For the sake of posting this quickly, I will not be adding fancy pictures to these important tips. For a more in-depth approach on how to get the job you want, please read “48 Days to the Work You Love” by Dan Miller (tips were taken almost verbatim from his incredible book) and “How to Land a Top-Paying Federal Job” by Lily Whiteman.
Special Note: You first need to change your mindset about finding a job! Seventy percent of open and available positions are not even posted on the internet. If you are using the internet as your sole means of finding a job, you are truly missing out on so many good-paying opportunities!
Make a list of 35-50 businesses you’d like to work for. These businesses should be small businesses (100 employees are less).
In addition, make list of at least 3-5 fields you’d like to work in or one in which you would like to create a business (i.e., Healthcare, Education, Legal, etc.).
Write a “Letter of Interest” to each company that you have identified. A letter of interest is totally different from a cover letter. It is a 30 second commercial about yourself. Your name should be in big letters (16-18 pt font). You send this in the mail. SNAIL MAIL (Not email– fax it if you have to, but do NOT email this letter). Here is an actual letter that I sent to the hair care tools company “FAROUK” (names have been changed)
123 Sesame St.
New York, NY 12345
Muhammad Khan – Research and Development Chemist
Farouk Independent Laboratories
3459 W. 5th Ave.
New York, New York 11009
April 18, 2012
Dear Mr. Khan,
After 3 years of working in the medical field, I am interested in pursuing my passion of working in the cosmetology industry. I have a prior background in sales and one of my favorite hobbies is learning about science of hair care! A list of career titles I will be pursuing in the industry are:
• Research and Development Assistant
• Sales Coordinator
• Distribution Coordinator
• Retail Store Logistics Assistant
In the next few days I will be sending you my cover letter and my resume, which will explain my qualifications and experience.
“How the heck am I going to find out who to write my letter of interest?”
EASY! Go to Manta.com or any other business database website for free information on a company. With Manta, you can get the name, address, telephone number and the name CEO/COO of a company, or whomever is making the hiring decision. You do not send the letter of interest to someone in HR– you write it to the person who can make a hiring decision (i.e., a boss).
If that info isn’t on Manta.com, call the company. Don’t leave a message because you’re just calling for a name. Ask to be transferred directly to their voicemail so that you can get a name. All you need is a NAME…
Send a cover letter and resume. Of course you can find out on my blog how to write a resume specific to the needs of an employer, but the cover letter is important too.
A.) All letters sent to companies need to be on resume paper, not the flimsy regular printer paper. Use a good printer too.
B.) Your resume does not need an objective if you are following these steps, however, you can list your proposed job title after your name (i.e., Aceey Emme, Human Resources Trainer and Generalist). Make sure your name is the biggest thing on both your resume and cover letter (16-18 pt font size).
C.) In the closing of your cover letter, you need to mention that YOU will be contacting the receiver by telephone! Do NOT wait on them to contact you (they won’t, they’re busy). YOU need to be in control. Example:
“I will be contacting you on August 7, 2013, between the hours of 9:00 am and 1:00 pm. Please expect my call. Thank you for your time and consideration.”
You have do to do what you said you would do… call the Boss at the certain date and time you said that you’d call him. You’ll need to get your script together…
1.) When you are calling to schedule a meeting with the boss, do not use the following words: interview, job, employment, unemployment. These words scare bosses (you can check my blog to find out how much we hate interviews). You want to establish rapport with the boss to schedule an informal meeting (it’s an interview to YOU, but a meeting/tour to THEM).
2.) Seal it by saying “What day this week can we talk about opportunities in your office?” YOU are in control. YOU are letting them know you mean BUSINESS. After all, YOU found THEM, not the other way around. Plus, you are creating a sense of urgency. Don’t say “Can I interview? Do you have any job openings available?” This way, you are bypassing HR. That is the key, bypassing HR so that they can MAKE a position for you– not the other way around.
3). If they mention that they are unable to meet with you, simply say, “Oh no worries, you have my resume and cover letter explaining my experience , so when something arises, you know how to reach me. Thank you for your time.” Hang up and get back on the phone with the next one. You don’t have time to boo-hoo over someone’s “No.” YOU have 35-50 other companies to call and you can’t waste time!
Random things to ask or say during the interview/meeting.
1.) This meeting should be very relaxed. You and the boss probably won’t even be talking about work. For example: I had one meeting where all me and the boss talked about was Tampa, Fl. The point is to find something in common with the boss and RUN WITH IT! They should love you!
2.) Of course, take notes in the interview and have questions prepared. Example: at the end of the interview/meeting you may want to ask, “Based on the information that we talked about today, do you believe that I am the best person for this position?” Ask questions that show you’ve researched the company and want to make them profitable.
3.) Dress as if it is an interview, even though it is just a tour/informal meeting. Dress like you are their boss.
They should love you so much that they will not want you to leave. They are going to mention “Wow, I like you so much, I don’t know if I can afford you!” <— that’s exactly what you want to hear… that’s when you start negotiating the position and salary that they are going to TAILOR-MAKE for you. You should already know how much you are worth.
They are going to call their HR department and tell the department to make a position just for you. Most HR companies are required by law to make a posting online so even though you have been promised the job, they will ask you to fill out the app so they won’t get sued.
That’s how it works. With the 35-50 companies that you have reached out to, you should have 4-6 job offers. Last time it happened to me, I just picked the one that paid me the most!
Good luck to you! Jer 29:11
This is my six year anniversary of resume writing, and I just completed my first year as doing it as a job and side gig. I make occasional posts on social media of my victories, which prompts family and friends to ask me to help with their resumes. At first, I helped for free with no issue but then…
Life got in the way!
I almost wore myself out! I had to begin to charge a fee for the service, even to my family and friends—sometimes actually having to decline to provide my services due to the amount of people that would request help. True colors came out and I got hate-mail for charging a fee. So I will explain in great detail why there is a cost for service.
1. I can’t give you quality service for free!
Resume writing and career coaching takes time, effort, and a lot of work on my end. Look at all the stuff that goes into providing a quality resume and job search coaching session:
1. I interview clients on what they want in a position, whether it is a new position, a promotion in a current industry, or if the client is using transferable skills to switch industries.
2. I edit resumes & cover letters, check for grammar, spelling, subject/verb agreement errors (and you would be surprised what ”Spell-Check” does not pick up. ).
3. I teach how to find positions without the use of internet job openings (keep in mind that over 70% of open positions are NOT posted online).
4. I speak with people daily on how important interview attire is; I discuss the importance of confidence, questions that the interviewer will ask and questions to ask the interviewer.
5. I teach follow-up tips: thank you letters, how to contact employers and how to record the job search to document all progress.
To give people, for free, the complete package so that they don’t come back running every time they need a new job for free is a disservice to myself, as there is so much energy that goes into getting you the results you want. It’s not just about making a resume pretty (although, I do that too, for a nominal fee).
I work a full time job doing all those things listed, plus I do career coaching on the side. It sometimes takes up to 19 hours of my day. So, time = money!
2. I do not want you to have sub-par quality work or to not have the work done at all.
For example: Sally wants me to do resume, However, I have 4 resumes to edit at work, 3 resumes with my side gig (and they are actually paying me), plus personal things to do (yes, in the midst of saving the world, I do have a personal life). Guess what gets put on the backburner? Yep, Sally’s resume.
3. Resume writing and career coaching takes time, effort and a lot of work on YOUR end.
Looking for a job or trying to switch careers is a full-time job! Not only do job seekers have to scour the internet for job postings, but since 70-80% of all open positions are not even posted online, much of the leg-work involves searching for companies in certain industries. I would say that more than 90% of job seekers that I meet do not even do this step due to not knowing that they can apply for unlisted positions or opt out of this step just out of laziness.
Since it’s important to have a different resume for each job you apply for, making them takes a lot of time! Someone who strategically applies for positions by changing their resume to meet the needs of the employer has a better shot at a job than someone who aimlessly applies for 60 positions online by using the same resume with no cover letter. You have to put in work and
your time = money too.
4. A job search in itself is an investment!
Look at all the stuff you have to buy to have an effective, successful job search:
- Resume paper
- Interview attire (outfits, shoes)
- Faxing fees
- Postal mail fees (stamps, envelopes)
- Transportation fees (gas, public transportation fees, taxicab fare)
- A portfolio to hold all your documents
- Books and publications that teach how to search for positions successfully.
If you are a job seeker not making an investment to purchase the bare minimum to have a great job search you won’t get the job of your dreams!
5. You won’t put in effort when you don’t put value to it!
Do people read free books? Most of the time, NO. It sits on the shelf, especially if it is a book in which they are not interested.
At one time, I did request to view resumes for free… What would happen? Sometimes I wouldn’t get the resume at all when I asked for them. It would almost be like pulling teeth for the person to send back the resume corrections or to let me know if they made their list of 35-50 companies to research and make attempts to contact them.
It’s so much easier to teach people how to find jobs on their own than to have them come to me every time they want a new job. It’s like the “teach a man to fish” proverb.
So there you have it! Quality work = quality time = quality money. If you read this post carefully, you’d know how to save money by reading my tips and great books on how to find jobs (actually reading this post teaches exactly how to revamp a successful job search plan).
Habakkuk 2:2- “And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.”
Thanks to a Negotiation class taken in college and the book, “How to Land a Top-Paying Federal Job,” I am automatically programmed to attempt to negotiate salary for every position offered to me. After receiving a job order, I go on auto-pilot and immediately go into salary negotiation-mode. Last year, I received an employment offer from a well-known company with full benefits and a competitive salary. Regardless of the offer, I still attempted to negotiate salary with the recruiter—however, this time, it nearly backfired on me. Check out this telephone conversation about my Russian Roulette game.
Recruiter: Congratulations! You have been hired by our company. We offer full benefits and your salary will be $X per year.
Aceey: Thank you! I am excited about this new position, however, is the current salary negotiable?
Recruiter: Well, I would need to speak with Corporate and your manager to determine that. Let me give you a call back.
Recruiter: Aceey, I spoke with Corporate and they gave me a mouthful. You have three choices:
1. You can choose to keep your current salary offered. This amount is guaranteed if you do not attempt the negotiation process.
2. You may choose to begin a negotiation process and there could be two outcomes:
a.) You may be awarded the salary amount requested.
b.)You will not be awarded the salary amount requested, AND the job offer will be forfeited.
TIMEOUT! At this moment I had already received one other offer from another company and was awaiting an offer from a 3rd company. You need to have 3-5 simultaneous offers from companies so that you can pick which one is best for you (salary, culture, location, etc.,).
Another reason why you want so many job offers at one time is when you run into situations like the one above! Always negotiate salary. If they recant the job offer, NO WORRIES!
I chose to not negotiate this time, not because I was scared, but because I planned on negotiating salary for another position. Plus I knew my other offers would guarantee a higher salary. I gave this company a break (something that I actually do not recommend but I was tired that day, lol)….
Aceey: Thank you. I am choosing to recant my request for salary negotiation and will accept the salary amount previously provided.
A couple of days later, the third company gave me an offer that I couldn’t refuse. What happened after I recanted my offer for the particular position above is a WHOLE DIFFERENT STORY!
This ends the Salary Negotiation Series! Read books on salary negotiation and talk with recruiters and employers in your chosen fields! It will advance not only increase your pay, but may also enhance your career! Be blessed!
We interrupt this “Salary Negotiation Series” to bring to you a special announcement…
Silk Dreams Hair Care is having a Valentine’s Day Sale!!!! Yes!!!!!!!!!! Yes!!!!
Use the coupon code: “ THANKSACEEY ” to take 20% off your entire purchase from Silk Dreams Hair Care on February 14, 2013 only! (No quotations, no spaces, in Caps Lock).
For those that don’t know about this amazing product line, I use Silk Dreams exclusively on my hair to maintain its health, shine, and manageability. I can go months without a relaxer with these products. You can check for my hair regimen by going here: Aceey’s Hair Regimen. I absolutely love the way my hair looks and feels after using the line. Treat yourself to dreaming in silk! All hair types can use this line! Whether you are natural, color-treated, permed, relaxed, or just want to indulge your hair in spa treatments from the best online hair care boutique ever. This is also a great line for people who are transitioning from relaxed/permed hair to natural hair.
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- Cafe au Lait
- Pecan Pie
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You can see my posts on LongHairCareForum.com reviewing many of the Silk Dreams Product line by clicking here.
I am very excited that Silk Dreams Hair Care has chosen my blog to help share their amazing hair care line! So MARK YOUR CALENDARS for February 14, 2013 for this sale!
Enjoy this wonderful line… I know I do!
Aceey Emme (Angelicus)
I will never forget a guest speaker at a Management Honor Society Meeting I attended during college. She started off as a lowly receptionist that eventually became a manager and made more money because of one thing:
She changed her dress!
“Things started changing when I started getting my clothes dry-cleaned. There was one specific professional blouse that I liked to wear when I knew upper management would have their meetings. Eventually I was asked to sit in those meetings. I really don’t think they would have let me take part in these meetings if I didn’t dress the part. Soon, I was asked to not only take a part in them, but to start running the meetings, then I became a boss!”
Are you at your job, making the same amount of money you were making last year? The reason may be because you’re dressing the same way you were dressing when you were first hired! Let’s face it, the coined phrase “appearance is reality” will not go away, regardless if you are the best person for the promotion or salary increase! So before you create your performance appraisal you want to make sure you are dressing as if you already have the raise! Let’s get started!
Scenario #1: The Telemarketing/Customer Service Employee
You’re on the phone all day with little physical contact with customers so there is a chance that your company may allow you to wear anything you want. You will see your co-workers coming to work with their pajamas, piercings, jeans, unpressed clothes and unkept hair. But if you want that promotion, you want to dress like you are the boss… Business casual! Why? Because:
1. You will have better posture when you are wearing nice clothes – I feel proud, professional, and in charge when I wear my business casual attire while the drones are wearing t-shirts and baggy jeans. I sit up with my chest out, shoulders back, and a smile!
2. Upper management will pay attention to you – your manager will notice that you are dressing like a manager and they will want to monitor you more often to find out if you meet the requirements for a promotion.
3. You will be invited to more decision-making meetings – or if you are in group meetings, you will look like the ace-beaucoup, next in line to be the boss.
4. At a group meeting, your ensemble is not complete unless you have a notebook – that includes bringing a notebook and being engaged in the meeting, regardless of how boring or short is. You will look so nice that they may ask you to be in upper-level management meetings instead of meetings with the other drones.
5. Your co-workers will begin to talk to you differently – Instead of your colleagues saying to you, “gimme some paper,” they will ask you, “Could I have some paper, please?”
Side note: If you are a woman: Wear make-up, if you’re not wearing any now. It’s been proven that make-up shows that you mean business! You don’t need to look like you are on the cover of Vanity Fair, but arching your eyebrows, wearing eye make-up paired with your favorite lip color MAKES THE DIFFERENCE!
Scenario #2- The fast food/retail employee – or Anybody Wearing a Uniform
Yes, even people at McDonald’s can get a raise! Dressing the part is a key in getting that raise and having people treat you more seriously at work! But how in the world can you set yourself apart if you have to wear a uniform like everybody else?
- Wear clothes that fit properly – Wearing clothes that fit properly give the illusion that you have either lost weight or not afraid to bend over backwards to help. Plus, it’s just more comfortable to wear clothes that fit!
- Press your clothes! – Even if you wear scrubs—even if you wear permanent press clothes, always look put-together. If that means waking up 30 minutes earlier, do it! The compliments that you get will build your confidence. Even if you work at a fast food restaurant, press everything! Have a crease in your pants, wear a belt, shine your shoes and try not to wear sneakers. If you wear black pants, wear black socks. Side note: Black Pants ≠ White socks. Just…say… no!
- If you wear a polo-style shirt – Tuck in your shirt and wear a belt. Again, this helps with posture and creating a gives that “appearance vs. reality” look!
- Wear leather shoes or good walking shoes instead of sneakers. If you must wear sneakers, be sure they are professional-looking as possible. The cow is dead anyway– you might as well wear it.
Watch how differently customers will treat you when you look like the manager. They’ll talk to you better, they’ll think you are the boss. Your boss will see your posture and immediately say “Hey, that looks like my next assistant manager, or team lead!”
Giving the appearance that you deserve that raise sets you up for appraisal meetings resulting in a higher salary. Invest in yourself and watch your pockets get bigger! Part 3 of the Salary Negotiation Series will give personal examples of how I negotiated salary or earned a salary increase at previous positions. Good luck, and make that money!
I get a ton of questions about salary—and with good reason too: the gender/income gap employee, the new graduate/entry level employee, and the seasoned-in-the-field candidate all want to know when and how they can make more money! Can you negotiate if you are in either situation? The answer is always yes!
In all three scenarios, most of the time, the reason that these three candidates did not get a higher salary is answered in the best-selling book of all time:
James 4:2 “…ye have not, because ye ask not.”
Yep! Your salary isn’t higher because you didn’t ask for it to be higher. Eight times out of ten, a newly hired employee will not attempt to negotiate salary because:
- They don’t know they have the opportunity to negotiate
- They are afraid that the offer will be recanted if they ask for more money
- They’re so eager or desperate to work that they will take any offer given to them.
I rarely hear women negotiating salary, yet they wonder why the salary/gender gap is so high. Ladies, pardon mon francais, mais, we are going to have to man up, LOL! I rarely see black men negotiate too. Well… look no further because I am here to save the day and I don’t need a Lincoln Hat!
Your best bet is to work on your salary negotiation tips before you are offered the position so if the opportunity to negotiate arises, you will be ready!
Q: When do you negotiate salary? Do I talk about salary during the interview?
A: You discuss salary negotiations after you are given an offer. Do not discuss money with your interviewer or recruiter until you are given an offer. By the time you are in that interview chair or in your phone interview, you should already know the possible salary range you should be given.
Always negotiate salary. Always negotiate salary. Always negotiate salary. Can’t stress that enough!
Q: What if they bring up salary during the interview, even if I don’t bring it up? What should I do?
A: If you’re in that interview chair, your research on how much you may be making should already be done. Check www.salary.com or www.glassdoor.com for all the salary range information you need. During your initial interview with your recruiter/prospective employer, it’s best that you not give a number at this time… because you haven’t been given an offer. Go ahead and use the Socratic Questioning method:
-“Are you providing an offer for the position since you are considering a salary for me?”
-“I am also eager to begin working also, but does this mean you are offering me the position?”
Yep! Put them in the hot seat! This shows that you don’t care about the money—what you care about is being hired and making the company money!
So let’s make a scenario. You get a phone call from one of the many jobs for which you interviewed and you are given an offer of $X per year. What’s next?
You Have to Negotiate Rather Than Demand!
Table 14-1 Negotiate Rather Than Demand!
|Ultimatum or Demand (Don’t do!)||Negotiating Questions (Just do it!)|
|Thanks for your offer, but I need a much higher salary and reimbursement for my moving expenses to take the job.||I am so excited about the possibility of contributing my skills to this organization. But is there any flexibility or wiggle room in your salary offer and could your office help cover my moving expenses?|
|I appreciate your offer. But I’m afraid that compensation might be a deal-breaker.||I’m excited about this job. I’d like to work out an agreement that would make both of us feel great. Would it be possible for you to raise your salary offer? I think I deserve consideration on this because…|
Table Excerpt from the book, How to Land a Top-paying Federal Job
And you better come correct with the reasons why you deserve a higher salary too!
Another rule, don’t give your recruiter just one salary number. Give the recruiter a salary range. Remember, you are negotiating, not demanding! Check out this dialogue for a great example on negotiating:
Interviewer: We would like to congratulate you on getting the position! Your salary is going to be $X K a year.
You: That is excellent news! Thank you so much for offering me this position! But is there any flexibility or wiggle room in your salary offer? *pause!*
Interviewer: What salary were you thinking about getting?
You: Based on my ___________ *give them 2 or 3 reasons why you are the best candidate, not the reasons why you deserve or demand a salary increase* I believe a salary range of $X+Y to $X + (Y+ 3) is sufficient.
Now prepare for the answer… most of the time, the recruiter is not in charge of your salary, especially if the position is for a large company. They may have to contact their manager or someone in corporate to find out if you are approved for a salary increase; also they may need to check their budget to find out if they can afford you (because you’re so awesome, professional, and amazing)!
Remember that salary range that you gave them? If you gave them the salary range of $X + Y to $X + (Y+3), chances are the company is going to be cheap and give you the lowest number in your range. Look at my FUN equation, hee hee:
X = Original salary offer
X < X+Y
BOOM! Even though you didn’t get the top number in your requested salary range, you just made more money than your future colleagues. But wait… there’s more! Look at all this other stuff you can negotiate!
|Benefits That May Be Negotiable|
Student Loan Repayment
Relocation Bonus and or moving expenses, if you are moving to take the job
Accelerated vacation accrual rate
Alternative work schedule or telecommuting options
Tuition reimbursement, if you want to take job-related courses or earn another degree
Parking, if you drive to work
Access to childcare facilities
Date of your first review
Table Excerpt from the book How to Land a Top-paying Federal Job
For example: wouldn’t it be nice to have a fun 2 WEEK paid vacation? Or 12 weeks maternity leave? Ahhhhhh…
As you can see, my favorite book on this subject is Lily Whiteman’s How to Land a Top-paying Federal Job. Please read that book for the best tips on salary negotiation!
Part 2 of my Salary Negotiation Series is going to cover my personal tactics and examples of how I negotiated salary—some of which are… awkward, embarrassing, downright unconventional, but they worked. Part 3 of the Salary Negotiation Series will discuss how to get a promotion at your current job—a must-read for everyone! STAY TUNED!
1. I have been helping people find employment and (make more money) for over 5 years. I’m professionally trained in career coaching, resume writing, and personal development. I actually do this for a living,
2. I have been successful in negotiating my own salary and promotions for over 6 years.
3. I like grapes. Grapes are fun.
So it’s been a very long time since my last post and I would like to apologize! I must tell you though, I have not been sitting on my bum doing nothing! Here’s the scoop on what’s been going on these past few months!
I was in a lawsuit! Not pretty! So happy that it is finally over because it took so much of my time (and money).
I dislocated my jaw! I had no idea that was even possible. I have been recovering from this since July and sometimes it still hurts to open my mouth wide. As a singer, this is a horrid punishment.
I moved to a new studio loft, which I LOVE and adore! I’ve also been acting like a tourist in my hometown, just taking walks and enjoying life…
I’ve been working on getting my hair longer. I started wearing wigs and weaves to change up my style a little!
I went to Japan for my 30th birthday! AMAZING! This was my second time visiting my brother and I had so much fun that I didn’t want to leave. I CRIED at the airport because of the incredible times we shared!
I’ve been actively working on my professional career as a career coach. I’ve been at it for over five years but there are so many new things to learn. I will be introducing more tips– new and old– in my next posts.
I’ve been cooking… DUH! Everyone knows how much I love to cook and here are just 2 pics that you have been missing out on.
So stay tuned for more yapping and fun times! I assure you that I won’t leave you hanging again!
Aceey Emme (Pronounced “A. C. M.”)
If you are experiencing dry hair that keeps breaking, this may be the post for you. I apply random treatments to my hair depending on how it feels or how I want it to look. Here are my tips and treatments, regardless of if you are natural, relaxed, or color-treated, you may benefit from these inexpensive tips!
I always pre-treat my hair before shampooing twice a week for about an hour. After applying the treatment, I like to put on a shower cap, followed by a hot, wet turban– creating a steam treatment.
Clarifying Shampoo is usually very harsh so combat it by doing either one of the following before washing:
Bentonite Clay Mask – Clarifying, Cleansing, Purifying
A few tablespoons of Bentonite Clay and water mixed together into a mud-like consistency is applied to my hair and scalp for a great detox.
Hot Oil Treatment – Moisturizing, Soothing, Relaxing
Here are my favorite oils:
Extra virgin olive oil
Silk Dreams Nourish Oil
Silk Dreams PRE
Mayonnaise Treatment – Strengthening, Moisturizing, Softening
A fourth of a cup to a 1/2 cup of mayonnaise is applied to my hair before shampooing.
Scalp Scrub – Detoxifying, Soothing, Cleansing
Coarse sea salt mixed with 2 drops of peppermint essential oil and enough olive oil to make a paste is massaged into the scalp for about 10-15 minutes.
Fattening Treatment – Moisturizing and Softening
Mash one overripe avocado, then beat until it is smooth. Apply to hair and let sit for one hour.
Regular Conditioner Treatment
Favorite conditioner is applied to dry hair before steam treatment.
Washing and Conditioning in Sections
I learned this method from http://www.growafrohairlong.com . I keep my hair sectioned in six parts while washing and conditioning in my hair, especially when I know I am going to be roller setting my hair. It’s a This shortens the roller setting time dramatically– and makes it easier.
Using a Wide-toothed Shower Comb
I always use a shower comb to detangle my hair while I am rinsing conditioner out of my hair. The brand I currently use is the Conair shower comb. It’s a very inexpensive product (less than
$2.00) but it’s invaluable– don’t know what I would do without it.
Caffeine Rinse (Tea and Coffee)
Caffeine rinses dramatically reduce shedding due to the tannins in the mixtures. Just brew 1-2 cups of coffee or tea and pour over your hair and scalp after rinsing out your conditioner. This rinse serves as your leave-in conditioner. Your hair may feel a little weird while setting your hair, however, that feeling dissipates when the hair dries. You will see a DRAMATIC reduction in shedding. Since the pH of caffiene rinses are quite low (4-6) it closes the cuticle of the hair, leaving it shiny and detangled.
Roller Setting Hair Upwards
Most people roller set downward, towards the nape. I have found that rolling the hair on the roller and rolling upwards straightens new growth. Also, my hair dries faster when I roll
this way! Look at my results:
Try these tips and write me back to let me know how they are working for you! I am looking forward to some great responses!
Aceey’s preface: Want to finally know why 1 out of 10 posts I make on Facebook has to do with Russia? This was originally meant to be a complete blog post about my fascination with Russian culture and history from childhood to adulthood. Unfortunately, the original post was somehow deleted. Also the drafts of the work were mysteriously deleted from my computer and in my email. I don’t want to call it a conspiracy so I am slowly rewriting them. *Looks at my own skin color* Wait, I’m black. Why in the world has Russian culture invaded my life? Find out in this series!
My first brush with Russian culture came to me on Christmas Day at age four. My mother bought me a record player complete with “See-and-Say” style books and their respective recordings. There were also several music recordings. The one that I listened to over and over again was “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” by Tchaikovsky. The sound of the chimes and another instrument that I didn’t know the name of intrigued me—I became addicted to the song. I didn’t know at the time that the other instrument played in that song was the celesta. Was it a coincidence that my middle name is Celeste?
One year later, my kindergarten class took a field trip to see a ballet called The Nutcracker. I began to hear that familiar celesta again. My eyes grew big and my heart melted to hear my favorite song again, and the dancing to it… there’s a dance to it? I wasn’t a dancer but whenever I heard that song, I pretended that I could.
Was it a coincidence that one of my favorite actors of all time was Yul Brynner? And it had nothing to do with “The Ten Commandments” either! When I was little, my mother and I would watch Cinema 12 together (WYES Channel 12 – New Orleans) when they would show silver screen and movies in Technicolor at 11:00 am and 11:00 pm. My favorite one to watch by age 9 (that I still watch) was Anastasia, featuring Brynner. He made me fall in love with him over and over—supreme acting, the perfect body, the showcasing of his skills on the guitar and ukulele. At the time, I had no idea he was Russian—I just thought he was good at playing Russian people.
The movie about the ill-fated faux grand dutchess sparked my desire to learn about the political climate of pre-revolutionary Russia. I read books and searched pictures of what it was like to be a Romanov. I was enchanted in imperialism, but not the common people, unfortunately.
Reading Rainbow, a television show hosted by Levar Burton, had an episode on the Shavuot (Passover). A little old lady of Russian descent was teaching how to make challah bread, latkes (potato pancakes), and matzo ball soup. Who knew that I would be making delicious challah bread for loved ones years to come!
I couldn’t run away from Russian music for some reason. While still in elementary school, my brother had a cassette tape of classical music and I learned of Stravinsky—I couldn’t really pick a favorite between Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. They were two different styles in two different periods. Listening to their waltzes made me appreciate anything in 6/8 and 12/8 time signature, though. In general, I loved the use of several minor chords in the beginning, followed by a bridge in a major key, and going back to a minor key. By age 10, I was already reading music with two years under my belt, learning music theory, and understanding how composers could make a statement without saying a word:
For example, Tchaikovsky boasted the retreat of France at the Battle of Borodino in The Overture of 1812 (click to listen) by adding pieces of the French National Anthem, La Marseillaise, in major and minor keys. What a genius way to say “Nanny-Nannie Boo-Boo” to the enemy! I laugh every time I heard this song when I was little… I still laugh today (This actually, shouldn’t be funny, as I am from New Orleans, a French colony. Or maybe I should continue to laugh, as France was always trying to dominate somebody. Shoot, finally the underdog got to hold down the fort, hahaha! ;-) Whose side am I on anyway?).
The song would eventually haunt me after the movie, V for Vendetta, was released.
One day, Momma brought home a VHS cassette of a movie called “No Way Out.” In it, Kevin Costner plays a hero and at the end there was a shocking twist—he turned out to be a Russian Sleeper Agent! I became a Russian fortune’s fool again.
All of this happened to me before the age of 12. The spiral down the rabbit hole became deeper as I got older…
To Be Continued…
Parts 2 and 3 coming soon!
After sending in those awesome resumes that you learned how to make by visiting my first blog post on getting the job interview, it’s time to start preparing for your interviews, regardless if you have an interview scheduled or not. Before they call you for your interview (and they will call, because you are fabulous), I wanted to provide some tips that are often overlooked by most job-hunting assistance websites. These are honest, straight-forward tips to put you in the point-of-view of the interviewer.
When an interviewer calls to set up and interview with you there are a couple of assertive things that you should do so that you are not being set up for failure.
Appointment Time and Date
Refrain from appointment dates on Mondays and Fridays and afternoon appointment times . Why? Because, on Monday, interviewers are groggy and swamped with work that accumulated over the past week. They were probably having a blast on Saturday and Sunday, and probably aren’t thinking coherently (think about how you are on a Monday, BAM). They want the interview to be done– over with—so that they can actually do whatever it is that they do when they are not interviewing you. Also, I don’t recommend setting an appointment on a Friday. On Fridays, we all have that nonchalant “Whateverrr” attitude. On a Friday, the interviewer is not listening to you—they are thinking what they have to do after they leave from interviewing you—like going to the ATM and picking up the kids from school. They just got paid and want to go shopping!
The best appointment days are Tuesdays through Thursdays. The interviewer is most focused on those days. That way they can pay more attention to you so that you can make your awesome impression on the company.
The time chosen for your interview is equally important. I strongly suggest agreeing to a morning interview. Why? Because of something we call “The Itis!”
“The Itis (pronounced “eye-tiss“) is something that is rarely talked about in the business world and I am unsure why, because it affects everything that we do after lunchtime. What’s “The Itis?” It’s that feeling you get after eating a meal filled with refined carbs, fried foods, and rich pastries. You feel full, sluggish, lethargic, sleepy. They can’t think well enough to actually take you seriously if they have “The Itis” so be wary of accepting an interview time after 12:00 p.m. (Youtube Link: Dave Chappelle actually gave the world a wonderful explanation of “The Itis” on his television show).
After negotiating appointment times, make sure that you ask them for more information about the location of the interview. Here are some of the questions I like to ask so that I can be prepared:
- What color is the building that I should be looking for? Are there any landmarks that can help me find the building quickly?
- What floor should I go to?
- Is there anything I need to know about parking?
- Who should I contact if I have any other questions or if I get lost?
It’s also a good idea go to your interview site the day before to be aware of any construction, delays, parking fees, etc.
Attire and Appearance
Note: This is for interviewees who will be in an office type setting. Dress like you already have the job. Dress as if you were doing the interview.
The suit: The business suit is an investment. I do what I can to be sure I have quality business suits for interviewing. I’ve noticed that a lot of clothing stores don’t even have business suits, let alone business casual wear! Because of this, I’ve seen a lot of interviewees come to their interviews wearing just about anything (i.e., low-cut blouses with tight low-rise rayon pants).
If you have the funds, go to your nearest department store and invest in a business suit. Some stores like Burlington Coat Factory will even provide alterations for your suit for a nominal fee! If you don’t have a lot of money to purchase one retail, be of good cheer: I have found the best business suits at thrift stores—sometimes brand new, with the original price tags still on. I recently purchased a brand new business suit at Goodwill with a retail value of $178.00 for only $7.99! After purchasing my bargains, all I have to do is dry clean them and I am in “hiring mode!”
Ladies, please be sure to not have a high skirt—when in doubt, wear slacks. Gentlemen, a three-piece suit is not necessary but a tie is. The internet is awesome because they have websites available such as “How to tie a tie for your job interview.”
Wear a blazer. The blazer invokes authority… walk in it by always having your blazer on. This is a trick that I learned from the real estate industry and a guest speaker at a management honors fraternity meeting. (Side note, notice that a lot of guys are wearing blazers with their tee-shirts and jeans at clubs, outings, music videos? They’re trying to boost themselves and look “authoritative.” lol).
Ladies: I totally recommend wearing makeup if you already wear it! I have read so many business news articles reporting that women that wear make-up end up making more money than the ladies that do not. I do not recommend the over-the-top items like shimmer lip gloss or full-false eyelashes. If you have long hair, put it in a ponytail or half-ponytail because you don’t want your hair to distract. Pantyhose or airbrush hose is a must, especially if you are wearing a skirt. Nails should not be long, and not be in outrageous colors or designs. I recommend wear closed toe heels/pumps for your footwear.
Always shine your shoes the night before, being sure that the heels are not worn and not in need of repair.
Everybody: wear no pierced jewelry other than ones in the ear, ladies (sorry, Gentlemen, no earrings please). Discreetly cover your tattoos. It is requested that perfume not be worn to the interview. We interviewers have sensitive noses. Chances are, we are going to be in a small room with you, closed off, and we need all the fresh air we can get because we’re nervous (see below). Don’t forget to use dental floss before going to the interview. It makes such a difference for your breath when you floss daily. If you smoke, try not to smoke before your interview.
Clean your car before your interview. This is especially important for someone interviewing for a position that requires travel. Put yourselves in the interviewer’s shoes again: “Why would I want to hire someone for a traveling job if they don’t have their personal items and lives in order in their own vehicle?” Get your car washed, clean it out, and put in a new air freshener the day before your interview. Little things like this boost up your confidence and have you walking to the interviewer’s door with the assertive demeanor guaranteed to get you the position.
Make the Interviewer’s Job Easier!
Interviewers are afraid of you! They’re scared—they don’t know what to expect. They don’t know what the acronym of their company name stands for. They don’t know who’s getting the next promotion. Interviewers are nervous too! So do your interviewer a favor by coming to the interview prepared. Search for website titles “Questions to ask during a job interview” and be sure to do your homework about the company, including a search for recent news articles about the company. Then tie all that in to how you can make the company even better (that’s what you’re going to be there for, right? ) You’ll be so comfortable and assertive that your interviewer will remember you. You just won’t be another resume on the desk. Congratulations, you’ve made your interviewer’s job easier by giving them what they want.
What to bring with you to the interview so that you can make your scared interviewer feel at ease:
- Professional-looking portfolio to carry your documents
- Pen & paper to take notes during the interview
- Hard copies of previous successes (certificates, transcripts, statistics of goals accomplished, etc)
- A list of references
- …and a few copies of your resume printed on heavy resume paper. Be sure to have one for yourself and least three additional copies (sometimes during the interview, they fail to mention that a panel will meet with you). This is how you can have your resume stand out from everyone else. Most of the time we interviewers see a dot matrix or non-formatted copy of your resume because it usually screened online first. Printing out your resume in a readable format, on heavier paper helps us know that you are taking the interview seriously! This is especially important for federal job interviews. Make sure your resume has been proofread and revised to meet the objectives of the job.
Last, be sure to get a good night’s sleep before your interview. We can tell if you didn’t by looking at your bloodshot eyes, lol. Again, be confident, be assertive, and know pretend that you have the job before you have the job. You got this! God bless!
Phil 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
If you’re from New Orleans, this recipe does not need an introduction! I posted this for New Orleanians away from home. I have also made a King Cake Recipe for the Wimps and Time Conscious because the real deal takes hours to make. Warning: amounts are approximate as I do not measure.
For the Cake
- 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 (.25 ounce) packages instant yeast
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 additional cup butter, softened
1. Warm the milk in a saucepan and add ½ cup butter until melted. Set aside.
2. Mix the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a big bowl. Add the egg, warm water and milk. Mix then knead with additional flour (use a big breadmaker/mixer if you have one) for about five minute.
3. Cover the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes (sometimes I like to sit the dough on a warm clothes dryer); In a separate bowl, mix cinnamon, brown sugar, and 1 cup melted butter.
4. Roll out the dough in a large, thick rectangle. Spread the cinnamon-sugar mixture on the dough and then cut dough lengthwise in 12 long strips.
5. Take three strips and braid them as if you were doing hair. Repeat 4 times with remaining strips.
6. Take these four braids and pinch them together, creating a circle (looks like Challah Bread). Place on baking sheet and let rise until it doubles (about an hour).
7. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40-50 minutes or until the dough is brown. Remove from oven. Brush with more butter to keep soft while making glaze (optional).
For the Topping:
- 1 box powdered sugar
- 2 cups white sugar divided in three bowls
- Food Coloring (red, blue, yellow, green)
- ½ stick butter
- ¼ cup of milk (may need additional milk)
½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- jarred pitted cherries (optional)
1. Mix well the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and milk in a bowl until smooth. You may need to add more or less milk. Set aside.
2. For the colored sugar: take one portion of the white sugar and add to it three drops of red food coloring and 2 drops of blue food coloring. Begin mixing—the sugar should start to turn purple. You can keep adding drops of food coloring until you get the perfect purple! For the gold sugar, just add 3 drops of yellow food coloring to the second portion of the white sugar and mix. Do the same to make the green sugar (if you don’t have green food coloring, don’t forget that yellow + blue = green).
3. Pour the powdered sugar mixture over your king cake. Then sprinkle the colored sugars, alternating between colors, going around the king cake. Keep portions of the cake white—that’s where you will put your cherry.
(This is my first blog post so please be gentle)
Many people ask me if a cover letter is needed for an online job application and my answer is always: “Only if you want the job.” I won’t put any fancy fonts, pictures, or headers on this post because I want to get to the real deal! I wrote this in a period of 20 minutes– please excuse the ghetto look but the information in this article is well worth reading!
Many resume scanning systems will not even view your online job application unless a cover letter is attached. So if you are completing a job application where the cover letter section is optional, you DEFINITELY want to write one. I would say that 9 out of 10 people will take time out to write a cover letter, which means that if you write one, you have a better shot of getting an interview than one that doesn’t.
What Is the Purpose of a Cover Letter?
A cover letter shows why you are the best person for the position for which you applied and how you can meet the needs of the employer. No one knows you better than YOU!
Writing a cover letter proves that you have researched the company, researched yourself, and understand that you are the best fit for the position. Additionally, writing a cover letter proves that you can write in standard, business letter format. There is no such thing as a generic cover letter for your job search– you need to have a different cover letter for each job or each industry for which you apply.
How the Heck Am I Going to Write a Cover Letter?
Basically, your cover letter needs to meet the needs of the employer. They should be able to immediately see in the cover letter why they should hire you. You need to give them specific examples of why you are the best person for the position (because YOU ARE!). Here are a few tips:
Never address a letter to “To whom it may concern.” Do what you can to research the company and to whom your cover letter should be written. If you do not know the person who the cover letter should go to, simply make a subject line with a.) title of the job; b.) the job ID number (if there is one); and c.) the department or name of the facility of the job: Here’s an example:
RE: Medical Ultrasound Technology Nurse – Job ID# 1235 – Abrazo/New York Heart Hospital
1. Standard Business Letter Format – You should have your contact information at the top, similar to the way your resume has contact information as a header. The company’s information needs to be at the top too: you should have information about their complete address.
2. In your introduction, prove that you have researched the company by mentioning a recent news article about the clinic, or something special about the doctor or specialty. Knowing about the company is crucial and having a cover letter that is specific to the needs of the employer stands out! If you do not know much about the company (maybe you found the position on Craigslist and there is not detailed information) You may simply state something such as “I meet the qualifications you seek in a/an ______________.,” simply stating that you meet the qualifications for the specific position that they have posted.
3. Your body paragraph may have a list of bullet points regarding how to meet the qualifications of the job posting. Use the same bullet points that you had in your resume– make it as easy as possible for the employer to read. The letter does not need to have the bullet points but consider separating the reasons why the company should hire you.
4. In your closing statement, thank them for their consideration for the position and list how you may be contacted (I will make another post on how a cover letter should look if you are applying to an unposted position– the closing for these kinds of letters are different).
5. Do not forget to “Spell Check” your cover letter. If you are using acronyms that may be unfamiliar to an office manager or human resources, please spell them out completely. Use ‘temporary” instead of ‘temp,” “OB/GYN” instead of “obgyn.”
Be sure to take a look at the sample cover letter below! This cover letter was written by a Pharmacy Technician who wanted a position with a large, national pharmacy. She received four simultaneous offers by using this cover letter.
123 Sesame St.
New York, NY 10029
321 Contact Ln.
New York, NY 10021
March 28, 2012
RE: Pharmacy Technician - Job ID# 1235
I would like to congratulate Pharmacare on their possible merger with MedicalRx! This will definitely bring about more business and help more patients live a healthier life. After 20 years in sales management, I am now focusing on my newest desire: working as a Pharmacy Technician and maintaining the great reputation that Pharmacare currently holds in the Pharmaceutical field. Here is a synopsis of my credentials:
- Certified Pharmacy Technician – I have passed the PTCB Exam and am licensed by the New York State Board of Pharmacy as a Certified Pharmacy Technician.
- Experience In Pharmaceutical Field – I have recently graduated from a Pharmacy Technician program where I achieved a 4.0 GPA, received the President’s Award for Academic Achievement and was recognized for 100% attendance. I also completed a 180-hour externship program with the Women’s International Pharmacy in their pet health division.
- Call Center Experience – I have over 10 years of telephonic skills on a multi-lined telephone, taking over 80 calls a day.
- Time Management, Analytical, and Customer Service Skills – I was noted at my Pharmacy Technician Externship as being a self-starter and completed all assigned tasks with minimal supervision.
I really feel that I would be at home at Pharmacare— not only am I familiar with the pharmacy environment but I am well aware of the business and quality aspect of the position. I would also bring my experience from sales and personal professionalism to the company! I would appreciate an opportunity to meet with you in person to discuss this position with you further. I can be reached by telephone at (917) 858-1234 or by email at email@example.com.
Special tip for creating your draft:
Make your drafts on hard copy paper first! When writing your draft, start off with the reasons why you are best for the position. Do your introduction and your closing last.
Best wishes to you all!!!