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‘Advice’ Category

  1. In 150 characters or fewer, tell us what makes you unique. [The Nightmare Resume Question]

    January 12, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    In 150 characters or fewer, tell us what makes you unique. Try to be creative and say something that will catch our eye!

    Has anyone else gotten this question on online resumes?

    150 characters or less gets me in the Twitter frame of mind and that is never good. “Try to be creative” and “say something that will catch our eye” makes my brain start to bleed out my nose.

    I have no clue on what to say and neither does anyone else, because when I google this question, no one else knows what to say either.

    So, let’s use my last few tweets to see if that helps anyone –

    I don’t stand a chance, do I?

    What would you say in 150 characters or less?

    Edit:

    After realizing how many people are searching for this, I decided to do a little digging and ask a few HR professionals about this question. Excluding the one who told me, “I have no idea!” I found a couple of answers that may help:

    1) “Depends on what the company culture is, for us, something fun and random. For other companies, maybe something professional and goal orientated. Sorry, I know “it depends” is not a great answer!”

    2) “Elevator pitch!

    Do you have a concise mission statement?

    For example,
    ‘I help people in transition. They begin by understanding their true nature and creating a personal brand.'”

    I hope this helps people who have stumbled upon this blog post for an answer! If I find out more tips, I’ll post them!


  2. Does Lack of Software Skills Reduce Your Chances for Employment?

    July 1, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

     

    How I Feel When Taking Software Classes

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. Because I wonder how many job seekers want to apply for a job, but tragically –

    YOU DON’T HAVE THE SOFTWARE SKILLS REQUIRED.

    You know that sentence is like farting in an elevator. It can just ruin a hopeful feeling you have about a job.

    The thing is how exactly do you gain software skills? Sure, I know, go take a class. But the truth is, in my particular area I’m living there isn’t a lot of opportunities to take classes. There is a community college nearby, but here are the two options I have found:

    • Take a class that is a “noncredit” option (YAY) that only has class times in the middle of the day (BOO!) and I work for an employer who has low patience for me taking time off (BOO!)
    • Take a credit class (BOO!) that costs way too much (BOO! And yes, right now, $300 for a software class is a lot for me). I also don’t learn software well when it’s an online format. If I’m taking an online class on how to use a software, I may as well learn from a book which would cost less, but I don’t learn software from just a book.

    My mom, who is looking for work right now, is coming across the same thing. Jobs that require software skills and those software skills aren’t easy to come by. I also have some trepidation about taking a class in general, because unless it is something I will use regularly, how will I come to feel like I really know it?

    Take excel for example. I don’t have any reason to use it at my current job. Sure, I open excel files during the day, but I don’t create charts and use the formulas in excel. I have no reason for that. So if I take a class on excel, when will I use it during the day? If you don’t use it, don’t you lose it?

    I’d love to know Adobe Photoshop. Yet, unless I’m using it at work, or have it at home, how much of that class will I retain? Not to mention how expensive it actually is to buy that software (again, the no extra money thing is holding me back lately).

    Anyways, ranting aside, how do you increase your software skills to be eligible for more opportunities? Is it as simple as taking a class? How have you gained those skills?

     

     


  3. Is Starting Your Own Business The Answer To Being Unemployed? – A Guest Post

    June 24, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    Today I was happy to bring a post that talks about starting your own business. This is packed with great information and each point could be a post of its own, but it’s a great overview on what to expect when starting your own business. Special thank you to Ericka for providing this post for my readers.

    After putting all of your time and energy into your job, getting fired can be a blow to the gut. While getting canned may feel like the end of the world, it might be the kick in the pants you need to turn your lifelong passion into an entrepreneurial opportunity.

    Being self-employed will certainly fix your problem of being jobless, and you never have to worry about getting “pink slipped” again.

    Financing Your Business

    The biggest issue with entrepreneurship is the startup cost. Many people abandon the idea because they feel they can’t afford to take the risk. Keeping your business a one-person operation can keep your costs relatively low. If you transfer skills from your former job, you won’t have to come up with money to pay for basic equipment or training.

    Also, consider purchasing second hand equipment to get you started. As your profits grow, reinvest it back into the business to purchase better equipment. If you don’t have the extra capital to buy everything you need, consider selling some personal belongings you don’t need.
    Since most businesses are not profitable in the beginning, you might not want to use every dime of your savings to finance your venture. If possible, keep at least six months worth of living expenses stashed away. If you received severance pay from your previous employer, consider tucking it away so you don’t end up living under an overpass while your business grows.

    Choosing a Workspace

    You will likely spend more than half of your days working in your office. So the space you choose needs to be comfortable. If you do decide to rent an office away from home, you might want to consider:

    • the location of the space

    • whether or not it will allow your business room to expand

    • the kind of amenities nearby

    • whether or not the Internet connection is up to par

    • whether the space is the right fit for your working style

    In order to save money, a lot of small business owners opt to set up a workspace in their homes. If you go this route and your chosen business will require you to meet with clients, consider renting a virtual office. A virtual office is less expensive than a traditional office space and it will give you a professional mailing address and a professional place to meet with your clients.

    Hiring Employees

    When you first start your business, you will probably be doing all the work yourself. However, as your business gains steam, you may need to hire employees to help. Since high turnover can result in high costs, you want to do your best to hire quality employees. These tips can help.

    • Consult an attorney. You don’t want to inadvertently violate the legal rules of hiring workers for your business

    • Be detailed in your employment ad. You will narrow down the flux of unqualified applicants by being specific about the kind of workers you want

    • Weed through resumes carefully. Sort the resumes into two stacks – “Possibly” and “Heck no.” Toss the resumes that land in the “Heck no” pile in the trash. Go back through the “Possibly” pile to choose your final applicants.

    • Prepare for interviews. Put together a list of open ended questions for your interviewees to answer. The list should contain standard interview questions, as well as some additional questions of your own.

    • Check all references. This will give you a well rounded view of the type of employees you are considering hiring.

    Getting the Word Out

    In order to be profitable, you have to let people know that you’re out there. After you have chosen the kind of business you want to start, choose and research your target market. Once you’ve done all of your research, it’s time to launch your marketing campaign.

    Here are some ideas that may help:

    • start a business website and blog

    • print small ads on postcards and mail them to prospective clients

    • host an open house or seminar

    • send out brochures

    • use content marketing

    • start an email marketing campaign

    • research your competitors to see what they are doing

    • pass out flyers

    • use referral networks

    • cold call

    • use social media

    For ideas that involve sending something physical to prospective clients, it would be worthwhile investing in brand protection in order to avoid any fraudulent activity and ruining your businesses reputation. Make sure you are careful with anything you do within your business.

    No single marketing tactic works every time, so rotate your methods and try different approaches to find what works best. Also, it’s cheaper to keep existing customers than it is to draw in new ones. Reach out to existing customers and keep them coming back by giving immaculate customer service and offering special promotions via newsletters, email and direct mail.

    About the Author: Ericka B is a business coach who loves helping business owners improve in a number of aspects. In her spare time she loves to write; she often writes about business related topics.


  4. How Reddit Can Help During Times of Need

    May 30, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    Need a job? Need food? Need a friend?

    I’m an active Reddit user and I have found a surprisingly helpful (while also not-so-surprisingly rude and obnoxious people at times) community on the well known bookmark website.

    Now, the biggest question – how to use Reddit during your time of need. I’ll preface this by saying that of these Reddit forums – I have requested for a few things – job search assistance and an item or two I needed and I did get leads, but no immediate results. But this doesn’t mean that you couldn’t benefit from these forums.

    1) Random Kindness

    The first one I ever came across is “Random Kindness.” It’s a site to request something you need or want or giveaway or offer something you don’t need or want. There are rules sent in place to avoid scammers (although they do come around on occasion).  I would certainly give this a try if there is something you do need or can’t afford (or if you just need a friend – I’ve seen many requests for postcards, birthday cards, well wishes, etc.).  Also, if there is something you can offer people  – even a pen pal or a birthday card – it will give you warm fuzzy feelings inside.

    2) Ecycle

    I haven’t been around this section that long, but I did just find it recently. I can tell you right now there are more requests than there are offers. I am also not that sure there are many requests that get fulfilled. But you know what? It’s worth a try.

    3) Get Well

    Okay this is another new one I found! I like doing nice things for people and if you want to feel good about yourself, sign up to send a few people cards. Sure, there may be a few fake stories here and there, but as long as you aren’t giving someone thousands of dollars (or any money, really), than just enjoy the kindness.

    4) Off My Chest

    This is a section that I have used once before and you know, it’s really helpful. The people there are respectful for the most part and it’s a fantastic place to rant and rave. Plus, it’s always humbling to read the woes and troubles of others. It reminds you that you are not the only one struggling and to be grateful for what you do have in life.

    5) Assistance

    Okay, this is the place to start. This site has everything you need if you are in need of something – anything. Now, the actual posts are something you may end up ignoring, but I want to direct your attention to the side bar (and don’t look at this site from a mobile device, look at it on a regular browser).  Scroll through and you will find just about everything you need.

    6) Your City

    If you are looking for a job, I highly recommend seeking out your city’s Reddit site and see if they have a section for jobs or something like that. My city hosts a monthly job board where people can post to and I’ve seen other cities that have an entirely separate list for jobs and whatnot. If need a roommate or need a weekend activity idea, it is a place to start.

    7) Hiring

    This is a general job board that you can check out for postings. These seem to be legitimate opportunities for the most part and it’s a pretty decent place to look for work.

    8) Need Advice

    There is something comforting about asking the anonymous internet for advice. This site is for anyone who needs advice – and hey, it’s a place for you to shell it out too.

    Okay, that’s what I wanted to share with everyone! Have you ever found help on Reddit? What forum was most helpful to you?