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Newsletter Dated: 8/15/2001 7:51:16 PM
Subject: TAKE CHARGE SUCCESS STRATEGIES
Volume 1, Number 7 August 15, 2001
Publisher: GoalMinds, Inc.
Copyright 2001 Jo Condrill All rights reserved
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IN THIS ISSUE
1. Who Cares? Finding Your Target Audience
2. FEATURE ARTICLE: Eight Pitfalls to Avoid in Creating a Resume --by Allyn Evans, MBA, CPRW, CEIP
3. Time's Past
4. Career Transition--Resources to Reduce Stress
"Whatever course you have chosen for yourself, it will not be a chore but an adventure if you bring to it a sense of the glory of striving, if your sights are set far above the merely secure and mediocre." - David Sarnoff
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Workshop schedule for September - 139 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA
Details at http://www.goalminds.com or call 1 800 697-5680
9/13--Cashing in on That Book You've Written 9 AM. to 3 PM
9/18--Empowering Communication Skills for Women 9 AM to Noon
9/20 and 25--How to Reinvent Yourself 9 AM to Noon(2-day session)
1. Who Cares? Finding Your Target Audience
It's so easy today for anyone to write a book, a multitude of people are doing it, some anticipating fame and fortune. With desktop publishing and ebooks, the mechanics are simple. However, there's more to a book than mechanics. Just as we ask ourselves while preparing a speech, "Who cares?" we should ask
ourselves as we prepare to write, "Who cares?" Who will be interested in reading this book after it is finished and ready for market? What is my "niche market," those people this book is meant for--my "target audience"? For example, our book, "From Book Signing to Best Seller: An Insider's Guide to Conducting a Successful Low-Cost Book Signing Tour," is specifically for emerging authors, publishers, and publicists. You may have no interest in it.
Other books, like "101 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills Instantly," are meant for a general audience--though we sometimes get comments like, "My husband should read this book!" It has been said to improve communication skills in the bedroom as well as the boardroom. Even if your book is designed for a general audience, you should know the segments that make up that audience and deal with their special interests in your topic.
Writing a book is hard work, requiring personal discipline, imagination, and perseverance. The payback may take years to be realized. Just as we coach executives to think of their audience when preparing a speech or a report, we encourage you to envision your reader before beginning to write. In that way, you can "speak" directly to the interests of a segment of the population. Rather than using a "shot gun" approach to relate to everyone, consider a series of books, each aimed at a specific target. Series sell well.
Think about it--hitting a niche can bring many times more sales than a broad-brush approach, which is like throwing mud at the wall and hoping some of it sticks instead of walking over to the wall and pressing some mud onto a specific spot. The results are much more likely to be successful when you aim at a specific target.
Who cares about your topic? Find out and writing will be easier and more rewarding.
2. Eight Pitfalls to Avoid when Creating a Resume
--by Allyn Evans
You discovered the perfect job and now you're being asked to submit a resume "pronto," a resume you don't have. So, what do you do? I suggest that you hire a professional resume writer. Yes, it will cost money. And yes, some writers are very expensive, but typically are well worth the cost. However, you will find a wide range of writers, prices and skill levels out there. Not sold? You do have another option--create it yourself.
I'll help you get started by pointing out the top eight pitfalls job candidates often fall into.
1. Creating a Weak or Inappropriate Objective Statement
I suggest that you leave out an objective statement altogether and use the space to highlight your special skills and talents. Title it: Summary of Qualifications or something similar. From our many years of being on the hiring side of the table, I guarantee that a poor objective statement can quickly disqualify you. However, if an objective statement is required, such as when writing a scannable resume, then describe your intentions succinctly, in a few words.
2. Sticking to a One-Page Format
I am not sure who created this rule, but it is a rule way past its prime. Typically, a one-page format is for entry-level workers and often will not provide enough information for more experienced candidates. However, do not automatically assume that your experience warrants two or more pages. Strike a balance between supplying the needed information to get an interview and saturating the reader with too much information.
3. Using a Small Font
If your words cannot be read, then you have provided an instant reason to throw your resume and application in the trash. Less than 10 points is too small.
4. Making Typos
Proof your work. All it takes for your resume to end up in the trash are a couple of typographical errors or misspelled words.
5. Using Passive Verbs
Resumes have changed from documents that described a person's work history to marketing documents for job seekers. Creating an action-verb-packed document is much more effective than one using the passive voice.
6. Ignoring the Visual Appeal of the Resume
Create a document which is visually appealing. Using one-inch margins, different font sizes, and boldface text in a manner that pleases the eye are keys to creating a winning resume. However, do not go overboard when using a variety of fonts and sizes.
7. Using First Person
Do not use the First Person to describe yourself or your experience. Words like "I", "me", "we", or "us" should never be used.
8. Failing to Quantify
The ideal way for a prospective employer to know what you have done in the past is for you to express it numerically. A salesperson might claim, "Sold widgets to a national market." An even better way to express the same idea is, "Sold 100+ widgets monthly resulting in a 35% increase in sales overall." (Note the absence of "I")
Good luck! If you feel overwhelmed after reading this article, then take my original suggestion and hire a professional. There is nothing egotistical about hiring a professional resume writer to organize your experiences, talents and skills in an interesting and eye-catching format. Businesses hire advertising executives, and individuals hire resume writers.
ALLYN EVANS, MBA, CPRW, CEIP, is Executive Partner of A Resume and Career Service, Inc. and a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. A former college dean, she also taught college-level Career Development courses. Her firm provides resume writing, career coaching services, and seminars nationwide. Email her mailto:email@example.com Phone: 806.785.9800 http://www.aresumeservice.com
An article by staff writer, Ronald D. White, in the "Work Place" section of the Los Angeles Times newspaper caught my eye recently. "Time to Stay Put? Maybe Not" indicates that even in economic down turns, people successfully risk job changes. If you think it is time for a change, you may find this article interesting. Go to http://www.latimes.com/class/employ/workplace
3. Time's Past
Agecalculator.html, one of those items circulating on the web, indicates that if you were born on this day in 1950, you have already lived 611 months, the equivalent of 2,661 weeks, or 18,627 days. What have you been doing all this time? What is the legacy you're building for future generations, the footprints you will leave on this earth? Food for thought. Now, if you were born on this day in 1980, you have time to plan. You have lived 251 months or 1,095 weeks, the equivalent of 7,670 days. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Thanks, Patti, for the calculator.
4. Career Transition--Resources to Reduce Stress
Many people who attend our "Take Charge of Your Life" or "How to Reinvent Yourself" seminars are searching for new careers. They know that they DON'T want to stay in the career field they are working in, but they DON'T know what they DO want to do. The first step I recommend is to find out WHY you are dissatisfied with your current job before you make the break. John Perry, founder of Human Productivity Systems, has developed a great instrument to help you discover your best job/person fit. http://www.hpsonline.com then go to the JPEA site. Other resources recommended by Patsy Yokuty, a counselor in Michigan, include the CX.Bridges online career-life exploration and planning system, http:/cx.bridges.com then click on American if your state is not listed. This is a Canadian-originated site for all of North America. Check out their "career explorer," for students and adults in transition. The Michigan Occupational Information System, http://www.mois.org allows you to take a free self-assessment career survey online. It is quick and easy. My highest ranking aptitude score was in Arts & Entertainment, second highest: Education and Administration, third: Selling & Retail Trade. Seems a good fit for the vocation I've chosen! Obviously, you won't get the in-depth assessment from such a quick assessment as you will with the JPEA. The top three careers accessed in their online system are: sports professional, FBI agent (!), and actor/actress. That's right, more people accessing the system want to be FEDs than actors! Lastly, it would be helpful to know your learning/working style and the Piney Mountain Press in Georgia has an instrument for that, the Learning/Working Styles Inventory. http://www.pineymountain.com . Your community college may have other instruments they administer for a small fee. Career transitions can be very stressful. Knowing your talents, temperament, and preferences, you will have taken a major step toward a satisfying work life.
Thanks for being with us. If you would like to be a guest author for this newsletter, please email your suggestion to us, mailto:Condrill@goalminds.com . You will get full credit if we run your article.
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FROM BOOK SIGNING TO BEST SELLER: An Insider's Guide to Conducting a Low Cost Book Signing Tour is now available. We interviewed booksellers, publicists, and other authors; coupled it with our own experiences and inserted lots of checklists, forms, and a sample budget. This book is getting excellent reviews from publications such as Writers World, Midwest Book Review, and Poets and Writers. Book Marketing Update published a full-page feature in its June 15th issue. FROM BOOK SIGNING TO BEST SELLER is now available in book stores, online outlets, BookZone, and our website, http://www.goalminds.com . It makes a great gift for the writer on your list! To get an autographed copy, order from our web page and give us the details in the comment section.