networking

here are some tips, that actually work

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

With networking you have to go from awkward to awesome. I don’t know anyone who actually likes networking, but it’s something we all need to do. Here are a few tips and tricks when it comes to networking. Here are a few networking tips from Entrepreneur and a few more, too.

1. Be on time, better yet arrive early-  Showing up early at a networking event is a much better strategy than getting there on the later side. As a first attendee, you’ll notice that it’s calmer and quieter – and people won’t have settled into groups yet. It’s easier to find other people who don’t have conversation partners yet.

2. Ask easy questions. Don’t wait around the edges of the room, waiting for someone to approach you. To get the conversation started, simply walk up to a person or a group, and say, “May I join you” or “What brings you to this event?” Don’t forget to listen intently to their replies. If you’re not a natural extrovert, you’re probably a very good listener – and listening can be an excellent way to get to know a person.

3. Ditch the sales pitch. Remember, networking is all about relationship building. Keep your exchange fun, light and informal – you don’t need to do the hard sell within minutes of meeting a person. The idea is to get the conversation started. People are more apt to do business with – or partner with – people whose company they enjoy.

If a potential customer does ask you about your product or service, be ready with an easy description of your company. Before the event, create a mental list of recent accomplishments, such as a new client you’ve landed or project you’ve completed. That way, you can easily pull an item off that list and into the conversation.

4. Share your passion. Win people over with your enthusiasm for your product or service. Leave a lasting impression by telling a story about why you were inspired to create your company. Talking about what you enjoy is often contagious, too. When you get other people to share their passion, it creates a memorable two-way conversation.

5. Smile. It’s a simple – but often overlooked – rule of engagement. By smiling, you’ll put your nervous self at ease, and you’ll also come across as warm and inviting to others. Remember to smile before you enter the room, or before you start your next conversation. And if you’re really dreading the event? Check the negative attitude at the door.

6. Don’t hijack the conversation. Some people who dislike networking may overcompensate by commandeering the discussion. Don’t forget: The most successful networkers (think of those you’ve met) are good at making other people feel special. Look people in the eye, repeat their name, listen to what they have to say, and suggest topics that are easy to discuss. Be a conversationalist, not a talker.

7. Remember to follow up. It’s often said that networking is where the conversation begins, not ends. If you’ve had a great exchange, ask your conversation partner the best way to stay in touch. Some people like email or phone; others prefer social networks like LinkedIn. Get in touch within 48 hours of the event to show you’re interested and available, and reference something you discussed, so your contact remembers you.

cover letters

Cover letters are an integral part of the job application. Cover letters can both be annoying and rewarding. As any job seeker knows, a cover letter is a must when applying to a job. Below, Matt shares a guest post about cover letters and how they are a vital part when applying for a job. Matt will share with you a few tips and tricks he’s learned to get his application noticed.

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

an application’s basic necessity

guest blog presented by: Matthew D. Shalbrack
You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him!

As most know, I’ve been on the job hunt for five months now. I’ve put out hundreds of applications and cover letters to various abbreviated non-profits, sports teams, newspapers and electronic stores. Minus the food industry, you name it and there’s a great shot I’ve tried to apply or applied for a position with them.

One thing that I’ve noticed is an interesting factor to the job hunt is the elusive cover letter. Cover letters have become such a vital part with applying for jobs nowadays, that some employers don’t even need to list it as a part of the application process anymore – it’s just a basic necessity, like oxygen or sports. Yes, sports are a basic necessity in my mind, but that’s a blog post for another day.

Anyways, with the various jobs that I’ve applied for, I’ve tried some different versions of my cover letter in order to see which works best. There’s the general one where you just need to change the name of the position and the company, there’s the witty one that shows shades of your personality and then there’s the combination of the two.

I started off using the general cover letter but then I realized that it was pretty basic and that every job I applied for had different qualifications that I needed to list in the cover letter. Then, I used the witty one, which I decided, works for specific jobs, but not for all of them. Finally, I’ve been using the combination of both lately and it’s very enjoyable. I haven’t had any success with any of them – a few interviews here and there, but nothing that has led to a job. However, with the witty one, I did get an email back from the employer quickly asking for more writing samples and complimenting me on how well written and clever it was. Although I didn’t get that position, I’ll chalk it up as a victory for the home team.

Through my months of writing cover letters, I have a few suggestions for writing a great cover letter.

  1. Start it off with something unordinary, meaning, don’t write, “I am writing in regards to the job position yadda yadda yadda.” As an employer, I’m sure they get millions of cover letters that start out like that. In order to get recognized, you need to be different, so BE different right off the bat and come up with a great opening line that will keep the employer interested and intrigued right away.
  2. DON’T HAVE ANY SPELLING OR GRAMMAR MISTAKES!!! One of the biggest things that I am an advocate of is making sure that all words are spelled correctly and that there aren’t any misplaced commas or improper usages of semicolons. You’ll just look silly and immediately be dismissed from contention (most of the time). Which leads me into my next one –
  3. PROOFREAD PROOFREAD PROOFREAD! Reread your cover letter and make sure that you’re not missing words. Even if you use spellcheck, some common words will be passed over even if they’re spelled wrong because you missed a letter. If you have someone you trust, have them proofread your cover letter after you write it. Another way is to make the font size big; I’m talking like 48 point big and then proofread it. Since the font is so big, it’ll make it so there are only a few words on each line and it will force you to read it a lot slower which will help pick up those mistakes that could have been made.
  4. Tailor your cover letter to the position you’re applying for. If you have experience in social media and the position calls for social media, make sure you highlight that. If the position doesn’t call for social media, you can touch on it, but make sure that you focus the various aspects of the job description.

Those are some of the main tips I have for writing cover letters. I’ve had my cover letter proofed and edited by a few professors and friends, so what I have is definitely a beneficial piece that I can add to my resume. However, the toughest part is actually getting a call back and that’s something that I have yet to master the art of.

Any cover letter tips or suggestions? If so, drop them in a comment. I’d love to hear what other advice you have for us job seekers!

telecommuting

womp

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Telecommuting is both a blessing and a curse. As you may know, most telecommuters work from home while others use mobile telecommunications technology to work from coffee shops or other locations.  Reuters recently released a poll stating, “approximately one in five workers around the globe, particularly employees in the Middle East, Latin America and Asia, telecommute frequently and nearly 10 percent work from home every day”. That is a mind blowing statistic.

Lately, I’ve had many opportunities to work remotely and I’ve taken them with a happy heart. Telecommuting always seems like a novel idea in the hype, but honestly it is not all the rage. When it comes to telecommuting, I have the worst time focusing, like a college kid trying to write a 20-page paper–the work is always left to the last minute, but on a positive note, working under pressure is a key ingredient in allowing me to accomplish many tasks.

I commend others who are able to do work from home or a coffee shop. Give me a few tips and tricks–how do you set yourself up for success when you aren’t in an office? Without a work atmosphere, terrible drip coffee and face-to-face interaction, my production level plummets. Shoot some ideas over to me so I can turn these next two weeks into a huge success.

tick-or-treat

smell my feet, give me something good to eat

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, it’s not Christmas, but it is the beginning of the holiday season…well, at least in my mind. I love Halloween. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I have fond memories of Halloween, October and harvest. My childhood was filled with dressing up in costumes, decorating, craving pumpkins and drinking hot apple cider. I know, I am a little over the top.

Today, I wanted to talk to you about trick-or-treating. What a crazy weird idea, eh? Trick-or-Treating is now a billion dollar industry. As an American custom, trick-or-treating wasn’t always part of Halloween. A little over 60 years ago, many Americans had never even seen a trick-or-treater. It is something everyone, both parents and kids alike, look forward to every year. It doesn’t matter if you are in it for the costumes, the party, seeing everyone dressed up or just the candy–everyone is in it for something. 

When I was a kid (and yes, still now) I dressed up. I had the most elaborate costumes: Dorthy, Pippi Longstockings, a Christmas tree, a graduate, a princess, Raggedy Ann. Often times my mom would make them, but my favorite part of my costumes was a bag I got to carry around with me that looked like a witch. You guessed it, it was my trick-or-treating bag. For years I carried this around with me and come to think of it, next time I am at home, I’m snagging that from my parents for next year. No, I don’t go trick-or-treating now, but I still dress up. To me, dressing up is half the fun of Halloween. It’s the one time of the year it’s societally and socially acceptable to be someone you aren’t. For one night, you get to go out and embrace that.

I was curious to know more about the history on trick-or-treating and this is what I found. Take a look at this article. It’s an interesting read. We’ve come a long way. This holiday has boomed into something uncontrollable, but I don’t see anyone complaining about it.

Go out, dress up and live in the moment. Enjoy Halloween. Be safe and be smart. Happy Halloween!