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What “Scrappers” bring to the workplace

Yesterday I saw a Ted Talk that was eye-opening. Regina Hartley, works in HR Management at UPS, and said she prefers to consider the “scrapper” over the “silver spoon” because these people have faced adversity and are more likely to address problems and solve them. She asserts that the scrapper’s secret weapon is passion and purpose.

After watching this Ted Talk, I tallied up the number of jobs I’ve held. I stopped at 80, and this did not include the number of temp jobs I held for staffing agencies  where I went on a lot of assignments over a few years. I would consider myself a “super scrapper.”

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I’ll Take Anything…. Not!

Last week I stopped by a fast food restaurant during a slow period. While I was waiting for my order, I overheard the Assistant Manager tell a co-worker he was desperately looking for a new job. I politely interrupted and asked what type of job he was looking for. He replied, “anything, if it gets me out of here.”

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I Created a New Job for Myself

For the past 6 or 7 years, I had an idea to put a radio show on the air about the Job Search. Today that dream came true when I launched Career Matters on Fox Radio 910 in Roanoke. I was paralyzed with fear, even though I have 20+ years of experience in radio and television, and another 10 years as a career coach. But I faced my fears and did it anyway. I got zero calls on my first day. But I’m not worried. If I can continue to provide timely information, expert guests with answers about employment issues, and solid advice, I’m confident I can get a following. And sponsors.

So if you’re in the Roanoke area, you’ll find Career Matters every Sunday morning at 11 AM at 910 on your AM dial. But don’t despair if you’re not. We stream it online at

Thanks for listening, and allowing me to help you reach your career dreams as well as mine.

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What’s Your Specialty?

As a professional resume writer I have the inside track on many job openings. Over the past 25 years I’ve had the good fortune to work in some really fun and interesting industries, including broadcasting, tourism, and marketing. Today, there are very few jobs that capture my interest enough to quit what I’m doing now, with the exception of two. And I’m convinced these 2 jobs won’t be advertised in the paper. I need to find the decision maker and state my case that I can drive revenue to their organization and then follow through with results. So what are these 2 coveted jobs of mine?

1. Radio Talk Show Host specializing in careers. There’s already a plethora of real estate shows, gardening experts, lawyers, computer gurus, etc yakking up the airwaves every weekend. It’s time someone jumped on board to blatantly tell the masses what mistakes they continue to make while looking for a job, or the nutty things they do to derail their career. I majored in broadcasting in college and have nearly two decades of experience on the air. Plus I’ve made my own share mistakes which I’m not afraid to admit.

2. Roller Skating Rink Marketing Consultant. Yeah, this is a weird one, I know, but I like to skate and it’s sad to see rinks around the country closing their doors due to lack of business. There’s a lot of things rink owners can do to bring in more business on a shoestring budget.

You’ll note these are not “run of the mill” jobs. One thing I’ve learned from my career as a professional career coach is that people with a specialized niche are far more employable than those without. In a good economy administrative assistants can easily find work. That is no longer the case. I’ve seen Recycling Plant Managers and Funeral Directors find jobs faster than Office Managers. That’s because there is less competition.

Do you have a niche that few people can fill? Don’t fear that “there are no jobs out there.” Specialize and Capitalize. Don’t wait for a vacancy announcement to fulfill your dream.

–Susan Geary / 1st Rate Resumes

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Great Paying Gigs for Polished Jobseekers

For the past few years, I’ve signed up with a number promotional marketing agencies that offer high paying “day jobs” handing out product samples and representing companies at grand openings and special events. These gigs, as I call them, require a head shot, full body shot, and resume to get started. Because they are considered modeling agencies, it’s perfectly legal for them to choose you based on your looks, because their clients are seeking a certain “someone” to promote their company (or products.) I like the variety of assignments, the flexibility (I have to turn them down a lot), and of course the rate of pay!

One of the agencies I’m signed up with offers a job discussion board for its models (that’s what we’re called) to share advice, ask questions, and get to know one another. Many times I see the same posting, “Why don’t I ever get called for gig?” which was recently answered (quite honestly) by one of the Bookers. I thought I share some of their insight with you, that was posted on their discussion board. I removed the company name to protect their privacy. Here are the ones I found most interesting:

*** Refrain from complaining about not getting any work in this forum. I assure you, our managers are reading and making notes of the many complaints posted on the Discussion Board – and it’s negatively affecting those people. ***

*** Have AWESOME pics posted of yourself! A clear, current and professional Headshot and Body shot. Over-processed or risque pics, or pics with your friends, boyfriend, kitty, etc do NOT work. If this is an industry you want to succeed in, spend the $$$ to get professional pics done. They’ll pay for themselves in no time from the amount of work you’ll receive as a result. It’s also a tax write-off. ***

*** Capitalize the First Letter of your first and last name in your profile. Clients who see that you couldn’t bother to type your own name correctly will wonder what kind of effort you’d give to their event. Certainly, those folks whose names aren’t typed correctly will be passed up for work every time. ***


So you see, it’s the little things that make a clear impression of what you can offer a future employer. Take note if you plan on signing up with any of the field marketing agencies who hire models by the day, or whenever you’re applying for employment.

Susan Geary, CERW / 1st Rate Resumes