Lussier spearheads own anti-resume revolution
Jan. 25, 2010
By Katelyn Gendron
Reminder Assistant Editor
AGAWAM -- After graduating college, Angela Lussier of Agawam asked herself, "Is this it? Is this [the real world] what I worked so hard for?"
Disappointed with the professional hierarchy of the real world and tired of feeling "stifled" and "uncreative" at work, she said to herself, "I'm the hardest working person here." Lussier then took her distaste for the professional marketplace and turned it into more than just whining by the water cooler during break time.
Lussier told Reminder Publications she decided to start her own business, 365 Degrees Consulting, because she wanted to help people jumpstart their careers. Her book, "The Anti-Resume Revolution," challenges customary job-seeking methods and asks people to "think outside of the 'plan'" when searching for a career.
"The top-down [workplace hierarchy] is a thing of the past," Lussier said. "We've got to change the culture of business and the way they [employers] view their employees. They're not just workers, they're people who have lives."
Lussier explained that for the past nine months she's been aiding other "stifled" employees and job seekers find their niche in the world, while carving out her own.
Lussier explained she "steers clear" of personality profiles to determine a client's profession. Instead, she begins by asking clients a multitude of questions creating a self-portrait illustrating their values, interests and personal and professional goals.
"Who you are and what you want out of life [is very important to career consultants]," Lussier said. "It's about self-exploration [for clients]."
She explained that once clients determine their field of choice, together they develop "creative solutions" to help them acquire the desired job or promotion.
Lussier said many job-seekers make the same mistakes, including sending out dozens of resumes online or through the mail hoping for replies. "It's like going fishing with no bait," she said of such tactics.
Lussier asks clients to create a "targeted job search" focusing on 10 to 15 companies. Once established, clients can find out how to promote themselves to those potential employers via networking events, social media or by "building debt with people" via free seminars or functions without asking for anything in return.
Lussier noted she did so by conducting 32 free seminars throughout three months as a method of providing job-seekers with basic knowledge and as a way of networking and marketing her business.
Lussier said she also encourages clients to use social media to network. "Social networking [sites] are a way to continue a conversation and keep in touch. That's really the new resume."
She said networking for the right job is also about branding oneself. Lussier explained she developed her company and its logo and had it printed on a variety of dresses to wear to business functions.
"I brand myself differently [than a traditional] black, blue or gray suit," she said, adding, "People remember the dress."
Lussier cautioned "there's a fine art to standing out" versus receiving negative attention. She added that job-seekers must know their audience and tailor their efforts to potential employers' needs.
She also advised interviewees to ask their own questions and gain a feel for the company's culture.
"It's not a one-sided interview," Lussier said, adding, "It's like a blind date [so ask a lot of questions]."
Lussier cautioned not to "pretend to be someone you're not [during the interview]."
"You don't have to pimp yourself out [to get the job]," she added.
When asked what she expects of her business in the future, Lussier replied she wants to continue her consistent client base and sell 20,000 copies of her book, which teaches the dos and don'ts of job seeking, and the interview process as well as ways to obtain that dream job.
Lussier noted she included personal experiences in her book as well as the trials and successes of others as models for motivation.
Her strongest advice is for job seekers to stay positive, stay curious and stay hungry.
For more information about 365 Degrees Consulting, visit www.my365degrees.com or e-mail Lussier at angela@my365 degrees.com.
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