Promote Your Job Search at a Party

Friday May 28, 2010

If you’re getting ready to relax and enjoy Memorial Day weekend, take a few minutes to plan ahead and, in addition to getting ready for a holiday weekend party, consider how you can integrate job search networking into your upcoming events.

It’s fine to let people you meet at a party or another event know that you’re job hunting, and you never know who you might meet who can help you with your job search.

Networking isn’t as hard as you might think – it’s just a matter of mentioning your job search at the appropriate time. Most people are happy to help, but they can’t help if they don’t know that you’re actively seeking employment and in the market for a new job.

Original Article

Want to Land a Job in This Recession? Change Your Career Strategy

Career coach Marcia Grubel gave job seekers tips during a career strategizing workshop.

Having a hard time in this economy?

Career counselor and coach Marcia Grubel says these tough times aren’t changing, so to survive first you must change yourself and your way of thinking.

“This workshop is less about technology and more about mindset. There is an old mindset and a new mindset,” Grubel told attendees at Thursday night’s “Career Strategizing for Challenging Times” workshop. The presentation was the last of Grubel’s three events offered at the Rye Free Reading Room through the WEBS Career and Educational Counseling Service of the Westchester Library System.

According to Grubel, today’s career path to success is no longer a progression supported by hard work but a cycle of challenges followed by endings and transitions leading to new beginnings.

“Employers are now not only interested in what you know but how you learn and how you’ve grown,” she said.

Along with outlining actionable tactics like networking, research and planning, Grubel emphasized that shifting your thinking is equally important. “To be successful now you need a portfolio of skills and a resume to go,” which she defines as selling your assets into the marketplace.

In a departure from many career workshops, the demographics of the audience varied, from young people seeking early career advice to those starting over on a new career path.

Katherine Valone of Rye, a college freshman at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, came to the workshop for advice that would help her stand out in a difficult marketplace. She is hoping the workshop will give her the tools to put her ideas and education together and figure out “how to shine.”

A soon to be empty nester from Mt. Kisco, who’d stayed home for years raising her children, said the workshop was part of her commitment to do something once a week in support of her job search and desire to pursue a new career in special education. “This is my time,” she said.

Most others were, as would be expected, unemployed and actively seeking new opportunities. Looking for ideas on reemployment pursuits one transitioning gentleman, who asked to remain anonymous, appreciated Grubel’s perspective on the job environment.

“I like her emphasis on mindset,” he said. “I like the leitmotif of changing your old mindset from a career being a cradle to a grave endeavor, to now having to continually re-invent yourself and become cognizant of your skills and competencies to create a brand.”

Quoting from Thomas L. Freedman’s “The World is Flat,” Grubel emphasized that to compete in the new, global economy people have to “Connect, Compete, Collaborate and Innovate.” Grubel said that for the older worker, this new way of thinking and being is not easy but it can be done.

Managing yourself comes down to “Confidence, Preparation, Repetition, Taking Small Steps and Learning to Fail Gracefully.” “Confidence,” she said, “is knowing you can handle what comes up and courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway.”

Original Article

How to Social Network Your Way into a Job

Networking is a crucial component of any job search. And today’s social-networking technology makes it easier than ever to network your way into the job of your dreams.

Many companies are employing social media as a means to market their products. And just as they are relying on blogs, wikis, forums, and social networking to pitch their news, they are starting look at how job seekers pitch themselves via these channels. (To learn more about how companies are taking advantage of social media, download “12 Essential Tips for Success in Social Media” for free here.)

Use these tips to ping, tweet, poke, and post your way into your dream job or a new career.

1. Get LinkedIn to various networks.

A good rule of thumb for job searching is to make yourself visible and available. Traditionally, that means posting your resume on sites like Yahoo! HotJobs and making sure your friends and family know you’re looking. But today, it’s more than that. You need to become visible across the web.

Establish your web presence in various avenues, so employers can find you. Create profiles on multiple social networking sites and even consider starting a blog about your trade.

According to Paul Gillin, a social media marketing consultant and the author of “Secrets of Social Media Marketing,” LinkedIn and Twitter are the two outlets you want to be sure to use as a job seeker.

LinkedIn is the place to start, according to Gillin. “The reason for that is that LinkedIn is very targeted and very focused” he says. “It’s got all the tools and it’s got this unique, degrees-of-separation concept where you can find people by being introduced by a common link.” Finding common connections through the LinkedIn tools is a great place to start networking for a new career.

Secondly, Gillin gives high praise to Twitter as a job seeker’s tool. “I recommend Twitter because it may be the fastest way to get in touch with someone you want to reach,” Gillin says. “Anyone on Twitter can get a message to anyone else who is on Twitter.”

Gillin notes that finding an email address for a contact within a company can be a challenge. But locating someone on Twitter and sending him or her a quick note is relatively simple. And emails to potential employers tend to be formal and somewhat wordy–these long-form emails are often ignored. But, Gillin says, “because Twitter is so brief, people tend to respond quickly on Twitter.”

2. Clean up your social-networking presence.

Having a social-networking presence can be a great way to land your dream job. But it can also be a liability. Make sure your online appearance projects the image you want to share with potential employers.

HR professionals and recruiters have gotten very good at finding ways around privacy limitations when investigating job candidates. Even if you think you have a private profile, use caution.

“If you’re going to share photos of yourself face down in a puddle of beer, you should choose to do that under a pseudonym,” recommends Gillin. “Think of how you want to appear to the outside world.”

Your online personality is as important as your resume. Just as you would proofread a cover letter or resume before sending it, edit your Facebook profile, tweets, and blog posts with the same detail.

“Spell checker is not sufficient for that task,” Gillin says. “Before you publish anything online, have someone who knows the language read your website.”

And monitor your behavior online as well–that is, “avoid loose-cannon behavior,” Gillin says. Posting overtly nasty or vindictive comments, incorrect facts, or anything that doesn’t appear polished can hurt your chances.

3. Have a distinct message about yourself.

Searching for a job is a marketing task–you are marketing yourself to a specific audience. And as with any good marketing plan, you need to develop the message that you want to get across. Define the message, and then figure out how to get that message heard. Find information that backs up the claims you make about yourself.

“It could be your words, pictures of the work that you do, or evidence of your achievements,” Gillin says. “Then you promote those. You use the various social-media tools to push that out.”

It’s important to show employers what you’ve done. Post it on your Facebook page, tweet about it, etc.

4. Be honest.

“12 Essential Tips for Success in Social Media,” a marketing brief focused on how to effectively engage through social marketing, urges social networking participants to be honest.

“One characteristic of social media is that people are more aggressive about reading between the lines to interpret other people’s intentions. And they’re remarkably savvy about it. … If someone suspects you’re in some way misrepresenting yourself, they’ll use any of the tools available to investigate your past postings across the blogosphere to sniff out what you’re really up to. It happens all the time, and it severely undercuts the credibility of anyone exposed as a shill. Whether you’re launching your own social media site or just participating in discussions around the Web, be conspicuously honest and straightforward about who you are and whom you represent.”

Creating a Facebook profile about your accomplishments is a great tool, but only if you have actually achieved the success you post about. Present yourself to the Web professionally, thoughtfully, and honestly.

5. Participate in the conversation.

Your personal web presence is incredibly important, but don’t forget that your potential employer likely has its own presence as well.

According to “12 Essential Tips,” the key to building influence in your community is getting involved: “You need to participate in the conversation. If you’ve already identified the people influencing market dialog, comment on their blogs. Write posts that track back to their blog if they allow that. Write posts that engage or challenge them on a topic that matters. Go forth and get in the conversation; don’t wait for it to come to you. To be successful, you need to continually engage and develop relationships through dialog with the influencers.”

Find blogs and forums within your industry and become a participant. It’s possible that your future boss operates or participates alongside you. Your thoughtful comments within popular industry spaces online will bolster your credibility and improve your chances of landing your dream job.

Original hotjobs Article

Twitter Yourself a Job

By JONNELLE MARTE

Looking for a new job, Alexa Scordato didn’t email or call her contacts about possible openings. Instead, she messaged them via the social-networking Web site Twitter.com.

Her brief message: “Hey there! Looking for a Social Media job up in Boston. Are you guys doing any entry level hires?”

Within a week, she had an interview. Within two weeks, she had a job.

The site, which lets users publish supershort updates of what they’re doing, is a virtual meeting ground where a range of communities — from moms to media professionals — come to converse informally.

It’s been criticized as a site for sharing mundane details about everyday activities. But people like 22-year-old Ms. Scordato, who used Twitter to privately message some people she’d met at a conference, show the site can be more than that.

“I would guess that if I had just sent them a long email with my résumé, I might not have gotten a response as fast as I did,” says Ms. Scordato, who was hired by Mzinga, a Boston-area company that helps businesses use social technology.
The Basics

Users, known as Twitterers, post short updates that appear in their online profiles. They can choose to follow each other’s updates, called tweets, and respond either publicly through posts or privately via direct message. All entries must be 140 characters or less.

Twitter doesn’t release user numbers, but most public estimates put the user base at around four million to five million, with about 30% or more being very new or limited users.

To get started, build a profile that shows your interests and start Twittering. Because you have no more than 140 characters to describe yourself in your bio, use key words that reveal your goals. Make more information accessible by linking to your Web site, blog or profile on a professional networking site like LinkedIn.

Amy Ziari, a 24-year-old looking for a public-relations job in San Francisco, links to her blog on her Twitter profile and lists her Twitter alias on her résumé to show recruiters she is “not a faceless résumé — there’s somebody behind it.”

You’ll find major companies and recruiters on the site, and should follow the big names in your industry.

Most users get emails alerting them about new followers, and may choose to follow you as well if your biography and tweets get their attention.

Initiate conversations with other users by responding to their tweets. You can share updates you find useful by reposting them on your profile.
Stay Focused

Never twitter about anything you wouldn’t want your boss or mother to see, and tell your friends to keep their tweets to you appropriate.

Be careful about publicizing your job hunt on Twitter if you don’t want your boss reading about it. But if you’re unemployed, sending an occasional tweet that explains the kind of job you’re looking for could yield responses from recruiters. You can also seek jobs being promoted on the site by searching for phrases like “job opening.”

Twittering about your personal life is fine, to an extent — it’s something most Twitterers do. But keep it to a minimum.

“I would rather see someone who posts good-quality information than what they had for lunch,” said Lindsay Olson, who uses Twitter to recruit for Paradigm Staffing, a staffing agency that focuses on public relations and marketing.

Email: jonnelle.marte@wsj.com

Maybe something that’s NOT a job …


Some days I think that maybe looking for “a job” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be … maybe I don’t want “a job” … but I want to keep the house, educate the kids, pay the bills, etc., what else is there? Well, this very popular book by Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, is the book for those moods.

Based on his own very extraordinary experiences, Ferriss has crafted a “system” which purports to let its users achieve a “4-hour workweek”, which provides periodic “retirements” in the course of one’s productive life. I’d seen this title cropping up a numerous contexts and reading lists, and figured that I should give it a read. While it ended up being something that was not particularly connecting with me, I could see this being very enticing to many others in somewhat different life situations. My conflicted reactions to this have produced what’s probably my longest review ever, as the over-all goal of Ferriss’ book is certainly something I’d like to achieve, and much of that verbiage was spent on trying to understand why I wasn’t “getting it”!

I was also very fortunate to have been able to get an interview with Mr. Ferriss. He is pretty clear in the book that he’s hard to get a hold of by design, but I guess I just hit the right e-mail box with the right request at the right time (even though he was deeply enmeshed in writing his new book, in the midst of some unscheduled travel!) and we were able to get the following done with a phone call and a couple of emails:

Q: Given all the amazing things included in your bio in the book, can you briefly summarize your background?

A: As you note, it’s a lot more involved than a standard resume; but career-wise, back in 2000 I was in storage area networking, providing storage systems to companies in silicon valley. While there I independently developed a sports nutrition business, and by 2005 began formulating what was to become The 4-Hour Workweek, which was published in 2007. I sold the nutrition business in 2009, and have been doing consulting, speaking, and working as an angel investor in projects that I find interesting since.

Q: Have you had notable job-transition experiences?

A: Well, the data storage job was as an employee at a tech start-up, with 7am-9pm hours. My transition out of that and into my own company was gradual, as was figuring out how to totally automate that business and free me up from most management functions. This allowed me to travel, and do projects like lecturing at Princeton a couple of times a year. The seed of the book came from this, as I was teaching a class over the phone from Argentina, and some of the students suggested that I just go ahead a write a book about it.

Q: Why did you decide to write a book about such radical lifestyle change?

A: Honestly, I had no idea how this would take off. I had initially prepared the book proposal as an exercise to organize my thoughts about how to best achieve my lifestyle goals. I sent it to Chicken Soup for the Soul author Jack Canfield who put me in touch with my agent, who shopped it around to 27 publishers before Crown picked it up.

Q: How can those folks “between jobs and looking” best use this system (aside from the very tempting story of the fellow who outsourced his job search to virtual assistants in India)?

A: The mind-set shift is important, most people look for work, find work, and their lifestyle is a side-effect of that. What I’m saying is that we should start with the lifestyle image and work backwards to work. A good example of a job seeker thinking “outside the box” would be the recent story of a guy who got a job through Google ads, exhibiting his skills to the audience of targeted executives … the way you search for a job should reflect your ability to do that job.

Q: If you had just ONE piece of advice for today’s job searcher, what would that be?

A: Focus on defining your longer-term lifestyle objectives and the costs of achieving those goals. Figure out the monthly costs involved (which are likely to be far less that you might suspect), and then shape your job to fit those needs. Rather than “looking for a job”, design the lifestyle and then find the means to support that. For some example case studies, search for “cold remedy” on the blog and you’ll find videos submitted by readers who have put the book into practice.

Q: What do you feel makes your book unique?

A: It’s a pretty unique approach in and of itself … it’s very practical, with low-risk approaches to uncommon living.

Q: Aside from your book, what resources do you recommend?

A: I’d recommend checking out another couple of books: “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David J. Schwartz, and “Vagabonding” by Rolf Potts. My blog, which somehow became one of the top-1000 blogs in the world, also has a ton of case studies and how-to information and experiments. All of it’s free.

Again, I am very grateful to Mr. Ferriss for making the effort to allow this interview to happen, and judging from the popularity of the book (it is currently #118 out of Amazon’s over-all book rankings), “it must be me” in my various issues taken with The 4-Hour Workweek. It’s a book filled with hundreds of resources, much good advice, assorted tools and tips, and is a very enjoyable read available for a very reasonable price, so is a recommended read for job seeker, if just to see a different possible life path!


Stop Being Creative in Your Job Search

Can you afford to be average? I mean that literally: Do you have 8 months of savings in the bank to sustain an average job search? If not, you need to go beyond the average and start doing new things. You need to start innovating.

By Kevin Donlin, Star Tribune Sales and Marketing

“Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.”

That’s according to economist and Harvard professor, Theodore Levitt.
And that’s absolutely correct.
Especially in job hunting, where too many people think too much and do too little.
Want proof?
According to surveys cited by David Wessel in The Wall Street Journal, “The unemployed in the United States spend 40 minutes a day looking for work and 3 hours and 20 minutes a day watching TV.”
This may explain why the average job search in America now lasts 33 weeks, according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics data from April 2010.
Thirty-three weeks — more than 8 months — is the longest it has taken Americans to find work in the history of this monthly survey, which dates to 1948.
Obviously, if it takes 8 months for the average person to find a job, something is seriously wrong with what average people are doing (or not doing) to look for work.
Can you afford to be average? I mean that literally: Do you have 8 months of savings in the bank to sustain an average job search?
If not, you need to go beyond the average and start doing new things. You need to start innovating.
While there’s no recipe for innovation that works for every job seeker, here’s helpful advice from author and radio show host Mel Robbins: “Innovation is about very small tweaks. It’s about taking a step to the right or left; it’s about experimenting.”
With that in mind, here is a three-step process to produce new ideas in your job search — and act on them, because action is the key ingredient in innovation.
1) Think: Write down everything you have done that has produced at least one interview. (If your answer is Nothing, call people until you find one tactic that led to a job interview in the last 90 days.)
Do: Use that tactic on three employers today. Track your results, tweak your actions (if necessary) and try again on three new employers in 48 hours.
2) Think: Write down everything you have done that has produced no job interviews.
Do: Tweak or stop doing those things, today.
Hint: One fruitless tactic you’re likely using is to email your resume in response to advertised job openings.
If that hasn’t worked, tweak it one way — mail, fax, or hand-deliver your resume for advertised job openings.
Or tweak it another way — email your resume to employers who are not advertising openings; just be sure to send it to someone on the inside who can forward your resume to a hiring manager.
Which leads to …
3) Think: Write down every possible way to meet with someone at your target employers. Why? Because “meeting people” is the opposite of “emailing resumes,” which probably isn’t working, remember?
Two quick examples of how to meet people:
a) Ask the folks in your network for a connection to an employee, vendor, or customer of your target employer.
b) Dress up, get in the car, and drop your resume off with the receptionist. Say, “I’ve had trouble with email all week and wanted to make sure you guys got this.” Ask for his/her name. Then call the hiring manager and say, “I spoke with Cindy in your office yesterday. Did she hand you my resume?” Congratulations. You are now speaking with a hiring manager — the goal of your job-search efforts.
Do: Find a way to meet someone at your target employer this week. Today, if possible.
Note: You should write down your answers to those three “Think” steps. If you’re not writing, you’re not thinking at full power, because writing on paper — with a pen — instantly clarifies and improves your thoughts. Try it now.
How likely are you to do any of this? Not very, if you’re average. That’s why average is easy — you don’t have to do anything new. Mediocrity is comfortable … like sitting on the couch watching CNN.
But. If you want to stop being average and start getting more job interviews, stop trying to be “creative” — which is often no more than glorified daydreaming — and start innovating — which is doing new things.
Creativity only sets the stage. Innovation gets things done.
Kevin Donlin is contributing co-author of “Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0.” Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 20,000 people. For a free Guerrilla Job Search audio CD, visit www.MyNewJobHunt.com