Category Archives: Networking

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.
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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

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.

 

Take 10 Years Off Your Image – Suggestions on how take years off your image and be perceived as more youthful in the office.

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By Stephen Viscusi

How old an impression do you make when you’re interviewing? Of course, we all know that an interviewer can just count backward from the year of graduation printed on your resume. However, here is the truth: Perception is a new reality like 60 is the new 50. So you need to learn the fine art of being perceived as younger as well as looking younger. It’s more than just the way you look.

Is this fair? Is it even legal? And most importantly, should you give in to such nonsense? I’ll put it this way: If you are over 40, you need to read on.

The recession we’ve all been feeling for months is now official. So now bosses can use that magic “R” word as a blank check to fire almost anyone for any reason. And pay attention, over-40s: The wounded economy is an especially perfect opportunity for higher-ups to fire those senior workers whose high wages and big egos have outlasted their welcome.

For those who are unemployed, you must do whatever it takes to convey to hiring managers that you are employable. What does this mean? No one wants to hire someone who’s stuck in the old-fashioned way of thinking that being qualified, working hard and being loyal to a company is enough. Your Princeton degree and enviable references won’t get you far if you’re that naïve.

So back to the age thing.

While many workers have learned that good looks and a polished appearance go a long way toward success in the workplace, too many of them fail to realize that cultivating the perception of youth and a hip attitude is an equally important part of the equation. It’s no secret that we live in an age-obsessed society. Like it or not, “interviewing younger” is the new catchphrase.

“Interviewing younger” and being perceived as more youthful at the office is a vocabulary, a body language, and a look. And here’s a secret: These rules apply even more when your boss is your age or even older. It’s not like you are following these rules to impress a young person. Whatever the age of your boss or interviewer, you need to create a youthful perception of yourself. Otherwise, there’s someone else waiting in the wings with quicker computer skills and contemporary pop-culture knowledge who will be all too happy to fill your shoes.

So how do you do it? Here are some of the secrets in my new book, “Bulletproof Your Job” (HarperCollins), use them to remind yourself how to hold onto your job while those around you are losing theirs):

Rule #1: Crest Whitestrips.
Yup, this is a shallow, cosmetic-based tip. But I get so many letters from people who just don’t understand that having coffee-stained teeth doesn’t do you any favors in the interview department. Stop rolling your eyes; go buy the strips (use the store brand for all I care – I’m not picky), and whiten those teeth. Then smile. Smiling makes you look and feel younger – not bitter, old and unemployed. I don’t care if you really are bitter, old and unemployed. It’s about perception, remember?

Rule #2: If you are over 40, I want you on Facebook today (ditto for LinkedIn).
No friends? You already have one: just Facebook me. If you don’t know how to join, let your kids show you, or even better, have a young person at work “reverse mentor” you on how it works. Let that same person help you choose your profile picture. Seriously.

Rule #3: Know about and frequently use Google and Wikipedia.
Bookmark them on your computer, and set one as your homepage.

Rule #4: Watch an episode of “Family Guy.”
Discuss. Repeat.

Rule #5: Peruse your local Apple store.
At least learn the difference between an iPod Classic, iPod Touch and iPod Nano and you’re on your way. And buy a set of those identifiable white headphones to keep around, even if you don’t have the iPod to go with them. It’s all about perception.

Rule #6: Do not disclose your SAT scores.
If for some ungodly reason you still remember your SAT scores, keep them to yourself. Not only does no one care, but the scoring isn’t even the same anymore, and you’ll just wind up aging yourself.

Rule #7: Don’t talk about how you’re so addicted to Starbucks.
Or Coffee Bean, or whatever your coffee place of choice is. It seems like this would make you appear younger, but it won’t. Starbucks screams “unemployed loser.” Besides, you should never walk into an interview with a coffee cup, especially since you just whitened those teeth.

Rule #8: Pick up a copy of “Entertainment Weekly” before an interview.
But for God’s sake, don’t take it in with you and don’t let anyone see you reading it. That said, nothing gets you more up to date on the youthful world of pop culture like an issue of EW.

Rule #9: Learn how to text.

Rule #10: Lose the paper.
Young people get their news online – they don’t read newspapers. So don’t carry one into an interview with you or be seen reading it at the office like someone’s mom or dad.

Rule #11: Brush up on sports.
This is easy; you can still get away with talking about Michael Phelps and get credit for this one. Bonus points for knowing who’s in the NCAA tournament.

Rule #12: Make eye contact.
Eye contact is so critical to being perceived as young; don’t be afraid to use it.

Rule #13: Rarely refer to your children.
Never refer to your grandchildren and never ever your great-grandchildren.

Rule #14: Go to the gym.
Or at least say that you do.

Rule #15: Never talk about the ’80s or ’90s.
Never use words from “your day.” Nothing at work is groovy, dy-no-mite, or tubular. Ever.

Rule #16: Get a TiVo or DVR.
Know how they work.

Rule #17: Practice “sounding young” on the phone.
Take a small survey of how old you sound on the phone, and then practice with a friend sounding younger. (A tip: Talk higher and peppier.) This is critical. In the same vein, make sure your outgoing voicemail message isn’t too long or boring. Short and sweet with a positive attitude is all you need.

Rule #18: Dress is very important: always dress age-appropriate.
No 40+ man should be wearing an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt.

Rule #19: Give your hairstyle a long, hard look.
No wonder there are so many makeover shows! My advice is to ask an outsider his or her opinion. Someone who loves you won’t want to hurt your feelings or may love your look for sentimental or romantic reasons – but sadly, that won’t help you find a job. A bad coloring job spells disaster for both men and women, and let’s faces it, hair weaves for men rarely work. Men, don’t go overboard on finding a new hairstyle – just clip your nose and ear hair and you’re on the right track. Ladies, pluck or bleach facial hair.

Rule #20: Skip the cologne and excessive perfume.
And while we’re on the subject, wear deodorant. You may laugh, but many people just don’t do it.

Okay… Feel any younger, or just berated?

Trust me, I just took 15 years off the way you come across. Yeah, some things I talk about here are cosmetic, but most are not. It’s all about perception … and perception is a new reality.

How to Explain Your Faults in a Positive Light in a Job Interview

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We all want to put our best foot forward at the job interview. Yet, we are often asked that dreaded ‘weaknesses’ question where we are meant to disclose our faults. If we are asked to share our faults, how can we present them in a positive light? Should we even do that? Should we pick something inconsequential or something irrelevant to the work environment? Should we be doing something else? This article provides four tips on how to best discuss your faults at the job interview.

Tip 1: Acknowledge Your Faults

Your fault may be as simple as being a “night owl” and therefore finding it difficult to work at 9.00 a.m. the next business day. Your fault might be as simple as being a perfectionist or forthright or even guarded. Others may have told you that you are “too sensitive” or “too unfeeling”. You may have the fault of being a “people person” or a “loner”. Your faults may lie in time or project management. Your faults may also lie with having a personality or mental health concern.

There may be other faults that you identify within yourself. The best thing you can do is to openly and honestly acknowledge your faults. Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of your level of self-awareness as well as how well you will get along with the existing staff.

Tip 2: Recognise the Conditions Under Which an Attribute Becomes a Fault

Your faults may become a strength in different contexts, tasks or environments. Similarly, attributes that you normally consider to be a strength may be considered a fault in a different context, task or environment. So, being a night owl, for instance, maybe a problem if you work a typical Monday to Friday from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. However, if you do evening work, then your night-owl nature may become a strength. In my youth, I discovered that my political allegiance became an unforgivable fault when I worked for a company that favored a different political party.

Tip 3: What You Are Already Doing

Once you have shared your faults, you will need to continue by sharing the steps you have/are taking to address those same faults.

You can also speak to how you are placing yourself in environments where your faults become a strength. If you have always gotten in trouble at school for being a chatterbox, for instance, you could talk about choosing a profession or role where chatting becomes a virtue.

Tip 4: Handling Sensitive Faults

If your faults lie in a personality or mental health concern, those faults are likely to be very personal and very sensitive. It is up to you how much/how little you choose to disclose. However, the same principles remain. You might simply say “I have a problem with a mental health problem” (without needing to go into any details). You might then go on to say that you are currently seeing (or have seen) a psychologist to get some strategies to manage it. If you are still addressing this concern, you could give an indication of how far you have already come or how much further you have to go.

At the end of the day, you can speak openly and honestly about your faults, while simultaneously showcasing who you are and what you can do for a potential employer.

Do you want to know more? Be sure to look at some of my ezine article “Tell Me Your Weakness – Interview Question”. You will also find more articles on this, and related, topics on both my websites:

http://www.rachel-abramson-and-associates.com.au

[http://www.centreforcareerdevelopmentandericksonianhypnosis.com.au]

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© Dr. Rachel Abramson, Ph.D. Organisational, Health and Counselling Psychologist, Career Counsellor and Hypnotherapist.

How to Write the Perfect Resume: Stand Out, Land Interviews, and Get the Job You Want

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By Dan Clay

Learn the tested and proven resume writing formula that’s landed jobs at Google, Salesforce, LinkedIn, and other world-class companies!

Picture a scenario: You’re sitting at your kitchen table scrolling through job listings when you see one that catches your eye. As you read through the job description, your excitement builds as you realize that the job is a perfect fit! Not wasting another second, you fill out the application, attach your resume, and hold your breath as you hit “Apply.”

Then you wait. And wait. And wait some more. Weeks go by without hearing so much as a peep, and before long you’ve given up hope on what seemed like a match made in heaven.

Sound familiar? You’re not alone! On average there are 250 resumes submitted for every job opening, which means that 99.6% of applicants will fail to land the jobs they apply for.

To get the job you want, you don’t just need a great resume–you need an outstanding resume, one that puts you in the top 1% of candidates for the job. That means ditching the same old advice you’ve been following with little results and adopting a tried-and-true process for getting your resume noticed in even the most competitive situations.

In this book, Dan Clay breaks down the exact method he’s carefully developed over a period of ten years and provides a precise, step-by-step set of instructions for crafting the perfect resume, down to the last period.

Unlike the dime-a-dozen recruiters turned career coaches who have never had to put themselves on the line in today’s brutally competitive job market, Dan offers practical, real-world experience gained from applying for and getting job offers from some of the most prestigious, competitive companies in the world.

And when it comes to something as important as your career, don’t you deserve to learn from someone who’s actually succeeded at doing what you’re hoping to do?

Of course you do! Here are some of the things you’ll learn about how to transform your resume from average to awe-inspiring:

 

    • How to handle tricky pitfalls like extended time off or unemployment and have your resume come out as strong as ever

 

    • How to make your accomplishments sound dramatically more impressive without having to tell a single lie

 

    • How to remove the guesswork about what to include in your resume and build it to the exacting specifications of your target job’s requirements

 

    • How to pass the four tests that companies will put your resume through with flying colors

 

    • How to strike the perfect composition of content, white space, and page length to accentuate and differentiate your strengths

 

    • How to avoid the common (and not so common) resume mistakes that leave your resume dead on arrival

 

    • How to tell a powerful story that demonstrates your capabilities in a way that will knock the socks off anyone reading it

 

  • How to stand out without resorting to cheap tricks that come off as cheesy or over-the-top

PLUS, you’ll also gain access to a free companion website containing fully editable resume templates, a perfect resume checklist, and other bonus materials to give you everything you need to create a stunning resume that will get you noticed and land you interviews.

Whether you’re a new graduate looking for your first job, a career veteran angling for your next move, a recent victim of a layoff, or someone looking to dip their toes back into the workplace after taking a few years off, this comprehensive guide aims to be the best–and last–resume writing book you’ll ever need for your career.

What are you waiting for? Scroll to the top of the page and select the buy now button to start crafting your perfect resume today!

Cracking the Coding Interview: 189 Programming Questions and Solutions

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By Gayle Laakmann McDowell

I am not a recruiter. I am a software engineer. And as such, I know what it’s like to be asked to whip up brilliant algorithms on the spot and then write flawless code on a whiteboard. I’ve been through this as a candidate and as an interviewer.

Cracking the Coding Interview, 6th Edition is here to help you through this process, teaching you what you need to know and enabling you to perform at your very best. I’ve coached and interviewed hundreds of software engineers. The result is this book.

Learn how to uncover the hints and hidden details in a question, discover how to break down a problem into manageable chunks, develop techniques to unstick yourself when stuck, learn (or re-learn) core computer science concepts, and practice on 189 interview questions and solutions.

These interview questions are real; they are not pulled out of computer science textbooks. They reflect what’s truly being asked at the top companies so that you can be as prepared as possible. WHAT’S INSIDE?

  • 189 programming interview questions, ranging from the basics to the trickiest algorithm problems.
  • A walk-through of how to derive each solution, so that you can learn how to get there yourself.
  • Hints on how to solve each of the 189 questions, just like what you would get in a real interview.
  • Five proven strategies to tackle algorithm questions, so that you can solve questions you haven’t seen.
  • Extensive coverage of essential topics, such as big O time, data structures, and core algorithms.
  • A behind the scenes look at how top companies like Google and Facebook hire developers.
  • Techniques to prepare for and ace the soft side of the interview: behavioral questions.
  • For interviewers and companies: details on what makes a good interview question and hiring process

Comeback Careers: Rethink, Refresh, Reinvent Your Success–At 40, 50, and Beyond

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By Mika Brzezinski

STRONG, WISER, BETTER

An Essential Guide for Reentering, Reinventing, or Rebooting Your Career at Any Age

So many women hit midlife and realize: it’s time for a career change. Maybe you’re yearning to try something new, or you’re sensing that layoffs are coming and you need a backup plan. Perhaps you paused, or downsized your career to raise children, and you’re ready to rejoin the workforce. How do you reboot, relaunch, return to, or reinvent a career at age 40? Or 50? Or 60? And how can you create a career and life that will provide you with purpose and financial security for years to come?

In Comeback Careers, New York Times bestselling author and co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe Mika Brzezinski and her sister-in-law Ginny Brzezinski have teamed up to show you that career reinvention is possible at any age. You have the skills, experience and maturity; it’s time to own them. For this book, Mika and Ginny interviewed dozens of career-changers working in a variety of fields, from finance to academics to art. They share successful relaunchers’ secrets to overcoming obstacles both internal and external and their step-by-step processes and candid advice. They also reveal key strategies from top job coaches, resume-writers, and LinkedIn experts, tailored to the special challenges of mid-career job seekers.

It’s time to rewrite the narrative. You are stronger, wiser, and better at the midpoint, and Comeback Careers is a roadmap to your career reinvention and fulfillment.

Job Hunting Secrets: (from someone who’s been there)

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By Clark Finnical

Many recruiters, HR and hiring managers spread myths, misconceptions and sometimes, downright lies, now its time for job seekers to know the truth. Readers say,

Once I started, I couldn’t put it down. ~ Kathy Burkhardt, Regional Director of Health Information

You can tell the author has walked a mile, or five, in a job seeker’s shoes because this book truly thinks of everything. ~ Kristin Sherry, Career Coach

I’ve consulted for the Labor Department and I’ve never seen a book as thorough, well-researched, and helpful as this one. ~ Chris Largent, Academy Director, University Lecturer & Adjunct Faculty.

I’ve had Lee Hecht Harrison coaching and read articles on job hunting. Your book distilled the best advice in one easy to read and understandable source; for $20 retail, it’s the best deal I’ve come across ever! . ~ Tom Weisbeck, CSP

This book has a lot of great information to help you…read between the lines and the hidden “code” (the runaround) we often get when we begin the application process. ~ Barbara Bermudez, Transcription Manager

You will be surprised to find that a successful job search requires ignoring much of what you are told.

A Critical Interviewing Mistake!

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By Brad Remillard

Candidates more often that not miss one of the best opportunities during the interview to shine, to differentiate themselves, and demonstrate their ability to do the job. What a great opportunity missed!!

In most interviews, the interviewer even sets the candidate up with the opportunity to shine and candidates blow right past it. The interviewer asks the soft ball question, “Do you have any questions for me?” A golden opportunity to shine. The questions you ask can outshine every answer you have given so far in the interview.

However, time and time again, I hear candidates do one of two things:

  1. Answer,”No, not really. Most of my questions were answered during the interview.” What a terrible answer. How did the interviewer answer “MOST” of your questions, when they were asking you questions.
  2. Reply with one or two (occasionally someone stands out and asks three) standard, unimportant, basic no-brainer, no forethought questions such as, “What is the budget?” or “What is your management style?” Again, these reveal the candidate has not prepared and is very shallow.
  3. Actually, there is a third, the candidate sits there like a deer in the headlights trying to think of something to say.

This is your opportunity to ask questions that demonstrate your ability to understand the job and what performance standards will be. Challenge the interviewer, ask “Why” are you doing X, probe deeply into the issues you will face once on board, how they manage, etc. Every candidate knows this question is coming in one form or the other. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions is a sign of strength, confidence and demonstrates a depth of knowledge. As a recruiter for almost 30 years, when a hiring manager calls back and says, “This person really asked me some great questions. They made me think in the interview.” I know that person is getting the job.

One component of your interviewing preparation should be questions to ask. Not just questions about the company, but specific questions about the job, ask “why”, ask about communications, ask about past issues, ask about future challenges, ask about people, ask about KPI’s, ask about systems, there are so many issues to discuss to make sure you will be successful.

The best advice I have is ask the same questions you will be asking once in the job to be successful. You might as well know them before you accept the position. Otherwise, it might be a position where you can’t succeed.

Get That Job!: The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview

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By Thea Kelley

Praised as “Excellent” on Forbes.com, this concise interview guide gives readers proven tips and clear instructions to prepare for breakthrough interviews.

Job seekers will learn to:

  • Identify and communicate their unique strengths, their “key selling points.”
  • Understand why employers ask many of the most common interview questions – and how to answer with confidence.
  • Succeed with video interviews, behavioral interviews and panels.
  • Build an arsenal of success stories.
  • Ace every step – from the first screening to accepting the offer.

“A practical guide to authentic, well prepared interviewing, Get That Job! offers an abundant tool kit of resources – including great answers to challenging questions every job seeker is sure to encounter. Kudos!” – Marie Zimenoff, Director of Career Thought Leaders and the Resume Writing Academy