Category Archives: Job Hunting Articles of Interest

While Job Hunting, Test Your Finances.

By:  Kevin Drum, Titan Solutions, LLC

Really! Test It!

Are you really living within your means? Are you sure? Following is a simple test for you to try.

Make an accurate comparison of your monthly income versus your monthly expenses. This is a very important number. Of course you already know what this number is, don’t you?

Once you’ve finished, take another look at your expenses. Did you include everything? This is an area where a lot of well intentioned people get tripped up.

I call it “painting the picture” of where you are. It sounds simple. But for many it isn’t.

My observation is that the hard part is to completely list all of your expenses. As the expenses get closer to equaling and even exceeding the income level, there is a tendency to go into denial mode.

In the denial mode, we decide that not every expense really counts. For example, we decide that gifts (regardless of how much we spend on them), subscriptions, trips to the specialty coffee shop, or some other things don’t really count – even though we spend money on them.

Everything counts if you are really spending money on it. If you aren’t sure what your average monthly expenses are, track them for a period of time until you know what they are. Just make sure that you do an accurate job.

Clearly “paint the picture” of your current financial situation – even if it makes your current situation look worse that you thought that it was. Why is this so important? Because if you don’t have a clear picture of where you are (and then combine this with where you want to be) how do you know what steps to take next?

I believe that once you get to this point, you will find hopefulness and encouragement. Because now you have a clear picture and you can generate your alternatives and make your plan.

Question: What is your average monthly income versus your average monthly expenses?

A lot of people don’t know the answer to this. Generally they simply don’t know where their money went. They made money but it is gone now with nothing to show for it.

Solution step: If your monthly expenses exceed your monthly income, ask yourself the following questions. Am I/are we actually borrowing money to pay for this item? Am I/are we going into debt in order to support our lifestyle (even if our lifestyle involves living beyond our means)?

Am I willing to keep borrowing money and going further into debt for this _______? Fill in the blank with whatever it is in your situation. For example, am I borrowing money to eat out tonight?

Finally, think about these questions. If I/we keep going further into debt and living beyond my/our means, what are the consequences of doing this? Is it worth it? If not, what am I willing to do about it starting right now?

Kevin Drum is the founder and principal of Titan Solutions, LLC in the Charleston, SC area. Kevin coaches others to reach their maximum potential. He encourages people to make good choices and succeed by balancing all areas of their life. He is the author of several solution based e-booklets including From Fired To Fired Up and Find Your Niche. If you would like to contact him for additional information please do so through his website below.

Copyright Kevin Drum 2010

Permission is granted to reprint this article provided it is reprinted in its entirety including this copyright information and it is attributed to

Kevin Drum

Titan Solutions, LLC

www.balanceforresults.com

Resumes: Use Lot’s of White Space

By:  John Holmgren

TheExpertResumeWriter.com

You are applying for a position that is perfect for your career and your dreams.

You want to tell the company (HR) resume reader everything you’ve ever done!

WRONG!

Back to basics:  The purpose of your resume is to get an interview (not the job).

Your first objective is to get your resume read at all!  You have to make me (the reader) want to take the time to read it.

If you put too much ink on the page, you make my job too hard.  I’ll throw it out!  You are making me work to understand what you do.  I don’t have time for that!  GONE!

The resume is a tease.  The response you want is, “Here’s someone who can help.  Let’s learn more”.  Make that briefly but abundantly clear.

Especially now, hiring organizations will receive many resumes for any desirable job.

Don’t do yourself in by providing too much detail.  This is especially true of people who have technical backgrounds.  Focus on accomplishment.  Leave detail for the interview.

In his 2000 book, “Don’t Make Me Think”, Steve Krug makes several very useful points on page 31.  Among them, “Create a clear visual hierarchy on each page”, “Break pages up into clearly defined areas”, “Minimize noise”.

My view is that his last point, “Minimize noise” is critical.  Tell the story of your capabilities briefly.  If it is readable, brief and to the point, you give yourself the best chance for further consideration.

An analogy is that of driving on a highway at 70 miles per hour and seeing a billboard at the side of the road.  That is the amount of time you have to create an impression before your resume is discarded.  Remember the acronym KISS?  Keep It Simple Stupid.

Too much ink (detail) will do you in!

BTW, I recommend Krug’s book highly.  Its focus is web sites, but the parallel use for resumes is clear.  And, you may want to develop your own employment web site.

John

How To Find A Job In A Jobless Recovery

By John Challenger, CEO
Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Advertise your job loss.
If knowing the right people helps to get your foot in the door, then it is essential that the right people know you are seeking a job. An unfortunate obstacle to job search success is pride. Too often people are embarrassed to tell anyone about their job loss, but this secrecy will not provide any job leads.

The minute you lose your job or decide you want to change jobs, start telling everyone you know that you are looking. Begin with friends, family and neighbors.

Talk to former co-workers and even casual business acquaintances you may have dealt with in your position. Share your plight with people at your house of worship. You can also join new social groups, professional associations and volunteer organizations to expand your circle of potential contacts.

Meet with new people every day (or as often as possible).
Whether it is an official interview, an informational interview or just meeting over lunch with a friend who has extensive contacts in a variety of industries, it is critical to meet face to face with people in your network frequently, if not daily.

Electronic mail has made staying in touch with contacts faster and easier, but face-to-face meeting remain the most powerful and effective way to communicate your skills, experience and qualifications as well as obtain the most useful help from your contact, in terms of job search advice, potential contacts and new opportunities.