Tuesday’s Tip: In The Chicago Area? Come See Me Live (and alive)!

Posted by Kevin Crews - The Career Strategist on June 7, 2011 in Job Tip |
If you are in the Chicagoland area, I would like to invite you to come see me (for free) at one of the following dates/times next week:

June 15th 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Topic: How to Work with Recruiters

Streamwood Job Club

Village of Streamwood Village Hall - Room 102

301 E. Irving Park Road
Streamwood, IL




June 16th 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Topic: Negotiating for the Salary You Deserve

St. John of the Cross Parish in Western Springs

708 51st Street
Western Springs, IL




Thursday’s Thought: Sometimes We Just Need To Laugh For Awhile…

Posted by Kevin Crews - The Career Strategist on June 2, 2011 in Job Tip |
Here is Our Top 20 of the Most Hilarious Spelling Mistakes on Resumes and Cover Letters:

20. “I have a known track record and excellent experience with accurancy and fixing erors

19. “Strong Work Ethic, Attention to Detail, Team Player,  Attention to Detail

18. “My experience include filing, billing, printing and coping

17. “Demonstrated ability in multi-tasting.”

16. “My work ethics are impeachable.”

15. “I have nervous of steel.”

14. “I consistently tanked as top sales producer for new accounts.”

13. “I am a perfectionist and rarely if if ever forget details.”

12. “Dear Sir or Madman,”

11. “I can type without looking at thekeyboard.”

10. “Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain store.”

9. “I am anxious to use my exiting skills”

8. “Speak English and Spinach

7. “I am a Notary Republic

6. “I attended collage courses for minor public relations

5. “Following is a grief overview of my skills.”

4. “I’m attacking my resume for you to review.”

3. “I am experienced in all faucets of accounting.”

2. “Hope to hear from you, shorty.”

And the most embarrassing one to finish off our list:

1.  “Directed $25 million anal shipping and receiving operations.”


Source: Read more: http://www.resumark.com/blog/andrew/top-15-of-the-most-hilarious-spelling-mistakes-on-resumes-and-cover-letters/#ixzz1Kkk8Nygs


Tuesday’s Tip: LinkedIn IPO

Posted by Kevin Crews - The Career Strategist on May 31, 2011 in Job Tip |
I am really glad to have (and use) LinkedIn as a networking tool for finding qualified candidates and networking with like-minded individuals. It has been a great tool to accomplish these tasks. And with the price of FREE, it is making the big monster mega job boards run for cover. But, is this another MySpace in the making? Anyone remember (or use) MySpace? That's my point.

My tip of the year is to sell LinkedIn stock short. It would have been a "buy" at $43 (which was going to be it's initial price), but it still would not have been worth that amount monetarily, but it would have been worth it "emotionally". If the greedy people at Morgan Stanley would have offered it at that initial price, the market would have driven it up to $60's or $70's in no time at all... then it would have flat-lined for awhile, and slowly fell to it's death over the next few quarters (if it didn't morph into a new product by then, or get gobbled up by another company). But MS wanted to make their super elite clients rich and doubled the IPO price. The stock rose quickly to $120, and the smart investors sold the stock, driving it back down to $80 a share.

Back to LinkedIn: I do not see the value of paying for the "subscriber" features (since I can accomplish the same tasks and more by going through another "door"). Compare it to the TV Guide. How many of you still get the paper version delivered to you in the mail? Sure, it's nice, but nothing I would pay for when I can get the same information elsewhere (ie. online). People will soon learn about these other "doors" and the keys to use them. And since LinkedIn is not heavily based on advertisements for their revenue, I think it is a great tool, but not a money making corporation.

Lawyer speak goes here claiming I am not a broker and do not know anything about the stock market and this is for fun and entertainment purposes only, blah, blah, blah :)



Thursday’s Thought: Are You On The Exciting New Fall TV Line-up? Or Are You Just Another Re-run?

Posted by Kevin Crews - The Career Strategist on May 26, 2011 in Job Tip |
I want everyone to take a "Reality Check" Pill today. Have you been doing the same stuff month after month and getting tired of having the same ole results? If so, I want to encourage everyone to try something new next week. You have a long 3-day weekend to think about this! But on Tuesday, I want you to implement a new job search strategy into your repertoire.

For example, QR Codes are becoming very popular (even though they have been around for years). Get on this band-wagon and utilize them to help you in your job search. You can link to your resume, send a message to them, play a video introduction of yourself (and much more - the ideas are limitless).

Scan this QR Code on a smart phone to see this in action!


Tuesday’s Tip: Your Negotiation Levergage is Now… Not a Year from Now

Posted by Kevin Crews - The Career Strategist on May 24, 2011 in Job Tip |
Research shows that more than 50% of the people accepting positions have no negotiations at all with their potential employer. This is wrong for at least 3 reasons:

1) There is no easy way for a company to come back to you after you fail to negotiate and say, "I know we offered you $50,000 for this position, but we were prepared to give you $53,000. Do you want that amount?"

2) After you are an employee, you will fall into a matrix of possible raises, and that matrix contains all small numbers! If you meet expectations, you might get a 1-2% annual increase in base pay. If you exceed expectations, you might get a 2-3% annual increase in base pay. Wow! A whole 1% more than your peer who never worked late, never came in on the weekends, and never came close to producing the value that you provided to the company. It may not be fair, but that is practice that the majority of corporations follow.

3) Prove your value. Do research to show the average wage for your skill set, then demonstrate to them that you are above average and ask for more. Believe me, if they are making you an offer, they think you are well above average! Just reiterate it to them.

Before you accept the role is the only time you will have this much power in determining your total compensation. I know all of you are aware of the time value of money. If you negotiate for that extra $3,000 now, it turns into more than triple that amount over your career.

Don't worry about what the employer will think about you bringing up a negotiation, or worry that they will revoke the offer, or fear that they will think less of you. In fact, if I were hiring someone in Business Development / Sales, and they did not negotiate with me, I would have some serious reservations about keeping that offer on the table!


Thursday’s Thought: WIA Grant Money and Other “Free” Training

Posted by Kevin Crews - The Career Strategist on May 20, 2011 in Job Tip |
If I where to take a poll on how many job seekers have looked into WIA Grant Money, or have taken any kind of free education while they have been searching for their next opportunity, I am afraid that the results would make me cry.

Why is it that so many of us are reluctant to ask for or take freebies when they are available? Kids don't have this reservation. If there are a plate of cookies on display at the local community bank for their customers to consume in a help-your-self environment, a kid assumes that the entire plate of scrumptious cookies are there for them (every last one). They have no reservations about obliging to the bank's kind offer.

However, when the government (or other agencies) provide assistance to adults, we are very reluctant to accept anything without paying for it. And out of work job seekers need to watch their finances very closely. So, I want to encourage you to look into the WIA Grant money, browse the free college courses from MIT (at http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm ), and choose some YouTube videos on software products like Microsoft Word to freshen up your skills. It will help relieve some stress, better prepare you for the job market, bring the kid out of you, and possibly turn your frown upside down.


Tuesday’s Tip: Is There Activity, Productivity (or both) in Your Job Search?

Posted by Kevin Crews - The Career Strategist on May 17, 2011 in Job Tip |
If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there!

When I work with job seekers, too many of them confuse (or substitute) activity for productivity. Activity does not necessarily equal productivity. I see a lot of people keeping themselves "busy" (or active) by going to multiple networking groups every week, applying for numerous jobs online, and using some basic social media applications. While this has kept most of them busy, it is not producing an offer for them to consider. Although the above 3 mentioned items are not necessarily bad activities, most are not utilizing them in the proper mix and manner, and they have become too comfortable with just doing only those tasks over and over again.

Just like you would have a "Project Plan" for a major work assignment or task, you need to develop a strategy and/or project plan for your job search.

"Life will not go according to plan if you do not have a plan."

I want to challenge each one of you to try 3 things from the list below over the next 5 days. Pick ones that you have not explored before, research them, write a basic "plan of attack" and give them a serious "try".

Job Search Techniques:

Job Boards (try the niche ones)

Corporate Career Sites (your target companies)

Job Fairs (they are starting to pop up again)

Social Networking (there are plenty to try)

Offline Networking (when's the last time you really talked to your Barber?)

Conferences (volunteer to work, so it's free for you)

Alumni Services (reach out and see how they can assist)

Temporary Employment Agencies (these can lead to full-time opportunities)

YouTube (get creative and advertise yourself)

Join Associations (related to your field of expertise)

Create your own Google search engine (and "program" to fit your industry)


Thursday’s Thought: “It Takes a Village” to Get Me a Job?

Posted by Kevin Crews - The Career Strategist on May 12, 2011 in Job Tip |
It might not take a Village, but you certainly don't want to be the only cheerleader for Team You. You need to network and establish relationships with people in your area of interest if you want to have a team of willing supporters of You.
And I don't mean by inviting them to connect on LinkedIn (or any other social media) just to "collect" another name that you have no intentions of networking with (or at least no immediate plan to do so).

Most people still feel uncomfortable in reaching out to individuals and nurturing a relationship. Have we gotten so busy that we have turned into a "Right Here and Right Now Society"? Most of the people that attempt to network with me are not interested in a true professional relationship. They want to skip all of the "building" and want to have the finished product immediately (ie. me giving them a contact, or help in some other way). Now don't get me wrong, I am willing to help! And I do help a lot of people. After all, this is the business I choose to be in. But I worry that if you are treating other people like this, you are not going to get very far. Most of them are not recruiters or career counselors, and they will smile and you, tell you that they will "look out for you", and then we you walk away, they will forget about you.

If I were to put out a million dollar challenge for the Best Use of Networking, would you be able to enter this contest? I don't think you would. If you want to prove me wrong, send me your story and although a million dollars is officially off the table, I will give you my R-E-S-P-E-C-T more than Aretha Franklin would think about giving you!

So the next time one of your "peeps" hears about an opportunity in your area of expertise, will they call you, refer you, or somehow assist you? If not, get busy and fill up your Team. Note: I will be your cheerleader.


Tuesday’s Tip: You Can’t Click “APPLY” to Find the Hidden Job Market

Posted by Kevin Crews - The Career Strategist on May 10, 2011 in Job Tip |
The majority of all positions ever filled in the history of time have never been posted! So all of you that are comfortable signing onto your computer, finding positions posted online, and clicking on that dreaded "APPLY" button are not only "clicking" your resume into a black hole, but you are missing out on a significant number of positions in which you are a perfect fit for, but are not being considered for.
Then Hidden Job Market is simply jobs that are in the minds of Hiring Managers that may or may not ever get posted. All jobs that do get posted are former Hidden Market Jobs. So, wouldn't you rather be first on their mind, rather than come into consideration after the posting. Also, if you wait, you will have more competition.
You can’t control MANY aspects of your job search but you DO have extensive control over your networking efforts! By properly networking with individuals at your target corporations, you will have first hand knowledge about new opportunities, and also become aware of their problems or challenges and are ready to explain how you can solve them.
Remember the old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. That is no longer valid… “It’s not what you know, or who you know, it’s who knows you”
You need to have a “Top of Mind” presence with people you are networking with (peers, Hiring Managers, Recruiters, key contacts at your targeted companies, etc…). When they hear of something in your area, do they think of you?
You should concentrate on creating relationships (over resume submissions) and the relationships will create opportunities. I think most people are fixated on submitting their resume just because that is what they are used to and are comfortable with, but times have changed… find and build relationships with the Hiring Managers. After all, 60-80% of positions are filled via Networking. Only 4-7% are filled via the job boards!


Thursday’s Thought: Get Those Creative Juices Flowing!

Posted by Kevin Crews - The Career Strategist on May 5, 2011 in Job Tip |
I have met many job seekers during my career, and the one thing that still amazes me is their reluctance to do (or try) something outside-of-the-box. We need to bring back the "kid in us" and not worry about what someone is going to think about us. When we were kids, we seldom "asked for permission", or waited for someone to "invite us" to climb on top of the garage and leap into the in-ground pool from 20 feet above. Now I admit, I probably shouldn't have done some of those crazy things, but I also feel that I have been rewarded for taking chances in my life. For example, I could have played for the Atlanta Braves (if I chose to skip college), I appeared on the Wheel of Fortune television show, I traveled to all states by the age of 16, hung out with Walter Payton and Don Cheadle, and even some more exciting things that shouldn't be shared in a public forum :) However, no one held my hand and dragged me to do all of those things. I had to take the initiative, and I had to take some chances. For example, I showed up to a professional baseball team tryout that was intended for "invitees only". However, I acted like I belonged there and walked onto the field with my mitt, wit, talent, speed and charm. I proved my skill as a baseball player that day, and I was always "invited" back to every other tryout for the next 4 years.
The bottom line is that when most of us turned into an adult, we lost the creative, care-free side that we had when we were kids. We now "care" about what others would think if they knew I did blankety-blank, or saw me attempt to do blankety-blank. And with it, went the out-of-the-box thinking. I guarantee you that no one is going to "check your job search homework", and penalize you if you don't do it. They are also not going to send out the "that is a crazy idea" police and arrest you if you attempt something that all of your competitors are not doing. So, get out there and make a fool of yourself. It's a ruff economy and the old way of getting a job has about as likely of a chance as the Cubs winning a World Series. Hmmm, I wonder how many readers just "unsubscribed" to my blog. Oh well, here's to taking chances!