Tag Archives: CareerBum.com

The Secret to Success

What is it that makes people successful and I mean really successful compared to you or me? Are they smarter or do they work harder? Are they risk takers or have powerful and influential friends?

The financial newspaper Investors Business Daily (IBD) asked these same questions a few years ago and started a multi-year search for the answer. They studied industry leaders, investors and entrepreneurs to understand the traits they all had in common that contributed to their success.

1. How You Think is Everything. Always be positive. Think success, not failure. Beware of a negative environment.

This trait has to be one of the most important in the entire list. Your belief that you can accomplish your goals has to be unwavering. The moment you say to yourself “I can’t…”, then you won’t.

2. Decide upon Your True Dreams and Goals. Write down your specific goals and develop a plan to reach them.

Goals are those concrete, measurable stepping stones of achievement that track your progress towards your dreams.

3. Take Action. Goals are nothing without action.

Be like Nike and “Just do it”.  Every day try to take some action towards your goals. It may be small, but it’s still an action.

4. Never Stop Learning: Go back to school or read books. Get training & acquire skills.

Becoming a life long learner would benefit us all and is something we should instill in our kids. It’s funny that once you’re out of school you realize how enjoyable learning can be.

5. Be Persistent and Work Hard: Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Never give up.

There is no getting around this and there is no free lunch. But, if you’re working towards something that you’re passionate about, something you love – then is it really work?

6. Learn to Analyze Details: Get all the facts, all the input. Learn from your mistakes.

You have to strike a balance between getting all the facts and making a decision with incomplete data – both are traits of successful people. Spend time gathering details, but don’t catch ‘analysis paralysis’.

7. Focus Your Time And Money: Don’t let other people or things distract you.

Remain laser focused on your goals and surround yourself with positive people that believe in you. Don’t be distracted by the naysayer’s or tasks that are not helping you achieve your goals.

8. Don’t Be Afraid To Innovate: Be different. Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity.

Follow through on that break-out idea you have. Ask yourself “What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?”

9. Deal And Communicate With People Effectively: No person is an island. Learn to understand and motivate others.

Successful people develop and nurture a network and they only do that by treating people openly, fairly and many times firmly. There is nothing wrong about being firm.

10. Be Honest And Dependable: Take responsibility, otherwise numbers 1 – 9 won’t matter.

Source: Pick the Brain and Grow Yourself; 10 Secrets to Success by Victor Stachura

The Most Needed Job Seeker Survival Skills

Finding a new job is a massive undertaking that can consume a lot of time and effort for job seekers. The job search process itself is like a project with a beginning and an end that has many phases and tasks to complete such as finding available job openings, updating resumes and cover letters, interviewing, performing follow-up, and more. With all the work to be done to find their next career opportunity, job seekers need the right set of job hunt skills to survive during the multifaceted job search process.

Courage: Mental strength to persevere and withstand fear or difficulty

Courage allows job seekers to step outside of their comfort zone to accomplish what they set out to accomplish. Some job seekers are afraid of asking for help from people while other job seekers are afraid of networking with strangers. Many other fears emerge during the job search and the ability to face them straight on takes great courage. Envisioning what you hope to accomplish and envisioning the feeling of success that comes from facing your fears can serve as motivation.

Focus: Dedicated attention to an interest or an activity

The job search can take the form of a full-time job which can be overwhelming. With so many tasks to take on, job seekers need stay focused on what’s important. They need to understand their career goals and if an activity doesn’t assist them in the right direction, then a change might need to take place. Also, dedicating a set amount of uninterrupted time can sometimes lead to better results than spurts of job search activities scattered throughout the day.

Organization: Arrangements in a coherent, systematized form

The devils are in the details and this holds true even during the job search. Imagine as a job seeker you’ve applied for twenty jobs over the last two weeks. Then you receive a phone call that XYZ company wants to schedule an interview for XYZ position. That’s great, but unfortunately you don’t remember what the position entails and the job posting is no longer online. This is key information that could help you better prepare for your upcoming interview. Keeping track of the details is essential and this can include what jobs you’ve applied for, who you have made contact with, and other information that matter now and possibly later on.

Instincts: A natural or intuitive way of acting or thinking

Instincts are within all of us, but how many job seekers use it during the job search process? During the job search, people might be faced with a decision whether they should apply for a job, whether they should custom tailor their resume, and other decisions. The answer might be in trusting your gut. Most of us have heard stories of people getting jobs that they might not have been qualified on paper but they still applied. The result, they got the job because they were one of the best candidate overall because they were able to successfully communicate and demonstrate their value. Instincts are an invaluable trait that sometimes gets overlooked.

Kindness: The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate

A little act of kindness can go a long ways. Remember how you felt when someone said something nice to you? A good impression is one thing but a lasting impression is another. Being sincere and caring might be the difference that makes you stand out from the crowd of other candidates for a position. Say thank you to an interviewer by sending an email or handwritten note. Compliment the receptionist on how helpful she was. And perform other kind gestures when you see the opportunity. So be kind to whoever you meet not only during your job search but during the lifetime of your career.

Source:   Simply Hired Blog

Now Seeking Interns

Summer is quickly approaching and many college students are starting to think of landing an internship. Some students most likely have already secured one, but if you haven’t, there is still time. Here are some tips on how to secure your summer internship.

Start now.

The ideal time has passed to start seeking an internship, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities out there. Start now. Think about where you want to be and what type of internship you are interested in. To help you narrow your scope, ask yourself: Do you want to work for a company or nonprofit? Do you want to work for the government? Can you accept an unpaid internship? Do you want to look where you are now, or in a different location?

Research and gather applications.

After you know what you want to do and where you want to be, start to seek opportunities that closely match your goal internship. Some processes will require written essays, letters of recommendation and resumes. Find all the opportunities you can and begin collecting the necessary pieces of each application. Keep these in one spot and develop a spreadsheet for tracking. Be aware of any deadlines looming.

Develop a network.

Networking is always a good idea. Whether you are looking to land a job or an internship, or even if you have a job, a professional network can be very supportive. Speak with people who are already in the industry you are looking to enter. Try to gain insights that will help you understand what you need to do to enter this career field and connect with individuals who could possibly help you gain an interview.

Be interview ready.

Interview processes are greatly varied these days. Some may be focused on your resume, some may have you take assessments to understand your ability to be a “cultural fit” and some may be technical. Be prepared. Research as much as you can online and don’t be afraid to ask employees who currently work at the organization. Stay current with any industry developments, changes or advancements.

Retention as a Top Priority

You go to Workforce teamwork within an organization - Conceptconsiderable trouble and expense to identify, interview, and hire great employees for your organization. So retaining them should also be a top priority. Luckily, most good retention practices are inexpensive to implement.

Effective retention

To understand how to retain good employees, you first need to know what they’re looking for. Today, the best employees want:

  • Career development opportunities and a chance to grow in their chosen field
  • Regular feedback on how both they and the company are doing
  • A chance to contribute directly to the organization and be recognized for doing so
  • Flexible work schedules that recognize their need for work/life balance
  • A good salary or wage and an opportunity to increase it over time
  • Benefits tailored to their individual needs

Key strategies

Good retention starts from the time you hire employees to the time they leave your company. See how tweaking some of your employment practices can have a big impact on employee retention:

  • Recruitment and hiring. It’s worth spending time and effort on recruiting. When there’s a good match between employees and your organization, retention is less likely to be an issue.
  • Orientation and onboarding. Again, it’s worth having good practices in place. Treating employees right in the critical early stages of employment has been proven to enhance retention.
  • Training and development. Training and development are key factors in helping employees grow with your company and stay marketable in their field.
  • Performance evaluation. When employees know what they’re doing well and where they need to improve, both they and your organization benefit.
  • Pay and benefits. While today many employees tend to rate factors such as career development higher than pay, good pay and benefits still count.
  • Internal communication. Effective communication can help ensure that employees to want to stay with your company. Employees need to know—and be reminded on a regular basis—how the organization is doing and what they can do to help.
  • Termination and outplacement. Employees who leave on good terms are much more likely to recommend your company, and in doing so, help you attract and retain future employees.

Engage employees to increase retention

Engaging your employees—that is, making sure that they are committed and productive in their work—can benefit you as much as it benefits employees.

If you hire the right employees, chances are good they’ll be engaged—committed to your business and happy in their work. But to ensure ongoing engagement, you as an employer must play a major role, particularly when it comes to communication. Consider these five strategies:

  • Be clear on what your business stands for. Your company’s mission and vision and brand must be front and center in everything you do.
  • Communicate well and often. Your employees need to know—on a continuous basis—how both they and your company are doing.
  • Understand generational differences. To get the best out of all your employees, know what motivates different generations.
  • Find out what your employees need. Ask your employees on a regular basis how they’re doing, and be ready to follow up on their input.
  • Empower all employees to do their best. Provide the leadership, resources, and training your employees need to realize their potential.

Understanding what engages employees can help during all phases of the employment cycle—from recruitment to training to performance assessment and beyond. It’s also much easier to retain employees who are engaged and committed to your company’s success.

Source: CareerOneStop Business Center, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor

Put Your Best Self Forward

photo_32260_20140621When you are ready to look for work, really ready, take the time to put your best self forward.  There are many opportunities for error on a resume and in an interview, so here are a few tips to help you stand out in a positive manner.

Ensure the individuals you recruit as references for your resume:  a) know that you are using them as a reference, b) know what position you are applying for and what your expectations are of them as a reference c) think highly of you as a professional.  Too often job seekers list references without first checking with them.  Put a lot of thought into the people you put down.  Make sure they are articulate, think highly of you, and are professional on the phone.

Stay positive.  When an interviewer asks you about a past employer, or why you are looking to leave your current position, it is important to not state the negatives about the job.  It is easy to say that you don’t like the supervisor, or you have a co-worker that always calls in sick, or perhaps that you keep getting skipped over for a raise.  But DON’T.  Instead say that you have always been interested in the company you are applying to, or that you have been working toward this position.  Refrain from saying anything negative about your past/current employer and turn the tables to where you are seeking out this position because it is the perfect fit for you and you are the perfect fit for the company.

One more piece of advice, when you arrive, shake your interviewers hand, firmly, while looking him or her in the eyes and smiling.  Do not give the limp fish handshake.  A firm handshake exudes confidence and power.  That is the goal of the whole interview, to show that you are confident that you are the perfect fit for the company and position.

The interview is your ticket to the position.  Research the company, know your stuff and be prepared and confident.  Your future just started.

How to Get Job Seekers to Notice Your Company

Your company has a job opening with no interest from job seekers.  Is it possible that your job ad could use some help?  Here are some tips to writing effective ads for hiring the right person the first time:

Use an Informative Job Title
The job title really isn’t the place to get creative.  The job title is the first piece of the puzzle that job seekers see and will make a quick decision on whether or not to read on.  Use a title that best describes the position and utilizes common keywords (ex:  sales, accounting, customer service).

Explain Your Company Culture
What makes your company so great to work for?  Explain your company culture and highlight your signature attributes in your job ad.  This job ad is, after all, an advertisement for your company.  Highlight perks offered, unique benefits and why anyone would love to work for your company.

Give a Descriptive Job Summary
Represent a full scope of the functions the successful candidate will be completing as well as what their role will be within your company or organization.  Don’t just list tasks, make it all encompassing and inviting.

Describe What Your Company Needs
While most applicants know that you are not going to find someone that meets all of your expectations in an employee, if you are clear about the skill set that is necessary to perform the job and which additional skills would be valuable, you will cut down on the time it takes to sift through résumé’s after you place your ad.

Group Information
There is a lot of information to include when posting a job, but a complicated posting can deter job seekers from reading or applying.  Keep your information grouped in a logical manner using bullet points and breaks to make it easier to read and follow, as well as bold, italics and underlines to make it appear more interesting.

Make it Easy to Take Action
Once you have the attention of candidates, you want to present an easy to execute way to apply.  This could be a direct link to an online application, an email to send a resume to, or use the CareerBum.com site for a one click application for job seekers.

Share the Job Posting
After you have finished writing your job post, share the information on your network.  Post it to your social media sites, post it in your foyer, share it with your employees to repost on their social networking sites and share it off of CareerBum.com’s page.



Dressing Appropriately for an Interview in Winter

by Darlene Peer, Demand Media

A first impression can make or break an interview. That’s why it’s important to think ahead before you step out into that blustery, snowy winter weather. A winter job interview outfit needs to be warm and has to be able to make it to the interview still looking professional, no matter how slushy it is outside.

The Coat

When you arrive for your interview, your topcoat may make that vital first impression. That’s why it’s essential to invest in a professional-looking coat that fits well. Mid-thigh or longer is the way to go so the coat covers the bottom of your blazer or suit jacket. A nicely styled trench coat is a classic look. If you live in a colder climate, try to find a lined or woolen trench coat.


There are two ways to approach interview footwear. You may choose to purchase a nice, professional-looking pair of boots. Pick a neutral tone or classic black so the boots will match most outfits. White boots may be tempting, but salt stains and muck will not make a good impression. The other option is to wear boots or overshoes, carry business-style shoes, and change your footwear when you reach the interview. Just tuck your boots by the closet or the door. Either way, wear boots that will allow you to reach your interview safely. High heeled options may be appealing but you don’t want to show up for your interview covered with snow from a fall. No matter what the season, flip flops and sandals are not appropriate footwear for an interview.


If your favorite interview clothes feel a little too light for a winter interview, consider layering. Cover a sleeveless shirt with a sweater or add a shawl to a light blouse. Layering shouldn’t mean choosing baggy clothes that don’t fit well. Choose clothes that are suited to your figure and avoid seasonal sweaters with characters or landscapes on them. If the interview is for a company that prefers business casual, men may be able to get away with leaving the suit at home and wearing a blazer over a dress shirt.


Carefully consider the weather before setting out. Although you may not be a fan of hats and scarves, wearing them is better than showing up at the interview snow-covered and wet. You want the interviewer to pay attention to your answers, not distracted by watching the snow in your hair melt. If it’s windy, choose slacks over a skirt. Women should remember to apply waterproof makeup. If wearing a skirt, you may want to stick to nude or sheer black pantyhose, but an even better choice is opaque tights. Tights can make the transition from boots to pumps without losing their style.