Archive: September, 2016

Post from Transformation Tom™- Have Your Résumé Tell Your Story: Chapter from “Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job”

Posted by tomdowd - September 27, 2016 - News
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Have Your Résumé Tell Your Story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your résumé should tell your story based on your set of experiences.
Although you must manipulate your résumé to match the job requirements,
it’s important that you feel good about the product you’re
putting in front of people. One version of my résumé was described as
“wordy,” which was an accurate assessment. I did need to cut it down,
but I was still judicious enough to know that it might be scanned and run
through algorithms that would be picked up online. I took some chances
in assuming that those formulas were looking for specific words, not word
counts. The reason I noted that I still needed to reduce the total number
of words is because, anecdotally, most people give your résumé no more
than a thirty-second look. An economy of well-thought-out words became
important over time—but it had to be done within my own story
framework.

As for my story, I was told to remove a “Personal” section from the
bottom. I know that interviewers aren’t allowed to ask personal questions,
such as, “How many children do you have?”, unless it’s relevant to a specific
job. My “Personal” section included, “Married with three children…
Excellent health; runs 20+ miles per week…Published Two Books.” In
a split second, a reviewer will know that I’m stable (on paper at least),
won’t miss work, and probably know how to communicate effectively.
Although a pessimist may say that you will miss work because of sick children
or school obligations, I was willing to show pride in my family and
courage to be just a little different. In the many years I’ve asked training
groups and experts what they thought when they read it, it was very rare
that anyone saw anything but positive signs. I chose to keep it because it
distinguished me from the crowds and was my story. Remember: sameness
and conformity are not okay unless you have a reason for them.

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

Do you know about Avanoo.com?  Two-to-three minute eLearning programs that can change your life.

When Your Job is to Find a Job—and Yourself

Manage Your Time—Don’t Let It Manage You

Post from Transformation Tom™-ASSESSING YOUR CHECKLIST HABITS: Chapter from “Time Management Manifesto”

Posted by tomdowd - September 20, 2016 - News
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ASSESSING YOUR CHECKLIST HABITS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used to work with an individual who carried her calendar with her
everywhere. Within the calendar was her personal checklist for the
day. Each morning, I would see her flipping the pages back and
forth from yesterday to today and transferring the items not finished
yesterday to the new day. After several days of watching her do this, I
finally asked her two questions: First, how long does it take each day to
transfer the new items over? Second, how important were the tasks in
the first place if they kept getting moved? The answers were, that it took
longer than she liked and the tasks transferred each day were probably
not as important as she had originally thought. She was hurting her
ability to manage time effectively in an attempt to organize each day.

The use of checklists always starts with the best intentions.
Unfortunately, people often like to see them to check off their completed
items and turn it into an accomplishments list. Checklists shouldn’t
be used as an accomplishments list to tick off the little victories, or
as an exercise in procrastination. Checklists should be used to drive
execution of the tasks, but too often we start to migrate to the easier
and quicker tasks. If you want an accomplishments list, then keep one,
but don’t combine it with your checklist. A checklist should be about
getting things done. On it should be all items needing to be addressed
today: important, not important, urgent, and not urgent. It should be
a complete list dedicated to today.

Assess your own checklist usage. Whether it is a literal checklist or a
figurative set of tasks that you keep online, take the time to understand
how often you move tasks regularly. You should stop using a checklist
if you constantly shift tasks from day to day—this isn’t productive.
Consider the following when conducting your assessment, some of
which is reinforcement of past chapters:
• If you have moved a task for consecutive days, you must ask
yourself, “How important is it?” If it is important, take action
on it. If it is important but not urgent, don’t schedule it for
tomorrow, schedule it for a week from now, when you know
you can get to it.
• If you are proactively staying ahead of your day, week, and
month as stated in an earlier chapter, then you should be on
top of this and simply be making tweaks along the way.
• Checklists, if kept, must be comprised of the least amount of
work you expect to get done and still consider the day a success.
Specifically, this is the “I can’t leave until this gets done” list. Be
very realistic.
• Build in daily events and habits. What do you do at eight a.m.
every morning? Are there calls you have to return, administrative
tasks that need to be done (e.g., paperwork to process)? If so,
build it in. Account for the time you are using.

When it comes to checklists, the important key is to not write it
down or add it to your online to-do list today if you are not going
to do it today. Your checklist assessment should enable you to turn a
potential time management hindrance into a time management tool.

Post from Transformation Tom™- Avoid Supportive Words: Chapter from “Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job”

Posted by tomdowd - September 13, 2016 - News
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Avoid Supportive Words

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s important to stay away from descriptions on your résumé that simply
show you were along for the ride with respect to job responsibilities.
For example, supported and assisted don’t show your leadership skills.
Avoid words that make it sound like you simply did what was asked of
you. Although that’s a good trait, it’s also expected. It’s important to use
strong and active words that clearly define the type of work that you
executed. For example, enhanced, exceeded, formulated, generated, implemented,
increased, and influenced are just a few power words that grab the
reader’s attention. The list can go on forever. The Internet and a thesaurus
are great resources to find strong, active words that can help shape your
résumé. If you are applying at larger organizations or online, there is a
high likelihood that your résumé and cover letter are being scanned for
many of these key words. Even though I’ve stressed being unique and
differentiating yourself, some conformity is important to ensure that your
résumé stands out.

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

Do you know about Avanoo.com?  Two-to-three minute eLearning programs that can change your life.

When Your Job is to Find a Job—and Yourself

Manage Your Time—Don’t Let It Manage You

Post from Transformation Tom™-GETTING THINGS DONE WITH TEAMMATES: Chapter from “Time Management Manifesto”

Posted by tomdowd - September 6, 2016 - News
0

GETTING THINGS DONE WITH TEAMMATES

 

 

 

 

 

 

To use a sports analogy, if you run with a ball on your own
from point A to point B, it will take you longer than simply
kicking it or throwing it to another person already at point
B. We try to do too much on our own. Whether we want all the glory,
think we can do it better, or simply just want it done, there is value
in getting others involved. This chapter isn’t about dumping, or even
delegating. It’s about teamwork. Depending on your position, you may
still have to supervise, validate the work, or make sure it gets done, but
you should find opportunities to avoid doing everything on your own.

Think about the expertise you have surrounding you. Do you
have the right people working on the right tasks? Start to keep a
list of contacts with their specific expertise so that you can quickly
reference it. If you are part of a team effort, schedule time with your
peers or co-workers, particularly if you’re all depending on each other’s
contributions. The benefit of a routine get-together is that it allows
people to obtain consolidated information in one sitting as opposed to
communications going back and forth with “reply all” emails that can
take up valuable time.

It’s important to have a meaningful and added-value manner for
people to get updates. If it’s not a meeting, at least create a consistent
Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
time each week for a progress summary with everyone’s contributions.
The goal is to create a routine in which people know when and where
updates and answers will be given, which reduces surprises and questions
like, “Where do we stand on project A?” If you do set up a progress
report email, be sensitive to the amount of time it’s taking everyone.
You want meaningful content, but not time wasted for emails that go
unread or administrative tasks that take away from actually completing
the real work.

Once a routine meeting or progress report is established, clearly
define roles and responsibilities. This will hold people, including you,
accountable to meeting the deadlines and keeping people informed
of status updates. Knowing who is doing what and when is a critical
component of time management.

When dealing in team situations, it’s also important to divide and
conquer. Not everyone needs to be at every meeting. Have someone
who attended the meeting provide an update and any key deliverables
to the collective group. Also, it’s important for you to schedule actual
work time for yourself and/or sub-group to ensure time is not all spent
in meetings relating to what is being asked of you. As for meetings
taking up all of your day, you have the right and obligation, whether
you are the organizer or not, to question when meetings have run
their course and are no longer valuable. Don’t have meetings to set up
meetings. Look to get rid of time-wasting tasks.

Understand the importance of working as a team. A group of
people can get more done in less time than one person if the process and
roles are managed well. It is obvious, but is not always done effectively.

 

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

Do you know about Avanoo.com?  Two-to-three minute eLearning programs that can change your life.

When Your Job is to Find a Job—and Yourself

Manage Your Time—Don’t Let It Manage You