Use holiday parties to find a job

Baltimore Business Journal – by Gary Haber

If you’re in the market for a job, don’t shelve your search during the holidays. The year-end parties that companies, industry groups and charities hold can be a ripe opportunity to do some networking that could propel you into that next job, if you approach it right.

I spoke with Maribeth Kuzmeski, author of the book, “The Connectors: How the World’s Most Successful Businesspeople Build Relationships and Win Clients for Life” to get the lowdown on how to network effectively during a holiday party. Here’s what she said:

• It all starts with preparation. Find out in advance who’s going to be at the party and make a list of the folks you want to talk with. If the party’s at someone’s house, it’s OK to ask the host or hostess who else will be there. If it’s a public event, such as the Chamber of Commerce’s holiday party, ask the organizers for a list of the people who will be attending.

• Then, hit the Internet. Do a Google search on the people who’ll be at the party and the companies they work for.

“Look for conversation starters,” things you can use to approach a person to get a conversation going, Kuzmeski said.

• Come up with a short pitch that describes your background and what kind of job you’re looking for. Practice your pitch aloud a few times to see how it sounds. “Be prepared to pitch yourself in just a few seconds,” Kuzmeski said.

• Do less talking and more listening. Instead of talking about yourself, pay attention to the other person.

• Don’t come right out and ask someone if they are hiring. Instead, ask if they know of anyone who is hiring.

• Follow up with the people you spoke with through e-mail or with a telephone call.

• And keep your expectations reasonable, Kuzmeski said. You won’t walk out of the party with a job offer in hand. But if you’ve made some new contacts you can follow up with after the holidays, you’ve done well.

ghaber@bizjournals.com or (410) 454-0519.

Read more: Use holiday parties to find a job | Baltimore Business Journal

Original Article

6 crazy job search tactics

(CareerBuilder.com) — Taking a non-traditional approach to a job search can be a good thing.

Take the case of Alec Brownstein, an advertising professional who found himself looking for a new job last summer. Fed up with the traditional job search, he decided to try an unprecedented tactic.

Banking on the fact that “everyone Googles themselves,” he bought sponsored links attached to the names of top-advertising directors. So, when the directors Googled themselves, Brownstein’s ads would appear at the top of the results page.

The ads reportedly said “Hey, [creative director’s name]: Goooogling [sic] yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too” — and then provided a link to Bronstein’s website. A few months (and only $6) later, Brownstein was employed by top-advertising firm Young & Rubicam.

But, for every unconventional job search strategy that works, there is another that not only doesn’t lead to a job, but is just downright ridiculous. Below, job seekers and hiring managers tell us about the strangest job search tactics they’ve come across.

CareerBuilder.com: How to build your personal brand

1. “One of my clients received the following advice from a previous career coach: Never send a résumé when applying for a job, even when it is requested in the advertisement. Just send a pitch letter requesting a meeting with a company executive.”
— Lavie Margolin, job search advisor, Lion Cub Job Search

2. “I think this may be the craziest one I have ever heard. When I was looking for my first full time job, a friend’s then-girlfriend (now ex-wife) told me, quite seriously, that I could assure myself a job by participating in a magical ritual involving crystals and mystical incantations. I asked her if I needed to sacrifice a chicken as well and she was offended, explaining that it was not the correct type of ‘Magick’ [sic].”
— Eli Lehrer, national director, Center on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate, The Heartland Institute

3. “I think the worst advice I ever saw was in a LinkedIn group. Someone suggested that, in order to be able to get a chance to speak to someone at the recruiting company, you should [mail] a cover letter saying you have enclosed your CV — but don’t enclose the CV, and leave the envelope open so that it looks like it fell out in the post. The logic was that they’d then call you up to let you know, and you could have a dialogue. I personally would just think ‘That person can’t even seal an envelope, I wouldn’t want to recruit them.'”
— Antony, marketing manager

Tips 4 – 6

6 Ways to Boost Your Job Search on LinkedIn

By Lindsay Olson Lindsay Olson – Thu Nov 18, 10:44 am ET

Networking and job hunting have come a long way in the last 20 years. New research tools and the immediacy of the Internet bring job seekers directly in contact with companies and employers, allowing us to build networks that our counterparts of the past would only envy.

LinkedIn continues to be the most direct and powerful online tool, one that’s certainly worth the energy if you’re job hunting. But be sure you don’t make one of the most common LinkedIn mistakes: being passive about your search. Setting up a profile and adding connections is a good start–but it’s just the beginning. To get the most benefit from LinkedIn, you have to become a proactive user, reaching out to others, participating in the community, and continuously working to build your network.

Here are six proactive ways to boost your job search on LinkedIn:

1. Complete your profile–and then some. Add more than just your company and title. Think of LinkedIn as a resume with a personality. Use the summary section not only to show who you are as a professional, but as a person. Play around with the applications to present your work and interests in interesting ways.

Keep in mind as you work on your profile that other LinkedIn users, including hiring managers, recruiters and your fellow job seekers, use keywords to find people with certain skills and interests. What words might a recruiter use to find people with your talent or skill set? Be sure to incorporate those keywords into your profile.

2. Add as many connections as possible. When you add connections, your network grows exponentially, thanks to one of LinkedIn’s best features, the third-degree connections. These include not only who you know, but who your connections know. This makes each connection you add even more valuable. In addition to having more helpful contacts for your job search, being connected with more people helps you appear as a third-degree connection for other LinkedIn users.

If you’re just getting started, re-connect with old colleagues, friends, and family members. Connect with people in your e-mail address book, and then branch out from there. Once you’ve added your closest connections, think about how you can reach out even more. When you meet new people at in-person networking events or through work, make a note to connect with them on LinkedIn. Building your network takes time and consistent effort.

3. Personalize your invitations. LinkedIn offers a standard greeting when you look to make a new connection, but it’s much more effective to send a personal message. Remind the person where you’ve met and why you would like to connect.

Tips 4 – 6 & Original Article

Tips for getting – and keeping – a holiday job

by Ylan Q. Mui
Washington Post Staff Writer

With 15 million Americans looking for a job, standing out from the crowd can be a challenge. We talked to some hiring experts to get some last-minute tips for getting – and keeping – a job this holiday season.

Get social: The days of walking into a store and filling out an application are virtually over. Many companies require jobseekers to fill out those forms online. UPS workforce planning manager Matt Lavery said 95 percent of the company’s ads for its 50,000 job openings this holiday season will appear on the Internet. UPS is on all of the major jobs sites, but it also has begun getting the word out through social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Know the company’s value and messages: Once you get an interview, K.C. Blonski, a director at workforce consulting firm AchieveGlobal, says showing you researched the company’s background and history can help you stand out. Even though you might not know how things work on the inside, understanding corporate philosophy can help you decide whether the job is a good fit.

Ask questions: The work doesn’t end once you’ve landed a job. Experts said the best employees don’t just do what they’re told. They want to understand why and look for ways to improve on processes and add value. That extra step makes them more valuable to employees and more likely to stay on after the holiday rush is over.

Tell them what you want: Lisa Bordinat, senior vice president at consulting firm Aon Hewitt, said you shouldn’t be shy about letting your bosses know you want to be considered for permanent work. Ask them what skills you’ll need to keep the job and how you can develop them.
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Be patient: Don’t despair if your temporary position doesn’t become permanent. Lavery of UPS said often the problem is simply that there are no open positions, not that the employee didn’t do a good job. As slots become available, Lavery said managers will often turn to stellar holiday workers first. And don’t forget: There’s always next holiday season.

Original Washington Post Article

Emprove Performance Group, LLC helps 750 Professionals Land Jobs with Cutting-Edge Job Search Tools

Career Search Strategies 2.0 Seminar/Webinar is Creating Raving Fans!

11.12.2010– In March of this year, Emprove Performance Group, LLC, a Seattle-based, corporate learning and development platform set out on a mission to give back to the professional community with the establishment and launch of Career Search Strategies 2.0 (CSS 2.0), a free job search strategy program offered weekly via the web, along with special live sessions in metropolitan areas. The mission was simple: to offer this program to further promote their very unique brand, but to also give back to the professional community by assisting 1000 displaced professionals get back to work!

Since the program’s launch in March of this year, the program has assisted close to 800 professionals successfully land jobs through this unique and comprehensive program.

Career Search Strategies 2.0 is a seminar/webinar program that offers job seekers cutting-edge training, tools and resources related to personal branding and social media strategies to gain a competitive advantage over the vast pool of highly-qualified candidates in today’s highly-competitive job market. The program offers practical training on how to develop a unique personal brand, a comprehensive professional career marketing website and how to maximize time and effectiveness when using social networking platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others. Furthermore, the program shows participants how to build and design powerful interviewing tools, presentations and other unique marketing pieces to ensure success in each and every stage of the job search/hiring process.

The program also offers weekly group Q&A and coaching sessions along with additional webinar programs and events on topics related to resume writing, interviewing skills, candidate video introductions and more. Once participants go through the program, VIP access to a comprehensive Resource/Multimedia Training Library and other tools are offered to augment and guide members through each step of the process.

In addition to the training and support program, Emprove also maintains one of the fastest-growing professional job seeker groups on LinkedIn, Career Search Strategies 2.0. Whether one has attended the program or not, any and all job seekers are welcome to attend this phenomenal support and strategy group. With close to 600 members, participants offer support, leads and success stories to other members. “Many have found this group to be of tremendous support during a very difficult time to overcome the stress and depressive nature of the job search and being unemployed,” says Dieter Hertling, Emprove’s co-founder and CEO. “People refer to it as the CSS Family, and are out in the group discussions daily, if not hourly.”

With close to 800 professionals landing jobs this year as a result of the Emprove mission, Emprove is looking to expand the program even further by offering regularly-scheduled live sessions in major metro areas starting in January of 2011.

“Job search programs these days are a dime a dozen,” says Hertling, “It saddens me to see so many people/companies taking advantage of desperate job seekers out there. We are humbled and honored to be able to make such a huge impact on peoples’ lives. We don’t promise a magic pill or promise the world to anyone. If our clients are willing to embrace our tools and work harder than they did, even when they had a job, they will achieve their desired level of success. It’s our little way of helping put this nation back together, one job, one resume, one person, at a time.”

You can learn more about this free program and register for their next event via their company website or email them directly. Emprove Performance Group, LLC – Work hard. Work smart. Play later.

Original Article

The Top 5 Interview Tips No One Mentions

Tips From Recruiters, Hiring Managers and Coaches

By MICHELLE GOODMAN

By now, we’ve all heard the same oft-repeated recommendations for acing a job interview: research the company — and your interviewers — ahead of time:

Study your resume so no one can stump you on its claims. Practice your answers ahead of time. Break the ice by mentioning a hobby, alma mater or former city of residence that you and your interviewer share. Ask plenty of questions. Take notes if you have to. Look sharp. Don’t fidget. Ooze enthusiasm. Be polite to receptionists and assistants. Turn off your cell phone. Don’t show up drunk, gassy, sweaty or accompanied by your mom. Send a thank-you note after the fact.

But what about the lesser-known interviewing code of conduct? If you’re new to job hunting or you’ve been out of the interviewing loop for a decade or two, you’ll likely have countless questions — for example: How long should my answers be? What should I do with my hands when I’m talking? What emergency provisions should I bring? How can I let them know I’m ready to start on Monday without sounding like a total suck-up?

For insider suggestions, I polled dozens of recruiters, hiring managers and interview coaches. Their top tips follow.

1) Talk in Bullet Points

“Sometimes the most tricky interview question is ‘Tell me a little bit about yourself,'” said Rahul Yohd, an executive recruiter with the firm Link Legal Search Group in Dallas.

“This is one of the most critical questions in any interview, not only because it is usually one of the first questions asked, but because it is one of the few times in the interview where you can take control,” he said. Unfortunately, he added, “It’s almost impossible to effectively condense your entire life into a 60- to 90-second response.”

To avoid crossing the line between informative answer and off-the-rails ramble, Yohd recommends “scripting out” your response and rehearsing it aloud until perfect.

“Bullet-point out the four to six areas of your life, mostly professional, that you feel will be important for the interviewer to know about,” he explained. “Then refine it to where the answer takes no longer than 60 to 90 seconds to deliver.”

2) Pay Attention to Body Language

There’s being animated in the interview, and then there’s punctuating every sentence you utter with jazz hands. To strike the right balance, Lisa McDonald of Career Polish, Inc., a job search consulting firm based in Fishers, Ind., recommends mimicking your interviewer “to make sure your body language does not overpower theirs.”

For all the big “hand talkers” out there, McDonald offers this advice: “Put the tip of your middle finger to the tip of your thumb and press your fingernail into the pad of your thumb. This helps you be aware of your hands without being noticeable.”

On the flip side, introverts should pay attention to whether they’re actually making eye contact with their interviewer — a must if you want to come across as reliable and confident.

“It sounds so basic, but try video-taping a mock interview and see whether or not you are actually comfortable with this,” said Corinne Gregory, president of SocialSmarts, a consultancy based in Bellevue, Wash. that helps people hone their social skills. “You’ll probably find you are looking around, looking away much more than you think you are.”

Fortunately, Gregory has an easy remedy: “Look [your interviewer] in the eyes when you begin a point, then look just below the eyes or to one side of the nose. Finish by looking the person in the eyes again at the end of your statement.”

3) Assemble a Survival Kit

It may sound simple, but if you haven’t interviewed in a couple of years, it’s all too easy to leave the house without change for the parking meter or any other interviewing essentials. For this reason, experts suggest assembling a survival kit ahead of time and leaving it in your car or briefcase. Among the necessary items:

Map (or GPS), cash, change and a full tank of gas.

Bottled water and non-perishable snack in case your interview runs longer than expected.

Breath mints, toothpicks, deodorant, a spare shirt, stain removal stick, hair brush, lip balm, and any other grooming items you routinely use.

Tissues and hand sanitizer if you’re getting over a cold.

Pen and notepad so you can take notes and bring along a cheat sheet of interviewer names and titles, questions to ask and those bullet points about your career I mentioned earlier.

Extra business cards and copies of your resume, references, work samples and any presentations you plan to give.

Tips 4 and 5 Plus full article