Archive for November 2010

Career Connections

November 30, 2010

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Marsha Sparkman spoke at Tuesday morning’s Workforce Campus Career Connections meeting. Sparkman is the assistant director of human resources for Loew’s Hotels.

Check out NCAC’s Calendars to find a Career Connections meeting or networking event near you.

Connie’s Corner – “Giving Thanks”

November 24, 2010

Dear Connie: I have a co-worker who has been so helpful to me during a difficult time in my life.  How do I thank her? 

Dear Thankful: Life would be so much harder without the kindness of other people.  This is so true in our work life.  During this Thanksgiving Season take the time to tell the people who have helped you get to where we are in your career Thank You.

When a co-worker lends you a hand to keep you going during a difficult time you want to let them know you recognized their kindness.  One thing you can do is be sure that you take back all of your responsibilities as soon as possible.  Be sure and say, “Thanks for all of your help.  I really appreciate it.”  It is important to acknowledge the efforts of your co-workers who assist you.

This is also a good time to stop and make a phone call or send a note to present and past acquaintances that have helped you advance and mature in your work life.  Think of the coach who taught you the meaning of teamwork, or the teacher who taught you how to make and execute a plan.  How about showing your gratitude to the person who helped you learn concepts that were difficult for you to comprehend or the person who inspired you to study in the area you are now working?

Think of all of the people who have mentored you during the years you have been acquiring your skills.  Let those people know how they impacted your life and how their help assisted you in advancing in your career.

You would not be as smart or as wise as you are today without the kindness of others.  Express your gratitude to the people who have helped you in your career.  Remember to extend the same kindness to others and maybe one day soon you will receive a note of appreciation.

Connie Humphreys is the Career Development Manager with Nashville Career Advancement Center serving Davidson County.  E-mail your question 

Career Connections

November 23, 2010

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Maria Turner with Synergy Systems spoke at Tuesday morning’s Workforce Campus Career Connections meeting in Davidson County. 

50 Buzzwords You Shouldn’t Use on Your Resume

November 22, 2010

By Karen Burns – US News & World Report

You’ve written your resume. You poured a lot of effort into the page that will represent you, and you can’t wait to distribute it far and wide.

Not so fast. Before you send that puppy out, check it for buzzwords. Like “team player.” Or “detail-oriented.” Or “accustomed to fast-paced environments.”

Here’s why you should avoid them: They’re vague. They make your resume look like everyone else’s. They’re probably not among the keywords employers search for. They take up space on your resume that could be used for strong, concrete, specific examples of what you’ve accomplished, the work you’ve produced, and how hiring you would benefit your potential employer. Buzzwords are tired and overused, cliches that have lost their meaning over time.

Most importantly, every buzzword is a lost opportunity.

You want your resume to stand out. The best way to sell yourself is to show, don’t tell. Explain your accomplishments rather than spouting them off in trite ways.

So check your resume for these boilerplate words and phrases. If you find them, replace them–or at the very least, elaborate upon them–with real-life, specific examples.

1. Team player

2. Detailed-oriented

3. Proven track record of success

4. Experienced

5. Excellent communication skills

6. Leadership skills

7. Go-to person

8. Managed cross-functional teams

9. Exceptional organizational skills

10. Self-starter

11. Results-oriented professional

12. Bottom-line orientated

13. Works well with customers

14. Strong negotiation skills

15. Goal-oriented

16. People-person

17. Dynamic

18. Innovative

19. Proven ability

20. Top-flight

21. Motivated

22. Bottom-line focused

23. Responsible for

24. Assisted with

25. Skilled problem solver

26. Accustomed to fast-paced environments

27. Strong work ethic

28. Works well with all levels of staff

29. Met (or exceeded) expectations

30. Savvy business professional

31. Strong presentation skills

32. Looking for a challenging opportunity

33. Cutting-edge

34. Multi-tasker

35. Proactive

36. Seasoned professional

37. Perfectionist

38. Highly skilled

39. Functioned as

40. Duties included

41. Actions encompassed

42. Best-in-class

43. Strategic thinker

44. Trustworthy

45. Flexible

46. Works well under pressure

47. Quick learner

48. Partnered with others

49. Results-focused

50. Out-of-the-box thinker

Finally, here’s one more phrase you don’t need to include on your resume: “References furnished upon request.” It’s assumed that you’ll offer references if the employer asks, so don’t clutter your resume with those unnecessary words.

Connie’s Corner – “To be seen as an honest person, take responsibility for your actions.”

November 19, 2010

Tip for the day:  “A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.”

                                                                                                                                         -Grace Hopper, United States Admiral

Q:  Dear Connie:  I get so mad when my co-workers do not accept responsibility for their actions.  I know they read your article, so could you please explain what “being responsible for their actions” involves?

A.  Dear Responsible Reader:  First, let’s talk about how to react to another peoples’ actions.  I understand how frustrating it can be when you take responsibility for actions while seeing others deny responsibility for t heir actions.  Yet, you are still the only person who can control your life and attitude.

Part of the word responsibility is “response.”  Add to your strengths by not responding in a negative manner to others disagreeable responses.  Even when you are put in a bad position, if you show anger, you will become associated with the problem and it is more desirable to be associated with the solutions.

Tom Bay and David Macpherson share in the book, Change Your Attitude, that former Miss America Heather Whitestone has a “take-responsibility-for-yourself” attitude in her five-point approach to life:

  • Have a positive attitude
  • Have a dream
  • Be willing to work
  • Face your problems
  • Have a support team

When a person works hard but does not take responsibility for mistakes it is often because they have never learned to walk through the pain of facing a problem.  It can be embarrassing for a person to admit he made a mistake.  The first step, which may be the hardest step in this process, is admitting failure.  Without developing the strength to take ownership for ones mistake, a person usually develops the attitude of “letting the chips fall where they may.”

It takes a strong person to admit their shortcomings.  As a person accepts responsibility for their actions, it becomes a little easier the next time.  Overtime, a person earns respect from others and a heightened level of trust develops.

Continue to be a leader by accepting responsibility for your actions and maybe your co-workers will follow suit.

Connie’s Career Corner is your source for career information.  E-mail questions for future columns to

Krystal Hosts Management Career Fair Today

November 18, 2010

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Krystal is holding a restaurant management career fair on Thursday.

It will be held at the Krystal at 5750 Nolensville Road from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Candidates must have a strong, stable work history along with some work-relevant experience in a high-volume, casual dining or family-style restaurant.

Applicants must be able to pass a pre-employment survey, drug screen and criminal background check. There are also some job requirements.

General Manager Job Requirements:

  • College degree / diploma and 3-4 years experience as General Manager in the restaurant industry; or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Should currently be working in the restaurant industry with no more than 2 jobs in past 4 years.
  • Have organizational skills, time management skills, the ability to motivate and direct your management staff, P&L knowledge, staffing & scheduling experience, and inventory management experience.
  • Have great customer service skills, the ability to drive sales, and the leadership to attract hires, and train a top-notch restaurant team.
  • Strong PC skills
  • Open / Flexible work availability

Operations Managers (Assistant Managers) Job Requirements:

  • College degree and six months management/supervisory experience in the restaurant industry; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Should currently be working in the restaurant industry with no more than 2 jobs in past 3 years.
  • Must have basic shift operational knowledge, scheduling experience, and cash accountability experience.
  • Have excellent customer service skills, a great attitude, and the ability to direct the employees on your shift.
  • Strong PC skills
  • Open / Flexible work availability

The company asks that applicants dress for success and bring copies of their resume.

UPS to hire 50,000 temporary workers for holidays

November 17, 2010

Associated Press – The Tennessean – November 16, 2010

ATLANTA — UPS plans to hire about 50,000 temporary workers to handle the crush of holiday shipments this year.

United Parcel Service said Tuesday that it expects to deliver 430 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The busiest day should be Wednesday, Dec. 22, when UPS expects to deliver 24 million packages worldwide, up nearly 60 percent from a normal day.

Rival FedEx said it expects to move nearly 16 million packages on its peak day, Dec. 13.

Economists watch the predictions from UPS and FedEx for hints about the direction of the economy. Consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, and many consumer goods are handled by UPS or FedEx.