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14 Nov

My latest post is over on – Happy Thanksgiving!!


Midnight In The Garden Of Importers And Exporters

5 Mar

(Reflections on the 2012 NPA Global Conference in Savannah, Georgia)

In one of America’s most historical and intriguing cities, a new spirit of NPA collaboration emerged – and it wasn’t the spirits encountered on the Haunted Pub Crawl.  Like many of you – I lost traction in 2009 but suddenly in Savannah, SplitZone was very real to me – again.

Maybe it was the “wheels coming off” period we survived together, maybe it was John Bartos’ optimism and forcing us to look at metrics, maybe it was the sponsors and their resources that help make placements – regardless, I trust this spirit is alive and well and will be moving across your desk this week and the weeks to come.

I left Georgia’s first city with clarity and wanting to do more business, more NPA business – how could you not?  This spirit was evident from seasoned veterans even – people with colors of precious metals on their nametags.  Folks I met in Columbus, Ohio, a few short years ago had gone from mildly abrasive to quite engaging, even welcoming.  I won’t name names and I won’t even change their names to Rhett or Scarlett – let’s just say – I found that at this conference – frankly, they gave a damn, everyone did.

I was incredibly impressed by the international folks that traveled from the other side of the world to this meeting.   Melbourne, Milan, Hong Kong, Vancouver, Beijing, Germany, Timbuktu, BFE – what an investment these people made to attend.  How you say? Uhh…No one forced them to be there – they wanted to be there – everyone I talked with wanted to be there – that spirit thing was hovering.

My takeaways – use SplitZone daily, get on these conference calls, find ways to attend future events, Facebook has a “large, diverse and engaged” audience we need to tap into more, get face time with your trading partners, great goodie bag by the way, show up and contribute more, Genie Matthews is still…simply the best, eat more small meals standing up talking with people that want to make you money, don’t use Paula Deen or any butter references in this blog post, find your why (more on that in the next paragraph), be grateful for this network, convenience stores aren’t so convenient in Savannah, you cannot have enough of those little stuffed Monster monsters for your 5 year old, don’t be there at closing time, TFI is a great resource, ask clients about international opportunities, don’t throw toilet paper into chandeliers, stop leaving money on the table and drink tickets in your hotel room, and finally – Be Like Mike (Pettit, that is).

As far as finding your why – WHY are you in NPA?  I have a far better answer to that question now – thanks to Geoff Crews via Meri Laird Jones.  We are all owners of this worldwide network – so I say to my fellow “owners’ as you move from takeaways to intentions to initiatives to execution – OWN IT!

In case you had not heard, the next annual conference is in Las Vegas.  March 2013 – Las Vegas.  Bring cash, plenty of business cards, and prepare to keep your hands on the table. You and your team need to show up – based on my Savannah experience, clearly – with this NPA spirit it will be more of a gamble not to attend.

…With A Vengeance

21 Sep

The posts are coming.

I wanted to avoid having to write a first paragraph justification for my writing vaca in my first post back – so I am just firing this warning shot post.  I will probably still manage to justify it in the written word anyway.  Bottom line is that I have been recruiting and that has been why 2011 has been a great year.

Since about 7 people read this faithfully, the impact of my writing hiatus was quite minimal.  I look forward to the posts swirling around in my head making it to my WordPress dashboard and on to your screen.





Breaking News

29 Mar

Check this out, will ya, please – me and my new friends at CAREEREALISM.

FaceTweet it!

Scrap And Random

29 Oct

I had this great plan to share with you how my inspiration finally showed up last week.  I had to scrap it.  I decided that post was more personal journal entry.  It was so fun to write though.  The words flowed, the points crystal clear, the anger righteous, and well…sometimes you just need to refrain from hitting the “publish” button.  I will probably rework it after letting it steep just a bit longer.

On my mind today, search assignments.  Process Engineers and Senior Process Engineers all over the country need to be found, a Maintenance Manager, an HR Manager.  The work is there – I am calling YOU – YOU need to call me back.

My hiring manager says, “I need to see some results, Andy.”  Those six words attached to my name is really all I need to hear.   She said it matter of fact but in an encouraging tone.

A differentiating factor of the clients I enjoy working with – they use the word “need.”  Need says they have a key opening that will be filled as soon as the right candidate shows up.  One inspiring word.

Now to find those candidates that say, “I have been thinking about making a change, I just haven’t done anything about it.”

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New Post (Finally) Next Wednesday

22 Oct

I finally found some inspiration in 2010. I will tell you all about it in my post next week. In the meantime, had to share the video below that I hope you find inspiring. A great story about a high school football player and the opposing team’s coach in Southern Indiana.

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Better Letter. Better Hire Her.

28 Jun

I have asked this question in many different ways over the years but my new favorite question and I am thinking this will be on my MUST ASK list for the duration of my recruiting days is –

“What sets you apart from your professional peers?”

Simply, Jobseeker – You must know and you need to show.  This is the foundation of your unique brand.  Please – not the personal branding stuff again.  I KNOW – you hate that talk but….

Hiring managers are begging for something different.  Begging I say! – for better resumes, thoughtful thank you notes, a firm handshake with a look in the eye, really good, brief answers, prepared candidates that give employers reason to hire them.

As many of you know, I facilitate a job seeker meeting every Thursday in the Indianapolis area.  These job seekers have clearly stated they want the truth…and that they can handle it.  My goal is to help them any way I can and for them to help each other.  I am biased – but in this marketplace you need a group like this to stay in the game, to talk with your fellow persons, to engage.  Perhaps you should even start one.

I usually give first time attenders a pass before I unleash my opinion but I didn’t in this case.  A very nice lady shows up one day – an administrative assistant.  I tempered my comments at first but finally said, “Administrative assistants are a dime a dozen.”  (I did kind of cringe when I said it but I said it.)  At this time, I was hoping she knew I was talking about the “role” her and not the “real” her.  She didn’t flinch.  Whew.

Her resume was plain.  Plain plain.  Not even vanilla.  She was not.  She struggled to answer what set her apart though.  Here is why – the answer takes work. takes thought.  Takes examining where you have been, what you have contributed to your workplace, what you do differently – takes some focus.  We set up a time to talk – she called when she said she would.  She put a plan together and showed up at the the next meeting.

I almost didn’t recognize her – her first words, “I just wrote a killer cover letter.”  I am not sure those three words have ever been used together.  Killer. cover. letter.

Here is how she did it.  She writes a thoughtful opening paragraph building the case that she knows all the resumes they are reviewing pretty much look the same (check).  She then articulates the 3 traits that she feels set her apart (check) – then the best line of the letter smacks the reader in the face.  Here is the line.  Wait – are you ready for this?  OK.  Verbatim.  “My former supervisors agree.” Powerful line, Folks.

Now, how do we know that?  Let me share that with you.  She then incorporates 2 quotes from recent supervisors right there in the cover letter.  Ni-ice (pronounced Nuh-ice) work!

And now…The REST of the story.  She is now employed.  Hired by a company that she never sent this letter to when responding to their ad.  What?  She hadn’t written it yet.  What a waste, right?  Oh, not so fast.  She interviewed with them a few days after writing the cover letter.  The story is – the letter didn’t help her get in the door BUT the exercise of writing the letter and reviewing it with competent peers helped her interview better and be able to call their door her own.  She brought a new-found confidence and a secure grasp of what set her apart because she did the work and ACTUALLY asked her former supervisors what they thought of her contribution, her skills, her.

Do you refer to your cover letter as killer?  Do you know what sets you apart from your professional peers?  Can you articulate it?  Have you asked your former supervisors that question?   She went in knowing her brand.  Do you know yours …or are you just going in all Brandom (my word)?

Now…go rewrite your mediocre cover letter.

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