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Goodbye 2010

Hello 2011…welcome.  What did you wish you did last year with your career?  Wish you had started looking sooner?  Wish you could try something new in 2011.  Do it.  Gor for it.  Get it done. 

You are not behind.  You didn’t miss your opportunity.  2011 should be a year of OPENED EYES.  Open your eyes.  Take a few more chances.  Live a little more and go after what you want. 

2011 is your year.  Start right now!

Let’s Get Started!


Don’t Get Lazy

It is easy to get lazy after Christmas.  I know it is for me too.  I want some more down time too. 

Being lazy sometimes is good for you.  I know it can rejuvenate you, rest you and ready you for what is next.  That is the good lazy.  The bad lazy keeps you there making excuses why you can’t or don’t want to start-up again.  Stop the bad lazy days but taking a deep breath and just starting something small.  Get the machine moving slowly…the kinks will start to smooth out…the brain will start thinking again.  Your machine will run better and faster than before your break.

Grab a Christmas cookie and get to work.  You will be one more day closer to your next job.

Let’s Get Started!


Grow Up

I want to say “Grow Up” to all you people out there who know better.  You know who I am talking about.  You who say you are going to do something and don’t.  You who say I can’t do something and you really can but you are scared.  Grow up and grow up fast.

Your mama is not here to hold your hand.  Whatever you are avoiding quit.  Quit doing things you know are derailing your efforts at a good job or trying something new.   Being comfortable is not all it is cracked up to be.  Get uncomfortable and do it fast.  Enjoy it because change WILL make you better.

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Ouch That Hurt

Job searching can actually hurt.  The main pain you feel is emotional when you find a lead or two on the internet, submit a resume and hear nothing from them.  Do this 100 or 500 times and you can really feel some pain.  This emotional pain can turn into actual physical pain if it goes too far.

If you are feeling pain like this, find a way to alleviate the stressors.  Maybe you are a runner or you work out.  Keep that up.  If you don’t do anything to relieve the pain, start now.  It really will help you out. 

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Serious or Just Looking

Are you a serious job seeker or are you just window shopping.  Serious job seekers know what they want, where they need to go to get it and don’t take no for an answer.  Of course I don’t mean you take no prisoners with this quest but I do mean you get serious.  True job seekers are not broken by a little set back.  True job seekers keep the end game in sight no matter what is going on around them.

So what does a “window shopper” job seeker do?  They work a little on their resume and then take a break.  They watch a little tv or go work out at the gym or read a good book.  They find ways to not look for a job.  Many times the window shopper doesn’t really know they are doing it…well…errr…maybe they do but don’t want to admit it.  If you are just window shopping then recognize it.  If you are a true job seeker then stay strong and get out there.  Job opportunities are passing you by every day.

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Just Show Up

Work is tough.  Life is tough.  Going to a job you don’t particularly like is tough.  Making a difference is tough.  The good things in life can be tough no matter who you are.  Do you run away when things get tough or do you stick it out every day?

I think we have all “run away” from our problems or tough situations at one time in our life or another.  It is somewhat part of our nature.  Our brains are pretty slick at spotting tough situations and turning on the flight response.  I don’t want to condone all these times because some of them might be good for you.  The problem is that if you get in the habit of flying away on your magic carpet every time things get rough, you won’t have the “UMPF” to stick it out when you know you need to.

Stop taking naps or watching tv or checking email when you know you have something tough you have to do.  Stop making excuses to others why you haven’t been able to find a job.  I know it is tough out there.  They system is not always on your side.  But I know you can be tougher than whatever is thrown your way.  You can.  You are strong.  You may be nervous or down right scared to do a particular task.  You CAN do it.  You can win but you do have to show up. 

Now go show up, eyes open and lean forward.  You are going to beat this.  You will.  I promise.  And you will be better for it. 

Let’s Get Started!


You Own Your Own Resume

Never send a resume to a friend who is going to forward it to another person they know.  I don’t typically like to say never but in this case it is true.  Most of the time if you send a resume to a friend or relative in hopes they will pass it to the right person who will read it and say:  “This is the person I was looking for”.  If you are dreaming about this, wake up.  Things don’t typically work out that way. 

Instead of sending a resume along, ask the person who so graciously offered to pass your resume to the right person, ask them if you can contact their friend yourself.  Asking this can be tough and takes a little nerve.  The end result will be much better than the previous situation.  If you let your friend pass it along, a few things can happen.  One is your friend will now be stuck in the middle.  This is never good for friendships.   A second issue is you will not be given the chance to introduce yourself. 

Every resume gets stuck in a pile.  Do everything to get yours in the right pile.  Never leave the side of your resume otherwise you might be sorry.

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Always Send A Cover Letter

No matter what you are doing with your resume, you should always introduce yourself with a cover letter or cover note.  I don’t always like to call it a letter because some people freak out at writing a letter.  Don’t freak out.  If you are vocabulary challenged, then get some help or have someone you know who is a decent writer look at it for you. 

A cover note/letter can help set the stage for your resume and you.  It can be simple but don’t make it boring.  Boring cover letters give the perception you might be boring.  Spice it up just a little or take a slight deviation from the “normal” cover letter to get noticed.  You can do it. 

And don’t use the same letter for everything.  A similar format is fine but not a carbon copy.

Let’s Get Started!


Best Free Cover Letter Example

Here is a post using a document I just sent a client.  It demonstrates how to approach creating a cover letter for each job you find online.  The post is divided in three sections.  The first is a copy of a job description for a Compliance Manager in California.  The second section highlights the most important things to keep in mind for writing a cover letter.  The last section is my writing of a cover letter geared for the specific job posting and some notes.  Got Questions?

Manager of Regulatory Affairs & Compliance

About the Job

Manager of Regulatory Affairs and Compliance

We are seeking an experienced compliance professional to join our team! This position will report directly to the VP, Chief Compliance Officer and will be directly responsible for ongoing daily activities of Regulatory Affairs and Compliance, compliance program development, auditing, monitoring, investigative and reporting throughout Easy Choice Health Plan and its contracted entities.

Experience: The qualified candidate will possess the following skills and experience:

-Minimum of Five (5) years management experience
-Minimum five (5) years regulatory or government affairs training, auditing, monitoring, compliance investigations, issue resolutions, risk management, development and monitoring of corrective actions
-Proven leadership in the development of compliance program elements and oversight requirements (manager level or above)
-Proven track record of effectively managing various compliance program components, meeting and exceeding compliance with Federal and State guidelines/ regulations, standards and guidance (manager level or above)
-Extensive knowledge of HIPAA Regulations

Responsibilities: Job functions include, but are not limited to the following

-Develop and implement extensive external audit/assessment processes, methodologies, and corrective action requirements
-Conduct/manage high risk compliance investigations including corrective actions
-Manage the day-to-day operations of the compliance department
-Responsible for the maintenance of processes to assure compliance with legal and regulatory standards and practices
-Identify improvement opportunities and lead improvement projects, including the implementation of staff training and P&P’s as necessary
-Provide guidance and information for staff members and other functional areas by interpreting Medicare and Medi-Cal guidelines and regulations
-Develop and present weekly, monthly and annual reports to the Chief Compliance Officer

Candidates must possess excellent verbal, written and presentation skills, including the ability to translate complex legal and regulatory requirements and issues into terms readily understood by upper management and line employees. Candidate must be adept at complex project planning and management, with the experience and ability to manage staff and delegate effectively; requires well-developed skills in problem identification, analysis, resolution, organization, prioritization, time-lines and attention to detail.

Only qualified candidates need apply

Thank You!


How to write a cover letter for this posting:

Keep in mind a few things:

1. The section in red is the company’s wish list of experience.  It is not always mandatory but fitting as many of these as possible is important.  If you don’t have 50% then probably don’t apply.

2. The section in blue is the day-to-day of the position.   Making sure you have experienced most of these as well is important.

For a cover letter, you now have to make a judgment call…how many of the above items do you highlight in your cover letter and how do you put their needs before yours.  You want to also begin to paint a picture about yourself where they say:  “I want to talk with this guy.”

That’s it.


Cover letter example for this posting



Dear Name or Hiring Manager,

My name is Jeff Fleming.  I saw your posting for a Manager of Regulatory Affairs and Compliance on  Please find attached to this letter a copy of my resume for consideration.

It appears you are looking for a compliance manager who has the experience to oversee your complex programs, lead staff towards department goals and explore ways to expand the compliance programs in order to institute greater efficiencies.  As a seasoned compliance manager with a deep understanding of various legal and regulatory affairs within the health insurance industry, I would like to begin introducing myself to you with the following highlights:

–          Six years of experience within compliance departments at Countrywide Insurance Services and Aetna Health Plans.

–          Experience managing three high-profile compliance programs centered on high risk complaint resolutions, auditing , monitoring, compliance investigations, issue resolutions, and risk measurement activities.

–          Recently completed a Juris Doctorate (2006) which gives me a unique advantage to understand compliance and regulatory issues at a much deeper level.

I would enjoy speaking with you about the opportunity and discuss your goals and if I might be a good fit for the position.  If you have time for a phone call or face to face meeting, I will make myself available at a convenient time.

Thank you for reviewing my qualifications.


Robert Downer


Final note:  most cover letters are just ok and typically a little boring.  Sorry to be so blunt.  You need to take a little different twist to this introductory piece.  Sometimes going out a little on a limb will help them be curious about you.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  I have also seen people send cover letters that begin to unwrap the challenges of the job and one or two ideas they have used in the past to create success.  This gets the attention of hiring managers as long as you put their needs before yours.

Let’s Get Started!


Just Too Tired Today

Today I am tired.  I am not sure if it is because I had a restless night or because I woke up early or just stressed out.  I am not really stressed just feeling extra pressure to finish some work projects before the holidays.  Are you ever too tired to job search?  You just don’t feel like it?

Well here is where you can separate the men from the boys or the women from the girls.  This tired day or week or month will surface.  It may surface often.  How do you get out of that “too tired” mentality?  Here is what I do:

1. Pretend I don’t feel it.  This may sound wrong but when those feelings come up for me, I just push through them and pretend they don’t exist.  I go through the motions at first and eventually my body and brain take over and continue to push forward. 

2. I take regular breaks.  I do this so I can make sure I have some down-time in the midst of my tired work.  Down-time can help revive or rejuvenate your spirits if it is not too long.  A little more down time during this time let’s your brain know it is ok to feel this way and you acknowledge it.  A few extra 10-minute breaks in the day will help give me the boost I need.

Typically the tired days are not going to stick around for too long.  Knowing that it will eventually end can also help you get through it.

Let’s Get Started!