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Career-Life Times, Issue #18 -- Use the Personal Touch to Get the Job
July 13, 2005
Issue No. 18, July 13, 2005

"Get Hired - Get Noticed - Get Ahead"

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the latest issue of CAREER-LIFE TIMES! Thank you for subscribing! I hope you find this little publication to be informative, useful and entertaining.

If you don't like it for some weird reason, there's an unsubscribe link at the end. And if you have any ideas on how I can improve it, please let me know -- I value your suggestions! My email address is also at the end.

In This Issue:

* Use the Personal Touch to Get the Job
* Too Much Competition? Change the Color of Your Collar!
* How to Get Hired by Being Obvious
* Ready for Your Senior Moments?
* Help Me Help You
* 10 Secretarial Secrets to Success
* Resources
* Worth Quoting
* Just for Laughs
* Random Rants & Ramblings

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Use the Personal Touch to Get the Job

A recent study showed that sales people who used their prospects' names generated a 239% increase in sales.

The simple act of using a name can have a dramatic impact on your own ultimate success in landing a new job!

During your next interview, focus on remembering the name(s) of the interviewer(s). Find a reason to say their name at least three times during your conversation. Repeat their name at the end of the interview to make a lasting impression.

But don't stop at that. Make it a point to remember and use the names of the other people you meet -- the receptionist, the HR person, anyone you speak to during your visit. They'll remember YOU and maybe nudge the boss in your direction when it's time to make the hiring decision!

Here's a personal step that you must plan ahead for. After the interview, go out to your car and take out the nice notepaper you've brought along for this purpose. Write your thank-you note(s) while the interview is fresh in your mind.

In today's high-tech world, a handwritten note is becoming a scarce -- and appreciated -- commodity.

Place the note in an envelope and write the name of the interviewer on it (do separate notes and envelopes for each interviewer, if more than one). Go back inside and hand-deliver them to the receptionist... smile and use his/her name when asking that the notes be delivered.

Do you think any other candidate will do this? Heck no! (Not unless he/she reads this newsletter!)

Have an instant advantage by using the personal touches of: (1) remembering and using names; and (2) handwriting and immediately delivering thoughtful thank-you notes!

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Too Much Competition? Change the Color of Your Collar!

I work for an agency that operates a wastewater treatment plant. It's one of several industrial sites in the county, which is home to several factories and four large oil refineries.

A friend of mine at work is a welder. He'd once thought about becoming a pharmacist, but changed his mind when he realized he could earn more money by using his hands, working outdoors, and fusing metal together. He loves his job, and teaches welding at a local community college in his spare time. But the number of students is dwindling.

It seems that few young people have any interest in learning blue-collar trades that could earn them six-figure salaries. Instead, they want a college degree -- often at their parents' urging -- and a comfortable white-collar job where their hands stay clean and their work is no more strenuous than tapping a keyboard.

As blue-collar Baby Boomers near retirement age, there will be a serious shortage of workers to replace them.

Companies that in the past had no trouble hiring blue-collar workers are getting worried about the future. They're actively recruiting, and trying to convince people that blue-collar jobs are worth pursuing.

My friend the welder doesn't understand the lack of interest. "I make $100,000 a year welding, I don't have to deal with office politics, and I'm always home for my son's Little League games. What's not to like?"

If you're looking for something new and are tired of the competition for cushy office work, look into this growing blue-collar opportunity. Here's a good place to start:

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How to Get Hired by Being Obvious

(The following article was written by my friend, Kevin Donlin)

If you want a drink of water, do you hire a focus group or pick up the Yellow Pages? No. You go to the kitchen, fill a glass and drink. You take the shortest route to fill your need.

The path is obvious, right?

Your job search is the same way. The formula for success can be obvious, if you take the time to look at how others have found employment before you.

Here are three ways to find work faster by "being obvious."

Obvious Tip #1: Follow Up With Employers

You can't get hired if employers don't know you exist.

So, if you're sending out resumes with no response, or going to interviews without getting job offers, you need to follow up better with employers. Because you may have fallen off their radar.

Know this: getting hired may be your #1 priority, but it may rank around #459 in the mind of a busy employer. That means you can't depend on them to call you back. It's up to you to take action.

You have to follow up.

But as many as 90% of job seekers FAIL to do so, according to my observations and those of hiring experts like Elizabeth Laukka, National Recruiter for Minneapolis-based Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

"It so rare to receive a thank-you note or follow-up phone call that these really stand out for me. I get them from around 10-20% of the people I interview," says Laukka.

And what if you don't have an address to send a thank-you letter to?

"I would absolutely give my mailing address to candidates who wanted to drop something in the mail -- all they have to do is ask," says Laukka.

Obvious Tip #2: Don't Alienate People Who Can Help You

In this age of Palm Pilots, Day Planners and other organizational gizmos, there's no excuse for not staying on top of the details in your job search.

Example: I agreed last month to write a resume free of charge for one local man. He replied once to the three emails I sent him. And he never did return my phone call.

I figure he's either been hired (and no longer needs a resume) or can't keep track of his phone and email messages. In either case, he won't be getting my help.

Here's the reality: the people most able to help you find a job are busy. And they're mentally keeping score of how quickly and professionally you respond to their emails and phone calls.

So it behooves you to treat everyone you meet in your job search with courtesy. Respect their time. Return their phone calls. And they will champion you with hiring managers.

Obvious Tip #3: Ask For The Job

OK. I saved the best for last. That's because if I had put this tip first, I would have scared half of you away by now.

Let me explain.

Any successful job search all boils down to two simple facts. You must:

1. meet the right hiring authority, and
2. convince that person to hire you.

It follows that, the more hiring authorities you can meet, the faster you'll find work.

So, why don't more people just introduce themselves to prospective employers and ask for a job? Is this method too obvious? Frightening?

I don't know.

But I do know one thing. If you do this right, you will get hired. Fast.

Here's an example shared by Claire Nelligan, from the WorkForce Center in Minneapolis.

"I knew a job seeker who wanted work as a baker. We wrote his resume and was going to mail it. But I asked him to put on his business clothes and walk the resume in to his top three prospective employers," says Nelligan.

Nelligan told him: "Ask for the manager. Introduce yourself. Tell them you want to work there. Tell them that you appreciate they are busy, and quickly share what value you would bring to their organization. Give them the resume and tell them you will call to set up a convenient time to answer any questions they may have about how your skills could meet their needs."

What happened next?

"He was interviewed on the spot and left with a job offer," says Nelligan.

Now, can you expect to walk into Trump Tower, ask to meet The Donald and get a job offer as his next apprentice? Probably not. But you can tweak this method to match your personality and ask to meet almost any hiring authority you choose, so long as you're persistent and professional.

Now, go out and make your own luck!

Copyright © 2005 by Kevin Donlin, of Guaranteed Résumés. Since 1995, Guaranteed Résumés has provided résumés, Internet résumés, cover letters and job searches for clients in 44 states and 23 countries. For more information:

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Ready for Your Senior Moments?

The next time someone hints that you're getting old, don't let it get you down -- take it as a compliment! Here are a few reasons why having "senior moments" could be something to look forward to!

* Ben Franklin helped draft the Declaration of Independence at age 70.
* Golda Meir became Prime Minister of Israel at 71.
* Ronald Reagan was re-elected President of the United States at 73.
* Actor George Burns won his first Oscar at age 80.
* Painter Grandma Moses started painting at 80. She produced 1,500 paintings; 25% of those were after age 100.
* Hulda Crooks climbed Mt. Whitney at age 91.

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Help Me Help You

What do you want? Not out of life, out of this newsletter -- what do you want? How can I make it better for you?

I'm a "continuous improvement" junkie and I need your opinions. Help me to help you by completing a short online survey about this newsletter. Complete the survey by July 22nd and I'll show my appreciation by sending you a gift -- your choice of one of these popular digital ebooks:

- "The Greatest Money-Making Secret in History!" by Joe Vitale

- "How to Overcome Failure and Achieve Success" by Napoleon Hill

- "As A Man Thinketh" by James Allen

If you're not interested in any of those gifts, I'd still very much appreciate your doing the survey... you know, just cuz you're such a nice person. It'll help me to provide the information you need to Get Hired, Get Noticed and Get Ahead!

The survey is anonymous, so you'll have to send me an email afterwards saying you completed it (I'll trust you to be honest), and letting me know which gift you'd like (if any).

Here's the link to the survey:

Don't forget to email me when you're done! My email address is at the end of this newsletter (and at the end of the survey).

I'll share the survey results with you in a future issue. Thank you very much!

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10 Secretarial Secrets to Success

1. If it rings, put it on hold.
2. If it clunks, call the repairman.
3. If it whistles, ignore it.
4. If it's a friend, stop work and chat.
5. If it's the boss, look busy.
6. If it talks, take notes.
7. If it's handwritten, type it.
8. if it's typed, copy it.
9. If it's copied, file it.
10. If it's Friday, forget it!

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"Thank you, Bonnie. The call came today, I was offered the job! I am convinced that it would not have happened if I had not worked through your system. The most beneficial exercise was verbally practicing answering sample questions, especially the one in which I describe myself. They didn't specifically ask that question, but contents of my answer were used to respond to many other questions. Again, thank you!" - Don

Don, thank you for sharing this wonderful news! I'm so happy you got the job!

For those of you wondering what "system" Don is referring to, click here for more information: Job Interview Success System

Instant Thank-You Letters. This is a nifty tool that helps you to quickly and easily create thank-you notes or letters for any situation -- including job interviews! No need to fumble for the right words... just fill in a few blanks and the rest is automatic! Click here for more information: Instant Thank-You Letters

The Effective Admin E-zine. This helpful site is for anyone who does administrative support work. Whether you're an administrative assistant or executive assistant, an office manager or a virtual assistant, The Effective Admin E-zine can help you do a better job, do a faster job, and advance in your career. Click here for more information: Effective Admin E-zine

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Worth Quoting

"The world cares very little about
what a man or woman knows;
it is what a man or woman is
able to do that counts."
(Booker T. Washington)

"If opportunity doesn't knock,
build a door.
(Milton Berle)

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Just for Laughs

New Virus Warning!

There is a new virus. The code name is WORK. If you receive WORK from your colleagues, your boss, via e-mail, or from anyone else, do not touch it under any circumstances! This virus wipes out your private life completely!

If you should happen to come in contact with this virus, take two friends and go straight to the nearest bar. Order drinks immediately and after three rounds, you will find that WORK has been completely deleted from your system.

Forward this virus warning immediately to at least five friends. Should you realize you do not have five friends, this means you are already infected by this virus and WORK already controls your life! If this is the case, go to the bar and stay until you make at least five friends.

I think I have five friends, but am not entirely positive so I'm headed for the bar never hurts to be safe.


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Random Rants & Ramblings

Hot Dog! So, what are you doing to celebrate "National Hot Dog Day" on July 23rd? I'm just gonna do the traditional thing. You know... put up decorations, send out cards, eat a hot dog. My favorite brand is National Hebrew Dinner Franks. No, I'm not Jewish; just love the taste. Did you know the average American eats 70 hot dogs each year? Find more fun frank facts (and recipes and other stuff) at

Employee Discounts. It seems that GM's "employee discounts for everyone" new car marketing strategy is a big success. Other car manufacturers have copied it. Too bad I'm not in the market for a new car. My old '99 Mustang GT convertible has 127,400 miles on, it but still runs like a young stallion. just can't see putting it out to pasture yet... though the new model looks pretty sharp. Nah... my hubby just maximized his 457 retirement plan contribution, which means he minimized his take-home pay. I'm gonna go look for employee discounts on hot dogs.

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So, what did you think of this issue? Any suggestions? Topic ideas? Questions? I really appreciate your feedback. Please send me a note at

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