Jobs

Old friend called yesterday.  It had been a while.

“I’m calling to ask you to pray,” she began.  “I’ve just had a bombshell dropped in my lap.”

Like you would do, I’m sure, my mind started racing at the possibilities.  Family?  Finances?  Health?  It could be anything.

I won’t tell you what hers was, but it really doesn’t matter.  What matters is that she was handed some bad news she didn’t see coming.

Kabloom!

What matters more is that she was really making some progress in some areas of her life, and this jeopardizes all that.

Kabloom again!

And what matters to you is that next time it could be you.

Have you ever noticed that when you start moving in a positive direction, life has a way of testing you out of center field with alarming or disarming stuff?  And it comes dressed in any number of ugly outfits. [click to continue…]

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(Today I’m starting a new category called, “since you asked.”  It will field your questions on whatever level you wish to ask – all viewed through a LifeVesting lens.  To submit a question click the “Have a Question?” link above.)

A friend is getting ready to launch a job search, and sent me an extremely relevant question.  His school offers a class in putting together a resume, but nothing about writing a cover letter.  Did I have any advice?

Uh huh.  Believe I do.

(Rule #1 – Never use “uh huh” in a cover letter.)

If you’re a complete stranger, your cover letter can carry as much weight, if not more, than the actual resume.  It can make you rise to the top of the applicant pool or send your professional-looking stuff to the circular file.

I’ve seen this on both ends, as an employer and as an applicant.  A few years ago we conducted a nationwide search to fill two church staff positions.  As you might expect we got a ton of resumes and either cover letters or email messages.  A lot of my thoughts came from that experience of what drew our attention and what turned us off.  We learned as much from the cover letters/emails as we did the resumes. [click to continue…]

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job-applicationSome of the rules have changed.

  • Time Magazine, in it’s provocative “Ten Ideas Changing the World Right Now,” reports that having a job is cool again.  Rather than regarding employment as a necessary evil to be escaped as soon as possible, jobs are now considered an asset.  (Nothing like losing something to recognize its worth, I guess).
  • Someone just told me about his father, who for eight years tried to make a go of his home-based business and now, in his 60s, realizes the need for an employer.  He’s finding it difficult.
  • My favorite job/career-hunting book, What Color is Your Parachute?, which has been updated annually since 1970, was back on the best-seller list in December.

So with the new demand for paying day-jobs and the shortening supply, I thought it might be helpful offer some strategies for improving your chances.  [click to continue…]

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