By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS
The time has passed and, according to the incredible testimonials from attendees, Career Planning On A Napkin 2011 was a huge success.  This well-received presentation contained concrete, relevant information to help jobseekers energize their career campaigns by providing them with actual examples of diverse topics including How To Network, Creating A Dynamite LinkedIn Profile,  Designing Your Value Proposition as well as How to Deal With Being Overqualified.  Judging by the oohs and aaahs, the information presented was helpful in giving people a new perspective for their job campaign.

So what were some of the things caused the light bulb to go off? Well, in the presentation by keynote speaker, Michael Goldberg of Building Blocks Consulting, LLC and author of the book Knock-Out Networking and expert on networking interactions, there are rules of networking just as there are rules to be followed when going into the community pool.  Follow these rules and you are sure to improve your networking skills.  Some of them include “No selling, It is never about you, Have good questions to ask, Listen more and talk less…”

Jennifer Scott of HireEffect, LLC, an active, savvy, dynamic recruiter, gave the side of what recruiters are looking for in candidates and spoke about creating a LinkedIn Profile that enhances your online presence in search.  A simple suggestion that resonated with the group – use all of the real estate that they give you. What does this mean?  Use the space right under your name, to further your brand. Use keywords with a punch to attract attention.  For example, mine says:
Career Coach creating extraordinary career campaigns 1 client at a time.  In transition?
Think about what yours could be.  What will help grab the reader’s attention when searching for keywords to get to you and then read on?  If you put – “President of Acme Company” you are losing out on a golden opportunity to further your message.

Abby Kohut, who is also known as “Absolutely Abby,” gave a wonderful presentation on how to deal with being told that you are overqualified while interviewing during your job search.  The ammunition that she provided our participants with was straightforward and leaves little room for argument.  When an interviewer discusses the fact that you are overqualified, look back at them and say, “I think that I am perfectly qualified.  Wouldn’t you rather have an overqualified heart surgeon rather than one who is just qualified?”  You can go on with other examples but the gist and grist is there.  “Who do you want in the cockpit of a 747?  A qualified pilot or an overqualified one? “If we look at Sully Sullenberger, I think we all know the answer!

My presentation was on Creating Your Value Proposition.  As you know or should know, your Value Proposition is the spine of your career campaign.  Some people call it the elevator speech.  I like to refer to it as the Value Proposition because it truly describes what it does.  It tells how you provide value in a concise, succinct way.  I will concentrate more on this in my next blog posting.  This is a topic that I have been asked to present about in countless speaking engagements.  It is the very heart and soul of your campaign and, therefore, deserves its own real estate!

We also were fortunate to have Stephanie Dalfonzo, a health and wellness coach, give us tips and tried and true measures to help us deal with stress.  Yes, we all know that stress is a part of the career search process.  However, many of us do not know how to relieve it in a natural, calming and soothing manner.  Well, Stephanie taught us about guided visualizations to come to a place within ourselves to find relaxation.  In addition, she had us using the EFT method, which stands for Emotional Freedom Technique, to lower our stress levels.  If you look through our Twitter stream, you will see how she had us tapping our way to lowering stress.  With EFT, you tap on various acupressure points which help energy flow better throughout your body reducing stress.

Our colleague, Jay Rovert, from MetLife; spoke about financial issues that impact people in transition.  This valuable information has been the subject of prior postings on this blog.
To read our Tweet stream #CPN2011 and find out more valuable information, please go to: