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Avoid the Rush Limbaugh job interview

My apologies in advance.  I like Rush Limbaugh.  He’s a great entertainer.

Can you imagine interviewing someone with Rush Limbaugh’s on-air attitude?  It might go something like this:

Q. What are your most current skills?

A. I not only have skills, I have abilities, insight and a keen intellect that will be focused with laser-like intensity on your problems.  You no longer need to think.  You only need to hire me and stand back.  I have come to save you with Talent on loan from God. (Translation: I will come to work.)

 

Q. What can you do for our company?

A. Do?  With the blazing brainpower you are blessed to see before you, I will revolutionize your company.  The darkest cranny and the most exposed pinnacle will be dazzlingly transformed and transmuted into veritable gold.  I have come to solve every intractable problem that has heretofore escaped resolution. (Translation: I will think while working.)

 

Do you say as little with so many impressive words?

I have half my brain tied behind my back, just to make it fair.  (Rush Limbaugh)

In an interview or on your resume do you embroider your answer with colors that confuse? Do you try to show your enthusiasm with concrete accomplishments, or do you camouflage with flowery verbiage?

I do interviews and read resumes every day.  I prefer facts simply spoken.  I enjoy examples plainly displayed. I delight in crisp clean thought.

Give an interviewer what he craves, and he will give you a job.  Simplify, simplify, simplify. Tell what you actually have done and can do.  You will stand out and be noticed.  Your accomplishments will be remembered.  You will be asked to accept a job..

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Something To Do Today

Focus on what you do best and what makes you different.  Take everything else out of your resume.  Why tell a hiring manager that water is wet?  Tell him what sets you apart.

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Tomorrow:  Newspapers sell

Later:                                      Why lasers work (3 part)

Resumes, prayers, and hymnbooks

Your resume must be set up for maximum impact to get you an interview.  To be chosen, you first must be seen, read, and understood.

You haven’t got a prayer of having your resume read unless you remember a hymnbook.

A resume should be created with a hymnbook in mind.  A hymnbook is created so that a singer may read the text and the music without shifting their eyes.  An organist can play a measure or two with one glance.  A chorus director can read all 4 singing parts and the text in quick glances.

So why is this important for a resume? Because most resumes are thrown out in 10 seconds.

From the top line of the top staff of music to the bottom line of the bottom staff of music is 1 to 1 1/2 inches.   The width of one measure is usually the same.  A trained musician can read two measures wide, or about 3 inches of music, in one glance.  Have you noticed that when there are too many verses, some are moved from between the music staffs to the bottom of the page?  If the line gets too wide, it takes two glances to read it.

Your resume must be set up for maximum impact to get you an interview.  It should be created in high impact sections.  Each section should be the same size and shape as two measures of music in a hymnbook:  1 to 1 1/2 inches high by 2-3 inches wide.

Most people look at a page in rectangular sections.  Go to some high volume internet sites.  They are arranged in small rectangular sections with high impact.  Pull down menus in computer programs are also sized about the same.  The reason is because you can read all that information at a glance.

Your resume has to sing to get you an interview.  A reader’s eyes will naturally pause in three or four places on your resume.  That is where the most compelling evidence of your attitude and productivity must be displayed.  Bullet points break up an unreadable paragraph into high impact, one glance sections.  Key words in bold become the center of focus.

Look at your resume.  Does it read like a hymnbook in one glance rectangular sections? Or does it look like a monotonous term paper with huge paragraphs strung completely across a page.  Time to get it into readable rectangular impact areas.

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My free resume planner is available at www.agicc.com/resplangeneral.pdf .

Something To Do Today

Hand your resume to a friend.  Take it away after 10 seconds.  Ask them what they read.  That will tell you where your current high impact areas are.

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Tomorrow:  The Rush Limbaugh job interview

Later:  Newspapers sell

Job and job search help I saw at the library

My email signature is, “The harder I work on me, the better my life gets.”  There is only one person I can control.  There is only one person I can manipulate into changing.  Me.

Years ago I decided I can work on “me” an extra 30-45 minutes a day.  I converted brain dead commuting time into learning time.

My local library is as large as an average two bedroom house.  Small.  So, I decided to go to a much larger library 10 miles away.  I expected to go in and find a few dozen books on tape.  That’s not what I found.

The library had thousands of books on tape and CD.  There were courses in physics, history, philosophy, music, foreign languages and a hundred other subjects.  Novels, biographies and non-fiction books that have been bestsellers filled bookcase after bookcase. I can even order them by inter-library loan from our little library.

Invest in yourself.  Your mind is the only thing the government can’t take from you.

I listened to a book on how to think.  What makes a genius like Leonardo Da Vinci a genius, different, and great?  Another series of books was on Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Napoleon, and others.  I listened to Freakonomics.  I’m learning.

“If you want to be truly successful invest in yourself to get the knowledge you need to find your unique factor.  When you find it and focus on it and persevere your success will blossom.” (Sidney Madwed)

I’ve got the next 30 years figured out.  I’m learning something. I’m going to invest in myself.

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Something To Do Today

What is your dead time?  How can you most easily transform your dead time into head time?

Your job search: the poker game

If you look at every job search decision, action, and result as a measure of your worth, you are setting yourself up for massive failure.  In this article a world renowned poker player talks about evaluating decisions based on the information you had at the time you made the decision.

There may be absolutely nothing you can do to win a job you are perfectly qualified for.  If one of the other candidates is married to the boss’s daughter, you lose.

In survival, you control what you can control, and let God take care of the rest.  In job hunting, interviews, negotiations, and job performance, you control what you can control and let go of the rest.  You can’t win every hand.

This is a great article on poker and business.

Your job search is mortal combat: win every time

If you job hunt (or go to work) expecting mortal combat, where the other guy must lose, you will fail.  If you have a strong attitude that, “The company, my manager and I are going to win big,“ you will succeed.  In job search mortal combat you must defeat the real enemy every time. You will lose every time if you fight your allies.

I exhort you also to take part in the great combat, which is the combat of life, and greater than every other earthly combat.  (Plato)

Are companies idiots for not hiring you?  Is every interviewer prejudiced?  Let’s look at your job.  Do you assume that your workplace is run by fools?  Do you know more than your boss?  Do you hang around the complainers and whiners at work?  Are you the ringleader?  Are people out to get you?

People really may be out to get you if you have a bad attitude.  A hiring manager wants someone who will help and support him.  Promotions come to people who help raise team spirits and achieve goals.  Raises are given when a person is worth more than they are being paid.  The manager interviewing you for a job will get a feeling how you treat your current boss.  Your attitude will come through in the interview.

So how should you treat your current boss?

She should be your ally.  In mortal combat, you help your allies.

Often you have to train your manager.  She doesn’t have your perspective on problems.  You need to constantly bring things to her attention that she may not know. You need to train her patiently, the way you would like to be trained.

Would you like to get pats on the back for the good things you do along with the occasional pointer on how to correct a mistake?  Do the same with your boss.  Positive reinforcement sets the stage for your negative comments to be heard.  Take an attitude check today.  Are you saying 5 positive things for every negative you voice?  Keep track.

Are you job hunting?

Can the interviewer tell how you engage in destructive mortal combat?  Is that why they are avoiding you?  Do you treat your current manager as your best ally?  If the right attitude shines through, they will hire you.

Business really is mortal combat.  You have to plan on winning every time.  Are you going to defeat stupidity with perfect logic and rapier sharp attacks?  No, you will lose.  Do you plan on patiently helping everyone learn, grow and win?  Your victory is assured.

An attitude of constant improvement will win. Constant carping criticism loses every time.

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Something To Do Today

Keep a notepad with you.  Make two columns.  Put a check in one column for every positive thing you say.  Put a check in the other column for every negative thing you say.  Do the positives outstrip the negatives by 5 to 1?

Every Friday document your week at work in your job journal.  What are your quantifiable achievements and failures?  Make an upbeat report for your manager in a format she can use.  Turn it in whether she asked for it or not.

The 7 highest demand job categories are…

After years hearing about the lack of IT professionals, you’d think those are the hardest jobs to fill. But a new report by human resources firm Manpower indicates they are not.

Electricians, welders, and other skilled trades professions are the biggest headaches to hire for in the US and globally…

Read the full list here.

How to find out what you want to be, do, or pursue

I went to a Boy Scout camp where a fire company put on a rescue demonstration.  They had 3 cars.  One by one they ripped them apart using hydraulic tools.  Right then I decided that I want to be a fireman when I grow up.  I was 49 and ineligible, but I’m willing to dream.

A friend told me that he was the fastest machine operator at the plant where he worked.  They always put him in the job that would challenge him the most. If there was a bottleneck, he’d clear it up.  He also cried at times because he hated the work so much.  He studied to take up a different profession for 8 years.  He struggled with very low paying jobs, serious health problems, and a wife and kids he solely supported.  Finally he started working as a Mechanical Engineer at a major DOD contractor.

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.  (Aristotle)

Why do people stay in jobs they hate? No one is legally bound as an indentured servant or slave anymore.  Why do people need help finding what they like to do?  There are a lot of reasons.  Fear, money, social pressure and unexplored possibilities can all be reasons.

You are a slave if you believe you cannot change.  You are free when you think about, study for, and work towards a change for the better.  So take a little time today and write down a list of things you always wanted to do.  Make a list of jobs and careers you might enjoy.

Need help? Every university has a department to help students discover what they would like to study. The internet has sites to help you choose a career.  Every state run job center will give you interest and aptitude tests for free.  Friends and family are always happy to tell you where to go and what to do when you get there.

You may want to consult a career coach or a consulting coach.  For example, I work with people who want to be consultants to help them have a viable business without worrying about where the next client is coming from. Others help you figure out and pursue your best and happiest career.

It is worth taking time to find out if you really want to be a fireman, mechanic, professor or plumber.  If you start working towards a career goal you can always turn back later and be better off for trying.  However, you will never get anywhere without taking the first steps to think about, study for and work towards a change.

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Something To Do Today

Make a list of every hobby you have attempted.  List every subject you have studied.  Rank them all as “liked”, “don’t care” and “disliked.”  Look for a pattern.  You may be surprised.  Take an interest test or two.  They’re actually fun.  Many are free.  Contact me.  I can help too.

Next:  Mortal combat: win every time

Find out if you have Olympic Class job talent

We are always more anxious to be distinguished for a talent which we do not possess, than to be praised for the fifteen which we do possess. (Mark Twain)

It doesn’t matter how hard I practice, I will never be an Olympic class sprinter.  My muscles aren’t built for it.  If I had large, efficient lungs, I might be an Olympic marathon runner.  I don’t.  My talents are the natural advantages I have over others.

I have a lot of talents.  I’m good with computers.  I’m a decent salesman.  People trust me.  Some things just aren’t my talents.  I like running and physics, but they are not my talents.  How do I know?  I am slow at learning the basics.  I’m always in the bottom third when I run.  There are many things I like.  Some things I am good at.  My talents are the things I learn more quickly and do better than the average person, like working with computers.

Some talents are difficult to develop.  They require years of effort.  The average professional concert musician practices their instrument 5000 hours before getting good enough to regularly solo professionally. The book Outliers claims the number is 10,000 hours.  Louis L’Amour, a prolific writer, submitted story after story at the beginning of his career and very few were published. He developed his talent until he sold over 100 million books.

So how do you discover your talents? 

Take an aptitude test online.  They also give them at job centers and military recruiting centers.  They are designed to find out what you do well, not what you like.  If the test asks a lot of questions about what you like the most, it is NOT an aptitude test.

Honestly assess what you found easiest in school.  Where did you get by with the least effort?  What teachers liked your attitude the most?  When did others come to you with questions?

At work you have probably been given some particular tasks.  Is it because you are better at those things?  Maybe that’s a talent of yours.  Do other people have trouble seeing answers that seem obvious to you?  That could point to a talent.

Discover your talents and you can use the gifts you’ve been given to excel.  That’s what Olympic athletes do.   You will find work more interesting when you are flexing a talent.

You will also be paid better.  Talents are worth discovering.

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Something To Do Today

Write down what you can do easily or what you excel at.  What do you pick up more quickly than others?

Tomorrow:  I want to be a fireman when I grow up.

How to find the most jobs, that pay the best, and hire fastest

What is hot today? Follow the money.  To which industries is money flowing the most heavily?  What are people investing in?  Where is the greatest potential for growth?  Where will it be the easiest to get hired and promoted?

If you really want to know, you need to go to Investor’s Business Daily. The chart is called, “IBD’s 197 Industry Group Rankings”. The latest copy is http://www.investors.com/pdf/IBD197_052214.pdf.  It wasn’t in their paper today, so I had to go online and get a free 4 week subscription to see it. Go to http://news.investors.com/otheribddata.aspx and look under the link for “197 Industries Table” I’ll keep an eye out and let you know if they put it in the papers on only some days.

The chart lists all the major industry sectors in the USA.  Then it ranks them according to how well stocks have performed in the last 6 months.  The industries at the top of the chart are the ones everyone is investing in.  The ones at the end are the ones being abandoned.

It says that the medical software industry is the biggest loser.  Oil & gas transport is the biggest winner.

Just because money is flowing out of an industry does not mean it is doomed.  It does mean that it will be hard to find a new job in that industry.  It means that you have to show a strong ability to save big money or make big profits to get hired. In the losers, being a bankruptcy specialist guarantees a job.

I always try to fish where the fish are abundant.  I hunt where the animals I seek are the thickest.  I job search where the jobs and promotions are plentiful.  Time to do a little research to make sure you are looking where the jobs are plentiful.

The contest does not always go to the strong, nor the race to the swift, but that’s the way to place your bet.

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Something To Do Today

Print out or cut out the 197 Industry Group Rankings chart and pin it to your wall.  Study it so that you understand each column.  Compare what is hot today to what was hot a year ago.  Are you hunting where the jobs are thickest?

Tomorrow:  Olympic class talent

“Ash breeze” can fix your job search

Sometimes your job search just isn’t working.  Fix your job search using what the old sailors called “ash breeze”.

You won’t go anywhere in your sailboat if you are becalmed, no wind.  Sailors on the old 3 mast boats used to dread finding themselves where there was no wind.  There are places in the ocean where you can go weeks without a breeze.  The old mariners often had only one way out, “ash breeze.”

When becalmed, a rowboat full of men would be sent out tied to the front of the ship.  They would take their ash wood oars and start rowing.  Progress was always painfully slow.  Any breeze would move a ship faster, but “ash breeze” was better than dying becalmed.

Are you becalmed?  Are you stuck in a company or job that just isn’t getting you anywhere?  The book, Carry On Mr. Bowditch, is the story of one of the greatest mariners of our age.

Bowditch was stuck in a nowhere job.  Born in 1773, with little formal education and  apprenticed to a storeowner, Bowditch became an expert bookkeeper.  He wasn’t where he wanted to be.  He studied mathematics and astronomy on his own.  Eventually he became a sea captain, author and educator.  He received an honorary PhD for his accomplishments.  His book on celestial navigation is still used at the US Naval Academy.

The most important thing you have is your attitude.  Couple attitude with an intense desire to better yourself and you cannot be stopped.  Start preparing now for the job you want to have in five years.  Learn what you need to learn.  The more you work on YOU, the better your life will get.

The harder I work on me, the better my life gets.

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Something To Do Today

Read the book, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, by Latham.

Tomorrow:  IBD and what’s hot