Archive for the ‘Reference Guide’ Category

I began a new job (HOORAY!!), and I really want to improve my networking skills as a way to become better at my job and expand on my freelance writing escapades. Therefore, I attended a networking seminar to master this skill. I ended up learning about myself and the art of true business.

For that reason, I asked permission to post the presentation outline of the event right here on Word Press. This way, all of you can learn from the session too.

No Fear Networking


Jason Jordan

StandOUT Communications



Job Searching in 2012

  • —Resume Posting
  • Job Boards (Monster, Indeed, etc.)
  • Corporate Sites
  • —Social Networking
  • —Blogging
  • —Job Fairs
  • —Networking events
  • —Elevator Speech and Networking


—Networking Step One

  • —Identify Your Sphere of Influence
  • People you used work with—especially former bosses
  • Family and friends
  • Former clients and vendors (from past work)
  • People you do business with now
  • Networking Step One
  • —Reestablish Contact with Your Sphere of Influence
  • LinkedIn or FaceBook are great for first contact.
  • Let’s re-connect!  How have you been?
  • Call them!!
  • Give them your update. Keep it positive!
  • Networking Step One
  • —Get Referrals
  • Do your research online first.
  • Don’t ask for a job, ask for a contact.
  • Be specific: company, industry or field.
  • Get them to call their contact on your behalf.

—Activity:  What product have your purchased or thing that you have done recently got you really excited?


—Your Elevator Pitch

  • “Let’s go around the room and introduce yourself.”
  • Keep it short:  30 seconds.
  • Avoid industry jargon.
  • Give everyone a CLEAR idea of what you can do, and what you are looking for.
  • Give a short example of something amazing you did recently.

—Activity:  Your 30 Second (or less) commercial, or the greatest accomplishment in your career.



  • —Answer the question, “So, what do you do?”
  • —Making a REAL personal connection.
  • —Inspires conversation.
  • —Gets to the heart of what you do.
  • —Be ready for the next question as well.
  • —Look for opportunities to start new connections.


—Netweaving as a Life Skill

  • —84% Success Rate, according to “What Color is Your Parachute?”
  • —Avoid EVER finding yourself in this situation again
  • —It is much more fulfilling and FUN
  • —How far can you take it?

——Activity:  Create your network poster with your name, name of your company and position, 3 good local friends, neighbors, or family members, and where they work. Then, hang your poster on the wall and stay there

—Taking it to the Streets

  • Where do I go from here?
  • Toastmasters.org
  • Get involved in your Church
  • Volunteer your time (what do you believe in?)
  • Chamber of Commerce mixers in your area
  • North County Times Event Calendars
  • Question:  What are you doing to meet people?
  • Meetup.com

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Dear Blog,

I have not neglected you. I just took a short vacation and enjoyed the fruits of a community blog called My First Apartment. This is a site where you can gain very valuable advice on apartment and roommate hunting as well as great decorations ideas. Click here to view one of my articles.

Below is my sample article that won me the gig.

Getting to Know Your New Family:

Conversational Starters 101 Using Chinese Astrology

By Sabrina Pettis

After carrying heavy boxes to your new home and exchanging friendly introductions with your roomies, the four of you huddle around the television to enjoy an episode of Heroes! (Yes! You read that right.) That night’s episode was epic, and BOOM! You end with a cliffhanger, a cheesy commercial appears, and the awkward silence follows. Waiting, waiting. The four of you say this and that, but the awkwardness remains. Now is the perfect time to break out the Chinese Astrology book.

Astrological interpretations are always best for fascinating conversations. According to Chinese Astrology, I am a fabulous Rabbit and my roomies are the Dog, the Ox, and the Rat. Just to summarize, Rabbit people are very compassionate and idealistic. Dog people are very determined, Ox People are born leaders, and Rat People are strong problem solvers.  Each sign includes a compatibility scale from 1 (worst) to 10 (best), which determines who gets along and who needs to be separated.

Rabbits’ compatibility is 6 with Rats, 6 with Oxen, and 7 with Dogs. A roar of laughter erupted from all the things mentioned about our signs. Surprisingly, I shared a room with the Dog girl. We got along famously. The Rat and Ox girls became best friends. The Rat girl and I had serious tension. We even agreed; it was fate that we did NOT share a room. Maybe this is true, or maybe not. The point is, learning each person’s sign created a fun night of possibilities.

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I can relate to you. I have been searching for a job for six months and received wonderful news only recently. I am so relieved to be back in game, but I must admit. My long search is not due to the economy scare that most people use as an excuse. It took a long time to land a job because somewhere after college, I lost my creativity.

What does this mean?

Well, Jeff Altman – who is a successful Senior Staffing Recruiter, perfectly illustrates why Americans have a hard time penetrating through the job market in his book “Get Yourself Hired Now: The Big Game Hunter’s Guide to Head Hunting Your Next Job and Every Job After That!” Altman states that when he first searched for a job after college, he found himself looking through newspapers and applying to all positions that matched his qualifications. After submitting his resume, he will cross his fingers and hope for a call back. He did this back in the 70s! Today there has been an explosion of new technology and new jobs yet we still shop for jobs as if we are in the 70s. Are you seeing a connection?

I did participate in plenty of cattle-call interviews because I passively apply for jobs on Craigslist. Craigslist is a waste of time because most of the employers featured are greedy, but I continue applying to these ads because it seems like the fastest method. There was one interview at a chiropractor’s office in La Jolla, CA that held a HUGE group interview! I was grouped with a bunch of job seekers from all walks of life. The interview turned out to be a sales pitch because the doctor talked about himself the whole time. This was definitely depressing, but this is what “the fastest method” gets me. Therefore, Craigslist should not be your primary source for job hunting. However if you decide to stick with Craigslist, do your research on the company first. Oh and if and you see “Doctor’s Sidekick” or “Doctor’s Assistant” in the La Jolla area, and the ad states “no experience necessary,” do not waste your time. You are worth more than that.

The truth about Craigslist is that it attracts dishonorable companies. Advertising on Craigslist is free and most jobs posted receive at least 200 applicants. The hiring managers of these jobs usually contact most of the applicants because there is so much variety – they are DEFINITELY greedy. Not only greedy, there are shady companies on Craigslist as well. There are horror stories where people have been murdered or sex trafficked from a Craigslist ad. I am dead serious, folks! This is the reality. You must do your research. Check the company on Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Glassdoor, Rip Off Report, and review their Private Policy.

So what to do now?

There are many ways to promote yourself professionally while searching for a job that really goes along with your passion. This is the key to your job search, and the fact is, most people have lost touch with what they want in life.

Being in my first (and definitely my last) group interview, I realize that the job hunters of today are very lost. They have been applying for jobs the wrong way for so long and decided to take anything that comes their way as a result. This is a huge problem. If you don’t know what you want, then someone else will decide for you. There is no way you can be truly happy if someone else is deciding your life’s path.

At my last position, I knew I was not supposed to be there. I respect the company 100 percent, but I did not have a genuine interest in it. I just did my duties and collected my pay check. The money is what got me up every morning. With that said, there is nothing with starting your career path with a respectable job that is not in-line with your interest because you do learn about what it takes to be a part of a team and maintain business success. However, it is best to build a bridge. Use the position as a stepping stone that will lead you to what you really want. If you settle with the money, eventually you will suffer consequences.

Did you know feelings, work, and health are all related? If you are unhappy, eventually it is going cause some type of stress. I learned from the Director of San Diego Clinical Hypnotherapy that most health problems in America are stress related. So it is time to ask yourself, is money more important than your well being? Some people are proud to say yes, but I am sure that is the ego talking. Your well being dictates your money situation. If you are in good health, most likely you are in a good working predicament. If you are in a good working predicament, then you automatically make good money. The opposite goes to those who are in poor health.

Now let’s back track. How do you figure out what job is perfect for you?
Here’s the fun part everyone! Pull out a piece of paper and a group of different colored pens. Think about all the things you enjoy doing? Write them out randomly. Now remember those childhood dreams? Write those down in LARGE print because the child you is the idealist who believes anything is possible. You need the child you in order to enter the perfect career. Lastly, think about your personality and how it relates to the job environment. This is crucial as well.

In the insightful lecture “Piercing the Fog,” Doctor Yaffa Bey provides a short segment where she offers advice to young adults about their working situations. She mentions, if you are not a social person, why would you waste time applying for a customer focused jobs? Or if you enjoy meeting new people, why would you waste your time behind a secluded desk sorting paperwork? It’s common sense, right? But you would be so surprised how people ignore their own needs just for a dollar.

So what do you have on your list? You should have the whole page filled. If not, it’s time to experiment. Go out and try different things through volunteering and classes and meet up groups. There are so many opportunities in your area. You just need to open your eyes. Once you have that page filled, you will have a better time looking for the perfect job.

Through Altman’s book, I found Ezine Articles were everyday people like you and me can write out our thoughts freely. Actually I wrote this article for Ezine, but it was declined (probably because I revealed the curtains on Craigslist). Anyway, I did find another job recruiter’s blog on Ezine, http://www.jobseekeremploymentadvice.com. The author provides refreshing advice on how to find a job. The article that sticks with me is, “60% of Job Are NOT Advertised.”

This article gives job hunters a fresh perspective. Finding the right employee is a gruesome process for employers. This is why employers seek internal applicants first before going out to the public. Therefore, if you go to the employer before the job is advertised on general search sites like Monster and Indeed, you give yourself a creative edge. Go back to your list. Now do a Google search of all the businesses in your area that relates to your interest and start applying. Remember, applying for work is your current full time job, so treat it that way.

If you still need assistance, please visit my list of alternative job hunting methods, https://sapeni.wordpress.com/job-search-methods. There are TONS of jobs out there. You just have to take a moment and really look.

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Note: I had to tutor a group of students on this topic, so I figure I’d add it to my blog for others to either learn from or add insight to my lecture.

When writing a five paragraph essay, first you have to observe the prompt (or the question). You must understand what the teacher is asking of you as well as understand how you want to respond to the teacher’s request.  For some people, after they complete this step, they can jump straight into writing. However for everyone else, we need to jot down our thoughts and follow the simple formula in order to proceed.

The Formula

As I mentioned in my previous blog, every basic five paragraph essay has a topic, thesis, introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. So then the formula reflects the list below:

1. Introduction: opener with a thesis statement
2. Body 1: one piece of evidence that supports the thesis. Then analyze.
3. Body 2: second piece of evidence that supports the thesis.  Then analyze.
4. Body 3: third piece of evidence that supports the thesis. Then analyze.
5. Conclusion: reiteration tying everything together

Each number in this formula represents a paragraph that is necessary to complete a basic essay. But it is not best to start off writing with this formula because it limits your thinking. It is best to start off with writing everything you can think of through brainstorming, and then use the formula to structure your thoughts.  After you finish brainstorming, it is time to select the focus of the topic (or thesis) to create an introduction.


The essay prompt usually consist of questions. In order to create a topic for your paper, you need to answer the question. Some students think the answer is the thesis, but that’s is not the case. A thesis has to have a claim. A thesis is a debatable statement that demands literary persuasion in order to enhance the reader’s understanding of your side the argument.  But to simplify this statement for first-time writers, a thesis is a sentence that involves a subject, an opinion, and a claim. Now that you have a thesis, the rest of the writing process should be simple, including the intro paragraph.

The intro paragraph is the most important because it gives the reader a taste of your writing capabilities, and it allows the reader to see if your essay is interesting or dry. To avoid writing a dry essay, an intro must consist of a strong or unique opening. One way to tell if your writing is strong is to judge for yourself. Read your first sentence out loud to yourself, and if you are proud of what you wrote, then that is a strong opening.

Some opening suggestions:

  1. Question
  2. Interesting quote
  3. Anecdote
  4. Bold statement
  5. Interesting facts

The thesis usually comes at the end of the first paragraph, so let’s keep it there for the sake of learning. Therefore, the sentences located between the opening and the thesis should connect them together.

Body Paragraphs

This is where most students lose their way. There needs to be three decent sized paragraphs between the introduction and the conclusion in order to complete a five paragraph essay.  To create these paragraphs, the writer must have a topic sentence. This tells the reader what you are going to talk about in that paragraph, which will consist of evidence and an analysis of the evidence.

The structure of the body paragraph goes like this:

  1. Topic sentence that supports the thesis
  2. Evidence or specific information that further explains the topic sentence.
  3. Your personal interpretation of that specific information
  4. Transitions

Do this for all three body paragraphs.

Notice how I presented transitions to the list. Most students naturally transition their paragraphs, but it’s still good to be conscious of it. Transitions are sentences, phrases, or words that allow the reader to easily read one paragraph to another. Transitions make your essay smooth.

An example:

Most people like the color blue because it is peaceful, unlike the color red.

The phrase “unlike the color red” automatically hints the reader that the next paragraph is going to be about the color red, and this makes the essay easy to follow.

Now it is good to add a rebuttal paragraph as your second or third body paragraph when you’re writing an essay on a controversial issue. A rebuttal paragraph is where the writer adds the an opposing argument, and counters it.

For example:

Some say the color blue is not peaceful. They believe it is depressing.

If my thesis is about how the color blue because a peaceful color, then this statement above goes against my thesis. I’ll add it and support it, but then I’ll present a counter argument to make  the paper much stronger. So my rebuttal statement would be:

If blue was a sad color, then it would not be a popular color.


The conclusion is the easiest paragraph to write because you are just restating what you already wrote. Reword all the key elements or topic sentences to refresh the reader’s memory. Then you’ll end the conclusion with some refreshing statement that ties the paper together and leaves the reader with a satisfying experience.

And that is the basic formula. You start with a topic, then you brainstorm to generate a thesis, you draw out at least three body paragraphs from you knowledge and research, finally add a conclusion, and you got yourself an award-winning essay. This is a great start for beginning writers, but there is always more than one way to achieve a goal. If you have a different set of rules up your sleeve, please share your knowledge and add your thoughts to the comments section below.

Good Luck!

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Html: Hyper Text Markup Language
This is the perfect title for html. It really does look like crazy markings across the page. To me, html reads like the writings of a creature from outer space. But all that’s going to change with the help of this “cheat” sheet.

(Do not add dots when applying html. Dots are only used for visual purposes.)

Centering a link: <…center…> link <…/center…>
This is an easy one. That’s why it’s so memorable.

Incorporating a link to a phrase: <…a href=”link”> phrase<…/a…>
I used this technique in my first post. Actually, my first post is set up so the link you click on will open up in a new window.

Having link open in a new window: <…a href=”link” target=”_blank”>phrase<…/a…> <…div…>
Just look how long it is. This is the hardest one I had to use so far.

Place in bold letters (like so): <…strong…>words<…strong…>
I just learned this technique now. I noticed it when I switched this post to html format. I probably won’t need this technique since I can just highlight the text and press the “b” button, but it doesn’t hurt to learn it.

Insert mailing address in proper format:

Person’s name<…br…>
Number and Street<…br…>
City, State, Zip Code<…br…>
You can find tons of useful html applications by surfing the net. This is how I stumbled upon this code. So let me test it out.

Yellow Mellow455 Colorful AvenueCheertown, YM 12334

It works! Let me find one more.

Dividing a page (“frame sets”):


<…frameset rows=”5%,10%, 15%”>

<…frame src=”section_1.htm”>
<…frame src=”section_2.htm”>
<…frame src=”section_3.htm”>



Let’s give this one a try!

This html didn’t work. This blog doesn’t have the capacity to create these divisions. When I tried to post this blog with the frame set html, an error message appeared. From what I’ve seen on the net, this technique looks very complex. May be I’ll keep experimenting with it.

Well, that’s it so far. I will continue to add more html techniques to this list as I learn them.

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As the title suggests, you can write an impressive blog if you master the art of a five-paragraph essay. If you haven’t mastered this art, you can learn right now.

Writing a five-paragraph essay becomes intuitive after you learn its formula. You start with a topic, think of a thesis, and write. The first paragraph is the introduction, the next three paragraphs are the body, and the last paragraph is the conclusion. Here’s a list of how the formula should look like:

1. Introduction: with a thesis statement
2. Body 1: one piece of evidence that supports the thesis
3. Body 2: second piece of evidence that supports the thesis
4. Body 3: third piece of evidence that supports the thesis
5. Conclusion: tying everything together

If you need more instruction on how to create this formula, below is an informative video from JamesESL explaining the formula in more detail:

Believe it or not, you have all the information you need to write a five paragraph essay. You just need to practice it through writing, and the best way to practice this technique is to post a blog. Let’s choose a topic.

Luckily, a topic can be anything. The easiest topic to write about is some aspect of your life. So let’s start with that topic. Now this topic is vague, so as JamesESL mentioned in his video, let’s ask a question to narrow our focus and form a thesis. Our question is: What was my favorite memory in 2009? Answer this question, and you’ll have an effective topic for your blog.

Just for an example, I’ll make up an answer to this question. The answer is: My trip to New York in March 2009. Now to create a simple thesis, just briefly explain your answer to your question. Well, I picked My trip to New York as my topic because the food and tourist attractions. So the thesis is: New York is my favorite memory because I enjoyed the city’s Italian food, and I was never bored visiting the city’s famous landmarks. The only thing left to do is write out three or more pieces of evidence that supports the thesis. In this case, we need to think of three memories you have of New York that relates to Italian food and enjoying the city life.

Let’s say the three memories are: the pizza at Lombardi’s Pizza, Time Square, and Central Park. Therefore, paragraph two will be on Lombardi’s Pizza, paragraph three will be on Time Square, and paragraph four will be on Central Park. In each paragraph, describe your visit to these places by stating how the food tasted, what you saw, what you did there, and/or your reaction. The conclusion is simple because it’s just reiterating what you’ve already mentioned in your previous paragraphs. I’ll show you how easy the last paragraph is by wraping up this blog.

A blog can be about anything, but if you want to write a blog that will appeal to both yourself and others, then you should use the techniques of a five-paragraph essay. This type of essay organizes your ideas into a structured formula: intro, body one, body two, body three, and conclusion. By using this formula, your readers will find your blog clear and easy to follow along. So next time you have an exciting topic to write about, you know what to do.

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