Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weekly News & Agenda for Tuesday, 9/13/11



The floor is open this week for expanded discussions on networking needs and topics of interest.

During introductions, simply give your name, academy and class, and current occupation (or what new opportunities you're seeking). Then feel free to elaborate on any specific networking needs, or comment on any topics of interest. When we have no speaker scheduled, as is the case this week, there is more time to go into greater depth on any topic you'd like.


9/20/11: Dave Jackson (USMA '73) will talk about Quick Response (QR) codes, which are those square-shaped, barcode-like things you're seeing in various forms of print media. What's a QR Code? Why do you need one? How could it help your business? Dave will educate us on this communication tool which has been around for quite some time overseas, and is now becoming more common in the U.S.

9/27/11 and beyond: If there's a speaker you'd like to invite for an upcoming Tuesday, or if you'd like to lead a discussion yourself, just let me know ( and we'll put it on the schedule.

3. WEST POINT & THE CIVIL WAR - A Talk by Author Rich Adams (USMA '67):

This week on Tuesday evening, 9/13/11, 1800-1900, author Richard Adams (USMA '67) will speak at the Koelbel Library in Centennial. Here's a description of this event from the library's web site:

America began commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War this April. Now, local author and West Point graduate Richard Adams will enthrall you with the story of a little known part of history. His recently-published book, "The Parting: A story of West Point on the Eve of the Civil War," follows a band of brothers who find themselves on both sides of the war in 1861. Books will be available for purchase and signing at the end of the program.

Registration is required for this event. Register on the library's site, at

The Koelbel Library is located at 5955 S. Holly St in Centennial. Their main web site is at


Thanks to Bob Fretzs (USAFA '71) for passing along this article by Ruth Mantell at MarketWatch. Beyond the good advice it offers, note also the strong parallels with the value of your BizNet network.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Summer is a season to relax, unless you’re a job seeker.

Given the steep competition for jobs, people who are energized and organized — and those who avoid lazy mistakes — are the likeliest to land a spot.

“It’s not all down to the economy — it’s often about how productive people are during their job search,” said Richard Jordan, a staffing management panel member at the Society for Human Resource Management. “The Internet has made it really easy for people to get a sense of false security about how productive they are.”
That means avoiding the “post-and-pray” technique in which job seekers apply to positions online, and then wait for the offers to roll in.
“Just applying through an online job search doesn’t do anything other than throw your résumé into a pile with [those of] hundreds, if not thousands, of other job seekers,” said Dan Ryan, an executive search consultant based in Nashville.
Another red flag: submitting résumés and cover letters with errors, said Holly Paul, U.S. recruiting leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a New York-based accounting and consulting firm.
“I see spelling mistakes, I see punctuation mistakes, I hit delete in two seconds. I don’t even bother to continue reading,” Paul said.

Here are five more mistakes to avoid:

A. Asking only what your network can do for you

Networking lets you tap the hidden job market of positions that are never advertised. To do it effectively, you should be in regular contact with the people in your network.
“The mistake a lot of people make is that the only times their network hears from them is when they have a favor to ask,” said Charles Purdy, senior editor at jobs website “They don’t think about how they can help the people in their network and build that goodwill.”
Purdy recommends keeping up with the interests and projects of those in your network, and reaching out. “If you find jobs that sound interesting, but aren’t quite right for you, don’t ignore that job. Think if there is anyone who might be interested,” he said. “I always remember very fondly and well the person who said: ‘I thought of you when I saw this job posting.’ That’s a great way to build goodwill in your network.”

B. Using a stock résumé

Résumés need to be tailored to specific positions.
“The old method of taking the same résumé and sending it to every job posting doesn’t work anymore,” Purdy said. “Customize it to the company you are applying to. Do the research.”
But don’t expect your résumé to do too much work for you. “It’s easy to sit home and bemoan the fact that you are not getting any interviews, but sending out lots of résumés, coming up with one iteration of your résumé after another, writing a cover letter for every ad you see,” said John Challenger, chief executive of outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas in Chicago.
If that’s how you’re spending most of your time, he said, “it’s not lazy, but it is misguided.”

C. Misusing social networks

Job seekers might tweet or post a note on Facebook about looking for a job, but real networking takes more work.
For instance, use social networks to research the industry. “It’s about following the companies you are interested in, finding out what problems the company is trying to solve,” Purdy said.
Also, don’t use the informal language of social networking in professional communications.

D. Outsourcing your job search

Job seekers can pay for services that distribute their applications for them, but don’t go this route.
“You are not doing your own work, or putting your own care into really understanding what the company needs before sending your résumé,” Purdy said. “Time and energy could be better spent in doing work that makes you a better employee. Do a mock marketing plan that shows what a creative thinker you are. You don’t have to be getting paid for something for it to be a valuable piece of experience on your résumé.”

E. Asking hiring managers to do your work for you

Another red flag for Paul: Job applicants who send notes asking her to review their résumé. With 150,000 applicants for U.S. positions in a year, Paul said she and her team aren’t interested in dealing with such requests.
“Job seekers come to me and say: ‘I like your company, here’s my résumé. Please do all my work for me, and tell me what would be a good fit for me.’ I do not move forward with those sorts of applications,” she said.
Paul said she looks for applications showing an investment of time and effort. “They are not just looking for a job; they are looking in areas of interest to them where they have some experience. It shows me that they have done a bit of work, and gives me the direction to steer them in.”
It’s also important to indicate which business unit you’re interested in, she said. “I’m looking for those applicants that have good experience, but can also relate that experience to what we do” at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Paul said. “It will give that job seeker a leg up because they have moved the ball forward.”


Have a good week.

Joe Paniccia (USMA '84)
BizNet Coordinator

Service Academy BizNet of Denver meets weekly on Tuesdays at 0700 in the Marriott Hotel at the Denver Tech Center. From I-25, exit Belleview east, then turn north onto Syracuse Street. While the Marriott lots are paid parking (approx $2-4), you can park for FREE across the street at Garcia's Restaurant (we have their permission). Look for us in the seating area inside the Marriott's coffee shop. RSVP is not required. Dress is casual. Attendance is open to graduates of the federal service academies (USAFA, USCGA, USMA, USMMA, USNA). Our schedule, roster and other information are posted on the web site at

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