Don’t Be Fooled: Increases in the Minimum Wage Cause Job Loss


Job Loss Is Common When There Are Increases in the Minimum Wage

Personally I’m amazed when I hear people profess an increase in the minimum wage has no impact on jobs. Not long ago I heard a successful businessman, Nick Hanauer, on a talk show come out in support of Seattle’s $15.00 minimum wage and say he sees it having no impact on jobs. This makes no sense to me; how can a business absorb a $5.68 per hour increase in wages without a corresponding increase in prices or productivity? The logic is missing!

Business Owners and Managers Must Plan for Survival

Business owners and managers are not stupid! They will react when an increase in the minimum wage is announced. They don’t wait until the day the increase goes into effect to respond; they start planning immediately. They look at the jobs performed by the minimum wage employees and employees currently earning an amount equal to or less than the new minimum.

What Jobs Can Be Eliminated?

The owners and managers carefully consider which jobs or tasks can be eliminated, rolled into other positions, automated or changed in some other way which will not hurt the business while increasing productivity and output. As those changes are implemented new jobs are not created and old jobs are inevitably lost!

Job Loss Occurs Over Time

Again, it’s not the day the new minimum takes effect; it’s the day the business is ready to implement the changes. Some job loss will occur prior to the new wage effective date and some may occur after the new wage takes effect; it all depends upon when all the pieces are in place.

Australia’s $17.00 Per Hour Minimum Wage

Going back to the Hanauer interview he went on to say the minimum wage in Australia is $17.00 – actually $16.88 but who’s counting – and points to this as proof the $15.00 minimum wage can work. What he failed to or chose not to say is Australia has numerous exceptions to their minimum wage which exempt certain classes and types of employees. $17.00 sounds great, but even Australia finds it difficult to justify in certain cases.

Minimum Wage Jobs Are Entry Level Positions

Entry level jobs, you know those where employees are learning the basics of how to work, are not high paying jobs. The individuals filling entry level jobs have few skills and little or no experience. The goal is to provide the worker an opportunity to learn the basic employer expectations and prepare for more skills and responsibilities.

The employer expects the employee will learn:

  • Basic job etiquette;
  • To show up on time;
  • To be dressed appropriately and ready to work;
  • To be at work for all scheduled shifts; and
  • To call in if the employee will be late or unable to fulfill the shift.

That the employee will be:

  • Substance free; and
  • Mentally and physically prepared to do their assigned tasks.

Employers are willing to make this exchange, the minimum wage for minimum skills, if the wage is reasonable. However, if the employer does not considered the wage reasonable the employer will look for alternative and less expensive methods for completing the tasks.

Examples of Minimum Jobs Replaced by Technology

Automated Attendants – Have you ever called a business only to have the phone answered by an automated attendant, answering machine or voice mail? There was a time when there was no automated system instead a person sat at a desk and answered the phones. This individual would then transfer the call to the correct person. Today it’s either an automated process or a role filled as a secondary responsibility by other employees. There are several reasons businesses made this change and one of course is the cost of the person answering the phone. The employee cost savings offset the cost of the technology and after a payback period; the company is saving money.

Serve Yourself Drink Dispensers – When you go to McDonalds®, Burger King® and most other Fast Food Restaurants the customer, who orders a drink, is given a paper or plastic cup and they serve themselves. In the past drinks were poured behind the counter and given to the customer. With the self-serve option customers may have one, two or even more refills or share drinks; however, the decision was made it is cheaper to have the customer self-serve and drink more; than to have counter workers serve the drinks.

Automated Drink Dispensers – If you go to a Fast Food drive through many of the drinks are poured automatically. The employee or maybe even the transaction itself starts the process. The right sized cup is automatically dropped into the machine, the drink is dispensed all with very little human interaction. Was this a high paying employee replaced? Obviously not, it was a minimum wage position which was eliminated by automation.

ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) – Every bank, every mall, every rest stop and even most DMV offices have ATMs. The simple answer is it’s automation, the truth is ATMs are cheaper and more convenient than tellers. There was a time when you either paid cash, which you received from the bank, or wrote a check. There were no credit or debit cards and the bank was, in many cases, a community meeting place. If you wanted cash, you went to the bank.

As soon as management recognizes there is a lower cost option which doesn’t:

  • Take breaks;
  • Get overtime pay;
  • Take sick days or vacations; and
  • Receive a paycheck
  • Always shows up on time
  • Is always sober; and
  • Misses very few days or hours of work (there can be breakdowns).
  • The decision becomes easy.

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    My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

    Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

    Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

    Check out the UPPROACH site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

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    Successful People Are Chameleons


    Chameleons Adapt and Successful People Do Too!

    Green Chameleon

    Have you ever seen a chameleon? As you can see from the picture chameleons blend in; they adapt to their environment. It’s a protection mechanism!

    Chameleons Are Safer When They Blend In

    Obviously it’s not a matter of the chameleon making a choice; rather it’s a natural response or instinct. Blending in is their defensive mechanism which kicks in when they sense danger.

    We Feel Safer When We Blend In

    Many people use the same defensive mechanism, they blend in to overcome their natural fears. They use this defensive mechanism as they move into unfamiliar situations or encounters with people they don’t know.

    There Are Simple Ways To Blend In

    Some of the simple things we do to blend in include: smiling when someone smiles at us. Saying hi or hello if someone says hi or hello to us. Taking someone’s hand when offered and shaking it. These responses make you a chameleon because you are blending in. You are doing what is expected so you can blend in; no more, no less.

    As I describe the process; I’m describing myself. I only did the minimum that is until I got to know someone and became comfortable with them. But eventually I was inspired to do more from the get go!

    Inspired to Be More

    In my desire to learn more about networking; not just connecting but actually turning connections into acquaintances and acquaintances into friends I started reading and studying. I found books by Roger and Sally Horchow, Nicholas Boothman, Debra Fine, Keith Ferrazzi, Liz Lynch, Malcolm Gladwell, Brian Tracy and a host of others. They were an inspiration in my goal of being a better connector, acquaintance and friend.

    In his book, “How to Connect in Business in 90 Seconds or Less”, Nicholas Boothman identifies the importance of being chameleon like. Unlike the chameleon or even himself blending in with the environment; Nick talks about blending with your audience. Whether it is an audience of one or many what can you do and how can you act to make your audience feel more comfortable? The answer: blend with them, become one of them.

    Successful People Act Like Chameleons

    Successful people go beyond the basics of simply smiling, saying hello or shaking hands. They know there are many additional ways to make people more comfortable.

    What successful people do:

    • They reach out with friendly gestures;
    • They make others feel comfortable and at ease;
    • They take cues from and follow the actions of others;
    • They get excited when others are excited;
    • They talk fast when others talk fast;
    • They laugh when others laugh;
    • They talk softly when others talk softly;
    • They sit forward when others sit forward;
    • They listen intently when others talk;
    • They don’t spend time talking about themselves, they encourage others to talk;
    • They relax when others relax; and
    • They take on characteristics of their audience.

    Why We Need to Become Chameleons

    Whether you are on either side of a job interview, meeting a new prospective customer or in any number of other social or business situations the ability to put others at ease will set you apart. Your goal is to connect, not just add a name to your list of contacts, and what better way to connect then to have others feel comfortable with you.

    You want an audience mind-set that says…

    I want to do business, employ, work for, serve with or whatever with this person and I will do whatever it takes to make it happen.

    We must become chameleons to make this happen! We must connect with and understand our audience.

    Think about the people who make you feel good, those you enjoy being around; what’s the draw? If you step back you will see it’s all a matter of being comfortable. Take the opposite approach and think about the individuals who do not give you a good feeling; they make you uncomfortable and you will do anything to avoid being put in a situation where they are present. The more comfortable you are; the deeper the relationship.

    Learn to Be a Chameleon

    In business, in life and in connections we need to learn to be chameleons. We need to learn to blend in because it allows our new connections to feel comfortable with us. We need to be chameleons to speed up the connecting process.

    Conclusion

    There are many things we can do which go far beyond being a chameleon during the initial connection. Boothman talks about many of these including how you speak, the cadence of your voice, the vocabulary you use, the speed with which you speak, the way you hold your head and hands, the way you sit and posture, or the way you lean in or sit back.

    Watch the other person and follow their lead. As Boothman has found in his research acting chameleon like can elicit the comment, “I feel like I have known you for years and here we have just met for the first time.”

    Do You Create Reports No One Reads?


    Do You Create Fly Reports

    Many years ago I attended an IBM Conference where I learned about “Fly” reports. Read on and learn why “Fly” reports are a sad indictment of business today and see if your co-workers see your efforts as “Fly Reports”!

    Dateline November, 1943 Somewhere in the South Pacific

    In the movie “South Pacific” we have two adventuresome individuals providing a very boring, yet dangerous service: Coast Watchers!

    Coast Watchers were responsible for reporting on Japanese supply and troop movements in the South Pacific. They would identify the types and number of ships, the direction and speed they were moving and report the information back to the US Naval Command.

    Frequently Dangerous but Incredibly Boring

    The movie portrays the role as exciting and always dangerous. To some extent that’s true, but for certain there were many days the Coast Watchers saw nothing and were not being chased or strafed by enemy planes. So what to do?

    I’m guessing all the Coast Watchers had their own way of passing time. However, there were at least two who were a little more creative at least some of the time.

    Creating Fly Reports

    In an effort to reduce their boredom and see if Naval Command was paying any attention; the two industrious Coast Watchers created the first “Fly Report”. It went something like this:

    The Coast Watchers waited to hear something from Naval Command but after several months with no response; they stopped producing the report. A few days after their typical time for submitting the report they finally received a message from Command, it said: “Where is your monthly Fly Report?”

    Why We Create “Fly Reports”

    There are many reasons we create “Fly Reports” including:

    • Management direction;
    • Because it’s always been produced;
    • Maybe you thought it would be helpful;
    • It’s system generated;
    • Someone requested the information; or
    • It’s something to do.

    A Real Life Example of “Fly Reports”

    Early in my career I worked for IBM and one of my customers was a Federal Jobs Agency. The agency had a couple of pretty sharp programmers with a commanding knowledge of the data they wanted to collect. The account didn’t require a lot of technical support; however I stopped in periodically just to see how they were doing. A couple years after turning the account over I ran into one of the non-programmer employees and asked how things were going.

    His Response Caught Me Off Guard.

    He said he was no longer with the agency. He went on to say he had to leave because he no longer had an office; it started with reports being stacked in the corner and had evolve to his office being taken over by the mountains of reports which no one had time to read. The ultimate example of “Fly Reports”?

    Do You Have “Fly Reports”?

    It is highly likely your organization has “Fly Reports”. If you are not getting feedback on your reports or the expected results aren’t happening; you have probably identified a “Fly Report”. For the next three report cycles continue to produce the report but don’t distribute it to anyone. See if they come to you asking for the information; if they don’t it’s time to inform the distribution list you will no longer be distributing the information and, unless someone complains and can justify the effort, stop wasting your time and resources. You have better things to do!

    Eliminating “Fly Reports”

    There are two methods for eliminating “Fly Reports; either make them useful or get rid of them. If the information presented in the reports is useful; then you must question why it isn’t being used. Is it a matter of understanding how to use the report or what the information is telling the reader? If so, train the users on how to use the information. If the value of the information appears to be minimal or non-existent; then follow the Coast Watchers’ solution and stop providing the report.

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, I think it’s safe to say; some information is useful and valuable and some is not; the question is whether the reader can tell the difference. The reader must be able to discern value and when there is value be able to interpret and apply the data. If they can’t do this and training doesn’t help; then it’s time to replace the person.

    To reiterate: if there is no value stop sending the information; again I didn’t say stop producing the information because there is a difference. To stop sending now doesn’t preclude sending the information later; it simply means it could be sent later, if requested. To stop producing means the relevant information at the appropriate point in time may no longer exist and therefore you could be in trouble!

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    My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

    Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

    Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

    Check out the UPPROACH site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

    What Do You Mean You Are Highly Motivated?


    Are You Saying You Can Be Bought?

    The dictionary defines motivated as: to provide someone with a motive or reason to do something. In return for doing something the motivated individual receives money, power, profit, rewards, promotions, recognition, raises, bonuses, acknowledgement, new job, a job or anything else the “motivated” individual may value.

    The definition implies we do things for a reason which could be as simple as “out of the goodness of our hearts”, but when it comes to employment that is seldom the reason. In essence no one is inherently motivated; there is a reason for their motivation and the greater the reason or reward the more highly motivated someone will typically be.

    If Your Profile or Resume States You Are Motivated or Highly Motivated; What Motivates You?

    I am frequently asked and I regularly choose to read many profiles and resumes which often times state the individual is motivated or highly motivated. The question I ask is what is the source of the motivation?

    There are many individuals, as well as professional resume and profile writers, who include this statement but I have not found a single profile or resume stating the source of their motivation. If you are going to put it on your profile or in your resume; you had better be prepared to have a good explanation as to what motivates you.

    My Motivation Story

    Many years ago I worked for IBM as a Systems Engineer. I wasn’t much for being in the office; I loved being in the field with my customers and that is where I spent my time. Because I was seldom in the office I frequently did not hear about things when they were told to everyone else (the days before email).

    One day I was in the office and heard about this great dinner a couple of my co-workers and their spouses had attended with our manager and his wife. I learned the dinner was a reward for winning a monthly sales contest. My interest was piqued and I asked what I had to do to participate. They laid out the rules for me and from then on I was one of the winners month in and month out. I was motivated! The reward was worth the effort.

    What Is Your Motivation?

    If someone were to ask what motivates you; how would you answer? Would you respond pay, recognition, promotion, reward or what? I believe it would be a tough question to answer without sounding self-serving, patronizing or insincere.

    However, for your own understanding it’s a great question to answer. Knowing what motivates you can help you as you make career decisions.

    Motivated or Highly Motivated; Does it Make a Difference?

    Do you remember the movie “A Few Good Men” with Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore. There is one courtroom scene where the prosecution asks a question and the Demi Moore character says, “I object” and the judge overrules her objection. Demi’s character then says, “I strenuously object” and of course the judge overrules again.
    As they point out in the movie what does it mean to “strenuously object”.

    Whether it’s highly motivated or strenuously objecting it’s simply an adverb added to a verb. Don’t do it!

    Motivated or Highly Motivated: Does the Recruiter or Hiring Manager Really Care?

    Although being motivated may sound like a good thing to say; recruiters and hiring managers don’t care! I am still waiting to see a job posting asking for someone who is motivated or highly motivated. If you see one, please send the link to me. Until then, I will stick with the position it is wasted words.

    Once you are hired your manager may start caring as they get to know you and understand what makes you tick; but initially it’s a moot point and making the statement may hurt you more than it helps!

    Conclusion

    Whether it is your profile or resume; you don’t have real estate to waste and putting motivated or highly motivated is just wasting important space. Make every word count and have a purpose.

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    My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

    Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

    Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

    Check out the UPPROACH site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

    Questions Job Seekers Should Ask


    Job Seekers Need to Ask Their Own Questions

    So the awkward moment arrives and the interviewing manager says; “Do you have any questions for me?” The worst thing you can do is say; “No, I don’t have any questions.”

    There are three issues. First, you don’t want to look like a dufus. Second, you need to find out whether the company is a right fit for you! Third, you must be prepared!

    Listening to Herman Cain

    As I was driving to work the other day; I was listening to the Herman Cain Show on the radio. As the owner and CEO of several businesses he has interviewed many applicants and one thing he always likes is the applicant who asks intelligent questions.

    The problem is most candidates are unprepared and either do not ask questions or do not ask intelligent questions. Even though the candidate knows the opportunity is coming; they are unprepared and have no idea what to ask.

    Below are some of the possible questions raised on the show:

    What’s the Next Step?

    Far too often job seekers don’t take the time to determine the process. They sit through the interview, answer the questions and then leave wondering if they will ever hear anything more. Ask about the process; are there more interviews or will some candidates be invited back for a second interview? If so, when and how many?

    How Long Before There Is a Decision on the Position?

    What is the timeline for filling the position? When do they expect to make the decision? Is there an urgency to filling the position?

    What Have You Learned in the Interviews?

    How many candidates have you interviewed? How many more interviews do you have scheduled? How do I compare to those you have interviewed? What have you seen in others that has piqued your interest?

    What Are the Critical Skills and Abilities You Require?

    This is an extremely important question. The job posting may list a large number of skills and abilities they would like or desire; but what’s critical?

    Is This a New Position or a Replacement?

    If this is a new position you need to take the opportunity to help define the role. What skills do they want and what additional skills can you bring to the position.

    Long ago, when I worked for IBM, one of the ways we were able to get business was by helping the organization write their RFP (Request for Proposal). Obviously when you get in on the ground floor of helping to define the requirements; you increase your chances. The same can be said for a job description.

    This process can be especially useful if you know a hiring manager, who has a need. If you meet the basic requirements for the position, you can help this person refine the skills and remarkably they happen to match what you have

    If this is a replacement for someone who moved up or out; you need to focus on what key skills and abilities must be replaced. Quite often your predecessor performed tasks and assignments which were outside the normal scope of their job because they had the skill. Is the company looking for a clone of this individual

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    My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

    Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

    Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

    My 11 Reasons for Having a Minimum Wage


    The Need for a Reasonable Minimum Wage

    The minimum wage is an entry level pay rate; not a “Living Wage!” And it was never meant to be a “living wage!” Therefore the minimum wage must be a reasonable wage which encourages employers to hire the unskilled and new employee.

    The reality is the minimum wage is an important part of the workforce pay process. The minimum wage sets a base rate and pay scales within organizations use this as a starting point. While not all businesses and organizations have employees working at minimum wage; you can be assured the minimum wage was a consideration as the pay scales were established and will be a consideration if the minimum wage is increased; adjustments up and down the pay scale are inevitable if the minimum wage is increased.

    The minimum wage must be allowed to perform the work it was designed to do!

    Reasons for Having a Minimum Wage

    The minimum wage is an entry level wage to pay workers while they learn basic skills, for example:

    1. Showing up to work on time;
    2. Showing up consistently;
    3. Learning how to take and follow directions;
    4. Understanding organizational structure;
    5. Learning about businesses and specific industries;
    6. Finding out what you like and do not like;
    7. Seeing how you stack up compared to the competition (other workers) in work ethic, intelligence, work quality, efficiency, productivity, general intelligence, etc.;
    8. Determining whether you are willing to fit into the organizational structure;
    9. As a stepping stone to more productive, valuable and better paying work;
    10. Preparing for your future; and
    11. Giving business owners and managers a reason to take a chance and hire the unskilled worker.

    What the “minimum wage” Is Not and Was Never Meant To Be: a “Living Wage”!

    A long, long time ago; I worked for the minimum wage; it was a buck 35! For sure things were much cheaper during that time, but I never looked at a $1.35 or the minimum wage as some pinnacle of success. It’s a sad indictment of our legislatures when their solution to helping people stuck in low wages is to simply – I say simply, but it’s really not – increase the minimum wage. The solution of simply raising the minimum wage says “I don’t really care about these individuals, their families and especially their future; I just want to make them feel good for the moment.”

    The objective should be an UPPROACH to help people develop the skills necessary to move them to better opportunities and better paying positions. Move them to a skill set valued by employers and one employers are willing to pay better wages to get!

    The second objective is job creation. With high unemployment – forget the number which the Department of Labor publishes – and high underemployment the competition for workers is low in most industries. As a result there is no incentive for employers to pay higher wages. Wages naturally go up when the demand for employees increases.

    Harkin-Miller Proposed Minimum Wage Legislation

    I was reading a synopsis of the proposed increase promoted in the Harkin-Miller legislation. Reviewing their public biographies; it’s clear neither one has ever been involved in a business let alone run a business. It was law school and then within a couple years a position in a State of Federal legislature.

    Their proposal is to raise the Federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour over three years in 95 cent increments. Their contention is this increase would have only a small ripple effect on people who are currently earning $8.20 per hour – the current $7.25 plus the .95 increase – or less. Their next contention is the minimum wage will be adjusted yearly for inflation so those earning minimum wage will never “fall behind” again.

    There are problems with the proposal.

    1. The “ripple effect” will be much more pervasive because all employers use the minimum wage in setting their wage structure; and
    2. The calculations for inflation have been modified by Congress and others to remove the most inflationary items; therefore we are not seeing the Government acknowledge the inflation which is occurring.

    As I said earlier businesses, and especially businesses with unions, use the minimum wage as a starting point for their wages. Whether the business has workers earning the minimum wage; there will be evaluations and adjustments. The “ripple effect” will affect everyone because it will cause inflation and inflation impacts everyone!

    Conclusion

    Let the minimum wage do what it is supposed to do in developing job skills and employees! The solution we need is not a higher minimum wage; it’s more jobs with an accompanying demand for more employees so employers will have to compete for employees and pay better wages!

    You Say You Are Results Oriented; but Does Your Summary and Experience Support Your Claim?


    Does Your Profile Say You Are Results Oriented?

    If So, Does Your Detail Support Your Claim? I’m amazed at the number of times I see someone make the statement “Results Oriented” but in reading the remainder of their summary or work history; there are no specifics of the results achieved.

    You Cannot Make a Positive Impression if You Cannot or Do Not Support the Claim

    Some say they are avoiding stating some or all of their accomplishments, because it’s the process of “tooting your own horn”, but they are wrong: you must do it! You can’t simply expect the reader to believe it solely because you said “results oriented”. It just doesn’t work that way! You must explain the value you brought and the results you achieved otherwise it’s simply a couple of unsupported words.

    Humility Has No Place in Your Resume and Profile!

    It’s nice to be humble and it’s a great trait to have; but you cannot allow your humility to overshadow your accomplishments! As long as you are honest in your statements and details and if you have worked hard and set yourself apart from your peers; you must tell the recruiters, hiring managers, prospective business partners, clients, prospects and customers.

    If you fail to support your claims the people you want to join with will not pay attention. They are looking for people with the answers and abilities they need; they do not have time to try to figure out the missing information. If the information is missing, they will move on!

    Other Frequently Unsupported Statements

    The statement stating “Results Oriented” is just one example of a frequently unsupported claim. Some other common claims include:

    • Motivated;
    • Excellent communicator;
    • Creative;
    • Passionate;
    • Clear Thinker; and
    • Team Leader.

    You may be one or all of these things and whether you are or not; is not my point. My point is don’t just say it; show it! Give examples in your summary and experience; get people to write meaty, meaningful recommendations describing your talent and how you were able to use those skills and the outcomes. Go back to the old PAR strategy; Problem identified; Action taken; and Results achieved.

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