When You’ve Been Looking For a Long Time

In this job market, long-term searches are becoming increasingly common. As the monthly jobless statistics indicate, the number of job seekers who have been looking for six months, a year or even more is higher than at any other time in decades. And because the government typically stops tracking those who have been searching for a job after their unemployment benefits run out, it’s unclear how many searches go on past a year or 18 months, and also how many “discouraged” job seekers there are out there who have stopped actively looking for work.
I’ve heard lately from a number of journalists and other professionals stuck in this situation, and they tend to be not only frustrated and anxious about their searches but sometimes peeved at others who though well-meaning  just can’t seem to understand their angst. And it’s difficult to know how to help those mired in a long-term search. Though you want to be upbeat and supportive, often your standard advice seems shallow and pointing to those with similar skills who have landed well can seem counter-productive (and a little mean-spirited, even if your intentions are good).
Hiring experts, though, have some suggestions for ways to try to reinvigorate a long-term search, as well as tips for friends seeking to support a job hunter who has been at this for a long time. These include:
*Set new deadlines. Nearly all job seekers give themselves deadlines for finding a job — within three months to six months of a layoff, by the end of the summer, before the unemployment insurance ends, for instance. But if you’ve blown past these deadlines, you need new ones, and ones that are realistic and help you move forward. For instance, it may be smart to say that you’ll take a part-time or temporary job for now and spend the rest of your time taking some online courses to polish your skills so that you can have a job in your field by the start of the new year. Giving yourself new deadlines can help you give your search a fresh start. And then reevaluate those deadlines as they come closer and extend them if necessary — especially if you’re on the right path.
*Hit the “pause” button in your job search. If you’ve had no luck finding a job in your field, it may be time to get off what has become a dead end and head down a new road. But before you start looking for a job in a new area, give yourself a break. If your unemployment insurance has run out and you’ve depleted your savings, take a job, any job — in retail or sales, for instance, where professionals can often get hourly work; or temporary work — to pay the bills while you reevaluate what you want to do and how you plan to search differently this time. If you have some financial cushion, take some time off from the search — a sort of vacation from the job hunt — while you do free-lance or other work you enjoy, and from a perch where you can rethink things. Ask yourself what hasn’t been working, what you really want to do, and whether you have the skills to do it. Think big-picture, and ask yourself and those close to you lots of questions about what you think might be the right fit for your expertise and talents. It’s tough out there, but often those who aren’t securing jobs may be shooting too high or for the wrong kind of positions for their skills and expertise.
*Get professional help. And, ala the advice columnists, I’m not necessarily talking therapy, though if you’re depressed (and who wouldn’t be after a long and frustrating job search?) it’s important to see a medical professional. There is also help for job hunters. Find a low-cost job search skills course offered by your local community college, a community association or the state (or D.C.) government. Or talk to others who are hunting about forming your own support group. If you’re a friend of someone who has been looking for a long time, don’t only offer them advice or support but help them help others in this situation — it will energize them and studies have found that job hunters do much better when they have the support of others in their situation.
*Do something good for yourself in your non-job-hunting life. Distracting yourself from your job search — even for a few hours — may help energize things and take some of the sting out of long-term unemployment. Volunteering, in particular, has emotional and intellectual benefits. Find an organization that needs your help, join (or start) a book club, go back to a physical activity that you enjoy. During this time, try (hard as it may be) not to think about your job search or your career, and focus instead on this activity or endeavor. And friends of the long-term unemployed should help in this cause and should show interest in these activities, instead of starting conversations with “How’s the job search going?”
*The following piece on cnnmoney.com — about how some employers won’t consider anyone who isn’t currently employed — is getting a fair amount of attention in the work-search world, including in online chats among recruiters. Some say it’s poppycock — that they’ll consider good candidates who have lost their jobs — while others say they tend to agree. The good news for journalists is because of the rampant dislocation in our industry (which often had nothing to do with performance) this tends to be less true. Though it does underscore two things about job hunting: the cliche about it being easier to get a job when you have a job still holds some currency, and there is often a layoff or buyout “discount” applied in hiring. Food for thought:

Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn in Your Job Search

Perhaps you ventured onto LinkedIn and forgot about it. Or maybe you’re scared of LinkedIn, period. Let us guide you through what you’re missing

If you’re a business or professional person and not using LinkedIn, you’re behind the curve. Fifty million business networkers must be on to something. LinkedIn is the 800-pound gorilla of business networking sites and an essential tool for job seekers in particular. According to the LinkedIn website, a new user joins the site every second, and it’s easy to see why. LinkedIn is a free billboard for businesspeople. It showcases not only your name, photo, and professional credentials but also your colleagues’ recommendations, your brilliant thinking (by way of a Powerpoint (MSFT) presentation or white paper attached to your profile), and your excellent roster of connections.

The way to begin your career on LinkedIn is to build a sharp profile. Jump over to LinkedIn.com to create a login and password and begin to fill out your profile.LinkedIn helps you in your profile-building project by providing a handy thermometer-type tool that tells you how complete your profile is.(Until your profile looks fairly complete, resist the temptation to start inviting your friends to join you on LinkedIn.) Push on until you’ve reached at least the 70-percent mark.If you have a little more energy, use the Applications at the bottom of the profile-editing page to add a Powerpoint deck, your full-text résumé in Word format, an article you wrote, your own blog, or other content to your profile. Last, create a personalized LinkedIn URL for yourself, like this: http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/yourname, and use that URL on your résumé, job-search business cards, and job-search-related correspondence. Now rest and give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve arrived on the business-networking scene.
Of course, launching a LinkedIn profile is only the first step. LinkedIn offers tons more in the way of friendly functionality for your job search. Not sure how to leverage LinkedIn in your job search? Read on.
1. Write a Compelling Profile
Your LinkedIn profile can read just like your résumé, but it doesn’t have to. You can stretch the envelope a bit and use a more human voice to showcase your professional passions and drivers. In particular, make sure that your “headline” field (the one just under your name on your LinkedIn profile) lets the world know your purpose. If you’re unemployed, by all means use your “headline” to showcase your availability for work, for example:
Anne Smith
Startup Veteran/Online Marketing Manager ISO Next Challenge
Jack Rogers
Sportswriter/Editor with Print and Broadcast Chops Seeking New Opportunity
You get 120 characters in the LinkedIn “headline” field, so use them wisely.
2. Tell Us Your Story
The large LinkedIn Summary field is much like a résumé summary, but longer. There’s plenty of room to share your career history with readers in a compelling way. You can tell us your professional story in this space. As you can imagine, stories are easier on the reader than deadly dull résumè-type paragraphs. You might begin your Summary this way, for instance:
“Ever since I began covering business events for my college newspaper, I’ve been fascinated by business story-telling and its power to shape audience behavior. As a PR manager for B2B and B2C companies for the past 10 years, I’ve gotten my employers covered by Businessweek and USA Today (GCI) by crafting stories that connect readers with our brands.”

There will be other places in your LinkedIn profile (the Specialties field, in particular) to regale us with your certifications and technical qualifications.
Use your Summary to let the person viewing your Profile know exactly what you’re about and what you drives you in your career.
3. Mind Your Settings
You can set up your LinkedIn account (using the Settings link at the top right of each LinkedIn page) to keep all but your close friends (known on LinkedIn as “first-degree connections”) from viewing your profile, but what’s the point of that? If you’re job-hunting, it’s better to let hiring managers and recruiters find you easily by opening up your profile to public view. That means you need to click on the link that enables your Public Profile on LinkedIn. Other settings will allow you to dictate how LinkedIn communicates with you and about which issues (new invitations, e.g.), whether your contact list should be visible to your connections (I recommend that you let your friends see who your other friends are—that’s the point of LinkedIn), and more.
4. Show Us Your Mug
LinkedIn began allowing users to upload a photo to their profiles a couple of years ago, and these days we can’t imagine LinkedIn without user photos. A good photo adds life to your profile, and the absence of a photo raises questions (why doesn’t this person want us to see what she or he looks like?) and just looks strange. Get a decent digital photo that shows you looking halfway professional (on-the-slopes and other leisure-time shots are fine as long as you look like a person who might function in the business world, vs. someone we couldn’t remotely picture in a professional setting). Upload the photo to your profile, and you’re all set.
5. Get Connected
Once your LinkedIn profile hits the 70-percent mark, it’s time to start adding connections. LinkedIn won’t be nearly as useful to you if you’re sitting on your own private networking island. The point of LinkedIn is to allow your connections to make introductions for you, and vice versa, so you’ll want to start adding first-degree connections ASAP. First, download the address book you use the most (Outlook or Gmail, e.g.) and let LinkedIn’s downloading tool tell you which of these folks already use LinkedIn. Don’t worry—LinkedIn won’t start e-mailing everyone you know. You get to pick which people to invite to your network. When you do, be sure to personalize your LinkedIn connection invitation. “Hi Stan, I hope you and Jane are doing well. Shall we connect on LinkedIn?” is worlds better than “Since you are a person I trust, I’d like to add you to my network.” Customization is key,
Once a person accepts your invitation to join his network, or vice versa, the two of you become first-degree connections. It’s a two-way link. If you’ve accepted Jack’s connection, you don’t need to invite him to join your crew.

Tips 6 – 10

Big Blunders Job Hunters Make


Daphne Batts sometimes wonders if practical jokers with hidden cameras are spying on her as she interviews people for jobs at Bankrate Inc., an online publisher of financial information in North Palm Beach, Fla.
That’s because job candidates—including experienced professionals—behave so inappropriately that Ms. Batts, vice president of human resources, suspects she’s the target of a prank.
“I find myself peering out my blinds to see if Ashton Kutcher is on my office balcony with a camera crew,” she says, referring to the host of the former MTV show “Punk’d,” which featured pranks being played on celebrities.
Of course, there’s nothing funny about a bad job interview, especially for the long-term unemployed. Yet hiring managers say many job hunters don’t take their search efforts seriously enough and make the kind of mistakes that they should know better to avoid. In fact, many say they are frequently amazed by some of the colossal blunders they witness at a time when there are five job seekers for every job opening, according to the Labor Department.
Here’s a look at eight bone-headed moves job hunters commonly make.

1. Entitlement syndrome.

At the conclusion of a job interview last year, a candidate for an administrative position at PopCap Games Inc. in Seattle asked human-resources executive Pamela J. Sampel if she could take him out to lunch on the company’s dime. “He said he was a poor student and that I could just write it off,” says Ms. Sampel, adding that for a moment she thought he was joking but his demeanor indicated otherwise. “I was so startled I almost started laughing.”

Also last year, Ms. Sampel says she received an unsolicited résumé full of grammatical and spelling errors with a note asking her to have someone on the company’s staff correct them. “I’m sure you have people there that could fix them before they put it into your online database on my behalf,” the applicant wrote, according to Ms. Sampel.

2. Behaving rudely.

Earlier this year, a candidate for an administrative position at BankRate showed up to an interview with a preschooler in tow. “She didn’t try to make any excuses or apologies, such as her babysitter backed out,” says Ms. Batts, who conducted the meeting anyway, but didn’t extend the candidate a job offer.
Similarly, a recent candidate for an entry-level outsourcing job at Accenture Ltd. unwrapped a sandwich during an interview and asked the hiring manager if he could eat it since it was lunchtime, says John Campagnino, senior director of recruitment for the global consulting company.
Job hunters have also acted rudely by showing up more than an hour early for interviews, interrupting interviewers in mid-sentence and refusing to fill out a job application, referring hiring managers to their résumés instead, say hiring managers and recruiters.

3. Acting arrogantly.

Recruiter Peter Polachi recently met with a candidate for an executive-level marketing job at a midsize technology firm. In the middle of the meeting, Mr. Polachi says he suddenly heard Madonna singing—it was the ring tone for the candidate’s cell phone and the person took the call, which lasted about a minute.
Mr. Polachi, co-founder of Polachi Access Executive Search in Framingham, Mass., says the incident, plus the fact that the candidate was employed and arrived late to the meeting without apologizing, signaled that the executive considered himself a shoo-in for the job or just wasn’t interested. Either way, “to accept the call and have a conversation is over the top,” says Mr. Polachi.

4. Lies, lies, lies.

Six months ago, a candidate for an editing position at Factory VFX Inc. told hiring producer Liz Crawford that he came recommended by an artist on staff at the Santa Rosa, Calif., visual-effects company. After the interview, Ms. Crawford says she called the artist so the applicant could say hello to his supposed associate. That’s when it became crystal clear that the two men didn’t know each other. “He admitted he had fibbed and walked out of the room,” says Ms. Crawford.

Job hunters also commonly lie by taking credit for work they didn’t do, inflating their salaries and saying they don’t smoke when seeking positions at companies with no-smoking policies.

5. Dressing down.

Last summer, Amy Demas says she was uncomfortable and distracted while interviewing a copywriter candidate for the small Los Angeles ad agency she co-founded in 2008, Standard Time LLC. “She was wearing a t-shirt three sizes too small with bright red letters across her chest,” recalls Ms. Demas. “I couldn’t help but pay more attention to her breasts than her résumé.”
While it might be acceptable to skip a suit and tie in some office environments, it’s never appropriate to wear jeans, cleavage-revealing tops, flip-flops or skin-tight pants—all interview fashion don’ts hiring managers say they’ve seen.
“You should also take out all your funky piercings and hide your tattoos,” says career coach Cynthia Shapiro, who is also a former human-resources executive. “Even if you wear a business suit, if you have a piercing through your lip” it doesn’t look good.

6. Oversharing.

After learning that a position involved a great deal of travel, a candidate for a senior sales job at a midsize manufacturer told the interviewer he was worried about how his saltwater fish would get fed while he was away. The worst part of the exchange? “He wasn’t kidding,” says Russ Riendeau, an executive recruiter who set up the interview and confirmed the account with the job hunter. “He was trying to say that it was his only concern.” The man, who had been unemployed for four months at the time, wasn’t extended an offer for the position, adds Mr. Riendeau, a senior partner with East Wing Search Group in Barrington, Ill.
Other things employers say that job hunters reveal—but shouldn’t —include comments about their health problems, details about their love lives and tales of their financial hardships.

7. Saying thanks with gifts.

A finalist for a head of business development job at a well-known Internet company recently sent a pricey fruit bowl from Tiffany & Co. to a hiring manager following a third interview. The candidate was instantly knocked out of the running. “That was a real big faux pas,” says Erika Weinstein, president of Stephen-Bradford Search in New York, and the recruiter who introduced the candidate to the employer. “It’s trying to buy yourself a job. It’s brown-nosing.”
A thank-you note is really the only appropriate way to show appreciation. But even so, hiring managers say they’ve received everything from pricey tickets to sporting events to bottles of alcohol—all big no-no’s.
8. Sporting a mom-and-dad complex.
In the past two months, Accenture’s Mr. Campagnino says he has received two emails from parents of applicants asking why the company hasn’t extended their adult children job interviews. “There’s a significant lack of judgment when you have your parents intercede with a potential employer,” he says. “We expect individuals to be able to represent themselves and sell themselves.”
Hiring managers say they’ve also seen moms and dads accompany their offspring to job interviews and try to intervene in salary negotiations.

Original WSJ article

Notes from a Job Search: Creative Ways to Market Yourself

Once you get beyond the basics, how can you get noticed without being annoying?

Gary Starr – CFO.com | US

With so many people caught between jobs these days, CFO asked Gary Starr, a CPA and MBA who was most recently CFO at a $70 million professional-service firm, to write about his current experience looking for a new position. In the third installment of a series, Starr looks at ways for job hunters to increase their visibility in some creative and unusual ways.
One of the trickiest aspects of a job search is finding different ways to market yourself. You need to make people aware of your skills and experiences without coming across as self-aggrandizing. This is not necessarily an easy task for financial executives, who typically don’t have a marketing mind-set about business issues or about themselves. However, it is important to change your mind-set and start thinking about creative ways to get noticed, besides just networking and sending e-mail updates. There are many ways to do this; here are a few suggestions.

Get Published
The most obvious marketing strategy for me is writing articles. I have begun to write about the search process for several online forums, giving helpful hints. In response to my articles, many people have reached out to me, including recruiters, old friends, and people who didn’t know me. I also posted a note about the articles on my LinkedIn profile, which helped with the exposure. We all have expertise and good knowledge about various topics; it’s just a matter of transferring the information into a compelling article or blog. Having exhausted the search tips, I am now thinking about my next subject, and I am energized by the challenge and possibilities.
If writing isn’t your passion, think about other ways you might leverage online media to raise your profile. For example, I noticed recently that someone on LinkedIn started a group called “150 Most Influential Recruiters” and invited all the recruiters who had been tagged with this honor by a major business publication. In two days, more than 20 recruiters signed up. That was a great idea and a smart way to get noticed. I wish I had thought of that!
Go Back to School
Finding opportunities at your alma mater could be a good way to get exposure. Consider taking or teaching a class, or volunteering at a high-profile alumni event. You might even ask the alumni office for people to contact or review the alumni list for networking possibilities. There are many opportunities here; you just need to find the right one for you.
Do Good Work
Volunteering your time at a nonprofit organization is a good way to help others and feel good about yourself. It may also allow you to display your expertise, especially if there is an opportunity to meet some of the board members. You might also register with BoardNetUSA, an online organization that matches individuals with nonprofit boards. I obtained my last job as a CFO through one of my nonprofit board connections.
Find the Fountain of Youth
Look for a start-up that needs help or find some part-time work. There are lots of groups and organizations for start-ups that could be good beginning points. New York City even provides space and desks for start-ups before they are able to go out on their own. I recently began working with a preseed start-up, and it has been an interesting and challenging experience. I am using my financial skills and connections, and I am learning a lot about the digital media space. I’m happy to take on any new projects that help me expand my nonfinancial skills. You may be able to negotiate some compensation for your efforts in either cash or equity, but don’t dismiss an opportunity if no money is involved; the experience and exposure can be invaluable. (By the way, the founder sought me out through my LinkedIn profile and connections. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is robust!)
The bottom line is that there are endless possibilities to market yourself; you just need to move outside your comfort zone. Getting involved in activities that allow you to meet other people, extend your network, show off your skills, keep busy, help others, and generally feel good about yourself is critical while you work through the lonely process of finding that next full-time opportunity. — Edited by Alix Stuart

Original Article

What Your Resume Says About You

By CAREEREALISM-Approved Expert, Heather Huhman
You want your résumé to impress the future employer reading it. It’s the first impression you’ll get to make, but it’s amazing how many people continue to gloss over errors. In the job market today, you need to ensure your résumé is going to be read rather than quickly scanned and thrown away.
So, do you know what your résumé really says about you? Here are some typical mistakes job seekers make—and what they can make future employers think of you:

  1. Typos, misspelled words, and bad grammar can make a hiring manager think you’re careless or won’t pay attention to details on the job. Show you are capable of doing the job by choosing words carefully and catching any mistakes.
  2. Including too much information can make employers think you aren’t able to write clearly and concisely, which has become increasingly important in today’s high-tech world. Your résumé might not be read if it’s too long, either.
  3. A busy, cluttered résumé may make others think you are unorganized and scatterbrained on the job.
  4. Sending the same document for every job opening shows you aren’t great at adapting. Show the future employer you know what they need and you are the one who can help them fill that need.
  5. Using an inappropriate name for your e-mail address will very likely make hiring managers skip your résumé altogether. It’s unprofessional—create an e-mail account with some variation of your name for job seeking purposes.
  6. Incorrect or false information can make the employer think you haven’t updated your résumé for the job opening—or worse, that you aren’t being honest.
  • Make sure your name is bold and stands out from the rest of your résumé.
  • Combine sentences that are too similar. This will make your message much clearer and allow for easier reading.
  • Change all responsibilities to accomplishments you had at that position. Most people who will read your résumé don’t want to hear about the general tasks you did, but rather how you benefited the company while you were there.
  • Eliminate anything that doesn’t pertain to the job for which you are applying. You want to show the employer you know what they are looking for and YOU are it.
  • Read your résumé out loud or have a friend look it over. You will catch anything that sounds awkward and your friend can probably give you some suggestions you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
  • Don’t bury important skills. If it’s important in your field to have extensive computer skills, write about that in your professional profile (at the top) rather than burying it in a ‘skills’ section (at the bottom).

The lesson is to take your time to make your résumé showcase the best “you.” Highlight those accomplishments. Update it when necessary. Make it concise, compelling and error-free.
Did you enjoy this article? Read more articles by this expert here.
CAREEREALISM Expert, Heather R. Huhman is a career expert and founder & president of Come Recommended, an exclusive online community connecting the best internship and entry-level job candidates with the best employers. She is also the author of #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), national entry-level careers columnist for Examiner.com and blogs about career advice at HeatherHuhman.com. Follow her on Twitter at @heatherhuhman.

Top 11 Blogs for Job Search and Career Advice

One of the best ways to collect relevant and up-to-date job search information and career advice is by following and subscribing to online blogs.  Navigating the blogosphere to find career-related blogs that are relevant, reputable, and provide you with the best of practical information could be a daunting task.  From online job search recommendations to interview tips, these Top 10 Blogs offer the best in Jobs Search and Career Advice:

1. Careerealism Blog This is a great blog for daily career advice, personal branding and job search tips. All of the content on the blog is generated by career experts.  The blog was started with an idea that the conventional job search tactics are no longer valuable in today’s job market.  Advice from Careerealism could be instrumental to your career success.

2. Alison’s Job Searching Blog Alison Doyle is a job search expert with many years of experience in HR, career development, and job searching. Her blog focuses primarily on online job searching, job search technology, social media, and professional networking. Make sure to follow this blog for practical hands-on advice.

3. Resumark Blog Subscribe to Resumark’s own blog to get the latest in employment news, relevant advice, and practical recommendations that can help your job search and your career.  With new articles published daily, Resumark’s Blog features many “how-to” posts that are written in simple English, with a touch of humor, designed to help job seekers navigate through rough waters of today’s job markets.

4. RecruitingBlogs.com RecruitingBlogs is one of the largest blogs and social networks for Recruiting and HR Professionals. You may wonder why it is on our list of blogs for Job Seekers… The answer is simple – RecruitingBlogs.com has a collection of blogs posted by Recruiters and HR professionals, many of which contain recommendations invaluable to job seekers. Follow this blog to get a daily scoop of wisdom from professionals who make hiring decisions on a daily basis.

5. On the Job by Anita Bruzzese Anita Bruzzese is an award-winning journalist with ten years of experience writing about workplace, employment trends, and job search. Her blog is exceptionally well written and is a treasure chest full of practical information for job seekers and anyone interested in helping their career.

6. The Change Blog This particular blog is not about Job Search. It is about personal changes in life, which is a very important topic for anyone going through unemployment and/or career change. Peter, the author of the blog, started blogging to share his story of personal change. Follow his thoughts on fundamentals in life, true values, and learn how to overcome depression, and build up self-confidence.

7. Personal Branding Blog by Dan Schawbel The Personal Branding Blog is run by Dan Schawbel, a renowned personal branding expert. This blog teaches you how to create your career and positively influence your future by using the personal branding process and gaining competitive edge in the marketplace.

8. JobMob by Jacob Share This blog is run by Jacob Share and is about bringing together job seekers and employers.  It is filled with straight-talking advice that is based on real world experience and with lots of humor.  It is a pleasure to read and is one of our favorites!

9. Indeed Blog Indeed’s Blog is a great resource to keep track of job trends.  Indeed.com is one of the world’s largest job aggregators. They compile real time data about changes on job markets in the U.S. and around the world and regularly publish this information on their blog. Subscribe to this blog to get up to date information on employment trends by industry, geographic locations, occupation, etc.

10. WebWorkerDaily Career Blog The Career Section of the WebWorkeerDaily blog offers a great deal of practical advice for job search and career change, from social networking to freelancing; office politics to personal branding. The website is targeted primarily to web professionals and freelancers, making their advice and tactics invaluable to anyone who is serious about their online job search campaign.

11. TimEsseBlog Collection of Job, Career, and Tech Advice.