Friday, December 12, 2014

Branding Yourself Online and In Person by Rachelle Lappinen

Rachelle Lappinen, Career Counselor at YWCA, shared tips for online job hunting on December 10 at our last WIN meeting for the year. She went over the "7 things to become an All Star on LinkedIn," that include Industry and Location; Current Position; 2 past positions; Education; Skills; Professional profile photo; and at least 50 connections. She encouraged participants to update their LinkedIn status at least once a week and share links to relevant newspaper articles or any announcements.

Rachelle shared statistics on the percentage of people who get their jobs from networking - it's a whopping 60%. She encouraged participants to go to networking meetings; seek informational interviews at the company that they are interested in; and connect to people via LinkedIn groups. Rachelle's presentation was really informative and appreciated by all the attendees.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Digital Dirt: How to Manage Your Online Reputation by Jaclyn Jarmulowicz

I thought that I had met Jaclyn before (in a WIN seminar) and she had impressed me, so I was pleased when she walked in the door last Wednesday night.  Jaclyn Jarmulowicz is a young, pretty, energetic woman who works for Employment and Training Resources, currently assigned to the Youth Team in Lowell.

Digital Dirt, covering many different types of social networking, is a huge topic.  We started with class introductions; there were more than 15 of us and we were a very diverse group.  Some of us are ‘in transition’ and some are still working but looking for better situations; some attendees were anxious to learn about social networking for their job search or for their volunteer work.

In her introduction, Jaclyn shared some interesting statistics.  Do you know that if Facebook was a country its population would be the third highest in the world?  That’s right – China, then India, then Facebook!  Social media is here to stay.  We’ve got to Take Control:  Come to Terms With It, Learn It, Own It, Address It, Brand It.

We were led through a quick discussion of various websites that we can use in a job search or for our own enjoyment:

Facebook – Use this site to fight age bias; prove to future employers that you know what you’re doing in this technological world!  Use this site for networking; find friends or friends of friends who can give you insight to a company you are considering.  You can also set up a Facebook page for your small business or for a worthy cause that you are supporting.

Branch Out – This is a service just recently bought by Facebook to search out job opportunities.  Log in through your Facebook account.

Twitter – This is a website used by high-paced professional workers to filter information, to have control of information you receive, and to be the first to get breaking news.  ‘Twitter is a great source of information.’

Instagram – Show your creative side and use this website to share photos and videos (with captions).  It’s the perfect tool to create a portfolio of your work, to use to raise awareness for a cause or to do fundraising.

Google Alert – You can do a Google Alert on yourself or on any companies that you are interested in.  (Go to – This website will help you to pull public records information – anything that your name is attached to that is open to the public to view.  Use PIPL to keep track of topics that could impact your career.

LinkedIn – This is the #1 candidate sourcing tool used by recruiters.  The website lists what you did and when you did it.  Some hints:

Be sure your current job is listed in the current section; many recruiters don’t look further than this. 

If you’re unemployed, call yourself ‘In Transition,’ (ex.  I’m a Customer Service Rep/ Physical Therapist/ Software Engineer in Transition). 

In LinkedIn, it’s all about the buzz words.  Read other people’s job descriptions to get some hints on updated language to use.

Try to get lots of referrals and recommendations on your page.

Lastly, include a photo!!!  Recruiters call sites without photos ‘incomplete.’  And no selfies!!  Get someone to take a clear picture of you against a solid background when your clothes and hair look stylish.

Jaclyn shared some thoughts on ‘Best Practices’ when posting on any social media.  Don’t put in any comments on politics, religion, or race.  People reading your comments could pre-judge you, and not read further. 

Last words – ‘A job search can be overwhelming and confusing.’  Do use the one-stop centers as a job-hunting source. Got to  Thanks, Jaclyn, for some great advice.

Posted by Linda Wagner, WIN Participant

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sarah Kipp's excellent presentation on "Communicate to Connect"

Too bad it was raining on Wednesday night.  A lot of people missed a very interesting presentation by Sarah Kipp, ‘Communicate to Connect.’

For a better connection when we communicate, we should concentrate on our clarity and our confidence.  (These hints work for oral, as well as written, communication.)

Sarah spoke about many aspects of communication but, due to limited time, spent most of the class talking about preparedness.  How do we ensure better communication?  Preparation, engagement and feedback.  Think about your speaking event, interview, or conversation/ discussion in advance when you can.  Sarah suggested thinking TAP-F:  Topic, Audience, Purpose, Form.

Topic:  Be sure that you know your stuff!  A question was asked about what to do about unexpected interview questions.  Prepare as much as you can.  If you are ready for the questions you can anticipate, then you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed with surprises.  Don’t be afraid to take a moment to gather your thoughts. 

Audience:  Look at your communication through the eyes of the other person.
We need to be clear about what we want to say, but good communicators should also have a good grasp about what the listener needs to hear.  What is going on in their minds?  What motivates them?  Why do they care to be part of your conversation?

Purpose:  What is the purpose of this speaking event or interview?  To inform, persuade, entertain?  You might have to change your style slightly to be sure that you are offering your listener what they are expecting.    

Form:  What is the structure of your speaking event?  Will you be in an office or a conference room or an auditorium?  Will you have a one-on-one interview or will you be doing a presentation in front of 200 people?  Find out as much as possible so that you can have confidence in your surroundings.

After a class question about confidence, Sarah shared her Bruce Schneider poster of Seven Levels of Energetic Self-Perception.  Look at yourself honestly.

How do you want to show yourself?  If you want to make a confident impression, show yourself as confident.  Visualize yourself in your ‘communicating’ position – what appearance to you want to portray?

What can you do to get your energy level up?  Use your own strategies.  When getting ready for speaking occasions, Sarah shared with the group that she uses a special song, gets the beat inside her.  It lifts her up, energizes her.

We ended the class with a short discussion on Feedback.  Though our feedback after speaking events is mostly self (‘I answered that question very well.’ or ‘I should have stressed my experience more.’), try to find occasions to record yourself.  If you do Skype or phone calls, use a recorder to see how you are sounding to others.  Then be frank with yourself -  How could I have made my communication better?

I’m going to take Sarah’s advice.  I need to be self-aware – stay in that confident place.  I’ll spend time preparing before an interview.  I’ll keep my energy level up.  I’ll self-reflect afterwards.  Thanks Sarah.

Posted by Linda Wagner, WIN Participant

Friday, October 10, 2014

Mike Chase's presentation

Mike Chase, a meeting and events manager specializing in executive briefings, meeting management and facilitation, gave some valuable tips for job seekers. His 10 steps to shorten the job search are simple but effective tools that would help job seekers.

  • ·         Got organized?
  • ·         Got dressed?
  • ·         Got focus?
  • ·         Got reality?
  • ·         Got training?
  • ·         Got brand?
  • ·         Got connected?
  • ·         Got buddies?
  • ·         Got incentives?
  • ·         Got balance?
He elaborated and gave pointers for each of the ten categories. A very valuable presentation that was appreciated by the participants.

I would like to thank the Shrewsbury Fire Department for letting us use their meeting space while the Library is transitioning to a temporary site.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WIN workshops in October

We will continue to host WIN meetings for those interested in career transitions and job-related workshops when the library is closed from October 6th - October 25th. The meetings on October 8th and October 22nd  will be held at the Fire Station on 11 Church Road, Shrewsbury, MA 01545.

Wed, Oct 8, 6:30-8 PM - Mike Chase will present on the topic “Got work? 10 Steps to Shorten the Job Search”.

Are you getting tired of the “same old, same old” in your job search?  Are you finding yourself more distracted and less effective in your daily activities?  This presentation will help you revisit the basics in your approach and perhaps help you discover EVEN ONE NEW THING that will put you back on track and help you move forward more effectively. As a current professional in transition, Mike Chase has learned from experience what can get in the way of an effective job search.  Professionally, he is a meeting and events manager specializing in executive briefings, meeting management and facilitation.  He has held marketing or sales management roles at Hewlett-Packard Medical Products Group and Bose Corporation, and most recently managed the executive briefing program and conference center at Progress Software.  Currently he is an award-winning member of the Friendly Persuasions Toastmasters Club in Haverhill, MA.  

Wed, Oct 22, 6:30-8 PM – Sarah Kipp will present on the topic “Communicate to Connect”

Sarah M. Kipp has over twenty years of experience as a writing coach, educator, and speaker. She holds a Master of Science in Education and coaching certificates from the International Coach Federation and the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). In 2007, Sarah founded Express Yourself Write, a coaching and advising firm for leaders. Her company teaches communication methodologies designed to accomplish transformative work in schools, universities, and businesses. Sarah is also a writer and performer, and is the author of Courage in the Lake, a CD collection of autobiographical memoirs that includes an original musical composition.

Through this interactive workshop, “Communicate to Connect,” Sarah focuses on the three elements that have the greatest impact on our ability to communicate our message: clarity, confidence, and connection. Join us for a lively presentation filled with stories, strategies, and solutions that deepen the ways we use communication as a vehicle for connection.

To register for the Oct 8th workshop, please click here.
To register for the Oct 22nd workshop, please click here

Thanks to the Fire Chief for letting us use the meeting space at the Fire Station.

Friday, September 12, 2014

"Healthy Habits Lead to Decreased Stress"

A Certified Health Coach, Sarah Dubois, offered many tips for living a healthy lifestyle that will decrease the amount of stress one feels throughout a job search.

We began the evening discussing with a neighbor three things: how we feel when stressed, what you do when stressed, and what you eat when stressed.  As a group many people reported being anxious when stressed.  Also, we reported how hard it is to concentrate and to accomplish tasks when stressed.  Many people have trouble sleeping, have headaches, and do not eat right when stressed.  Chocolate is a go-to food for many when stressed!

One of Sarah’s main interests is the healthy nutrition aspect of living a healthy lifestyle. We discussed the effects of sugar on our bodies. Eating sugar raises your energy level for a short period, then it drops leaving you wanting more sugar. This can lead to very unhealthy eating habits. Sarah advocates one great way to reduce your stress is to watch and limit your daily intake of sugar. Sarah brought baggies of measured sugar demonstrating visually how much both men and women should consume in a day. For women, the amount was 5 teaspoons of sugar per day. Then she had a baggie showing how much the typical American eats daily – 30 teaspoons!  Sarah brought some food items that are typically considered “healthy” and showed us the amount of sugar in each. For example, a ready-made cup of Campbell’s Tomato soup has 12 grams of sugar per serving, and the soup bowl was considered two servings.  Most people would eat the whole container, at 4 grams of sugar per teaspoon - this would be nearly your whole daily allowance of sugar.

Our next topic was physical activity. Sarah emphasized the importance of daily activity and how it can lead to decreased stress. 

To address the common problem of having trouble sleeping while on a job search, Sarah offered many tips. These included having a regular bedtime routine, keeping electronics out of the bedroom, not using electronics right before going to bed, and limiting food and drink close to bed time.
The highlight of the evening was Sarah teaching us the 4-7-8 breathing technique for getting back to sleep when your mind is racing in the middle of the night. This involves breathing in for a count of four, holding your breath for a count of 7, then breathing out for a count of 8. We all practiced this technique four times in a row! Sarah explained that your brain concentrates on the counting and the breathing slows your body down making it easier to fall back to sleep.

We ended the evening discussing how to look at the many things we do each day in a positive way rather than a negative one. This is another way to decrease overall stress. For example, at the end of the day do not focus on all the things you did not accomplish, but rather, focus on those things that you accomplished that day.

Everyone left with a number of useful tips for incorporating healthy habits into our lifestyles.

Posted by Karen Imbalzano, WIN participant

Monday, August 25, 2014

How To Decrease Stress During The Job Search on Wed, Sept. 10

Join Sarah Dubois, Certified Health Coach, on September 10, 6:30-8 PM and discover easy strategies to decrease stress and increase your energy and vitality while in career transition.

Sarah Dubois is a Certified Health Coach who has always had an interest in nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. While working at a large pharmaceutical company, Sarah facilitated an in-house weight-loss support group and worked closely with the Health and Wellness department to improve employee wellness programs.  In 2012, after being laid off, Sarah started her job search, which led to a career change as she decided to increase her knowledge in health and well-being and enrolled in the health-coaching course at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Sarah has studied over 100 dietary theories, and practical lifestyle management techniques with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts. With this knowledge, Sarah supports her clients in reaching their goals, including reducing stress, improving their confidence, increasing energy, and living healthy lifestyles. For additional information please go to her website

To register, please click here.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Enjoyable Presentation by Kim Coburn

‘Unless you have made a career out of job searching, it’s not going to come easy.’ 

These were the opening lines spoken by Kim Coburn, founder and principal of The Coburn Company, a leadership development and executive coaching firm.  Kim uses her past experiences, including time spent as a recruiter and working in HR, to offer coaching to job seekers and to develop leaders and teams.

Kim’s humor-laced presentation recommended clear, concise, efficient communication when networking or being interviewed.  (‘Remember - a job search should be 20% looking for jobs and 80% networking.’)  The summary used to introduce yourself, in person or in a resume, should include your title, your metrics (a way to measure your progress), and your competencies (your selling points).

What job title are you seeking?  I introduce myself as a Financial Analyst.  Have you been doing that job for more than six years?  Yes, I have.  So I should be introducing myself as an experienced Financial Analyst.

How do you know that you are good?  You need to provide metrics, recognizable measurements of your work history.  I have a proven track record of meeting deadlines and client satisfaction.

What are you selling?  This is your chance to let your interviewer know what they will be getting when they hire you.  I’m very organized, detail-oriented, with high level computer and communication skills.

After her overview, Kim engaged the group in an inter-active discussion to help us to come up with our own ‘bullet point’ metrics.  She capably counseled each person individually to help us to come up with clear, concise titles, metrics and selling points – with diverse job titles ranging from Jewelry Designer to Call Center Manager.

All participants agreed that we walked away from this seminar with some new and helpful ideas.  Kim offered us a new technique to look at the manner with which we introduce ourselves in person, and to summarize ourselves on our resume.

Posted by Linda Wagner

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Workshop on August 6, 6:30 PM

"Effectively Introducing YOU: Titles, Metrics and Selling Points" by Kim Coburn

Kim Coburn is the founder and principal of The Coburn Company, a premier leadership development and executive coaching firm. 

Kim urges her clients to end the tendency to introduce themselves as a “has been”. Her presentation will teach you to  craft an introduction that effectively presents your title, showcases data that proves you are good and highlights some of your “selling points”.

To register for the workshop, please click here

Thursday, July 24, 2014

"Don't drive with your brakes on," advises Trish Pratt

When we're looking for a new job, are we working harder than we need to? Presenter Trish Pratt, executive and career development coach, started her interactive discussion by asking that question. Throughout the presentation, she helped us to identify ways in which we could be "driving with the brakes on" and showed us ways to overcome some of the psychological obstacles we might create.

Explaining that searching for a job can be a good way to learn more about ourselves, Trish outlined some job search strategies that can help us to feel more positive about our search. First, a resume summarizes your skills and experience. Networking meetings are a good venue for introducing yourself and letting people know what you're looking for. Job websites such as Indeed and Monster, on-line applications and social networking sites like LinkedIn are all helpful avenues for learning about available jobs. And finally, it's critical to follow up on leads, job openings and referrals promptly.

Noting that the job seeker is the driver of each strategy, Trish stressed the importance of several key factors for success. Your confidence in your resume, abilities, and connections, your attitude towards your search, the clarity of your objectives, your level of organization as you navigate your search, your focus and follow-through can all shape your path forward. The stories you tell yourself help to clarify how you're thinking. Thestrategies you choose, your beliefs and perspectives, your feelings, perceptions, habits (do we apologize too much, for example?), and patterns (ways of approaching and responding to challenges and opportunities) are all key components to your job search.

If you notice that there are interview questions that you dread, that you're wondering if you really want the job or career path you're looking for, that your tool set or skill level isn't as current as it used to be, that your resume doesn't inspire your confidence, that you're still thinking about a "flub" you made on a past interview, or that you're not following up on a lead, job posting or interview, then it's likely that you're "driving with the brakes on." So to keep your job search in "Drive," check in with yourself daily to notice quickly if the brakes are on. If you're using strategies that you don't feel good about, it's helpful to distinguish facts from perceptions. Engaging in physical activity and doing something fun every day boost your energy level. Stay connected to your support group, and remember the value you bring to your work. Volunteering can be a great way to keep your skills fresh and may lead to some new networking connections. And you can even hire a coach!

Posted by Cynthia Carlson, WIN Coordinator

Monday, July 14, 2014

"Are you driving with your brakes on?" Presentation by Trish Pratt on July 23rd

WIN workshop on July 23, 6:30-8 PM

Navigating a job search when you are unemployed may be one of the greatest challenges you’ll experience in the course of your career.  Success often comes easier and sooner when you can maintain focus, clarity, and a high level of confidence.  In fact, if all of these are not aligned and feeding your energy and enthusiasm, your search can feel difficult and slow -- as if you are driving with the brakes on.  In this discussion, we’ll look at ways to help you notice and manage these qualities in your search so that you stay on-course and keep the brakes off your success!

Trish Pratt is an Executive and Career Development Coach.  For the past 15 years, she has coached clients across the U.S., working extensively in the areas of Career and Leadership success.  She has a Master’s Degree from Tufts University, is Certified as an Executive and Professional Coach, and specializes in career and personal development, and pattern recognition.   For more information you can visit her website at:

To register for the workshop, click here.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dynamic Presentation by Jaclyn Jarmulowicz

When you're looking for a job, your age can be a barrier in all stages of life. Presenter Jaclyn Jarmulowicz, workshop facilitator and program coordinator at the Framingham office of  Employment and Training Resources, a Massachusetts One-Stop Career Center, offered valuable suggestions for neutralizing the age factor in your job applications and during a job interview.

We all deal with age discrimination at varying levels throughout our lives. The keys to overcoming that are knowing your own value, knowing your audience, and selling your value to prospective employers. There are many factors that are not within our control in the job search process, so we need to identify and work with those things that we can control.

Jaclyn suggested four steps that job seekers should take to redirect attention from our age. First, address it early on to help eliminate age-related assumptions that may be held by recruiters and interviewers. We can do that by owning it, disarming it and proving it with actual examples of ways in which we've demonstrated adaptability to change, dependability, and career successes. 

For older job seekers, it's important to avoid using phrases like "at my age," when I was your age," and "young people today." Those phrases feed into age-related stereotypes.

When creating your resume, remove your education dates--they're often a good clue to your age. Your job history should go back only 10 - 15 years, not more. You can include important items from earlier jobs in a "career highlights" or "selected accomplishments" section. And be sure to include soft skills you possess, like mentoring.

It's important to consider all your options when looking for a job. Contract and temporary positions may lead to more permanent jobs, and you'll have the advantage of being a known quantity. Self-employment may be a good choice for some people. Volunteering can be a great way to make new networking connections and possibly gain new skills. Government jobs at both the state and federal could also be considered.

Job seekers should definitely create a LinkedIn profile with a professional, current photograph of yourself. Your "look" is important; clothing, hair style, make-up and accessories should be up-to-date. If you need some help to make a change, you could ask family members and friends for their advice. 

Last and most important of all, maintain a positive attitude throughout your search It's often a difficult thing to do, but it could play a crucial role in your ultimate success in landing a job. Find ways to build happiness and positive emotions into your daily life; they'll help to open your mind for exploration and to build critical skills. Pursuing activities you enjoy, spending time with good friends, former colleagues and family members and exercising or meditating can all foster a positive mindset, critical for job seekers of any age.

Posted by Cynthia Carlson

Monday, June 30, 2014

"Using Age to Advantage" - July 9, 6:30-8 PM

Jaclyn Jarmulowicz is a workforce and communications professional who is employed by Employment and Training Resources, a Massachusetts One-Stop Career Center. She is a workshop facilitator and program coordinator with experience working with both recently dislocated workers as well as the long-term unemployed.  She works diligently to bring a think-outside-the-box perspective to the job search process. She will be presenting a workshop that focuses on how to use your age and experience as an advantage in a weak economic climate. The goals of the workshop will be to discuss the changing job landscape/new options for workers, how to age proof your résumé, outline the advantages older workers bring to the workplace, identify strategies to “get in the door” and develop effective answers to challenging age-related interview questions.

To register for this workshop, please click here

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ali Kafel on Finding A Job In Today's Online World

Ali Kafel, a Shrewsbury resident, is the Director Marketing for Extreme Networks and also an Adjunct Professor at Suffolk University where he is currently teaching CareerLinks, a course on personal branding and marketing, career building, and job searches. On June 25, he gave an excellent presentation on some of the tools that job seekers can use during a job search.

Ali emphasized the importance of LinkedIn:
  • Recruiters will find you if are on LinkedIn. Employers can reach out to you and you can reach out to hiring managers.
  • It's not who YOU know. It's who knows you or who can find you.
  • You can connect with people from your college or with your ex-bosses or former colleagues.
  • You could ask for an informational interview with a person who works in the company you are interested in.
  • If you want to send a message to someone you're not connected to, see what groups they belong to. You can then join one of the groups and then send a message to them.
 Twitter can also be used effectively by people wanting to transition to a new job or career
  • Learn about a company and its managers by following them on Twitter
  • Use Twitter to create a brand for yourself
Ali explained how blogging too is a great way to make yourself visible.

He gave some tips on resume writing:
  • Make sure to use the keywords relevant to the job you're applying for.
  • List the achievements that prove your claims; focus on your completed projects or accomplishments, not just the tasks you've performed
  • Use power verbs to describe your achievements
  • Write your own resume and then get it proofread by others
Ali had a wealth of information to share and has promised to come back for another WIN presentation!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Catherine Storing's Dynamic Presentation

Confidence coach Catherine Storing gave job seekers valuable tips about preparing for, participating in and following up on job interviews--tips that can enhance your chances of landing the position you want.

Her first rule: Know your resume. You may get asked a question about something you've listed on it, and you should be prepared to answer it knowledgeably.

Make sure your resume includes current contact information, including a "gmail" account. According to Catherine, if you list a "yahoo" or "aol" account you're dating yourself. Your e-mail address should include your name for clear identification and to help prevent it from getting directed into a potential interviewer's Spam folder. It's also a good idea to set up a Skype account in case someone needs to talk with you face to face but can't be available for a personal interview.

If you've been invited to have a telephone interview, make sure you're wide awake and energized, and dress up as you would for a personal interview. You're more likely to make a good first impression.

Research the company and know where you're going before your interviews. Ask about company culture--you want to dress appropriately, but also be comfortable.

Remember that the interview process is for both the potential employer's and your own benefit; listen to what's said, but also to what's not said so you can make an informed decision about whether or not the job is a good fit for you.

Ask the Human Resources representative about salary range, hours of work and benefits; those aren't appropriate questions for the hiring manager or others who may be part of the interview process. Sit up straight, speak clearly and with confidence.

 Your attire is a key part of the first impression you give, so be sure to dress appropriately for the company and position. One good way to determine what's appropriate is to drive by the company first thing in the morning or at lunch time so you can observe what employees are wearing. Always prepare your interview wardrobe the day before; choose carefully to ensure that your clothes are clean, pressed, and comfortable for you when you're standing and when you're sitting down. Your shoes must be clean and polished, and your hair should be neat and styled. Women should carry a basic, mid-sized purse  and  avoid flat shoes; a small heel  or platform shoe will help your posture and gait. All candidates should have a folder of some sort in which to carry extra copies of resumes and other papers you may need.

Catherine listed some questions that you should always ask if possible:

What is your management style?
What is your most pressing problem or need?
What qualities would your ideal candidate possess?
Why is the position open and for how long has it been available?
What is a typical day like?
What do you like best about your job?
What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Take notes on the answers; you can offer some relevant examples of ways you can help the company in your answers to questions asked of you.

Always send an e-mail thank you message the day after the interview. If you haven't heard back from the company after a week or so, you can send an inquiry into the status of the interview process, and send a second message a week later if you still haven't heard anything.

Catherine concluded her dynamic presentation by emphasizing the importance of having your references ready, and of letting your references know that they should expect a call from a specific person at a particular company. She stayed after the presentation to answer questions, and offered to address specific issues via e-mail.

Posted by Cynthia Carlson

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Gabriella Calzolari's presentation on LinkedIn

Gabriella Calzolari

With over 1 million members, LinkedIn is a growing professional networking site used by companies, hiring managers, job seekers and those currently employed as a way of making connections, gathering information and following trends. Gabriella Calzolari, director of recruitment and selection at Northwest Mutual, gave workshop attendees a good overview of how to use the site to your maximum advantage.

By joining an industry, alumni or common interest group, you can easily make multiple connections and learn what your peers and their organizations are involved in. Your LinkedIn profile should not be an exact copy of your resume; instead, Gabriella suggested listing your top five strengths for which you want to be recognized. Asking for and giving endorsements of skills helps to boost your profile as well.

Other tips that Gabriella offered were to be anonymous when looking at employers' profiles, reorder the way in which others will view your own profile, and include a professional head shot so you'll be more recognizable. Also, be sure to include nicknames, previous names and alternate spellings of your name(s) to make it easier for people to find you. For job seekers, she noted that it's a good idea to include your status in your title so that recruiters and potential employers will be aware of your availability. Some companies have even made it possible to apply for a position directly from LinkedIn, a time-saving and easy shortcut to the often cumbersome on-line application process.

As for formatting, bullets make your profile easier to read. Don't make it too long, and list your accomplishments instead of your duties and responsibilities. You can also post articles and quotes to make your profile more interesting.

Finally, Gabriella recommended following companies and people you admire, and looking at the LinkedIn pages of employers. She concluded her presentation by answering questions and offering one-on-one help to those who would like it. 

Posted by Cynthia Carlson

Monday, May 19, 2014

Talk on LinkedIn on May 28

LinkedIn is the most effective professional networking tool today. Every professional should have a LinkedIn profile. If you are looking for some tips on how to create an account and start networking, attend our WIN meeting on Wednesday, May 28, 6:30-8 PM.

Gabriella Calzolari, Director of HR, Northwestern Mutual will teach you how to establish a presence on LinkedIn and grow your network. She will also help you learn how to effectively search and use filters; have an appealing profile (title, work history, skills); join groups; and post articles.

Limited spots available, so please register from the Calendar link on the library website or click here.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Dr. Becker's Informative Presentation

Drawing from his years of experience working with hiring managers, human resources professionals and executives, Ethan Becker, president and senior coaching partner of The Speech Improvement Company, Inc., shared some practical, proven techniques for people to use before, during and after the interview. He started by defining the interview as the "getting and receiving of information."

Because nervousness is often a concern for interviewees, Dr. Becker demonstrated two techniques to help control the accompanying physical symptoms: diaphragmatic breathing and, what he called the "ten second relaxer," a subtle way in which to create a pressure point to which to redirect stress.

He discussed the four elements of an interview that candidates should think about and focus on: time; place; people, and purpose; and how each of those elements factors into the interview experience. He also outlined five key pieces of information that the candidate should be sure to incorporate into the interview: a can-do statement to reinforce your ability to perform the job; a benefit statement illustrating how your contributions will benefit the team and the company; your experience and background and how they'll translate to the new position; your work style and; an action statement such as asking for a time frame for a decision.

Dr. Becker stressed the importance of having a theme for your candidacy so that you can be sure to convey the most important thing you want the interviewer to remember about you professionally and personally. A theme can be a valuable tool to guide candidates when they're faced with a question they're not quite sure how to answer. Themes should be reinforced with examples and stories to make them more relevant to the discussion.

The presentation concluded with some excellent advice - Always be authentic. Attendees received some customized answers to their specific questions, and left with a firmer understanding of the interview process and how to successfully navigate through it.

Cynthia Carlson, WIN Coordinator

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Interview With Confidence by Dr. Ethan Becker

Our next WIN workshop is on May 14, 6:30-8 PM.

Dr. Ethan Becker, President and Senior Coaching Partner with The Speech Improvement Company, Inc., is also the co-author of the book Mastering Communication at Work. He is energetic and inspirational as both a trainer and coach to his clients. 

At this workshop, you can learn skills and techniques from a professional coach to ensure that you present yourself with clarity and confidence during the job interview. This workshop will allow you to leave a job interview with the confidence that you presented yourself in a clear, confident and effective manner. 

Please register for the workshop by clicking here.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Presentation by Jolene Jennings

Presenter Jolene Jennings provided thoughtful and helpful insight into the advantages of volunteering your professional expertise while looking for your next job. Ms. Jennings, site director of Jericho Road Project in Worcester, started by giving an overview of the agency's mission, which is two-fold: to match the professional skills of volunteers with the needs of community-based non-profit organizations to help with strategy and development for long-term growth, expansion and improvement, and; The Leadership Connection, which provides governance training for board development. 

Both job seekers and organizations benefit from skills-based partnerships--the job-seeker by remaining active in his/her profession while they're not working in a paid position, and the organization by receiving expert advice and guidance at no cost. Currently there are 30 non-profit organizations in the Worcester area which have projects in progress with the assistance of Jericho Road volunteers.

There are other benefits for job seekers as well. Through their volunteer work, job seekers can make good networking connections which can be very helpful during their job search. Recent statistics show that volunteers may increase their chances of finding a paid position by 27%.

Ms. Jennings, who holds a Master of Science degree in Nonprofit Management from Worcester State University, has twenty years of successful professional leadership in both the non-profit and volunteer arenas. Her presentation was truly inspirational and provided valuable information about the many ways in which volunteering can be a positive alternative strategy for job seekers while providing much-needed support to the area's non-profit organizations.
You can find out more information at 

Cynthia Carlson, WIN Coordinator

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Jericho Road Project - A Volunteering Opportunity - WIN program on April 23rd

Jericho Road connects volunteer experts with nonprofits that offer critical services to under-served residents in their communities. In addition to volunteer matching, Jericho Road also trains and places corporate leaders on nonprofit boards through our Leadership Connection Program. Jolene Jennings, Director of the Worcester branch, has twenty years experience producing visible impact in the nonprofit sector in Worcester County. She has created, enhanced and managed organizational structure and effectiveness in areas of anti-hunger, entrepreneurship, elder services, self-sufficiency, and volunteerism, and has been a dedicated advocate for girls and women’s personal and professional development since 2002. Her leadership and accomplishments include: Founding Member and Board Officer for Dress for Success Worcester; Interim Director for the Center for Women & Enterprise Worcester; and Founder and Sole Proprietor of Wise Women Resource. She will talk about what Jericho Road Worcester does and how people can use their professional skills to volunteer and stay involved at nonprofits in need between employment.

Please register for the workshop by clicking here

Thursday, April 10, 2014

"Your Elevator Speech" by Anne Crawford

Starting the presentation with her own "elevator speech", career coach and presenter Anne Crawford gave job seekers an effective formula for creating their own quick, concise summary of who they are and what they do.

The first element? Your name! That's followed by a short explanation of what you do--and what you can do for a company or organization. The last component is identifying your target market, which should give enough information to provoke a follow-up question from the listener. That gives the job seeker the opportunity to expand on his/her skills, talents and accomplishments.

Anne first worked with the group as a whole, offering suggestions for improving current elevator speeches for those who shared them. Then she divided the audience into smaller groups where participants helped each other create effective elevator speeches following Anne's suggestions. Job seekers left the meeting with a clearer sense of their goals and achievements and how to effectively communicate them at a moment's notice.

Posted by Cynthia Carlson, WIN participant

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Elevator Speech: Getting You To The Next Level by Anne Crawford

WIN workshop on Wed, April 9, 6:30-8 PM
Your elevator speech is a wonderful way to introduce yourself at a casual or business meeting or situation. As you will learn through Anne Crawford's workshop, the 3 elements involved in forming a strong elevator speech will give you clarity on not only who you want to attract, but what skills you have to show them what a powerhouse you really are. She will work one on one as much as possible and answer any questions you have about how to word your speech, what environments work the best for the formal or casual elevator speech, and most of all leave you feeling empowered.

Anne Crawford is a certified Career Transition Coach who has been in business for six years. Before becoming a coach she lead personal growth workshops which included accepting your personality type, how to move forward in life with goal setting, and exercises to diminish the hold  that our “fears” have on us. She has appeared on radio shows and has had several of her articles published in magazines. Her focus has been with helping the military find success on and off the battleground with a concentration on resume writing and finding a positive career in civilian life. She also helped run the Employment Support Group of Norton with Bill Lippincott for 5 years which included, resume writing, mock interviewing skills, goal setting, handling the stress, networking and other personal issues. 

To register for the workshop, click here

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rep. Matt Beaton's talk on March 26th to be rescheduled

There will be no WIN meeting on March 26th. Representative Matt Beaton's talk will be rescheduled.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Rep. Matt Beaton on Wed, March 26, 6:30-8 PM

Rep. Matt Beaton has been a lifelong Shrewsbury resident and is the State Representative of the 11th Worcester District. He will discuss ways to make Massachusetts more business friendly and ways the state can offer assistance to job seekers, for example, through the Office of Workforce Development.

All are welcome to attend and have their questions answered by Rep. Matt Beaton.

Joe Ryan's Inspirational Message

Joe Ryan’s message was:
·        We are not experiencing a Recession, but an Evolution.  Evolutionary times on Steroids!
·        Employees are now considered contractual, versus permanent.
·        Develop your “change muscles” – try a new restaurant; find new ways home; jump into social media. Joe recommended the website,, for trying new things.

What to avoid: G.A.I.L
·        Gremlin ~ That inner voice of self doubt that sabotages our self-confidence and derails us from the future we desire and deserve.  Identify it, and tell it to shut up, and go away!
 ·       Assumptions ~ Those beliefs that have no foundation.  They are often wrong and may get us in trouble. For example, “That company must be a horrible place.  I'll never get hired there because I don't have any political connection.”

·        Interpretations ~ Do you see the glass as half empty or half full?  

·        Limiting Beliefs ~ Beliefs that filter our experience and not anchored in reality.  For example,” Anyone over 50 is too old to return to school.”

Joe recommended two books:
·         "The Reinventing of You" by Dorie Clark
·         "The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a time of Brilliant Technologies" by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. 
            Posted by Sandra Billings, WIN participant

Friday, February 28, 2014

"Jobs, Careers, Lives & Futures" on March 12

Shrewsbury-based Joe Ryan is a learning and organizational development professional and a certified change and leadership coach with over 17 years of experience. His areas of expertise are change management, leadership development, supervisory and management development, critical thinking and problem solving.

This is the outline of his presentation:

  1. Let us reframe unemployment from something negative to an opportunity to reconsider your future and ALL its possibilities.
  2. The Futility of Cemented Beliefs and Actions
  3. Recognize Your Belief System and Its Impact on Your Ability to Change and Progress
  4. Dip Your Big Toe in the Pool of Constructive Change
To register for the workshop, please click here

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Green Careers by Jen Boudrie

Presenter Jen Boudrie gave job seekers another avenue to explore while searching for jobs--a career in a green industry. Opening with "The planet needs environmental sustainability and people need jobs," Jen provided a comprehensive overview of green jobs and how and where to find them.

Because of climate change, population growth, economic development and natural resource depletion, there are many opportunities for green jobs across industries. According to Jen, any job can be green--or greener. Government, businesses and nonprofits all offer opportunities for green careers. The fields of energy, water, materials/waste, purchasing, transportation and management are all looking for ways to be "greener."

Jen offered tips and resources for those interested in exploring green careers and held a Q & A at the conclusion of her presentation. 

Cynthia Carlson - WIN participant

Friday, February 14, 2014

Mick Verran's presentation

On Wednesday evening, eighteen job seekers benefited from presenter Mick Verran's vast experience in planning, managing and executing job searches. Mick introduced the concept of a "portfolio career," a strategy particularly helpful to those who have many interests and a variety of career experiences. A combination of projects, consulting, sub-contracting, teaching, coaching and products can create a good mix of employment opportunities. For those who are seeking full-time employment, Mick provided a structured approach to targeting potential employers, planning a job search and managing your time effectively. Key to both approaches is careful consideration of financial implications and personal interests and motivation. 

Cynthia Carlson, WIN participant

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Targeting and Planning Your Job Search by Mick Verran

The next WIN (Work Initiative Network) workshop to be held at the Shrewsbury Public Library on Feb 12th from 6:30-8 PM will be “Targeting and Planning Your Job Search” by Mick Verran. He will go over what is called a portfolio career. A "portfolio career" is a collection of revenue streams consisting of part-time employment; freelancing or consulting engagements; short-term contracts; and "products" that together add up to a full-time job. People with varied interests and diverse experience can explore a "portfolio career." Even those firmly committed to a full-time position can take a stimulating and fresh look at their skills and experience and embark on a new career path. Mick Verran, an organization consultant with over 30 years' experience, will help you 

  • Take stock of all your skills and experiences
  • Clarify the value of each of your capabilities
  • Identify existing and potential customers
  • Consider how you might monetize your diverse capabilities
  • Target new job opportunities
To register for the workshop, please click here

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Suzanne Gray's Workshop

Fifteen WIN participants gained from Suzanne Gray's expertise at yesterday's workshop. Suzanne first talked about why many are considering business ownership.  She reviewed statistics that many have themselves experienced, with downsizing and corporate mergers.  She called this “The New Career Economy”.  Suzanne shared her expertise in starting a business, thinking through transferable skills and personal and professional goals; and the importance of managing and marketing the business, not only be the technician.  Suzanne went on to review the basic pros and cons of independent businesses; investing in a resale of a business and franchises.  She wrapped up the workshop with a discussion around some of her successful clients, and where they are today, and questions to consider when exploring if business ownership would be a good fit.