Friday, 7 March 2008

Newsletter Issue 145, March 2008



Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 145, March 2008
Hi guys,
We have part two of our job seeker series by Ron McGowan on How to Market Yourself below.
Read twelve tips to save you money or stress in Consumer Diary Tips
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

How to Market Yourself – Part 2

In Part One we defined exactly what skills and experience you have to offer employers or clients and why they would be interested in them. Like a salesperson who is being trained on a new product or service, you should now know your product (ie, you) inside out.
The next step is: Where are you going to sell it?
As part of analyzing the skills and experience you’ve picked up in the past you may have identified some characteristics of the companies where you’ve had success. Or you may have identified certain types of projects that you really enjoyed working on. If not, go back over Part One and look for the types of companies you’ve worked for and projects you’ve worked on that you really enjoyed and that brought out the best in you. Then look for similar companies or projects where you can duplicate this success.
Employment seekers sometimes overlook this. They get so focused on finding their next gig that they don’t pay enough attention to finding opportunities that are a good fit for them. You also want to be looking for opportunities where you can build on the experience and success you’ve had. For example, if you did a project for a legal firm that was successful and that you enjoyed, why wouldn’t you try to build on that experience and success by marketing yourself to other legal firms?
Most commentators on the workplace will tell you that at least 80 per cent of the employment opportunities are never advertised. This is why so many people who are looking for work are struggling. They approach finding work in essentially the same way as their parents did. They scour the mainstream media and popular Internet job sites and when they can’t find work, they give up or settle for low paying service jobs. They simply don’t know how to tap into those hidden employment opportunities.
You need to take your connectivity to what is going on in the economy and in your field to a much higher level than the average person. You need to become a news hound and sniff out those hidden opportunities. You can test yourself on how well you are doing this by your reaction to news about your field that appears in the mainstream media. If it is news to you, you’re not as connected as you need to be. You should already be aware of it through the database of news sites and other sources that you monitor regularly.
Talk to successful employment seekers and you will find that they are very well informed about what is going on in the economy and in their field. Market research is one of those areas, like getting regular exercise and eating sensibly and so on that everybody agrees is important. Talk to those who are struggling in today’s workplace and you will consistently see that they approach market research passively or simply don’t understand how important it is. They’ve probably heard that most employment opportunities are hidden but they have no idea about how to find them.
Can you identify the fastest growing sectors in the region that you want to work in? What are the key trends in the areas you want to work in? Can you identify some significant projects that are underway or will soon be started that might provide employment opportunities for you? Are you right on top of what is going on in your field? What skills are most in demand in your field? Do you have them? If not, how can you acquire them?
If you were asked to take on the “program chair” position for the professional association that you belong to, how easy would it be for you to identify topics that you know would be of interest to the members as you put together the program for the year? Name the best media sources; web sites, blogs, newsletters, journals, etc, for keeping you connected to what is going on in your field. How creatively and diligently do you monitor these sources? Which companies have recently landed significant contracts that might provide an opportunity for you? Can you identify some key players in your field who have recently been promoted or taken on new assignments? Could your skills and experience be of interest to them?
Recruiters, headhunters and H/R managers are increasingly turning to the Internet to fill jobs or find staff for projects, which is one of the reasons why many employment opportunities are never advertised. How easy would it be for these people to find you on the Internet? Have you ever thought about what a search on the Internet would reveal about you? Do you realize that it’s becoming common practice for managers and business owners to do an Internet search on candidates as part of the hiring/screening process?
Are you doing any Cybernetworking? Do you know about web sites like LinkedIn, Visible Path, Zoodango, ZoomInfo, Ryze and Xing? Have you ever used these sites? Do you know that employers are increasingly using them to find candidates? Which blogs do you subscribe to? Have you thought about creating your own blog? Are you aware that recruiters often monitor blogs that are related to the field they’re searching for to find experts? They find candidates by looking for postings from people who obviously have the background they’re looking for and who communicate well.
Finally, a potential by-product of being well informed about what is going on in the economy and in your field is that you may spot unmet needs. Maybe you can create your own work opportunity by going directly to an employer with an idea whose time has come.
Part Three next time :-)
Author Bio: For over a decade, Ron McGowan has helped thousands of US graduates and professionals find work. His book, “How to Find Work in the 21st Century” is currently in use in America in colleges, universities and secondary schools (go to http://www.trafford.com/00-0131).

Consumer Diary Tips

Consumer Magazine put out a diary each year, and in this year's diary, they list a tip each month. You may have already adopted many of these ideas, but if not, you may glean some benefits. They are:
  1. Watch your speed. By travelling at 100kph instead of 110kph, you can cut your fuel bill by around 13%.
  2. Water heating is the single largest energy user in most homes. Insulate your hotwater cylinder with a wrap, and insulate the pipes near the cylinder.
  3. Keep your coffee beans fresh by buying in small quantities from a shop that has high turnover. Keep the beans in an airtight container somewhere cool, dry and dark. Don't refrigerate or freeze them.
  4. Photo-editing software can turn a poor photo into a masterpiece. It will let you correct lighting, colour balance and contrast, as well as crop, flip and magnify images.
  5. Heat pumps are the most efficient way to use electricity to heat your home. They'll deliver at least $3 worth of heat for every dollar spent on electricity.
  6. A new fridge freezer could cost half as much as the same sized 15 year old model. Savings on running costs could pay for the new fridge within 10 years.
  7. What the interest rate is really telling you is the level of risk involved in the investment. Usually the higher the interest rate, the higher the risk.
  8. We use 22 million plastic bags per week, and they may not break down in landfills. Take your own bag, or reuse last week's bags, next time you go grocery shopping.
  9. For vegetables that are easy and rewarding to grow, Consumer's top five picks are: silverbeet, lettuces, beans, tomatoes and carrots.
  10. Shop around and compare prices - even if you don't make bookings online, you can use the internet to find good fares. Take these to a travel agent and ask them to match or better them.
  11. Cut back on processed foods, including takeaways. If you eat them on one day of the week, watch your sodium intake for the rest of that week.
  12. Buy bubbly when you are ready to drink it. Sparkling wines generally don't improve with age, so don't be tempted to buy up large for the future.
  13. If you use a self-tanning lotion, you'll need to apply a sunscreen when you go out in the sun. Self-tanners don't protect against UV.
For more useful Consumer hints, go to www.consumer.org.nz

Computer Health Tips

Our PCs get choked with gunk from time to time, so need a tune up. Some simple maintenance tasks follow:
  1. Check that your antivirus is up-to-date. If you are running AVG, double click on the icon in the system tray & click "Check for Updates".
  2. Go to Internet Explorer (if you are still using that) and go to Tools | Internet Options | General (tab). Under Browsing History, click the Delete... button. By Temporary Internet Files, click the Delete... button; by Cookies, click the Delete... button. Click Close. Back at the General tab, under Browsing History, click the Settings button. Change "Check for newer versions of Webpages" to "Every time I visit the webpage". Click OK. Click OK again on the General tab. Close Internet Explorer.
  3. Go to Start | Settings | Control Panel | Add or Remove Software. Check that none of the following programmes are listed (and if they are, remove them): Yahoo Toolbar, Yahoo Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger, MS Instant Messenger, Google Toolbar, Microsoft Live Messenger. Shut down & restart before going to the next step.
  4. Download Ad-Aware freeware by Lavasoft at http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/. If you already have it on your PC, check for a newer version before running. It will take about an hour. Then delete all the spyware it lists.
  5. Go to Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Disc Cleanup. Select the drive you want to clean up (usually C:\). The application then calculates all the items it can safely remove. If you have backup CDs, tick all the things on the Disc Cleanup tab (if you don't have your CDs, leave your Office Setup Files box unticked).
  6. Run a defrag; go to Go to Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Disc Defragmenter.
That's it. Your PC will hopefully be running a bit more speedily now.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you:
  • UWB, Ultra Wide Band or digital pulse wireless. A wireless technology for transmitting large amounts of digital data over a wide spectrum of frequency bands with very low power for a short distance.

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
In this newsletter, we are going to look at some nifty tricks using right click in Office 2007:
  • Excel, Word, "Open as Read-Only appears as an option" on Shift & right click
  • Word, "insert a picture into a document with image's fully qualified file name" click Insert menu (er, tab) and then click Picture, From File & Shift

Hot Linx
For those of you interested in finding out what "web two point oh" means, find out from the mediated culture web video at http://www.mediatedcultures.net/mediatedculture.htm
If you are stuck for meal or cocktail recipe ideas, check out http://www.recipematcher.com/ to find a match with what's in your pantry or booze cabinet. Very useful!
Trying to develop a mission statement? Then go to http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/games/career/bin/ms.cgi and regenerate an IT mission statement a few times for some light relief.
Wanting a holiday on the cheap? Then this is the site for you! Go to http://www.couchsurfing.com/ and sign up. Find a couch to crash on overseas and register your couch as a swapsie. A great idea for reducing the cost of backpacking and getting the real gen on the locale.

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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