erinalbert.com

books    •    bio    •    blog    •    store

                 

 




Archive for July, 2009

Getting the Puppets Out

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

One of my friends – let’s call him e north, always says one of my favorite phrases on the planet…”get the puppets out”.  That means someone’s about to ‘xplain something.  So, here is my homage to getting the puppets out, which I reviewed with a new friend I met today:  getting the puppets out via the match needs cover letter.

What is a match needs cover letter, you ask?  Simple.  When you are applying for a job and sending along a cover letter with your resume or CV, you create a match needs cover letter based upon the specific position you are applying for. Here’s how to do it (AKA getting the puppets out):

1. Take the specific job description and underline all skills/tasks/requirements separately.
2.  Do your intro to the cover letter.  On the left side, create a column and call it “Your Requirements”
3.  List out IN ORDER as it appears in the job description, each and nearly every skill/task/or requirement on the left side under the “Your Requirements” column.  Go crazy and use bullets if you like.
4.  Now, on the right side of the page, create a second column and call it “My Qualifications”
5.  Under the “My Qualifications” column, you literally match your skills/tasks/requirements up to those that you laid out on the left column, directly from the job description.
6.  By no means should you lie, but what skills do you have?  Boil it down and keep it to phrases.

My friends, this is “getting the puppets out” at its finest.  Why?  Because you are going to make the HR person’s day by providing this cover letter.  You are literally laying out the check box of stuff they are seeking with your own skills and talents, making it SUPER EASY for the person screening to see that you are QUALIFIED for the job at hand.  While this technique might not get you the job, it may make getting an interview easier.  When there are 450-500 other resumes on the pile for one position, guess who is going to the top of the pile?

Yup – the one who got the puppets out!!!!

Kanye should work for Hillary

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Now, stick with me on this one…it may at first appear as a stretch, but I don’t think it is.

I’ve been listening all day to my latest fascination – Pandora – and the Kanye West channel.  The more I listen, the more I think Kanye is one of the best collaborators on the planet.  He’s collaborated with businesses and real artsy people–but the range and variety of artists is truly remarkable.  He’s worked with Chris Martin of Coldplay, Madonna, Rihanna, and Lil Wayne.  I’m sure there are others too, I just can’t remember them off the top of my head.

My point is this: he’s clearly a master collaborator.  Hillary should consider hiring him to work on and with our most challenging relationships abroad.  He might actually be able to crack the code.  Granted, Kayne’s said some pretty controversial things at one point or another, but if he can figure out to collaborate with others very NOT like him, we all have something to learn from him.

Peace.

Applerific!

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

My favorite story of the week: Mortgage Apple Cakes!

Editor’s Block

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Chatting with a colleague late last week, I was ranting about how I LOVE writing, and detest editing.  Now I’m paying the price.  Editor’s block…sucks.  Here’s why:

When I write, I consider my writing as a piece of me, a part (hopefully a non-jiggly fun part).  But, when an editor comes along to tell me my piece sucks, (or, that my baby is ugly), well, that isn’t pleasant. Furthermore, when I’m asked to edit other people’s writing, well, I don’t want to be the ugly baby nark, either.  It is just not my strength.  I am a big believer of getting fresh ideas into the world, even though they might not be perfect at first, while others who constantly critique a fresh idea to death drive me insane.

On the other hand, my favorite people tend to be editors.  Most of them hate to write, and love to edit. GOD BLESS THEM, because without them my writing would be bad.  But, most of all, they help me articulate my ideas and get them into the world, even though I don’t always like what they have to say.

Yes, I have piles of stuff on my desk that I didn’t write, but I need to edit.  I’m starting to see why editors charge .03 per word.  I’d do it regularly for $1 a word…and I’d loathe every minute of it.  I even turned down an editing gig today because I just can’t face that music right now.

If you are a writer who got comfortable with editing over time, please email me how you managed that–I’d like to know your tricks.  Until then, I’ll keep trying to crank through the pile–and keep writing my own stuff rather than edit other people’s stuff, because that is my joy and my strength.

Your Personal Yoda

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

When I find a great book, I tend to shout it from the rooftops.  The latest is Keith Ferrazzi’s Who’s Got Your Back.  He’s challenging my own thinking about….Yoda.

He states in this book that it is important to have a personal Yoda or two in your life.  Who pushes you, challenges you, gets you to think bigger about yourself?  This may not necessarily be your close friends or family (sometimes, he argues, there is just too much baggage around those types of relationships anyway).

Come to think of it, I have more than a couple of Yodas in my life, even though I don’t see them that often. I have a writing Yoda or two, and a handful of career Yodas.  Just when I think I’ve done what I can to settle in and get myself stable and cozy in my little current state nook, the universe tends to send along one of my Yodas to give me a swift kick in the butt to think bigger.

If you are lucky to have a personal Yoda, great!  Congrats!  If you don’t, get one.  Here’s the hallmark sign of a Yoda: if you go to lunch or coffee with them and your brain hurts after the conversation from thinking really big – SNAP!  You found one!  If you only have one, I’ll go Yoda on ya for a second and give you another challenge: find another one.  Find 2 more.  Find 5 more.  The kick may hurt (your brain more than any other part of your body) at first, but your personal Yoda will help you to live with the most important thing of all…..no regrets.

Gunter Glieben Glauchen Globen

Friday, July 24th, 2009

If you know where the title line came from, guesses are you grew up in the 1980s.

I had the opportunity last night to re-live my high school years, by watching Def Leppard, Cheap Trick and Poison.  The ticket price alone was worth watching the audience….let alone the bands.  The weather was beautiful, breezy, summery, and fantastic.

On the week before my own 20th high school year reunion, I actually cannot believe it has been that long. It felt like yesterday.  As my high school Latin teacher said, “tempus fugit”.  Time flies.

Be sure you are living your life, and having some fun along the way.  That is what it is all really about.  The rest is just…well…gunter glieben glauchen globen.

Be-Dazzling

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

As I discovered last night there is a partial 5th book to the Twilight series and started pouring through it (I know, I can’t shut up about it, sorry, just follow me on this one…), I remembered a small, but great reason why I love it so. Bella and Edward (the lead characters, in case you’re not up on your Tween reading) have a conversation in a cafe, and while the host is seating them (the host being totally caught up in Edward’s masculine pulchritude), he flashes a smile at the host and a tip to get another table.  Bella says to Edward something about..”There you go again…”, to which Edward replies, “What do you mean?” and she says “You dazzle people”!

Now, I probably didn’t get that exact, but you get the flavor of what I’m trying to get you at….and that is this: when was the last time you were dazzled by someone?  Better yet–when was the last time YOU were dazzling?

My law school girlfriends and I joke about shiny things, we LOVE the Bedazzler (caution: if you go to the link, you’ll hear the commercial…). But, there is something just FUN about shiny and sparkly!  So, if we can wear shiny and sparkly things, or create them on our own with tools, why not just cut to the chase and try to be dazzling on our very own?!?  Times are tough…but smiles are free!  After all, look at the compliment guys, who are now going around the country passing out free compliments. (I smell a movie around that one.)

People – to be dazzling doesn’t cost a penny!  Just smile, love, and put the other person in your shoes!  Try to make someone’s day.  And, if someone makes your day – TELL them!

You already have all the tools you need to create your very own sparkly, shiny self…just get them out of the box and get your bedazzling on!

Supersleuthing

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

This article in the Times on Nancy Drew brought a rush of memories back to me–for I, too, was a fan of Nancy Drew.  I definitely had that stage where I couldn’t get enough of her stories, and raced off to the library once a week with my book bag ready to be filled with her adventures.

Greatest skill I learned from her books?  Easy!  Supersleuthing!  Investigating something to the nth degree.  Wasn’t that her gig?

Besides, supersleuthing is one of my favorite parts about writing.  In order to write (at least non fiction for me) I have to know something about the subject I’m writing, which takes…you guessed it…supersleuthing!

I hope the next generation of women (and men) are being raised on Nancy.  Supersleuthing has no expiration date.

Cougars and _______s?

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Please allow me the opportunity to get educated with this post.

If a “cougar” is an older woman who is dating or in an relationship with a younger man, what is the title of the younger man? Is it:

a. cub
b. coug-ee
c. boy toy
d. prey
e. other: _______________?

I really don’t know the answer to this; nor could I find it on the internet. And worst of all, if there is no title for the younger man, the next question begs: why not?

A Case of the Mondays

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Imagine a Monday like the following: late to work through horrific traffic in a rainy/snowy mess– maddening, never ending meetings, where you get assigned all the work (as if you don’t have enough to do already), and shoes that well, just pinch your feet.

Now, imagine another type of Monday: a Monday where nothing is really set in stone, it is a lovely, sunny day – meetings actually run SHORT, you get get rid of responsibilities, and you just sit around and chat with some of your favorite people about how lovely the world is, or better yet, how lovely the world could be. Oh yea, and the world gives you free Mochas too.

I’m having a Monday of the latter, which has been and continues to be fantastic.  I am grateful for this type of Monday, because it doesn’t make me fear the rest of my week.  I hope everyone gets a big good case of the Mondays like mine if not today, then soon.  (Go get the free Mocha at McDonald’s now too…)

Unfortunately, the beautiful shoes still pinched the feet.  (I’ll save the rant on beautiful shoes causing pain…that will be another long winded diatribe…)  One bad thing out of 20 great things is fine.  After all, we don’t live in a perfect world!

Happy Monday.