Friday, November 30, 2007

Day 30 – Schedule Time with a Career Coach

My hope is that over the last 30 days you have had a chance to work on your personal development plan, you have increased your career and industry awareness and you have begun to lay the foundation for future career satisfaction.

This is a good time to schedule some time for a consultation with a professional Career Coach. Working with a Career Coach should be as important to you as getting together with your Accountant at tax time every year or meeting with your Insurance Agent to make sure your policies are as they should be.

Of course cost is a consideration and as with all other professionals you work with in planning your life, you look for a return on your investment. For example, just as working with an Accountant actually saves you money, working with a good Career Coach could save you stress and earn you more.

Most of us couldn't actually put a price on the personal and professional costs related to being in the wrong job or wrong career. Just as no career test exists to tell you what to do, do not expect a Career Coach to tell you what to do either.

Look for Career Coaches who are members of professional associations that uphold the highest levels of ethical standards.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Consider Working With a Career Coach

If considering career reentry or changing careers, consider working with a professional career coach or a professional recruiter. If you haven't been in job search mode for a while, things have changed.

Connecting with a career coach does not need to be a long protracted event, but you would be amazed at the kind of career reentry strategy help you can get in just one consultation.

Here is a great article from the AARP with some guidelines for selecting and working with career management professionals.

Does Double Major = Double Trouble?

Is there real value in having a double major in college? Is there an advantage when job hunting in a competitive market? Many college students have a second major because they believe it will positively affect a job search strategy. Here are some great and not so great reasons to attempt a double major in college.

Consider a double major if you:
1. Enjoy both subjects or disciplines
2. Are a hard worker and can maintain a good GPA in both areas
3. See a logical connection between both disciplines and can articulate same
4. Need to improve your college resume

Do NOT consider a double major in college just because:
1. Your friend, girlfriend, boyfriend is in that college major
2. Others say the major is easy
3. Professors in that major are said to be cooler than in the major
4. You heard that people graduating from that major get paid more
5. Your family member is in that major and they think it should be good for you too
6. College graduation is approaching and you don’t feel “ready” and think you should stay in school for a couple more years.

Read more - Double Majors do Double Duty
CollegeTips Double Major in College
No More Triple Majors Please by Brazen Careerist

Day 29 – Put Your References on Notice

National Career Development Month

If you are thinking about a career change or career makeover it is time to put your references on notice about the possible need for their future support.

This BullseyeResumes article at Associated Content gives you some insight on writing letters of recommendation. If you are asking for a recommendation keep the following tips in mind:

1. Make sure to ask people for their willingness to participate with enough notice.
2. If they say "No" it does not mean they don't support you, it may mean they do not currently have the time.
3. Be honest about the position for which you are applying.
4. Share your resume so your supporter will have all the relevant information including dates, job titles and company names.
5. Ask your reference to let you know if and when they are called.
6. Ask in a phone call or in person. Avoid email requests if possible.
7. Share some sample letters if it will help to expedite the process.

For the most part, people really appreciate being asked and enjoy spreading the word about how they enjoyed working with you. Be willing to do this for others as well.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Day 28 – Register with 3 Employment Websites

Today is a good day to explore creating a profile on three search engines.

1. Use one of the major job search websites available such as Monster, Career Builder or Dice.

2. Identify one industry specific job search website such as for Nonprofits.

3. Select a niche job search site related to a professional association. Eg Society of Human Resources Managers or the American Marketing Association.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Planning for Life Beyond High School?

Discovered a great website, TeensHealth, that gives highschool students all kinds of information on teen "STUFF" such as making good friends, study tips, job info, school violence, driving and preparing for college.

TeensHealth was created by the Nemours Foundation's Center for Children's Health Media. The organization prides themselves in giving up-to-date, jargon-free health information that high school students access. In fact more than 350,000 people access KidsHealth reliable information on an average day.

Good personal wellness habits go a long way to support job success and career success.

Day 27 - Identify Gaps in Skills and Competencies

Once you have identified 2-3 career options and the requisite skills for success in each, create a spreadsheet with 2-3 sheets, one for each option.

On each sheet create a simple spreadsheet with 4 columns:
1. Skills/Competencies required (here you list the skills required)
2. Rating (here you will rate yourself 1-10 on each skill or competence)
3. Example (speak to best example of your ability in any area you ranked 6 or above)
4. Gaps (what is required to build the skill or gain the competency)

Contact for a sample worksheet with additional instructions.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Interview FAQs for Career Reentry Professionals

If you are considering career reentry, interview help is available via Resume/Interview FAQs at

Find answers to following Interview FAQs and more:
-Any great niche internet resources for a career reentry professional to find interview help?
-How can I research a company before an interview?
-How important is the phone screening interview for a career reentry professional?
-I was fired from my last job; how do I handle that in the interview if I am asked?
-What is a Behavioral Interview?
-Would an Informational Interview help me prepare for the interview?

Day 26 - Identify 2-3 Career Options

National Career Development Month

You have done a lot of research, soul searching and asked a lot of questions this month. Hopefully your research and job analysis is giving you some clarity on your next career move. If your decision is to stay where you are, you have probably discovered some ways to enhance your existing job. If you know a career change, career makeover or career adjustment is in your future, you should be able to identify 2-3 career options you will explore in the future. Do not attempt to put a time limit on yourself at this point since time limits sometimes add extra stress. If you can fine, if you cannot do not stress about it, you are still on a fact finding mission at this point.

These might include:
-One option which is a modification or twist on your current role. A new assignment with your existing company or in your current industry
-One which has you moving in another direction completely to pursue something more meaningful to you
-One might be taking you towards business ownership

Whichever direction you choose at this point, identify 2 or 3 options.

Look at careers and related careers. For each career option visit O*Net and explore education, tasks, skills for success in that career. Explore a day in the life, schedule Informational Interviews and evaluate what is required, what do you have and where the performance gaps are that you will need to fill.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Day 25 - Learn about Informational Interviews

National Career Development Month

In addition to gathering information from career books, O*Net and great career websites, the Informational Interview is one of the best ways to learn about the in's and out's of a particular job, career or industry.

The Informational Interview is simply a way for you to connect with someone in the
field of interest and request a time and place to meet so you can learn more about a job, career or industry of interest.

Most professionals are usually happy to share information about what they do with others.

Learn more about Informational Interviews at

Note – Some tips:
-Keep your communication professional
-Do not abuse the time that someone is willing to spend with you
-Do not ask for a job during the informational interview
-Follow up and thank the person for their time
-Ask for the opportunity to follow-up later if you have additional questions

Reasons to Meet Employers During College Recruiting

Many college students overlook opportunities to meet employers on campus.

Too many college students only attend employer events events when they actually want to be hired. That may be too late if the competition has already met the hiring managers at a previous campus event.

How and why to meet employers on campus:

1.Convenience. Visit employer events between classes or take a quick walk across campus to spend 15 minutes with a hiring manager in the college career center.

2.Stress free meeting. Meet recruiters, employers or hiring managers at information tables or classroom visits before you have to meet them at the job interview.

3.Demonstrate positive “go-getter” attitude. Employers are impressed by students who know about campus visits and show up if even for a few minutes between classes to make a networking connection.

4.Branding your campus . To keep your preferred employer coming back to your college campus, show up to employer events. If employers experience low attendance of college students for events, they may drop your school or academic major from their recruiting schedule.

5. Get feedback on job search strategy. If you are job hunting and want some free career advice on to improve job search strategy, stop by and meet recruiters who can help with college resumes and job interview preparation.

Whether you are a college freshman, sophomore, junior or senior the career center values your visit to employer events to keep employers coming back.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Day 24 – Share your Resume and Get Feedback

National Career Development Month

Getting honest and unbiased feedback on your resume or CV is important. As with all of your job search communication including Resumes, CVs, Cover Letters or Thank You Letters, getting another perspective is important if you are considering a career makeover, career change or just a career checkup.

This is great time to pull together a list of people whose opinion you value and whose advice could help. As the holidays approach you might even see some contacts you do not see regularly and this would be a good way to start rejuvenating your contacts again and work on your networking skills.

Although most of the people you might share your resume or CV with are not professional resume writers, they can certainly give you good feedback about layout, flow or consistency. They may even know of opportunities you might want to consider.

Don't forget that many online resume writing services like can give you a free evaluation of your resume.

Finding the Right Vocational Training Program

There are great vocational training programs to get you trained relatively quickly with new in-demand job skills.

Before you select a program, consider an aptitude test to help determine strengths and weaknesses and what type of work environment suits you.

Once you have some ideas, research career education or vocational training programs based on needs. If you know what you want to study, take the assessment anyway to help confirm your career directions.

Once you find an area of interest, consider the following criteria:
-cost and financial aid
-services available such as career placement, job placement or career planning help
-length of program
-convenient schedules
-online classes

Visit for free vocational sample resumes that showcases skills and training.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Day 22 - Look for Work Life Balance!

National Career Development Month

I certainly hope you left the work at the office and are enjoying today with your family.

If you are thinking about a career change, career makeover or just wanting to explore career fitness, think seriously about how important work life balance is to you.

Since only 7% of families currently conform to the tradition of wage-earning dad, a stay-at-home mom, and one or more children, most of us are juggling a lot.

Take a look at some of the following niche resources to help you identify companies, organizations and industries that might be more family friendly:

Working Mother
Seattle Times Article
Career Builder Article

Internship programs from the Employer's Perspective

Much is written to help college students and new college graduates succeed in internship programs and cooperative education programs.

Explore employers' perspective in these exerpts from the new manual - Total Internship Management Guide; The Employer's Guide to the Ultimate Internship from Intern Bridge.

These exerpts will give you insight into what the employers are doing on their end to make sure there is a return on investment for their internship programs.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Day 21 - Job+Holiday = Stress; Get some perspective this season

National Career Development Month

This is an article I wrote originally in 2001 and have updated it yearly since then. I hope this abridged version helps you get some perspective this holiday season.

Through recent research, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reported that 40% of workers reported that their job was very or extremely stressful. A 2000 Integra Survey also reported that 62% of workers routinely find that they end the day with work-related neck pain, 44% reported stressed-out eyes, 38% complained of hurting hands and 34% reported difficulty sleeping because they were too stressed-out. As year end approaches and they worry about personal security and their family’s well being, holiday activities which should be relaxing, tend to add to the stress felt by employees.

At this time of year employers and employees may often have conflicting priorities caused by pressures of too many projects, busy schedules and too little time. At a time when companies are trying to meet deadlines, finalizing budgets for next year, generating sales to get them into the black and wrap up year-end paperwork, workers might be stressing over their own Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday planning and rapidly approaching work deadlines. While businesses are focused on increased potential holiday revenues, workers are preparing to welcome friends or families while still trying to stay on top of what’s happening at the office. The pressures increase significantly when family and business collide, when you are entrepreneur and employee, rolled into one.

Many experience guilt and anxiety from having to choose between holiday programs at their kids’ schools, or working overtime to meet shipping deadlines. Many employers worry about holiday budgets and stress over employees’ reaction to smaller or sometimes nonexistent bonuses if an off year. Some employees will feel resentment about assignments that delay plans to decorate their houses like those on magazine covers that tantalize all of us as we wait in endless supermarket lines. Working Dads will feel inadequate when, because of work schedules, their house is the only one on the block still without lights a few days before the big day and working Moms will feel guilty for resorting to burning “Fresh Baked Cookie Dough” candles, since there was no time to bake. Many will be especially frustrated because we are too tired to participate in spiritual events as planned during the season.

For those of us who love our work we find ways to balance the two, knowing that this season will pass and next year will be here before we know it. For those already dissatisfied with their jobs, careers and organizations, routine tasks become unbearable, productivity declines further and going to work feels like walking a tightrope. The following few suggestions might help us get some perspective this 2007 holiday season.

-Identify what is important and plan your time to accomplish only those things - Our productivity will improve because of it.

-Ask for help and support from friends, family, co-workers, bosses and neighbors - Our relationships will grow from it.

-Stay flexible and open to all possibilities - Our sanity depends on it.

-Take walks with your families to admire the colors and decorations around you - Our bodies will thank us for it.

-Encourage communication in the workplace to resolve conflicts around time and projects - Our coworkers will support us for it.

-Managers should be flexible enough to support employees’ family commitments - Our organizations will be better for it.

-Employees should develop an appreciation and respect for company bottom lines - Our economy will grow from it.

-Focus on the pure simple truths of the holidays - Our communities will be better for it.

-Take time to be thankful we live in America - Our futures depend on it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Day 20 - Explore Career Assessments

How much work have you done to know more about your skills, your values, your interests, your personality and your abilities. Who you are and what you have to offer must be considered as you contemplate your next career steps.

Here are a few career assessments to help you get started.

Some sites have more free resources than others. Explore all of them.

*Remember that no Career Assessment will tell you what you should be or what you should do. The results, however, will offer you a framework within which to start exploring options or will reinforce your current choice.

Find your favorite:

Ansir – Dominant personality Styles in three realms: Thinking Working and Emoting. 30 minutes

Big 5 Personality Test - Five fundamental dimensions of personality. Fairly bare-bones chart assessing Openness to New Experiences, Extraversion, Nervousness, and others. 5 to 10 minutes.

Career Competency Explorer - Five career competency domains: Technical, Strategic, Innovation, Cooperation, and Influence. Very easy interface; questions seem somewhat repetitious. 10-20 minutes and registration is required.

Career Focus 2000 Interest Inventory – Looks at your level of interest in about 18 occupational fields. This assessment's 180 inventory items about work tasks, and helps you identify possible career goals that match your strongest personal interests. 20-30 minutes.

Career Interest and Inventory - This 180-question assessment is a measure of occupational and career interests. This 180-question assessment is a measure of occupational and career interests. 15 minutes and registration is required.

Work Preference Inventory - This 24-question forced-choice assessment that tells your work style. This assessment is based on the premise that the process of values clarification is very important in career planning.

Type Focus – Looks at personality. Quick and easy 66-question assessment that tells your Myers-Briggs type and offers a bit of career direction. 8 to 10 minutes.

Aptitude, Entrepreneur and Personality reports!

Day 19 - Update your Resume and CV!

National Career Development Month

If you are considering any kind of career transition, career change or just getting into a career fitness program, it is time to update your resume or CV.

If you have been on this 30-day journey with us for this month, you have probably already seen your personnel file, done a job analysis, updated your job description and created a "Kudos Folder". Doing those things should have helped you start to inventory your past, ultimately setting the foundation for moving forward.

It is now time to take a look at your resume. Check out Resume FAQs at!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Resume FAQs for Career Reentry Professionals

If you are getting ready to reenter the workforce FREE resume help and interview advice is available via Resume/Interview FAQs at

Employers Value College Graduates Who Study Abroad

Recent surveys showed increased value of study abroad to employers as they select new college graduates for career positions.

Before you plan a spring break trip to Jamaica, think about travelling with a purpose and spending your college breaks going global for meaningful reasons.

College students should learn about study abroad programs including "Semesters-at-Sea" and other great programs for meaningful vacations and breaks.

Read the complete article about study abroad by BullsEyeResumes here.

Additional resources for college students to study abroad:
Transitions Abroad - offers expert career and trip advice, first-hand experiences, and practical resources for college students wishing to find jobs overseas.

Student Traveler - Student Traveler encourages college students to see the world, believing that those who experience foreign cultures will change for the better.

International Student - Online resource for international students to see the world and improve their education experience.

Peace Corps - Established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy to promote world peace and friendship through post college experiences.

Semester at Sea - A floating university that lets college students travel globally two to three months at a time.

British Council - British agency dedicated to building relationships between the UK and other countries through college student exchanges and scholarships.

Study Abroad - Comprehensive source of information on educational opportunities for college students who want to study abroad.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What Employers Look For in Vocational Grads

Here are the top 15 characteristics and skills employers look for in new grads. You gain many of these skills in career training or vocational training programs.

1. Communication Skills
2. Honesty/Integrity
3. Teamwork
4. Strong work ethics
5. Analytical skills
6. Flexibility and Adaptability
7. Interpersonal skills
8. Motivation/Initiative
9. Computer Skills
10. Detail Oriented
11. Organizational skills
12. Leadership
13. Self Confidence
14. Well Mannered/Polite
15. Friendly outgoing personality

Source - NACE Annual Survey

Day 18 – Research Upcoming Career Fairs!

National Career Development Month

If you are thinking about making a career transition, one immediate way to quickly improve your career and industry awareness is to attend a career fair. These fairs generally have the same format and layout, cost you nothing but a few hours and give you a great opportunity to meeting hiring managers.

When searching online, be sure to use different keywords to find upcoming fairs since the names might vary slightly. Here are a few alternative ways to find a career fairs which could be of interest to you.

Search by location – eg Philadelphia Career Fair or Valley Forge Career Fair.
Search based on education or training – eg MBA Career Fair, Technical Job Fair
Search by industry – eg. Sales Job Fair, Nonprofit Career Fair, Healthcare Job Fair
Search by niche – eg Diversity Job Fair or Disability Job Fair

Don't forget to search for Virtual Job Fairs as well which are completely online events.

Read the following articles for more information on how to use career fairs to your advantage.

Making the Most of Career Fairs by
Career Fair Strategies, by North Carolina State University Career Center

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Using a Targeted Resume Objective

Hiring managers peruse stacks of college resumes for potential employees. When recruiters want to fill new career positions urgently, they go through stacks of college resumes and wince at cliche resume objectives.

Resume objectives such as: "Seeking a challenging career with a progressive organization to utilize my skills, abilities and education and allow for my professional growth within the company;" although well written, say nothing about skills, goals or potential value of your candidacy.

Read the complete article on writing college resume objectives by BullsEyeResumes at

College Sample Resumes

Friday, November 16, 2007

Day 17 - Create a Kudos Folder

National Career Development Month!

If I were to ask you right now how many emails or notes you have received from people complimenting you on great work done - you would probably say many. However, like most of us, you probably don't know where to put your hands on them right now.

Spend time today creating a "Kudos Folder" simply by adding a folder in your email account and getting a 3-ring binder for hard copies of 'kudos' you receive.

Once established, your "Kudos" folder becomes a great repository of compliments that showcases how others feel about your skills and talents.

Day 16 - Volunteer!

National Career Development Month!

If you are considering making any kind of career change or just want to enrich your existing job, think about volunteering. Many companies have a commitment to community service and encourage employees to give back to the community. If your organization does not have such a program - start one.

Look around your existing organization or your community for committees, projects or civic organizations for volunteer opportunities. Volunteering can help you:

-build a network of professional contacts
-gain new competencies
-develop leadership abilities
-test out a new career field you wan to learn more about
-enrich your existing job
-give back your skills to your community

Here are 3 great resources to help you locate volunteer opportunities:

The Center for Volunteering
Government Volunteer Opportunities

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Day 15 - Rejuvenate Your Contacts!

National Career Development Month!

If you are thinking about making career changes or just need a lift to get you over the job stress for the next few months, connect with an old boss, a former colleague or fellow professional.

Keep in mind that networking actually begins way before you are in the market for a new job or career.

Remember also that networking is always a two way street and maintaining contact with you former colleagues and other professionals is important. It's not just about what they can offer you, but what you can do to help them.

For some great networking tips, check out the following:

1. The Riley Guide
2. Quint Careers
3. Los Angeles Chinese Learning Center - Article by Carl Reid
4. Career Journal

Great book on Networking:
Masters of Networking; Building Relationships for Your Pocketbook and Soul
By - Ivan R. Misner, PhD & Don Morgan MA
The book is a collection of stories, ideas from well known authors, successful professionals and entrepreneurs.

Day 14 - Join a Professional Association

National Career Development Month!

Are you currently an active member of a professional association? Notice the emphasis on the word active. Many of us pay dues to belong to an association, but really do not take the time to even read the monthly newsletters or subscriptions you receive via email or land mail.

What kind of value is there in joining an association?

Aside from the obvious networking possibilities with people in the same profession, which could lead to great opportunities, there are other benefits such as:
- Building new skills through on line or in person workshops, webinars etc.
- An opportunity to shape the future direction of your profession
- The possibility to develop leadership skills by participating on or leading a committee.

Here are two great lists of professional associations. Find a few that you can further explore and possibly join so that you can maybe attend a national conference in early 2008.

1. Wikipedia
2. Jobweb

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Day 13 - Thinking About Starting a Business?

National Career Development Month!

If you have been thinking about starting your own business - today is a good day to begin exploring the idea more fully.

If you have dreamed about becoming your own boss, then today is the day to start taking steps to do that. Identify online or community small business resources that are available to help you move your idea from your imagination into reality.

Some great resources to get you started include:
Small Business Development Centers
Entrepreneur Magazine.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Do You Fear Going back to School? Start Small

Successful career reentry might not be in the cards for you without additional training. Although a college degree is always a good option, you could work your way towards that, by starting with a certificate program.

Professional certification is one way to gain credibility in a short time and really build your resume.

Per the Department of Education, 13% of students currently enrolled in college are single parents. This represents an increase from 7.6% in 1993. Some of the key reasons people go back to school and go back to work are economic need, changing careers or updating professional credentials.

Here is what the International Center for Educational Statistics says about the projected growth in enrollment of older students:
"The number of young students has been growing more rapidly than the number of older students, but this pattern is expected to shift.

Between 1990 and 2004, enrollment of students under 25 increased by 31%. Enrollment of persons 25 and over rose 17% during the same period. To 2014, NCES projects a rise of 11% in enrollments of those under 25, and an increase of 15% in the number 25 and over".

Back 2 College is a good resource for career reentry professionals.

Day 12 - Enhance Technical Skills at Work

National Career Development Month!

Take a look at the training schedule at your company. Is there a technical skill you need to learn or enhance that will help with career growth?

You may be able to receive training at no cost to you in new technologies that could enhance your job such as:

-Pod Casting
-Web design and development
-Customer Relationship Management software
-Advanced PowerPoint Presentations or advanced work in any office technology programs
-Look for any industry specific technology also such as SCT Banner in Education or Blackbaud Fund Raising software for non-profit management or SAP for Purchasing.

Think about a new program YOU might be able to offer as well.

Day 11 - What's in Your Personnel File?

National Career Development Month!

When was the last time you looked at your personnel file at work?

Schedule an appointment to take a look and find out what's in there.

Do you have enough citations or notices about excellent work you have done? Is there a current copy of your resume? Is the job description on file current? What are you currently doing that was not in your original job description?

Once you have completed a job analysis, it is a good time to audit your personnel file. It may be time for a reclassification and this is the proof you need.

Additionally, if you are looking for a new opportunity and will need someone to verify your work, it is a good idea that your file be most up to date.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Day 10 - Join Your Alumni Association

National Career Development Month!

Go online and find your college alumni association. Making connections through your alumni association is a great way to get connected with your alma mater. Colleges not only want alumni to donate funds, but often need assistance with many of their campus departments.

Reconnecting with an old professor, a college advisor or check in with your college career center to see what career planning services might be available to you as an alumni.

Day 9 - Get a Handle on Workplace Stress

National Career Development Month!

Workplace stress is a reality for many of us. If you are having workplace issues related to any of the following, spend sometime today looking for new ways to manage workplace stress.

1. Do you have limited control over your work?
2. Do you feel like you are being pulled in 50 directions?
3. Are you working really long hours? Putting in a lot of overtime?
4. Are you relocating or thinking about relocating? Is a spouse relocating?
5. Do you work on shift?
6. Are you worried about job security?
7. Are you overdue for a vacation?
8. Do you get along with your colleagues or your boss?
9. Have a jerk for a boss?
10. Have subordinates who are less than qualified?
11. Project deadlines approaching?
12. Too many projects and too little time?
13. Worklife/Balance out of whack?
14. Find yourself calling out sick more often than you used to?

Today is the day to explore joining a gym, signing up for a yoga class or treating yourself to a massage.

The following websites can provide some answers and great ideas for lowering stress and improving work life balance.

Check out the following articles on handling workplace stress:
1. Identify Workplace Stressors; Take Steps to Manage Your Day
2. Job + Holidays = Stress; 9 Ways to Put Things in Perspective this Holiday Season

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Day 8 - Start Working on a Career Portfolio

National Career Development Month!

Creative professionals have used career portfolios, sometimes known as the job search portfolio or "the book", to promote themselves and their skills. In today’s competitive, knowledge-based labor market, other professionals are discovering the value of a career portfolio.

If well thought out, the act of putting together a career portfolio will help candidates from any industry reflect on their skills and create an occupational focus for future employment. It can help employees develop a marketing tool which is strategically laid out to influence a potential employer's selection.

Read the complete article on career portfolios by BullseyeResumes at Ezine Articles.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Day 7 - Start a Career Journal

This is the day to start a Career Journal. Nothing fancy, just a book, a binder or an folder on your desktop to begin capturing your thoughts about your career. Here is where you write about your passions, start a skills inventory, make a note of something you might have read that inspired you to think about taking your career in a certain direction.

Some things to include:
- Careers you might have heard about and want to explore more
- Inspirational stories about others who have made changes
- Values which are an important part of your career decisions
- Skills you might want to enhance
- Articles you may have read that were particularly inspirational

Commit to setting aside 30 quiet minutes weekly to write down your thoughts about where you are and where you want to go.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Day 6 - Start Reading Career Blogs & Articles

National Career Development Month

Join an online career advice blog or sign up for a career newsletter. Many professional career coaches offer important career transition advice at no charge to you through online blogs. Add your comments and get engaged in the process. If you were thinking of buying a house, you would want to start reading about the real estate market, wouldn't you? Same principle applies here.

Here are a few blogs to consider:
Blue Sky Resumes
BullsEyeResumes Article Directory - Free Content for Websites and Ezines

Find other blogs here:

Many people blog about their work, jobs and careers. It is wise to observe safe blogging practices when you are talking about your work. Many people do not. Here is a CNN Money article that will give you some pointers.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Learn New Workplace Protocols Before Career Reentry

Depending how long you have been out of the workplace, you should reacquaint yourself with today's office protocols. Concepts like flex time, virtual teams and office email etiquette may be new to you and you might need to come up to speed really quickly.

Some suggestions:
-Ask questions of other workers
-Take classes to learn new skills and brush up on otherss.
-Register at a community colleges or look at online programs.
-Read up on email and online etiquette.
-Learn the latest in resume content and layout. Visit for a free critique of your resume and get help updating it.

Day 5 - Focus on Training

National Career Development Month

Begin to explore additional training or higher education today.

Find a community college, community center or an on-line program of interest and sign up for a class beginning January. It could be to add a new skill or to build on a hobby or interest you already have. If you have some college credits, think about finishing your college degree or if you already have a degree, think about grad school or a certificate program.

Also, if you have the skill set, think about teaching or training yourself. There are many community organizations that could benefit from what you do.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Day 4 - Grab a Career Book!

No serious thoughts about a career makeover would be complete without spending some time exploring the quintessential career planning guide - "What Color is Your Parachute", by Richard 'Dick" Bolles.

Since 1970, Richard 'Dick" Bolles has been offering relevant career and job search advice through the What Color is Your Parachute series. What Color is Your Parachute 2008 is now available and true to form, the book is easy to read and full of career advice for those of us yearning for job satisfaction in the tech heavy 21st century workplace.

Day 3 - Evaluate Your Skills

National Career Development Month

Career Development Month is really a great time to update your skills inventory.
Find out -
- Are there current trends in your industry, you should be aware of?
- Is the new career you are considering one that's in demand?
- What related careers exist that could provide other opportunities for you?
- Is your profession expected to grow or contract?
- Which related careers are growing?
- What type of training will you need to remain competitive in your industry?

A great place to find this kind of information is on O*NET, a reservoir of labor market information sponsored by the US Department of Labor. This website is a free resource that is a primary source of current, occupational data.

Search for your career or profession on O*NET and find out more about the labor market forecast for your industry.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Day 2 - Analyze Your Job

National Career Development Month!

If you are thinking about a career makeover, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. In other words, don't walk away from a great opportunity before you try to negotiate away the pieces of your job that cause you stress. If you enjoy most of your current work and have less than about 30% that you would just rather not do, think about using the following checklist to evaluate your existing job or career to find out if the situation is salvageable:

1. List all the really important components of your existing job. Use your job description as a guide. Do not forget to include any special projects you might have worked on as well.

2. Identify those key components of your job that you dislike.

3. Of the key components you dislike, identify the ones that you do often enough to have a real bearing on whether or not you have a great day at the office.

4. Identify those components you really enjoy and that energize you. Include any special projects or assignments you may have had recently.

5. Identify other duties you think your job could include. Keep in mind although these might enhance your job, it is very important that they also support department goals or needs.

6. Schedule an appointment with your boss or supervisor today to discuss modification of your job description to include more projects you might have enjoyed in the past. Think about including activities like community service or maybe even regular collaboration with another department.

Before you think that this is not possible, think again! Job reclassifications happen all the time, but many supervisors will wait for the employee to make the first move.

Do not expect to get agreement on every request immediately. Keep your meeting with your supervisor professional and remember that your goal is to make your job description a negotiation. Be positive and know that this is entirely possible.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Day 1 - Positive Attitude is Key to Career Success

National Career Development Month!

Start Positive - Nothing really happens without that!

The National Career Development Association has celebrated November as National Career Development Month for the last 47 years. The month is dedicated helping people recognize the importance of life-long career development and professional growth. It is an opportunity for us to assess our existing jobs and career situations, explore alternatives, and develop plans that will better prepare us for a great future.

Whether you feel "stuck" in your existing career, "satisfied, but still exploring" or just thinking of a transition to something more, November is the time to begin. Our goal at BullseyeResumes this month is to explore a new activity daily that will at least get us on the right path to a 30-Day Career Makeover.

First off, on day one, we want to start the month with a positive attitude. Say to yourself that this is a month that will make a difference.

The Conference Board reported a couple years ago that people are growing increasingly unhappy with their jobs. This decline in job satisfaction is spread out across workers of all ages and across high and low income brackets. In 2005, only half of all Americans said they were satisfied with their jobs. This was 10% down from ten years before. In fact in the survey only 14% say they are actually “very satisfied” with their work. There is no doubt that this dissatisfaction leads to a lot of job stress.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH, a research arm of the Centers for Disease Control, defines job stress as the "harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker."

Sometimes all it takes to reduce some of our workplace stress is a shift in our attitude. Beginning the month with a positive attitude will go a long way as you evaluate the suggestions that will come in this blog everyday for this month.