Sports Jobs | Executive Search & Recruiting The Industry Leader in Provding Retained Executive Search & Customized Recruitment Fri, 31 Jan 2014 22:52:24 +0000 en hourly 1 BUSINESS ETIQUETTE: SURVIVING THE HOLIDAY OFFICE PARTY Thu, 12 Dec 2013 16:30:09 +0000 SS-Admin Read more ]]>  Business Etiquette: Surviving the Holiday Office Party

Article By: Diane Gottsman, National etiquette and modern manners expert; Owner, The Protocol School of Texas

Site: Huffington Post

If you think the holiday office party is the perfect opportunity to eat, drink and be jolly, you may want to think again. Overindulging on the holiday jingle juice and trying to kiss a colleague under the mistletoe are obvious disasters to avoid, but there are other important details that can affect your professional image.

To ensure you keep your glowing reputation intact, follow these tips:

  • Prepare in advance – Putting thought into your attire and arriving on time aren’t the only details to attend to before the holiday fête. Plan a few conversation topics that are lighthearted and engaging, such as asking a client about his or her favorite holiday tradition or where they plan to spend the holiday this year.
  • Eat before you go – Even though the holiday party will offer more food and beverages than Santa has toys, have a small snack before you leave the house or office so you won’t appear ravenous and spend most of your time in the buffet line. Carry only one plate and go back through the line for dessert.
  • Don’t bring a “plus one” – Unless the invitation specifically states that they are invited, leave your new boyfriend or girlfriend at home. It is bad form to call and ask if they may attend, or to just assume no one will notice.
  • Make a proper introduction – If the company party is one of the few occasions you see the CEO during the year, take advantage of the opportunity and make your presence known. By giving a proper introduction, which includes a firm handshake, eye contact and a clear delivery of your first and last name, you are setting yourself apart. Being the first to extend your hand for a professional handshake shows a confidence that is not easily overlooked.
  • Work the room – When you arrive, make sure to greet your host and proceed to mix and mingle with other guests. Make a point to strike up conversations with people you don’t already know, or don’t see on a regular basis. A good guest understands their primary role is to make the host glad he or she invited you.
  • Watch your liquor consumption – Conversing with superiors or making a positive impression on a client means you have to be totally alert and quick on your feet. Use restraint and your best judgment by limiting yourself to one or two drinks, even if your colleagues are taking holiday shots in the back of the room.
  • Dress appropriately for the occasion – You can certainly dress festive and be a bit creative, but don’t wear anything that would make Santa blush. You want to be noticed for your dazzling conversation, not your lack of good taste.
  • Don’t leave without saying “goodbye” – Slipping out the back door can prove to be a disastrous career move. Obligatory good-byes are not only polite but necessary. Keep in mind that you also don’t want to be the first to arrive or the last to leave the party.
  • Make sure and thank those who coordinated the party – Acknowledge the efforts of those who planned and put together the holiday office party. This simple gesture is a way to set you apart from the colleagues who disappeared out the emergency exit thirty minutes after the party started.
  • Smile, you are on display - On the eve of the event, put on your best suit, your brightest smile and bring some holiday cheer to the party. Jump in and offer to help if you see the host struggling to keep the drinks stocked or the appetizers moving along. Make it a point to be a team player and leave a lasting impression. People remember common courtesy.



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HOW TO SELF-ASSESS YOUR CAREER POTENTIAL Tue, 10 Dec 2013 16:04:41 +0000 SS-Admin Read more ]]> How To Self-Assess Your Career Potential

Your biggest challenge today is to broaden your skills, understand the opportunities available, and self-assess your career potential. You need to take specific steps now to take charge of your own career. Here are some tips on how to assess yourself. Ask yourself these questions:

. What are my key job skills, interests and values?

. What are my areas of special expertise?

. What new skills and knowledge would help me compete more effectively? How am I perceived by my managers, peers and direct reports?

. What culture do I best fit into?

. How effective am I as a team member?

. Am I overly specialized?

. Do I need to become more computer literate?

. Do I make a conscious effort to keep learning new things?

. What am I doing to gain more credibility and recognition for my contributions?

. Are my presentation, writing and communication skills the best they can be?

Think of yourself as running “You & Co.” as a business. Just like a business invests in research and development, make an investment in your own personal growth and development. The value of defining your personal vision is that it is an energizing force. It provides you with a rationale for your goals and objectives. Your personal vision is future-focused and helps you stay committed during discouraging times.

Give yourself at least an hour of uninterrupted time to reflect on your personal vision. Then answer the following questions:

. Self-Image

Imagine that you could be exactly the kind of person that you would like to be. What would be some of your most important personal qualities?

. Tangibles

What kinds of possessions and material things would you like to own?

. Home

What would your living environment look like? Where would you like to live and in what kind of setting?

. Work

What would your work life be like? What would you be doing and what would be the results of your efforts?

. Life Purpose

Now imagine that your life has a unique purpose, a purpose that you have been able to fulfill through your work, your relationships and the way you live. Describe, in a few words, what you see as the unique and special purpose of your life. What would you like to be remembered for? Your personal vision will describe your desired destination. It will be concrete and something that you desire for its intrinsic value. It will be multidimensional and will have material components, such as what you want to own and how you want to live; it will have personal components, such as your desired lifestyle and relationships; and it will have a service component, such as the contributions you want to make to your work and community. Each aspect of your personal vision will reflect what is most important to you, what you really want. The gap between your desired vision and your current situation will provide the energy, the creative tension that you will need to reach your destination. As writer Robert Fritz said, “It’s not what the vision is, it’s what the vision does.” You need to know what you want to do, and what you have to offer. Then, you need to convince your employer that you can make a significant contribution and you will both profit from the results.

]]> 0 YOU MAY ALREADY WORK FOR YOUR NEXT CAREER OPPORTUNITY Tue, 26 Nov 2013 16:09:08 +0000 SS-Admin Read more ]]>  You May Already Work for Your Next Career Opportunity

By Gary Leavitt


Many people face common difficulties in obtaining employment. Many of their reasons for failure have solutions people just aren’t looking for.  

The first obstacle some faced was getting their foot in the door. One way this can be accomplished is by taking an internship with the sports marketing or marketing department in your prospective company. If you don’t already know someone in that department, offer to work for free or at a lower salary to prove your worth to the company. This will show that you are serious and dedicated to working in that position.

The second obstacle is in not knowing what you want to do or what qualifications you have. As an employer, I would not want to hire someone just because they want a job. I want someone who understands their own abilities, is goal-oriented, has both oral and written communication skills and is genuinely enthusiastic about working with me.

The other popular obstacle, “I don’t know what I want to do.” To overcome this obstacle you need to sit down and do an introspective on yourself. Ben Franklin did exactly that. He actually describes the process he went through in his autobiography. He determined what mattered most to him. Then he set up a process to govern the rest of his life’s decisions.

Once you determine the answer to those questions, it is easy to understand what you want to do. If you want to establish a sports marketing department in your company, chances are you need to be the one who forces the issue. The people who are successful in this world are the people who go out and make things happen for themselves. Don’t wait around. You may be waiting for a long time!



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LEADER COMMUNICATION COULD BE BETTER Thu, 21 Nov 2013 16:24:54 +0000 SS-Admin Read more ]]> Leader Communication Could Be Better 

8/23/2012 By Rebecca R. Hastings, SPHR
Society for Human Resource Management: SHRM Online

Experts say leaders need to step up their communication efforts to fill information gaps that exist in some workplaces. Reframing the importance of communication can help.

“The most common cause of poor leader communication is that leaders don’t take communication nearly as seriously as they take other business disciplines,” according to Helio Fred Garcia, author of The Power of Communication: Skills to Build Trust, Inspire Loyalty, and Lead Effectively (FT Press, 2012) and adjunct professor of management at NYU’s Stern School of Business. Many “have an exaggerated sense of their own communication ability,” he wrote in an e-mail interview with SHRM Online.

That’s one possible reason why more than a third (36 percent) of senior managers, executives and employees say employees “hardly ever” know what’s going on in their organizations.

Just 9 percent of respondents surveyed in March 2012 by AMA Enterprise, a division of the American Management Association (AMA), said employees know what’s going on “most of the time.” The majority (55 percent) said employees are informed “some of the time.” The 289 survey respondents were drawn from the AMA database.

“Too often, employees do not feel trusted or involved in any way in decision-making,” said Sandi Edwards, senior vice president for AMA Enterprise, in a media statement—especially when it comes to an organization’s business strategy or plans for the future. A better approach, Edwards suggested, is to ensure that everyone in an organization knows the role they have in making their company successful.

Effective Communication Requires Multiple Messages

“If we are to move people we need to meet them where they are,” Garcia wrote in an e-mail interview with SHRM Online. “This means understanding that employees expect to receive information in many forms, through many channels [and] from many sources.”

The most effective companies reinforce key messages across multiple platforms, he explained, such as e-mail, meetings, intranet and voice mail, and ensure that the same message “cascades” down through the leadership so employees hear consistent messages from many levels of the organization.

“At any given time, some employees won’t see or hear a given message, so repetition is important,” Garcia wrote.

Repetitive messages don’t need to be boring, he noted. Even if the core message doesn’t change, each communication can be enhanced by a recent example or anecdote to keep the information fresh, he explained.

“Effectively leveraging social media can be a great way to stay connected with employees and create a more collaborative work environment,” according to Giselle Kovary, managing partner of n-gen People Performance Inc. and co-author of Upgrade Now: 9 Advanced Leadership Skills (n-gen People Performance Inc., 2012). “Creating a team LinkedIn group or internal Facebook type page can be an easy and efficient way to communicate to the entire team and provide quick status updates that are relevant and timely,” she wrote SHRM Online in an e-mail interview.

Tips for Improving Employee Communication

To increase the level of connection with employees, Garcia suggested that leaders:

  • Understand what matters to employees, such as their fears, concerns, hopes and expectations.
  • Take those concerns seriously and be sure communications address what matters most to employees.
  • Avoid the use of jargon.
  • Frame the company’s priorities in ways that employees understand and can rally around.
  • Remind employees regularly about company priorities.
  • Establish a feedback loop to be sure employees understand what leaders are saying.

Kovary suggested that leaders:

  • Refrain from changing the message multiple times. Content should remain consistent, she wrote.
  • Make sure employees understand the “why.” Communicate the appropriate background information and context.
  • Send a key message more than once. Use repetition with multiple mediums to increase understanding and acceptance.
  • “Communicate broadly and ensure full coverage by casting a wide net,” rather than assuming that a few select employees will pass a message along.
  • Avoid confusing language and jargon. “Use clear and concise language to ensure messages are accurately interpreted and understood,” she wrote.

Kovary added that leaders should manage employees’ expectations about internal communications: “By setting expectations as to how (which medium will be used), when (times, speed of response) and to whom (individual or team) communication will be provided, employees will know what to expect and how to appropriately manage communication with their manager during busy times.”

Rebecca R. Hastings, SPHR, is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

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GOOD COMMUNICATION SKILLS NEEDED TO SUCCEED IN TODAY’S MARKET Tue, 19 Nov 2013 16:27:58 +0000 SS-Admin Read more ]]> Good Communication Skills Needed To Succeed In Today’s Market

By Ingrid Murro Botero


Allen and Dave Jorgenson have been friends since high school. Both have similar engineering degrees, good technical skills and strong work ethics. Both have similar jobs designing software for high-tech computer applications. Yet Mark has been promoted several times, and now earns $25,000 more than Dave.

The main difference between these two employees is that Mark has good communication skills. He speaks clearly and confidently, and can explain technical concepts in a way that is understandable to his colleagues and customers. Dave, on the other hand, is uncomfortable speaking in public, and generally resorts to technical jargon and lengthy pauses when he’s presenting his ideas.

In today’s environment, effective communication skills are one of the primary predictors of success. All too often companies excel in providing training in technical disciplines to their employees and overlook the importance of communication skills training.

To fine-tune your communications skills, study a videotape of yourself while speaking in public. Have a friend tape you leading a staff meeting or delivering an old speech. Then analyze the video tape carefully for the following items:

Non-verbal Characteristics

Like it or not, people’s first impression of you is based on what they see. To get an idea of how you present yourself, turn off the sound on the video, and make notes of any non-verbal items that need improving. Beware – the result may be humbling! You may notice deficiencies in your clothing and accessories, posture and facial expressions, or gestures and eye contact. Develop a plan to correct your deficiencies. This plan may include exercising, losing weight, upgrading your wardrobe, improving your posture, or practicing making more meaningful gestures.

Verbal Characteristics

Your voice is a powerful method of communication that contributes 38% of the meaning in face-to-face interactions, and 70% to 90% in telephone conversations. To analyze your voice, turn off the picture on the video and listen to what you’re saying. Are you speaking too quickly or too slowly? Does your voice have a pleasant range, volume and tone? Are you clear and precise when you’re speaking? If you detect a problem, read aloud to improve your voice.

Your Message

Although we often concentrate on the content of our oral presentations, your words are worth only 7% of your impact in the first two to four minutes of new interactions. That’s because your audience has so much information to take in from their eyes and ears. To analyze the content of your speech, turn the video’s picture and sound back on, and listen carefully to your words. Make sure you’ve chosen words that are easily understood, and that your material is presented in a logical, easy to follow fashion. View presentations as an opportunity to enhance your image, increase your credibility, and serve your customers, clients and community.


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FIVE COMMON OFFICE HAZARDS TO PREVENT Thu, 07 Nov 2013 16:12:09 +0000 SS-Admin Read more ]]> Five Common Office Hazards to Prevent


10/29/2013 By Roy Maurer

From Society of Human Resource Management: SHRM Online

You may think working in a comfy, climate-controlled office is safe and hazard-free, but there are many risks to your safety and health all around you. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports tens of thousands of injuries or work-related health problems that office workers suffer each year.

Slips and trips are the most common office accident, accounting for the greatest number of injuries, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Other office hazards include sprains and strains, poor workstation ergonomics, indoor air-quality problems, insufficient or excessive lighting, noise, electrical hazards and random acts of violence.

Being aware of these dangers is the first step in eliminating them and reducing the odds of injuries occurring. HR can implement processes to identify dangers and correct problems, including instituting safety walkthroughs, setting up a formal reporting system for unsafe conditions and conducting training sessions on correcting safety hazards.

Here are five of the most common office hazards.

Slips, Trips and Falls  

Universal slip, trip and fall culprits include unattended spills, wet floors, exposed cords, unstable work surfaces, uneven floors, loose rugs and cluttered areas.

Inclement weather conditions, such as rain, snow and ice, create outdoor slip hazards on exterior steps, ramps, walkways, entry and exit areas, and parking lots, and indoor hazards when wet floors are not cleaned up promptly. Ice-melting products and nonslip runners can greatly reduce slip, trip and fall hazards during winter months.

Clean up all spills immediately, and post signs identifying hazards in areas that are being cleaned or that have recently been cleaned, and in areas prone to water accumulation and wet surfaces.

Office walkways should be kept clear, as boxes and other clutter can create a trip hazard.

Electrical and telephone cords should also be properly secured and not stretched across aisles or walkways, and carpets should not be frayed or buckled.

Ergonomic Injuries

Office workers spend many hours a day seated at a desk, working on a computer, resulting in ergonomic strains and other injuries related to posture and repetitive movement. These types of hazards can be difficult to detect.

A variety of adjustable chairs, desks, keyboards, etc., should be offered to accommodate the widest range of work styles. Employees should be told how to set up and operate adjustable equipment for the best workstation fit.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers an eTool illustrating general ergonomics guidelines for setting up a computer workstation and performing computer-related tasks:

  • Position the chair, keyboard and monitor in a straight line with your body.
  • Maintain a relaxed, neutral posture.
  • Sit up straight, adjusting the chair to provide firm back support.
  • Let your arms hang loosely at the shoulders.
  • Keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle while typing.
  • Use an adjustable keyboard tray to position your keyboard and mouse at a comfortable height (usually lower than the desk surface). Place your mouse next to the keyboard, and keep it as close as possible to your body, to avoid reaching.
  • Adjust the chair’s height so that your feet are firmly on the ground.

HR can monitor employees for musculoskeletal disorder symptoms. OSHA advises paying attention to any pain, fatigue, numbness or weakness, as these may be signs of an ergonomics problem and the start of a more serious issue.

Eye Strain

Spending a large portion of your workday at the computer can cause eyestrain, according to the Mayo Clinic. Eyes may become dry and irritated, and workers may begin having trouble focusing. Light levels should be suitable for the work task—for instance, manual detail work may require higher levels of lighting, but staring at a computer monitor does not, the NSC said.

You can cut down on excessive glare by closing blinds on windows and dimming the overhead lights. Correctly positioning monitors slightly below eye level, minimizing screen glare and increasing computer font size all can help alleviate eyestrain.

To reduce eyestrain and fatigue, OSHA recommends taking a 10-minute break for every hour you spend looking at a computer screen, giving your eyes a rest and focusing on things at varying distances.

Fire Safety

Fire departments responded to approximately 17,500 office fires in 2012, which resulted in $643 million in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Routine office inspections could reduce this danger. 

According to the NSC:

  • Power cords should be inspected regularly for wear and be replaced if they are frayed or have exposed wire.
  • Cords should never be used if the third prong has been damaged or removed.
  • Cords should never overload outlets. The most common causes of fires started by extension cords are improper use and overloading. Extension cords should be approved by a certifying laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories, and be used only temporarily to connect one device at a time.

If employees use space heaters, verify that the appliances are approved for commercial use and have a switch that automatically shuts them off if they tip over. Space heaters should not be placed near combustible materials like paper. 

Objects should never be placed closer than 18 inches below fire-sprinkler heads, to allow a full range of coverage. Emergency-exit routes should never be blocked or locked.

It’s also critical that employees be trained on what to do if a fire erupts. Are your workers trained in the basic use of fire extinguishers?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, when an employer has provided portable fire extinguishers for employee use, the employer must also train workers on the general principles of fire extinguisher use. Employers have the option of requiring all employees to immediately evacuate the premises.

Indoor Air Quality

The prevalence of poor indoor air quality has contributed to a rise in occupational asthma and other respiratory disorders, chemical sensitivity and allergies, according to the NSC. Some of the reasons for poor air quality are inadequate ventilation systems; office overcrowding; the presence of cleaning chemicals and pesticides; water damage and mold growth; cubicle design that blocks off air flow to work areas; too much or too little humidity; and poor housekeeping, which leads to dirty work environments.

The office’s air quality can be greatly improved by proper maintenance, cleaning and filtration of the ventilation, heating and air conditioning system. This will help reduce respiratory irritants, infections and illnesses, the NSC said.

Preventing the accumulation of dust, pollen, dirt and other buildup on all surfaces, especially in carpeting, will also cut down on respiratory irritants, infections and illnesses.

Cleanliness and orderliness, too, may prevent the spread of illnesses and diseases in the workplace. Restrooms, break rooms, lunch areas and refrigerators should be regularly sanitized, and workers should be told to throw out food before it spoils.

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Follow him on Twitter @SHRMRoy.

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REAL PURPOSE OF A RESUME Tue, 05 Nov 2013 16:16:45 +0000 SS-Admin Read more ]]> THE REAL PURPOSE OF A RESUME

First of all, understand that the concept of a resume is a myth. Without it, job searchers feel insecure because there is nothing to validate their existence. Without it, the interviewer feels insecure because there is nothing to verify and no script to follow-especially if the interviewer does not know how to interview!

FACT: The resume is used more often to eliminate than to hire. Consider the sports classified ad that draws 400 resumes. What is the first task of the hiring authority? To cut the pile down to as few as possible! Why? Because many applicants are not qualified but send a resume anyway, hoping it will attract attention. Second, many applicants who do quality do not know how to market themselves correctly. Third, no one has time to interview 400 candidates. Finally, resumes do not get jobs; people do.


1. Fix in your mind your skills, accomplishments, work history and education.

2. Assist you in networking and getting referrals.

3. Provoke interest and get an interview.

4. Facilitate a face-to-face presentation.

5. Prospect outside your geographic area and generate interviews.

The resume is above all a calling card- after the fact- to remind the interviewer who you are. You must create something you hope will be little used, but create it in such a way that if it is used, it will help your campaign. Suppose you had to select your resume out of a field of 400. How would it stack up? What can be done to put the odds more in your favor?


GETTING READY: Work Experience and Accomplishments

Begin by making a detailed chronological list of your total work experience. This is for your own reference. As simple as it may seem, this list will keep you from forgetting something important in your professional history just when you need it.

Working backwards, complete the following:


From: To:

Company name:

Company main address:

Work location (if different from above):

Your title:

Your superior, name & title:

You were responsible for:

Your key accomplishments were:

Starting salary:

Finishing salary:

Extra benefits:

What attracted you to this job?

Reason for leaving:

Who can be a good reference for you?

(Repeat for all of the jobs you’ve had)



Elementary school:

Year graduated:

High school:

Year graduated:

High school diploma or certificate:


Course of study:


Degrees received:


Licenses for:

Special Training:









Languages: (degree of fluency)





4. OTHER SKILLS: (writing, programming,

word processing, etc.)










Three formats are widely used today: 1. Functional, 2. Chronological, and a mixture of the two called 3. The Performance Resume. Choose a format flexible enough to allow modification depending on the job you are going after.



The functional resume presents accomplishments and work experience arranged according to function or responsibilities without real attention to chronological order.


A. Advantages:

1. If you have had a number of jobs in a short period of time, a functional style can help by highlighting skills and accomplishments rather than focusing on changes.

2. If your most recent experience does not relate to the position for which you are applying, a functional resume will focus more on your past strengths.


B Disadvantages:

1. Employers and personnel managers are used to a chronological presentation of work history. Deviation from this format can arouse suspicion, if not confusion.

2. It is not an easy resume to prepare and it must change to match each job objective.



The chronological resume lists positions by date, beginning with the most recent. Emphasis placed on recent experience rather than past history, and usually a progression in responsibility is indicated. Each job listing should show: company name and location, dates of employment, job title(s), main responsibilities and key accomplishments.


A. Advantages:

1. This is an easy resume to organize and for many years this has been the standard format and consequently it is the most familiar.

2. It shows progress made in your field of specialization as well as increasing responsibility.


B. Disadvantages:

1. If you have changed jobs frequently, it shows instability and will require explanation, especially if there are any gaps in employment.

2. If you have changed professions or career direction, it may raise questions about your real goals.



A mixed chronological-functional format incorporating a powerful up-front section, designed to attract the reader’s attention immediately. It combines accomplishments into functional areas and places up front your greatest accomplishments in relation to the position you are targeting.


A. Advantages:

1. It immediately highlights your strengths and is extremely flexible.

2. It maximizes your chances of catching a reader’s interest.

3. You can adapt the resume to suit the job you are going after without sacrificing quality.

4. It permits you to display originality in your ideas and manner of presentation which will lead the reader in the direction you want to go by noticing your skills and accomplishments.


B. Disadvantages:

1. Putting together this resume takes know-how.



1. Name and address.

2. Telephone number and perhaps an office or message number.

3. An opening statement that gives a summary of your overall professional capabilities.

4. Two to four major accomplishments.

5. A statement that describes the way you like to work and what kind of person you are.

6. Employment History (reverse chronological order): Company dates of employment, your title(s) date(s), accomplishments and/or responsibilities.

7. Prior Experience (if pertinent).

a. Education (if pertinent): School, city, state, degrees, dates.

9. Affiliations (if pertinent).



Most people who read resumes DO NOT! Most resume “readers” glance over the resume and quickly grab onto one or two items of interest. If the candidate is present, they may use these items to break into the interview. One reason is that most resumes are boring- certainly for the reader and probably for the poor candidate as well. The average attention span of a resume screener is all of 20 seconds! That is not a long time, especially if you have given the reader a two-page resume.



Follow these rules to create a winning resume:

1. Focus on accomplishments, skills and results.

2. Never include statements or accomplishments that cannot be proven.

3. Keep sentences short and punchy.

4. Your resume should be attractive and easy to read: good spacing, margins and bold printing. Avoid overcrowding.

5. Do not use abbreviations when there could be doubt as to meaning. Be clear and precise.

6. Keep it short. A good resume will be as short as possible, certainly no longer than two pages and, if possible, one page.

7. Do not use personal pronouns.

a. Use action words to describe each accomplishment.

9. Whenever possible, show results in numbers.

10. Be original.

11. If you have a sense of humor, let it show a little in your resume. A resume that can reflect your real personality is a wonder. While photos are not generally encouraged, if your physical appearance would be a plus to your candidacy, include a nice, clean-cut snapshot.

12. Show only the year you started or terminated the position. If there have been promotions during the period of employment, dates can be shown in parentheses next to each job title.

13. There should be only enough information to provoke the reader’s interest.

14. The employer will ask, “Does this person have the kind of talent I am seeking?” The resume has to convey a certain level of competence in the employer’s area of interest, or there will be no invitation to interview.

15. Candidates without much work experience, or who are tackling their first job search, must change “Accomplishments” to “Skills”

16.Test your resume before launching it on the market!

]]> 0 HALLOWEEN CELEBRATIONS CAN LEAD TO SCARY SITUATIONS Thu, 31 Oct 2013 16:34:42 +0000 SS-Admin Read more ]]> Halloween Celebrations Can Lead to Scary Situations


By Rebecca R. Hastings, SPHR


Forget about witches, ghosts and vampires. Some of the scariest things HR professionals might face on Halloween are inappropriate costumes, safety issues and an overabundance of sweets.

Potential pitfalls are largely preventable, experts say. In deciding how—and whether—to celebrate Halloween at work, employers should consider the organization’s culture and its approach to diversity, as well as office traditions and customer impact.

Halloween is largely a secular holiday, but it does have religious roots and pagan symbols, said Jonathan Segal, a partner with Duane Morris LLP in Philadelphia. As such, some people might not wish to participate in company-sponsored Halloween events. Organizations can set the right tone when inviting employees to participate in a Halloween-related event at work by saying things such as:

  • In our workplace, Halloween is intended as a secular celebration.
  • We recognize that not everyone celebrates Halloween. You should not feel compelled to participate.
  • Please do not wear anything that is inconsistent with our equal employment opportunity or diversity policy.

Halloween Costume Do’s and Don’ts

Segal told SHRM Online he doesn’t object to organizations allowing costumes in the workplace; however, employees should use good judgment when deciding what to wear. “Ask yourself: ‘Am I likely to offend someone with this costume?’ ” he suggested. If there’s any doubt, choose another costume.

“Halloween has become a celebration with more opportunity to cross the line,” said Richard Johnson, SPHR. “It requires more regulation and oversight, as costumes can breach good taste or be offensive to those in a culturally diverse company.”

“Images of ghosts, skeletons, devils, etc., do not go over well in a health care setting,” Johnson noted. “I’ve had complaints from those with a strong religious orientation,” he said.

“The year an employee came dressed head-to-toe as Pinhead from [the movie] ‘Hellraiser’ ended the fun for me, said Andrea Ballard, SPHR. “I got a ton of complaints that year and, personally, I was scared,” she said.

Other costumes to avoid: those that violate dress codes or that might otherwise be perceived as offensive, such as costumes of religious leaders.

“Religion and politics are two easy ways to get you in trouble at the workplace,” noted a February 2012 blog posting on Wearing a pope, nun, Jesus or Moses costume is not a good idea for the workplace, the blog noted.

Political costumes can be especially problematic in the midst of a contentious U.S. presidential election, Segal agreed, particularly when Halloween falls between the political debates and Election Day. It might help to remind employees that they still need to be able to work together when the election is over, he added.

Though the employees at are encouraged to wear fun accessories year-round, the company is very clear about what kinds of costumes are appropriate—and inappropriate—for the workplace, according to Aleksandra Sobic, who works in public relations for the company.

“Even though we sell super-sexy costumes—some that border on lingerie—we still have a dress code that would make donning these styles at the office come October 31st inappropriate,” Sobic told SHRM Online.

Vericom Corp. in Roswell, Ga., allows employees to wear costumes and decorate their workspace for Halloween, according to Marya Calhoun, director, human asset management and development. “We distribute awards for best, funniest and most creative costumes,” she said. “For office decorations, we award for best decorated work area, scariest work area and most festive work area.” Employees vote to determine winners.

Calhoun noted that everyone is asked to follow a few simple rules:

  • Decorations should not violate fire or safety codes.
  • Employees are responsible for clean-up after the event.
  • Costumes should be office appropriate and not offensive to co-workers and peers. When in doubt … don’t!

Another consideration, according to Segal, is whether to allow employees with direct customer contact to wear costumes. Some companies may allow it to demonstrate that the company is a great place to work, while others may decline. “Think about what message you want to send,” he advised.

Halloween Party Payoffs

FreeCause, a technology and marketing firm in Boston, celebrates Halloween with a costume contest as well as a lunchtime or after-work party, according to Tom Guenette, director of marketing and public relations. “We think it’s important to celebrate,” he told SHRM Online, because:

  • It’s all-inclusive. Anyone can participate, but there’s no pressure to participate.
  • It’s a nice break from the day. “We work really hard here, so being able to take an hour break for a costume contest and lunch brought in—or if it’s at the end of the day, drinks—is an appreciated break from the daily grind.”
  • It’s fun. “People really try to out-do each other for creativity,” he said. “Some go with traditional outfits like pirates, cowboys, sports figures, while others try and come up with something relevant to our industry or company.”

Vericom’s Calhoun agreed that Halloween is “an opportunity to create a fun and team-focused environment outside of the normal day-to-day operations.”

“Because we have such a diverse group of people here, Halloween is a holiday that everyone can celebrate together, making it an important one for employee engagement and morale,” said Erich Wuhrman, vice president of human resources for Trupanion, a pet insurance company. “As a pet-friendly workplace, everyone enjoys getting their pets involved,” he told SHRM Online. “The main activity is the costume contest and parade, where everyone who comes in costume walks the office halls with their pets.”

“It’s not a big expense for the company, and pays back dividends on employee engagement,” Wuhrman added. “While we don’t require everyone to take part in the festivities, we encourage everyone to be involved. Even those who choose not to be involved love to watch the parade … it gets people talking and laughing cross-departmentally.”

Safety First

Experts say employers must consider possible workplace risks.

For example, there are some places where costumes are not appropriate. “If a costume doesn’t meet manufacturing floor safety guidelines it shouldn’t be worn,” Segal said.

“We are keenly aware of the potential safety issues involved with wearing specific costume styles,” said Matt Preston-Wright, HR manager for “Our office includes a large warehouse space which houses heavy machinery, so we follow a strict adherence to the fire and safety codes set forth by our local government and by OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration). This means no open flames, and no flowing clothing near machinery.”

Safety issues exist even in office environments, Segal noted. For example, a pumpkin carving contest could cause cuts and possible workers’ compensation claims.

“I’m okay with costumes within reason,” Segal said. “I think it is a mistake for there to be pumpkin carving.”

Fortunately, there are safe alternatives to candles and carving tools, such as LED lights and pumpkin painting, said Preston-Wright.

Alternative Celebrations

Segal suggested that employers turn Halloween into an opportunity to give back to the community by combining it with some sort of charitable event. For example, employees could be allowed to wear a costume if they make a $5 donation for one of several noncontroversial charities selected by the company, such as those that conduct cancer research or support abused animals. The company could match donations to the charities, allowing it to “take something fun and turn it into something bigger,” he said.

Ballard said her company tried something similar a year after the “Pinhead” costume incident by hosting a “Harvest Festival” to raise funds for the local food bank. Clients and employees’ family members were invited and children dressed in costumes, but the adults did not. It was “much more fun, a great family event, and a nice way to help the community,” she said.

Some employees might resist such changes, however.

One HR generalist from Houston said she faced considerable resistance when she tried to align her company’s Halloween party with its new wellness initiative. “I asked the [party] committee to please provide healthier options for the food/treats and they became outraged that they would not be provided with fatty candy and pizza,” she noted. “Then they wonder why our insurance rates are so high and complain about paying higher premiums.”

Preston-Wright acknowledged that candy is an expected part of many Halloween celebrations. At, “seasonal treats” are available year-round for the 100 full-time and more than a thousand seasonal employees; however, they make efforts to “encourage healthy Halloween snacking,” he said. “Oranges can easily be decorated to resemble jack-o-lanterns, and banana halves can be accessorized with chocolate covered raisins to become ghosts.”

Rachel Taber, PHR, a labor relations specialist, said her company holds an annual wellness event for Halloween that includes families. “We do a plant tour, give educational literature on wellness and the holidays that are coming” she wrote in a SHRM Connect bulletin board posting. “It works out pretty well and we give prizes for the best costume to kids only,” she explained.

Rebecca R. Hastings, SPHR, is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

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ARE YOU USING YOUR TIME TO BENEFIT YOUR CAREER? Tue, 29 Oct 2013 16:12:30 +0000 SS-Admin Read more ]]> Are you using your time to benefit your career?

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. Therefore, it is never too early to start working on your sports career objectives. Many college students use their free time for social activities rather than working on their career objectives.

It is necessary to position yourself correctly in the sports industry to succeed. If you use your time effectively to get ahead, the payoffs are worth the opportunity costs. Always remember that lost time is never found again.

It is fundamental to gain experience, build networks and to allow your inner passion to create your drive for success in the sports industry. Experience increases your wisdom as well as your marketability and is something that you can acquire with little or no effort.

For example, it is easy to obtain a part-time position in the athletic department at your college/university or to do some volunteer work for one of the professional teams in your area. This will provide you with valuable and practical knowledge necessary to market yourself throughout the sports industry. Not only will the experience make your resume more attractive when pursuing careers in sports, it will also provide your network with something to assist them in helping you to obtain a position.

Networking is creating interconnected systems of individuals that are linked together by a common goal. This will create a network of people to contact in pursuing your career aspirations. Your personal network is built upon the people that you interact with while working for the athletic department or a professional sports organization. You will find that your network consists of many individuals that have sports opportunities just waiting to be realized. This is the key to finding a position once you get out of college. The great thing about building such a network is having someone to turn to when you are in need. The accessibility to these contacts contributes directly to your success.

There is only one way to be successful and that is to spend your life the way you desire. If sports is your passion and you are confident that you possess the appropriate skills and knowledge to be successful, the only thing that can halt your progress is by not being positioned correctly in the sports industry. Have confidence that if you have done a little thing well, you can do bigger things well too.

The sports industry can be discouraging to those individuals that either don’t have the passion for sports or that have not positioned themselves appropriately in the industry. The bottom line is if you have gained the necessary experience, built solid networks and have gone the distance to obtain a position in the industry, then you are on the road to victory.



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USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO BOOST ETHICS AND COMPLIANCE Thu, 24 Oct 2013 16:18:13 +0000 SS-Admin Read more ]]> Using Social Media to Boost Ethics and Compliance 

8/9/2013 By Pamela Babcock

From Society of Human Resource Management: SHRM Online

Organization leaders should take a cue from their employees and spend some time on social media, experts said.

Even though employees may misuse social media—and need to be trained on what is and is not acceptable—it is a powerful tool that companies can use to promote ethical practices and culture, a recent study found.  

To more effectively engage employees, enhance ethics and compliance programs, and positively affect workplace culture, businesses should tap their employees’ expertise and encourage workers to use social media, according to a July 17, 2103, report from the Ethics Resource Center (ERC) in Arlington, Va. The key is seizing the opportunity of having tech-savvy employees who are invested in the company while mitigating the risk of inappropriate postings.

“If you can’t beat them, leverage them,” quipped ERC President Patricia J. Harned, Ph.D., adding that active social networkers “have a really strong interest in the culture of the workplace. They are more likely to be responsive if you’re making use of social networks to address company culture and employee concerns.”

The report, National Business Ethics Survey of Social Networkers: New Risks and Opportunities at Work, is based on responses to a September 2012 online poll from 2,089 workers at U.S.-based companies. Respondents to the survey, sponsored by PwC and NAVEX Global, said they were active on at least one social networking site.  

Andrea Falcione, J.D., PwC’s managing director of risk assurance in Boston, said companies are missing a tremendous opportunity “to show that their organizations take this stuff seriously and that it’s in the blood of the organization.”

Social networkers can help business leaders, HR and ethics professionals improve workplace culture. But companies first need a policy that’s “very clear about what’s acceptable and not acceptable behavior,” Harned stressed.


Not Just Younger Workers

Perhaps not surprisingly, active social networkers (those spending 30 percent or more of their day online) air company linen in public. Six out of 10 said they’d comment on their personal sites about their company if it were in the news; 53 percent share information about work projects at least once a week; and more than a third often comment on personal sites about managers, co-workers and even clients, the study found.

But some findings may come as a surprise. Among them:

  • Almost three out of four (72 percent) social networkers spend at least some of their workday on social networking sites, and 28 percent said it’s an hour or more. One-third of the 28 percent also admit that none of the activity is work-related.
  • Social networking isn’t just for the young. Forty-seven percent of active social networkers are under 30, but 40 percent are between the ages of 30 and 44.
  • More active social networkers (those who spend 30 percent or more of their day online) are more likely to see and report misconduct (77 percent) than other U.S. workers (66 percent) and are more likely to experience retaliation when reporting it. The study did not indicate why, but Falcione said it’s something compliance and ethics professionals “should consider and continue to monitor.”


Training Is Key

Having a solid social media policy and training employees can change behaviors while improving compliance and reducing risk.

CPR (communicate, prepare and respond) is essential, according to Steve Miranda, SPHR, GPHR, managing director of Cornell University’s Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies and the Society for Human Resource Management’s former chief HR and content integration officer.

Communicate: Have a clearly documented policy. Employees need to know if it’s OK to post the company logo on Facebook or whether they’re authorized to post something online about the company’s downsizing.

Prepare: Train and educate staff. If a contractor offers tickets to a major sporting event, can you accept? Raytheon depicts such scenarios using humorous videos so that “it’s not like you’re slapping employees on the back of the wrist with a ruler and saying ‘Obey!’” Miranda explained.

Review: Use surveys or Internet/security monitoring to gauge whether the policy is working. Is inappropriate or sensitive client information being posted online? Consider highlighting examples of employees (names can be removed) who were dismissed for breaching social media protocol.

Zappos offers Twitter training during new-hire orientation and has hundreds of employees on Twitter, noted Sharlyn Lauby, SPHR, president of ITM Group Inc., a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based HR training consulting firm, and a member of SHRM’s Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility special expertise panel.

Even if a company decides not to be active on social media, employees should be trained to use the tools—especially privacy settings, she added.

“Training is an effective way to engage employees and demonstrate commitment to the ethical use of the tool,” Lauby said in an e-mail to SHRM Online.


Steps Companies Can Take

Generally, Falcione said, companies in the United Kingdom and Europe use social media to communicate compliance and ethics issues more than their U.S. counterparts.

Some organizations offer texting for employees to report actual or potential misconduct. Ultimately, the text might go to the company hotline or a third-party administrator. Others provide Web-based platforms where workers can report misconduct.

Ingrid Fredeen, vice president of NAVEX’s ethical leadership group, said companies should think broadly about social media. Setting up a “full-blown” Facebook or LinkedIn page for ethics isn’t necessary. She said companies should consider doing the following:

  • Hosting moderated intranet conversation groups. Compliance professionals can post content, questions and stories in a format that allows employees to comment.
  • Providing video podcasting to share positive stories. Organizations can invite employees and even business partners to nominate people whose behaviors and actions demonstrate high levels of integrity.
  • Creating a company blog. The blog can contain commentary about organizational values and ethical performance, like Best Buy’s featuring Chief Ethics Officer Kathleen Edmond.
  • Hosting internal webinars. Through these employees can ask senior leaders ethics compliance questions. It’s also good to have an intranet site where managers can download materials to help talk about ethics and compliance with staff, Fredeen said.
  • Using sites like Facebook and YouTube to share positive stories externally. Many large organizations regularly promote good deeds and their commitment to ethics and compliance.


How Much Is Too Much?

What about the ethics of employees using social media for personal benefit while on the company dime?

Fredeen said many organizations allow “reasonable use” of social media and have found that permitting employees some personal use of networking sites helps keep them engaged and is more realistic from a policy-enforcement perspective.

“Having a policy that bans personal use is really untenable today,” and fair and consistent enforcement is virtually impossible, Fredeen wrote in an e-mail to SHRM Online. Although the report study said monitoring can help, it’s “a thorny legal area,” and companies should get legal advice before implementing such a program, she suggested.

“Personal use of social media should not interfere with employees’ jobs nor hinder productivity,” added Falcione. “As with anything, there is a fine line, and it behooves companies to stay ahead of any negative trends.”


Pamela Babcock is a freelance writer based in the New York City area.

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