3 Ways To: Develop a New Product with a Supplier

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By Carl Walter
Chicagoland Attorney
Open to Opportunities

Welcome to my “3 ways to” series. With this series of articles, I aim to share some traditional and some creative solutions to everyday business problems. Today we’ll be looking at some ways to structure a new product development agreement with a supplier.

It is said that ideas are pretty easy to come by. It’s the journey from the idea stage to the execution stage that takes much of the work. Even then, once you have your idea in physical form, you need a method to manufacture it and market it. Often, you can accomplish this with an existing supplier. Or, if not, you may need to conduct an RFI (request for information) to find the right manufacturer to help you bring your idea to fruition. The goal of this article is to help you structure an agreement with a supplier. This article assumes that your supplier can engineer and make the product for you or the relevant industry segment at the scale you need.

You own everything outright – Every once in a while, a new idea does have the potential to be a major gamechanger. In those rare cases, it is worth the time and effort to set the groundwork for exclusive ownership and control, especially when the idea will create a new segment to the market or business unit within your organization. An example scenario may include that you are the dominant player in the industry, and you are looking for a differentiator to help you advance your profile among the competition. In these cases, you should establish strict confidentiality terms with the suppliers you plan to work with and give yourself extensive protection. If you own everything, it will be the most expensive option because anyone you work with will be along for the ride and will not be able to exercise control or likely be willing to absorb any of the costs to develop, engineer, or manufacture the product. Prepare your business units for this reality and help them plan accordingly. Meet with your legal team and subject matter experts to discuss the risks you foresee in the process.

Exclusivity period – In most cases, the idea is simply an excellent basic idea or is an enhancement to a supplier’s existing product. Chances are it will be a differentiator for a while but isn’t a major long-term gamechanger. In those cases, outright ownership may not be the best and most-efficient route to bring your idea to fruition. You may be able to accomplish all of your goals with an exclusivity period. Exclusivity periods can require the supplier you choose to work with to agree that they won’t sell the product or market the product you co-create to any of your direct competitors or their other customers. It ensures that you are the only party bringing the idea to the market. Having exclusivity gives you the differentiator you were looking for without all the cost or risk. Prepare your business team that this option may still be costly or require specific committed purchase volumes for the supplier to justify the engineering and manufacturing investment to create the product.

Supplier owns, but you get a discount – Sometimes your employee’s lives would be more comfortable if the new product existed. The idea isn’t a gamechanger, but is a lifestyle upgrade for your team or solves an annoying problem that everyone has grown accustomed to managing. In such cases, you can see if a supplier is willing to take on the engineering and manufacturing investment in exchange for giving you a discount on all new products you purchase for a time. These discounts can vary greatly depending on how easy it is for the manufacturer to implement the product. Your supplier and internal subject matter experts will be able to help you plan for and develop reasonable terms.

I hope these ideas give you some great ways to tackle your business challenge. Some of these ideas may create additional risks that need to be solved when designing a solution. This article is written strictly for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for sound legal advice. However, if you do want some great legal counsel, have I got a deal for you! I happen to be available at the time of this writing and would love to chat about your organization’s needs and how I can help. Please DM me.

3 Ways To: Do Preliminary Research on a New Trademark or Service Mark

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By Carl Walter
Chicagoland Attorney
Open to Opportunities

Welcome to my “3 ways to” series. With this series of articles, I aim to share some traditional and some creative solutions to everyday business problems. Today we’ll be looking at how to do some preliminary research on a new trademark or service mark.

So there you are. Poised to unleash your brand-new company name or product, and you need to come up with a name. It has to be snappy. It has to have multiple layers of meaning and blow people’s minds when they encounter the sheer magnificence of it all. But where should you begin? There are many considerations in selecting a new name, and many companies are pushing the boundaries of the traditional naming conventions. Someone who is much more qualified than me would need to speak on the psychology and other marketing considerations in selecting a business name. But let’s say you have your list of possible names and want to see what is out there to make sure someone didn’t take your idea. Here are three ways to start your search for the perfect company name or product name.

Google It. It seems obvious, but sometimes we get carried away with the utter perfection of our genius that we forget to do the basics. Our idea seems so original and cutting-edge no one could have possibly achieved this level of intellect before, can they? Go and find out. Not only will you be able to see any directly competing products or services, but you’ll also see how those terms are used in other similar industries. These searches will also warn you of any potentially confusing issues down the road. Just because someone is using your idea, you may not necessarily have a conflict. It requires more research with our good friend TESS (see below). But doing Google searches shows you people and uses for trademarks and service marks that may not be formally filed, but are still in use nonetheless. And when there is a dispute about ownership of a trademark, a court will award ownership of the trademark if a user can show they have been using that mark in interstate commerce. Such users will be given ownership even though the user never hired an attorney or filed to use the name.

Ask TESS. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website has a search function that allows users to do searches within their database of registered names. Within the USPTO site, the trademark database is called the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). TESS shows each trademark registered along with the business class(es) included with each mark. If you are familiar with Boolean searches, you can get quite technical in searching across classes of trademarks and can even search for “dead” marks or trademarks that have now expired and are no longer active. Each search shows you both textual trademarks—or marks where just the words are protected—or graphical marks where the text has been stylized in a particular unique font in the form of a logo or has been combined with a graphic. By doing these searches, you can also see the classes in which the trademarks are registered. The actual rule is much more complicated, but in general, if your use of the same name is in a different class or category of industry, the average consumer is less likely to be confused with the use of the same name and the USPTO is more likely to grant your registration.

Check with Your Secretary of State. If you are planning a business name, another great place to check is your local Secretary of State website for the state where you will have your business registered. Look or a menu or search box that lets you do searches for company names registered in your state. If you expect your business to be national in scope, such as for a web-based business, then it is best to check in all 50 states. This may sound daunting, but if your registered company name and the name of your .com business just happens to match a store in Paducah, Kentucky that has been in business since 1985, that business owner may be awarded protections against you because the names are confusingly similar. It is better to over-prepare and take an aggressive posture with your name search. Being diligent will save you immense grief further down the road.

As always, a knowledgeable intellectual property law firm has access to numerous resources to help with research and will save you a lot of time and grief down the road. Do your own initial checks. But the safest bet is to call in the experts when it is time to start making real financial investments. When starting out with a new business idea, it is tempting to shortcut some vital research to save on upfront costs. However, the very beginning of the process is also the time when things are most malleable, and when you can save yourself hours and hours of wasted work and re-branding.

I hope these ideas give you some great ways to tackle your business challenge. Some of these ideas may create additional risks that need to be solved when designing a solution. This article is written strictly for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for sound legal advice. However, if you do want some great legal counsel, have I got a deal for you! I happen to be available at the time of this writing and would love to chat about your organization’s in-house counsel needs and how I can help. Please DM me.

3 Ways To: Terminate an Office Lease Early

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By Carl Walter
Chicagoland Attorney Open to Opportunities

Welcome to my “3 ways to” series. With this series of articles, I aim to share some traditional and some creative solutions to everyday business problems. Today we’ll be looking at how to terminate a building, warehouse, or office lease early.

Despite the best planning, no one can predict future flawlessly. Maybe your city has a natural disaster. Maybe traffic gets re-routed and makes highway access more difficult. Maybe you buy another company and decide to combine office spaces. Whatever the cause, stuff happens. And when it does, sometimes you need to break a lease. But what can you do? Here are three ways to get out of that lease.

Add an Early Termination Clause at Lease Signing. Sure, this is a cheat move on my part here, but part of being a good businessperson includes planning. When everyone else is excited at the start of a new deal—it helps to plan for the worst-case scenario even though the possibility of ever needing such an option seems so remote at the time. But the longer your lease, the more likely that something may come up to require a shortened lease. Landlords will be understandably opposed to termination options. Still, you can get a better deal negotiating this before lease signature as opposed to the time you are looking for the exit. Another option would be to negotiate a shortened lease term and then additional extensions. For example, instead of negotiating a 7-year lease, do a 5-year with two 1-year options to renew by the lessee.

Sublease to Another Tenant. Okay, so this one is ideally planned for in the lease too. But even if it wasn’t, a landlord may agree to permit you to sublease to another tenant in your place. Of course, you’ll be the guarantor of the subtenant from the point-of-view of the landlord and still be responsible for all lease obligations. Consequently, you need to know your subtenant and check out their finances to confirm they will be a safe option. Your landlord may have a preferred sublease form, or you may have to draft one up. Either way, your subtenant should acknowledge and agree to follow the entire original lease. But having a subtenant is a great option and allows you to save the cost of paying the penalty to terminate a lease.

Find Your Substitute Lessee for the Landlord. You may be able to sidestep the lease entirely. If you can find another tenant such as an existing neighbor of the space, you may be able to bring them in your place and step out of the lease entirely. This option is like finding the subtenant above, but in this case, you have no ongoing obligations to the landlord. A landlord could require you to submit a formal lease termination, but if you have been a great tenant and bring your landlord a great new tenant, you may be able to get out for nothing or a small fee such as a couple of months of rent. If you can keep the landlord whole and give someone access to your lease space in a tight real estate market – you will be a hero for everyone involved.

I hope these ideas give you some great ways to tackle your business challenge. Some of these ideas may create additional risks that need to be solved when designing a solution. This article is written strictly for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for sound legal advice. However, if you do want some great legal counsel, have I got a deal for you! I happen to be available at the time of this writing and would love to chat about your organization’s in-house counsel needs and how I can help. Please DM me.

3 Ways To: Resolve a Dispute Before Litigation

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By Carl Walter

Chicagoland Attorney Open to Opportunities

Welcome to my “3 ways to” series. With this series of articles, I aim to share some traditional and some creative solutions to everyday business problems. Today we’ll be looking at how to resolve a dispute before having to resort to litigation.

It is said that more than 99% of disputes are settled between the parties before ever having to go to court. There are far more methods, philosophies, and flavors to resolve conflicts than I can enumerate here. However, there are a few key strategies that I’ve employed time and again to cool off a heated dispute and help bring closure. I remember one particularly challenging phone call. After we finished our conference call, my business colleague called me separately and asked me, “How can you be so calm about this?! I feel like I’m about to have a heart attack!” Well, it usually helps not being directly personally involved when the matter arose. I can get a bit exercised too about my own disputes. Here are a few possible ways to resolve those big (and little) arguments.

Make Sure There is a Dispute.  With everyone running 100 miles an hour and communication styles getting shorter and more cryptic all the time, sometimes it helps for the parties directly involved to lay out their perception of the events that led to the matter today. Sometimes everything can be resolved as a simple miscommunication. People often read negative emotional tone in emails regardless of whether it is there and then jump to other assumptions if things are not crystal clear. Sometimes merely restating the facts allows the other side to supplement with additional information or explain where there was a misunderstanding.

Make Sure You Have a Decision Maker on the Other Side.  There is nothing worse than believing you are negotiating with someone who can make a decision only to find out that they have to get permission to blow their own nose. Ask what their title and role is within the company. If it still isn’t clear, ask them outright at who within their company you can work with to resolve the dispute based on the amount at issue. Having the right people at the table can make all the difference.

Get Something in Trade. Instead of immediately pulling out the proverbial checkbook, think creatively about the facts surrounding your dispute. Look at your organization and the other company’s geography and overlapping business interests. You may be able to offer them something in a trade or of unequal value. For example, some free services by your company that doesn’t cost you much, but is of great importance to their firm. Knowledge is power, and we all have much more ability than we realize.

I hope these ideas give you some great ways to tackle your business challenge. Some of these ideas may create additional risks that need to be solved when designing a solution. This article is written strictly for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for sound legal advice. However, if you do want some great legal counsel, have I got a deal for you! I happen to be available at the time of this writing and would love to chat about your organization’s in-house counsel needs and how I can help. Please DM me.

3 Ways To: Make More Money With Your Customers

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Carl Walter

Chicagoland Attorney Open to Opportunities
When confronted with a job search, many people seize upon the opportunity by starting their own business.  This article series is full of information to help the entrepreneur structure and market their entity, and maximize its effectiveness.
_______________________________________________________________

Welcome to my “3 ways to” series. With this series of articles, I aim to share some traditional and some creative solutions to everyday business problems. Today we’ll be looking at some ways to make more money with your customers.

I have tremendous respect for sales organizations. They have the genuinely daunting task set before them to get in front of prospective customers, explain a company’s business, differentiate their company from all other competitors, and convince that new customer to take the risk and switch to your organization. Helping a new customer be willing to try out your company’s services is especially challenging if you have no relationship connection to them. So, what can a company do to grow that connection into something more? Here are three ideas to help take that customer relationship to the next level and bring in more revenue to your company.

Set a Revenue Target to Unlock Higher Discounting – One way to help incentivize a customer to spend more money is to establish a revenue target to help them spend more money with you. If that revenue target is achieved, reward them by giving them a steeper discount on any new services they order from you. Maybe they spent $250,000 with you last year. Tell them that if they spend $300,000 with you this year, you’ll give them an extra X% discount off. It’s a great way to set a stretch goal for them and help them seriously consider the other services that you offer.

Ask them to be a Reference – Nearly every RFP asks for customer references – especially public entity RFPs. If you have a delighted long-term customer who loves your services but doesn’t have any additional budget money to spend with you, ask them if they will be a reference for you for other new customers. You’ll have a cheerleader in your corner, and most people love doing something good for someone with whom they enjoy doing business. Help your customer prepare by suggesting one or two memorable occasions when your company was able to help them achieve a specific goal for their organization.

Ask them to Refer New Customers – We all know that doing business is a game of relationships. Some of those relationships can be pretty distant and based electronically on social media or other platforms, but they are still relationships, nonetheless. If you have a satisfied customer, ask them to leverage those relationships, and give them a referral fee in exchange for any business they share with you. You may also be able to provide them with a discount on services if they refer sufficient new business. Be sure to set a deadline—such as for the initial sale or for any revenue generated for one year—after which you don’t have to pay for any new income received. There are some heavily-regulated industries where this may not be permitted or which may require specific disclosures. So be sure to check with an attorney to find out about any rules you need to follow related to fee transparency or other considerations.

I hope these ideas give you some great ways to tackle your business challenge. Some of these ideas may create additional risks that need to be solved when designing a solution. This article is written strictly for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for sound legal advice. However, if you do want some great legal counsel for your organization, have I got a deal for you! I happen to be available at the time of this writing and would love to chat about your organization’s needs and how I can help. Please DM me.

Carl Walter’s LinkedIn Profile

3 Ways To: Form Your Own Company

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Carl Walter

Chicagoland Attorney Open to Opportunities
When confronted with a job search, many people seize upon the opportunity by starting their own business.  This article series is full of information to help the entrepreneur structure and market their entity, and maximize its effectiveness.
_______________________________________________________________

Welcome to my “3 ways to” series. With this series of articles, I aim to share some traditional and some creative solutions to everyday business problems. A friend contacted me recently looking for advice on setting up their own business. Today we’ll be looking at some ways to form your own company.

Everyone has something that they thoroughly enjoy doing outside of their typical workday. It might be a hobby, a passion for the community, or a new invention that you think may take off. But what happens when that idea becomes more than just a concept and develops into a full-blown way to make money? That’s when things start to get more interesting. What to do? For many, you may review the options and decide to dip a toe into the business waters and form your own company. This article assumes that you evaluated the pros and cons and have now decided to start a limited liability company. But how should you go about creating your company? Here are three options.

DIY Online. It has never been easier to get free or cheap help online to start your business. There are dozens of popular services such as LegalZoom.com, IncFile.com, and RocketLawyer.com, to name just a few. These services offer a great step-by-step guide to help you do every stage of the process, including selecting a business name, registering that business with your local Secretary of State, and formally filing your articles of organization or formation. I just checked through several of the options out there and was pleasantly surprised at how easy they are to use. They take you by the hand and walk you through the process step-by-step.

Hire an Attorney. Ugh, an attorney recommends using an attorney—big surprise! Hold on, and please hear me out with an example. During law school, I worked at a small law firm where we did wills, trusts, and estate planning. We would frequently get the couple that came in asking for a will. A standard part of client intake was to ask about any prior wills currently in effect. Inevitably, we would periodically get one of the DIY wills from a website. It would be 120 pages long and have lots of inapplicable wording. It was a mess. It was only after we asked numerous detailed questions that we were able to find out what really mattered to them and then tailor their needs to an aptly-fitting 12-15 pages that cleanly explained their final wishes. When we finished, anyone with a fifth-grade education could read what we wrote and understand what should happen. That was not always the case with the “DIY online” option. Granted, that was some number of years ago, but the principle still applies. In trying to cover the 80% of the bell curve majority, some cheap online providers have to come up with creative ways to handle all of the outliers. Whereas, an attorney who understands the local jurisdiction in which the business will operate, can cleanly customize the wording and actively warn you of issues you may never have thought about. You can easily find local attorneys in a number of ways. One way is to search for “_____ state bar association” and include the state where you reside. You will see your local bar association or other attorney licensing entity. From there you can do a search based on your city and attorney specialty. Look for specialties like “company formation,” “business formation,” or “company startup.”

Combination of DIY Online and Attorney. What if there were a way to combine the best of both worlds? Maybe there is. Attorneys charge flat rates for certain services but will also charge an hourly rate to do ad hoc review as requested. You may be able to achieve the best of both worlds by using the online forms as a checklist and guide. These sites explain each step involved. You may then also be able to use an attorney to do a review of the critical documents such as your articles of formation and warn you of some basic tax and other risks you should consider when choosing various options. It may be that you will still be better off going the 100% attorney route based on what you want to do, but it is worth asking and confirming for your particular situation.

I hope these ideas give you some great ways to tackle your business challenge. Some of these ideas may create additional risks that need to be solved when designing a solution. This article is written strictly for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for sound legal advice. However, if you do want some great legal counsel, have I got a deal for you! I happen to be available at the time of this writing and would love to chat about your company’s needs for an in-house lawyer and how I can help. Please DM me at:

Carl Walter’s LinkedIn Profile

Considering a Professional Resume Writer

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By Gordon Walter

There are lots of resources available to help you write your own resume.  The Internet is filled with free resume templates.  Bookstores and public libraries always have books detailing the resume writing process.  Besides, you write things every day, so you can certainly write your own resume.  But should you?

Within this techno-centric age, a good resume is more critical than ever.  A resume is frequently your first introduction to an organization, and the relationship ends there if said resume does not do its’ job.  A professional resume writer adds value.

Today’s resumes should be polished and aligned with technology.  Most resumes are submitted digitally via the Internet through job boards or directly to corporate websites.  Professional resume writers are adept at effectively producing resumes that successfully negotiate these environments.  The writer can establish your “personal brand” through use of primary and secondary keywords reflecting the tools, skills and knowledge employers are looking for and present you as the best fit to meet those needs.  The highly qualified professional resume writer is knowledgeable of current trends and knows how to build a resume portraying the best “you” and uses the right techniques to get favorable notice.  It is all about marketing, and you are the product being sold.  Using a professional resume writer can make the job search a faster process; shorten the amount of time before interviews are scheduled and lessen the total energy consumed by your search campaign.

A good resume writer has honed his/her skills over time, and blends writing ability with career expertise.  The professional writer writes daily, is comfortable in the job search arena, and has a keen sense of “know-how” versus “know-that.”

Looking for a job is stressful and a lot rides on the outcome.  Your resume must not be an afterthought.  To effectively compete with other candidates, it definitely should not be the product of a cookie-cutter template.  Money spent for a professionally written resume is well, well worth it.

Deadly Job Interview Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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You’ve spent days searching through job ads and crafting the perfect resumes and cover letters. Now you have a job interview scheduled. You’re just steps away from your dream job, and in that interview, you’re going to wow them.

You may know what to do during an interview. Do you know what not to do? No matter how much you impress your interviewer in other ways, these deadly job interview and pre-interview mistakes could kill your chances of being hired.

Being Unprepared

Research the company beforehand, on its website and elsewhere. Read reviews about them on Glassdoor and Yelp.

Study job ads the company has posted. You can learn a lot about the company from job descriptions and requirements for other jobs, not just the job you’re applying for. Search local job boards as well as the large aggregator sites like Monster and Indeed.

Avoid being embarrassed. Examine your own online presence well before the interview. Potential employers often do online searches of job candidates, including their social profiles. Unprofessional screen names, posts bad-mouthing an employer, and inappropriate photos could all lower your standing or eliminate you from the running. Clean up your profiles.

Bring several copies of your resume to the interview – you never know who might want one. Bring your list of references, neatly formatted. Bring directions to the interview and your contact person’s name and phone number.

If you might be late for a reason beyond your control, a call to that person could salvage the interview for you. Bring your ID and anything else that the interviewer requests that you bring.

Appearing Disengaged

Your words may indicate that you’re the one to hire, but your body language might contradict your words. Crossed arms, leaning too far back or forward, poor eye contact, distracting movements, and another body language can make you appear detached.

Your demeanor beyond your body language also creates positive or negative impressions. Slouching in the waiting area or appearing lethargic detracts from the impression you want to make. Be poised, confident, and organized starting when you enter the reception area. Smile at the receptionist as well as the interviewer – but don’t smile too much. Be enthusiastic. Let your demeanor show that you’re ready to do the job.

Not having questions to ask also suggests detachment. Questions show that you’ve researched the position and are interested in it. Specific questions about job responsibilities and company culture demonstrate interest. Don’t ask about salary or benefits; let the interviewer bring those up.

Complaining about Your Old Jobs

Your interviewer is probably going to have questions about your current and past jobs. You might be looking for a new job because you can’t stand your current job and you detest your boss. But telling that to the interviewer will probably eliminate you as a candidate for this job.

Keep those negative experiences to yourself. A job interview is not the place to talk about them.

Instead, stay positive, and focus on the future. Talk about how you’re looking for new challenges and new ways to use and develop your skills. If you have to talk about work problems, talk about them as challenges and what you learned from them, without assigning blame.

For example, if your current boss has poor communication skills, talk about how you learned to ask questions and do your own research to clarify what needed to be done.

Acting Inappropriately

Interviewers are for assessing your personality and manners as well as your skills and experience. Acting inappropriately can be just as deadly to your job chances as the other interview mistakes described here.

Getting a little personal during the interview can help you or hurt you. If the interviewer leads the conversation to a personal level, finding common interests or hobbies can be a plus.

Be enthusiastic about them and use them to show that you’re a well-rounded person. On the other hand, talking about medical or family problems, for example, is unprofessional. More likely than not, such details will contribute to a negative view of you.

Watch your language as well. A job interview is not the place to swear.

While interviews and first dates have a lot in common, flirting should be left to dates. It may get you positive attention in other situations, but it may make the interviewer uncomfortable. Be friendly, listen, and take part in the conversation on a professional level.

Not Setting the Path Forward

The end of the interview is the beginning of the next steps. Neglect these steps or take the wrong ones, and that job you almost had could disappear.

When the interview is finishing, ask the interviewer about the hiring time frame. Also, ask the interviewer for his or her business card, and send a handwritten thank-you note the next day.

Hand-written notes aren’t common, which makes writing them a great way for you to stand out. If your handwriting is terrible, though, type the note instead-but sign it yourself. Avoid generic notes. Use the interviewer’s name and mention the specific interview.

Later, a follow-up call to show that you’re still interested could help tip the scales in your favor. Don’t call more than once, even if you had to leave a message the first time. Too many calls can make you look like a nuisance. As with all steps, be professional.

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Lose the Resume, Land the Job

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By Gary Burnison

“‘Lose the Résumé’ breaks down every aspect of job hunting, explaining what matters and what doesn’t.” – The New York Times Book Review

Lose the resume and land that coveted job

Gone are the days of polishing up your resume and sending it out at random. At every level today, you need to “lose the resume” in order to land the right job. In other words, you have to learn to tell a story about yourself that speaks to your competencies, purpose, passion, and values. Lose the Resume, Land the Job shares the new rules of engagement: How you must think, act, and present yourself so you can win.

Based on inner exploration drawn from the IP of the world’s largest executive recruiting firm, the book gleans insights and stories (the good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly) from Korn Ferry recruiters across the globe who work with thousands of candidates each day. It helps you gain a deeper perspective on who you are, what you’re passionate about, the cultures in which you fit, the kind of bosses you should work for, and where you can bring the most value to organizations.

•    Includes assessments, questionnaires, and other tools

•    Candid advice for young professionals through middle managers

•    Offers trusted guidance from the same firm that has shown 8 million executives how to achieve their career goals, and that puts a professional in a new job every three minutes

•    Helps you build a plan for the future so you can contribute more to the next employer

Getting a job and, more importantly, building a career has never been more complex. Lose the Resume, Land the Job helps you score the positions that align with your passion and match your attributes — and that will put you on a trajectory toward bigger and better things.

Consider Creating A Personal Web Page

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By Gordon Walter

Most job seekers spend time applying for jobs or hoping to hear responses related to resumes they have submitted through big job boards (e.g., Monster, Career Builder, etc.).  Though such activities are an essential part of a successful job search, you should consider adding another Internet component to your job search strategy:  a personal resume website.

Tight budgets have caused some companies and recruiters to have less money devoted to recruiting efforts.  Such employers and their representatives spend less on the recruiting process and rely more on “free” parts of the Internet to look for potential candidates.  Many job seekers saw this trend and created a personal resume website that is easily found by recruiters using standard search engines:  Google, Yahoo, or Bing.

Reasons to consider a personal resume website:

  1. Telling Your Professional Story.  Lots of job seekers have created social networking pages that are fine for sharing with friends and family but give a view of the person ranging from informal to less than professional.  Employers routinely do Internet searches on promising candidates as an informal background check.  It is much better to have a portfolio of professional accomplishments pop-up early in the search versus pictures of you and your friends at a backyard barbeque.
  2. Employers Guided to You.  Professional career pages allow recruiters to find you.  Some recruiters use Google to search for people after hearing of a layoff.  When beginning the search for people, they type something like “Client Services Representative at XYZ Corporation.”  This provides them with fewer search hits to deal with, and a chance to find good candidates quickly and cheaply.  Since personal resume websites are full of job-related terminology, they are apt to show-up early in such searches.
  3. Holistic View.  A conventional resume must conform to the traditional format, but it is easier to adapt a personal resume website to include other important elements like references, work samples, or formal pictures.  These digital sites are adept at conveying something of who you are.  When done well, it can be compelling and even inspiring to see what people have experienced/accomplished in topical areas outside the realm of a resume.
  4. Resumes are moving to the Internet.  Thanks to the growth of websites such as LinkedIn, an individual’s resume information is increasingly likely to appear on the World Wide Web now more than ever.  Employers In the future will definitely be more likely to find you than versus the conventional model of you searching for them.
  5. Best Personal Websites.  To get a better idea of what can be accomplished with a personal resume website, check-out these sites.  Go to:  https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-35-best-personal-websites-weve-ever-seen.

 

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