Content creation, client needs are close to dating – better info turns into ‘righter’ decisions

Typical selfie in bathroom mirror doesn’t move the needle much.

Certainly, online dating and sending RFP-level material to potential clients is a legitimate analogy. Wanting a good professional or emotional connection, one that satisfies a recognized need, works best when everyone is honestly trying on the information front.

Three specific examples of “finding the other”  involves a high, low, and medium set of informational points, and how it affects the successful matching up of elements desired by both parties.

On the low end would be a personal ad lacking any imagination or effort – one picture (the bathroom selfie), minimal written, or “If you want to know more, ask” slackery. That’s an unsatisfying combination from among hundreds of other possibilities, and its headed for the Out Bin almost as a reflex, right?

Content creation types understand that every CV or cover letter sent involves a judgment of our writing skills.

On a lovely, cool Monday morning, I declare that The Super High end of information is represented by 2 1/2 pages of printed who, what, why, how? relative to one recent company’s Content Marketing position.

A statement of their corporate positioning, an introduction to expectations of a new team member, responsibilities, necessary skill set, personal qualities (hmmm…humility?), and finished up with bullet points about extras in the compensation situation you’d probably want to know about – whew!

Whether pursuing dates or a potential client, you’d invest more effort in something A-B-C, 1-2-3 clear about extra details to start. From the content creator side, responding to that well-defined description with an equally well-defined reason to investigate further is fundamentally right.

The best middle ground is a match that shows up as a 100% as advertised stud or stud-ette.  Great attitude, desired attributes sharp and documented-explained, articulate enough during the meet-greet time over coffee or a beverage raising expectations of possibilities. If all is in tune over introductions, coffee, post-concert or snacks perhaps – its much easier to discuss what Next might look like.

What needs to be done when the bell is rung

Many of us think we’re the middle group professionally, that it’s just a matter of getting in front of a decision maker. Perhaps we lack an attribute or two software-wise,  or documented depth of expertise required (Six years? Whaaaat?), but unless its an organic height requirement, face-to-face will win the day.


What would be amazingly naive of the one picture profile to think, is just as unproductive for a content creator candidate to ignore in how to impress that ‘date’ appropriately with clues in a well-written description . 

That Super High end information provider is a remote location possibility vs. office situation, as welcome and positive as a bright smile from across the room in such iffy times. The role responsibilities included a versatile style across several channels (bingo!), engaging with subject matter experts (sales career and all previous freelance writing featured interviewing as a strength), and some esoteric pieces, like “the gumption to wrestle with a problem until a thought-through solution is achieved.”

Immediate, verifiable info regarding  candidate

Meeting my date Saturday provided immediate, verifiable positive intelligence regarding an All That candidate that doesn’t happen often. She was interesting, attractive, way better than just fit, a look-you-in-the-eye type with a compelling story about spirituality (including tarot, the hook in my books) that kept conversation flowing. OMG! also wanted to go ‘dutch’ from the get-go.

Having seen the up-close reality of that option, it would be terrific if there was more to discuss in the near future. Hold onto that thought, because a real meeting of people vs. just minds included almost two weeks of texting, and both of us had multiple pictures and profile writing positively affirmed from conversation.  Elementally, the dating system worked, and leaving out that information makes it sound like luck.

Never let it be thought you only did the least that could be done when making submissions. Quality communications don’t need to be all-revealing bikini shots of one’s career, just promote the belief that as responders, we might be that terrific person you’ll want to discuss a future relationship with.

All positive responses constitute a successful ‘first date’ for a content creation person.


Following up is *Always* the Most Productive Element to Success


Having previously opined about how many, many job candidates could become better represented by recruiters if  job search firms explored how certain extra experiences might improve their view about a ‘skills gap’ better, let’s draw attention to “us.”

Specifically, more in line with what candidates see as strengths regarding listings, when a recruiter doesn’t know about that factor at all.

A central point is that candidates should, and BETTER, make all extra efforts to keep themselves proactively involved in job search opportunities. I haven’t heard about any great improvement regarding the 8-Second Rule, the time an average resume gets attention.

Having reworked my LinkedIn profile the last few weeks, I *know* it strongly and specifically highlights my abilities and experiences MUCH better now. It includes about a dozen high quality blogs and content creation examples, and features a more personal 1-1 reading style versus, well, just an electronic resume for many.

I listened to a guy—Tyron Guiliani, an Aussie—on a couple podcasts, and signed up for an hour phone session with him, specifically about creating a more productive site.

FREE is ME! was part of that decision to listen to Tyron as a coach, as was sticking around for three minutes, when the next online session was starting.

While declining to go further with what he described as “high four-figures coaching help” at the end of a terrific sixty minutes phone session, clarifying my expertise with a smooth, conversational, Story of Me on LinkedIn was suitably engraved.

I point everybody at that profile—I’m proud of it being both a good read and accurate in conveying my background. Here I am.

Starting the clock on Success

New Year’s Eve afternoon, right before heading out for a little fire pit action and brewskies in Charlotte’s South End, I clicked Fast Apply to send that good profile for a Content Specialist position. The next day, Happy New Year! for real, there’s an e-mail from a Marketing person, about setting up a time to talk.

Next day, instead of talk, there’s another e-mail from company stating I wasn’t going to be considered going forward. Say what?

Old school still works

Early the next morning,  I did some copy-paste of  their site material and hand-edited it, pointing out perceived flaws. I wrote (IMHO) a fine cover letter with bullet points, and suggestions about certain things I’d circled. Putting those five pages in a manila envelope, I drove it across town, getting to the front doorbell just as the HR person was leaving for lunch.

It’s 12:15, I tell her what the contents are, and that I’m sort of not taking fugedabowdit for a final answer.

I’m asking you this seriously— Do you know what you’re worth when you sit in front of a person with the potential  to determine your paycheck, yea or nay?

At 3:30 there’s an e-mail from the Director of Content—he’s impressed enough by my follow-up to give me an assignment for the weekend: 750-1000 words about a specific topic relating to the CBD industry. I nailed it with 900, plus numerous links.

Two minutes into a phone  interview Wednesday, he says, “We don’t need to do this– are you available tomorrow?” and Thursday, after a period of exchanging views about career experiences to date (he’s a 2014 grad, I had better stories) we got to the money question.

20200211_151948Take it seriously – Yea or nay, Do you know what you’re worth? when you sit in front of a person with the potential to determine your paycheck? Most of my career, probably not, but research shows the average salary for Content Specialist job titles in Charlotte is $56k, still about 6% less than the national average.

I got a job offer that’s going to reflect an economic value for my professional skills, and the reality of a barely two year-old company. That company is about to catch major momentum as a result of Senate bill (S.2667, The Hemp Farming Act of 2018) getting passed before the impasse with Trump’s wall. The company is well-financed, its dead-red on my expectations, and my content creation arena is a decent challenge.

That benefits thing vs. gigging

Oh yeah, and that benefits thing. I’ve enjoyed a physical renaissance since knee replacement and rehab last December-March (God bless the ACA), but there’s no problem having healthcare paid for by an employer.

Straight up, getting the 100% okay on the anniversary check-up of that left knee Tuesday, how it has fared is just soooo damned reassuring. (Yeah, this was a LEFT knee, the grotesque, pre-replacement 2017 version.) 

bad knee pre surg12-18cut

As a life-long athlete, the twelve years I was kind of a gimp has become ONE as a well-preserved sixty-one year old guy with a terrific, year-old knee. I’m immediately cooler, no more skipping across the street so I don’t get run over.

I’ve promised myself about joining a tennis league in 2020.

Fact: January 3rd I hand-delivered a letter to a company regarding a specific Content Creation situation I’d felt strongly enough to originally quick-click as a LinkedIn application just before New Years.

Fact 2: After some back-forth described in that letter, Diligence was rewarded on January 10th. From ground zero to within an acceptable background check of a greatly enhanced, much better compensated professional mission, results came directly from ACTIONS in doing the follow-up, right? Old school still works.

Glenn Shorkey – Creative eDitorial Talent Enterprises 

Could millions narrow current ‘skills gap’ in job market with better recruiter interviewing?

GS-sgmc ladies nite 18 (2)

Ask ten managers or recruiters what’s most important on a resume, and beyond contact information, you will undoubtedly get ten different answers. Having commented (even raved) about this under-employment situation with numerous people, I’m committing to a discussion about the pitfalls of “You must show ACHIEVEMENT, not *just* did things” mind set.

That the standard eight seconds of recruiter viewing time for resumes doesn’t seem to have improved is certainly a gripe many will have, and scanners are definitely still a problem.

I’ll use three examples regarding resumes and delineating production versus achievement relative to executive-administrative associate roles. Those who think millions lack necessary skills probably haven’t explored beyond singular tests adequately with clients.

Having seen articles about the desirability of ‘soft skills’ recently, communications ability doesn’t equate to verifiable ACHIEVEMENT. In my own freelance writing, community involvement projects, and significant sales background, I’ve relied on the Q&A style of determining what needs to be known with rapport building, and handling of whatever blips or situations come up.

Having the necessary computer skills, even if not the most current version, is an expectation, yet being the oil that keeps gears moving smoothly is an understood factor in admin associates job. When the phone rings, the keyboarding skills take a break.

Many counselors agree a functional vs. chronological resume is legitimate.  Many others feel dates, including when NOT working, are still required.

cropped-1000wd-picture-beyond-resume2As a contract employee pre-recession, I became the primary coordinator for a quarterly meeting of a 185-person Master Servicing group, after replacing an executive associate that handled three vice-presidents.

Determining the site, menu and costs for lunch, the AV equipment setups, which logo-ed gift participants would receive, and team building exercises were all wrapped in the project.

Singular achievement or significant collaboration

While there was a sub-set of nine or ten others who helped with coordination (especially the participant gift, a sweet, extra-large umbrella with padded grip from the corporate catalog I still have), it was my job to get the major ABCs together.

The ballroom location and equipment needs became essentially free once the luncheon cost ($17 x 185 v. approx. $34,000 budget) was negotiated, which proved a no-brainer to green-light when presented to the veep with oversight responsibility.

The lunch banquet worked smoothly, and a scavenger hunt for the team building exercise proved brilliant. The participant who didn’t put a printout in her team’s box by ‘3-2-1-zero!’ as everyone counted down the end of exercise certainly won’t forget it.

It’s not fair to you, lumping that under an ordinary job description. It was clearly an achievement, and while banks were fat then and it was almost a blank check on budget, quantifying the magnitude of a similar Great Job! shouldn’t be missed.

Take space on your resume to draw attention to any similar ability to handle complex or out-of-the-ordinary situations.

Customer Service Administrator

In a multi-functional job tagged as Customer Service Administrator, I interfaced with three mutually exclusive data bases, had over-sight and justification of eight technicians hourly and travel expenses, and researched customer billing questions (the techs weren’t always great on documentation). Putting together $30,000-60,000 consignment orders of parts for new locations and call backs were secondary administrative tasks.

Varied as these factors were, there’s still nothing that smacks of that all important ‘Achievement’ at an administrative level.

Recognizing the Parts Department was often asked by customers to diagnose which part of a machine had failed, I utilized my writing skills to create a ‘Parts Ordering and Return Policies’ piece, which became that out of the ordinary achievement.

Diagnosing was a Service function, so codifying how the company wanted callers – generally the guys in the pits with machines, not office personnel – to present needs in 1st, 2nd, 3rd best ways to determine the required part improved process efficiency for the Parts Department.

Ordering-return procedures as ‘value added achievement’

It took considerable grunt work, but distilling a comprehensive 1,325 user mailing list from an 18,000 machine database and disseminating those ordering-return procedures became a quantifiable ‘value added achievement.’ Such projects aren’t about knowing the most current software, its about initiative.

That’s a quality potential employers will only recognize if it’s presented on a resume early, and somehow as a scannable line of copy. That isn’t always easy, its just what’s needed though, so work it.

Departmental re-org, Five Team Leaders

During a reorganization of a 105-person Purchasing Department, I was tasked to the change coordinator and became a point of contact for five Team Leaders. Multiple executives or managers is usually included in position descriptions for administrative associates. Beyond creating and disseminating all new policies through the e-mail (non-WYSIWYG) system, where does quantifying come in?

Take some space on a resume to make sure you draw attention to an ability to handle complex or out-of-the-ordinary situations.

Rewriting an environmental assessment questionnaire was a difference maker. There wasn’t a data file with all the information to tap and go for desktop publishing, so while the vast majority of preparing 150 hefty binders of information for a chemical safety conference was keeping two copying machines operating, it was a two-day rush order that would’ve taken two weeks notice for a corporate print shop.

 As the Team Rubicon crew says, GSD – Get shit done.

Scanning snafus and eight seconds of attention

It’s still a discouraging factor with recruiters, who we *know* are trying to fill a specific need for their clients. Many still won’t sit with someone to determine the ‘extras’ their experience or under-utilized skills might amount to if known about.

Many counselors agree a functional resume is legitimate, many others recruiters say dates, including when NOT working, are still required. While a uniquely formatted resume is often acceptable – LinkedIn does a decent one – many operations still throw things into a scanner that will not be your friend when parsing.

When you’re looking for a better job, making the time to create the best possible, and hopefully unique, picture of what you offer is a factor every expert agrees about.

As a small, reasonable fix, this is stated absolutely:

FOLLOW UP with anything you send.

Describe ‘Career Experiences’

Although I came across a NASCAR application with a 2,000 word limit to describe ‘Career Experiences,’ few applications have the flexibility to include ‘other stuff.’ In 2020, recruiters might again have massive numbers of resumes, with some 40 million sidelined indefinitely. There was supposed to be a shortage for many positions, but helping to keep recruiters focused on you as the payoff requires more than a voice mail every ten days.

Being eliminated because your recruiter didn’t see you as an EXACT match for their job order, that you under-state your own achievements will happen far too often if you don’t put it in the mix in a substantial way.

What’s more legitimate – hoping today! a recruiter discovers YOU are a unique, shining example of paper portrait which includes a factor they hadn’t considered, or calling them and offering an explanation of some additional experience that drew your attention to a new possibility. (Yes, you might have included that in a cover letter.)

Even if you think writing that extra couple lines will never get seen, doing less is seldom (if ever) going to win the day.

‘Gigging’ and Second Career Boomers: How a 2018 Entrepreneur Looks at Life

winslow-wifey at oroast
Oyster Roast is one of our Men’s Club special events. With Winslow & ‘wifey’.

Moving onward/adding another ‘gig’ has proceeded positively, and I am embracing to the max the 2018 embodiment of freelancing that’s always been a strong club in my personal creative bag. Having utilized verbal and written communications across all previous jobs, bringing those strengths to a Second Career notion we Boomers hold so dear is a legitimate attitude.

Similar vein, making a three chapter submission–  9200 words and tight– for my second book is less a milestone than an essential process.

There are numerous outlets-ways to monetize extra skills in current writing arena, in part because of people’s ability to telecommute with work product. I’ve been a reading-writing-public speaking tutor with Wyzant and Thumbtack for years, now I’ve hooked up with FlexJobs, Dice, The Creative Group and a couple others. I’m involved with a sports blogging function for the local NFL team,.  Economically I’ll be a resource, not an employee, the rest of my career. I didn’t have any problem prospecting in earlier careers like real estate, but in 2018 its sooo much easier to utilize the volume of pointed, quality, reliable leads possible from sites like FlexJobs than early 1980’s search in Tampa.

Having made Mom’s lunch, I’m available and dedicated to the process, BUT, it’s a fantastic 76 degrees of Carolina spring outside, and the temptation to really stress test my replacement knee with a 16-18 mile bike ride is probably going to be the deal. I have great faith and enthusiasm for that knee, re-adding athletic skills that got shelved the last half-dozen plus years is exciting. I have a preliminary date to whack a bucket of balls Saturday, and there’s a captains choice golf tournament at the end of April as a goal. I’m back up to my rugby weight (188) from 1986, been going to shoot hoops regularly, and *running* after misses is a joy, as is hoisting catch ‘n shoot jumpers from all over.

Mom has made great strides on mobility, too, we walked completely around the lake several times last week, and yesterdays stroll around the building was done fairly quick. Along with improved appetite and keeping her meds right with a dispenser 3x a day, that walking has improved her 84 year old knees to a great degree. We play ‘Kings in the Corner’ card game a lot, watch Dr. Phil, and yes, there’s a lot of psychic income knowing I’ve made a difference with walks, appointments, lunches, and health by being a good, helpful son.

That’s what being entrepreneurial looks like to me: I’m the brother in Charlotte with a job description that allows me to work wherever I am. Although Mom’s apartment at Carmel Hills doesn’t have wifi, I grin and bear that, and yes, I’d create a hot spot if really needed it. Carrying a sketch pad to journalize with is a long time habit, and I can be highly mobile any time of the day.  (Just FYI, cars name is Bullitt2– don’t get deep on politically correct, its more about Steve McQueen.)


‘Time’ is a primary factor for giggers, usually the ability to devote chunks to specific ‘other’ circumstances. From mid-December surgery until the beginning of March, I rehabbed hard, and being primary caregiver for my mother since she got out of hospital on Valentines Day was 35-40 hour commitment, down to twenty by July.  While that’s not a killer schedule by any means, gigging mitigates conflict—even if that means writing proposals or blogging after 11:00 SportsCenter.

Glenn S.

Feeling More Professional Just Because of the Effort

12-5booking it

Four days, and feeling ready for what comes on Monday.

Two months after spreading the news at my 40th reunion that real estate was where my future efforts would be directed upon returning to Charlotte, NC the Reality of Commitment comes down to four days of almost continuous reading and testing to prep for a more-important-to-my-future test than I’ve taken in MANY years. A 75% (two tries if necessary) qualifies for the State exam.

After watching multiple episodes of ‘Friday Night Lights’ with Blackhawk-flying, ‘promotable-to-captain’ nephew, Curtiss, and fiancee (Stephanie) during my reunion over Columbus Day weekend, the Permian Panthers “Goin’ to  States!” mantra has been locked in as my Now.

FOCUS isn’t optional

Half-way through this month of two full days (79 total hours) a week in class and mucho hours reading/discussion, online testing, trying to fulfill a second goal of submitting 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo campaign didn’t make the cut as a priority.

Its worth mentioning that, because while tarot cards are essential to major decisions made by my main character, Marlena (the Magnificent) Victoria Christie, declining to commit time to writing – an obvious, significant professional factor – was an All-In! line in the sand.  Because school and studying required all possible focus, the call had to be made.

That’s a straight-up fact, recognizing actions go with what your #1 focus is. Success is still earned, and yes, ‘deserved’ is a decent clarifier.

My real estate class has about 80 people, and being at the same level of focus with that many articulate people, its been enlightening. At *NO* point is anyone I’ve talked to been taking things lightly. The instructor put an absolutely True point on the Next we’re all looking at with all the studying/long reading assignments: “You are all trying to become professionals– conduct yourselves accordingly.”

 I’ll add that every organization or ‘system’ I’ve worked with demands results along a scale of importance: High rewards, you gotta want ’em, then go earn ’em –Amen. And Luck,  that usually follows effort.

Time-wise, it’s been a short term investment:  Started October 28, final on December 7. Exceptionally strong potential results for a short term commitment,  and there didn’t seem to be any lack of determination in most individuals; nobody expects a ’15-minute-great abs!’-type cheat that aces tests, y’know? North Carolina has some rules and gotta do’s regarding real estate, and part of that is definitely 79 hours. Being licensed as a *professional* going into 2016 is a specific goal, so this weekend is about achievement. How much-how far with this weekend’s effort-commitment means points on Monday.

The world makes way for…you know the deal, and there isn’t a WINNER! type organization worth its mantra that doesn’t push that button somehow.

There were regular opportunities to present myself during  lunch ‘n learns with representatives of specific firms, including two  I’d previously completed assessments with. Certain results from those clearly affirmed my inner attitudes and aptitudes, then it took a ‘put it on the credit card’ action  to qualify for this potential professional Next.

Don’t ever imagine anything happens without actions like investing in yourself. I’ll let you know the results soon. (Woot woot! Passed State test first try! Next comes paying all the fees…)

As a small extra, this piece written after the Panthers big win in Dallas was/is pretty good stuff. At Thanksgiving we were 11-0, looking for more in weeks to come.

How I Became a Better Candidate This Week

It’s been somewhat– make that *definitely*– frustrating to be a week from turning 58, and seven months into search for employment, without a lot to show for it. ‘The Great Recession’ might officially have been over a while ago, but you wouldn’t be able to convince my bank account of that.

There’s an old adage about ‘with age comes wisdom’, and while I’ve locked in several important facts of Life years ago– never guess a woman’s age; don’t drink and drive; forget playing one more game of basketball after a shaky left knee has signaled ‘time to go’– the factors about becoming a better candidate for career Next’s shouldn’t have been major revelations.

The Reality is, I ABSOLUTELY knew this stuff, and though I’m not generally a List Guy, three specific ‘oh, rights!’ that support the premise have come through crystal clear.

1) However its phrased, look ‘I could never do that’ in the eye and accomplish one small step towards a goal anyway.

2) Stay in touch with those who really count in your search (including ‘cheerleaders’)

3) SSDD (same stuff/different day) won’t get what you desire, even assuming you know what that is

On the first point, I’ll give a shout out to Jeff Haden; I read two pieces of his thought-provoking philosophy on Monday, and I’m going to make it a habit to continue feeding my mind similarly going forward.

The most obvious change I made was putting my book, ‘CARDS & CONSEQUENCES: Return of Marlena the Magnificent’ into a book contest (please check link at the end), and then posting that fact in two places, as ‘currently happening’ on LinkedIn profile and in ‘LinkEds and Writers’. The question I had to ask myself was, why DIDN’T I think I could do those simple and obvious things to publicize something I’d put so much effort into achieving? Even if I’m not chosen for a share of Bookbzz’s $$ in first contest, $25 on the credit card *should* get me some level of reviews, and thats kind of important in a bigger picture. The ‘C’ in CDTalent Enterprises stands for Confidence, so you have to believe in yourself/the product at least that much.

I sent a short note to the artist who’s supposed to be working with me on a children’s read-along book for the South Carolina Hugh O’Brian Youth organization. Without his production, the two years-plus of material I’ve written is left in limbo. Our last meeting was late August and I hadn’t seen a single thing more from him; I needed to push things, get concrete results. My first boss out of college told me (as a ‘road guy’/regional rep for TIME, Inc.) that nobody would throw People magazine out of their stores if I pushed for getting it displayed at the register; what did I have to lose if the artist didn’t produce after I asked him to come through with what was needed/expected?

Staying in touch, especially with recruiters and references, definitely counts. To show how serious I was about entering home solar power industry in the sales area with a major energy company, I found a relevant article about real estate industry financially recognizing solar on house as an asset, and e-mailed it with a short note to person I’d done a phone interview with. Then I cc’d several references, including Charlotte Works counselor, to let them know what I was considering, sales being a very different idea from administrative areas that have been my focus.

I talked to a recruiter from a temp agency about re-taking some tests, because I know my home equipment contributed to lower than expected scores, and the possibility of getting short term gigs HAS to go up when you’re perceived as being more capable, right? Why not take the obvious step?

As for SSDD, doing same things and expecting different results is supposedly the definition of insanity, and I’m a writer, not crazy. Okay, I’ll always consider myself a writer no matter what I do for a regular paycheck, and blogging 3x/week like this (and LinkedIn contributions) was a New Years resolution; I also fixed old information on three job boards, so I’m taking righteous small steps in that direction.

I’m also figuring out how to do links:

High School Journalists on PBS: Obviously a Different Ballgame

Yesterday, PBS brought three students from T.C. Williams HS and their journalism teacher on the show, and it was almost impossible not to cast a somewhat disparaging eye regarding projects they put together to gain that exposure. The bone of contention is they essentially *reviewed* media from this past year, while HIGHLIGHTS, the school newspaper Ray Patterson rode herd on at Linton HS during the tumultous ’70s, produced an 8-16 page product every two weeks.

Frankly, as dramatically different as the technology of multiple outlets/’platforms’ in the world of 2015 is from 1975, its apples and oranges between CREATING (including 2-3 days of actual physical pasting of copy onto waxed tabloid-sized sheets) an award-winning paper and compiling memorable stuff others produced.

That said, I read the NYTimes online version with a first cup of coffee this morning, and while perusing the weekly Creative Loafing in Charlotte, NC is a regular habit, picking up an actual newspaper is perhaps a once-a-month event, the holy grail that TIME magazine was is now an annoyingly thin red-bordered periodical that can be done without.

Since year-end is the time for reviewing all manner of ‘Best of’ or ’10 Events That Shocked’, admitting the significance of the change is legitimate. This piece is being done on an iPad, and if a tone signals something has landed in an electronic mailbox, that can be examined immediately with the push of a button. That immediacy is a singular important difference between ‘old’ journalism and any 2015 version.

The Vietnam War ended with a roar in 1975, after years of having TV deliver graphic video and body counts of dead-wounded nightly, dividing nearly every demographic in America– especially older “its a duty to your country” WWII or Korean War veterans/fathers and young-enough-to-become-part-of-‘Nam’s-meat grinder-ugliness males. Half a world away, we waited until 6:00 for Walter Cronkite, or a similarly serious news anchor, to watch the final helicopter depart the rooftop of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, barely unlucky enough final figures trying to jump on-stay attached to its skids. As seminal an event as that was, who in 2014 didn’t know an unarmed (if aggressive) black man named Michael Brown was shot to death by a white police officer in the small town of Ferguson, Missouri, or see the as-it-happened “I can’t breathe!” video-taped final words of another black man (Eric Garner) being choked to death by another white officer in New York City?

In 1968, Bobby Kennedy made the dangerous, incredibly courageous decision to address a largely black crowd in Indianapolis the night of Martin Luther King’s assassination in Memphis, and many of those people were only becoming aware of that event hours after the fact. Would ANYONE in their right mind step before a similar crowd under similar conditions today? That city was one of the few that was unscarred by rioting that erupted across the rest of the country. Kennedy’s absolute sincerity, delivered with the reminder he had suffered exactly the same incredible loss– the well-documented assassination of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, in 1963– was personal, unfiltered, and amazingly, not a fact he ever brought up again in public. Those present understood this was a time to mourn, not senselessly rage.

‘Journalism’ has changed, as has much in this country. Woodward & Bernstein’s efforts, still the gold standard in investigating and writing so much of what became the Watergate scandal for the Washington Post, took *months*, even years, to unravel the presidency of Richard Nixon. Today we know about a cop jumping out of his patrol car and– within two seconds, fatally shooting a child waving a toy gun– and every aspect of that is available immediately on a device we can talk about or send to someone else.

‘Disparaging’ eye of comparison might be harsh; if the opportunities were available 40 years ago (Geraldo Rivera’s ‘bushwhack journalism’ style was just beginning), how many j-majors would’ve wanted their faces in front of people vs. ‘just’ a byline? We know about an almost overwhelming number of things around the world *as they’re happening* now, and shaping that tidal wave into some format, including the terrifying ‘sound bite’ reduction, should probably still be regarded as a legitimate function.

It’s also still apples and oranges to compare a class project to having everyone in school with a newspaper in their hand as ‘real’ journalism.

Glenn Shorkey

That’s What LinkedIn Should Be For

Getting a private, positive response yesterday as a direct result of an online discussion (Global Executive Assistants) validates what I’ve believed LinkedIn was supposed to be about. While there are still too many ‘PLEASE read my blog!’ type messages on writing sites I utilize, articulating my objections about what should-shouldn’t be included on CV-resumes got a specific unfairness off my chest as strongly as I wanted. Based on comments from others and that indicator of attention I needed, it hit a righteous chord.

Given that *everyone* says recruiters only give resumes a scant 6-8 seconds attention, and resumes aren’t supposed to go past 12-15 years at the max, my point was 6.5 years of retail work that paid bills-put food on the table-gas in the car-allowed for occasional road trip vacations during The Great Recession was apparently DQing me from consideration for executive assistant level positions handled prior to 2007. That contract work, which was my case from 1995-2000 after leaving regional sales rep positions, of less than six months shouldn’t be included– even if it involved learning a significant skill– was a deal-killer many applicants recognize. Most recruiters, and even a *computer generated notation* for one application I labored on, still pick at EVERY TIME GAP, making for a Catch-22 situation.

Having illuminated that frustrating situation won’t change 99% of recruiters methodology. When I first changed from being a ‘windshield warrior’ to getting results driving a desk in 1995, it was mandatory that you do alllll the paperwork with an agency (it still screws up applications to put ‘multiple agencies’ under Employer, because who remembers origin of each assignment ?) and test on software before anyone would talk to you. Now, even after going through online on-boarding process for a major temp-placement operation, the recruiter stonewalled an office visit 3x in one phone call because “there’s no sense WASTING your time or mine” to determine how jobs that barely made it– no description or dates, just the position– onto a page might make me a better candidate. *I* sure wouldn’t think its a waste, not when most EA ads involve ‘Exceptional verbal- written communications skills’ in the description, something barely scratched on Page 1 that is a HUGE strength of mine, much higher order than being current on learnable software.

I’m going with the positives though. I’ve followed that particular lady for a while, and now I’ve done something that attracted her personal interest; a guy whose house I’ve played several Hold ’em poker tournaments at is a recruiter and he’s also looking at my material. That recruiter who said “all we have” is a survey situation for a Republican project and a tele-marketing deal up-selling dating site users to full membership, wow, his whole office must be starving. Guess he should have some extra time to read deeper into resumes then, right?

Glenn S.

Using ‘Head Coach Women’s Ice Hockey’ Again Feels Terrific

Maybe two days after saying ‘Ditto’ and somewhat more writing a response to a LinkedIn piece about restrictive/unimaginative cookie cutter formats 95%-plus of sites use taking resumes, I found the glory of NASCAR’s site while applying for a multi-talent and demanding EA role in a digital arena. Seems I was one of 93 Linked applicants checking it out, but what impressed me hugely was **2000 word, not characters** boxes to describe past experiences in.

Any idea how liberating that becomes after chiseling a pretty widely varied set of experiences down to barely more than bullets on a page and a half because HR people only seem to stay focused (according to a number of widely quoted studies) somewhere around 6-12 seconds?

Few counselors admit you juuuust might need more than one page, even if hardly anyone does ‘The Twenty’ these days. I love laying multiple positives out on LinkedIn, and seeing how others present themselves has value as well, but trying to upload to many company sites, lets say its not always WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). After years of road rep sales I did long-term contract work for six years before landing a permanent executive assistant at Meineke, and that 1994-2000 heading in the middle of things jerks all other information to hell on most sites.


Getting to put  that as a substantial part of my background, it was pretty cool. True, the Community Development VP entry with the Albany Jaycees showed another layer of expertise to ‘gettin’ it done’ that might be expected in a major venue like NASCAR, but hockey coach, that was absolutely pure Goodness.

I can’t forget ol’ Joe Kurtzman, a Canuck who possessed a hollow leg during beer drinking strategy meetings at Casey’s, and was dinosaur dumb about dealing with teenage female athletes of the late ’70s. That’s what made me Head Coach, being able to talk with-recruit those freshmen from late night boyfriends games and over foosball tables.

A ‘Dirty Dozen’

We began with barely a ‘Dirty Dozen’ and immediately lost two, one tough talker after getting bounced off the boards herself. The second, Kitty, who would’ve been captain, seperated vetebrae in her back doing some extra skating.

After losing to Ithaca College at Brockport 3-1 (including an empty netter with :02 to go) we pounded them 8-2 at Cornell’s Lynah Arena. I didn’t put all that into the box, or that my folks and three cousins came with brother Steve before his JV hoops game, but that feeling and everything about driving back in below zero weather wrapped in army blankets, is something that ties for first with winning an Upstate (NY) Rugby championship among my athletic achievements.

I’ve been hunkered down in retail for over five years now, but I’m feeling much better about the economy, or at least knowing my odds on something. Realistically, the odds probably grow longer for a plum job like NASCAR described. Damn, I forgot to mention getting ITS SPORTS! magazine to invest in uniforms and entry fee for a basketball team I formed around the idea of giving my buddy Ivan Marquez someplace to coach, but getting the hockey in again, that did feel righteous.

Glenn Shorkey