Welcome To Relax Consulting's Blog

Transparent thoughts and ideas from Administrative Consultant (aka: Virtual Assistant, Crystal Casavant of Relax Consulting.

Relax Consulting - Let Us Help, So YOU Can RELAX!

Phone: 920.645.7529

Email: Crystal@RelaxConsulting.com

Monday, December 31, 2012

Start The New Year With a Business Plan Review

Well, it's 6:23pm here in Wisconsin which means 2013 is right around the corner. I am thinking about what I've learned in the last 12 months and how I can use that information to make 2013 my best year ever. Most of you are probably thinking about your own personal and professional resolutions and goals for the new year. What steps do you need to take to achieve your goals, how are you going to stay on track, what happens if you fall short of your own expectations, etc... A great way to get on track and stay on track for the new year is committing to your business plan. Sit down with your previous plan and make some changes and adjustments based on what has happened since it was written, and then use it as a manual or road map to get you where you need to be by this time next year.

Your business plan likely contains all the necessary sections about long and short range goals, mission and vision statements for the business/organization, competitive analysis, etc...this means you already have what you need to build on. Now the rest is up to you. If your long range goal including growing your business by 32% sit down and strategize about how you can do that and if that was a realistic goal. Consider where you've been spending your marketing money, what groups you're involved in, etc... are you getting a good return on your investment? is it time for a change? should you be more involved?

If you want 2013 to be a repeat of 2012, continue doing what you've been doing with little consideration for the how and why and don't worry about analyzing your returns. If you want 2013 to be your best year ever, set goals that are aligned with your organizational Mission and Vision. As Jim Rohn says: "Either you run the day, or the day runs you." You have the next 365 days to make 2013 your best year ever, run each of those days and you'll achieve your goal!

May your paths be abundantly filled challenges, goals, and support and may 2013 be your best year ever! ~Crystal

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Job Search Tips

Are you looking for work, preparing for graduation and getting excited about putting together your cover letter and resume? In the current economy, one thing is for sure, you are NOT alone. Here are some tips that may help you prepare which will increase your confidence. Best of luck in your search - whoever hires you will be glad they did, because YOU are amazing. My dream for you is that your future is as bright as you are.

Finding the RIGHT job is key!
·        If you know people in the field you want to be in, ask for a referral or introduction.
·        County and State jobs are coveted – know where to find them!
·        Set yourself apart – use the internet differently than the competition.
·        Ask Questions.
·        Do your home work.

If you know people in the field you want to be in, ask for a referral or introduction. 
o   “________, I’ve heard good things about your company and you seem to like it, right? Who would I talk to about floating my resume?”
o   “________, I haven’t seen anything that Company XYZ is hiring, but do you happen to know anyone in HR you could put me in touch with?”

County and State jobs are coveted – know where to find them!
§  Set up your profile and find out what’s out there that may be a dream come true for you!

Set yourself apart – use the internet differently than the competition.
o   Use the Job Center website (http://www.wisconsinjobcenter.org/) have your resume and cover letter ready to go.
o   Have Job Center jobs matched to you and emailed directly to your inbox.
o   If you have a social networking profile, tidy it up a bit…foul language and drinking pics should be taken down – you don’t want to send the wrong message.
o   If you have your resume on multiple sites, make sure it’s the same or similar on each. If you update one, update all of them.

Ask Questions.
? (Before, During, or After the interview it’s important to ask questions. If you aren’t sure what to ask – here are some examples:)
How would you describe the company culture/work environment?

What type of employees tend to excel at this company?

What qualities are you looking for in your new hires?

Can you tell me more about the interview process?

What is your turn over rate for the type of position I am interested in?

What type of training do you offer?

How often do you provide reviews and feedback?

What are the most important skills for the job?

How would you describe your ideal candidate?

What are the three key skills/strengths vital to this position?

Do your home work.
o   Most companies have a website with important information about the company and if you’re lucky – information for job seekers.

The Shiny Sparkly Resume!
If a car on a car lot doesn’t look shiny and impressive, you’ll likely drive by without checking the sticker. Your resume works the same way – if your resume doesn’t catch the employers attention you will not get the phone call or the interview much less the job.
Make sure your resume is shiny and sparkling!

Choose Resume Words Carefully / Surpassed vs. Completed
o   Anyone can complete a task – surpassing expectations shows that you went above and beyond. Catch the readers attention and capture interest by using strong words to describe your accomplishments:

Sample Headlines
o   Dedicated ______ professional with ___ years of experience in _______
o   An accomplished _____ professional with proven entrepreneurial success and expertise in ___________
o   Talented _____ professional with over ___ years of experience providing outstanding support to ____________
Sample Qualifications
o   Extensive hands on experience in ______
o   Diverse _ skills with exceptional __ background in _________
o   Fluent understanding and extensive experience managing _____
o   Thrive in deadline-oriented, fast paced situations
Focus on…
o   How you saved the company time or money
o   How you problem solve
o   How you use your creativity
o   How you initiate change and develop others
o   How you use your skills
o   How you work successfully with a team

Submit Your Resume/Application
o   Always read the fine print and submit your resume/application just ask the employer specifies (ie: if they tell you to fax…don’t email – if they request a resume and cover letter, don’t forget the cover letter, etc…)
o   Make sure your resume is short and sweet, to the point, and impressive!

Follow Up
o   Follow up with a phone call or a card (yes, the kind you mail…set yourself apart)
§  The follow up should be short and sweet – if you send a card, it could say: Thank you for considering me for the _____ position with company XYZ; I am looking forward to meeting with you. Please call me at ____ and we can schedule a phone interview or face to face meeting.

Prepare for the Interview
·        Make your list of traits, skills, and abilities
·        Story Format
o   Stories Should…
§  Describe a challenging situation
§  Describe a difficult decision
§  Describe your strengths
§  Describe your successes
§  Describe your weaknesses
§  Describe a time when the result was not what you planned for

Don’t Forget to Ask Questions?
·        When the potential new employer asks: “Do you have any questions?” your answer should always be a quick “yes” – and go back to those questions you had ready during the job search:

o   The potential new employer will thank you – but be sure to thank them for their time too. Then…follow up with a thank you card (yes the kind you mail – it will set you apart from other applicants)