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Playing from the Blue Tees: Women in the Federal Government

Throughout the past decade, workplace diversity issues have allowed organizations to adjust their policies in response to the need for workplace equality in all aspects. As a result of the dynamic political, social and economic changes, some companies have willingly become more inclusive, integrating women, people of color, gays/lesbians, and individuals with disabilities into their workforce at all levels of their organizations. However, others have failed to make this paradigm shift. The Federal government has failed to see the benefits of a diverse workforce, which is evident by the lack of diversity of the people it serves. Research by the Center for Creative Leadership (2002), show women in business have been required to adapt to a well established hierarchal system built around the strengths of its majority of male players. As women have entered the workplace, they initially try to create only a modest variant in a male dominated workplace. Gender diversity could be very beneficial to the Federal government, causing greater creativity in group decision-making and improved task performance.

Hey! - Are You Being Paid What You Are Worth?

Are you being paid what you are worth? Has anybody ever asked you that? Have you ever asked yourself?

Women Who Quit Work Abrubtly After Childbirth - Are You the Type?

According to statistics one out of every five pregnant women will not return to work. Quitting abruptly after childbirth could wreak havoc on your finances, your career and even your relationship with your partner.

10 Things to Do to Get the Job

10. Understand all of the opportunities available to you. Don't just assume that you can only work at the standard place of employment for your area of study. The key to finding a great career is to think outside of the box. Don't get caught being narrow-minded when considering where to apply your skills and energy. Every firm needs accountants, project managers, sales people, etc. 9. Get to know a successful person. Your dad's friend doesn't count if he doesn't know you. You must be able to find someone that has had decent success in any field and become their new friend. The tendency for those that are mentored to go much farther in their career is significant. You can take the world on all by yourself or you can benefit from the experience and wisdom of others. Mentors can make all the difference at every stage of your career. 8. Learn to sell yourself. You have a lot more to offer than you may think. Whether your history is full of experience or education, you are bringing unique qualities to a company. You must learn to express your skills in a succinct and convincing manner. It may feel like boasting at first, but your ability to sell yourself will help you tremendously. 7. Network in professional associations. If you really want to make an impression, meet people that already work in your industry. Volunteer with them for projects and get to know them. Building a relationship is the fastest way into a company. Learn what they do and what you should do to get ahead in the field or at a particular company. These people are there to make friends and network as well. Don't be shy about your professional ambitions and you will get very far. 6. Network inside the company. If you want to ensure your role at a company then you need to get to know several people in the company. No matter what you may be applying for, you will be competing with others to make an impression with people. The fact is that people love to work with those that they trust and like. If you can make a good impression with multiple people inside a company, you have a built-in competitive advantage when deciding to hire you or another qualified candidate. Use professional organizations to meet company employees if you can. For the more direct route, try contacting a manager in the department you want to work in to meet and ask questions. If you are personable, you will probably not have any problems getting to know a few people inside a company. 5. Bring something to your job. Just like JFK said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." If you have done your homework, you know what the company is doing now, where it is going, and what issues that your department is facing or will have to deal with in the future. Talk about what you can do in the interview and with as many managers as you can. Sure you are going to be told what to do, but never underestimate the impact of taking on extra responsibility. You may not be applying for a management position, but this could help you get there. 4. Get your résumé to the best people. There are several strategies for marketing yourself to the decision makers in a company. Whatever your method may be, it is crucial that you get your résumé to the highest-ranking managers possible. If you can impress an executive with a great résumé, you will find your path through the company door wide open. If an executive passes along your résumé or just mentions that they received your résumé to a hiring manager, you are going to get serious bonus points. The desire to please is prevalent at many larger companies, so any chance you can take advantage of to get your name dropped (or recognized) by top management is a great. 3. Do your homework. You have heard this all of your school career, but it is even more important in the your career search. You can easily blow a great job opportunity by not knowing enough information about the company. Be sure to read industry news and trends to have a better perspective on the challenges and opportunities the company is facing. Read the company's website thoroughly. There is so much information readily available, including key personnel's names, positions, and contact info. Take advantage of this information and any other knowledge you can attain from the multitude of sources available. 2. Hit the pavement. Don't be afraid to show up at the company you want to work for. Nobody can sell yourself like you can. Even if the company isn't advertising a position, they are almost always looking for great employees to hire. The information age has nearly eliminated the need for face-to-face contact, which is why it is so effective now. If you meet the people that you want to work for then you are demonstrating your commitment and confidence in yourself. The younger generation of job seekers have forgotten the importance of personal relationships in business, leaving many talented people wondering why they aren't being hired. Get out there and show that there is a person behind the résumé. 1. Ask for the job you want. If you bring quality skills and/or experience to the table, let it be known. If the open position won't challenge you enough, find ways to add responsibility. Tell interviewers that you want to make a difference at their company. Confidence in one's ability is key to landing great jobs. If the decision maker can see that you have a lot to offer and are willing to work harder than current employees, there is no decision; you are hired!

What to Ask During the Interview

Don't just sit there and bob your head, waiting to answer the next question - be prepared to ask your own questions and make the interviewer know that you care!

Writing Great Cover Letters

Cover letters are an essential ingredient to your complete résumé package. This is the best opportunity for you to demonstrate your personal character, knowledge of the company and your business writing skills. The following is a relatively generic format for creating your cover letter. Note that most cover letters are designed to target a specific company or at least a specific industry. First Paragraph You must spark the employer's interest. Focus on your unique characteristics, whether they are based on experience or personal traits that will benefit the company. Don't simply restate your résumé objective statement. You must command attention, not simply alert the employer that you are applying for a position (they already know that!). Second Paragraph Provide more detail about your professional qualifications or relevant educational background. Highlight your professional accomplishments and/or achievements, not responsibilities. Use active verbs when describing things that you have done and back it up with a statistic or concrete fact when possible. Tailor this paragraph to the position that you are applying for. Third Paragraph Demonstrate knowledge of the company, their industry, and the challenges that they may be facing. This is where you connect what the company needs in an employee and the skills that you bring to the table. You want to implicitly show your knowledge of the company without regurgitating something you read on the company's website. Alluding to general industry trends that are affecting the company will let the employer know that you can see the big picture and how your position affects the company's strategy. Fourth Paragraph This is the final paragraph of most cover letters. You should demonstrate your confidence and enthusiasm in working at the organization. Be sure to include a call to action, requesting an appointment with the decision maker (using the word appointment over the word interview helps make you sound more confident and professional). It is also recommended that you alert the employer that you will follow up with them, usually one week after sending your résumé package.

Resume Writing Dos and Donts

Do these things Include your full name - don't use nicknames or abbreviations Use a telephone number that you can always answer - use a cell phone if possible or make sure there is an answering machine at the listed phone number Use bullet points to highlight information - it is much easier for an employer to absorb relevant information while scanning your résumé Print your résumé and cover letter on high quality paper - when printing your résumé you should use paper with at least 50% cotton content Be concise and get to the point - say what you need to say and nothing more Use action words and descriptive phrases - be creative when trying to get your point across using as few words as possible Target your résumé - address your résumé to the position you are applying for to show that you are really interested in working for that company Focus on relevant facts only - list skills, accomplishments and personality traits you know the employer is looking for List quantitative support for statements made - back up your skills and experiences with real scenarios, facts and figures Begin statements with action verbs - action verbs demonstrate your importance to the achievement or experience being described Don't do these things Have any grammatical errors - always have someone else proofread your résumé for errors and flow Have any spelling mistakes - always spell check your résumé, your contact's name, and the company's name Misrepresent your background or experience - employers oftentimes verify this information and can fire you if it is discovered that you were dishonest Fill in employment gaps with unrelated information - wait to discuss this information in person to put a positive spin on it Use lengthy paragraphs - employers notoriously skip over paragraphs in résumés Use long sentences - just like paragraphs, the reader easily skips over long sentences Use personal pronouns - keep your résumé impersonal for a more professional image Forget to list basic skills - all employers want to see that you are a team player, take charge of situations and are reliable

Make a Great First Impression

Searching for employment is one of the most nerve-racking activities to engage in. As if the direct need for income is not stressful enough, the process of writing a résumé, networking in your industry, and applying for jobs can leave anyone shaking in their tracks. Once you have hit the pavement and made a few contacts the phone calls should start coming in. With a little effort, hopefully a phone call could lead to an interview; which happens to be one of the most horrifying portions of career building. With the completion of a good interview, a job offer is just a step away. Here are few tips of turning any interview into a memorable experience for the Employer (and just might help you land the job!):

Job Search - Understand Employers

Think like an employer

Update Your Resume Today

A friend was just promoted to a position of vice-president of a company. I am happy for him and the first thing I told him after congratulations was ?update your resume?. He is now in a new league and if and when a headhunter should call or an opportunity to advance presents itself, he must be ready with his paperwork. Ready now, not tomorrow. A prospective employer?s first impression of you should be one of preparedness.

Chicken Soup for Job Seekers

Do you want to change your job but don?t know the right way to go about it? Are you vacillating between waiting for your dream job or accepting the first one that comes your way? Or are you a fresher falling in line with what your parents wish you to be rather than what you wish to be? If this is the kind of situation you find yourself in, then the next few minutes will help you get a clearer picture. Here is our bowl of chicken soup for the job seeker?s soul. Read on?

Benefits of Maintaining a Career Portfolio

Have you ever tried to contact a past employer only to discover they are no longer in existence or your former manager has moved on and been replaced by someone else? Of course, if you are an avid networker this shouldn?t be much of a problem when it comes time to provide proof of your experience, education and accomplishments. A portfolio of your career should be developed and maintained using all documentation of your career history in order to overcome any problems that could arise in proving any aspects of your career. It should also include your most up-to-date resume which will be based on the contents of your portfolio. Include documents pertaining to your education including continuing education such as diplomas and certifications. Have any of your past managers sent memos or emails to you or your colleagues mentioning any of your accomplishments? Were your accomplishments published in the company newsletter, local newspaper or a trade magazine? Annual reviews, award certificates, and documents or articles recognizing your contributions to projects and/or business growth are proof of your accomplishments and major contributions. Be sure to clip the articles, print the emails, save the memos and add them to your portfolio. Document volunteer experience you have gained. Although you didn?t receive compensation from volunteer experience, you gained some kind of experience and maybe even recognition for your efforts. Were you able to help an organization overcome a major hurdle that hampered their mission? Did you provide assistance to the members of an organization? Were you instrumental in developing new marketing methods to spread news about the mission? Were you instrumental in the expansion of the organization? Anything that can document your career history could prove to be valuable in your career advancement or job search. In the event you are unable to make contact with a former manager or provide up-to-date contact information to a potential employer, your career portfolio could serve as a means of proving your value to the potential employer. Don?t take your career lightly. Document your career and maintain your portfolio. Your children and children?s children will also thank you in years to come because they will have proof of your accomplishments and the mark you made in history, too.

Inside Sales Jobs: A Job Worth Seeking?

Are you interested in inside sales as a career? Inside sales can be a very rewarding job if you so choose. What is the difference between inside and outside sales positions? If you think the difference is staying out of the sun, read on and discover if or why an inside sales job could be for you.

Supplement Your Skills and Improve Your Work Position

It is often said that the majority of people are but a few checks away from homelessness. Without a consistent income, this may be a true statement. Some ability to multi-task can get you through a temporary employment down-spell.

Get Dressed and Get Hired

Tying a tie properly may tie you to your next employer. A properly tied tie is essential to a good first impression. With the recent outcry regarding athletes wearing flip-flops to the White House, it?s apparent that a review of socially acceptable fashion rules is needed.

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