1-Minute Strategies: March ’10

Manage your “invisible résumé” by rewriting the sections you don’t like. If you’ve received some tough feedback lately, think of who can help you make a change. Be upfront with your boss or trusted colleagues about what you’re working on and why.

Perfected your bragalogue yet? Communications coach Peggy Klaus swears by this self-promotion tool. What it is: a short, pithy story that incorporates a few bits of information about who you are and what you’ve done. Introduce yourself with it.

Avoid this grammar misstep:
Some people use “i.e.” to mean “for example.” It actually means, “namely” or “that is.” It specifies what you’re talking about. Example: “That great American holiday, i.e., Thanksgiving, is almost upon us.”

Make your LinkedIn invitations stand out
by personalizing the message when you make the request, writes Brent Peterson on CareerRocketeer.com. He writes, “I find it refreshing when someone clearly states why she reached out.”

E-learning tip: To maximize learning, seek out 45-minute sessions, as opposed to eight- to 10-hour blocks. Shorter sessions allow you to more quickly process and apply what you’re learning.

Convince yourself of the power of checklists by reading The Checklist Manifesto. The main point is simple: No matter how expert you may be, well-designed checklists can improve outcomes. Best example: checklists used by airline pilots.

Be a “fit friendly” office by stealing some of these ideas from retailer Meijer Inc., which recently won three awards for its wellness programs: healthy alternatives in the cafeteria and vending machines, fitness-walk Wednesdays, walking challenges for every employee, online health education classes and health coaching.

Express religious beliefs at work at your own risk. While employers are required to provide “reasonable accommodation” for religious practices under the law, expressing your beliefs at work can hurt your career. “The reality is we all give up something in exchange for a paycheck,” says Lynne Eisaguirre, an author and former employment attorney.

Gain back time by asking a simple question about workplace processes: Is this good, or is it stupid? Steve Boese, who writes the HR Technology blog, says most groups engage in needless activities. Examples: passing paper around endlessly, inviting too many people to a meeting (for fear of bruising egos) and churning out reports no one reads or needs.

Power up your office image by not apologizing—at least, when it comes to your life outside of work, says executive recruiter Deborah Sawyer, “ explain to the hilt what we are doing. Don’t tell me you’re chaperoning your child’s class trip to the zoo.” Just ask if you can have the day off, and then stop talking.