Archive for July, 2009

For Author Platform Workshoppers

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Working Girl did a workshop today at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2009 Conference.  Fun!

Topic was “Building a Platform from Nothing.”  Only fly in ointment: the powers-that-be told WG to expect around 30 people.  Therefore, she brought 40-ish handouts.

Ha.  She lost count but there were at least 100 people there.  People in all the chairs.  People standing in the back.  People crowded around the doors in the hallway.

Therefore, here are the links she mentioned.  Hope they help.  (Thanks for all the great questions and participation, people!)

Fascinating statistics about book publishing (a little depressing):


Miss Snark’s Archives:


Top 100 Creative Writing Blogs:


The Best Author Blogs:


How to Publish Articles Online:


Christina Katz’s blog:


Good all-round site for writers:


How to build your author platform with web 2.0 tools:


Online platform-building in a nutshell:


How to Set up a Teleclass:


Top Ten Ways Authors Can Use Twitter:


To sign up for Peter Shankman’s “Help a Reporter Out” newsletter (3-4 times a day):

Using Social Media In Ur Job Hunt

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

US World and News Reports Social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) can be for more than just telling your peeps what you had for dinner.

You can use it to network your way to a new job!  Check out today’s U.S. News & World Report post.

Tips For Electronic Resumes

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Your job hunt should never consist solely of submitting your resume to the online job boards.  You need to be out there in the real world networking with real people. 

But you do still need to know how to format your resume so it can be submitted online and/or be scanned. 

Hence, here are a dozen tips, gathered from here and there:

1.  Guess what, for electronic resumes you no longer have to worry about that old one-page rule.  If fact, be too short and you may appear underqualified.  Make your resume as long as it needs to be.

2.  Forget fluffy terms like “results oriented,” “goal-driven,” “excellent communications skills,” “multitasker,” “team player,” etc.  Resume software doesn’t look for words like these.  It looks for skills, certifications, and job titles.

3.  To convey those skills, use nouns rather than verbs.  Say “software engineer” instead of “engineered software for blah blah blah.”  Include certifications, courses you’ve taken, any applicable training. 

4.  Don’t bother including a career objective.  Really, no one cares.  And it takes up valuable space.

5.  Hard copies should be designed to be scannable and be printed clearly on bright white paper.  Mail them flat in a big envelope.  No folding, no staples.

6.  If you’re submitting online, format in a text file, not as a Word document (or even as HTML).

7.  No column or table formats.  Everything should be on its own line.

8.  Use common fonts (Times Roman, Courier, Helvetica) in a normal size (11 to 14).

9.  Only left margin justification (the right margin should be “rag right”).

10.  No boxes, shadows, shading, graphics, underlines, italics, horizontal or vertical lines, or colors.

11.  No bullets.  Asterisks are a reasonable substitute.

12.  No hard returns.

That’s what WG found, in a quickie Google search for “electronic resumes.”  Any other suggestions?

Working Girl Craves…Crave!

Monday, July 27th, 2009

How does a woman overcome defeat? 

Get an answer, and more, in this fun interview with Carly from the Crave Crush blog.

Social Media For Job Hunters

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Great guest post today from Dan Finnigan of Jobvite.  He offers some smart & useful tips on how job hunters can leverage social media in their job hunt.  Every little bit helps….

WG-In 25 words or less, how can social media help me, the job hunter?

Dan-Social media can help the job seeker in two ways–to find job information and to be found by companies who have jobs.

WG-What are the most important social networking sites to be on?

Dan-LinkedIn is widely used for professional networking.  Plaxo is another site people use to stay in touch with their networks.  Facebook and Twitter have become increasingly valuable in the job search as a way to engage with companies and recruiters and identify open positions.  More and more people are providing professional background and work experience in their Facebook profiles.  Twitter provides a very immediate way to get news of job opportunities in your network–or from companies you follow.  Now people are creating Google profiles as well, so that when people do a search on your name, they find the latest information.

WG-Is there a downside to social networking? What’s the worst thing that can go wrong?

Dan-I think people are fairly well educated now about the dangers of providing too much information or information of the wrong kind on social networks.  If you care about your personal brand online, be genuine, be helpful, and think twice before you hit “share.”

WG-Isn’t this just a new way of doing the same old thing?  What’s different about social networking online?

Dan-Social networking is an enhanced, real-time version of networking.  With social networking, you can find and connect with more people to help with your job search or career development.  Most people jump-start social networking by connecting with their offline contacts online, making it easier and faster to meet new contacts in your field.

By getting involved in social media, you’ll learn about job opportunities that you would never find offline and find information to help you interview and evaluate opportunities.  Social networking online can not only help you with a one-time job search, but can add value throughout your career.

WG-I know about the usual social networking sites (LinkedIn, Twitter), but how do I find the more obscure, industry-specific sites?

Dan-The best way to find more obscure, industry-specific sites is to look into your network for that information.  Start on sites like LinkedIn and connect with people that are in your industry or companies that you wish to work for; see what social networking sites they use or what blogs they read.  You can search for industry terms on Twitter and see what sites people are talking about.  Ning enables groups to create social networks and you can search for groups that address your industry or area of interest.

WG-Do I have to have a blog or website to use social media networking?

Dan-You don’t have to have a blog or website to use social media.  Social media accommodates a range of activity level and investment time.  Online networks make it easy to start small with occasional status updates.  You can gradually invest more time, providing more content and commentary.  You can start micro-blogging on Twitter and then take on a full-fledged blog when and if you’re ready.  Or you can just provide useful commentary on blogs you read.  The more you contribute, the more opportunity will find you.

Don't Get Laid Off!

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

US World and News ReportsNo one ever wants to get laid off (well, almost no one).   But these troubled economic times make the whole scary idea of losing your job even scarier.

So how to avoid getting laid off?  Do a great job at your job, of course, but there’s more to it than that.  Check out today’s post at U.S. News for some ideas.

Writing A "Good" Résumé

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Working Girl journeyed up to lovely San Juan Island this weekend and spent an afternoon at Griffin Bay Bookstore talking with readers.


Plus someone asked a really interesting question:

“Is it okay to exaggerate on your résumé?”


Now this inquirer, whom we’ll call Jane,  is probably not a dishonest person.  Chances are Jane thought that most people lie on their résumés and that if she does not, she will be at a disadvantage.  That’s why a lot of people embellish or exaggerate or whatever-you-want-to-call-it on their résumés and job applications–they feel they have to just to keep up.  “Everybody does it,” they say.

But you know what?  Everybody doesn’t do it.  You, especially, don’t have to.  You really don’t.  Here’s why:  you should not lie because (a) if you got caught it would be really really bad, (b) it takes a lot of energy, (c) life is too short, and (d) you are better than that. 

What you should do is write a clear, forceful, and positive (not to mention short, punchy, and letter-perfect) résumé.  It should be heavy on examples of your accomplishments.  Most of all, it needs to show that your qualifications and experience match the position you’re applying for.  In fact, you should be writing a customized résumé for every job you go after.  This is already a lot of work.  Think how hard it would be if each time you were…exaggerating. 

If you need help getting started, certainly find yourself a professional résumé writer.  Or ask a more experienced relative/friend, teacher, or even former boss for guidance.  We often have trouble describing our wonderfulness in words others can relate to and appreciate.  It takes practice. 

But, hey, your task is already easier–you don’t have to go to all that work of lying.  Thank you, Jane, for bringing up such a great topic.

Are You Annoying?

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

US World and News ReportsYou don’t mean to be.  But maybe you do something, without knowing, that hiring managers Just. Can’t. Stand. 

Of course the odds are so slim!  To be safe, though, check out these “20 Ways to Annoy Your Job Interviewer.”  Now you’ll know what to watch out for.

Twitter Contest Winner!

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

The winner is ….(suspenseful pause)….. @jdbosa!

jdbosa wins not only a free copy of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl but a free resume critique from the fabulous Jill Walser of IGotTheJob!  (If you can’t use the critique, jdbosa, then feel free to pass it on to a friend who can.)

That was fun.  Thanks to Jill for participating in this contest.  And, jdbosa, you need to contact WG with a mailing address so she can send the book.

And thanks, hugely, to all the Twitterers who retweeted and thus entered the contest.  Maybe there will be another one someday…..

It's Another Twitter Contest!

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Yup, it’s the second THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF WORKING GIRL TWITTER CONTEST.  And it’s bigger & better than ever.

Because this time in addition to winning a free copy of the book, you’ll be getting a FREE résumé critique from Jill Walser of I Got the Job!  Yes, really.  (What’s that?  You say you have a job?  Yay!  You can give the critique to a friend who is looking….)

The rules are as per usual.  Simply retweet the tweet that brought you here (“RT to win a copy of “Working Girl” and a free resume critique! Info: link”)

Do so, as often as you like, before midnight (Pacific time) Wednesday, July 15, 2009.

Please note, of course, that you need to include “@workinggirl” in your retweet.   The book, which makes a great gift (after you’ve finished reading it yourself, ha) just got a super review here.  Jill Walser, who’ll be doing your résumé critique, is a former corporate recruiter now writing résumés and providing interview and job search strategy coaching.  She’s great, people. You will love her.

Good luck, everyone!