If you're job-hunting, here's advice from the latest (Oct. 14 National Business Employment Weekly, suggestions summarized from a true/false quiz.
(1) First step is to develop an outstanding resume. False. ("First step is to develop your strategy or objective, helping answer the crucial question, 'What kind of job(s) should I consider?' This requires tremendous introspection.")
(2) Being unemployed is an embarrassment, so keep it to yourself. False. ("It's no embarrassment; keeping it to yourself will prolong the pain. 'Network' by telling others your situation.")
(3) Networking means talking to important people who have jobs. False. ("Networking means asking people you know to help you meet people you don't know.")
(4) Looking for a job requires about 20 hours a week. False. ("It's a full-time job.")
(5) Contact the personnel department first. False. ("Department managers have hiring authority. Also, don't overlook the boss. He/she is always looking for good people.") More on this next week, with a few "true" answers.
LOCAL LINGO: Peter Bowe, President, Dredge Division, Ellicott Machine Corp., shares his business success principles: "First, let me emphasize that we're not always successful. That said, here goes: In selling dredges to overseas markets, long-term relationships aren't always long-lived or consistent. It's not like selling diapers to a baby store. It's a moving range of projects, so we must always be flexible. Prospects come and go. To succeed, we must change foreign representatives when necessary. And, being a fairly small company, we live and die by foreign exchange, trying not to let exchange rates shoot us down. The strong 1985 dollar almost killed us. Flexibility is our watchword."
WORKPLACE WAMPUM: "Too much money, too little time to manage it? Many dual-career couples don't make time to keep accurate financial records or manage their money so that it earns more. Solution: At least one spouse should spend one hour a week keeping records and investigating investment opportunities." (John Blankenship, President, Institute of Certified Planners, Del Mar, Calif.)
SMALL BUSINESS CORNER: "As consumer spending slacks off, small companies may find inventories rising, but they can improve cash flow by shooting for more inventory turns per year. If stock turns over six times a year, shoot for eight." . . . "If delinquent debtors are hurting your firm, sharpen debt-collection tactics. Be stern about getting paid earlier, letting debtors know you're not going away until they pay you." . . . "An entrepreneur trying to start a high-tech firm should begin with a business plan, right? Not so fast. Don't write a plan without an expert team. Inventors with working models should outline their market niche and 'broadcast' it with response sheet to dozens of legal and financial experts, drawing feedback from experts who may form a future advisory board." (Nation's Business, Oct.)
AUTUMN LEAVES: A business consultant told me, "To avoid misunderstandings, executives should have employment contracts rather than handshake agreements." . . . "Rest assured that before you receive an official employment offer these days, prospective employers will check you out." (Reedie & Co., outplacement specialists) . . . "Publishing a book adds credibility and cash to the boss and his business." (Home Office Computing magazine) . .