Tag Archives: training

Does your resume say you are trash?

Living in a ghetto, slum or trailer park does not make you trash.  Mother Theresa lived in a slum.  Her resume was good enough to get a Nobel Peace Prize.

I get some REALLY bad resumes. They say:

I can’t do this job.  I have no skills or training.  The reason I have the nerve to apply for it is because I really will work hard.  I know I was fired from my last job.  It wasn’t my fault.  The job really was terrible.  The job before that was terrible too. I’m not a freak.

We get at least one of these resumes or cover letters every week.  Yes, this bad.  Okay, only close to this bad.  The resume is trash.  It is literally worse than nothing.

Being laid off or fired tends to get workers, salespeople and executives to focus on the negatives from their previous job.  They feel they have to explain things in their resumes.  That is a mistake.  Your resume has only one job, to get you an interview.  It is not a confessional.  It is not investigative journalism.

Here are 4 signs your resume will be thrown away in record time:

  1. Explain that you are part of a group that would normally not be hired (I want to learn to be a…)
  2. Tell why your boss was an idiot in your last job (I was not allowed to fix…)
  3. List excuses instead of accomplishments (Due to lack of…)
  4. List skills way below those really required for this job (As a carpenter I sawed boards…)

Are you sure you don’t do any of these?  Usually these errors are hidden in a cover letter or large paragraph.

Something To Do Today

Seriously look at every line of your resume and cover letter.  Every single line. Do you make excuses?  Do you subtly or openly put down your previous boss or job?  Were you smiling as you wrote it because of the subtle needle in a paragraph?  Is a skill you list so basic it shows your lack of higher skills?  Do you put yourself in a group of losers accidentally?

5 quantum skills of IT, accounting, legal, and operations professionals

5 quantum skills of IT, accounting, legal, and operations professionals that will change your career and your company in this article.

Previously, I explored the forces driving fundamental changes to the IT business model. This is leading to what is being called the Quantum Age of IT–an era in which IT success and value is driven less by technology and more by relationships and interactions. We examined how this is leading IT organizations to develop five organizational traits to become learning organizations, disciplined organizations, transparent organizations, intimate organizations and, finally, dynamic organizations.

read more here.

Upgrade your career – make a silk purse out of a buggy whip

Do you want to make buggy whips? A lot of them are sold here in Amish country.  Just don’t expect to get rich making them.

An hour ago I talked to a very good programmer whose skills are hopelessly out of date.  She was hoping to get a job as an intern so she could upgrade her skills.  She has only one problem in her job search:

  • Only antique collectors say, “I like things that are outdated, frustrating, inefficient, and dangerous.”

Luckily she knew she might only be hired as an intern.  Some people think that they should be hired as rocket scientists even though they have outdated skills. Seriously.  I have people severely infected with archaic abilities approach me every week. They freely admit their problem and then tell me they deserve a great job, a raise and happiness without their own effort.

Bosses want to hire the best people they can.  They aren’t social workers.  Some companies train the people they hire, but they are going to try and hire the best worker who needs the least training.  It is pure common sense:  they hire the best person.

If you are a master of buggy whip technology, don’t expect a job at NASA.  There will always be a few buggy whip makers scraping by, but you won’t get rich working for them.  Invest in yourself. Get the updated skills you need to be employable.  Get out of the buggy whip age and into the computer age.  Leave the stone arrowhead tools behind and become an engineer.  Learn to be an expert.

That means you need to invest in yourself.  It may be as simple as asking your boss for training. More likely you will have to study on your own. Read a new technical, sales or business book each month.  Subscribe to journals and websites about what you do. There are community and online colleges that you can use to get a degree or advanced training.

You can’t make a silk purse out of a buggy whip. But with time and patience you can turn a mulberry leaf into a silk purse.  It takes specialized knowledge and a silk worm.  Learn the specialized knowledge you need for your job.  Go make a silk purse.

Something To Do Today

Think about your job search. Just think.  And then take notes about your conclusions.

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For 2 weeks: Zen and the art of getting a job

Tomorrow:     Why you aren’t paid what you are worth

Later:              A man dying of thirst

Perception

Character

Diamond in the rough

Cleat marks up your back

Should you spend money on training?

Greatness is more than potential.  It is the execution of that potential.  Beyond the raw talent.  You need the appropriate training.  You need discipline.  You need the inspiration. You need the drive.  (Eric Burns)

Employers should pay for training for their employees.  The employers get the benefit of employees being trained so it is only fair employers pay.

That’s true except for one thing, you can leave tomorrow.  They cannot clean the training out of your brain and put it into someone else’s brain.  The fact that employers EVER pay for training is a tribute to their vision for the future.

I hear the excuse, “My employer should pay me to learn”, every week.  Many people won’t buy a book about their job. They won’t spend 2 hours a night studying for 3 months to pass a certification exam.  Some won’t even stay late at the company training center because they aren’t being paid to learn. There are many short sighted people.

When you get trained you have bettered yourself for the rest of your life. When you get a new job you get paid to keep your skills and your old employer loses out.  If you are in a hurricane and lose your house, computer and car, you get to keep your skills.  How much did you spend on your car and how much did you spend on your skills?  What will your car be worth in 10 years? It really does make sense to invest in your skills and knowledge. There is very little else that someone can’t take away from you.

Financial counselors say, “Pay yourself first.”  Make that first payment into your skills.

Something To Do Today

Make a list of certifications, books, courses and seminars that would help you stay ahead of the gang in your field.  Why not start on one of them today?

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Tomorrow:     Make a game out of it

Later:              Before you know it

Who is driving?

How to survive long unemployment

Do you give up too quickly?  Can you get a job at a comparable wage to the one you had?

Sometimes you just have to accept a lower wage to get a job.  Too often people fail to demand enough of themselves. A WSJ article stated.

A key part of earnings losses, Mr. von Wachter and his fellow researchers found, comes from the fact that workers accumulated skills over a decade or two that may be outdated and not garner the same wages after a downturn. And then instead of gaining new skills for a higher-paying job, they often take what they can get at a lower wage and stop their job hunts.
“Given that the process of recovery can take so long, it’s important to make people who were unemployed realize that if they really want to recover they may need to stay in the game for a long time, and perhaps consider a switch in careers,” Mr. von Wachter said.

The rest of the article is depressing.  Don’t go there.  These are the two key paragraphs. That’s how to survive long unemployment–preparing for the next job and career.

inferiority vs superiority

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. (E. Roosevelt)

Kids always made fun of the way I dressed.  I had two shirts and two pairs of jeans for the whole school year.  That’s all.  I had cheap shoes.  For dinner our family had beans every night, literally.  We drank powdered milk.  I brought peanut butter sandwiches to school every day with homemade quince jam.

I was different. We were paying a price.  It was worth it.  My friends had nice stuff while we saved and scrimped for every penny.  We did something they never did.  Each summer we went traveling in our VW Camper Bus.  We visited most of the USA, Canada, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Europe and Africa.  Most summers we left school two weeks early and got back into school two weeks late.

Being different is not being inferior.  It can be a distinct advantage.  Be different in a way that can make you superior. How can you be different?  What can you do to dramatically improve over the long run?

I know two guys who never walk anywhere in the office without having a manual in their hands to read as they walk.  They are both considered a little odd, but they are both the undisputed technical experts in their field.  They are paid well for it.

Your goal should be to out-prepare and out-perform everyone else in critical areas. Critical areas are the most visible areas that:  1. Earn money; 2. Save money, or 3. Improve customer service.

Here’s how you find the critical areas for your next promotion, raise, or job:

Ask.

Your boss wants you to be more valuable, he’ll help you.  The people you look up to at work will want to help.  Go ask them what you should excel at.

Then do it.  Do it in your own way. Eccentric flair or plodding dullness does not matter.  Just excel IN A WAY THAT MATTERS.  It will change your life, not just your pay and job title.

—— Something To Do Today ——

Now ask 3 people you really respect, “What can I do for the company to make more money, save money or improve customer service?”