Achieving Excellence Scholarship Award
The “Achieving Excellence Scholarship Award” was founded by West Christian (Class of 2007), with the objective of giving back to the community by helping students just like him obtain the life and career they desire. This scholarship is for graduating seniors at Pusch Ridge Christian Academy that have a 3.0-3.5 GPA and have completed the required assignments to qualify.
- 3.0 to 3.5 GPA
- Must be a current graduating senior from Pusch Ridge Christian Academy in Tucson, Az.
- Must submit a 300 to 500 word essay on the topic of, “Where I see myself in 10 years”.
- Must submit a personal goal sheet for the next 12 months. (Instructions on how to properly structure goal sheet can be found here).
Who should read this post: Anyone who is looking to land his or her dream job
What you will learn: How to get an interview at your dream company
The secret to landing an interview with your dream company really boils down
to getting a solid introduction. But that begs the question of…How?
A lot of people today assume that only the well connected people who love to
network can land introductions to top tier companies. This isn’t the case
though! Anyone can land a first rate introduction if you follow these simple
1. Start a blog that is specific to the industry you are looking to get into.
By doing this you build credibility and demonstrate a passion for that field.
2. Connect with everyone you can on LinkedIn that is or maybe connected to
someone that works in that line of work.
3. Develop an “Intro” email and send it to everyone you can in the
company you want to work with.
4. Wine and Dine! Take the right people out to lunch and start developing a
relationship with them.
5. Once you land the hiring managers email, send them a message regarding the
position you’re interested in.
Step 1: Start a Blog Specific to the Industry
When doing this it is very important to remember that you are not blogging to
build traffic, sale ads, push products or build a community. The only reason
of creating a blog is to demonstrate your knowledge of the industry,
establish credibility, and demonstrate a passion for the position.
Now there are two easy ways to create a quick blog that looks good and
displays the image you are looking for:
So you have your blog…Now what do you say on it?
Well if you are trying to get into finance you could write about your
opinions over recent mergers, the recession, stocks and bonds you are vested
in. The door to topics to write about is wide open.
If you are trying to get into fashion you could talk about the seasonal
fashions, your favorite designers or even give clothing suggestions for
outfit combos that you really like.
There are a million things that you can write about, just pick something and
How much to write
It really doesn’t matter too much but ill ask you this question, Is it
better to have an empty blog that never gets posted in or a blog that has a
lot of activity and displays competence in the industry? If it were me I
would post at least once or twice a week until you get 5 or 10 post then back
off to once a week posting.
Step 2: Connect on LinkedIn
Here are the steps to connect with every relevant person you may know on
1. Go to LinkedIn.com and create an account or login to your existing one
2. Go to Contacts -> Add Connections
3. Enter your email and password to connect to everyone that you have ever
4. Wait a week to let everyone accept your connection request
5. Go to Advanced Search and search for people that are in the company you
are interested in
6. Make a list of all of your first and 2nd degree connections (You will use
these in step 3)
Step 3: Email your connections for introductions
The following is an email template that I received from a colleague of mine
that he has used in the past and had great success with while using it in
this exact process.
How is everything going?
Things are terrific on my side. I’ve recently traveled to X, have spent
time learning Y, and am taking Z classes to develop my proficiency in Z.
I’m emailing you today because I’ve recently discovered my passion for
the A Industry and would love to work for Company Name. I noticed on
LinkedIn that you work at Company Name and would greatly appreciate an
introduction to Recruiting Manager. The opening that I’m interested in is
I am fully committed to working at Company Name, and I currently write at
Blog Name to demonstrate my knowledge and passion for the A Industry.
I have attached my resume and cover letter. Thank you so much in advance for
passing my documents to the right person. Please let me know how I can help
you in any way.
All the best,
Step 4: Wine and Dine
Everyone needs to eat lunch and everyone loves free food!
Once you’re introduced to the right people at the company, you may offer to
take them out to lunch. Now this is a bold move and you need to be careful
when doing this, but if you do it respectfully and professionally they may
take you up on your offer. Remember that the whole point in this is so that
you can begin to develop a professional relationship with this person. People
hire people they like, all things being equal, the person that the hiring
manager likes most is going to be the one that gets the job. This will give
you the edge over the competition.
The following is the email template that my colleague used to take
professionals or even sometimes recruiters out to lunch.
My name is Name and I was introduced to speak with you by Acquaintance Name.
I am deeply passionate about the A Industry and feel that the skills and
assets that I have developed throughout my career can greatly compliment
Company Name. Please take a look at my A Industry blog at Blog Name here to
learn more about my thoughts, opinions, and analysis of the market.
I’d like to invite you to lunch next week to learn more about your company
and to demonstrate why I’m the perfect fit for Position Title. I am
available the following days and times next week for lunch:
Please let me know what days and times work best for you.
All the best,
Step 5: Email the Hiring Manager
Once you have the right introduction then it’s time to email the recruiting
manager. Here is an email template to help with that as well:
My name is Name and I was introduced to speak with you by Acquaintance Name.
I am interested in the Position Title at Company Name and have attached my
I believe that I am perfect for Company Name because of my Quality 1, Quality
2, and Quality 3.
The next three paragraphs should highlight examples of your 3 qualities. Show
tangible examples of how your qualities have create positive return for the
companies you have worked for.
Take a look at my blog at Blog Name to learn more about my thoughts,
opinions, and market analysis of the A Industry.
Thank you very much and I look forward to speaking with you.
All the best,
You want to remember to attach your application and resume to this email
also, even if you have already filled out a physical or electronic
application. If you use the above strategies and email templates you will
shine bright above the rest of the competition. Always remember to approach
each situation with a positive attitude and confidence in your abilities!
Did you know that your image is one of the most important steps in the hiring process? And I am not talking about the clothes you wear or the way you part your hair. Your image shows up far before you ever set foot inside the front door of the office. It actually starts with your resume and carries all the way through the handshake and the congratulatory, “Welcome to the team”. The first thing your potential new boss is going to know about you, is whatever you put in your resume. This is why it is crucial to use the appropriate wording and structure in your resume that displays the “you” that is perfect for the team. Lets look at exactly what I mean by wording and structure.
When I sit down to help people with their resumes the first thing I look at is the wording. Most of the resumes I see are full of what I like to call “Blah Words”. What you want to do instead is change those “Blah Words” into “Sizzle Words”. To illustrate this I am going to give you a few sentences from a resume I found and you tell me if you see the before and after difference.
- Gave work assignments to staff of entry level accounting clerks.
- Directed workflow, supervised and trained accounting staff. Performed posting to general ledger, accounts receivable and payable accounts.
The two phrases above are very basic examples of how you can simple tweak a few words in your resume to really make it pop off the page and create the profession image that you need to get the job. This process is as easy as picking up a thesaurus and rewording a few sentences to include some “Sizzle Words” that help bring your resume to life. So now that we have established the importance of using “Sizzle Words” to paint the picture, lets talk about the structure or flow of your resume.
When you look at your resume you want to create a good structure that is easy to read and builds on itself. Your resume should be organized using what I call the “Pyramid Formula”. If you look at a pyramid it is wide and broad at the bottom and gets slimmer and more defined at the top. Your resume should be the same way. The most important information that pertains to the job you are applying for should be at the top of the resume as to grab the attention of the reader quickly. Statistics show that the average hiring manager reads about 10 to 15 seconds of a resume before deciding to either read on or toss in the garbage. This means that if your resumes most important information is at the bottom or scattered through out the chances are very high that they will get overlooked and tossed in the garbage. Lets look at a few example of this.
Maintained records control, filing, office supply purchasing and equipment maintenance. Managed front office functions to support the President, Vice President and staff of 20 Sales Representatives.
Managed front office functions to support the President, Vice President and staff of 20 Sales Representatives. Maintained records control, filing, office supply purchasing and equipment maintenance.
If you implement the two methods above you will end up with an amped up resume that will give you the edge on the competition and establish you as the “expert” that your potential new job would be stupid not to hire. Don’t wait to claim the life you deserve!32
2011 is finally here, and more people set goals on New Years Eve then on any other day of the year. But statistics show that the vast majority of “resolutions” made on New Years last for about 60 to 90 days before the old habits take over and keep you in limbo. So the question now becomes; do you want to be one of the many who spend December 31st, 2011 berating themselves for wasting a whole year, or do you want to learn how to achieve everything you deserve, and spend New Years Eve 2012 saying, “Wow, look at all I have accomplished”.
2011 can be the best year of your life, if you make the choice now, and establish habits early on that will carry you to the outcome you deserve. Apply a few of the achievement tips below to your life in 2011 and turn your resolution into a reality.
1. Think it, Ink it: How can you expect to achieve a goal you cannot clearly identify and articulate? This is why it is so important to write down and clearly state every goal you wish to accomplish. Because “life” just happens sometimes, and if we are not extremely focused on an objective, it can be easy for us to get side tracked or even forget about what the real goal/vision is for that day. The great sales and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar put it this way, “You can’t hit a target you cannot see, and you cannot see a target you do not have.” When you think about 2011 and all the thinks you want to achieve, start by writing them down, and than revisit that sheet of paper often to make sure you are working toward your goals everyday.
2. Supplement: It’s sometimes hard for people to achieve goals because of the old habits they have that are not conducive to the new goals they want to accomplish. This is why many diets and workout regiments fail so quickly. You start out strong and motivated but eventually those old habits end up winning, so how do we overcome this perpetual issue? The trick to “kicking” an old habit is to replace the old with a new better one. For example, if you want to go on a diet, but you tend to be the person that likes to munch on junk food throughout the day, don’t try to give up the munching habit all together to start out. Instead try to simple supplement your junk food items with healthier choices that are going to actually help you reach your dieting goals.
3. Go Public: This is a huge step in the goal achieving process. When you set a goal, go public with it, tell someone or even a group of people about what you want to achieve and have them hold you accountable. It is much harder to let your body give up on a new goal if you are accountable to someone else also.
4. Inch to Success: Do not try to tackle a huge goal in one day with some new get rich, or skinny gimmick. As the great Zig Ziglar said, “I didn’t gain 30 pounds in one weekend, its one more bite that did me in.” Change the habit and take baby steps toward your goals. I know this might shock you to hear, but success is slow and at times difficult. The gimmicks we all get bombarded with on TV are not the answer to your problems. Don’t swing for the fence on the first pitch, take small steps toward your goals, and change the habits that have been keeping you from getting there on the way.
5. Take Action: This step is in my opinion the most important step in the whole process, and if you could only pick one tip to apply, this is the one. Without action all you have is a good idea. Unfortunately wealth and success do not just fly into our lives just because we want them to, as past college speaker of the year James Malinchak puts it, “You have to get off your assets, and do something.” Setting a goal, or getting a gym membership is not enough. You have to act on them in order to make them your reality.
6. Reward Yourself: Finally, setup a reward program for yourself. Rewarding yourself with something when you hit milestones so you have something to look forward is key to staying motivated. For example, lets say your goal is to run a mile without stopping. When you reach your one-mile goal, go out and eat at your favorite restaurant one night to celebrate. Then set your next milestone and do it all over again.
There are no limits in life on how much you can achieve our how far you can go, except for the limits and restricts you put on yourself. The unfortunate part is many people do not see these restrictions and thus never understand why their life seems to never get any better. I have heard it said time and time again, “It doesn’t matter what I say or do nothing ever gets better for me, and it seems to be getting worse by the minute.” Obviously this is not a very positive outlook on life, but I am sure you too have someone in your life with this type of perspective. Many people don’t realize that what they say is true, if they claim it. This is known as the Law of Expectation.
Simply, the Law of Expectations says that whatever you expect and claim, confidently, becomes your reality. When you expect with confidence that good things will happen to you, they usually do. On the other hand, if you expect negative things to happen or constantly put yourself down, then your outcome will usually be a negative one.
The expectations we have play a key role in our ultimate outcome, but they also have a significant effect on the people around us. What we expect from those around us directly affects our attitude toward them. On the same note, the people around us tend to mirror our attitudes right back at us, whether they are positive or negative, good or bad.
Dr. Robert Rosenthal of the University of California – Riverside, has spent more than 40 years studying the idea that one’s expectations for the behavior of another, can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Rosenthal tells in his book “Pygmalion in the Classroom”, case after case where teachers were told that a student or class, was extremely intelligent and expected to be top achievers in academic performance in the upcoming year. One thing you need to know is that these students were randomly chosen from the school population, none of them were special in any specific way other then the fact that the teacher believed that the student or students were exceptional and expected them to excel. These “special” students performed at much higher level than other students in the same or similar classes.
So the question now becomes what can we do to change our expectations and ultimately our success outcome?
1. Always expect the best. This means in every situation and from everyone around you. Do not go into work tomorrow and expect to have a problem with that co-worker or employee you butt heads with everyday. Expect that today will be a great day, a problem free day, that runs smoothly.
2. Be “Polly Positive”! Some of the best managers, entrepreneurs, and salespeople alive today expect the best out of a situation before they face it. If you say it’s going to be a bad sales call, chances are it will be. You have to enter every situation with a positive attitude. Do not let the rain outside or the flat tire on your car change your positive outlook on the day. Everything happens for a reason! Remember, your outcome is a direct reflection of your outlook, so choose to make it a positive and productive one.
3. Choose to be your best. Wake up in the morning and choose to be the best you that you can possibly be. Do not leave behind any slack for the rest of your team to pick up. Pull your own weight and then some, be the employee or co-worker you expect others to be.
I challenge you to take the next week and focus on going into every situation with a positive mental attitude, and with the expectation that everything will work out for the best. I guarantee you that not only will you begin to see a difference in your happiness level, but you will also begin to see a change in the people and situations you used to have issues with.0
If you had a friend that talked to you the way you talk to yourself, how long would you be friends with that person? I know this might sound alarming to you but what you say to yourself in quiet (when no one else is home) is why you are seeing the results you are.
Success magazine publisher Darren Hardy says this on the subject of self-talk, “Left unguided (as most do), your brain will stew in the negative all day, every day of your life. The conundrum is—what you think about comes about. Where your attention goes, energy flows, thus the direction your life takes.” The key to achieving great success in life starts with a positive self-image.
What we say directly affects what we do and have. Our brains cannot achieve a goal we do not have, and in the same breath we cannot go where we want to go if we constantly tell ourselves that we can’t do it. So how do we change our negative mindset to a positive one?
This is where gratitude and affirmations come in. Pick a few things you are grateful for every morning and focus on that as you go through your daily routine. Personally I have gone as far as creating a list of about ten positive words of affirmation that I have written on a 3×5 card that I have taped to my mirror so I read them every time I go in there. We have to change the flow of information we are filling our minds with from negative to positive, if we want to be great, we have to be grateful.
My challenge to you is this. Take 5 minutes at the end of each day before you go to bed to write down the top 10 things you are grateful for in your life. The next morning when you get up, read those ten things and think about how truly blessed you really are. Because I don’t know if you realized this or not, but there is someone else out there that has it worse then you do. If we constantly focus on how bad it is, it will never get better. Be the change you want to see in your own life, and be grateful for what you have.
It is no surprise to hear that the holiday season is hectic and stressful. We are all super busy buying gifts, hanging lights, socializing with friends and family and of course eating too much food. All of these things can be fun for the season, but what happens when post-holiday reality sets in? If I were to tell you there are a few things you can do in the 12 days leading up to the holiday season that would not only improve your life but would also bring you into the New Year more excited and motivated then you have ever been before, would you be interested?
What I am about to share with you is my version of the 12 days of Christmas. I have discovered that it is much easier to give up something if you replace it with something else, so I have a list of 12 things to stop, and 12 things to start. I challenge you to pick one of each to apply to your life in the 12 days leading up to the New Year and I guarantee you a happy holidays.
12 Positive Starts:
1. Start living your life with purpose.
2. Start being passionate.
3. Start taking more risks.
4. Start listening with an open mind.
5. Start making your health a priority.
6. Start doing work that you love.
7. Start laughing and playing.
8. Start being good to yourself.
9. Start living your own life.
10. Start learning something new everyday.
11. Start managing your money
12. Start spending time with people who matter to you.
12 Positive Stops:
1. Stop worrying about things you can’t change.
2. Stop making excuses.
3. Stop doing work you hate.
4. Stop wasting your time.
5. Stop arguing.
6. Stop waiting to start.
7. Stop complaining.
8. Stop making the same mistakes.
9. Stop doubting yourself.
10. Stop worrying about the opinions of others.
11. Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
12. Stop spending more money than you make.
Leadership is not a position that is assigned; it is a mindset that is claimed. Leadership is about influence and positioning, not title or status. The leadership guru John Maxwell says it best, “The fact of the matter is this, 99 percent of all leadership occurs not from the top but from the middle of an organization.”
If you are a do nothing kind of person that just coast along in the middle of the pack because it is comfortable there, you are doing nothing more then creating more weight for the real leaders at the top to pull. Do you ever wonder why you are not getting the big promotion that your peers are getting? Let me ask you another question, do you think the owner of the Ford Motor Company just walked into the office one day and received the CEO job? Of course not, John Fleming worked for the title he now carries, he embodied the leadership qualities needed to lead the Ford organization.
So what does this solid leadership look like? I am going to give you 3 traits that if you apply to your life will change the way you look at your job and ultimately your life.
1. Teamwork: Legendary basketball Coach John Wooden said, “The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.” You will only be as good as the people around you. If your team is in need of improvement, then be the improvement you want to see in them.
2. Self Improvement: Never stop learning, motivational guru Les Brown stated, “You can’t expect to achieve new goals or move beyond your present circumstances unless you change.” The change that you need to embrace is the mental change of growing your knowledge. What got you to where you are will not get you to where you want to be.
3. Vision: Set goals and have a clear vision of where it is you want to be. You cannot achieve that which you do not see. Success magazine publisher Darren Hardy says, “Where your attention goes, energy flows, thus the direction your life takes.” The mind can only achieve that which it can clearly identify. If you think it, ink it. An idea is nothing without action.
I challenge you to take action for the next 21 days, act on the leadership traits above. If you do I am positive you will see a change in not only your attitude, but in the people around you as well.3
Well here is my first blog post. I am sitting here at a James Malinchak event in Vegas. We have been here for the past 2 days learning about how to increase sales online and how to market your website and be a successful marketer in today’s world online. If you are interested in learning about how to market yourself or your products online you need to know that its not about what your selling, its all about knowing your market and what they are searching for. Make sure you are focusing on word optimization and Google ad words! These two things will save, and make you more money then you can imagine. If you want more tips on marketing follow me here or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/WestChristian.
Thanks and Good luck!!