Saturday, June 30, 2007

News Release Basics

Although this guide to writing news releases was written by an individual in the web hosting industry, his tips are just as appropriate to resume writers:

Press Release Tips
There's really only a couple of simple rules to follow when writing your press release. The closer you stick to the basic rules the better results you will see from your releases.
1. Submit Press Not Advertising.
It is important to submit news worthy press only. Great topics for press releases are new partnerships and acquisitions, location changes, expansions, new staff members, new clients, awards and recognition, etc. Price changes, sales, and promotions typically do not make for interesting press releases and will seldom be picked up.
2. Keep it Short and Simple.
This goes for the title and the press release. Don't confuse your title with your opening paragraph. Our media partners and their readers are busy folks. Give em the meat and let them move on. Before anyone reads your press release, they glance at it. If it looks like too much work to read based on the glance, they won't read it!
3. Use An Effective Headline
Create a headline which conveys immediately why this news is important. Avoid promotional sounding words. What you say here determines whether the reader will read the rest of the release.
4. A Strong Opening Paragraph
Answer who, what, where, when, why, and how. Write this paragraph as an abstract or summary for the press release.
5. Deal with Just the Facts
Again, this is press not advertising so keep your release factual and refrain from too many adjectives or "hyped-up" terms.
6. Don't Use All Caps.
NOT ONLY IS IT REALLY OBNOXIOUS TO READ it's not all that respectful to the media partners who will be running your press. Remember, it's press, not ADVERTISING. Your title should have the first letter of each word capitalized only.
7. Brief Corporate Summary
Include especially any information about products or services which help establish your expertise. Also mention your location, years in business, etc. Keep it short; don't include the annual report!

Reprinted from Host Release.

For more information about getting publicity for your resume writing services, visit The Publicity Hound.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Ask the Headhunter®

I always enjoy the musings of Nick Corcodilos, author of "Ask The Headhunter." Here is more information about his approach to the career search.

1. The best way to find a good job opportunity is to go hang out with people who do the work you want to do -- people who are very good at it. Insiders are the first to know about good opportunities, but they only tell other insiders. To get into a circle of people, you must earn your way. It takes time. You can't fake it, and that's good, because who wants to promote mediocrity?

2. The best way to get a job interview is to be referred by someone the manager trusts. Between 40-70% of jobs are filled that way. Yet people and employers fail to capitalize on this simple employment channel. They pretend there's some better system. That's bunk. If companies took more of the dollars they waste on Monster and CareerBuilder and spent them to cultivate personal contacts, they'd fill more jobs faster with better people. When a respected peer puts his good name on the line to recommend you, there is nothing more powerful.

3. The best way to do well in an interview is to walk in and demonstrate to the manager how you will do the job profitably for him and for you. Everything else is stuff and nonsense.

What's the main difference compared to the traditional approach? That's simple, too. The traditional approach is "shotgun". You carpet-bomb companies with your resume and wait to hear from someone you don't know who doesn't know you. Lotsa luck. ATH regulars know that I never wish anyone luck, because I don't believe in it. I believe in doing the work required to succeed. ATH is a "rifle" approach. You must carefully select and target the companies and jobs you want. It takes a lot of work and thought to accomplish the simple task in item (3). There are no short-cuts. No one can do it for you. If you aren't prepared to do that, you have no business applying for the job, and the manager would be a fool to hire you.

I'll leave you with a scenario that illustrates why the traditional methods don't work well. You walk up to a manager. You hand him your resume. You hand him your credentials, your experience, and your accomplishments -- your carefully crafted "marketing piece". Now, what are you really saying to that manager? "Here. Read this. Then you go figure out what the heck to do with me."

You know as well as I do what the odds are that a manager will bother.

The job candidate who uses the Ask The Headhunter approach keeps the resume in her pocket and says to the manager, "Let me show you what I'm going to do to make your business more profitable."

That's who you're competing with, whether she learned this approach from me or whether it's just her common sense. The beauty of this approach is, few people will step up to the plate.

-- Excerpted from the Ask the Headhunter newsletter.