Tuesday, August 14, 2012
My dad had lung cancer for 16 years. I never asked whether or not he needed any blood products during that time. Today at work we learned that cancer patients use 10 to 20 units of platelets during chemotherapy. That means it takes 10 to 20 heroes to keep one cancer patient healthy during each round of chemotherapy. Somewhere out there, a minimum of 20 people helped my dad stay healthy during his lifetime. Thank you.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Whether it's for an author profile, query letter or interview, the dreaded "Tell Me About Yourself" question can stop the conversation dead in its tracks. In an interview, a long pause before you answer paints an arrow straight out the door. The wrong author blurb takes your reader straight to the next book on the shelf or the next tab in the browser window after making a split-second judgment that your lifeless profile means that your story will be equally lacking.
List Unique Accomplishments
Listing unique accomplishments helps potential employers remember you, according to organizational consultant Ronnie Ann, the founder of Work Coach Cafe. Things like taking live-action photos at rodeos, creating and marketing one-of-a-kind crocheted fashions, running a charity to teach needlework skills to girls in Africa or living in a tree house in Ohio in late November as research for outdoor living articles tell potential employers that you make things happen instead of waiting for someone else to get things moving.
Provide Relevant Details
When you list your accomplishments, tell potential employers how the experience and knowledge you gained and the skills you used will make you effective in the open position. For example, running a nonprofit corporation requires researching community resources, creating strategic alliances and meeting or exceeding performance and service benchmarks. People with these skills make excellent candidates for executive positions.
Be specific. State that you reduced the wait time between referral for service and actual service delivery from two years to two months, for example, if you directed a planned respite service. If you served as a member of the county board of trustees in your community, state that you ensured that a long-awaited sewer project went through on schedule and within budget.
Tell the Truth
Whatever facts you provide, resist the temptation to exaggerate your role or fabricate an experience. Provide photos, press clippings, letters of commendation and any other relevant documents that back your statements. Create backup files for online portfolios and make copies of everything in your physical portfolio.
Practice Your Delivery
Pausing too long or fumbling for words after an interviewer asks you to tell him about yourself shows a lack of self-confidence, according to publisher and consultant Scott Ginsberg, author of "The Power of Approachability." Practice your interesting facts speech in front of friends and relatives. Record or videotape yourself so that you can examine and correct your posture, eye contact and voice.
Work Coach Cafe: 10 Things I Look for When I Screen Resumes and Cover Letters
The Ladders: 10 Good Ways to "Tell Me About Yourself"