The Zen of Networking: 10 Rules to Follow

zen of networking

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I think many people have the mistaken notion about what is networking, according to my blog in BCJobs.ca. First off, people tend to think of a professional networker as someone who tirelessly passes out his business cards at every gathering, or someone who busily works a room at a cocktail or business function.

What is professional networking

In this article, I propose that true networking is actually a more low-key, long term activity. It’s something that you work towards over the long term, slowly cultivating quality relationships covering expansive social and professional networks.

You know who’s a true networker, when you ask them for a referral; they always seem to know someone who works in a particular sector or industry, or at least knows someone who does. They personally know of people who you can contact if you are looking for a way into an organization or group or business. A true networker isn’t someone you run into everyday, they are a rare breed. And if you want to be a true networker, I suggest in this article some useful guidelines for you to follow.

Networking gentler

For instance, as a professional resume writer in Vancouver, I tell my clients that true networking isn’t about going to a business function just to collect business cards, or to find the maximum number of people you can talk to just to tell them about your business. It isn’t about being able to sell your services or products after going to one or two business functions.

I suggest that networking is a more subtle, “gentler” activity, where you focus on one person at a time. Your true purpose is to get to know the person, to learn about what she does, and to actually enjoy your conversation with that other person. Bear in mind that it takes years and years – a lifetime, really – to build up, and be part of, a wide professional and social network.

Note that I employ the words “part of”: a network is something that you are “part of”, not something that you use solely for personal gain. It’s something that you contribute towards, by offering referrals, helping others make connections, opening “doors” for others, etc. And if you make personally gains from your network, consider that to be an incidental, rather than primary, purpose of having a wide social network.

How to start networking

A great way to start networking is by joining a social or professional organization that you can volunteer with. This allows you to get to really know a core group of people, and from there, you will meet others. Service organizations, such as the Rotary Club, is a great place to meet people from other professional and social networks. Finally, to be a good networker, you must like meeting people and getting to know them.

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As a Vancouver resume writer, I personally help give applicants a competitive edge in the job market. My Linkedin profile writing service will help get you a competitive edge in professional networking online.

Visit my website to learn more, including my resume writing rates, my personal process, and how to contact me for help.

Shall I Follow My Career Passion? A Primer on Finding Your Dream Job

I penned this is article for Freshgigs.ca because of a conversation I had recently with friends about what would be our desired “dream job”. There is a conventional saying that “if we find our dream job, we never have to work a day in our lives”. Successful entrepreneurs, celebrities and self-made billionaires tell us that the recipe to job fulfillment is to follow one’s dream and passion.

Cold, hard reality

In this article, I wanted to inject a dose of cold, hard reality to this discussion. Not everyone who follows his passion is guaranteed to find job satisfaction. To wit, just look at the hundreds of starving artists, singers and writers who toil in obscurity for very little money. Yes, they might enjoy their work, but that work enjoyment can be hard to sustain when there are outstanding bills to pay.

Luck

What is required, I argue, is an equal combination of talent, commitment, hard work and, perhaps the most overlooked factor, luck.

This doesn’t mean that we should be confined to a work life of drudgery, boredom and discontent. One should find work that hopefully utilizes one’s skills, experience, talents. If you happen to work in an area that you’re passionate about, well, then you’re lucky.

If luck isn’t on your side, I suggest that there are certain guidelines that you can follow while you search for your ideal work. It may not be your “dream job” but it might be one that will keep you engaged and challenged, one that will eventually bring you career satisfaction.

Career advice

For instance, one of my suggested tips is to ask, “what exactly will you be doing all day?”  Will you be working at a desk all day? Will you be outdoors visiting clients? Or a bit of both? If you’re weighed down with activities that you have no interest in doing, or are not good at doing – such as writing reports, selling to people, etc – then the job will be pure hell for you.

You need to actually look at each component of your job responsibilities, and assess whether you have the skills, tolerance, or patience to do those things. Every job has a mundane aspect to it. As long as the mundane aspects are outweighed by the more interesting and challenging components, then that job might be the one to give you long term work satisfaction.

Read on to find out more about searching for your ideal job.

Resume Help Vancouver

As a resume writing professional in Vancouver BC, I help applicants gain entry into competitive job markets. As part of my writing process, I give critical career counseling. Learn more about my Vancouver resume writing services, including my resume writing rates and how to contact me for help.

The Do’s & Dont’s of Resume Formatting

Dos and Donts of Resume Formatting

Image courtesy of phasinphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The style, format and design of resumes is something I get asked about a lot from my clients, which is why I wrote an resume writing tips article for BCJobs.ca.

When you look at resume templates on the web, you’ll see a vast of array of resume styles in all manner of formats, colour schemes, and styles.

Clients ask me, can I use different colours in my resume? What kinds of fonts are preferable? Do employers want to see my photo?

Visual impact

There is no doubt that resume styles have changed over the years. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to see resumes which employ visual graphics highlighting certain job skills or achievements. Artists and designers employ multimedia or web-based resumes that create a visual impact upon the reader.

Resume Writing Guidelines

In this article, I take a more conservative approach, and set forth a set of resume writing guidelines that one should follow to create a sound resume, one that conveys credibility, competency and professionalism.

Best Fonts for Resumes

For example, I talk about the use of fonts. Admittedly, the use of fonts seems like a straight-forward issue, but it’s still one that I felt should be addressed. I frequently come across resumes that use several different fonts in one document. My suggestion is to use no more that one font.

One might choose to use one type of font for headings, and another for the body of text. That is a reasonable approach. Some ask me, what types of font should one use? I typically stick to traditional font styles such as Times New Roman or Arial or a basic Serif or Sans Serif font.

Amount of negative space

I also talk about the use of negative space. (Negative space refers to the white or non-text space that appears in any document.) I suggest that there be sufficient negative space in every resume. Cramming text together reduces negative space and makes a resume difficult to scan and read.

A skillful resume writer will ensure that all professional achievements and credentials worth noting are set out in a person’s resume; all non-essential information is eliminated to ensure that the resume is succinct and relevant to the job application.

Like all guidelines, my suggestions are not set in stone. They may change over time, due to trends in job search practices. But I believe that these guidelines will survive the test of time; they are practical and have proven useful time and time again for my job candidates applying for competitive job openings.\

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As a professional resume writer, I help give applicants a edge in competitive job markets. Learn more about my Vancouver resume writing services, including my resume writing rates, my writing process, and how to contact me for help.

Low-Tech Summer Job Hunting Tips for University Students

low tech ways of finding jobs

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As a professional resume writer in Vancouver, I was helping a university student with her resume and she lamented the fact that out of the dozens of recent online job applications she made she did not receive one single reply.

I explained to my client that employers receive hundreds, if not thousands, of online job applications everyday. She was obviously competing against thousands of other fellow job searchers. We don’t even know how employers deal with the thousands of online job applications they get everyday. Do HR personnel review each of the applications? Does the HR department employ filtering software to screen the resumes? My client told me it’s almost as if her resume landed in “black box”, never to be heard from again.

Landing a summer job

My client wasn’t looking for a high-paying permanent position, just a summer job in the retail or service sector. Here’s what I told her: if there’s a store or place of business you wanted to work at, why not just approach them with your resume in hand?

Just approach them with your resume in hand

I advised to her dress professionally, keep her resume stored in a business folder, and walk into the business establishment. Ask to speak to the store manager. I even scripted it out for her:

“Hi, my name is [  ], I wonder if I can speak to the manager on duty. I’d like to drop off my resume.”

(If the manager is away or not available, come back another day. If an employee offers to take your resume, give it to her, and then follow up by telephone to see if the store manager has received your resume.)

If the store manager is on shift, and you do get a chance to speak to her, here’s what you say:

“Hello, my name is [  ] and I’d like to drop off my resume with you. I’m looking to apply for a position as [ ].”

An opportunity to impress the manager

Quite often, the manager will take your resume. If you’re lucky, the manager might have a spare moment, and ask you a few questions about yourself. This is your opportunity to impress the manager. The manager may ask you questions such as:

  • Have you ever worked in a business such as this one (e.g. clothing store, liquor sales, restaurant, etc.)
  • Why are you interested in working here?
  • Can you work shifts? Will you be able to work in the fall and winter seasons?

Make sure you are prepared to answer these questions, plus others they may throw your way.

The low-tech method of job searching

Here’s why I think the low-tech method of job searching works:

  • You’re not competing against thousands of other applicants looking for summer work.
  • If you’re luck enough to speak to the store manager, and she has time to ask you a few questions, you’ve just landed an impromptu job interview. If the store happens to be looking for someone, and you make a good impression, then you’ve just boosted your chances of landing a summer job.
  • You learn to grow a thick skin, and learn something about sales. In life, many things are about selling, and in this case, you are selling your services.

Every time you encounter a store or business where you’d like to work, make a mental note of it. Remember to return, professionally-dressed with a professional resume in hand. And remember: always smile.

Hiring a Vancouver resume writer

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Working As a Tattoo Artist

Image courtesy of Marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tattoos have never been more popular than they are today. Every other celebrity seems to sport tattoos – from Angelina Jolie to David Beckham to Johnny Depp – and shows like “Miami Ink” and “L.A. Ink” have become popular television programs. Fifteen years ago, there were only 12 tattoo shops in the Vancouver Lower Mainland; today there are more than 30 shops. (more…)