Archive | December 2012

Ghost of Christmas Future

Nan and Adam

I am privileged to have witnessed growth this year in my children and grand children. This was the first year we drew names and set a spending cap. Up until now we have succumbed to the notion that we all had to buy something for everybody.

Our older daughter suggested that instead of buying gifts for one another at all, we should all make a donation to charity. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly that idea was accepted. Moved, seconded, carried.

My husband, who was an unparalleled help this year with shopping, food preparation and cleaning, may finally have realized how much goes into hosting a gathering. Much more than the dollar signs which used to be his sole focus.  He has suggested that we should book a restaurant reservation for the entire clan from now on.

I should explain that we have been hosting on a rotational basis, our turn happening only once every three years. (We have two daughters.) It takes the pressure off and actually makes me excited about my turn.

Our younger daughter turned a thumbs down on that one. She loves to cook and next year it is her turn. We may get around to it, but for now the gatherings will be family in an intimate setting, enjoying love and peace. Without presents.

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!” Dr. Seuss

So you landed an interview…

Resume sample image

You have been pounding the pavement, networking, tapping leads, following the rules about not submitting unsolicited resumes, applying for positions by meticulously following the instructions in the job posting, and you have lined up an interview.

Don’t blow it. You can shoot yourself in the foot in the following ways:

  1. Being late.
  2. Inappropriate attire.  Remember, you want to get the job.  This is not where you express your creativity. High visibility positions DEMAND good appearance.  Dress well and be conservative for an interview even in these days of more casual dress in the work environment.  Navy is always good for an interview.
  3. Do Market Research.  Don’t appear clueless.
  4. Don’t assume your resume will get you the job.  Assume they haven’t even read it.  Sell your skills throughout the interview.
  5. Don’t assume that the best skills, education and experience will get the job.  Have the right personality and a co-operative attitude.  Top credentials are not all it takes to get hired.
  6. DON’T FAIL TO PREPARE.  This is a fatal error.Write out your answers to expected questions and rehearse them.
  7. Don’t assume the interviewer is an expert. That is a myth.  Sometimes it is to your  advantage to direct the conversation to effectively make your points.
  8. Inspire confidence.  This is no time to be humble and meek.  Express competence and confidence or he will recognize that you can’t do the job.  Eye contact, smile, enthusiasm.
  9. Demonstrate the skills.  Don’t just sit there and be quiet.  (Unless this is the silence stress test.)  Don’t be general or vague.  Be detailed but concise. You will be hired for specifics.
  10. Don’t appear desperate or stressed out, it is a turn off.
  11. Don’t mishandle supplemental questions or tests.  You may be asked to take a written test.  Don’t guess.  Think carefully and follow directions.  Proof-read.  Most errors come from nervousness and rushing.  If asked to submit to a drug test, DO SO.  Take all prescription medicines to the test with you so they can be documented.
  13. Don’t think that all references are “created equal”.  Work references are the most important, in fact they may be only acceptable ones. Co-workers are not usually trusted. Get supervisors on your list, with their permission of course. Know what your references are going to say.  Never use a boss who will say negative things.  You select your references so choose carefully.
  14. Demonstrate that you are the ideal worker.  All positions evolve, so demonstrate that you love to learn and will continue growing.
  15. Never lie on a resume or application. The truth WILL come out.  That should be elementary.  Employers do check education, previous salary, etc.
  16. Do not appear disinterested in the job. Don’t be monotone. Be friendly and ask good questions.
  17. Do, however, avoid bragging. Substantiate your claims. Bragging is a weak candidate attempting to snow the interviewer.  You must concretely demonstrate the results of everything you claim.
  18. Avoid lengthy answers.  Interviewers have short attention spans.  Keep it moving, don’t bore them.
  19. Tolerate pauses, you aren’t doing a monologue on the radio.
  20. Your major goal is not to land the job but to FIND OUT about the job.  Is this a good match?  You are investigating THEM.
  21. What to bring: extra resumes, list of references, your written questions, notebook and pen.  You may want to keep some gum in your mouth to keep your tongue from going dry BUT DO NOT CHEW IT OR LET IT SHOW.

While we are at it, do you know why you need a dynamite cover letter? Most resumes are just mentally scanned quickly. Your cover letter is a commercial that sells your attributes and must do so in thirty to sixty seconds. Don’t waste it.

Few people can do a good job of writing their own cover letter. You will cross a fine line into being too low key or arrogant. Employers are looking for confidence. Assertive not aggressive or passive. It takes an unbiased, emotionally detached, objective person to do it well.

If you are not sure your resume and cover letter are working for you get professional help.

Resume Ad


I have a sideline.

Resume Ad

I live in a manufacturing town. We have a world renowned Shakespearean Festival and a prolific artistic community, but most of this fair city works in less visible industries.

When the bottom fell out of the manufacturing sector a few years ago I began to receive requests for assistance in creating resumes and drafting effective cover letters.

We live in an age in which often nothing is on paper. Most job postings are specific. They ask you to FAX or email your resume. Responding in any other way than the method requested takes you out of the running, did you know that? It is the first test of compliance. If you cannot follow that simple instruction you are shooting yourself in the foot.

This situation makes obtaining a quality resume at an affordable price quite easy. We need never meet. We correspond via email. I send you your documents and you own them. (Save the original drafts so you don’t lose them when you tweak something for a particular position.)

I have a document on resume and interview tips that you will find valuable and it is FREE for the asking, whether or not you hire me to do your resume. Simply email me at

Let’s get started.

There are no perfect books and few writers succeed.

Most books go through a minimum of three edits.  Line edits, copy edits, continuity edits, final proofreading. At big publishing houses different editors do each stage. Fresh eyes.  And even then, if you have read any best sellers lately, you will notice things that all of those eyes missed.
Wise authors edit their own work three times before it even goes to a professional editor. Slash and burn, trim and cut, no matter how painful, and then search for inconsistencies.
It is all part of the process. I think new writers hope they can turn out a flawless product, first try, and become rich overnight. In truth, most never earn their investment back. It has ever been thus, but the advent of self-publishing has convinced many who might never have attempted it before to put something out there.
In one LinkedIn discussion recently a would-be-author asked for a way to create massive sales with little investment or work. I assume he asked the question with a straight face. When it comes to our own hopes and dreams most of us are not plugged in to reality.
I deal primarily with writers who believe in God and care about living accordingly. I do this because I do not want to read horror, eerie stuff or porn. I am often asked to pray for the success of their work. It might be wise to remember that millions of people of faith are praying to be successful authors. You don’t have to do the math to realize that most will learn lessons in disappointment.
If you are counting on your book or books to pay for your retirement please have a Plan B. I wish you well.
This entry was posted on December 14, 2012. 2 Comments

What is cultural? What is inspired? Just curious.


Leviticus 19:28

28 You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.  (

I am probably poking a hornets’ nest with a stick.

What does “for the dead” mean? Extremists have concluded that everything from pierced ears to surgery would be sin. The rigid doctrines of warring factional denominations have lead to more animosity between loving believers, more questions about whether certain portions of “the Body” are truly saved, than any unbeliever could ever unleash in the faith.

Somebody posted this on Facebook and it prompted me to check it for accuracy. I think Christianity can be forgiven for being judged as bipolar by the rest of the world.

In fact, I recently began telling people I am a follower of Jesus. He is respected by all religions, whereas the religion calling itself by His name is not. He did drink real wine, He never married. Is that the blueprint which should be imposed upon all of us though?

The problem with saying that some things in scripture reflect only the culture of the society at the time, and other things are “thus saith the Lord”, is that the scholars cannot agree on where to draw the lines. This leaves a genuine seeker with serious trust issues.

There are things that I believe are sin in God’s eyes, stated as such in what is commonly accepted by believers as His Word, and these things are more and more being accepted, endorsed by and incorporated into mainstream Christianity. It can become possible to doubt your own convictions.

The Bible does say that a man’s enemies will be those of his own household. Genetic household only, or spiritual household too?

No matter how you feel about and interpret scripture, if you are waving a placard claiming that God hates anybody (He hates sin, He loves sinners, period), how are you walking in the light of His love?

I am not Catholic but we could all learn plenty from Mother Teresa.

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
― Mother Teresa

“I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ rather he will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?”
― Mother Teresa

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
― Mother Teresa

“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”
― Mother TeresaA Simple Path: Mother Teresa

God bless you.

This entry was posted on December 3, 2012. 2 Comments

You are you. It is truer than true.

There is no-one alive who is youer than you. ~ Dr. Seuss

You are in business. You have a product line, or a service. You are an artist, be it entertainer, composer, writer, singer, painter, sculptor, designer. You are entrepreneurial, you must self-promote, self-market. In order to do that you necessarily rub elbows with others doing the same thing. They are not always in your field, in fact they rarely are, but something about cross-promotion can work in any case.

Maintain integrity at all times. Do not cross-promote a person, service or product you wouldn’t or couldn’t use. Always be aware that people in some circles, some business communities, have a natural tendency to feel that they outclass others.

If you are intuitive you will pick up on it, no matter how well concealed. That doesn’t make their talent, product or service unworthy of your promotion, or more worthy than yours, and it doesn’t mean you are actually in some lower station by virtue of being assigned to it in their opinion, humble or otherwise.

Are you still impressed or intimidated by those with whom you hob nob? Performers enjoy putting themselves out there, but other creative people are in professions requiring contemplative and tranquil environments. Social situations, especially ones in which you are required to toot your own horn, produce anxiety. Do it anyway.

I’m rooting for you.  Wendy

Further reading: