6 Job Search Tweaks To Find Work In 2015

Thinking of looking for a job in 2015?

Well, I’ve got some good news for you. For the first time in a long time, you just might have the upper hand.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics just announced that 2014 was the best year for hiring since 1999 and that the unemployment rate fell from 5.8% to 5.6% (employers added 252,000 jobs in December). Better still, 36% of employers plan to increase their full-time staff in 2015, according to a CareerBuilder survey.

Wages are on the upswing, too. Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist for The Economic Outlook Group, told USA TODAY that he forecasts average annual wage growth rising to perhaps 3% by midyear (compared to 2.4% last year).


Of course, just because firms, nonprofits and government agencies are hiring doesn’t mean the job search has gotten any easier or that you have any more time to look for work. So to help you take advantage of the improving job market in your limited spare time, here are six ways to improve your search with just a few hours of work:

3. Set-up Google alerts for a target list of three to five employers where you’d like to work. This way, you’ll be on top of breaking news, job postings and business opportunities long before your competition without having to devote hours to research. And if you get called in for an interview, the knowledge you’ve gained about a prospective employer’s challenges and strategic plans will help you come across as a highly effective candidate.

4. Add two or three job-search apps onto your smartphone. These days, the sooner you respond to a job posting, the better your chances of getting hired. Mobile job-search apps can cut your response time drastically. So download a few from job-posting aggregator sites such as Indeed.com or SimplyHired.com. Then, when you’ve got time to kill, you can easily use your phone for something more productive than reading the latest Facebook gossip.

The Next Avenue blog post I wrote, “8 Great Apps to Help You Land a Job” can help you find the right apps for your search.

5. Create a list of at least three people you think could help your job-search efforts in 2015. We all know that networking is the best way to find new jobs, but real networking is about long-term relationship building, not quick transactional exchanges. It is far more powerful to have a few strong supporters in your network (who’ll go to bat for you when there’s an opening where they work), than many lukewarm connections.

As you’re coming up with a shortlist of people who could accelerate your job search, think about ones at employers where you might like to work, leaders in your target industries or former colleagues you haven’t kept in touch with. Just remember: Networking works best when you approach it with the attitude of helping others before you expect help.


Once you’ve identified your target list, send those people useful articles, offer to connect them to your other contacts and share their content on social media. These gestures will help you build meaningful business relationships, which should lead to referrals for job opportunities.

See all 6 tweaks and the complete article

8 Ingredients for Job Search Success

Finding a job is a lot like baking a cake. You may find success if you have some ingredients, but when you have everything an employer wants, you’ll be an irresistible hire. There are 8 ingredients for job search success that can be applied to all job openings.

2.     Be Searchable

Online searches are becoming a major tool for employers. You want to change all of your online profiles to include the “keywords” employers are looking for online. Also, make sure to update any old terminology along the way.

4.     Make Relevant LinkedIn Changes
Your LinkedIn profile needs to be filled out 100% and also match your resume. Employers are turning to LinkedIn to further research potential hires. You’ll want your LinkedIn profile to highlight the in-demand skills listed on your resume as well as some of your unique traits.

Remember, you’re online profiles are an extension of you.

8.     Research Yourself Online
Through the years, we’ve all said and done stupid things online. Photos of you drinking alcohol or your personal opinions on touchy subjects may still be out there for people to see online. You should be Googling yourself to see what past information you’ll discover online.

If you do find any information that you don’t want to be public, log into old accounts and remove it, or ask website owners to remove the page.


With a little persistence, you’ll be able to increase your chances of becoming an asset that employers must hire.


See all 8 ingredients and the complete article

You Are 5 Steps Away from Finding a Job with Twitter

Marissa Venturella

You can follow your favorite celebrities and participate in clever hashtag games with a Twitter account, but Twitter can also be much more than an entertaining site you compulsively check. Rather than spending 20 minutes racking your brain for the most clever and creative way to explain what you are doing in 140 characters or less, follow the five tips below to use your Twitter account to find your next job.

1. Make your profile employer-friendly.
Your twitter handle should be professional. Many people in the industry suggest using some variation of your name. You can also use your biography to briefly state your credentials or the type of job you are looking for. Lastly, make your background relevant to your job search. Your background can be a great way to express yourself in an area other than the bio. For examples and inspirations check out this Mashable article.

2. Tweet about things relevant to your job search.

If you participate in an activity that relates to your potential future job or finally mastered that pesky skill that was holding you back, tweet about it. Let prospective employers know you are actively improving yourself and your skills in preparation for a new job. Also, simply tell people you are searching for a job. The Twitterverse is expansive so surely somebody will be able to help.

Steps 3-5 and the complete article

4 Resaons Why You’re Not Moving Forward In Your Job Search, And Why You Won’t

Every week, I receive scores of emails from job hunters all over the world who find me online and reach out to ask for help.  Their situations vary in detail, but the gist of many messages I receive is this:

“Kathy, I’ve been looking for a new job for X months, and I just can’t land one. I’ve been interviewing in my field (which I don’t really like but it’s where I have the most experience), and I’ve been applying online for jobs where I can, but nothing seems to work. I’m really discouraged, and feel I’m at the end of my rope.  I’m seriously considering changing directions in my career, but don’t know where to begin.  Can you offer any advice?”

I personally know what this feels like. I lost my job after a brutal layoff in the days following 9/11, and I took months to regroup.  I also struggled to find work after my first career reinvention (from corporate VP to therapist), and I know how disheartening it can be when, try as you might, nothing comes to fruition.  Clearly, times are tough.  But I’ve also seen that there are certain steps we can take to positively impact our job search outcomes.  Often, those who remain stuck are relying on outdated methods of finding work that won’t yield positive results today.  Here are some commonalities:

1) They’re approaching it in the wrong way.
The majority of unsuccessful job seekers I hear from are approaching the process the wrong way.  If you are focused on submitting your résumé online only or sitting at your computer looking at LinkedIn LNKD +3.24%, you’re not going to have the success you long for.  Today’s job search requires that you “bring yourself to market” in ways that will open new doors, build great connections, and get your name out there as someone who will enhance an organization.  It requires in-person connecting and making your mark, not just online submitting. (Recent studies have shown that 80% of jobs are found through networking.)

Get out there in the world and start making waves (the good kind). For example, reach out to all the colleagues you’ve ever enjoyed and respected, and reconnect, and ask how you can be of service to them.  Go to every industry or association meeting in your field and share in a compelling way what you love about the work you do (don’t go just to say “I need work.”) Volunteer to support a fabulous project in your community that will further your connections and demonstrate your talents.  As Forbes writer Susan Adams recommends, start your own networking group where you meet weekly or monthly to support each other’s efforts.   In short, stop “hunting” for work, and start being a source of positive energy, wisdom and motivation to others, and doors will open.

2) Discouragement and confusion (and paralysis) have set in.

When you’re looking for work, you need to understand that you’re facing very stiff competition, for every position you’re exploring.  Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager.  She wants the best match she can get for the money she’ll pay, and today, employers don’t have to compromise on what they want.  What do hiring managers want? They want someone who not only has all (or most) of the skills, experience, and background that match the job perfectly well, but they need to see excitement, commitment, energy, a can-do attitude and an upbeat personality from the candidate. If you can’t find a way to muster those qualities, you’re going to struggle.  (If you’re finding depression has set in and you feel you might benefit from outside help to navigate through it, don’t hesitate to explore some therapeutic support.)


Reasons 3,4, the solutions, and the complete Forbes article

    7 Things All Interviewers Want To Know About Your Brand

    Cheryl Simpson

    Your career brand is multifaceted and the good news is that, once defined, it can be shared with interviewers in many ways. Which is more good news, considering that your interviewers want to grasp the essence of your brand when they speak with you. In fact, all of their interview questions are aimed at clarifying your brand so they can evaluate its match to their needs.

    Let’s take a look at seven questions interviewers ask themselves as they get to know you and the best ways for you to clarify Brand You™ in your interview responses.

    1. What Sets Your Candidacy Apart?

    What skills, experience, and credentials to you possess which make you a stronger candidate than the others who have applied? As interviewers slog through dozens of resumes and meet with candidate after candidate, they need to know what makes you different. They also need you to tell them this rather than expect them to figure out.

    TIP: Summarize your strongest skills, experience, and credentials early in the interview, perhaps as a reply to the ubiquitous “tell me about yourself” question. Try this deceivingly simple but highly effective way to package your brand in reply to this question.

    2. What Measurable Impact Have You Had To Date?

    What specific measurable results have you achieved throughout your career that positively impacted your employers’ top- or bottom-lines? Define your revenue, sales, market share, profitability, cost reduction, productivity, and/or efficiency impacts in numerical terms.


    TIP: Craft 5-8 CAR (challenge/action/results) statements that demonstrate the challenges you’ve faced with other firms, the actions you took to overcome them, and the measurable difference you made. Each CAR should address one or more of the key impacts employers are looking for; these are outlined in the job description and the job posting.

    Read all 7 things and the complete Careeralism article

    5 Mistakes You Should NEVER Make on a Cover Letter

    Matthew Crist

    You don’t get a second chance to make a great first impression and when it comes to applying for a job your cover letter is usually the first thing most employers will see. This is your chance to say “Hi, I’m here and you should really hire me” and any error will be the written equivalent of tripping over as you enter the room or spilling tea all over the boss.

    It says everything about you right from the start – and that could be the bad as well as the good. It’s true that we can learn from our mistakes, but you really don’t want the application for the job of your dreams being the place to make them, do you? So ensure you don’t make them in the first place and enhance your chances of being invited for an interview by making sure your initial application stage is spot on!


    Here are some of the most common – yet avoidable – cover letter mistakes that you need to guarantee you don’t make when applying for your dream job:

    3) Not writing enough:

    The secret to a great cover letter is getting the balance just right. Too long and you will lose the attention of the person writing it (they might receive hundreds of letters for just one job), too short and it won’t say enough about you to really catch their eye. Aim for around 200-250 words maximum and pick out some of the key reasons you feel you are the ideal candidate for the job, trying to focus on one major success story you are particularly proud of. “I successfully increased revenue by 200% during my time at the company”, for example.

    If your letter is good enough then you’ll have the opportunity to tell them more about yourself at the interview stage.

    4) Using generic text (To Whom It May Concern):

    Whatever you do never use these five little words to address a cover letter. And come to think of it, Dear Sir/Madam isn’t much better either.

    Do whatever you can to find out the hiring manager’s name, and address your letter to that person directly. Anything else will make you appear lazy and less than bothered if you get the job anyway.

    Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask who it is that’s hiring for this position. You might get passed from pillar to post initially but remember, it’s a real person you are trying to impress here and little details like this can make a huge difference.

    See all 5 mistakes and the complete TheUndercoverRecruiter article