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Introducing Pro Polish – A Service for Professionals and SoloPros

pro polish serviceWhen I got started freelancing more than a decade ago, I knew a thing or two about a resume, but I knew it wasn’t all that was going to get me noticed. I had to stand out in search results and an inbox.

That’s when I got really bold with headlines, subject lines and ditched the generic bullet points. My resume and cover letters are living, breathing business tool that get a lot of my attention. If I don’t keep them fresh and polished, it fades fast and I don’t have quality work to fill the calendar.

When You Don’t Like Talking About Yourself

Almost anytime I tell someone I’m a writer or editor, the subject of resumes and cover letters and LinkedIn profiles come up. I get a range of feedback on resumes and cover letters – from “I’m not getting any interviews” to “I really need to update my resume” to “I don’t know how to make my resume stand out online.”

It’s Tough to Get Your Name Out There

And I often hear that people don’t have much success with online job ads and working their LinkedIn network for job leads and projects.

I also get a range of feedback on LinkedIn – Is it worth it to keep up with the connections and the adding content? You betcha.

Why Is LinkedIn So Important?

It’s important because you are often asked for your profile link and recruiters, potential project managers and hiring managers look at your social profiles. If your LinkedIn profile is neglected, you may get passed over.

I think of LinkedIn as a way for you to put your resume in anyone’s hand in an instant. It’s a link and a connection. That’s easy to text or email right in the coffee line or at a networking event. Yes, you need business cards, but I promise you – a thoughtful email and a link to your profile will get noticed faster than that pile of cards sitting at the bottom of a recruiter’s purse.

LinkedIn also gives you instant authority in your field. When you spend a few minutes a few times a week reading articles and making comments, you’re extending your experience and you’re expanding your network.

But what if you’re not sure what to say about yourself? It’s easy to talk about what you do, but it’s not always easy to get that to a few stand-out bullet points on one-page 8.5 x 11.

Sharing What I Know

So, when I examined my business offerings recently, I decided it was time to take my know-how – resumes, LinkedIn, cover letters, unique ways to find jobs and projects online and put into a tool other pros like you can use.

I call it Pro Polish. I offer several packages based on what a pro’s need is – resume revamp, LinkedIn love, cover letter lessons, a portfolio site or a customized set of sales scripts and proposal templates. I want to help pros take the guesswork and frustration out of talking about themselves and get to the interviews, projects and next level of success.

To learn more about Pro Polish, please visit this link or drop me a line.

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Why It’s Important to Get Really Clear About What You Do

clear business goalsI recently went through a transformation in my business – I took a break and started over. It was a gutsy move and one that scared the dickens out of me.

But this year, I’m looking at a new freedom. I’m starting on some of my own info products and will be launching an ebook series later this spring.  I’m finally doing what I want to do with my business and have honed my specialty to serve more a more specific clientele – professionals, entrepreneurs, independent publishers, startups and tech companies.

I recommend everyone take a break and get clear about what you do in your business and why you do it.

Then, take out the trash. Clear out the things that are getting in the way of what you really want for your time, money and work.

This post is a hint at what I’ll be releasing in the next couple of months – an in-depth e-book series and new blog on how to get very clear about what you do.

It’s based on a model I’ve been using in helping my clients understand who their clients are and their pain points for years. Now, I’m putting this successful, simple strategy on paper for others to use to get clear on what they do.

If you’re interested in the details, please drop me a line or learn more here.

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When Your Life Becomes a Headline

Writing headlines is a required skill in my line of work. For me, it’s the most satisfying part of the creative process because it’s what people will read first.

I’ve studied headlines since I was a little girl. My parents were newspaper carriers, so I always had access to the headlines first thing every morning. Now, I scan the Internet at intervals throughout the day for headlines that catch my eye.

I think the intrigue behind headlines is that there’s life or a story behind them. That’s why I got into this business. I like hearing, sharing and creating stories.

And recently, my life became a headline. I got the heartbreaking news no mother wants to hear. I thought I was expecting a baby, but in reality it was a sort-of tumor.

The headline “It’s Not a Baby; It’s a Tumor” keeps running through my head as I recover from the surgery to remove what’s clinically called a “molar pregnancy.” The simplest explanation is that it’s a problem with fertilization and a mass forms in place of an embryo.

The clinical outlook for this condition is really good, but there were words of “possible cancer” and feelings of devastation. The next six months will be filled with testing (to get hormone levels back to normal) and waiting (we weren’t trying for a baby, but we have to wait it out for almost a year).

I’ll never look at headlines the same way again because when your life becomes one, it’s even more important to think about the story and the life behind it.

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Surviving Social Media as a Politician & Other Random News

business newsIt’s been a busy month. I’ve been working on a number of projects and am very excited to see some things coming to fruition that started several months ago. Here are a couple of tidbits I just couldn’t keep to myself.

Surviving Politics & Social Media. The Social Media Survival Guide for Political Campaigns book just launched! I worked on two chapters of this awesome guide for office-seekers to leverage social media. I worked on Chapters 3 and 7, which dealt with hiring a social media team and using social media for competitive intelligence. Definitely worth a read if you or someone you know plans to enter a political race for 2012.

Texting…Texting, One-Two. I’m on my way to Ohio to headline a conversation about text message marketing with a whole bunch of bingo hall operators! I’m really excited to learn more about charitable gaming and will share the insights next week. We’re talking about how these (mostly volunteers) can take advantage of a simple, and effective marketing tool called the lil ole text message.

Back on the Business Beat. My first real topic or as we journalists call it “beat” was 10 years ago this year! In Advanced Reporting, I was assigned the “business beat.” At the time, I thought it was a drag and a half. Now, it’s how I make my living. Thank you to the teacher who saw that in me!

I’m now writing for a local publication called What’s Around Town Metro Jackson. It’s a weekly newspaper/mag hybrid with all kinds of tips and a rockin’ Facebook community. I get to talk with local businesses about their story and how they connect with the community. Really excited to be working with these fine folks.

Well, that’s a wrap. Stay tuned for an update on the texting for charity event next week.