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5 Elements Of An Online Profile

People are talking about you online! A simple Google search will reveal where your name is popping up, and you might not like what you read. All self-employed individuals should engage in online brand management to influence what others are saying about them. This includes having well-crafted profiles on several platforms where you will find your target audience. Chris Kulbaba of LinkedIn Heavyweight explains it this way:

“Marketing is made up of the four “P’s”: Product, Price, Placement, and Promotion. With Social Media, you get the four P’s leveraged for free, as well you get the two “T’s”: trust and transparency. So, in the new world of business, 4P’s + 2T’s = customers buying your product!”

The first step to establishing an online presence is formulating a winning profile that will be consistent on all platforms. This includes the following… Read More

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Seasonal Self-Employment

Seasonal Self Employment

© Sam Szapucki

The holiday season is approaching and with it comes the spirit of giving, often disguised as that incredible urge to buy things for those we love, even if we can’t afford it. Many people blow their budget and feel the pain of their overspending when the credit card bills arrive in January; however, seasonal self-employment could be the answer. This is when you provide a service or product temporarily for the holiday season to help you bring in a certain amount of money. Although it’s a great way to bring in some extra cash to keep the holidays affordable and the bank account healthy, what opportunities are really our there?

Tap into your hidden skills, some self-employment ideas are:

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Are Social Buying Coupons Worth it for Small Businesses?

Social Buying CouponsSocial buying coupons have got consumers in a shopping frenzy this Christmas.  Companies offer amazing discounts through social buying sites for their goods or services if a certain number of coupons or deals are purchased.  At first glance social buying coupons seem like an effective way for local customers to get a great discount on gift certificates and products, and get their Christmas shopping done on budget this year.  It also seems like a great way for small businesses to increase their sales.  But do social buying coupons do what is intended?  Sure the steep discounts attract a large numbers of new patrons initially, but do they create repeat and loyal customers?  Read more…

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6 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Working For Free

What should you do if someone requests your services for free? I recently followed a heated debate in the Resume Writers and Career Coaches LinkedIn group, where a majority of the 30 respondents thought it depended on the person asking. What I’ve surmised from this discussion is that it’s best to set a policy about free services early on to spare yourself some strained relationships.

There are two things to consider here: discounts and pro-bono work. A flat discount for friends and family is one way small businesses address the issue. If you are unsure about this, then use a decision-making framework to evaluate the risks and benefits of accepting or not accepting pro-bono work on a case-by-case basis. Ask yourself the following questions.  Read More…

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8 Time-Management Tips For Working From Home

© Andrew Finegan

Working from home can feel like a juggling act at the best of times. It’s not easy to balance the kids, dishes, and laundry with a never-ending stream of emails, conference calls, and project assignments. How do people who work from home do it? After four years working from home myself, I can say with certainty that it is a dynamic juggling act that changes all the time.

One of the first things I had to learn was time-management skills. Making a to do list everyday just didn’t cut it. I found I would work like crazy and still have a number of things left on the list, leaving me feeling incredibly frustrated. I have since learned that every part of my day needs to be purposeful and I need to work smarter, not harder. Here are some time management tips to consider if you’re currently working or planning to work from home. Read More…

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Top 4 Benefits of Webinars

I know it has been awhile since my last blog post. I find I get so busy with the details of life that I am a blogcrastinator! I have good reason too. I have fallen in love with webinars, a.k.a teleseminars. I have done nine of them in the last three months. I excitedly login at weird times from the comfort of my kitchen computer and then call in on the conference call line for clear audio.

1. Learn New Things: I have learned about finding the right career, becoming a better writer, blogging and vlogging with CareerJoy.com’s Alan Kearn. I have learned about starting a business and renaissance personalities with Careerealism.com’s JT Odonnell and how to beat writer’s block with Meggin.com’s Meggin McIntosh. As I look at my giant calendar on the fridge I count four more scheduled this month.

2. They’re Free: Did I mention they were all free? I have not had to pay a cent for any of this valuable learning. I have been so impressed with the value that I am considering some of the paid webinars in the future. Each session I have learned more than one thing to make my life easier. I found out about them through Twitter and my LinkedIn groups. Sign-up was easy too. I was a bit nervous the first time but I found a great resource that explains webinars for newbies at Emphasis on Excellence.

3. They’re Convenient: Being a mother of three, there are always kids competing for my attention while they run around my house. I find webinars fit conveniently into my life. I can be a stay-at-home mom and continue learning from the comfort of my home. I can participate during nap/quiet time or any time that is convenient for me. Many of them are recorded, so even if the time doesn’t work out for me I can confirm my attendance and the recording will be sent to me after the event. At night I find myself listening to webinars instead of watching TV! Webinars often come with a slide presentations or handouts that emphasize the webinars message. Sometimes the presenter goes a bit fast so I do a quick screen capture so I can revisit the slide later.

4. They’re Interactive: Webinars are not all listening. There are some that allow you to verbally ask questions. Others allow you to interact with the presenters through a chat box. Even on webinars that have hundreds of attendees my personal questions have been addressed. I dare not un-mute myself for the obnoxious noise of my bustling home but the chat box allows me the interaction I desire. I always follow-up with a public thanks and connecting through LinkedIn and/or Twitter. This is just to acknowledge that I value their time and contribution. I have also signed up for valuable resources through the individual presenter’s websites.

Whether you are a professional or a stay-at-home mom (or both – like me), webinars are a great way to learn something new. They’re also a great way to beef up your resume if you are trying to break into a new career or are trying to excel in a current one. I am always up for taking new webinars. Do you know of any great webinars coming up?

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Using the Phone in Your Job Search

Your phone is something you use everyday. Phone calls have many purposes: saying “Hi” to friends, ordering pizza, getting calls from creditors and getting you a job!  Employers use the phone to screen applicants and set up interviews.  Have you ever thought that you could use your phone to call employers? Just like your computer, the internet, newspapers or email, your phone is a useful job search tool. You could call an employer to:

  • inquire about job opportunities
  • find out when is the best time to drop off a resume
  • set up an interview
  • follow-up on the status of your resume or interview results.

The idea of calling an employer may scare you, but there are a few things you can do to make picking up the phone easier:

  • prepare a script of questions and answers that may take place in your phone call
  • practice your script with someone
  • get on the phone and start making calls.

A phone call starts with a simple greeting and introduction of yourself.  Follow that with stating the purpose of your call and the question you would like to ask.  Then thank the person by name.  Like any task, talking on the phone with employers gets easier with practice.  A sample script may sound something like this:

“Hello.  My name is ____________.  I have experience as a ______________ and I am currently interested in a position as a ______________ with your company. When would be the best time to drop off my resume?  Thank-you so much for your time.”

The next time you pick up the phone, consider calling a potential employer. With a little practice you will be ready to handle every call.

This article was originally written for the BC Workinfonet Youth Site, posted on May 1, 2009.  It is reposted here with permission.