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ResumeEdge http://www.resumeedge.com Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:53:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Creative Resumes — Are they a do or a don’t? http://www.resumeedge.com/creative-resumes-dont/ http://www.resumeedge.com/creative-resumes-dont/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:52:48 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4776 For many job seekers looking for careers in media, the arts, and various segments of the entertainment industry, an important aspect of their job search is demonstrating creativity and creative resumes could be the right choice. From time to time, however, job seekers in more traditional roles also want to infuse a little of their...

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For many job seekers looking for careers in media, the arts, and various segments of the entertainment industry, an important aspect of their job search is demonstrating creativity and creative resumes could be the right choice. From time to time, however, job seekers in more traditional roles also want to infuse a little of their own personality into their resume. So how creative should you be?

While it’s true that nearly all resumes contain common elements such as your name, contact information, work history, and education, the main purpose of it is to demonstrate your unique qualifications through skills, training, and quantified results and accomplishments. Therefore, your resume should be tailored to you and, preferably, to your targeted employer. Content is the most important aspect of your resume. Without compelling, quantified information, the reader will not invest more than a cursory glance before moving to the next candidate.

After content, the layout is the next most important aspect. When deciding how creative to make your resume, consider your audience. Take the time to research not only the industry, but how your targeted organization fits within that industry. Obviously if you are applying to be an art teacher at a local school your resume will look different than the candidate applying at a bank. On the other hand, that does not mean that my client with an outgoing personality, who loves working with people, needs to be constrained with a “boring” resume if he is applying for a banking position. Perhaps that bank is local or regional and its main selling point is how it takes care of its customers. My client would be wise to let his personality show through not only in the wording he chooses, but also in the design elements.

When in doubt, take the time to talk with your Certified Professional Resume Writer to determine how to balance quantified content with appropriate design elements to make the resume work best for you.

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Why You May Not Be as Ready for Your Interview as You Think http://www.resumeedge.com/may-ready-interview-think/ http://www.resumeedge.com/may-ready-interview-think/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 14:44:34 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4774 Most people get apprehensive about interviews, whether they’re for an academic program or for a job. It is the part of the process over which you have the least amount of control — but that doesn’t mean you’re out of control. Follow these four tips to put your best foot forward in your next interview....

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Most people get apprehensive about interviews, whether they’re for an academic program or for a job. It is the part of the process over which you have the least amount of control — but that doesn’t mean you’re out of control. Follow these four tips to put your best foot forward in your next interview.

1. Just because your resume is awesome doesn’t mean that you can piece it together into a cohesive and intelligent response.

Resumes, by their nature, break things down into the smallest digestible parts. It can be frustrating that, now that you’ve taken the time to divide everything up into bullet points, you’ll need to piece it back together for the interview. However, that’s exactly what you’ll need to do. What was the meaning of each bullet point? What was the bigger picture for each project? How does it all fit together? The interviewer will want a three-dimensional and multifaceted view of you as a professional and as an individual.

2. Your speech is probably not as smooth as you imagine.

You know that you’re a smooth talker. You think you’ve “got it” because you’ve gone over it so many times with your friends and colleagues. However, those are situations where you have more control than you will during the interview. Do a bunch of “ums” and “ahs” find their way into your speech when you’re under pressure?

Also, there are some minor gender differences when speaking under pressure. Women have more of a tendency to use the High Rising Terminal, making their responses sound like questions. Men have more of a tendency to laugh (read: giggle) and say “I don’t know” for no reason in the middle of a sentence. Feedback can help you minimize these nervous tics during the interview.

3. You might have the basics, but do you have the follow-ups?

Books and articles can give you all of the basic questions asked in interviews, and honestly there is a lot of consistency in interview questions. Every academic program and every company will want to know about your basic background and qualifications. In that way, advance research can certainly be helpful.

But the books don’t know you as an individual. They can’t assess your specific background and then provide the inevitable follow-up questions that your interviewer will have for you. If you seem flustered or lost during the follow-up questions, this can be a real red flag for the interviewer and cause them to wonder if your original answer was a real and spontaneous response to their question.

4. Can you stay cool regardless of what your interviewer does?

Your interviewer asks you a question that you’ve practiced. In your mind, you think, “Yes! I’ve got this one.” However, two sentences into your response, the interviewer interrupts you to ask a follow-up question. Are you ready? Can you answer the question while also controlling the conversation to bring the natural flow of the interaction back to the original question? Or has the interviewer completely thrown you off? During your interview, the interviewer might take a call in the middle of one of your responses, continually ask questions and write notes while never looking you in the eye, type into a laptop, or just generally be distracted the entire time.

That’s not the typical case; the interviewer has scheduled time for you and will generally devote that time to you. Even so, you need to practice in order to be prepared for the worst-case scenario and be able to keep your focus and emotional cool regardless of the interviewer’s behavior.

Have you ever been taken off guard in an interview? Share the questions that you found most challenging in the comments.

About the Author
Ryan Hickey is the Managing Editor of Peterson’s & EssayEdge and is an expert in many aspects of college, graduate, and professional admissions. A graduate of Yale University, Ryan has worked in various admissions capacities for nearly a decade, including writing test-prep material for the SAT, AP exams, and TOEFL, editing essays and personal statements, and consulting directly with applicants.

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Expand your Social Media Brand http://www.resumeedge.com/expand-social-media-brand/ http://www.resumeedge.com/expand-social-media-brand/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:47:25 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4769 The online job search has transformed from submitting job applications into cyberspace with the hope of it landing in the hands of a real-life hiring manager to connecting directly with hiring managers, job leads, and more. In 2003, LinkedIn® was created as a site for professional networking. By 2006, it had more than 20 million...

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The online job search has transformed from submitting job applications into cyberspace with the hope of it landing in the hands of a real-life hiring manager to connecting directly with hiring managers, job leads, and more. In 2003, LinkedIn® was created as a site for professional networking. By 2006, it had more than 20 million viewers with the main goal of helping users “access knowledge, insights, and opportunities.” This networking tool has come a long way since its inception to include 300+ million global members and inclusion in many job-searching resources, self-help guides, and more.

While many agree that LinkedIn is the prime social media tool for professional networking, don’t forget about the many other avenues available to build a positive and professional online presence. In a recent U.S. News article about using social media, it recommended that you use every social media network that makes sense for you. It also noted that employers and recruiters are tapping into multiple social media networks, not just LinkedIn. So, if you base 100% of your job search success on your LinkedIn profile it might be time to expand your social media brand!

Again, it’s important to drive your online presence based on research, data, and what works for your industry. Based on the mentioned article and the Society of Human Resources 2013 Survey, here’s a breakdown of what employers are using to look for job seekers:

  • 92 percent use LinkedIn
  • 58 percent use Facebook
  • 31 percent use Twitter
  • 25 percent used Google+
  • Less than 10 percent used sites such as YouTube, Pinterest, Myspace, and Foursquare.

So, it might be time to clean up your Facebook profile or hop on the Twitter train. Before you do this, take a step back to understand how recruiters use Facebook and Twitter. Recruiters are tapping into these social media sites to pre-screen job applicants before or during the job search process to see a more personal view of you and depending on what they find, it can help or hurt your image.

Many job seekers spend time perfecting their LinkedIn profile but forget about the important role of Facebook and Twitter. Whether you like it or not, hiring managers are looking you up online and doing it early in the game. So, think of Facebook and Twitter as a personal branding platform. Of course, you can limit the privacy of your Facebook to some extent, but remember that employers have Facebook pages too that you might want to connect with or follow! It’s a little scary to think about using Facebook to network professionally, but research indicates most employers will be looking there anyway to screen you in or out. So, whether you chose to keep it completely social or make it professional you still need to consider a large percentage of employers will look you up and only you can choose what they see!

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Interview tips-sometimes you just have to listen to your instinct http://www.resumeedge.com/interview-tips-sometimes-just-listen-instinct/ http://www.resumeedge.com/interview-tips-sometimes-just-listen-instinct/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 15:45:08 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4694 Looking for a new position can be a daunting task. Does my resume look good? Did I do a good job on the interview? Will I negotiate the right salary? Often, we are so focused on getting the job that we don’t really think about the “right fit.” Here are some tips to nail the...

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Looking for a new position can be a daunting task. Does my resume look good? Did I do a good job on the interview? Will I negotiate the right salary? Often, we are so focused on getting the job that we don’t really think about the “right fit.” Here are some tips to nail the interview—and also how to make sure you’re making the right decision.

The obvious: It’s pretty standard, but make sure to arrive a few minutes early, dressed for the part, with several copies of your resume and a readiness to follow up with a thank you note afterwards.

Make a connection: When interviewing, it’s important to make a connection with the interviewer. Show emotion—I don’t mean start crying or show anger, but rather be human and share things about your life outside of work. Maybe you and the interviewer share the same interest and can spark some great conversation. Often candidates can appear like a robot, and “yes m’am” or “no m’am” you to death. So show some personality and make them like you.

Observe employees: It’s so important to pay attention to the employees, which can start from the moment you arrive. I remember once sitting in the lobby, waiting for an interview and everyone seemed afraid to laugh; even the receptionist looked like she was putting on a fake smile. I picked up on several cues from the employees and realized this would not be a company I wanted to work for.

What’s next?: We all want to be offered the position, but have you determined this is a company you want to work for? If so, follow-up with a thank you note within the first 24 hours. I also recommend sending a follow-up in two weeks if you haven’t heard anything back.

If you determined that the company isn’t a good fit for you, it’s time to cut ties, thank them for the interview, and let them know that this isn’t the right opportunity. Don’t be afraid to tell them—it’s worse to go through the entire process and waste your time and theirs for something you’re not interested in.

The bottom line is don’t just take a position because you’re afraid to turn it down or because you just need a job. We spend the majority of our time at work, so it’s important to make sure it’s a good fit for you personally and professionally.

 

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The Power of the Cover Letter http://www.resumeedge.com/power-cover-letter/ http://www.resumeedge.com/power-cover-letter/#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 19:08:52 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4679 Imagine that you are meeting someone for the first time. You extend your hand in greeting, and you are met with the limp fish; a handshake that is disinterested, weak, or lacking in confidence. As an interviewer, I have also met with the bone crushers and arm rattlers who have left much stronger impressions than...

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Imagine that you are meeting someone for the first time. You extend your hand in greeting, and you are met with the limp fish; a handshake that is disinterested, weak, or lacking in confidence.

As an interviewer, I have also met with the bone crushers and arm rattlers who have left much stronger impressions than required. In a sense, cover letters are similar to handshakes—they are your opportunity to make a good first impression.

Karin Reynolds is the Deputy Superintendent for Academy School District 20 in Colorado Springs and regularly leads training sessions for student teachers to help them prepare for their professional careers. Her main recommendation is to research the organization so that applicants can demonstrate that they understand what the employer is looking for.

She also recommends finding a balance between humility and ego. “Even though the job search process requires some ego,” Ms. Reynolds said, “stating ‘I’m the best person for the job’ just shows too much ego.”

Her advice includes:

  • Provide a cover letter whenever it is requested“If we don’t get the cover letter, that indicates that they cannot follow directions,” Ms. Reynolds said.
  • Briefly address gaps in your work history if needed, or if there is anything that might be questioned.
  • The cover letter should be a brief summary of what follows in the application—not too long and not too short.
  • Grammatical errors are red flags to the reader.
  • Avoid using form letters and tailor the cover letter for the organization you send it to.
  • Address the person rather than using “To whom it may concern.”

Finally, Ms. Reynolds advises job seekers not to be too informal when applying via email. Cover letters can be included in the body of the email or they can be sent as an attachment with the resume.

As with handshakes, the idea of a cover letter is to connect, not to be overbearing, and to leave a memorable impression.

 

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The Reasons Your Resume Isn’t Getting Calls http://www.resumeedge.com/reason-youre-getting-called-back/ http://www.resumeedge.com/reason-youre-getting-called-back/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 19:04:26 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4576 You’ve tailored your resume, written unique cover letters, sent your follow-up emails. So why haven’t you heard anything back? 1. You’re Not Using Keywords Sure, you followed all the online directions, submitting Word docs of your resume and cover letter, dutifully filling out your contact info. But here’s the thing—no one may have actually looked at...

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You’ve tailored your resume, written unique cover letters, sent your follow-up emails. So why haven’t you heard anything back?

1. You’re Not Using Keywords

Sure, you followed all the online directions, submitting Word docs of your resume and cover letter, dutifully filling out your contact info. But here’s the thing—no one may have actually looked at your resume.

When you submit your resume and cover letter in Word format via online submission channels, it’s usually so recruiters or hiring managers can scan your application for keywords that fit the position they’re hiring for. So make sure you’re really examining the position description, and incorporate keywords from it into your resume and cover letter.

2. Disparities Between Your Resume and Your Social Presence     

Maybe you’re great about keeping your resume up-to-date, since that’s what you’re constantly finessing in order to apply for different jobs. But don’t neglect your online persona. If a recruiter or hiring manager finds your resume interesting, the first place they will head after that is your LinkedIn profile.

Is your profile picture professional and recent? Is all of your job information relevant? Are you listing all the projects and achievements that have already found their way to your resume? Take a few minutes to make sure the information on your resume and any other professional online profiles you have match.

3. You’re Just Not Qualified

These days, the job market is extremely competitive. More than likely, if you apply for a position that for which you don’t meet the specific qualifications, you’re not going to hear back. There is likely someone else for whom that job is a perfect fit—just like there will eventually be the perfect fit for you. Hiring managers want to hire the talent they need when they need it; unless it’s an entry-level position, they probably don’t want to put someone in the position that is going to need to time to level up.

4. You’re Not Applying to Enough Positions

It sounds awful, but there are so many things out there that you’re not likely to find the perfect fit on the first go-around. Apply, apply, apply. Set aside time each day to sit down and search for new positions, tailor your resume and cover letter to that job, and then move through the application process.

Make sure you really take the time to do this. You may be making minor errors on applications without even realizing it, and those minor errors will knock you out of the running almost more than anything else.

 

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How To Maximize LinkedIn http://www.resumeedge.com/maximize-linkedin/ http://www.resumeedge.com/maximize-linkedin/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 20:31:39 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4566 LinkedIn® users have asked themselves how best to utilize this premier online business networking tool, and if networking on LinkedIn will generate job inquiries, useful contacts, and/or business opportunities. First, understand why LinkedIn is valuable: In 2011, Linkedin had already doubled its users from 2009. As of May 2014, LinkedIn has 192 million monthly users. According...

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LinkedIn® users have asked themselves how best to utilize this premier online business networking tool, and if networking on LinkedIn will generate job inquiries, useful contacts, and/or business opportunities.

First, understand why LinkedIn is valuable:

  • In 2011, Linkedin had already doubled its users from 2009. As of May 2014, LinkedIn has 192 million monthly users.
  • The success of LinkedIn’s initial public offering in May 2012 led to worldwide headlines, and analysts remarked it was one of the top five IPO launches in a decade.

Make sure your LinkedIn profile always is up-to-date.

On your profile, list your previous employers so colleagues, clients, and service providers can find you. Remember that Google searches profiles for keywords so use the keywords needed to drive visitors to your profile. Many headhunters also depend on LinkedIn for sourcing candidates and often do this through keyword searches. The Summary portion of your profile is a good place to insert keywords, especially those that may not seem to fit elsewhere.

Make sure that you upload a professional headshot as well.

Groups

Author Neal Schaffer advises readers to consider a “pay it forward” attitude when it comes to LinkedIn Groups. He references Catherine Ryan Hyde’s 2000 novel “Pay it Forward” and writes:

In terms of social networking, this means first doing something for someone in your network without asking for anything in return. People do not forget when you do something good for them. (Your) networking will be most successful when you practice it with a Pay It Forward attitude; your own good deeds will extend beyond your own virtual network and will attract even more connections and valuable relationships.

As your network grows, you can maximize LinkedIn to connect to the people you need to reach.

Take notice of when your connections make new connections

Users make new connections usually when their relationships are the freshest, so this is when you should ask for an introduction. Systematically review your contacts and make it a habit to ask for introductions and offer to return the favor.

A last bit of advice

Start looking for and studying thoughtful LinkedIn literature. Neal Schaffer’s 2009 book “Understanding, Leveraging & Maximizing LinkedIn”, and his website, http://windmillnetworking.com/blog, are good places to start. His “Dig Your Well before You’re Thirsty” approach to networking on LinkedIn and off-line is well worth your time.

Leveraging LinkedIn to build business relationships through specific techniques should be a key component of your overall strategy for maximizing your professional success.

 


 

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Going Mobile for Your Job Hunt http://www.resumeedge.com/going-mobile-job-hunt/ http://www.resumeedge.com/going-mobile-job-hunt/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 15:46:33 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4563 If you’re like most people today, apps—whether it’s to check your email, scroll through Facebook, or listen to your favorite music—are probably something that you use on a daily basis to make your life easier and more convenient. So why not use an app for your job search? 1. LinkedIn This one is pretty obvious....

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If you’re like most people today, apps—whether it’s to check your email, scroll through Facebook, or listen to your favorite music—are probably something that you use on a daily basis to make your life easier and more convenient. So why not use an app for your job search?

1. LinkedIn

This one is pretty obvious. The business world’s favorite platform for networking, job hunting and professional development has a handy mobile app. Available for most mobile platforms, this app will let you keep up with new jobs, answer messages from potential employers quickly and easily, and essentially make sure you’re staying up-to-date and connected, no matter where you are.

2.Indeed (iOS and Android)

Indeed is one of the most popular aggregators for job seekers and employers looking to find the right talent. They’ve now released a mobile app that makes navigating job listings and signing up for their alert system a lot easier when you’re on the go.

3. Job Search by TheLadders (iOS & Android)

Lauded by Mashable as one of the best new apps for job seekers and recruiters, TheLadders pools all your data in one place, making it easy for recruiters to find and contact you. With most people working so much from their various mobile devices, TheLadders looks to simplify the process.

4.JobAware

JobAware pools resources, cities, job boards and more, making it easy to keep track of your search while comparing the best locations and opportunities.

5. Cloud Storage

Never miss the opportunity to pass your resume along when the time is right because it’s sitting on your hard drive at home. Install Google Drive, Dropbox, or any number of other cloud storage apps, and save a pdf of your resume. Having it at your fingertips means you can quickly email or share it should the moment arise.

The apps listed above are only the tip of the iceberg. As the world continues to migrate away from traditional desktop computing towards smart phones and tablets, there will be even more opportunities to make yourself stand out while you’re on the move.

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Professional Communications and Social Media http://www.resumeedge.com/professional-communications-social-media/ http://www.resumeedge.com/professional-communications-social-media/#comments Thu, 29 May 2014 15:52:48 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4549 The expression, “you only have one chance to make a first impression” is a cliché for a reason. Given the ubiquitous nature of social media, I want my resume clients’ first impressions to be not just good, but to be the best possible. A key element to consider is how individuals present their personal brand...

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The expression, “you only have one chance to make a first impression” is a cliché for a reason. Given the ubiquitous nature of social media, I want my resume clients’ first impressions to be not just good, but to be the best possible. A key element to consider is how individuals present their personal brand image in their communications, including social media platforms, cover letters, and emails.

According to CareerBuilder.com, 37% of employers use social media to screen applicants. Another poll by Reppler estimates that number at 91%. Job seekers can no longer work under the assumption that they have two faces on social media—one for Facebook and one for LinkedIn, for example.

I spoke with Dave Geffre, who has a long career as a project director with a Fortune 500 technology manufacturer, for his perspective as a hiring manager. “You have a whole story of who you are,” he said. “Employers want to understand the whole person and they use social media to help them.”

Based on his experience, Mr. Geffre says that Facebook is often a more accurate reflection how of an individual might fit in on a team than a resume. Millennials are tech savvy, but might not be as savvy with their personal branding image. “Yes, have fun in your life,” he said, “but make sure you are consistent in how you present yourself.”

He also said that most employees will hire the personality that fits on their team and will then provide training for the needed skill. However, Mr. Geffre said, when reviewing resumes and cover letters, he sets aside about 95% of those containing errors. He said he might overlook minor errors if the candidate is highly qualified. “If they make simple errors in their own cover letters, imagine how simple errors could multiply when they are on the job,” he said.

Another aspect to consider is how we have changed our communication styles through the use of email and Twitter. Learning how to focus your message, concisely and accurately, is an excellent skill to develop. However, try not to be in such as rush to share your message that you completely abandon conventions for grammar and spelling. “Misspelled words are the absolute kiss of death,” Mr. Geffre said. “Don’t depend on the spellchecker and re-read your message before you send it out.”

It is worth repeating that you only have one chance to make the best first impression.

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How to Target the Places You Want to Work http://www.resumeedge.com/target-company-list/ http://www.resumeedge.com/target-company-list/#comments Tue, 20 May 2014 16:03:25 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4547 I remember in college my advisor stressing the importance of having a “target company list.” She kept telling me to do the research and have a plan, “This is your career and it’s important to find a good company to work for. You wouldn’t buy a car without doing the research, so why wouldn’t you...

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I remember in college my advisor stressing the importance of having a “target company list.” She kept telling me to do the research and have a plan, “This is your career and it’s important to find a good company to work for. You wouldn’t buy a car without doing the research, so why wouldn’t you research places to work?” So, here are some helpful tips to build your “target company list.”

Google it!

The first thing you want to do is a Google search of the companies in your area or in the places you’re willing to relocate to. Break it down based on your field. For example: if you’re in IT- you will want to search all of the technology companies in your area. Next thing you want to do is research the companies. How many employees do they have? How long have they been in business? Have they down-sized recently? What does the profit look like? Also, take a look at Glassdoor and get some feedback from current or former employees to gain insight as to what it’s like to work there.

Target Five

After you have done research and determined some of the top companies of interest, make a list of your target. I would start with five; you can always increase this number in a month or so, but take baby steps. I suggest hopping on Linkedin and following the companies to see if you know anyone that may work there and begin connecting. Ask your friends and family if they know anyone from your “target list” and start networking.

Why this is important

Creating a target list will help alleviate searching time on job boards. You can save yourself from interviewing for a position with a company that has a bad reputation.  Another great reason to have a “target list” is due to companies only posting their openings on their jobsite and not with job boards. It’s so important to be proactive! Jerry Bruckner said “No person ever achieved success by waiting for someone to hand it to them. Successful people decide they want something and take action to get it. If you seek you will find. Get going—now!”

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