Month: June 2012
Let’s face it, most of us write “like we talk” and many more of us, beyond that, can’t put a proper sentence together if our lives depended on it.
Email has a wicked side to its ability to communicate lightning-quick thoughts, emotions, and directives to everyone and anyone listed within our e-address book – and therein lies the biggest problem of all when writing emails that actually do more harm than good: emotional emails!
Emotional emails can kill friendships, business opportunities, and all chances to move forward in whatever setting the emotional email plows through. Allow me to give you an example of an emotional email I received from an applicant, wanting a job on my team. Keep in mind, the letter is verbatim to prove my point:
Dear Mrs. Kloeppel, I have heard through the grapevine that you are a really tough boss and that’s alright with me! You see, I want to work for you and your mission and I’m willing to pour my heart and soul into your organization. Recently, I interviewed with your Executive Director and Gateway Manager and was told that my chances for a job on MSCCN were excellent. They informed that MSCCN is a 24/7 high temp operations and that you push your team to get many tasks done simultaneously in order to propel your vision forward. I believe I would become a wonderful asset to MSCCN and hope that you and I can come to agreeable terms regarding billable hours upon deliverables.
I’d like a show of virtual hands here if you think I should hire an applicant who sent the above email.
Do you think I hired her?
No, I did not.
My reason for not hiring her will surprise you. Everything in Jane Doe’s email (letter) was perfectly fine to send to a potential employer. Yes, the letter is a bit risky. However, I value boldly honest people who call it as they see it!
This particular applicant knew my reputation for seeking brutally honest people to work our MSCCN mission. I respected Jane Doe for the above letter.
I was absolutely going to hire her until I reached the sentence that stated: I would “become” a wonderful asset to MSCCN and hope that you and I could come to reasonable terms.
As the Founder and CEO of the only military nonprofit employment program in the nation, I don’t want to hire people who “hope they will become” an asset to my organization. I want them to KNOW they’re already an asset to any organization they apply to. The phrase “could come to” is a major sign of passive aggressive tendencies. I need confident professionals on the MSCCN team who do not need constant validation and daily approval.
When Jane Doe used the below emotional terms, her insecurities and passive aggressive tone came through loud and clear.
– “would become”
– “hope to ”
– “could come to”
These negative terms are red flags when addressing hiring managers and recruiters.
A list of emotional words never to use within a business email setting and/or interview:
|infuriated||sulky||uneasy||in a stew|
|worked up||a sense of loss||tense|
The below email would have hired Jane Doe on MSCCN: please compare every word with her original letter to me:
Dear Ms. Kloeppel, It’s a pleasure to virtually meet you. After my interview with your Executive Director and Gateway Manager, I am convinced that my skill sets match perfectly to the open job position within your organization. Your reputation as a boss, who works 24/7 inside of a mission that has earned a trusted reputation for eight years, is a bit daunting – yet exciting!
I’ll deliver all tasks before me with great gusto and detail within a reasonable time frame. I look forward to speaking with you in the near future, should your time permit.
When writing emails, brief and concise wording are your best friends. There are people who write diatribes inside of their emails spewing emotions and venom … and it’s exhausting. Be polite to your readers and remain joyful – even if you’re feeling lousy. The secret to read-me-emails is simple: remain the person people want to hear from – often.
Embrace the quirky side of your brilliance; it’s the most memorable part of your existence. In sales and fundraising, normal people are never remembered. Quirky people, however, are ALWAYS remembered with a smile.
Deb Kloeppel, Founder and CEO, CASY-MSCCN
Citi and CredAbility Join with IAVA, TAPS, and MSCCN to Launch Online Financial Education and Counseling Program for Armed Forces Members, Veterans, and Their Families
Recent data shows that members of the armed forces, veterans and their families face particular financial difficulties. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, the unemployment rate for veterans who have served on active duty since September 2001 was 12.1 percent in 2011, compared to the national unemployment rate of 8.9 percent that same year. According to Debt.org, more than 25 percent of military families that have credit card debt carry a balance of more than $10,000, and a third of military families report they have trouble paying monthly bills. Also, 2011 data from CredAbility of veterans who went through credit counseling shows that veterans ages 29 or younger have average monthly expenses that exceed their net income by $880 as well as average credit card debt of $7,234.
CredAbility ReConnect addresses these financial challenges with a set of online tools, education and counseling. Individuals and families served by IAVA, TAPS, and MSCCN will be able to access custom versions of the online program, free of charge, tailored to the unique needs of the veterans, families and survivors they serve. Members of the armed forces, veterans and their families not affiliated with these organizations can access CredAbility ReConnect at www.CredAbility.org/recon.
CredAbility ReConnect covers:
- The Financial Impact of Deployment – Online courses to help military families deal with the financial implications of a deployment, including how to manage money while a spouse is overseas.
- Easing the Transition – Online courses, such as “Understanding Your Military Benefits” and “Reconnecting Financially,” help ease the financial transition for those who have recently left the armed forces or experienced the death of a servicemember.
- Budget and Credit Counseling – Personalized financial “check-ups” help users manage their money better and prioritize spending through easy-to-follow plans. Online courses help with wise use of credit, debt reduction strategies, and setting goals for a healthier financial future.
- Debt Management Plans – Custom affordable repayment plans, often with reduced interest rates, fees and penalties for qualified individuals, help visitors pay down debt, negotiate with creditors and regain their financial footing.
- Foreclosure Prevention and Home Buying Guidance- HUD-certified counselors provide guidance to individuals who are behind on their mortgage payments or face foreclosure, as well as to prospective homebuyers.
Free one-on-one credit counseling with a CredAbility certified counselor is also available by telephone at 888-808-7285.
“A serious need exists for a targeted set of financial assistance services like CredAbility ReConnect,” said Mechel Glass, Vice President of Community Outreach for CredAbility and a veteran of the Persian Gulf War. “Young veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan might want to create a plan to make regular deposits to an emergency savings account and pay down debt. And active duty servicemembers might want to create a financial support plan for spouses and children during times of deployment or transfer, or in the event of a loss that leaves them financially vulnerable. CredAbility ReConnect will provide the education and counseling to show them how to accomplish these personal finance goals.”
“Every member of the armed forces has sacrificed a great deal in service to their country, and in addition to the challenges of military service, many face tremendous financial pressures as well,” said Suni Harford, Citi’s Regional Head of Markets for North America. “These brave men and women receive extensive military training, but far too few of them receive any kind of formal financial education. CredAbility ReConnect was developed to help these deserving men and women build financial capability and achieve long-term economic security for themselves and their families.”
Citi is an established leader in the national effort to support veterans and active-duty servicemembers, including those in the Guard and Reserve, and CredAbility ReConnect is the latest initiative in a coordinated, firm-wide effort in this area. In May, Citi launched Citi Salutes, a one-stop resource that consolidates all of Citi’s programs, products and partnerships that support the greater veterans community. Later this month, Citi will be helping to lead the second annual Veterans on Wall Street conference and job fair in New York, an initiative co-founded by Citi to develop career opportunities in the financial services industry for veterans.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://new.citi.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi
About Citi Community Development
Citi Community Development (CCD) is leading Citi’s commitment to achieve economic empowerment and growth for underserved individuals, families and communities by expanding access to financial products and services, and building sustainable business solutions and innovative partnerships. Our focus areas include: commercial and philanthropic funding; innovative financial products and services; and collaborations with institutions that expand access to financial products and services for low-income and underserved communities. For more information, please visit www.citigroup.com/community.
CredAbility is one of the leading nonprofit credit counseling and education agencies in the United States, serving clients in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, in both English and Spanish. In addition, the organization provides in-person counseling through its branch network of more than 25 offices located across the southeast.
Founded in 1964, CredAbility is a family of Consumer Credit Counseling Service agencies that includes CCCS of Greater Atlanta, CCCS of Central Florida and the Florida Gulf Coast, CCCS of Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, CCCS of East Tennessee, CCCS of Central Mississippi and CCCS of Upstate South Carolina. The nonprofit agency is accredited by the Council on Accreditation and is a member of the Better Business Bureau and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). Governed by a community-based board of directors, CredAbility is funded by creditors, clients, individual donors and grants from foundations, businesses and government agencies. Service is provided 24/7 by phone at 800.251.2227 and online at www.CredAbility.org.
About Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is the nation’s first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the lives of our newest veterans and their families. Through innovative health, education, employment and community programs, IAVA strives to build an empowered generation of veterans who provide sustainable leadership for our country and their local communities. Learn more, get involved and join IAVA’s over 200,000 Member Veterans and Civilian Supporters. For more information, visit http://iava.org/.
About Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)
TAPS provides immediate and long-term emotional help, hope, and healing to all who are grieving the death of a loved one in military service to America. TAPS meets its mission by providing peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, camps for children, seminars for adults, casualty casework assistance, a 24/7 resource and information helpline, and connections to community-based care. For more information, visit http://www.taps.org/.
About Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (MSCCN)
Corporate America Supports You (CASY) and the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (MSCCN) were chartered in 2004 as private sector non-profit organizations that provide no-cost employment readiness, vocational training, and one-on-one job placement services for National Guard, Reserves, transitioning service members, veterans, military spouses, homeless female veterans, war wounded and caregivers of war wounded.
CASY-MSCCN operates as an employment partner to all branches of the Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Coast Guard, through Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs). In addition, without funding and through its partnership with Kenexa and DirectEmployers Association, CASY-MSCCN created and maintains the National Guard Employment program, which provides training and job placement to returning National Guard personnel and their families. Each of these high-touch programs is supported by solid partnerships with major corporations, mid-size companies and small businesses that provide employment opportunities for our military-affiliated job seekers. Our state-of-the-art technology, built by Kenexa, provides real-time, verifiable tracking numbers and outcome reports to our employment partners, military services, and donors. For more information, visit http://www.msccn.org/.