Author: Sandra Parker

10 tips to advance in your career


Reconsider your career goals

Do a mind map or revisit the goals you set years ago, and those in the next 5 and 10 years. Rethink the question of where you want to be? and what makes inspires you to grow. Where are the current needs in your relationship and how is your job hindering or adding to the growth of them. It seems there’s always a necessary time for restructure and a rebalancing of your life, work and goals. When you realign yourself, it will benefit your level of success at the workplace.

Find and fill the gaps in your skill set

Obviously it’s useful to know your abilities and where there are holes. Find out all the options you have at your fingertips for bettering your skills. For instance, you can watch various online tutorials, learn a language, enroll for part time classes, read forums, online newsletters and blogs daily.  Be sure to budget a set amount of time, and don’t get carried away thereby detracting from your workflow.

Concentrate on your current strengths

Reevaluate your strengths so that you can continue to sharpen them and make them even more productive. It will also give you energy as you focus on the positive and areas where you are passionate.


Ask for the critiques of family and co-workers

Be willing to be corrected, put away your ego and allow for constructive criticism in order to grow in the areas where it is needed. You will benefit greatly by a little humility, and so will your company in the long run.

Always work on your communications skills as well. Watch the below clip for 3 tips.

Save money

Find ways to conserve, and promote frugality in the workplace in an effort to streamline finances and boost revenues.

Show respect and never gossip

Set the tone earlier on in your job with regards to your attitudes towards others. Be loyal to your co-workers, and avoid all gossip. Show respect to everyone, especially your customers. Never complain about others, regardless of their faults. An overall attitude of grace will be noticed and appreciated by all you come in contact with, and will help produce good benefits for everyone.

Always own up to your mistakes

Be humble and don’t point the finger when you make a mistake. Simply apologize and take full responsibility for your mistakes, otherwise you will breed tension in the office that will inevitably come back to bite you.

Praise others and make them feel important

It’s important to emphasize another’s strengths and share the credit with those whom you work, it contributes to the team building atmosphere, and certainly helps those further up the corporate ladder to appreciate you.

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7 tips for giving a good job interview

job-interview-437026_960_720The most talented and skilled qualified job seekers are not exempt for job interview prep. You can never be “too ready”, as there is only one first impression. Even if your resume lags behind another in experience, you may be the pick if you come across confident, competent and friendly in your interview. Here are 7 tips to improve your performance.

Dress appropriately for the company in which you are applying

Be aware of the dress code in the company by simple observance, but dress in business attire when in doubt. It’s obvious, that you should be clean and well groomed and not to assume a casual dress code. If you’re unsure, research appropriate dress for interviews.

Listen well, talk less

It’s crucial that you listen carefully! This means remaining present in the moment without letting your mind wander. If you’re an astute listener, you’ll be able to answer whatever questions you may be asked wisely. It also reveals that you are a good communicator, because listening is a skill that far too many people do not have. If we do not listen, our answers will likely be just ramblings. Talking too much is a certain way to reveal your lack of confidence, preparedness, and will certainly make you a less likely candidate for the job.


Be confident, not arrogant

Yes, it’s important to be confident, but don’t be arrogant! There is a big difference! One is confident based on honest ability and skill level, talking just matter of fact. Whereas arrogance is really based on insecurity and plain cockiness–and it will certainly shine through whatever you say. It would be better to just be yourself, with the confidence that comes with the aptitude for the job you wish to attain.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Asking questions, first of all, proves to yourself and your hiring manager that you’ve been listening, and more importantly, it shows that you have an interest in the company. In addition to simply being perceived as an engaged interviewer, it helps you determine if the job you’re applying for is the right fit for you. Don’t allow yourself to answer “no” to the question of having any questions!

Be prepared to give succinct answers

It’s necessary to give concrete answers when asked behavior type questions. The hiring manager is looking for past examples of actions in specific instances and should be met with clarity and simply as possible without hem hawing or being vague. This is an opportunity for you to prove your skills and ability in handling often tricky situations. Check out the below video on “Most Common Job Interview Questions”

Improve nonverbal communication

When you arrive be sure to make eye contact and give a firm handshake. In your being “present” and engaged from the very beginning, you will be poised to receive whatever comes next.

Don’t be desperate

Be free in your mind about whatever job you wish to apply for. If you are too attached to a specific job, it will certainly come out in your interview no matter how calm you try to appear. If you are seeking a job you are able and qualified to do and for the betterment of yourself, family, and society, surely it will present itself in time, so long as you are honest and hardworking. So, for this tip, you need to dig deep and let go, and then your confidence will be genuine!

Best of Luck!

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Best resume tips for 2016


When applying for a job, it’s important to realize that most hiring managers take a mere 6 seconds to look at your resume. As information has glutted cyberspace, our attention spans as a society have shortened significantly. Very few employers in the current market will give any attention to a resume that doesn’t quickly jump out and grab the eye. Here are just a few tips to help you produce a resume that could possibly avert a toss to the garbage bin in this busy, over stimulated job market.

Make your contact information “pop”

Get a professional graphic designer to use their skills to pull together whatever copy you give them. It’s good to use some color–typically blue, for the headers, etc. and leave the rest black. Less is more. But color, and a modern font, tends to help your resume stand apart from one with a boring typeset and old fashioned font.

Eliminate the objective

With a short attention span, most employers are concerned with just finding the perfect fit, so ditch your objective, and what “you are looking to do”. This added information just annoys the hiring manager most of the time. From their perspective, it’s not about “you” after all, it’s about them.


Skip the “skills” section. What?

It’s good when applying for a skills-based job, to list your specific requirements, but for the most part, it’s better to integrate your talents and skills into your experience section so they can see how you’ve actually applied what you’ve learned over the years.

Start the resume with a summary

This is quite different than an objective. We’re talking about who and what we are in a nutshell rather than our personal goals in working with their particular company. In this summary you can make a quick highlight of your achievements, job history and experience in a professional synopsis type of way.

Try and keep your resume in one page

Quality is better than quantity. It will take time, but it is better to hone your experience and skills into a tight and calculated paragraph rather than something wordy and drawn out. Eliminate busy graphics or uncessary run-ons; as a culture, we simply don’t have the attention for it.

Choose between two typical formats: Chronological or functional, and keep it precise.

Chronological will state all your employment, starting with the earliest on your timeline. It’s great in one sense because it shows your upward career trajectory, but, at the same time, can be too wordy and leave gaps in employment apparent and a cause for question. Functional, on the other hands, tends to focus on what you actually can DO, highlighting the skill set you have now with less of a focus on the past. This is a benefit for skill-based position.

All in all, what you need to remember is that it’s imperative that you spend a good amount of time sculpting your resume so that it’s simple, precise, clean, bold and to the point in a world that is desensitized and impatient. Don’t be afraid to highlight appropriate skills where necessary and focus on roles that are especially pertinent to the particular job you’re after.

Good luck in the job search!


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7 tips for writing a personal biography


An important marketing task for you to do as priority, is to compose a professional bio in order to give a quick introduction of yourself in networking settings, blog articles, on your personal website, or professional directories, just to name a few. With information overload these days online, it’s especially important to write a blurb about yourself that is succinct and concise. A nutshell describing who you are, and what you want to communicate to others.

Here are a few tips for you too consider in composing this vitally important piece of information that you will use to consistently to promote yourself on all platforms.

Know your audience
Determine who will be reading your bio and gear your tone towards that type. It’s important to touch a strike a chord with the intended audience.

Write 3-4 versions
Write a few versions so you can whip out the appropriate one for various platforms. You may want a one-liner or Twitter, or a full page in job application package. A good word amount for a brief blog bio, or book jacket is roughly 100 words. It’s important to write, and re-write until you are able to sum up your story in brief, and artfully.

Identify your purpose
Why are you writing a bio? If you don’t know, then your message will be unclear and pointless. It needs to be direct in order to meet your marketing goal.

Introduce yourself immediately
The opening line should be a pithy statement about who you are and what you’re trying to do.


Add personality
Let your sense of humor or wit come through, communicating who you really are. Be real.

Share your hobbies or charitable work
Adding these extras shows your diverse areas of interest and reveals core beliefs and passions that can be integrated in your professional life.

Break writing rules
Use fragments or start a sentence unconventionally with verbs, etc.

Use a conversational tone
Make your tone easy going, warm and comfortable as if talking to a good friend.

Include your contact information
A blog or website address is usually preferred. Additionally it’s friendly to add a photo, as it’s a great way to connect with your reader.

Get Found
The most important part here is getting found. Find a good local search engine optimization agency, like Oxbow SEO, and get your on-page text and keywords carefully set for your industry. You can use AdWords “Keyword Planner” to help you find out what terms are the most useful and searched for in your industry.

Here you have it, a very simplified introduction, and tips of the basics of bio writing.

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How to brand yourself for your next job


If you’re looking for a career change, or and advancement in your current job or business, you’ll need to market and promote yourself.  The first step in marketing yourself is coming up with  your personal brand. Your is all about who you are and what you want to be known for in order to procure the job you want and grow in your desired field.

In the world of modern computer technology, branding yourself for your desired work has become a much more elaborate art than it has ever been. Everyone knows what branding does for big business, such as Dunkin Donuts or Dominos, but what about you–on a personal level. How does one brand oneself? And how do you compete for employment cleverly using current technology? What is the art to branding yourself using social media and various media tools that are popular today, and how can they help the company down the street get a “sum total” of who you are and what you represent?

Branding by definition, is the process in which we market ourselves to others. It’s not just a term tossed in ad firms for promoting the latest cutting edge companies or promoting rock stars. It’s imperative that when you are interested in presenting yourself at your interview, that the interviewer has an image of who you are based on the “homework” they’ve done previous to your appointment. Not only do they peruse the package you’ve mailed or emailed them, the first thing they will inevitably do is go online and research for themselves who you are. If you’re a well-rounded and prudent business person who’s concerned about your reputation, you’ll be aware of what you’ve displayed over time online, especially in regards to all social media. Your online presence is key in securing your dream job, so don’t be a goof and plaster your Facebook with less than professional images, or at least be sure to make your accounts private before putting your name out there for employment.

For overall branding of yourself, there are a couple key steps:

  • Develop your identity, reputation or personal “tagline”
  • Market yourself – Get your identity out there for the world to see.


First, develop your personal tag line

A tagline is a quick and memorable statement that will be used to describe what you are all about and what you have to offer in a nutshell. Here are just a few pointers to get you started in brainstorming your tag line process:

You’ll need to consider the industry that you are trying to work in, your target audience and adjectives describing your line of work. What ability, product, or service do you have to offer others?

Secondly, you’ll need to give a precise summation of your personality. You will need to do a little homework on yourself and determine those qualities that describe your character traits that would appeal to your potential employers on a emotional level. Questions to consider would be: what are your core passions, values and talents? It’s important to be objective and honest when assessing this. Additionally, ask yourself the benefit someone would have who worked with you, how make make others feel, or how they would describe you from their stance. Are you easy going, fun, type A and highly organized?

Market yourself

Once you’ve come up with a tag line, you need to consider how to get your “brand” out there on the web and market yourself in such a way that is cohesive with the image that you’ve created in your tagline. You should create a logo (which is the art of making the image you’ve created in your tagline into a little visual to place on each piece of your marketing material: business cards, a blog, resume, etc. Also, it’s important to direct your social media so that it reflects your personality and skill set. Your brand should be consistent on all platforms. when you arrive at your interview, you will want to dress and present yourself in a way that is also consistent with the image you’ve advertised.

There is much to consider when branding yourself for your future career. Most of your effort will be in devising an initial foundation to then build upon. Your initial work, your foundation, is your tagline. And this will take the most honesty, thought, and hard work.

Here are some additional tips in branding yourself:



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