Thursday, June 16, 2011

Interview Tips: Un-Cage the Elephant in the Room - Guest Blogger Laurie Bell

Laurie Bell has a great blog, b.y.o. resume. She's a talented writer and covers some great topics for job seekers. I'm posting a bit of her blog with her permission and hope you go to her site to read the rest. Be sure to read her other posts, too.

Ever arrive to an interview and found when you look around that you don't match the company demographic at all? Are you older/younger, the opposite gender, the only one of your ethnicity, etc? This doesn't necessarily mean your chances are nil. So, what could this mean and how could it work for you? Click here to read more...

Even if you love your job, your resume and your network should be current!
For some career tips and laughter at the drudgery, visit:

Friday, June 3, 2011

Silicon Valley Women in HR… & Friends Mailing and Event Announcement

The first part of this post is dedicated to updates and musings, so if you want to skip to the invitation, discounts, and other information, please scroll down.

I’ve had some problems sending my expanded email to many of our members, so I’m experimenting with another way of providing information.  I am uploading this note onto our blog and sending this note to advise you to look for information there.  I’m sorry for the extra clicking on your end, but it’ll save you from delayed mail and will save me from hours of aggravation.

Our next event is June 15 and event details are on our website.  Please follow directions for responding. 

Each month I find a topic to write about, and this time the topic is friendship, mentorship, loss, and honoring special people.

Amy Brumgard had been on our mailing list for some time before I met her.  She invited me to present a few times at West Valley College where she was a Career Counselor.  I provided information about job searching and networking, and in-between workshops, we formed a friendship.

Last year, Amy and I were co-presenters at five libraries in the Santa Clara County system.  Our topic was helping job seekers, and we had full attendance for the 3-hour workshops at almost every library.  Amy covered resume writing and the job search and I talked about interview skills, networking and LinkedIn.

Planning the workshops together, seeing how her mind worked, and experiencing her compassion and creativity was really inspiring.  The first workshop was fine, but the second one – we were pounded!  We learned a lot from that experience, as upsetting as it was. 

We learned that most of the attendees had been long-term unemployed, mostly middle-aged, all frustrated with the job scene.  Most had already attended many workshops about job seeking and we weren’t providing new information or job leads.  And many seemed to have the impression that because we wore business clothing and were presenting, that we had no job problems, that our lives were running smoothly.

Amy and I met after each workshop and before the next, discussed the issues and changed our approach, some of our workshop content, the workshop description and the publicity. 

This was the biggest change:  we allowed ourselves to be human.  We discussed our own challenges in a difficult economy and how we had bended or even changed careers at different points in our lives.  Subsequent workshops were better each time.

Amy had a fascinating life, lived a lot of different places and had different careers when it suited her.  She was so curious and… I’m struggling as I don’t want to sound dramatic, but she had this incredible thirst for knowledge and this fearlessness. 

I learned so much from Amy, and she was so generous with her personal stories and professional time, even coaching me when I was facing a turning point.

She left West Valley College and moved to Rohnert Park.  She loved that part of California and was thrilled about this change.  She told me that if she were younger, she’d have gone into farming.

Amy was a cancer survivor and when it returned several months ago, it was very advanced.  We talked a few times, and made some bad jokes, shared a dark sense of humor about mortality.  She may have been afraid but she didn’t express it to me.  She seemed accepting and peaceful and calm, and she joked at one point she didn’t know if that was depression talking.  She didn’t want chemo: had been there, done that, and what time and quality of life would it bring?  Maybe another couple of weeks of suffering?  She decided to use that time to be with friends, to see family, to watch the changing light of day and look at the scenery around her.

We spoke just as she was starting hospice and she was pleased about the program.  She had made plans with her friends who would take care of her.  She asked me if she should pack up her books and get them to me.  I could not believe that she was doing that at such a time, but that was Amy.

I called her earlier this week and Amy’s friend answered the phone.  Amy Brumgard died May 11.  She had used hospice for about a week and was surrounded by loving friends.

For those who knew her, you know what a gem she was.  If you attended a workshop with her or maybe you knew her from West Valley or elsewhere, you were also fortunate.

There have been so many people who have touched me, people I’m honored to know, people who have mentored me and joked with me and they have enriched my life.  I hope you’ve found someone like that, hope you’ve been someone like that.  It’s something big to think about.

If you have someone you’d like to honor, send your write-up to me using the comment field at  I won’t publish the comment unless it’s relevant to Amy, but will publish them in the future.  I won’t edit and respectfully request that you not use this to write about me.

I realize this note is longer than our usual, so back to the mailing.

REMINDER ANNOUNCEMENT:  You can earn HRCI recertification points through blogging and I’ve set up a site so you can be an occasional blogger.  You are responsible for adhering to their guidelines, and I cannot guarantee your points. 
·   Read the HRCI information:
·   If you’d like to post, write your piece to the HRCI specifications.  (My first post is opinion and does not meet their criteria.)  Use the comment section on the blog (it won't show as I have to approve comments) and be sure to include the subject line, your bio and links to your LinkedIn page and/or website/s.  I will not edit posts but will review them quickly if I have time.  Otherwise, I’ll simply upload.
·   You can subscribe to the blog, share it on Facebook or Tweet it.  Let’s get this off the ground!

Join us on LinkedIn.

Discounts are on our website.

A few of our pages have a “ShareThis” buttons on the upper left side of the page.  If you’d like to repost on some of the other sites, this is an easy way to do so.
We have a resource page with links and downloads for job seekers.

Many people list our group on your resume under “professional organizations” and in their LinkedIn profiles. 
The past presenters’ page with some downloads and links is here.
To support our site, we have a PayPal button.  You can also help by shopping on Amazon using our Amazon Associate's links.  Look for “Shop at!”  and Human Resources Books on Amazon.

In addition to this volunteer work, I have to earn a living.  Unfortunately, I can’t mentor you, and please don’t send me unsolicited resumes.  I wish I had the time to individually mentor you, but I don’t.  With the time I take for this group, my work and my books, I don’t have time left over.  Come to an event and meet someone who can help.  I receive a lot of unsolicited resumes (from our group and strangers) and if I’m recruiting for a position or I’m paid to work on the resume, that’s one thing, but other than that, I’ve got other things on my plate.  I refer people to the forum.   See the blog:

Thanks to DiAnn Walker for planning last month’s event featuring Lisa Aguair.  Reviewing and learning about various leaves of absence is important and I really appreciated Lisa’s talk.

 1. HR Women & Friends Community Event:  Wednesday, June 15, 2011, 6:30-9:00 p.m. 
2. Discounts
3. Using our Bulletin Board (Forum)
4. Spam Filter Alert
5. To change you email address
6. Unsubscribe
7. Additional Links and Information
1. HR Women & Friends Community Event:  Wednesday, June 15, 2011, 6:30-9:00 p.m. 
Our topic is "Change Management" with Professor Joyce Osland.    All interested parties are welcome to attend this event, so spread the word.  Please review event details and respond if you’re attending.  If you’re bringing a friend, make sure that person registers, too.

Please note: any discounts for health related products or services are solely used at your own discretion.  The group and I have no responsibility for these services or products.  Thanks for extending the discounts to our group!

When you contact me regarding jobs, events, and other issues, I refer to our Forum. 

You can view all messages without registering, but you must register to reply or post a message. You are not automatically registered because you receive this email – it is separate software. Please review the Terms and Conditions available under any topic on the forum.  It’s your responsibility to keep track of your user name and password, and if you change email addresses, please log in and update your profile.  If privacy is an issue, please be careful when you post anything: use a separate email if necessary and you can skip your street address if you’d like.

4. SPAM Filter Alert:  please add mstein at ourhrsite dot com to your address book. 
5. To change your email address, send your old and new addresses to me at mstein at ourhrsite dot com.

6. Unsubscribe
To discontinue mailings please respond with "UNSUBSCRIBE" in the subject line. If you receive mail at more than one email address, please note all addresses to delete.

7. Additional Links and Information: 

Randy Pausch was dying of pancreatic cancer, and as is the tradition at many universities, he gave a “last lecture.”  His lecture was created for his young children but delivered to his class.   

Don’t have insurance?  Breast Cancer Connections in Palo Alto WILL HELP YOU!  They’re also great if you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, have questions and need support.

Free Giving: I started a page on Facebook called “What’s Your Favorite Charity and Why?” and invite you to join me there.  You’re welcome to post a little something about a charity and a link if you have one.  Not all of the postings require financial contributions – some are as simple as clicking on a website.

Click daily on The Breast Cancer Site at and help support people who don’t have insurance or money for mammograms.   You can send free postcards to a person serving our country.  Build your vocabulary and send rice to hungry people through the United Nations!  If you want to donate to the community, many people need your help.  You can evaluate many organizations at Charity Navigator  

Potential speakers/topics.  Our volunteers select speakers and topics in January.  You can still send ideas for speakers or topics with the understanding that this will be considered at the planning meeting next year.  If you want to publicize an event you can do so for free on our bulletin board. 

Notifying us of upcoming events and discounts.  If you email me right after I’ve sent a mailing, I can update the website, but I can’t send a separate mailing to the group.  It will be in the next mailing.  Please keep this in mind and plan ahead.

I hope to see you at an upcoming event.

All the best,


Marcia Stein, PHR -

Author:  Strained Relations: Help for Struggling Parents of Troubled Teens 
Recruiters on Recruiting

Silicon Valley Women in Human Resources...and Friends         

Stein Consulting

Human Resources Books on Amazon

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What Should You Expect from a Recruiter? - Guest Blogger Laurie Bell

Laurie Bell has a great blog, b.y.o. resume. She's a talented writer and covers some great topics for job seekers. I'm posting a bit of her blog with her permission and hope you go to her site to read the rest. Be sure to read her other posts, too.

"The Short Version:
  • There are no specified requirements for a job in recruiting. 
  • A recruiter's primary objective is to fill their open positions, not find every applicant a job.
  • The recruiter might think you're perfect for the job, but have to be vague if you ask what your chances are. 
  • If you're not the right fit for the job, they still might have to be vague about why.
To read more, click here..."