5 job search habits to start today

There is a lot of talk about forming good habits lately. I typically hear about habits in the context of drinking water, working out, or waking up earlier, but good habits are very important for job searching too.

Here’s something I see ALL of the time. Someone kicks off a job search and they go out of the gate strong, applying to tons of jobs and feeling really energized. Then, a few weeks pass and the energy fizzles out, the applications slow, and they have a few weeks where they are just “too busy” for a variety of (legitimate) reasons. Then, they get discouraged and wonder why nothing is happening.

The job search is a marathon, NOT a sprint. Frankly, it’s not even a marathon – it’s a GRIND. The only way out of it is doing the work, not just when you feel like it, but consistently. Of course, it’s fine if you’re having a slow week or are busy with other things, but that simply means your job search is not moving forward.

So if you’re feeling a sense of urgency, here are a number of good job search habits you should form today and then hold yourself to throughout the duration of your job search. I’m also going to share an awesome free app which will help you stick to these.

1) Review job alert emails once per day

I’m a big believer in efficiency when it comes to job searching and one of the habits I do NOT want you to get into is spending hours each day on job boards.

In order to avoid this, I recommend setting up job alerts (info on how to do that using Indeed here and the LinkedIn jobs app here) and then commit to simply reviewing them on a daily basis. Set them up for different job titles as well as by companies you’d like to work for. This doesn’t mean you’ll never have to visit a job board again but it does mean you’ll be doing a lot less of it.

2) Apply to X new jobs per week

The next habit to form is setting up a weekly application goal. Believe it or not, I don’t really care that much about what that per week application # is as long as it’s something you can stick to consistently.

For someone working on a full-time basis and passively job searching, 1-3 apps per week might be the right number and for someone who is in the “needs a job yesterday” boat, I’d recommend 5-10 per week.

Remember that not all jobs applications are lengthy. Both Indeed and LinkedIn have an “apply now” feature (companies can choose if they want to activate it) which basically just involves dragging in your resume and hitting one button.

See all 5 habits and the complete article

3 Job Search Tips People Ignore Because They Think They’re the Exception

By Stacey Gawronski

I’m just going to go ahead and admit it: Sometimes when my husband gives me advice I don’t like or wasn’t expecting, instead of embracing it, I tell him he doesn’t understand, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he just doesn’t get it. This leads to exactly nowhere as he attempts to get me to explain myself better, and I shut down. My excuses for claiming his advice isn’t good are just that—excuses.

Sound familiar? If you’ve ever dismissed someone’s advice as bad and bemoaned the fact that none of your friends don’t have anything worthwhile to say when it comes to your career, you may want to take a moment to look at yourself.

Of course, not all the advice you get is going to be great, but often the problem isn’t with the information you’re getting, it’s with how you internalize it. Read on for three situations where it’s not the advice that isn’t good, it’s your refusal to embrace it as legit.

1. Your Best Friend Advises You to Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter

It’s not your best friend’s first rodeo. He recently snagged a new job at a company he’d been eyeing for months. After weeks of sending out his standard resume and a basic, generic cover letter and not getting any responses, he did some research and discovered that personalized application materials were what he needed to get an edge.

Once he created a resume and letter of interest tailored to the companies he was applying to, the interview invitations came fast and furious, and before long, he had an offer. He attributes it to revamping his professional documents, and advises you to do the same. But, instead of digesting this information and seeing the validity in it, you grow annoyed and decide that…

Your Skills Speak for Themselves

At this point, you’re applying to several jobs a day, and you can’t even imagine sending out different versions of your cover letter. You know your friend’s story, but yours isn’t identical, which means you don’t need to follow his advice, right?

Wrong. If your generic resume were getting you interviews and offers, you probably wouldn’t be getting this feedback in the first place, but since what you’re doing isn’t working, it’s clearly time to try something else.

See tips 2,3, and the complete TheMuse article

5 Brilliant Questions You Should Ask in Every Job Interview

By Jenny Foss

You’ve heard it a zillion times:  “Remember, you’re interviewing them just as much as they’re interviewing you. Ask your own (good) questions to get a feel for if you truly want to work there.”

But are you digesting this–and doing it–every time you meet with a hiring manager? If you’re not, you’re missing out on an important opportunity to dig in and really get a feel for what’s going on at your potential next employer. You’re also squandering an opportunity to demonstrate fully your preparedness, confidence, and complete non-desperation (which is always an attractive trait to hiring managers).

So, what are some great questions you can ask in your next interview? Here are five brilliant ones that, truthfully, may not be fully answered but will still likely provide you with some solid, fruitful information about your potential next boss, team, and organization.

1. Is This a Vacancy, or a New Position (and, if It’s a Vacancy, What’s Up)?

I worked with a client a few months ago who was a finalist for a VP of Sales & Marketing job at a profitable, admired company. He was, he believed, very close to having an offer in hand. And then he learned that, in the space of three years, this company had three other leaders in this same role. As in, they were looking to hire their fourth VP of Sales & Marketing since 2013.

This presented quite a conundrum for my client. He’d been so excited about the opportunity, and flattered to be this far along in the interview process. But discovering the revolving door of leadership going on stopped him in his tracks. And it should have. That kind of turnover is a sure sign that something’s up, probably starting at the top of the organization.

This client didn’t ask during the early interview stages why the position was open. But he should have. It’s a completely fair question and, even if it’s not answered in depth, you can almost always tell by the “squirm factor” of the interviewer if there’s more to the story or not.

He did get the offer, by the way. And ultimately declined. Today, he heads up sales for a smaller firm with amazing, supportive, and inclusive leaders. And the organization’s turnover? It’s almost non-existent.

5. After This Conversation, Do You Have Any Hesitations About My Qualifications?

This is such a scary question for most people, because they’re fearful that the answer might be yes. But it’s an important question to ask because, if there are any hesitations on the part of the interviewer, you pretty much have no better shot at clarifying or allaying their concerns than while you’re still sitting in the interview.

If you’re terrified about asking this question, consider this: If something about you is giving the interviewer pause, and you don’t ask about it, he or she is going to make hiring decisions with this or these concerns factored in. Given this, you almost always have much more to gain than lose by asking.

As you progress through a job search or career transition, you’ve got to continually remind yourself to steer. Steer the boat. Steer the direction. Steer the interview. No one cares more about your finding a great new job (or wonderful organization to represent) than you.

Curate your career. Ask the interview questions that need to be asked. Be your own best advocate.

And then enjoy the spoils as you settle into that great new job.

See all 5 questions and the complete Inc. article

The 11 Biggest Mistakes Older Job Hunters Make

Kerry Hannon

Guess what? Older workers get jobs. It might take a little more time for a myriad of reasons from your salary demands to your own lack of imagination about the kind of work you’re applying for, but employers really aren’t out to shun workers over 50.

They do want grown-ups in the shop. We tend to be loyal, even-keeled, reliable. We bring intangibles to the workplace from experience to a vast network of connections. These are not something the whippersnapper cohort can even dream to do at this stage in their lives.

Sure there are all the niggling concerns many employers have, even if they don’t verbalize them, like you aren’t going to play well with younger workers (or bosses). You will only want to do things the way you have done them in the past. You’re a Luddite when it comes to technology. And shockingly, probably to you anyway, that you don’t have the grit anymore to really bring the energy and enthusiasm to the job.

And, let’s be honest, for some of you, they’re spot on. But I have realized from interviewing and counseling dozens upon dozens of jobseekers who are over 50 trying to find work in a variety of fields that the reason you don’t get tapped is because you are guilty of making core mistakes. I doubt any of these no-nos will startle you, but they are all, and I mean it, all worth remembering.

Here are my top 11 mistakes that over 50 job seekers who successfully find great jobs don’t make.

2. Your résumé sucks. Sorry to be so blunt. You haven’t had to show anyone a résumé in years. I get it. So you throw something together and think it’s clear to anyone who reads it how amazing you are, how top of the line, award-winning spectacular. But not everyone even knows the significance of your accolades.

The key is to rein your résumé in to no more than two pages. Most recruiters will scan it in 20 or 30 seconds. Choose a traditional font, such as Times New Roman, in 9- to 12-point size, and use black type on white paper. Other fonts to consider are Arial, Calibri, Cambria and Tahoma.

Stick to the most recent 10 to 15 years of experience. Avoid giving dates when it comes to decades-old experience — and only include jobs if they’re relevant to the work you’re currently seeking. There’s no need for college graduation dates. Match the experience and skills you cite in your résumé with the exact skills employers say they’re seeking in their job posting.

Your résumé must tell a story, not provide a list of job titles and dates. Slide in short snippets such as you cut costs by a certain percentage, increased sales by 25 percent, or delivered project months ahead of schedule.

Proofread your résumé. Of course, you do this, but it’s so easy to miss something. Print it out. Read it again the next day. Read it out loud. Ask someone else you trust to read it. Sloppy mistakes make it look like you’re careless and aren’t that interested in the job.

Finally, before you hit the send button on any electronic communication with a potential employer. Read your note again, out loud, just as you did with your résumé. Beware of auto spellcheck programs. Those instant corrections can be really wrong.

3. You’re too cool to look needy. Most people don’t really use their network to get a job. And the truth is people hire people they know, or people they know know.  This has been the case for ages. It’s human nature and the fear of making a bad hire makes employers extremely risk adverse, particularly in today’s work environment.

You have got to pick up the darn phone. Ask for help and advice. Networking, as I like to say, is just one letter off from not working. If you don’t establish any personal connection to the company, it’s probably a waste of time to even fill out the application

Don’t be reticent about digging way back into your network even to colleagues you worked with three decades ago, or high school classmates, even parents of your kid’s friends. What’s the point of not taking advantage of all the years you have spent in the world– and all those whose lives have intersected with yours who might be in a position to help you?

Unless you were a real jerk to them, or incompetent, most people will want to help you. It makes them feel good. I love it when I can connect people to a possible opportunity, and I suspect most others do as well.

See all 11 mistakes, how to correct them, and the complete Forbes article

10 Things That Will Lengthen Your Job Search & How to Overcome Them

Anne-Marie Ditta

Below is a list of the ten most common mistakes made by newbies, expats, and people who have been out of the market for a while, along with strategies to overcome them.

1) Keep options open / apply to everything. Responding to every job posting is comparable to shopping when you are hungry. Chances are you either get nothing or wind up with everything but what you wanted. Before your next posting spree, consider these three things when submitting your application:

a. How does this position set the stage for future opportunities?
b. What are the skills and experience you need to develop?
c. What size and organizational culture is the best fit for you?

2) Kitchen-sinking your resume. The length of your job search may be determined by whether your resume documents your entire career history or that proves you are the right solution for the position. The latter focuses on the results you have produced and have relevance to your target position.

10) Express your thoughts about with the search process, college or university, the current employer on social media. No doubt, if you are just starting out or living in a new country, the job search process can be frustrating. You may be tempted to tell the world about the interviewer who was more interested in the stain on his tie than he was with the interview but think before you hit the enter key.

Several years ago, a woman boasted on Twitter that she had accepted an offer despite her lack of interest in the company because she needed the money. The company rescinded the offer when one of their employees saw the post on Twitter.

Avoid letting stress take control of your job search. Speak with friends and family about your thoughts and feelings. Make sure to get enough rest, do things that help you relax, and rejoice even the little wins. If you are not getting the results, you would like, speak with a certified career coach.

See all 10 and the complete article

5 tips to train like an Olympian for your next job interview


Landing a new job is a marathon, not a sprint, so it makes sense to prepare for interviews like an athlete would — deliberately, methodically and with lots of preparation.

“Too many job seekers we see approach this in a haphazard way: ‘Oh, I’ll just send in my resume; if I’m qualified, someone will notice. Then, I’ll interview, then I’ll get hired,’ but it doesn’t work like that anymore,” says Joe Weinlick, senior vice president at career search site Beyond.com.

In today’s job market, finding a new role can take time, lots of energy and discipline. Much like an Olympic athlete must overcome obstacles, handle frustration, setbacks and rejections and work hard to train and prepare for competition, so, too, must job seekers, says Weinlick. Here, he shares five tips to prepare for your job search like an Olympic athlete.

1. Be disciplined

Finding a new job can sometimes happen quickly, but more often than not, it takes time, perseverance and dedication to find the job that’s right for you. You’ll need to work hard and commit the time to job searching in order to be successful.

“Understand from the get-go that this is going to take time. Unless you get extremely lucky, it’s not going to happen overnight, so be prepared for the long haul; don’t just throw your resume at every organization you can think of and see what sticks,” Weinlick says.

3. Physically and mentally prepare

Be sure to get the perfect outfit ready, freshen up your hair and print out copies of your resume. Mock interviews and in-depth research into the company are also crucial for mental preparation, Weinlick says.

“If you look professional and confident, that’s how you’ll feel. Just like how athletes always wear suits on game day, you should put your best, most polished and stylish foot forward to make a killer first impression,” Weinlick says.

See all 5 tips and the complete article