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Leadership Corner by Anne Murray

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on March 14, 2011

Explaining and understanding the nature of good leadership is probably easier than practicing it. Good leadership requires deep human qualities beyond conventional notions of authority. Effective leadership does not necessarily require great technical or intellectual capacity. These attributes might help, but they are not pivotal. Good leader-ship in the modern age more importantly re quires attitudes and behaviors which characterize and relate to humanity. Good leaders are followed chiefly because people trust and respect them, rather than the skills they possess. Leaderships is about behavior first and skills second.

Anne Murray is a PWG member and will contribute monthly to PWG Newsletter.


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What NOT to do on interview

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on March 14, 2011

On ” JOB TALK” we usually talk about hot to put together your resume, cover letter, how to dress, etc. Those things are very important which is why I talk about them frequently.  However, for the purpose of this article, I want to talk about what NOT to do. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Here are some things you want to make sure you avoid in an interview.

Do NOT ask how much the job pays or if benefits are included. If a job offer is made the interviewer will explain salary and benefits at that time. You can always turn the job down.

Do NOT be late. The employers will assume if you can’t get to the interview on time, you can’t get to work on time.

Do NOT bring your children to the interview. Again the assumption will be if you can’t get a sitter for the interview you probably can’t get one while you work.

Do NOT talk badly about your former employers. Blaming others will not help your cause.

It’s best to say ” I’ve learned a lot from this job and now I wan to purse other career opportunities because  I have more to offer and  want to continue to learn new things”.

Do NOT answer your cell phone to talk or text once your car. All you need to be thinking about is how to impress the interviewer and others that you may encounter during the interview process.


Do NOT tell the interviewer you don’t have any questions. It makes you appear unprepared for the interview. Do research on the company prior to the interview so you can ask intelligent questions and let the interviewer k now you did your homework.

Do NOT monopolize the conversation , tell jokes, use slang language, or curse in the interview. EVER!


Do NOT give too much personal information. Keep your answrs guided toward your abilities as a prospective employee. The interviewer doesn’t need to know what sports you play, how much you party, or even how involved you are at church.


And Finally, Do NOT be depressed if you  don’t get the job. If you remain positive  about  yourself and others around you, you will be successful in your job search. Every time you get an interview, you’ll learn something new and you’ll get better and more comfortable each time.


Article by Sharon  Bateman, job coach on Job Talk Radio Show. Reprinted from Sparkman  Magazine.

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Dress for Success Worldwide CEO Joi Gordon answers your questions and provides career tips.

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on December 3, 2010

Question #1

Some jobseekers have a very clear vision of their ideal job. What do they need to do to turn that idea into a reality?

Response #1

I have learned that in some cases a job seeker’s “ideal job” might be different than the “right job.” The only way to know the difference is through research and tapping into the networks of the industry you are interested in. By joining like-minded associations, clubs and attending industry related events, one gets a genuine feel for what the culture and expectations in that industry really are. Consistent and targeted networking lands people jobs—make sure you have this kind of network.

Question #2

There are jobseekers who lost their dream jobs because of cutbacks. How can these jobseekers take what they loved about their old jobs and apply it to new positions?

Response #2

My guess is that these particular jobseekers always brought their best self to work – day in and day out. This should never get old, regardless of the position you’re in. Loving what you do is one thing, but when you bring your best self to work, it’s a recipe that allows you to do everything better. As you get acquainted in your new position, think about how you are accustomed to bringing your best self to work and continue to do so. And you never know—the “dream job” you had could very well turn into a hobby or something to be passionate about outside of work. Keeping a balance of work and other outside interests is key—your glass should be full!

Question #3

The job market is extremely competitive for recent grads. What can recent grads do to make themselves stand out?

Response #3

Presentation is key. It’s all about how you walk into that room—and how you’re dressed does matter. I always tell women that come to Dress for Success—on that interview, look like you have the job. Recent grads can erase the interviewer’s concern that you don’t have the experience necessary to be successful in the position by looking polished and professional. Enable the interviewer to easily visualize you working for that company.

Question #4

Do you have your dream job? How have your ideas about your dream job changed as you progressed through your career?

Response #4

My work at Dress for Success has never been a job—it’s been something I wake up every morning excited to do. If my journey didn’t include Dress for Success, I would still be making a difference because that is what I am committed to doing as a person and a professional. Why do we have to dream? Start doing it! Your moment to shine is right now. Identify the path, take the steps and prepare for incoming opportunities right now. I promise you’ll love what it is you’ve decided to do. And don’t forget to keep us at Trop50 and Dress for Success posted on your success.

Question #5

How can people get more involved with Dress for Success?

Response #5

You can easily help Dress for Success right now by sharing a fabulous free online gift with the Trop50 Facebook application. For every online gift shared through December 31st, 2010, Trop50 will donate $5 to Dress for Success (up to $25,000). Logon to Facebook today and help give goodness! Thanks all!

For more Trop50 career tips from Joi and E! News host Giuliana Rancic visit Trop50.com.

Interview provided by Tropicana

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LinkedIn 101

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on October 29, 2010

I often receive questions about LinkedIn and how it works. Here are a few tips for beginners:

1. Define a purpose for joining LinkedIn. This step is extremely important and guides your activity on the site. Do you want to build a professional network? Are you looking for new clients? Maybe you would like to keep in touch with former co-workers.

2. LinkedIn is a starting point for building meaningful relationships or improving existing ones. Connections should be related to your overall purpose for using the site(see #1). You can start connecting with others. However, it will take a little elbow grease to cultivate and sustain those relationships.

3. Complete the profile. Include a professional picture, accurate description of your background, and purpose for joining LinkedIn. At the bottom of the profile page, there is a section called, Contact Settings. Select a purpose to describe your LinkedIn activity such as looking for career opportunities or networking with others.

4. Personalize your LinkedIn Public Profile link and then add it to your business cards, resume and any other networking items. The default public profile link can be long and confusing. Try to shorten and personalize it by using your name and/or initials. For example, my public profile link is http://www.linkedin.com/in/anitasantiago.

LinkedIn is a very powerful network tool and can be used by jobseekers, professionals at any level, students and retirees. These tips should help you get started even if you have limited LinkedIn experience.

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Her Startup and Connections to Success partner to advise prospective businessowners

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on October 17, 2010

Khrystina Vaughan, founder of Her Startup, is dedicated to helping women launch, grow and give back through business. She is aware of the issues facing women worldwide as they struggle to provide for themselves and their families.

That is why she established a partnership with Connections to Success. Through their partnership, seven women recently were able to attend 90 Days to Launch, a 12-week intensive program that took female entrepreneurs from the planning stage to daily business operations.

The 90 Days to Launch program featured four guest speakers. Steve Balsarotti, an attorney with Polster, Lieder, Woodruff & Lucchesi, talked with the women about intellectual property and other legal concerns.

Linda Jacobsen, founder and president of Global Vision Strategies, delivered information on global business and cultural diversity.

Norma Boozer of National City Bank spoke on building business and personal credit.

Mary Baum of Mary Baum Creative Services did a presentation on marketing and market research.

A graduation ceremony was held at the Airport Renaissance Hotel for the women entrepreneurs who participated. Kathy Lambert, co-director of Connections to Success, gave the welcome and introduced Khrys Vaughan. Vaughan shared her passion about women’s economic status in this world through the statics she shared.

She said, “70 percent of the world’s population is in poverty and two-thirds of those are women.” Vaughan shared a story about a woman in Ghana who used an empty water bottle to start a pancake business, which allowed her to support her family.

Angela Lieb of LifeWorks Business Center was the keynote speaker for the graduation. Lieb told graduates, “This is the best time to start a business, despite the economy.”

Lieb shared the five keys to success for entrepreneurs n character, networking, experience, resources and personal brand. She said that it is important to have multiple streams of incomes: “You’ve got to have a couple of buckets.”

Lieb encouraged the graduates to admire women who continue to thrive despite their circumstances, like the woman from Ghana in the story Vaughan shared. She also said that new entrepreneurs should not be scared because “your experience is unique and valuable.”

Lieb asked the graduates to do a 30-second introduction. Ronda Fitch of My Kitchen to Yours said she wants people to have fun in the kitchen, bringing families back to the table. Her vision for giving back is to be able to assist people with utility bills so they can cook and be comfortable. Samples of her zucchini and banana nut bread were delicious. She sold all 20 loaves before the ceremony ended.

Entrepreneur graduate Jana Gamble is launching a new venture, One World One Race, to promote diversity, unity, equality and spirituality.

Anne Murray will soon launch Knights by Murray, providing medical garments for men in the health care industry. She states her clothes will “bring out the Knight” in men. Murray will give back by working with ex-offenders of non-violent crimes that are re-entering society.

Kari Pruitt, owner of Kari of Denmark, has an organizing and cleaning business, but also stages homes. She said she is organizing this town one space at a time. Pruitt wants to give back to the community by holding free seminars on organization for women.

Minister Gwendolyn Foster is giving back through her ministry, Set the Caged Bird Free, by providing services for the ensnared and emotionally wounded.

Joyce Marchand of Inspire Me Photography assists organizations with fundraisers combining her inspirational photography with motivational or scriptural prose.

Unfortunately, Kim Manoogian, life coach, was unable to attend the graduation.

For more information about Her Startup or 90 Days to Launch, contact Khrys Vaughan at 314-714-5675 or email Khrys@herstartup.com

Reprinted From the St. Louis American

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The Planning Stage: Creative Resume Writing

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on October 4, 2010

Your resume is a document with a single goal: to win you an interview with a prospective employer. In order to accomplish this goal, it is critical to do some prewriting, some creative anticipation.

Before you actually start building a resume, you must have clarity on what attracts you to the work you’re applying for, what your prospective employer is looking for and what you have in your personal and professional repertoire that makes you the best candidate for the job.

We like to call this process “creative resume writing,” since you’re about to envision the end result of your resume writing process. By the end of this three-step process, you’ll have in your head (and on the screen in front of you), a clear sense of what your winning resume will contain.

Step 1: How you fit the position

Imagine yourself located in the kind of work environment you’re applying to join. What is it about this place that makes you want to work here? What are the people like? Open your word processor and write it out. Add details such as what the place looks like, whether it’s got an attractive smell, what sounds (or lack thereof) can be heard, etc. Your becoming aware of these details will give you confidence and energy as you communicate to your prospective employer that you would fit in well on the job.

Step 2: What your employer wants

Employers are seeking a person who represents a “match” for the position they are hiring for. So instead of thinking about getting the job, think about how you are the best match for this particular job.

To start doing so, put yourself into the prospective employer’s shoes, and anticipate the qualities this employer would seek for this particular position. They are certainly looking for someone who is dedicated, reliable and competent. What specific qualities do you think this employer needs in an employee? What specific skills and abilities would this job require? Write it out.

Step 3: What you have to offer

Ultimately, your resume should convey clearly and cheerfully that you are the best match for this position. Chances are that a human-resources professional will be looking at your resume among hundreds of others, spilling coffee over them as they fight to stay awake. Sell yourself well. Here’s how.

Let the prospective employer know, first of all, that you have outstanding personal and professional qualities to contribute to the company and work environment. Let them know you’ve got the skills it takes to do the job well. List all of these qualities, credentials, skills, and abilities in your word processor.

Step 4: What you’ve done

Once you’ve wowed the employer with these qualities, prove you’ve got them by writing a professional experience piece. List what you’ve done in your professional career that would be of interest to this employer. For each job, write down first the title of the position and the name of the company you worked for. Then, write what you did at each position: what your responsibilities were/are, what you contributed. Keep the language active (more on that on our resume writing format development page), demonstrating the power you had/have in that position. Write your list in your word processor.


By now you should have clarity on what will go into your actual resume document. Soon you’ll be arranging the information you’ve written in your word processor into a coherent, positive-sounding, winning resume. Your creative anticipation here has paid off as you’ve explored the power of creative resume writing. Now, it’s time to develop the resume’s actual format on our resume writing format development page.

If you’d like some prodding to help you gain clarity or get help on any part of the creation of your resume, you may wish to take advantage of our resume consulting services, offered by Israel’s best resume writers. Please peruse their profiles to find someone with whom you would like to work.


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Questions you might be asked in an Interview

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on September 15, 2010

Why are you looking for a new position?

Before you go for a job interview it is important to understand why you are putting your name forward for a new position. Career growth, short or long term goals, personal aspiration? The company is going to want to know what you have to offer their organisation, it is suggested it be in line with your own personal goals.

Do not view the interview as an interrogation session; use the interview as an opportunity for you to demonstrate to the employer why you could be the best candidate for the position. If you have not already covered the below in your CV, there is a potential these questions might come up as discussion points.

Gaps in CVs

Don’t have gaps in time periods on your CV, even if you worked in a temporary position, point it out.

Reasons for leaving

Be positive about why you left a position. People move on for a better opportunity, if it was involuntary, state the reasons, keep it brief and be honest.

What is the employer looking for?

To put it simply, the employer wants to know the following
1) If you have the required skills and knowledge for the position
2) If you fit the organisational culture of the business
3) If your compensation is fair compared to the task at hand
4) Your career path is in line with the short and long term goals of the company

What is required of you?

You need to want this position, chasing something that is not in line with your own goals is going to land you in the same position of looking for a job sooner rather than later.

Demonstrate to the employer that you are right for the job. Have the answers to the following questions.

  • Do you know your strengths and weaknesses?
  • When you start a project will you be able to see it through till completion.
  • How do you handle pressure?
  • Are you easy to work with?
  • Why do you want to work for this organization?
  • Are you enthusiastic and easy to work with?
  • Can you manage your time effectively?
  • What type of structure do you require to perform at your peak for an organization?
  • Are you able to be solution orientated with challenges that arise?

They say luck favors the prepared! Good luck for the job interview.

Lianne du Toit

TalentFusion is a partnership fused together by the desire to develop a platform for businesses to find top talent and candidates to cement their career paths.

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Resume tips

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on September 10, 2010

I spoke with three job seekers this past week who were all well qualified, but all three had the same lament: Nobody was calling them for job interviews. I looked at their resumes and was impressed with their educational background and experience. I also figured out why they weren’t getting calls.

Here is what I learned and how you can use the knowledge to make sure your resume stands out above the rest.

I realized they weren’t getting calls because their resumes didn’t portray them as the most qualified candidates. Could your resume be letting you down? Carefully study and improve your resume with these thoughts in mind:

1. Does your resume reflect how uniquely qualified you are for each job opening? Don’t be lazy or complacent! Diligently modify your cover letter and resume to convince each hiring company you are the best person for the job.

2. Does it include power words and quantifiable results? Don’t just state what you did, show why it mattered.

3. Does it use keywords that were mentioned in the job description? Remember, many recruiters run resumes through a keyword search program, so if you don’t have the right words on your resume, you will automatically be rejected.

4. Is it clearly written and easy to read? If it is filled with jargon or acronyms only people in your past company or industry use, revise the information to be meaningful and impressive for a more general audience.

5. Is it interesting and succinct? Recruiters wade through hundreds of resumes. If you bore or confuse them, they will simply move on to the next one.

6. Does it show that you are qualified for the open position? If your job history has not adequately prepared you for the job, prove you have the abilities through other means, such as by emphasizing your educational background, showing relevant volunteer or freelance experience, or by including examples to prove your expertise.

7. Does it list your qualifications in order of importance and relevance to the job you seek? This sounds like a no-brainer, but if you are an administrative assistant wanting to be a communicator, put your communications experience on top and minimize your admin experience.

8. Is it attractive? A well designed resume makes ample use of white space particularly around the margins and in between sections. Feature no more than two, easy-to-read, typefaces. Make sure type is not too large or too small. Use bullet points to cleanly organize information. Use boldface and italics to draw attention to important elements, but don’t use either excessively.

9. Is it error free? Is your past job history information up to date and correct? Use spell check to check your spelling and grammar, but also review it carefully to make sure spell check didn’t incorrectly “fix” a word. The funniest spell check “miss-fix” I’ve seen was when Microsoft Word fixed the word “position” on a resume to be “prostitution!” Don’t let such a mistake happen to you. Check your job application messages before you hit “send.”

In the coming weeks, I will talk about other ways that you can stand out above other applicants … in your cover letter, in your networking efforts, and in your online presence. In the meantime, radically improve your resume … after all, it can help you Get a Job!

The Get a Job! Tips blog is authored by Kathy Bernard, a corporate communications leader based in St. Louis, Missouri. She is also a blogger, career coach and workshop leader in support of job seekers. She wants to help you … Get a Job! Connect with Kathy on LinkedIn — http://www.linkedin.com/in/kathybernardcommunicator, follow her on Twitter — http://twitter.com/kathybernardmkt, or e-mail her at kathybernard.mktg@yahoo.com. Subscribe to the Get a Job! Tips blog at http://getajob-tips-for-getting-hired.blogspot.com.

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Office Communications

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on September 8, 2010

Phone Etiquette

Most companies have protocols for answering the telephone. If you are the first person to pick up the phone, you are likely to make  the first impression of a caller has of your company.  Be a positive  example of what  your company has to offer. Many different greetings are acceptable, but make sure to say your name and , more importantly, the company’s name.

Make sure you remember  the following:

  • Stop whatever else you are doing.
  • Speak clearly into the receiver
  • Be upbeat

These tips also apply to message on your voice mail. When you record a greeting for your company voice mailbox, use the following example to create your own personal message, ” This is  {insert name} in the {insert name} department at { insert company name}. Please leave a message and I’ll return your call as soon as possible. Thank you.”

How to Be a Good Office Conversationalist

  1. Talk about many topics such as weather, sports , entertainers, etc.
  2. Don’t repeat office gossip.
  3. Know when and when not , to discuss business.
  4. Involve everyone in the conversation.
  5. Know when to wrap up your conversations.

Keep your personal calls to an absolute minimum while at the workplace. There is a  time and place to make personal calls. Never interrupt a meeting to answer your phone or cell phone. keep your cell phone off or non mute while in the office. Use the lunch break for personal business, including phone calls. If you must take a personal call on the job, try to remove yourself from coworkers or shut your office door.
Now that you are working , you will have to inform your children of your new added responsibilities. Educate them on phone etiquette, when and how often you and they can call and what constitutes and emergency.

In recent years, the use of cell phones has increased substantially. In fact , some companies may provide employees with mobile telephones for work-related reasons ( such as office travel, meetings). Even thought employers often belive there is a place for cell phones within the company, it is important to remember that the place to use it is when you are alone. As with all phone calls , respect others; right not to hear your conversation. Always turn off your cell phone when in a meeting if you forget, quickly apologize and silence the ringing. if you must take a call while public, whether in a meeting or at your desk, excuse yourself from other people and make the call short and to the point. It’s a good idea to check with your company to learn it’s cell phone etiquette rules and exceptions.

Reprinted from Steps to Success: A Guide to Success in the Workplace

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What To Do After a Layoff? Quick Tips

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on September 6, 2010

You’ve just been laid off. What should you do next? What first steps should you take towards finding new employment? Here is some professional advice:

Put your profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a valuable job search tool because thousands of recruiters regularly search this social networking site for candidates who meet their criteria. Put yourself in a position to be found by a recruiter by placing your profile on this site. An added benefit of LinkedIn is that you can search for jobs on that site and immediately see who you are connected to who works for the company that has the vacancy. This allows you to network your way into a company instead of simply applying for a job online and hoping to hear from them.

Distribute your resume to people in your network and tell them what you are looking for. Particularly for people who you may have a worked with a few years ago, you need to give them a resume so that they can see what you have done most recently. This is also critical for references so that they can speak knowledgeably on your behalf.

Join/become involved in a professional association. A professional association is the best place to find people who are already in your field who have connections to organizations that hire people in your field of expertise. You can raise your visibility in an association by taking on a leadership role. Virtually all associations are looking for people to volunteer to serve on committees. Taking on such a task gives you deeper connections with others in the association that go beyond merely passing out a business card at a monthly meeting. People have an opportunity to see your work ethic and will be more inclined to recommend you for openings that they know of.

Cheryl Palmer, M.Ed. is a career coach and a certified professional resume writer. She is the founder of Call to Career, a career coaching firm that assists people in finding their niche or calling in life.

Cheryl has been quoted regularly on CNN Money. She has also been quoted in other media outlets such as The Ladders, MarketWatch, Yahoo HotJobs, and the Salt Lake Tribune.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Cheryl_Palmer

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