Tuesday, December 29, 2009

10 Job Search Tips for 2010

The New Year -- sure, it's a time to rejoice, be merry and have some fun, but to some folks it is a time to reflect on their lives, and yes (a big sigh here) that means making the ever popular New Year's resolutions. The most common resolutions are losing weight, paying off debt, saving money and getting a better job. Try looking beyond the recession and the "doom and gloom" of 2009, and make 2010 a bright new year by kicking your job search into high gear.

"No matter the market conditions, there are always companies looking to hire talented professionals, and those people who are prepared will be best positioned to take advantage of new career opportunities as they are uncovered," says David Sanford, executive vice president of business development at Winter, Wyman. Sanford says that people should always be looking for a new job (hey, you never know what's out there unless you're looking) and that the New Year is a great time to go out and make it happen.

If you want to know how to get yourself noticed and find your dream job during the New Year, follow these 10 tips for 2010.

Be ready to move.
As with all of life's opportunities, you have to be ready to strike when the iron is hot -- and sometimes even when it's heating up. No matter if your plan includes pounding the pavement for a new job or sitting back and waiting for one to come your way, make sure you have all the groundwork in place for a successful job search. Update your résumé, prepare a compelling story to tell about why you would consider a new opportunity and know whom you would use for references. Start becoming mentally and emotionally ready for a change so you are better prepared for when it happens.

Don't ignore the elephant in the room.
In soft economies, many people think it's safer to stay with their current employer than to risk taking a position with a new company -- and often it is. But don't ignore the elephant in the room and hope that everything will be OK. Even in the best of times, companies routinely are merged, acquired, imploded and overtaken, sometimes leaving hundreds and thousands of people looking for new jobs. Be prudent and always be aware of your business's conditions; keep your nose in the wind and your eyes and ears open for when it is the best time to move on to a new job.

Know thyself.
As people age and lives and goals change, so do their career objectives. Spend the time necessary to know what really makes you happy. Is it being an authority at work? Having a schedule flexible enough to see your kids play soccer on a midweek afternoon? Knowing the drug you are researching will someday eradicate a life-threatening disease? Have a heart-to-heart with yourself about what you want from your career and what steps would be necessary to achieve this goal. Have realistic expectations, but know that most career dreams are within our reach.

Maximize online tools while job hunting

It's tough finding a job. There are so many people looking at a limited number of openings. Fortunately, many online resources can help in your search. You'll find links to sites and services mentioned at www.komando.com/news.

Polish your resume

A flawless resume is essential. You won't land an interview with a shoddy one. Check job sites for resume tips. Have friends and family look it over.

Use a template to create a printable resume. Microsoft Word includes templates. Or, check Microsoft's site for more free templates.

Companies filter resumes using specialized software, so list specifics. Include job titles and the names of software programs you're adept at using.

Be sure to use an online tool like SpamCheck. It will check your resume for “spammy” words. While you may be proud that you graduated “magna cum laude,” it could land your resume in the virtual trash. Make certain that your resume gets past e-mail spam filters.

Also, consider taking a personality test. The Myers-Briggs Personality Sorter will highlight your strengths and weaknesses. It can steer you to a new career that suits you.

Some companies block e-mail attachments. So create a text-only version of your resume for e-mailing. Put it in the body of e-mail messages.

Avoid font formatting and special characters like bullets. Also avoid indents and complex spacing. Some sites need a text-only resume to complete applications.
Use specialized job sites

Sites like Monster and Careerbuilder post millions of jobs, but they're not the best sites for experienced job seekers.

Many of the positions are entry-level. You'll face lots of competition. Your resume could get lost in the shuffle.

Instead, use specialized job boards. You'll find fewer positions and less competition. However, competition will be better qualified. Specialized job boards feature more mid- and upper-level positions.

You'll find job boards for any field. For executive jobs, visit TheLadders. Information technology specialists should check Dice. EFinancialCareers lists financial positions, while SalesJobs specializes in sales positions. You'll find other specialized sites using Google.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

When it comes to career reinvention - First, Know Yourself


When it comes to career reinvention, too many people make a fundamental mistake: They don't know themselves.

So when I talk to people about making a career change, I always suggest first doing a few self-assessment exercises. Career self-assessment is the process of getting acquainted with what you like -- and don't like -- in a work environment.

You can do this by simply making a list of your skills and interests, and asking yourself questions such as "What type of work would make me sit in traffic for hours just for the privilege of showing up?" and "What energizes me at work?" Increasingly, though, career changers are drawing guidance from more sophisticated tests.
Entrepreneurial Bent

After getting laid off from an investment bank in New York, 25-year-old Alan Katz worked with career counselor Claudine Vainrub, principal of EduPlan, an education and career consulting company, to determine his next steps. He completed a 360-degree survey, in which he collected feedback about himself from friends, co-workers, and family, as well as assessments about his work behaviors and career interests.

"The assessments helped me understand my skills, specific roles I play effectively and career interests," says Mr. Katz, who paid a total of $2,500 for the tests and professional consulting over a six-week period. "The results prompted me to investigate entrepreneurship, and I'm now developing a start-up company in manufacturing."

Many experts agree that assessments are best used in conjunction with an experienced career counselor who can hand-select tests for you -- and help you interpret the results. Ms. Vainraub, who is based in Miami, chose the 360-degree questionnaire for Mr. Katz to better define his work priorities. "We found that his personal vision of leading an enterprise forward was, in fact, quite different from his current career in finance," she says.

People described Mr. Katz as enjoying managing and motivating others, and driven when involved in a project. "Those are very much the qualities of an entrepreneur," Ms. Vainraub says.

Read The Full Article - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124010016486632137.html

Friday, April 24, 2009

How to get a job - here's what's working now

It's brutal out there. But the people getting hired aren't necessarily the most connected - they're the most creative. From food diarists to Twitter stalkers to candidates tapping the "hidden" job market, here's what's working now.

Rob Sparno recently did something that 12.5 million Americans would kill to do. He did something that has never been attempted by this many people at once in the 60 years the government has been keeping records. He did something that's getting only more difficult with every day.

He got a job. A really good job. A 'pay the mortgage and still be able to pay your kid's private college tuition' kind of job.

When Sparno, 55, a longtime salesman, lost his position at Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500), he knew the search wasn't going to be easy. He had friends who were out of work and struggling to find jobs. He knew that getting back in the game would require every skill he'd spent his career honing. Methodical by nature, Sparno made a trip to Staples, where he bought a black hardcover lined notebook. He vowed to record every day what he did, whom he talked to, how he felt, how many miles he ran. He even wrote down what he ate.

To keep his spirits up (another must if you're in the persuasion business), he organized a group of seven other executives - including a former COO and CFO - who also lived in his community of Princeton, N.J. They got together every few weeks on Saturday morning in the back corner of a local diner and shared tips, like what to do in a second-round interview and how to gather job leads. And by 9 a.m. each morning Sparno and another jobless friend would call each other and check: Okay, what are we going to do with this day?

Read the full story with more great info - http://money.cnn.com/2009/03/27/news/economy/yang_jobhunters.fortune/index.htm

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Reaching Out to Recruiters in a Down Economy


The economic crisis has left millions of people in the U.S. and abroad in a period of intense transition, as the recently unemployed struggle to face significant losses of the financial security and personal identity they have derived from their profession. This is equally true for executives who otherwise have excelled throughout their careers and are ending up on the market unexpectedly.

It is natural to turn to executive recruiters under these circumstances. Executive recruiters have deep connections at the world's leading organizations and are in a unique position to present people with compelling career opportunities. However, having a realistic perspective about how search consultants work is essential if you hope to establish relationships that will ultimately lead to a new role.

It is important to recognize that recruiters at the leading retained search firms work for their clients – the hiring organizations – and not the candidates. This distinguishes them from outplacement firms that do work for candidates. Against this backdrop, if you are seeking to connect with a search consultant for the first time, you will stand the best chance if your background and skills directly match an opportunity that the recruiter is actively working on.

Read The Rest Of The Article - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123914113822498583.html

Monday, April 13, 2009

Online job-search toolbox includes a polished résumé

Do you know where your résumé is?

Nobody’s trying to be pessimistic here, just prepared. Given the recent economic unpleasantness, it’s not a bad idea to give the old CV a once-over, just in case it becomes necessary. But updating its content is only half the battle — how you wield it determines how effective it can be. Below are some ways to make sure you’re well positioned in case the bell tolls for thee.

Keep your résumé at the ready: Ideally, you should keep an electronic version of your CV fully updated and accessible from any computer, ready to be sent out at a moment’s notice. E-mailing a version to yourself is a simple way to do this (saving it to a dedicated inbox folder ensures you can find it when needed) and minimizes the risk of missed opportunities that can occur if people are kept waiting while you’re stuck finding, revising or — worst of all — piecing together a new version from memory.

Don’t waste your formatting: Your up-to-date and available résumé should also be saved as a PDF document. This way, your format remains intact regardless of whether someone uses an older version of Microsoft Word, or a different document software altogether. And since PDF documents are read-only, you also eliminate the possibility of accidental changes that can happen when a file is opened and forwarded by multiple people. You also come across as having more technical expertise, which is nice.

Make an initial public offering: If you’re not content to wait for a request, you can make your work experience public via professional networking sites like LinkedIn, Plaxo and Xing. While you can’t upload your résumé directly, the benefit to using these sites’ online formats — which require you to create an individual listing for each job — is that they find and suggest as contacts other members whose education, work or even club and organization affiliations overlap your own. Once you’re connected to former colleagues or others, you share their address book and they yours, exponentially increasing your exposure (in theory, at least).

Read The Rest Of The Article - http://www.telegram.com/article/20090412/NEWS/904120555/1002/BUSINESS

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hired! Working for Uncle Sam

After serving his country as an electronics technician, Jon Leitzinger was hired by the Federal Aviation Administration.

For those concluding their service in the Armed Forces this year, facing a bleak job market can be a tough assignment.

But the U.S. government offers many opportunities for both civilians and military veterans - and it's still hiring.

The government is the nation's largest employer, employing about 2% of the nation's work force. Even during the downturn, government hiring has stayed steady. Over the past 12 months, the government has added 97,000 jobs, according to the Labor Department.

Jon Leitzinger managed to snag a job with Uncle Sam. Leitzinger, 29, served over seven years in the Navy as an electronics technician, in charge of maintaining and repairing communications systems, before his enlistment ended in February, just as the unemployment rate hit a 25-year high.

"I was nervous about starting a civilian career during a downturn in the economy." Leitzinger said. "I hadn't looked for a job in eight years."

Read The Rest - http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/07/news/economy/hired_government/index.htm?postversion=2009040809

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Do References Really Matter?

Q: I've worked several jobs since separating from the Army. Some have been contracting positions, others as an exempt employee. Some have been with high-profile international companies. Not once have any of my previous employers or references been contacted. Do references really matter anymore? It seems to me they are even less important than cover letters and the objective statement in resumes.

A: You would be mistaken to think that references hold little weight, especially in the current depressed job market. "References absolutely matter," says Paul W. Barada, president of Barada Associates Inc. The Rushville, Ind.,-based firm provides pre-employment screening services for large employers such as Emmis Communications Corp. and Acorda Therapeutics Inc.

Some people who are out of work embellish their past job performance, credentials and academic achievements to gain an edge over the competition, Mr. Barada says.

With applicant pools growing larger by the day, it would be good to assume that employers will be diligently contacting references. "In my experience, references are always being checked," says Dena Sneider, a career consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area. "In this market, they will certainly be checked since employers have their pick of candidates."

Read The Full Article - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123672074032087901.html

Staying Afloat in Today's Crowded Talent Pool


In February, President Obama signed into law the much debated and anticipated $787 billion economic stimulus bill, a plan designed with a primary focus on countering recent, unprecedented job losses. This legislation cannot come quickly enough for the 4.4 million Americans who've lost their jobs since Dec. 2007. The past two months were particularly brutal, with layoffs announced seemingly daily by such industry stalwarts as Microsoft, Starbucks, Pfizer, Caterpillar, Home Depot, Macy's and Nissan. Even CEOs have felt the blow, with more than 60 terminated in 2008 and up to 150 expected to lose the top spot by the end of 2009. While the stimulus package is said to save or create three to four million jobs, this will depend on how efficiently the money is distributed over the next 12 to24 months.

Let's face reality. Executives who need jobs today cannot wait for a government stimulus to right the economy. In a "buyer's market" for employers such as this one, it is truly up to you to engineer your own career advancement. Jobs, while scarce, are out there, but differentiating yourself from others on the market will be more challenging than ever.

Even if you have reached the top rungs of the corporate ladder, you might discover in this turbulent job market that potential employers will be looking beyond your core qualifications to your creativity, flexibility and fit into the company culture. Establishing yourself as a best-in-class executive, capable of easily adapting to and thriving during fluctuating economic cycles, will set you apart and enable you to more quickly land a career-enhancing opportunity. Some nontraditional strategies we recommend include:

1. Be open to interim positions or consulting projects. These will allow you to draw an income, keep your skills fresh and position yourself for prime roles once regular hiring levels return. So-called independent workers now comprise more than 30% of the American work force, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, demonstrating an increased willingness on the part of employers and professionals to consider unconventional working arrangements. With many companies unable to hire full-time employees, highly seasoned project or temporary professional workers are an appealing alternative.

2. Consider posts that are a pay grade or title below your most recent position. You'll be positioned to exceed expectations and possibly turn the "downgrade" into a dream job later on. This is a particularly relevant strategy at organizations with reputations for promoting from within. By consistently over-performing and demonstrating your value to the company, you will ensure that you are at the top of its shortlist when more prestigious opportunities become

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Strangers Lend a Hand to Job Seekers


Once you've tapped out your network and run out of recruiters to contact, where do you go to get help finding a job these days? For a growing group of job hunters, total strangers have become the answer.

In late January, Jason C. Blais began following JobAngels, a group on the social-networking site Twitter.com that is dedicated to helping people find jobs. Mr. Blais saw a message posted by a laid-off technology professional asking for support and he volunteered to take the woman under his wing.

Mr. Blais suggested improvements to her résumé. He then sent a copy to a hiring manager at a teaching hospital he knew was seeking candidates for a position matching the job hunter's qualifications and interests. A week later, the woman was invited to interview for the job. She is still waiting to hear back.

Alarmed by the nation's rising unemployment rate, many working Americans are going out of their way to help their laid-off counterparts -- often complete strangers -- secure new positions. They're sharing job leads, leveraging their networks and making referrals and often putting their own reputations on the line.

"Adversity often brings out a generosity and compassion," says Tim Irwin, an organizational psychologist in Atlanta.

Career experts agree that the majority of the best jobs are found on the basis of networking or a relationship. "The power of a referral is tremendous," says Mr. Irwin, author of "Run With the Bulls Without Getting Trampled." "When I lend my name to a person's résumé, they benefit from the influence that I have with that individual. Their résumé is going to get different attention. That's just a reality."

Mr. Blais, business-development director at JobsInTheUS.com, says he developed a strong desire in recent months to help laid-off workers find new positions due to the increasing competitiveness of the job market. "A lot of good people are not even getting their résumé seen because employers aren't digging that deep into the pile," he says. "This is just one small way I could help somebody that's a good candidate."

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Man puts face on billboard in search of a job

If Mark Heuer doesn't land a job, at least hundreds of thousands of people will know what he looks like.

Heuer's seven-times-life-size image, printed on weather-resistant vinyl and illuminated at night by spotlights the size of basketballs, is about to be wrapped around a billboard visible to the drivers of some 60,000 vehicles a day.

Since the 45-year-old Kewaskum-area man has the space for 30 days, that makes 1.8 million chances someone will notice his sign and do what he's hoping they'll do: hire him.

This is a guy who takes self-marketing seriously.

"How do you get in front of more people?" he asked rhetorically Wednesday as he explained the thinking that led him to a 14-by-48-foot Clear Channel billboard along Highway 45. "I (have done) a tremendous amount of networking in my job search just to come up empty."

Heuer has a strong résumé detailing experience as a sales or operations manager at four companies and his most recent work in logistics supply for a contractor in Iraq.

His Web site includes testimonials from former superiors who speak of him in glowing terms - "successful track record of driving sales and development," "strong interpersonal skills," "hands-on leader," "always exceeded performance expectations."

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Need to Find a Job? Stop Looking So Hard

Do you know anyone who tried for years to have a baby but couldn't? Then, after giving up, maybe after adopting, suddenly, surprisingly, got pregnant?

Or someone who was dying to be in a relationship? Dated all the time, but never met the right person. Then, after accepting he would be alone, started focusing on other things and, lo and behold, met someone and got married?

How about someone who lost her job? Maybe she spent the next year working on her resume, perusing job sites, devoting all her energy to getting work. All to no avail. Then, after deciding to stop looking so hard, out of the blue, came a great job offer?

What is that? A karmic journey? A miracle? Statistical aberration? Pure random chance? Perhaps it never really happens; perhaps we remember those stories precisely because they are so unusual?

Or, perhaps, it's a really great strategy. 

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Getting inventive in tough job market

By Geraldine Baum

Los Angeles Times

NEW YORK — Sitting in a bare cubicle the other morning with reading glasses perched halfway down her nose and typing on a laptop she had brought from home, Lois Draegin looked a bit like the extra adult wedged in at the kids' table at Thanksgiving.

This accomplished magazine editor lost her six-figure job at TV Guide last spring and is now, at 55, an unpaid intern at wowOwow.com, an interactive Web site with columns and stories that target accomplished women older than 40.

"The Women on the Web," or WOW, as the site is known, needed Draegin's magazine-world wisdom, and she needed their guidance through a maze of technology that was as baffling to her as hieroglyphics.

It wasn't until she was teamed with Randi Bernfeld at WOW that she understood the obsession with such terms as search-engine optimization (a method to increase traffic to a site) or used Google Trends to pick story topics and write a uniform-resource locater (an address on the Web).

"She's my mentor," Draegin said of 24-year-old Bernfeld.

"No, she's my mentor," Bernfeld replied.

Joni Evans, a former Simon & Schuster president who is chief executive of WOW, has recruited several other laid-off publishing workers as interns — her site's way of doing good in a bad economy.

"I think of this as a very WOW model — women helping women, bringing us all back to our true ethic of empowering each other," said Evans, who founded the site with columnist Peggy Noonan, "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl, advertising executive Mary Wells and gossip columnist Liz Smith.

Draegin took the internship at WOW as a creative way to fill out her résumé while waiting out a collision of bad events stalling her career. Other laid-off workers are attempting to be inventive by using such newer social-networking techniques as LinkedIn and Twitter to find jobs.

Read The Whole Article - http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2008861143_seniorintern15.html

Networking – more than a business-card exchange

At the core of networking is getting to know people beyond the titles on their business cards, Jason Alba said today at a lunch program in Melville that was sponsored by Sobel Media.

Though the subject was “I’m on LinkedIn – Now What?”, Alba -- who blogs at JibberJobber.com -- shared one example, not from social networking but from his own face-to-face experience three years ago when he was looking for work and belonged to a group for job searchers.

He told of going to the meetings late, listening to the speakers and bolting early so he wouldn’t have to speak with anyone. (His assumption was that job hunters in the same boat couldn’t possibly be of help to one another.) 

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Twitter Yourself a Job


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

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Dude, where's my job? College graduates can find career help in many different places

By now it's common knowledge that the job market is suffering. But what does a "tough market" mean for students looking for jobs or internships? Employers are expecting to hire 22 percent fewer graduates from the 2009 class than from the year before, according to projections from the National Association of Colleges and Employer's Job Outlook 2009 Spring Update. With that in mind, it's time for students to start getting smart about the job hunt.

About.com job search expert Alison Doyle said the most important thing students need to do now is visit the career office because it can offer access to many resources, not only for jobs but also for interviewing skills and resume and cover letter writing.

Staci Heidtke, arts and sciences internship manager, said Career Services, 230 Schofield Hall, offers many helpful tools for students looking for internships or jobs. One tool is Career Link, an online database students register for. Employers search the database, often directly contacting the student, she said. Another helpful tool is Ask an Alum, where students can contact alumni, ask informational questions and network, making important contacts.

Steven Rothberg, founder and president of Collegerecruiter.com, the leading job board for college students offering many free online resources to aid the job search, said the biggest thing he can stress to a student looking to land a job is to avoid relying on the Internet to find a job.

"(Students) need to get out from behind the computer," he said.

But that doesn't mean don't use a computer. Rothberg recommended looking at two or three online job boards, targeting niche career paths as well as a desired location. Students should search job openings, set up job match alerts through the site if offered and apply for any job they are qualified for. This should take no longer than a day, he said. After that, students need to stop wasting time perusing the online job boards, he said.

"It's not a productive use of time," he said. "Eighteen months ago it was OK to do it. Well, not now."

Rothberg, who has been through three recessions, said he sees newcomers to in the job market making the same small mistakes when looking to get hired. In good economic times, Rothberg said employers are more forgiving when reviewing resumes and interviewing applicants; they are financially in a place to be hiring. In bad times however, Rothberg said employers are looking for arbitrary reasons to eliminate candidates for a particular job from the hiring pool simply because they cannot hire as many people.

For this reason, Rothberg has six pieces of advice for the inexperienced job hunter:

Pick a specific industry
One mistake Rothberg said he sees from students is trying to be everything to every potential employer.

"When you do that, you end up being nothing to everyone," he said. "It's the kiss of death." Rothberg said students should pick one specific industry and focus all efforts on 10 to 20 employers within that industry. Rothberg also said resumes and cover letters should be tailored to each of those 10 or 20 employers; no one should ever receive the same copy of a resume or cover letter.

Incorporate the "lingo"

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Can You Find a Job On Twitter? Yes You Can!

Networking and social networking tools are big topics of conversation when it comes to the job hunt. I’ve written about using Facebook to find a job, but I wondered if Twitter, the microblogging platform/social network would be a rich source of potential job opportunities.

So, I asked, “Can You Get a Job on Twitter?” It seems that the answer is a resounding (Bob the Builder-esque) YES you can!

Jessica Smith found her current “dream job” as Chief Mom Officer simply by tweeting to approximately 400 followers, “Anyone looking for a marketing or biz dev person?” She reports receiving a DM from Max Ciccotosto, Founder of Wishpot.com, within minutes, asking for a phone interview! The result, Jessica landed “a flexible, family-friendly job doing marketing, biz dev, and community management for Wishpot’s baby channel making competitive pay.” She makes a point to pay it forward, and now helps other companies connect with moms who have the skills they seek.

Kyle Flaherty’s use of Twitter for a job hunt resulted in moving his family to Austin, TX from Boston. In March, he tweeted the news to approximately 650 contacts that he had left his job and had no immediate plans. He included a link to a blog post outlining his interest in connecting. He explains, “Within hours I had several emails, IMs, phone calls and Tweets about the topic and it actually ended up that I took a new job… This may have happened without using Twitter, but since I was looking for a job that would allow me to use social media tools like microblogging, I knew that this was a targeted way to network myself and could lead to a job more inline with what I was wanted.”

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Three ways to sabotage your job search

Recruiter at Edwards Lifesciences tells what job seekers should do – and what mistakes to avoid.

Jennifer Hughes is a fortunate woman.

First of all, she has a job.

Second, her job is at Edwards Lifesciences, a company that's growing in the midst of an economy that's shrinking. It's also a company where employees proudly make life-saving heart valves.

Third, Hughes works as a recruiter for Edwards, so she gets to pick and choose from a growing pool of job seekers.

This year the company plans to add about 150 professional and 100 hourly jobs, mostly at its Irvine headquarters. At the same time, the slumping economy has boosted the company's total domestic job applicants by 250 percent, says Hughes, whose formal title at Edwards is senior global director for talent acquisition and leader development.

She recently took time out to provide a recruiter's eye view of what job seekers should do – and how some applicants sabotage themselves. Her advice is based on her nine years at Edwards and nearly 20 years of previous experience at Texas Instruments and related companies.

Mistake 1: Show your desperation

"A lot of people are feeling desperate now," Hughes says.

Yes, unpaid mortgage payments scare you. Yes, your retirement savings shriveled up like yesterday's road kill. Yes, you're counting down the weeks until your jobless benefits to run out.

But don't let it show. Employers can smell your fear, and they don't like that aroma.

What reputable employer wants to hire someone who's desperate?

Self-confident, talented, eager, reliable? Yes. Desperate? No.

For Hughes, desperation is easy to spot when workers make clear that they don't want a particular job, they want any job.

"People need to stay focused, not blanket their resumes all over the place," Hughes says.

But desperate people are now applying for lots of inappropriate jobs. People with 25 years as vice presidents try for jobs that require only three to five years' experience. Accountants apply for jobs as financial analysts, which they're under qualified for, or for clerks' positions, which they're overqualified for, Hughes says.

"Their personal brand gets tarnished," she says. Recruiters ask themselves, "What is this person looking to do?"

Mistake 2: Reuse your resume

You're impressed with your achievements, so you write them up in a fancy resume and include it with every job application.

What's wrong with that?

The problem is that, with your generic resume, your application stands a good chance of landing in the recycle bin.

The reason: It ignores the details of what the company is looking for.

In its job listings, a company uses specific words and phrases to describe the talents and experience that successful applicants will need. To fill those positions, recruiters look through piles of resumes and applications, seeking those words and phrases.

That's true whether the filtering is done by a person or by software that has been programmed to search that way.

"Humans tend to gravitate to what they're familiar with and the words they're looking for," Hughes says.

At least on a first pass, recruiters have no time to appreciate the fine points. They're overwhelmed with job applicants these days, so they use whatever techniques they can to winnow people out.

"Be specific. Use words that are in the job description," Hughes says. "Don't make the recruiter guess what you want to do,"

Other job-search experts make the same point.

For example, Jim Reyes, vice president of instruction at Career Search Academy, says, "The most common mistake is that job seekers don't customize their resume for each position they're applying for. Identify the top three 'must have' qualifications of the posting. Ensure your resume clearly lists these qualities."

Read Mistake #3 and the rest of the article -


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Online Resumes Go Social at VisualCV.com

 New social features at VisualCV.com link an online resume with sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and other social web sites. Features help job seekers land a job and recruiters find qualified job candidates online.

Reston, VA (PRWEB) March 14, 2009 -- VisualCV, Inc., the company reinventing the online resume for the digital age, today announced that it has added new social networking features to its popular, online resume creation and distribution service. These latest capabilities allow job seekers to integrate their VisualCV with popular social media sites like LinkedIn, and Facebook and share their qualifications with friends and colleagues on social networks like Twitter.

Employers are getting thousands of applicants for a single job which means when you submit your resume, it most often ends up in a pile with hundreds of others
Now, any changes or updates to the VisualCV can be made in one centralized location and then shared broadly among these Web 2.0 sites, ensuring the most accurate information is available simultaneously. Further, new bookmarking features raise the visibility of a person's VisualCV on sites like Digg, Delicious, Stumbled Upon, etc.

VisualCV has a free resume builder so candidates can build an online, media-rich resume that goes beyond traditional resume text. Candidates can embed portfolio items into their resume and include elements such as: sales performance charts, images, audio and video clips of work, letters of recommendation, awards and qualifications.

With VisualCV, job seekers can take control of their career management by enabling them to deliver "first interview" content to hiring managers and recruiters right from the start. They can demonstrate their expertise and accomplishments where ever they have a digital footprint including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, a personal or professional blog, e-mail signature line, etc. VisualCV enables users to rise above the noise to attract the time and attention of recruiters and hiring managers who are overwhelmed with the record number of resumes and candidates.

"Employers are getting thousands of applicants for a single job which means when you submit your resume, it most often ends up in a pile with hundreds of others," said Jeff Hunter, CEO of VisualCV. "Because most jobs are found through referrals, it is vital that job seekers have the ability to notify their network that they are actively looking for employment and to share their qualifications broadly. When candidates put their VisualCV resume on their LinkedIn profile and Facebook page, they cast a much wider and more colorful net to their numerous online contacts. They also become more noticeable to recruiters and hiring managers."

VisualCV empowers recruiters and human resource (HR) professionals to build a corporate presence and advertise their company and positions to motivated candidates. With VisualCV, hiring managers can connect and interact with both active and passive professionals free of charge, and in an easy to use, ad-free environment. It lets both job seekers and recruiters import their address books from other sites and then invite, share and forward career information for more effective introductions.

Unlike other job boards and recruitment sites, VisualCV lets organizations operate more efficiently - charging them a nominal fee only after a hire is made. Further, it allows HR members to post job requisites to their networks in one centralized place, making it easier for them to update their network each time there is a new job opportunity or posting.

About VisualCV, Inc.
VisualCV, Inc. has reinvented the resume to make it more relevant for job searching, networking, business development and career progression within today's Web 2.0 environment. VisualCV, Inc. provides technology and support for the VisualCV, the VisualCV.com community and "Powered by VisualCV" private-label platform. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, the company has received investments from one of the world's leading executive search firms, Heidrick & Struggles (NASDAQ: HSII), and Valhalla Partners.

To create a resume at VisualCV, please visit www.visualcv.com 

Networking, attitude are key in job search

McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers

How can you land and keep a job? University of Illinois students recently got advice from a College of Business panel that included an employer, a career adviser, two professors and a recent job seeker. Here are 18 tips based on what they said.

1Your job is to find a job, said David Sinow, a UI professor of finance. Stay structured. Stay enthusiastic. "Eighty percent of getting a position is enthusiasm. Don't get discouraged," he said.

2Don't underestimate the power of networking, said Julie Bartimus, vice president of the UI Alumni Career Center in Chicago. Employers say the most effective tools for finding new employees are networking and referrals from other employees.

3If you don't have a network, create one. Yoo-Seong Song of the UI Business and Economics Library said he grew up in South Korea and didn't have a personal network in the United States. "I built my own network, and that's how I got a job at Accenture," Song said. He joined several professional associations, then used their directories to make contacts with members.

4Contact people who went to the same school you did. Take advantage of your school's alumni association resources, said Patrice Yao, whose background is in human resources. Find out which alums work for companies you like, and drop them an e-mail. Tell them you'd like their advice regarding the company or the line of work and listen to what they say. "Don't make it sound like you only want a job," she said.

Read Tips 5 - 18


Charlotte firm is betting you can Twitter your way into new job

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Recruiter's Secrets: 6 Job Hunting Tips for a Tough Market

How's business? What's the job market like? What are you working on? Do you know of any opportunities that I might be qualified for? I'm looking for an opportunity; can you help me? How can I navigate this job market? What do I need to do to differentiate myself?"

Those are the most common questions executive recruiters say job seekers are asking them these days. The recruiters note that IT professionals -- whether they're employed or whether they've been laid off -- are genuinely scared about their job prospects. So, knowing executive recruiters have their fingers on the pulse of the job market and understand exactly what employers are currently looking for in candidates, job seekers are urgently phoning and texting recruiters to solicit them for career advice. Shawn Banerji, an executive recruiter with Russell Reynolds Associates in NYC, says he gets as many as 60 such calls and e-mails each day. He's not alone.

Banerji and many other recruiters say they'd genuinely like to help every job seeker who contacts them, but with the call volume so high, they can't. Business is off throughout the search industry, they say, and they have to spend their time on what pays: drumming up search business and working on projects for clients.

"If we were talking to all of them, we couldn't be doing what our clients pay us to do," says Suzanne Fairlie, president of ProSeach, a retained search firm based in Philadelphia that places IT and finance professionals.

To help recruiters and the IT professionals contacting them, CIO.com compiled recruiters' answers to job seekers' pressing job search questions into six tips for working effectively with recruiters and for increasing your chances of landing a new job in this terrible market.

Make Yourself Visible.

Read Full Article -


Monday, March 9, 2009

10 ways to recession-proof your job search

The 10 tips from Pollak, author of “Getting from College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World,” include:
1. Define your personal brand. Your personal brand is what differentiates you and makes you stand out from the crowd. It’s the reputation and image that you carry with you, and the unique edge that you’ll need to compete for jobs in today’s marketplace. Figure out your strengths and be prepared to play them up to potential employers. You need to think carefully about where and how you add value and what makes you stand out from others in your class. You should develop your unique brand with all of your contacts and within your network.
2. Cast a wider and wider net. If you are struggling to find a job in your chosen field, think creatively about the kind of industries and organizations where you might be able to apply your skills. Consider start-ups, nonprofits, government jobs, small companies, medium-sized companies, local businesses and organizations in different cities, states or even countries. Explore every industry or job function that appeals to you. The broader your search, the better your chances.
3. Network…the right way. The Internet is great, but 70 to 80 percent of jobs are found through networking. The best place to start networking is with the people who know you best: your family, friends and other close contacts. Call, email and set up informal chats with everyone you know who might have some advice or job leads to offer—including your parents, grandparents and older siblings or cousins. The more people you talk to, the more eyes will be on the lookout for openings that fit your criteria. And you may just find out that your mom’s college roommate’s daughter is a VIP at the company of your dreams.
4. Become an industry insider. One of the biggest complaints from recruiters is that job candidates don’t know enough about the companies to which they’re applying. It’s crucial to be extremely knowledgeable about any company you want to work for. This shows that you’re genuinely interested in the organization and that you’re ready to hit the ground running on day one. Set up news alerts for any companies on your target list, read blogs by industry leaders, read or watch the national and business news every single day and follow influential people on Twitter.

Tips 5 - 10


Web site turns school ties into job opportunities MyWorkster helps students and alumni connect and network

By Dennis Carter, Assistant Editor
MyWorkster brings college students and alumni together on a "professional Facebook."

In a job market contracting every month, professional connections can be the difference between landing an interview or continuing an arduous job search. That's why the co-founders of MyWorkster created a professional networking site that connects students with alumni and allows members to search for contacts in their field who can give them an advantage over the competition.

Jeff Saliture and Doug Baruchin of Long Island have redeveloped the MyWorkster site, which first launched in 2006, making it easier for recent college graduates to pinpoint alumni who might offer a tip, give a phone number, or arrange an interview.

Baruchin and Saliture often compare MyWorkster to social-networking giant Facebook, but instead of sharing photos from last weekend's cookout, MyWorkster users strive to make a connection that could lead to a steady paycheck. There are about 5 million job opportunities on MyWorkster, the co-founders said.

"We wanted to create a professional Facebook," said Baruchin, 43, a former insurance agent, adding that Saliture's understanding of computer networking gelled with his own familiarity with face-to-face networking. "I understood that need for traditional networking, and he understood what was up and coming in [technology]."

Saliture said MyWorkster won't unveil its membership count until later this year, but 30 universities and colleges nationwide have created official MyWorkster pages, and dozens of other schools have unofficial sites started by alumni or students.

Saliture, 25, a 2008 Hofstra University graduate, said the Facebook-like front page creates a user-friendly atmosphere that makes MyWorkster different from button-down job search web sites.

"We're trying to make an addictive portal for the millennial generation," Saliture said, adding that connections made on MyWorkster can appear on a member's Facebook profile, and users' friends can be invited via Facebook.

Fred Burke, executive director of Hofstra's career center, said MyWorkster's latest changes allow students to narrow their search down to a handful of Hofstra alumni who might offer a helping hand to a fellow graduate.

"You have a chance to get an insider's scoop," said Burke, who added that 800 Hofstra alums have signed up for MyWorkster and a student launch is scheduled for mid-March.

As headlines trumpeting monthly job losses clutter the national headlines, Burke said finding new ways to form professional relationships will become critical in the coming months and years.

"I think in a job market like this, it could be an excellent way to build a professional network," he said. "It's very simple and it's very straightforward. … You have to utilize a lot of paths toward a career, and there's very little room for error these days."

Read the rest of the article - http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/top-news/index.cfm?i=57557

Tips and resources for job-hunting

Walker and other staffing and employment experts offer job-hunting tips to help you get back in the game or change your career path. We’ve also assembled a list of resources aimed to help.

Check in with your emotions, and your creditors

When some Tarrant County companies are about to lay off workers, Walker is one of the people they call. He arranges for outplacement counseling and other assistance for workers who are or will soon be displaced. His first piece of advice: "Be patient, and never give up."

Other tips:

Ask yourself how the layoff or job loss is affecting you. Be sure to deal with those emotions.

Notify financial institutions of your situation, and let them know if you may have to miss payments or work out a new payment schedule. "A lot of people fail to do this," Walker says. "But you want to notify them before they notify you."

Develop a plan for what you are going to do every day.

Sign on with staffing services or temp agencies.

Visit one of Tarrant County’s eight Workforce Centers. They offer free professional help and, in some cases, new training.


Don’t assume you already know everything about résumés. There’s a lot for job seekers to consider. "They have to put themselves in the shoes of a hiring manager," says Todd Kirkby, chief information officer for Odyssey, a Plano-based staffing company in the IT industry. "Hiring managers are going to get inundated with résumés right now." The bottom line: Make yourself stand out.

Tailor it. Don’t just send a boilerplate résumé. Each time you submit a résumé, you should tailor it to the job posting — within the bounds of your actual work history. (And of course, never lie on a résumé.)

"I think people have this vision that somebody’s sitting there and opening every résumé," says Bill Mueller, the Bedford-based president and CEO of ineedajob.com and American Career Fairs. But in many cases, agencies and hiring managers are running résumés through computerized searches that look for certain key words and buzzwords. So even though a person may have the skills a company is looking for, they might not have tailored their résumé to flag certain buzzwords that sync with the job description, and their résumé won’t be pulled up.

Length. "Some people tell you to keep it short," Mueller says. "But if you can’t tell your story in one page, it’s better to go to two pages than leave something off."

Kirkby says it depends on the job. For technicians, a good target is three or four pages. Sometimes managers want to see, in detail, what you’ve done ("I created these programs in Java, using this methodology . . ."). It’s whatever emphasizes the point, Kirkby says.

Cover letter. Because so much has gone digital, the popularity of the cover letter has faded a bit, Kirkby says. "If a manager is super-duper busy, they may look at a cover letter, but they might not," he says. He suggests instead sending a summary of qualifications along with a résumé. The summary should be in bullet format and directly address what the company is looking for.

Stay positive. "It’s amazing to me what’s on some people’s résumés," Mueller says. "I’ve seen very negative things like 'I quit because I didn’t get along with my boss.’ People look at their résumé as a chronology, but they should look at it as a marketing piece. You need to keep the whole thing positive."

Make it achievement-oriented. If you were a manager at McDonald’s, don’t just list your duties, Mueller says. "What I want to know is, did you make the company money? Did you reduce the food cost?"

Proofread. "Résumés are horrible, and I see it all the time," Walker says. "Maybe a person hasn’t had the need to have a résumé if they’ve been working 10 to 15 years." So, whether it’s a friend with an eye for detail, a staffing company or a résumé expert at Workforce Solutions, have someone proofread your résumé, and make sure it’s formatted properly.

The interview and beyond

Practice the interview. "The interviewing process is where so many people get knocked off," Mueller says. "Practice off of your own résumé. Put the résumé in a friend’s hand, and ask them, 'OK, what would you question me on?’ "

Devil in the details. Before you start filling out a job application, read it all the way through. People want to know you’re paying attention to detail. "Sometimes," Walker says, "at the very bottom of a page, it might say 'blue or black ink only.’ Be very cautious of what you’re doing every step of the way."

Network. Often, people don’t reach out to friends, relatives, churches and other social networks. "Don’t try to do it alone," Walker says. "Don’t let pride be a factor and think, 'I can do it myself.’ You gotta get help. Let as many people know that you’re looking for a job." And don’t underestimate the power of social and professional networking groups such as LinkedIn ( www.linkedin.com), Facebook and Twitter ( www.twitter.com).

Read the rest of the article - 


Tips to help you stand above the crowd of job seekers

By: Jenna Hiller

Austin resident Kim Butler owns Greywolf Consulting Services.

It's his job to find the right candidate for the job, so he knows what it takes to stand out from the pack.

"The first question to ask is, 'Is my job completely disappearing from this city,'" he said. "If the answer is no, it's certainly not, then you may be looking at a short-term situation where you could manage through it."

If you're looking at a longer-term problem, you might have to make a tough choice.

"If it's a long-term challenge, I think you have to make a basic decision which is, is the city that I live in more important to me than the money that I make and the job that I may be doing," Butler said.

For all job hunters, it's important to think in broad terms.

Butler said to start by looking at all of the available jobs.

Don't just look for jobs with your title.

Look at what you do generically from a skill standpoint.

You might be able to match your skills to jobs you'd never considered before.
"Start at the start. End at the end," Butler said. "Look and see what jobs are available in general, so that you're not disqualifying yourself automatically from opportunities that might be out there."

Butler made additional suggestions:

• Once you know what's out there, you have to put yourself out there.

• Make contacts before you send out your resume.

• Try to talk to the person who's hiring, not human resources, so they're looking for your resume.

• Use the functional things you do as action words in your resume. These will be picked up as key words.

• While you want to be more general in your resume, be more industry specific in your cover letter.

Butler said finding contacts at companies is important. If you don't already have a network on a site like LinkedIn, a simple Internet search should find the right person.

Another great resource for jobs might be closer than you think.

Butler said not to underestimate your personal network. 

View the Video


Job search groups define 30 ways to use LinkedIn without abusing it

Job search groups define 30 ways to use LinkedIn without abusing it

There are an astonishing number of online how-tos about LinkedIn outside of LinkedIn itself. This series will present the top 30 of tips discussed in the Capital Career Center High-Tech Job Search group, Rich Kolikof's Job Hunting group, and Liz De Troit's video focused on using LinkedIn as a job searcher. "Free account privileges get you all that you need," said Liz De Troit, the presenter, in her class on using LinkedIn for job searching, "but you have to play by the rules."

7 things job searchers should know about job searching in LinkedIn

30. Don't use LinkedIn if Google will do. If you only need a few introductions, don't use LinkedIn. Use Google or another search engine to get contact info. Search engines find information. Social networking tools find people.

29. Your profile is your brand. It promises what you deliver. Ask someone to review your profile after you complete it.

28. Keep email addresses and phone numbers out of the summary. LinkedIn has to maintain the experience they promise, which is part of the LinkedIn brand: connecting with people you know, trust, and like.

27. Use the summary for keywords about what distinguishes you and the value you add. Don't use it for your resume objective.

26. Read Guy Kawasaki's column about LinkedIn. The legendary Apple evangelist's pithy wit shows a lot about how a manager sees what LinkedIn shows.

25. Google-search yourself. What you find tells you what's known about your brand.

24. Post questions carefully. Categorize them thoughtfully. Click the button provided if your question is related to your job search. "Questions are important because they are the glue that connects you to the community, and invites new connections," said one participant.

Read 1-23 


5 Savvy Job Search Strategies


Matthew Wall has been spending a lot more time playing catch with his dog, Gucci, outside his Melrose, Mass. home. The product manager was laid off back in December from his job at a consumer electronics firm.
"I've never been laid off before," he said. "It's been a transition, sort of like an emotional rollercoaster."

Nancy Wolfe is back in the job market for the first time in 15 years. She was laid off from a semi-conductor company last fall.

"It's like landing on the moon. It's like a totally different landscape," she said.

Nancy and Matthew are both searching for jobs at a time when companies are cutting positions by the thousands. Finding work in this environment can seem like mission impossible, but that's not necessarily true, according to Brendan King, owner of the recruiting firm King & Bishop.

"The opportunity is out there," he said. "You just have to bring yourself to that opportunity."

King says it's all about knowing what to do. He suggested several strategies to help Nancy and Matthew get a leg up on the competition.

Job Search Strategy #1: Look for the Hidden Job.

Many people who are laid off automatically run out and post their resume on the web. According to King, that's not the simple solution it used to be.

"Putting a resume on a Web site is probably akin to casting one fishing line in the water and hoping you get a bite."

King said many of the best jobs never get posted at all.

Job Search Strategy #2: Maximize Social Networking Sites.

On sites like Linkedin, you can join professional groups within your industry. That makes it easy to pitch your skills directly to those who may have openings that fit your qualifications.

If you have already applied for a job, use the site to search the company to see if you know anyone who works there. Linked In also has exclusive job postings.

King is wary of Facebook. Even though the site has a broad base of members, it's still dominated by the unprofessional antics of teens and twenty-somethings. Some experts, however, say it can be helpful as long as you keep your page clean.

Read Tips 3-5 - http://cbs2chicago.com/consumer/job.search.tricks.2.950881.html

Friday, March 6, 2009

1 Hour Webinar Designed To Get You A Job NOW!

Learn how in this one-hour, online training. If you can see this website,
you can attend this online training.

*** At HireAbility.com, we are the leaders in knowing what it takes to get YOU hired. We have been working with leaders in the staffing industry for over a decade and that means our trainers know first-hand about what an employer wants in an applicant. This training is for ANYONE looking for a job -- and is given by the people who understand the job market better than anyone, or any company, out there!

Take it from a pro. Craig Silverman and his teams have placed over 15,000 people into new jobs over the last twelve years. He has the most accurate information on what employers look for in potential job candidates, how to make the ultimate impression, and how you can land a great new job in weeks.

On March 12th at noon est, Craig is bringing this information to YOU! It doesn't matter if you are a software programmer, accountant, scientist, administrative assistant, lawyer, sales, this is an event you should attend to help make your search a success.

We will focus on:
Building your marketing package: cover letter, resume, and reference list
How to network: calling your contacts, social networking sites
Job boards & resume databases
Working with recruiters: The do's and don'ts
Preparing for the interview
Waging an 8-week campaign to generate multiple offers


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Twitter Tips: How to Use Twitter to Job Hunt

If you're just using LinkedIn to job hunt, you're missing out on the power of Twitter. Here's expert advice on how to tweet your way to new contacts and opportunities.
C.G. Lynch (CIO) 04/03/2009 09:07:00

Though LinkedIn tops the list of professionally-oriented social networks for job seeking, you can also use Twitter to get the word out about your skills and talents to relevant people in your industry.

But you must take some steps to be a good Twitter citizen before you tweet yourself into your next gig. We spoke with some career and social media experts on how to utilize Twitter for the purpose of job seeking, and the ways in which you can promote your own interests while helping others at the same time. (As you'll find, you can't do one without the other).

If you're new to Twitter, we recommend reading our beginners' guide to Twitter, as well as our Twitter etiquette guide, to learn more about what makes this community operate. Overall, it's important to remember that Twitter is about exchanging ideas and letting people know more about you based on the content of your tweets.

1. Know who to follow

If you want someone to think about you when a job opening arises, you need to get on that person's Twitter radar. One way to do this: follow the key people in your industry and watch their updates closely to see what types of topics and projects interest them the most.

For starters, use Twitter's search tool to look for certain keywords of interest. After you search, the results will show people who are tweeting those terms; then you can scan their public profiles to see if you should be following them.This can also help in your content strategy (more on that in the next section).

Read The Whole Article - http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/278071/twitter_tips_how_use_twitter_job_hunt?fp=2&fpid=2

Guerrilla Job Search Tips - How to Find Jobs and Get Hired Faster in a Recession

Guerrilla Job Search Tips - How to Find Jobs and Get Hired Faster in a Recession
By: Kevin Donlin and David E. Perry

In any economy, you can find a job faster by doing three simple things:

1) Know the position you want, with absolute clarity, right down to the job title.
2) Know where you want to work, right down to the names of 10-20 ideal employers.
3) Use unconventional "guerrilla" tactics to get noticed -- and get hired.

Here are the stories of two people who did all the above -- and found great jobs -- right in the middle of the current recession.

1) Anyone for Coffee?

Janet FritzHuspen from St. Paul, Minnesota, landed a job after mailing coffee cups to area employers.

That's right -- coffee cups.

Here's what she did …

FritzHuspen found jobs advertised online, then sent a box with a travel coffee mug, her resume and a cover letter inside. Her letter said, "I would like to meet you over coffee to discuss how I can benefit the ABC Corporation as your director."

"I sent the box via FedEx Ground, so I could track and know when they signed for it. I waited about 20 minutes after it arrived. Then, I called and said, 'Hi. You just got my package!' and I went from there," she says.

FritzHuspen sent three coffee cups in two weeks. "I called and spoke with somebody at all three employers, and had a conversation with one hiring manager that resulted in an interview."

About two weeks later, FritzHuspen got the job!

Here are three ways to make this tactic work for you:

Find out how she did it and more tips @


Networking still tops in job hunts

The more people you tell about your job search, the more likely you'll get a lead, experts say.

By Kathy Lynn Gray

Starting your job search

The spadework required to dig up a new job has changed significantly in the past two decades, but one old saw has remained the same: It's still who you know.

"Talk to your friends, your co-workers, salespeople, classmates, the people in the doctor's office," said Heather Allen, branch manager for Manpower in the Columbus market. "Everybody knows somebody."

The more people you tell, the more likely you'll turn up a job.

Or, in a weak economy, a job lead.

"People are hiring friends and family," Allen said.

The fancy term for spreading the word about your job search is networking, and the Internet has opened plenty of new ways to do it. Employment counselors put networking at the top of their lists of best ways to search for jobs.

"We've found the more networked a person is, the better the result they're going to have," said Susan Miller, Columbus branch manager for the employment agency Robert Half International.

That means joining online sites such as LinkedIn, a professional networking site, and Facebook and Twitter, two social-networking sites. You can post a profile about yourself on these sites, search for people you know and join groups. Each keystroke can link you to people you know and then, people they know.

Experts on the job-search process have favorite ideas:

Read the rest of the article


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Get A Job In Weeks - Training Class

Take it from a pro. Craig Silverman and his teams have placed over 15,000 people into new jobs over the last twelve years. He has the most accurate information on what employers look for in potential job candidates, how to make the ultimate impression, and how you can land a great new job in weeks.

On March 5th at noon est, Craig is bringing this information to YOU! It doesn't matter if you are a software programmer, accountant, scientist, administrative assistant, lawyer, sales, this is an event you should attend to help make your search a success.

We will focus on:
Building your marketing package: cover letter, resume, and reference list
How to network: calling your contacts, social networking sites
Job boards & resume databases
Working with recruiters: The do's and don'ts
Preparing for the interview
Waging an 8-week campaign to generate multiple offers


What to do if you're looking for work while still on the job

It seems as if every time I turn around, the economic news gets worse. More people are being laid off. Recent college grads are having job offers rescinded. Retirees are going back to work because their investments took such a hit. No question that this is a stressful time.

If you are lucky enough to be currently employed, but are in the midst of a job hunt, you have a whole different set of stress factors to manage.

Your career is your responsibility. If you look around and don’t envision yourself in the same organization for the long haul (or even for the short haul), it is up to you to take steps to find something new. No matter how difficult it is or how little time you have, if you don’t take the wheel, you can’t drive your own career bus. 

So, some tips to help the busy employee who leads a double life as a job seeker:

Do NOT - I repeat - DO NOT conduct your job search while AT work. Even using your employer issued computer on your own time is iffy. If you don’t want to be shown the door before you are ready, conduct your search on your OWN time. What? You don’t have any of your own time? That’s the reason you are looking for a job? Carve some out. Searching online job boards, blogs (!) and sending emails applying for positions from your company computer is risky. Just don’t do it.

Manage your time. You need to take a break from work. If that “break” also involves spending some of your “down” time prepping for a job hunt, so be it.

Invest in yourself. Hire someone to help you or put in the preparation that you deserve to ensure that you know how to look for a job and that your materials represent the best you have to offer. Do not sell yourself short by sending around a resume that isn’t optimized. The investment you put into your search at the outset will pay off for you in the long run with a shorter hunt.

Network! Open your eyes - networking opportunities are all around. Soon, holiday parties will begin. Family get-togethers are in the offing. Take advantage of social situations to grow your network. Too busy for parties? Social networking (online) will fill in the gaps. I recommend a dual-prong networking strategy that involves in-person and online networking for full exposure. Investigate Twitter. Optimize your linkedin profile.

Keep connected and engaged in your current job, no matter how difficult it is. Sporting a positive attitude will help make you desirable to potential employers (and make it easier for you at work). Even if you have one foot out the door, don’t start acting as if you are already off the payroll. When’s a good time to tell your colleagues that you are looking for a job? When you give your notice! Turn to non-work friends for support during your search.

Gather information. If you interview for a job, be sure to ask about their timing. You want to know if they will be making a hiring decision soon or if you are the first of 100 interviews! Having information will help you manage your search. Ask questions that will help put you in the driver’s seat down the road.

Above all, recognize that the positive steps you take now to manage your own career will pay off in the long run. Don’t wait. Don’t let stress or fear get the best of you. Take the wheel and turn the key.

Need help to jump start your search? We can help you with a successful job hunt. Need a great resume? Career search advice? Mock interivew? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

Original Article - http://www.examiner.com/x-2132-Career-Coach-Examiner~y2009m2d24-Tips-if-youre-looking-for-work-while-still-on-the-job

Monday, March 2, 2009

5 ways to kickstart your job search after a layoff

by Margaret Hansen, Portland Jobs Examiner

Job seekers getting out (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Losing your job can be difficult, but don't let it get you down. In hindsight, people often say that getting laid off was the best thing that could have happened to them. Think of it as a temporary setback and get moving. Here are 5 ways to start...

1) Think positive. Whether you prefer audio tapes, books, blogs or mp3s, catch up with your favorite motivational guru. Websites and the library are your best free bet. Many of these experts have studied human emotion and motivation and will have invaluable advice when you need it most.
2) Get suited up. But forget about buying retail. Portland has great options in second-hand clothing. Goodwill, Salvation Army, and a score of consignment and other second-hand stores abound. If finances are too tight, check out Dress for Success, the Southern Maine Chapter.
3) Get online. Register with LinkedIn.com to reconnect with your former co-workers and bosses. Ask each for a recommendation. Follow blogs that match your interests. Not only should you use the internet to search and apply, but you can also research: companies, salary data, industries, careers and locations.
4) Market yourself. Have business cards, regular and text-only templates of your resume, a copy of your bio, samples of your work, references and other collateral ready to hand out or email. A free blog on Blogger, Typepad or Word Press is a great place to "store" them electronically. Include your blog's web address on your business card.
5) Get out of the house. Join an in-person networking group. The Unemployed Professionals group meets and hosts a guest speaker every Tuesday at the Portland Career Center. The Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce is another great place to meet, talk with others and spread the word about you.

Embrace change; a career that you love could be right around the next bend.

Full Original Article - http://www.examiner.com/x-4544-Portland-Jobs-Examiner~y2009m3d1-5-ways-to-kickstart-your-job-search-after-a-layoff

5 Mistakes Job-Seekers Make

Advance Your Chances of Securing the Gig by Avoiding Pessimism, Generic Pitches
March 2, 2009

Looking for work is never easy. And with unemployment at a 16-year high, the available job pool is low and the competition is fierce. That means there's no room for error. You must be a qualified candidate and an exceptional jobseeker. Here's a look at some of the top mistakes to avoid.

1) Don't wait for an employer to call you. Don't sit by the phone waiting for HR to call. You've got to make it ring by following up on every resume submission. Find an internal referral, which is the leading source of new hire leads at every large employer, using social networks such as LinkedIn.com and Facebook. (If you apply to company XYZ, go to LinkedIn and search for that company, its location and the job title recruiter or HR manager. Most times a name will pop up for you to call.) You can also Google the name of the company, along with the words "recruiter" or "hr manager" and see if a name pops up because that person has appeared in the media or on an industry Web site. That'll give you a starting point to begin the follow-up.

2) Don't say generic things about yourself. If you've been out of work for several months or more, expect to be asked what you've been doing during that time. Saying you've just been job-searching is not impressive. It means you've attempted something unsuccessfully for quite some time. Even though we're in a recession, that's not a good enough answer. Instead, share a story about how you've spent the time: focus on a volunteer initiative you've taken on, the books you're reading, or the classes you're taking. Have something positive to briefly discuss to account for your time.

Similarly, if you're like many job-seekers, you'll likely tell an interviewer that you're a "team player." That's too generic. If pressed for details, how would you back up that label? The worst response: "I'll say yes to lending a hand any time. I'm always happy to do anything for anyone." That's not necessarily a team player; that's a pushover in the workplace! Instead, focus on a specific example of a time you brought together a group. Or a time when you listened so effectively that you were able to understand — and overcome — the concerns of your department to bring about consensus. Be ready to cite specific anecdotes from your work history. This is where many people get tongue-tied -- so you'll be ahead of the pack with examples at the ready.

Tips 3 - 5 and Full Original Article + Video

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Successful Introvert: How to Enhance Your Job Search and Advance Your Career (Paperback)

Help prospective employers find you

How do recruiters find you? Primarily through your online presence. Here are some tips from a recruiter for making yourself more visible on the Web.


Kelly Dingee, a recruiter, posted an article on fistfuloftalent.com that offers great suggestions for getting yourself out there to recruiters and potential employers. Here are some of her tips:

1. Post your resume on more than one site and then create a free gmail account for managing your job search and/or networking and to cut down on the spam you are sure to receive.

2. Build profiles on LinkedIn, Naymz, Plaxo, etc. Dingee suggests making your profiles public because many employers don’t pay to use II’s recruiter module, opting instead for free techniques like XRay to find people. If you use MySpace and Facebook, be careful that you don’t post inappropriate stuff.

3. Put yourself out there (online) with Pipl.com. Dingee says that Pipl, a people search engine, is so good that it will “probably scare some people’s pants off when they see what information it is able to legally drudge up.” The word-of-mouth on Pipl is so good that it leads in the U.S. with 557K unique users. That’s compared to Spock’s 260K. Pipl produces not only links to all of your profiles on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, but it includes blog mentions and photos on Flickr. Be forewarned that it also finds mentions of your name in public records. This would not be a problem unless, as it was in my case, your name is shared by an inmate at the Alabama Department of Corrections.

Pipl also finds e-mail addresses and summarizes “quick facts” about a person. It does this by crawling the “Deep Web.” According to Roi Carthy of TechCrunch, a general purpose search engine typically crawls the Web by following links to URLs found in other pages. By contrast, the Deep Web is made up of pages that no other pages link to. Dynamic pages are a good example of these sorts of pages. This means that if an engine wants to index pages located in Deep Web repositories it has to “guess” possible URLs. Just how big is the Deep Web? No one really knows, but it’s generally accepted that it is vastly greater (orders of magnitude greater) than the Surface Web–the pages which are easily indexed by search engines.

4. Try LookupPage, a free online service that lets you create a personal webpage that aims at representing you professionally online and is visible to all search engines.

Original Article - http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/career/?p=542

Take care with your online image

Take care with your online image


Given the almost weekly headlines of people losing jobs or losing face because of their Facebook profiles, it should be clear that looking bad online is a professional sin you want to avoid.

But we think people tend to put too much effort into not looking stupid online. Instead, why not just put a little bit of work into making yourself look better?

This is important even if you're not job-hunting: You should have the same attitude about how you look online as you do about how you look in the office.

Even when you're not interviewing for another job, there's still a standard of dress and attitude about coming to work and being a professional. How you appear online should receive the same attention.

More people are bringing up Bridget's online presence in real-life conversations. Recently, someone she never met before called to pitch a story idea and said how impressed they were with the way she brands herself through Twitter and other social networking profiles.

Maybe they were kissing up. But they noticed her online.

Niala also realized recently that people were Googling her name more.

That's because the top search result is a link to her on VisualCV.com, a free site that lets you track who's accessing your résumé. From that, Niala could see the spike of Google hits -- sometimes, minutes after she had sent out a tweet, or message, on Twitter.

So, how do you look good professionally? First of all, Google yourself to see what comes up. If a site you don't like comes up, use a site like LinkedIn more often. That way, it will come up as a more prominent search result.

While you're at it, make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete, including a picture. It's not an online dating site -- you don't need to look attractive, just professional.

Also, see if someone you're close to can provide a recommendation for your page. Make sure to return the favor by recommending another colleague. LinkedIn recommendations are just a few sentences.

Original Article - http://www.miamiherald.com/business/technology/story/918257.html

Tech-etiquette for job seekers

The Associated Press

If there's any small solace when starting a job search in this recession, it's the proliferation of digital technology to help you re-enter the working world.

Web sites like Indeed.com and LinkedIn.com have multiplied the number of job openings you can track and the professional contacts you can make. E-mail and smart phones make it easier to pitch yourself and set up appointments.

But think twice before picking up that BlackBerry and thumb-typing a message to the hiring manager whose e-mail address you so slyly uncovered online. In the end, landing the right job hinges on old-world skills.

"The electronic piece usually just gets your foot in the door," said Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology, a tech industry recruiting division of Menlo Park-based staffing consultant Robert Half International.

"But you still have to present yourself well face-to-face in an interview, and you have to have good references," he said. "I think some job candidates lose sight of that because of all the technology options and capabilities that get your name out there."

Willmer and Kate Wendleton, president of The Five O'Clock Club, a New York-based career counseling company, advise that job seekers -- especially the young and tech-savvy -- frequently misuse electronic gadgets and the Web and run roughshod over professional etiquette.

Some of their advice:

Avoid e-mail blasts: Resist the temptation to respond to each online job listing in your field, and focus on those that fit the best. If you can use personal contacts to learn about an opening that's not widely publicized, your chances of landing the job increase because you've got fewer rivals.

Embrace snail mail: In your first contact with a prospective employer, you're unlikely to stand out if you join the legions of job seekers sending "hire me" pitches via e-mail with resumes attached. E-mails also are too easy for a hiring manager to delete. With snail mail, you control the appearance of your carefully crafted cover letter and resume.

Get personal: If you resort to e-mail pitches, make them personal. If you're introducing yourself to a hiring manager you've identified via a professional colleague, type that colleague's name in the e-mail's subject line and succinctly explain the link so the manager is less likely to hit delete.

Avoid follow-up foibles: If you land an interview, pay attention if the hiring manager specifies how to make any follow-up contacts.

Observe boundaries: Even if you managed to track down a hiring manager's cell phone number, don't call it unless given permission.

Stick with land lines: For any phone contact with a prospective employer, try to use a land line. With cell phones, there's too great a risk that you'll get a spotty connection, lose it altogether, or end up with excessive background noise.

Network the smart way: If you identify a hiring manager or other professional you'd like to connect with on an online networking site, don't send an electronic invitation without explaining why you want to get in touch.

Manage your digital footprint: Be judicious about what you post on social networking sites such as Facebook, and limit access to friends and family if it's something you wouldn't want an employer to see.

Original Article - http://www.pe.com/business/local/stories/PE_Biz_S_jobhunt01.2b6e20e.html

Preparation wins points

Use library, online resources to help ace an interview

Through a local recruiting firm, "Debbie" had landed a meeting with the chief financial officer of a Columbus retailer that she hoped to work for. After exchanging small talk, the executive asked her: "So, what do you think of our stores?"

The candidate replied honestly that she'd never been in one.


"There's just no excuse for that," said Jay Canowitz of Ives & Associates, the North Side executive search firm that sent the job seeker to the interview. Needless to say, she didn't get the position.

Preparation and research are always important when trying to land a job, but that's even more true in today's competitive market, recruiters say.

"We've definitely heard from employers after an interview that people hadn't done their homework," said Amy Harkins, professional-services manager in the Groveport office of Columbus-based Proteam Staffing.

"Anything you can learn about the company is going to give you a leg up in the interview process," she said. "It helps you understand the business, know if it's a good fit and shows that you've taken the extra time and effort that every employer wants to see."

Where to start? The Internet is a great tool, and a simple Google search and visit to the employer's Web site is a logical place to start.

"At the very least, go to the company's Web site," Canowitz said. "If it's a consumer-products company, find out what they make. If they're a financial-services company, see what states they operate in. If it's a retailer, see what products they sell and where their stores are -- and make sure you go to one."

A Google search can turn up news coverage about the company, along with information that might be useful to know.

If the company is public -- its shares are traded on a stock exchange -- it's easy to find a wealth of information on sites such as Yahoo Finance ( http://finance.yahoo.com), where you can look up everything from news articles and Securities and Exchange Commission filings to stock prices past and current.

Both Canowitz and Harkins recommend getting an insider's perspective on your prospective employer, if possible, by tapping into your extended network of friends and contacts.

Online "insider" sources such as Job Vent ( www.jobvent.com) that allow users to post comments anonymously should be taken with a grain of salt, though. It's impossible to verify a person's identity or to know what ax they have to grind. Plus, no workplace is the right fit for everyone.

"I don't care who the company is in town. I have a resume from someone who doesn't want to work there anymore," Canowitz said.

When it comes to pay, a recruiter usually will be able to tell you a range if you're job-hunting through an employment agency. Sites such as Salary.com and GlassDoor.com post information on salary ranges in specified fields or particular companies. Recruiters say a candidate shouldn't be afraid to negotiate for pay or benefits within reason, even in today's economy. But do so at the appropriate time -- when an offer is made.

Canowitz adds, though, that previous salary history is the most compelling indicator of what your new employer is likely to pay you.

"If the range is $80,000 to $100,000 and you've been making $70,000, most companies are not going to offer you a salary at the top of that range," Canowitz said.

To really research a company in depth, you'll want to tap resources beyond what you'll find by surfing the Internet. For example, try the library.

"Pre-Internet, people used our print resources all the time," said Jay Kegley, manager of the Science, Business and News division for the Columbus Metropolitan Library's Main Library Downtown. "Now, they're less used. Many people aren't even turning to library resources. We have a lot of material you won't find online, and it's authoritative, unlike some of the material on the Web."

A librarian often can help you find material both in print and online that you might not come across yourself.

For example, Kegley recommends the Lexis/Nexis Directory of Corporate Affiliations for researching the relationships between various businesses.

Online, he likes Reference USA ( www.referenceusa.com), a subscriber service that patrons can access at the library or at home using a library card. Reference USA is useful for building lists of companies in an industry or area.

The Main Library has some resources that its branches don't, but all have research materials that can help job seekers.

In short, the experts say there's no such thing as too much preparation for an interview.

If you know the name of an executive you'll be interviewing with, for example, you might want to do a Google search of him or her to try to find common ground -- hometowns, schools and memberships, for example.

And don't forget to do a little research on the interview location.

"Go drive around, see the neighborhood, see where you're going to park," Canowitz said. "You don't want to arrive with just a few minutes to spare and not be able to figure out where to go."

Original Article - http://www.columbusdispatch.com/live/content/business/stories/2009/02/28/RESEARCH.ART_ART_02-28-09_C8_DMD2J1R.html?sid=101

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hired! Going to church to get a job

Confronted with a tough job market, Michael Butler reached out to his community and received multiple job offers.

By Jessica Dickler, CNNMoney.com staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- In today's tough economy, many people are praying for a job offer. When Michel Butler headed to church, he ended up with multiple offers.

One year ago, Butler, 42, was a consultant in the home-building industry in Texas with aspirations of building his own spec homes in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. But six months later, he was an unemployed husband and father of three with no job prospects to speak of.

"The market here really hit the skids in late June, early July, and I knew it was time to consider something outside the industry," Butler said.

First, Butler joined a free career workshop at a local church, which was open to the public. They met every Saturday evening and covered everything from networking to resume writing and interview skills.
"I think that church organization was really a feather in my cap," he said. "It helped me focus on my next steps and also gave me refreshers in interviewing and resume writing," he said.

Then, Butler plugged back into some old networks, including college friends and former employers.
One friend introduced Butler to a local business coach who put him in touch with a few hiring managers and by October he had two interviews in two different industries.

Prudential offered him a job as a financial service agent. They would pay for the training but Butler's income would be largely based on commission. Although that wasn't ideal, he accepted right away.
Then came another offer, this time for a marketing position with a six figure salary. "I couldn't pass it up," Butler said, so he quit Prudential shortly after starting and went to work as relationship manager at Spear One in Dallas.

Aside from the bigger salary and better job security, "the best part about my new position is that it is fun," Butler said, which is the last thing he imagined he'd be having after his last career crumbled.

Getting off the couch
Our panel of career coaches agree that Butler was wise to tap into local organizations that could help him brush up on his job search skills and expose him to other job seekers sharing their experiences.

"Church groups are a good way to use existing community connections to expand your network of people," according to Career and Business Consultant Kathy Robinson. But the danger is that "you could be getting 20-year-old resume advice," she warned. "As long as the members are keeping themselves current on job search techniques it's actually a fabulous resource."

He was also smart to dig into his networks, said Ford Myers author of the upcoming book, "Get the Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring."

"The wrong thing to do is sit at home in your pajamas and apply to jobs online," he said, "it's isolating and depressing."

Read The Rest Of The Article For More Advice