes

Hello, fellow job seekers! I'm back home now, going through the email. Here's something interesting:

NEW YORK - This year an estimated 1.2 million college seniors will graduate into one of the worst economies in a decade. Unemployment is at 5.8% and job prospects for graduates are bleak, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Even jobs that grads don't want may be tough to land.

Lest this generation think it's the first to enter the real world in a bout of career angst, a quick reality check. Many career success stories began in a state of doubt and confusion--eventually deviating from their intended route. Our slideshow highlights eight executives' surprising starts--and advice--to share with a panicky grad near you.
Read more and check out the slide show... Update: I just came back from watching the slide show. Pretty cool. I didn't take notes, unfortunately. I'll have to stop back later.

Ohio Workforce Investment Act

"Welcome to www.ohioworkforce.org -- your on-line center for information about the Workforce Investment Act."

Incidentally, I'm getting ready to head to WIA orientation meeting here at the Job Center.

Can You Hear Me Now?

Careers are available at Verizon Wireless.

Miami Valley Hospital Jobs

Also found in the browser history is the link to jobs at Miami Valley Hospital, the place where my 5-1/2 year old daughter Keisha was born!

Miami Township, Ohio Job Opportunities

I was checking out the browser history of the computer I'm working on, and I saw the link to Miami Township. If you live in the Dayton area, and especially Miami Township, then you may find the link to their job listings valuable.

Spanish Jobs | Bilingual Jobs | Hispanic Jobs | Diversity Jobs

Hey, all! I'm at the Dayton Job Center! I launched IE, and the home page is set to LatPro.com -- "the largest Hispanic & bilingual jobs and diversity career board in the Americas!"

Friday, April 04, 2003

There's Still Time to Write Off Your Job Search

If you haven't yet filed your tax return, there's still time to write off your job search expenses. Try these last-minute tax tips, from the folks at SmartMoney.com.

Greater Dayton Job Center Expo 2003

Wednesday, April 30, 2003
10 A.M. - 3 P.M.
1111 South Edwin C. Moses Boulevard

Successful Job Search Tips
  • Professional Attire Required
  • For Your Safety... PLEASE, NO BABY STROLLERS
  • Bring a Typed Resume

Don't miss your opportunity to meet over 100 area employers!!

Montgomery County Department of Job and Family Services
The Job Center
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
St. Vincent DePaul Society (Dayton)

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Networking | Use Your Business Cards to Get That Job!

Even if you're not employed you can still sell your most important commodity: yourself. Make some personalized business card and use them as a mini-resume when you're at different social gatherings. This article from WetFeet.com shares some great advice. Read more...

Job Seekers vs. HR: The Battle of Egos

Job seekers say that HR never returns phone calls. HR says that job seekers call too often. In her March 12, 2003 column, Amy Lindgren of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tries to settle the skirmish.

For the job seeker: "Send customized materials to a few employers each week, follow up to ask for a meeting, and listen to the feedback you're getting from the recipient of your attention."

For HR: "If you don't want hundreds of resumes, why advertise so broadly?"

But you must read the article to get the full context. Go there...

Important Note from Dan Johnson crossposted to all my blogs

Hello, readers of this Get That Job! For the past year, this blog has grown in enormous popularity on the Internet, as illustrated by the number of hits. I am proud to inform you that this blog, along with the others that I maintain, have been trademarked! So, look forward to seeing the ™ symbol behind the blog title!

It's great when you can become so well known that something like this is possible.

It's all thanks to you guys, the readers and visitors to this blog.

Dan Johnson