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Schedule Bulging? Managing Career and Personal Time.

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

Every day is filled with the same number of hours: 24. So why is it that some people think that magically, another two to three hours will somehow materialize?

While you can find ways to make your life more efficient—to think more quickly and to get more to-dos checked off your list in a limited amount of time—the reality is, you can only move so fast and get so much completed.

When you try to squeeze just one more thing into an already bulging schedule, the result often is that something gets lost in the shuffle, or quality of results suffer. The longer-term loss is that your reputation takes a beating and the level of trust in your word plummets.

Making the best use of your time is not easy, but it is a worthy challenge. If you’re ready to tame the time-management beast, check out these three suggestions:

1. Stop saying, “Let’s get together.” Before tweeting, Facebooking, or emailing your enthusiasm to meet up, chat, Skype, or phone another person, consider the realities. Is your schedule so jam-packed through the next six months that there is no way you would feasibly make time to meet with that other person? Then stop saying those three words, because when you fail to follow-up, your sincerity is put into question.

Instead, do this. Show you value the other person in other ways. Read and comment on their blog posts. Be thoughtful. A quick, thoughtless, “You’re a rock star,” will not suffice. Instead, identify something specific in the post that resonated, or add value, by extending the conversation.

Mail them a handwritten card, thanking them for something they did in the past year that made an impression on you. If you’re compelled, include a gift card to their favorite coffee shop. You get the drift—show you appreciate the person in a meaningful, specific way.

To read the rest of this post over at U.S. News, please visit: How To Tame The Time-Management Beast.

3 Snack-Size Twitter Tips to Bolster Your Career

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

Advice abounds on how to use social media to advance your career and job search. Beyond reading the volumes of great books, breaking down advice into manageable bites is a smart way to venture into the often-rough social networking waters. Also, choosing one site and really getting your feet wet is helpful to prevent social media overwhelm and scattershot behavior. The following are three snack-size tips to help you get started using the niche-networking site, Twitter.

Tip No. 1: Create a Twitter handle that articulates your value. This may simply mean using your name, particularly if your personal brand and unique value are highly connected to your name. So, @JaneDDoe may just be the perfect draw to brand you. However, if your brand is better exuded through a descriptive representation of what you do, whom you serve, how you serve, and so forth, then consider drawing a visual word picture. The challenge: Creating this handle to represent your brand in just a 15-character limit. But you can meet that challenge. It just takes thought and brainstorming.

Check out these eight examples of personally branded, value-focused and/or descriptive Twitter handles to get your juices flowing:

1. Showing your unique value: @WorkIntegrity (A career transition consultant with integrity)

2. Showing what you do: @bizshrink (A leadership psychologist who grows psychologically savvy leaders)

3. Describing how you help others: @AuntieStress (She undresses your stress by getting to the heart of the cause)

4. Using your name brand: @lizadonnelly (A New York-based cartoonist and writer)

5. Creating a hybrid handle: @RedBaronUSA (A turnaround management and growth strategy expert who uses a company name, RedBaron, and first name, Baron, in the handle)

6. Describing what you do while concurrently using your company name: @Brainzooming (Strategy, innovation, creativity, and social media ideas)

7. Incorporating your name brand plus credential (niche area of focus): @tracystewartcpa (A CPA PFS CFF CFP CDFA, collaborative neutral financial advisor)

8. Emphasizing your personal brand tagline: @ValueIntoWords (A certified master resume writer translating value into words. @Glassdoor career and workplace expert)

To read the rest of my U.S. News, On Careers post, please visit: 3 Bite-Size Tips for Using Twitter in a Job Search.

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Image via eldh on Flickr

Get Over Yourself When Writing Your Resume

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

It may seem counterintuitive to take the focus off of YOU when writing a value-packed resume. However, since a resume is a personal marketing document masterfully written to ignite the reader’s interest, you must focus fully on THEIR (hiring decision maker’s, owner’s, manager’s) needs and wants.

Deeply dig into their needs — not just what causes them pain (e.g., lack of market share, poor customer service record, low revenues and so forth) — but also what inspires THEM to come to work every day. What are their goals for the future of their department, division or company? Tap into their visceral drives and then wrap your story around those specific drivers.

In other words – compel them, influence them, excite them through illustrations of victories you’ve helped accomplish and how you got to the finish line. Knit together the threads of your story in a way that creates a compulsion to call you in for an interview to hear more – so you can fully convince them you can achieve the same–or similar–results for them.

My latest post at US News outlines five points to consider before revamping your resume, helping you to better understand how to connect the dots of your value for the reader and influence them to call you. To read the full story, visit: Getting Out of Your Own Way to Write a Good Resume.

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Photo: Waldo Pancake via Flickr

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