Posts Tagged ‘career’

5 Tips on Résumé Writing

By Marquis Codjia

For a job applicant, résumé writing can be a powerful tool to obtain the dream job. For active workers, it serves as a way to build and maintain their professional brand name – in other words, it epitomizes how they portray and where they position themselves in the job market.

Due to this significance, extensive care should be exercised in drafting a résumé. Job seekers who understand the importance of a well-written résumé – but are unable to pen one – usually resort to professional résumé writers or occupational coaches.  Although these specialists can provide invaluable advice in the job search process and produce a high-quality work, job applicants can also author excellent résumé if they strictly follow some simple rules.

Use proper grammar

A résumé provides an account of the relevant work experience and education.  It introduces the job seeker to a potential employer; it is thus critical that the first impression – the résumé – be a good one. Employers rarely offer interviews to applicants with error-filled résumés, unless the job is in a field where proper English and good spelling are priorities. (Those jobs are rare). Applicants should write, proofread and edit their résumés until they’re satisfied with the quality. It is advised to have a second person – and even a third – proofread the résumé before sending it out to potential employers. Avoid common mistakes (e.g.: it’s vs. its, you’re vs. your, two vs. too vs. to, they’re vs. their); they reflect poorly on your work and your personality.

Write in a concise, professional manner

The résumé is a professional document that describes work accomplishments, among many things. As such, it should be written in a professional manner. It should also be concise, dealing directly with the relevant aspects of one’s career or academic life. Aspects of one’s private life that do not relate directly to – or are not pertinent to – the job sought should be avoided.

Be truthful

Integrity is the cornerstone of everyday’s life, whether in politics, business, or society. Voters rarely elect individuals perceived as lacking honesty; companies seldom partner with unreliable institutions or individuals. Consequently, it is absolutely important that the résumé be truthful in all its aspects because this affects one’s reputation. Warren Buffet once said:  ‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it ‘.

Include only your major, relevant achievements

Sometimes it is tempting to include an exhaustive list of accomplishments on the résumé to impress a potential employer. However, this can be counter-productive because employers often have many résumés to sift through and won’t spend too much time on a lengthy, verbose résumé. It is more effective to include only the major achievements that relate to the position sought.

Use your résumé as a marketing tool

The résumé is your ultimate tool to manage your brand name, your professional positioning. At each stage in a career, the résumé can serve to differentiate top-caliber candidates from the rest of the pack. To stay in the top-caliber, it is critical to use all the tips already mentioned, but also maintain an extensive professional network where the résumé can be periodically exposed.

The Minutiae of Personal Branding: Say Who You Are and Get What You Want!

February 28, 2010 78 comments

Lire en français

By Marquis Codjia

In today’s corporate world, workers need to relentlessly seek new ways to shape not only their careers but also how fast and dynamic their professional evolution shifts. They need to differentiate themselves while also appearing to be interested in the effectiveness of collective labor. Put simply, they can’t be remarked as individualists within the corporate world even though every tad of social pressure outside their workplace incentivizes them to act individualistically.

Clearly, they need to position themselves, in the strictest sense of the marketing verbiage.

In marketing, positioning a product or a brand refers to the ways and the means that a business enterprise utilizes to create an identity of that product or brand in the minds of a target market. In other words, effective positioning allows firms to make their clientele believe what they would like them to believe. Simple as that.

There exists at the moment an abundant literature in the fields of psychology, communication, social leadership and personal branding, among other social sciences, which deals at length with the advantages of effective personal positioning. Politicians, celebrities and corporate executives routinely learn the nuts and bolts of sophisticated positioning techniques to give a big forward-leap to their careers and improve markedly their social standing.

What we’re attempting to analyze here relates to how best an individual can comport him/her-self to seize most opportunities in life and in their socio-professional journeys. We do not posit that not actively engaging in branding diminishes one’s chances; sometimes, “staying put”, not doing anything may turn out to be the best thing to do!

Interestingly, the best positioning technique for individuals turns out to be actually deep-seated in the much acclaimed marketing mix concept developed in 1960 by prominent American marketer E. Jerome McCarthy, which revolved around the 4 P classification: Product, Price, Place and Promotion.

Combining these four precepts with a certain degree of shrewdness and competence will get the determined individual in you most of what you want if you know how to say who you are.

Know who you are

A very famous and old European proverb read cucullus non facit monachum, the cowl does not make the monk. This literally means that individuals cannot be judged or regarded a certain way because of the quality of their garments. Or rather should not. Though this medieval sage saying may have been veridical in specific circumstances at a certain time, history and social experience teach us that the cowl you wearing actually tells a great deal about what kind of monk you are.

Hence you still need to wear a certain type of cowl to position yourself adequately.

The first step in crafting your personal positioning vis-à-vis others is to know intimately your intrinsic pros and cons. In other words, your strengths and your weaknesses. This step is crucial because it helps you take the veil off your own limits while understanding your core qualities. Having a solid understanding and a firm grasp of one’s qualities shields us from being (negatively) surprised when others describe our human traits in less flattering terms. Also, this exercise helps identify and correct the ‘weakest links’ in our personalities and accentuate the forte.

Set your price tag

One thing you must gauge in your interactions with fellow workers or friends is how much you value yourself. How cheaply or expensively you value yourself is closely tied to how you’d like other folks to judge you. Think about this process in terms of education, family upbringing, and professional affiliations.

This step is equally pertinent because it is positively correlated to our external perception; employers routinely will set compensation levels based on your academic background, among other factors. Thus, get the necessary knowledge in the fields that are important to you so as to raise your “price tag” or salary expectations.

Be at the right place at the right time

Defining yourself a certain way and acquiring the necessary know-how to heighten your salary expectations and social status goes hand in hand with maintaining a certain lifestyle. You must thoroughly pick your acquaintances and the areas know where you are seen.

Know where you hang out. Depending on your industry, you should know where you are. That entails what networking abilities you should develop and what professional or social organizations you should belong to.

Promote yourself

Promotion within the corporate landscape refers to the communication systems and styles you use on a daily basis. It’s ingrained in your verbal and non-verbal abilities; it’s your communication style. Personal communication also involves your reputation.

It encompasses how you spread information about yourself, be it in your regular everyday life or online, especially in social portals or forums like Facebook. You must strive to talk the same jargon as the individual you’re attempting to create in you. Simply stated, the industry you’re trying to enter has to have the same language as you.

Love and Politics – Why Politicians Cheat

January 29, 2010 4 comments

Politicians engaging in adulterous affairs are behaving as any other human in quest of carnal satisfaction. However, they seem to pay the highest price when they decide to listen to their paramours’ appeals rather than the needs of their spouses or constituents.

by Marquis Codjia

Voir article en français

Humans need love
Human beings are naturally prone to seek love, nurturing and self-determination. They are born into love, are surrounded with loving entourages, and continually seek throughout their lives that dose of comfort and serenity that stems from the realization that they’re loved, or more simply, admired. Humans need love, and love, as a social epiphenomenon, needs them. Love is, in this case, an epiphenomenon because it is a byproduct of other forms of human interaction, conciliation and reconciliation.

In seeking that utopian comfort of being permanently idolized, people are poised to act on their impulses and react instinctively to protect or maintain that status quo. At all stages of the human adventure, that need for particular attention is preeminent. Think about babies seeking frenetically their parents’ attention or adults engaging in extraordinary expressions of feeling to show their jealousy.

The reciprocity of love is an essential staple in human existence

Given that the need to be loved is natural, we are ready to accept the assertion that love can – and must be – eternal. Religions and other constructs of faith, beliefs and dogma fulfill that ethos in the sense that they permit us to start believing in an everlasting love, one that will smoothly transition from this terrestrial episode into an after-life occurrence.

Love and politics

Politicians, like most of us, have that intense striving for love and admiration. As any other human, they’re willing to resort to arguably reprehensible means to get that admiration. The need for love, that is, the need for approval is peculiarly crucial for politicians because it conditions their electoral existence and survival. They must win votes, that is, they must be lovable enough for citizens to love them and grant them their votes.

Interestingly, those who have a heightened need of admiration are bold enough to utilize any means necessary to reach their goals. They need to manipulate. Politicians are in that category. Social scientists have long argued that politicians need to seduce the electorate continuously to safeguard their political capital. Politics is the science of managing the general good, and in handling that societal responsibility, people in power use various tools to provide law and order, which are pragmatic, down-to-earth, day-to-day necessities, but also idealism, and dreaming, which belong to the realm of imagination but are nonetheless critical.

How To Get People to Do What You Want?

Politicians mainly use their electoral clout as a catalyst or an advantage in seeking ways to satisfy their basic carnal drives. Sexual harassments procedures are not alien to that category of ways and means; other, less coercive initiatives, may include job promises and business deal preferences.

History shows us that there exists an eerily long panoply of infidelity cases involving politicians, and to a larger extent, people in power – the elite. Romans and Greeks were known to have very ‘flexible’ matrimonial laws, and historical accounts of European or African social evolutions indicate a propensity for aristocracy to engage in infidelity. Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, is believed to have had an extramarital relationship with a slave at Monticello named Sally Hemings.

Cheating politicians are nothing new. Thomas Jefferson is believed to have had an affair.

Careless cheating

Cheating politicians are not a scarce commodity; news commentators and journalists argue that the list of people in power and celebrities guilty of infidelity is longer than currently unveiled. In other words, the cheaters that have gotten caught are just an infinitesimal minority of the entire universe of elected officials.

Powerful politicians turned cheaters often jeopardize their careers

Communication specialists and celebrity agents are always flabbergasted at the lack of care that some elected officials showcase in handling their affairs and dealing afterwards with infidelity matters, because that behavior is so diametrically opposed to the high sophistication these authorities maintain in managing their public image. Put simply, some politicians are willing to spend millions of dollars on PR campaigns just to get caught later like a teenager in their faithless proceedings.

Nowadays, that question of adulterous carelessness remains open while puzzling political science students. Many social science specialists have contributed their expertise to a body of knowledge that may begin to explain the causal relationship of politician spousal disloyalty. One reason put forward is the intrinsic human instinct: lust. Just as any other human, a politician is driven to carnal desires outside his conjugal realm simply because he or she cannot hold these desires at bay. Simple as that.

What Color is Love? – Dating Science

Another factor explaining why an elected official is willing to risk all their career in return for a few minutes of romantic episode lies in the quintessential trait of all people in power: the sense of omnipotence. In other words, that feeling of invulnerability, irrespective of the sin committed. This can be seen in recent episodes with former US president’s escapades in the White House Oval Office with intern Monica Lewinsky or former New York State governor Elliot Spitzer’s interest in prostitute services even though he had been best known for his stern prosecution of those prostitution rings when he served as the state’s Attorney General. Even strange was the revelation later that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who was pushing for Clinton’s impeachment because of infidelity was also living an adulterous life at the same time!

Infidelity can derail or destroy a career or a relationship

Some specialists have also suggested that politicians are also prone to infidelity because either they are unhappy in their current relationship or they encounter a high number of solicitations by virtue of their office and the fact that some of these demands can be at times highly pressing. Even though that explanation seeks to discharge politicians from their guilt, it does not provide an explanation as to why they’re willing to cede to something that risks destroying in a few minutes or hours an entire career built over decades.

In a modern world dominated by ubiquitous journalism and populated by a diverse cohort of players – bloggers, paparazzi, journalists, “cell-phone camera enabled citizens” – it remains puzzling to try to understand such degree of careless infidelity from these officials.

Cultural differences around the world

Contrary to the United States, England, and a few other countries, infidelity matters involving politicians are not “career-killers”. The underlying factor of such a dichotomy is based on the social premise that different cultures view adultery as a private matter which does not necessarily fall into the political realm. Another cultural element also is the fact that some societies ingrained in polygamist or polyandrous traditions view infidelity as a lesser sin. An illustration of this trend is the saga surrounding current Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi’s private affairs and the indifference voters continuously show thereto in polls.

Do women also cheat?
Political commentators and historians agree that public infidelity of an elected official is mostly undertaken by men. Yet, they posit that women also have their fair share of adulterous affairs but are less likely to be exposed because of their minority in the political universe, the ambient social circumspection regarding female infidelity and the general discretion women are accustomed to in dealing with non-conjugal paramours. The recent case of former Ireland’s prime minister’s wife – Iris Robinson – involvement in an out-of-wedlock romance may start to debunk that myth.

How to understand women?