Friday, December 17, 2010

Make a seasonal job stick

By Jessica Dickler

NEW YORK ( -- Holding on to a seasonal job past New Year's Eve is almost as difficult as keeping all your resolutions.

But Donna Marholz is hoping she will be among those who are lucky enough to land a permanent position next year. After losing her job two years ago, she has been looking for work ever since. She applied for a temporary position at Kohl's and was hired just for the holiday season.

"I was hoping for a full-time, permanent position," she said. "I took it because I needed money."

Marholz lost her home after her unemployment benefits ran out and she could no longer afford the rent. Now Marholz, her husband and three children are staying with a friend in Port Richey, Fla.

Like most seasonal employees, Marholz says she has already let her store manager know that she is interested in holding on to her job after the holidays, but she won't know until January if she made the cut. But keeping this job is crucial, she says. "It would help to get us back in our own place, knowing I can provide a roof over my kids heads."

Nineteen-year old Fitzgerald Morris also turned his attention to seasonal opportunities this year. He was hired at the local Target store near his grandparents' home, where he has been living in Dublin, Calif. He averages about 40 hours a week or more stocking shelves, assisting customers and working at the register.

"I was looking for a full-time job for the longest time but haven't had any luck," Morris said. He added that he hopes Target will offer him a full-time position after the New Year. "If this job ends, I am broke."

Part-time to Full-time: Like many other employees who have picked up seasonal jobs to help make ends meet this year, turning a part-time position into a full-time job -- with an annual salary and benefits -- is the ultimate Christmas wish.

At least the odds are better for temporary workers this year. In what is already a strong holiday season for stores, retailers have bolstered up their temporary workforce and many employers may make some of those hires permanent.

In fact, about 49% of seasonal hires are expected to stay on after the holidays, according to a recent survey of hiring managers by -- a job search site that exclusively caters to hourly positions.

"Last year retailers did not have those jobs to offer," said Gautam Godhwani, chief executive of online job-search engine Simply Hired. "This year, retailers are going to hire more full-time folks."

Even though the Labor Department reported a decline in retail jobs last month, Robert Brusca, a chief economist at Fact and Opinion Economics, explained that the data does not include a majority of the seasonal hiring -- which took place at the end of November and into December.

Read The Rest Of The Money / CNN Article

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blend in or stand out? – Job Search Networking Tips

What do you think is a more effective networking strategy? Going to an industry event with others in your same profession? Or going to an event in a totally different industry where you’ll stand out?

One of the best ways to stand out in job search networking is to be the only one in the room like you. Why not crash an event in another industry?

If you’re an accounting professional, you may find some industry contacts from companies or recruiters who are hiring at a CPA society meeting. These folks will likely be crowded by dozens or hundreds of other job seekers at the event – so you can expect a great deal of competition, with little opportunity to stand out.

What if you went to an engineering event instead, in a room full of professionals outside your own profession?

At the engineering event, you probably won’t find many other bean counters. If you break the ice and find some common ground with a few people, an event in a different industry may allow you to create a greater number of contacts valuable to your search.

If you’re a advertising professional looking for another job at a networking event, it can be easier to remain front of mind with others who heard of advertising jobs, if you’re the only advertising person at the event. At an event full of advertising people, it’s tough for even the most talened professional to stand out.

Both types of events have their purpose and value in your networking strategy…but because of the comfort factor and maybe a little fear of the unknown, we tend to stick with our own crowds and go to our own industry events. We tend to not explore events for other industries.

I know it’s counter intuitive, but as a tech professional at a marketing event, it’s much easier to differentiate yourself, because … you’re the only one like you in the room.

How many other-industry events have you crashed?

Original Article

Blog partner Phil Rosenberg is President of reCareered, a career coaching service and website. Phil runs the Career Change Central group, one of Linkedin’s largest groups for job seekers. An active blogger about social media and career change, Phil has articles that have been republished by Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, AOL, FastCompany, CIO, ZDnet, The Examiner, and the leading job/career/recruiting sites. Phil can be contacted at

Monday, December 13, 2010

Top 10 Job Hunting Tips of 2010

Posted by Lindsey Pollak

I absolutely love end of year lists, and swooned when I found’s list of The Top 10 of Everything of 2010.

Although Time’s list of lists is pretty comprehensive, ranging from apologies to new species to Twitter moments, I wanted to add my own top 10 list -- top 10 tips for job seekers. And so here are the 10 tips that readers found most helpful to their job search efforts this year.

1. Ask for honest feedback. Recruit a trusted relative, career services staff member, professor or friend to assess you honestly as a job seeker. Ask the person to list your best qualities and most impressive accomplishments. On the flip side, ask for constructive feedback on your weaknesses. Find out if the things you’re most concerned about — lack of experience, a less-than-desirable GPA, shyness, etc. — are legitimate concerns or if you’re obsessing over nothing. If your fears are unfounded, let them go once and for all!

2. Don’t be turned off by the terms “internship” or “part-time.” This tip came from Lauren Porat, co-founder of In a difficult job market, sometimes you need to be flexible and “settle” for a less-than-perfect opportunity, such as a non-full-time job. According to Lauren, many people have developed incredible careers by serving multiple part-time clients. Also, starting out this way may allow you to get your foot in the door with some very cool, interesting startup companies.

3. Overprepare. Think about your confidence level when you walk into a test for which you’ve studied really thoroughly versus how you feel walking into a test for which you’ve skimmed your notes for ten minutes the night before. Most people don’t realize that a job hunt is something you can study for. Before attending a job fair, spend an hour or two on the websites of companies that will have booths. Before a job interview, spend an hour reading the organization’s website (especially the mission statement, recruiting pages and recent press releases) and study the LinkedIn profiles of the people who will be interviewing you. Read e-newsletters and blogs from your industry to keep up with current events that might be discussed at a networking event. The more preparation you do, the more confident you’ll feel when you interact with recruiters and other professionals you’ll encounter during your job search.

4. Do not ask to “pick someone’s brain.” Okay this one is more about how not to ask me in particular for advice on your job hunt (or anything for that matter!). Some people don’t mind this phrase, but I definitely do. Why? First of all, I think it sounds kind of gross (think about it). Second of all, it is very one-sided: if you are picking my brain, what’s in this conversation for me? It feels as if I’ll be left brainless afterwards. My advice is to always request advice in a way that makes the ask-ee feel respected and like he or she will leave the conversation with something, too.

5. Clean up your online image. According to a Microsoft survey, 85 percent of HR professionals responding said that positive online reputation influences their hiring decisions, and 70 percent said they have rejected candidates based on information they found online. Make no mistake about it: your online image will affect your job search and your career. If you haven’t already, set up strict privacy settings on all social networks (often, including on Facebook, the default setting is for all of your information to be public, so check every setting!), take down any inappropriate pictures or content, set up a 100 percent professional profile on LinkedIn and Google, and think twice before posting any new content on Facebook, Twitter or a blog. In many recruiters’ minds, you are what you post.

Tips 6 - 10 and Complete Article

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Companies hiring this week

We’re in the final stretch of 2010. Have you made your resolutions? Have you hid all of last year’s leftover fruitcakes? Are you counting down the day’s until Dick Clark’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve?”

Although this is a hectic time of year and many of us were disheartened by the job numbers that came out last week, hiring isn’t an urban myth. Companies are hiring and they need you. Even in a time when applicants outnumber open positions by a healthy margin, quality matters more than quantity. Employers consistently cite a problem finding qualified employees, so don’t mistake slow hiring for no hiring. Polish that résumé and personalize that cover letter because companies are hiring and they’re not just looking for a worker, they’re looking for the best one.

Here are 10 companies hiring this week:

1. GE Capital
Industry: Customer service
Sample job titles: Customer service representative, senior project manager – tenant improvement

2. Chase
Industry: Finance
Sample job titles: Personal banker, unified managed accounts specialist

Industry: IT
Sample job titles: PC/LAN analyst, database analyst/programmer

4. Bravo Health
Industry: Health care
Sample job titles: Nurse service coordinator, radiology/EKG technician

5. The Art Institutes
Industry: Education
Sample job titles: Humanities faculty, assistant director of admissions

Companies 6-10

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I’ve Regained My Confidence

Sherry Luft is a participant and founding member of the Job Seekers Club at South Metro Career Center.

Let’s start with what line of work you’re in. How and when did you become unemployed?

I was laid off after nine years as a receptionist/administrative assistant for an environmental company. Our contracts changed due to the economy, and I was officially laid off at the end of February.

So how did this job club get started?

Well, I did some research and found South Metro Career Center. It happens to be the closest career center to my home, and it’s also the largest. They have all these great workshops. So I started taking them once or twice a week. I ended up talking to some of the career advisers. One of them happened to be Shauna, who is the facilitator of this job club. She and Linda, the workshop coordinator, both had asked if I’d like to be an organizer of this job club. I said I’d be happy to. We had a couple of meetings beforehand about what we were going to do, how we were going to recruit members, etc. We started it in May.

What does the group do? When do you meet, and so on?

At this point we meet twice a month, for two hours on the first and third Wednesdays. We discuss different topics that pertain to job searching. One day we talked about the letter of introduction you might use to contact someone you don’t know personally, but with whom you’re looking for an informational interview. We also share personal stories of the job hunt, and we practice our public speaking skills. We talked about body language for interviews once. That was fascinating.

So, when we meet, we have an agenda, which is my responsibility. I welcome the people and make sure everyone is on the same page. And then I lead the group in the different topics. Sometimes we have a guest speaker. Sometimes we have presenters from inside the group. The last one happened to be from a member who gave us a brief tutorial on LinkedIn, and showed us how to navigate it for job searching.

What are you looking to get out of it?

We’re looking for job leads, for one. I’m in administrative, for example, so someone else in the job club who’s not looking for that occupation may have a suggestion for me to try this hospital or this field. We do information sharing. That’s part of it.

All of us need the support of the other group members. It’s almost like we have a collective power among our peers. It gives us optimism. We can believe we’ll find the work we’re looking for. Obviously, we’re all going through the same thing, so we all understand what we’re going through. And it gives us focus. Some of us have become very good friends.

Tell me about some of the people in the group. What’s the age range, and what kinds of professions are they in?

We have young people all the way up to those of us who are more mature. It really depends on the week. We have several people from administrative. We have medical people, financial people, a software programmer. There are all different types. Typically, we have 15 to 20 participants in each meeting. But, like I said, it varies. If someone gets a job we call them graduates.

We’re aiming for a mix of ages and industries and experience. We want it to reflect the real world. Most of us are unemployed or underemployed.

Tell me something important you’ve gotten out of this group.

As an organizer, I’ve regained my confidence in talking to people. My speaking and writing abilities and my creativity are kept sharp from the work I do with the job club.

It’s also helpful to see the different perspectives that the outside guest speakers bring.

Can you give me an example of a job-related success you’ve experienced?

Well, the networking has helped me for sure. One of the men in finance introduced me to another person with a possible job opportunity. So this means that instead of sending my résumé to the email universe, I actually get to send it to a person with a name. It’s in process right now. We’ll see what happens.

What would you say to someone looking for work?

I’d say to take the workshops at South Metro and the other career centers. I’d also say to come to our job club. But I want to emphasize that networking in general is really important, even if you’re not in a job club. You have to use every opportunity you can to land work. I think having business cards is also important. That was my first homework with the club. I always take my business cards when I go to all meetings, to the grocery store, wherever I go. They make networking nice and simple. You never know who you’re going to meet.

Original SanDiego Reader Article

Monday, December 6, 2010

To make a strong impression, avoid e-mail; network in person instead

Debra J. Johnson lost two jobs in as many years — and she’s still unemployed.

The first job loss was in 2007, when the distributor where she had worked as an event manager for 15 years laid off 50 employees. Two years later, the nonprofit that she was working for eliminated her position as a senior events manager when federal funding dried up.

“At the time, I felt like my left arm was cut off,’’ said Johnson, 48. “And now it was happening again. I felt like I must have done something really bad in a former life.’’

At first, Johnson took her new joblessness in stride, getting additional training and being optimistic about her search for work as a project or events manager. But now, after spending the better part of the past year and half unemployed — she had one temporary, part-time job during that period — the Halifax resident is beginning to get discouraged. So, she applied for a Boston Globe Career Makeover.

When she met with Mark Newall, senior vice president at Keystone Associates, a Boston area career management consulting firm, Johnson said she had been applying for at least 10 jobs a week, networking with “anyone who will speak to me,’’ and using LinkedIn and Facebook to reach out to former employees and co-workers. But she had only landed six interviews.

“Nothing seems to be working in getting my resume and experience in front of hiring managers,’’ she said.

“Networking is a learned technique,’’ said Ne wall, who recommended phone calls and in-person meetings — not e-mails — as the communication tools to uncover the hidden job market. “Reluctant networkers need to step out of their comfort zone and have the important conversations that differentiate you from the competition. You’re selling yourself: the most important thing you’ve ever sold.’’


Goal: Find a job in events or project management that uses her experience in events and corporate strategy and planning.

Problem: “Events management’’ title is pigeonholing her in a narrow field, but her leadership skills are applicable to any project management position.

Recommendations from career adviser Mark Newall
■ Networking is a learned skill and, in addition to e-mail correspondence, requires in-person meetings or phone calls to help sell skills.
■ Forget the artificial sales pitch — successful networkers establish trust and confidence by developing personal relationships that win people over and make them want to assist in a job search.
■ Don’t be afraid to bring up compensation, since information is power while job-hunting and employers might be making assumptions about salary.
■ Keep LinkedIn profile current by including photo and crucial keywords that can help recruiters find your profile.


Read The Rest Of The Article

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Top Reasons to Take a Temporary Job

Many companies utilize temporary staffing agencies to bring in extra help when they need it—and when they need it quickly. However, many job seekers tend to avoid finding a job through a temp agency, when in fact, temporary jobs can be a great way to land your next full-time job, pick up new skills or try out a different career.

Here are the top 5 reasons to take a temporary job:

1. Taking a temporary job can be a source of income while you’re searching for your next gig.
2. A temporary job could turn into a full-time job, if you’re a good fit for the position and if the company needs a person full-time. In fact, some companies do most or all of their hiring through staffing agencies, so it could be the only way to get into those companies.
3. By taking a temporary job, you can avoid gaps on your resume. Seeing large gaps on resumes can be questionable to some employers, but by holding temporary jobs between permanent jobs, you'll send the message that you continue to work hard – even without a full-time job.
4. Temporary jobs also can be a way to test out a new field if you’ve been thinking of a career change. You’ll have the ability to use that temporary time to discover whether that career path is right for you, or if it’s not a good match.
5. You’ll network and meet a lot of new people in a temporary position that may be able to discover a full-time job opportunity, or give you an awesome recommendation.

So don’t dismiss temporary jobs while performing your job search—they may be the way to your next full-time position!

Have you taken on a temporary job that’s turned full-time? What tips do you have for those in temporary positions to show a potential employer that they’re worth keeping? Comment below!

Original Simply Hired Posting

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Create Your Own Career Fair

I really liked this idea and I think it could be done even if you aren't in school.

By Heather R. Huhman

If something is not available to me, I’ve always been one to go out and create it myself. When I was in college, I hosted my university’s first (and possibly to this day only) public-relations career fair. It was an incredible success, with more than 200 students and 30 employers in attendance.

How can you duplicate this effort?

Contact the president of your professional association’s student chapter on campus. It is probably best for a student organization, such as the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) or Association of Student Accountants (ASA), to plan and run the fair. While the event can be done fairly cheaply, there will still be associated costs. Plus, numerous volunteers will be needed.

Set goals and expectations. How many students do you want to attend? How many employers? Should you charge attendees, and if so, how much? I don’t recommend charging students or employers, unless you really need to generate cash to make up for the cost of the event. You don’t want to exclude potential participants.

Recruit volunteers. Form a committee to plan the event. Depending on the size of your event, you will need approximately five volunteers during the career fair: two people to “register” students as they walk in (so you can keep track of how many people attended), two people to set up and take down the room and one person to walk around during the event in case anyone has questions or other needs.

Pick a date and time. I recommend beginning at 10:30 a.m. and ending at 2:30 p.m. These four hours of the day are most likely to attract foot traffic. With regard to the time of year, career fairs are almost always held in October and/or March. If you want to catch recruiters on their regularly-scheduled travel throughout the country, you should hold yours at the same time. However, if you don’t want to compete against other events, you might want to think about holding an “out of season” career fair in November or April. October and November fairs should be planned in April or May, and March and April fairs in August or September.

Book a room in a central location on campus. Another good reason to plan a career fair through a student organization is that these groups have the capability to book rooms on campus for free. Pick a location that is easy to find and access and has the capacity to support up to 40 employer tables.

Arrange free campus parking for employers. I was able to purchase parking passes through my university close to my event for $5 each, which helped entice employers to travel from up to two hours away.

Feed your employers. It doesn’t have to be a large lunch, but make something available for the employers in attendance to eat and drink. I ended up making plenty of water runs because I didn’t factor this into the equation!

Raise funds. With an event of 40 employers, for example, expect to pay approximately $20 to $25 per employer (to cover costs such as food, drinks and parking). At the maximum, that’s $1,000. Again, partnering with other organizations on campus can offset these costs if they have a budget allowing for this type of event; however, they likely will need you to raise some money. Consider calling local restaurants to set up a date for a fund-raiser. They typically offer organizations 10% to 20% of the proceeds from the agreed-upon day to help raise funds. If they allow it, organize a raffle or silent auction and sell tickets, too.

Invite employers from the surrounding area. Create a database of all the potential employers in your industry within a two-hour drive using tools like LinkedIn, Gist and Twitter. Call the organizations to inquire about the most appropriate individual to receive your invitation. Then, send your invitations via e-mail and snail mail, offering a simple way to RSVP. Be sure to indicate that employers not currently hiring interns or entry-level professionals are welcome to attend to conduct informational interviews. (Do this two to three months before the event, with the RSVP deadline one month before the event.)

More Tips And Full WSJ Story

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Use holiday parties to find a job

Baltimore Business Journal - by Gary Haber

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• And keep your expectations reasonable, Kuzmeski said. You won’t walk out of the party with a job offer in hand. But if you’ve made some new contacts you can follow up with after the holidays, you’ve done well. or (410) 454-0519.

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

Original Article

Monday, November 29, 2010

6 crazy job search tactics

( -- Taking a non-traditional approach to a job search can be a good thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tips 4 - 6

Thursday, November 18, 2010

6 Ways to Boost Your Job Search on LinkedIn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tips 4 - 6 & Original Article

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tips for getting - and keeping - a holiday job

by Ylan Q. Mui
Washington Post Staff Writer

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

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

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

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

Tell them what you want: Lisa Bordinat, senior vice president at consulting firm Aon Hewitt, said you shouldn't be shy about letting your bosses know you want to be considered for permanent work. Ask them what skills you'll need to keep the job and how you can develop them.

Be patient: Don't despair if your temporary position doesn't become permanent. Lavery of UPS said often the problem is simply that there are no open positions, not that the employee didn't do a good job. As slots become available, Lavery said managers will often turn to stellar holiday workers first. And don't forget: There's always next holiday season.

Original Washington Post Article

Monday, November 15, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Original Article

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Top 5 Interview Tips No One Mentions

Tips From Recruiters, Hiring Managers and Coaches


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

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

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

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

1) Talk in Bullet Points

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

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

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

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

2) Pay Attention to Body Language

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

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

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

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

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

3) Assemble a Survival Kit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tips 4 and 5 Plus full article

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

10 Ways To Find A Job In 60 Days Or Less

Today the blog features a guest post by Ryon Harms who writes The Social Executive.

find a job, finding a job, 60 days, career strategy, job searchThey say luck happens when preparation meets opportunity. Without the years of networking, personal branding and a voracious consumption of career related blogs like this one, the learning curve of a recently out of work executive would have added three to six months to my unemployment. And while many of you may be out of work for the first time in a long time, there are still some essential lessons I’ve successfully implemented that I believe can get you back to gainful employment within the next 60 days.

Here are the 10 ways to find a job in 60 days or less:

1. Be Together. The first thing I did was organize a team of executives going through the same challenges. I read Keith Ferrazzi’s book, Who’s Got Your Back, and used those principals to recruit five peers from various industries to help vet my transition strategy and keep me on track despite my excuses. Being unemployed can be lonely. Finding the right support group makes a measurable difference, both tactically and emotionally.

2. Be Networking. I didn’t write a single cover letter unless I could get at least one introduction into the hiring company. I refused to waste time sending my carefully written resume and cover letter into the black hole of HR. It’s not HR’s fault, they’re just inundated. Focus your efforts on companies where you’ve got a human connection and you’ll get a human response.

3. Be LinkedIn. LinkedIn isn’t just a place to collect contacts. While most job seekers are on LinkedIn, a tiny minority is actually maximizing it. If you want to master LinkedIn, read blogs like Windmill Networking by my friend Neal Schaffer. The first thing I did was create a list of 100 people from my LinkedIn contacts that I knew had my back. I scheduled a meeting with everybody on that list first, and then I moved on to the rest.

4. Be Relentless. However much work you think it’ll take to find a job, double it. Then double the amount of time. The only way not to underestimate just how much effort it takes is to work harder than you did working full time. That means sacrifices, like not spending a bunch of extra time with your family just because you’re out of work. There were times when my wife got frustrated because I didn’t have a job and still couldn’t help out around the house. I told her that I actually had less time and more pressure than before, and she understood.

5. Be Specific. I can’t tell you how many people I met networking that couldn’t give me a clear answer on what they sought. Sometimes months or years after leaving their last jobs. If you are not crystal clear about what you want, and I mean laser targeted, people won’t know how to help you, even when they really want to. I knew what I wanted and only communicated my experiences that supported that goal. Start with your dream job description and be like a dog with a bone.

6. Be Positive. Even in my lowest moments, I let very few people feel my pain. When I met with a connection or potential employer, my attitude was that I didn’t need a job, but that I would take one if I found one I couldn’t live without. And mostly that was true. There’s no bigger turn off than the smell of desperation. There’s a visceral response to people that are either very optimistic or depressed. The former elicits the response you need to get hired.

7. Be Open. For job search, I highly recommend the shotgun approach. That means reaching out to everybody you’ve ever met, no matter what their industry or background. And since you’re working overtime, you’ll have time to meet them all. It helps to aim generally towards the executive level and at those currently working, but the truth is you never know where the final introduction will originate.

8. Be Blogging. If you don’t have an online presence, you don’t exist. Plain and simple. Your resume can only take you so far. Even well written resumes aren’t much better than a self-written obituary. A blog allows employers to dig deeper for a broader understanding of what you can offer. They also allow you to talk about the present and future of your industry, rather than the past. If you want to live in the past, stick with your resume. If you want to show a company where you’ll take them in the future, write a blog.

9. Be Nostalgic. You don’t always have to be expanding your network with new relationships. There’s a time to meet with new people, but I found my current position by reigniting relationships from transitions past. That meant reaching out to all of my connections on LinkedIn that I made more than two years ago. I spent the vast majority of my time meeting old connections for coffee and whatever was left meeting with new people.

10. Be Giving. Last, but certainly not least, you should be spending 80 percent of your time giving to others, and just 20 percent asking for something in return. Most people flip that equation because they can’t handle taking on the risk of helping others without a guaranteed return. However, the truth is that not helping others is the much bigger risk. Risk isn’t really a good description at that point, because you are almost guaranteed not achieve your goals without first paying it forward.

The story of how I landed my job was unique. I was able to ask and get two warm introductions into my employer. Despite being told by HR that I would be getting a second interview with the hiring manager, one never materialized. Luckily I had met with another executive in the company through an introduction, in a totally unrelated department, and he was able to figure out why my interview process had stalled. Turned out that they had me down as already having been hired somewhere else and so my resume was taken out of circulation. That’s just another example of why you can never rest and why you must take advantage of every possible angle.

Ryon Harms (@thesocialexec) writes about networking, careers and social media for executives at

Original Article

Monday, October 25, 2010

Stop Applying For Jobs And Get Tactical And Creative

I recently stumbled across a post in one of the LinkedIn forums I frequent where a young lady was asking for help. She said: I have a BS in Accounting and an MBA in Finance, and I’ve applied for over 1,500 jobs and nobody will hire me.

Would you like to know what I told her? Stop applying for jobs. Period.

You might be saying that’s harsh, but it really isn’t. Everyone else is doing the same thing she’s doing (and probably you too if you’re on the market), and very few people are getting their desired results. There were tons of other constructive feedback but I felt none of them really dug into the heart of the matter. In today’s job market you have to be tactical and creative. If you’re not finding ways to stand out from the crowd, you’ll be just another resume.
Mentioning that she has her degrees tells me absolutely nothing about what she has accomplished other than she was determined and smart enough to make it through school. People tend to throw around degrees and acronyms like they really hold a lot of weight in the recruiting world. Newsflash, they really don’t (unless of course you’re a doctor).

You have to be sure to let people know what you’ve done, what your expertise is, what makes you that expert, and how you’ve impacted your previous employers. On paper, anyone can look the part. But if I interview you and I can’t determine what you’ve actually contributed or done for your past employers, I consider it a wasted conversation. I’m not being facetious, I’m coming from the perspective of a Recruiter.

So like I said to the young lady with the dilemma, you have to stop applying for jobs. It fascinates me that people don’t stop to think that there are hundreds of other people just like them applying for the same jobs. What makes you so special? That is the million dollar question and trust me, if you want to stand out, you better be prepared to answer it. In the mean time, there are things you can do to make sure you increase your odds of finding a job or creating an opportunity. It’s not enough to apply, you have to work at finding a job.

Tired of not getting interviews? Well take your skills and strike out as a consultant or start your own business. I wouldn’t try to do something that takes you out of your skill set. Consulting work or starting a business that falls back on your skills is a great way to make some money and position yourself as an expert.

But remember, there are a host of other things that come along with running a business such as invoicing, billing, bookkeeping, marketing, sales, etc. If you are going to be a one woman shop, be prepared to take on the many hats that come along with striking out on your own. Be realistic about whether or not you can handle those things. Otherwise, try marketing yourself as a consultant to recruitment firms who specialize in placing consultants.

Remain true to you. When a recruiter scans your resume or profile and they see you moved out of your skill set, a red flag goes up. You may have had honorable intentions or may be filling the time to bring in a check until that ideal job comes. But remember, you are one of hundreds applying. Your resume has 30 seconds to wow a recruiter. Don’t sabotage your chances.

Now I don’t say this to discourage you. I know in these tough economic times, everyone needs to bring in a paycheck. But be careful about what you choose. You want to stay as organic to your strengths as possible. Unless you are looking to change course completely, try to remain in the industry or at least a similar type of position so it won’t look like you’re just passing the time until you find the right job. It spooks hiring managers to see that you will settle for a check instead of holding out for what you are meant to do.

Boost your networking. Don’t just be connected to people, communicate with them. Get involved in networking activities and make yourself known. Make sure you are building a database of ‘must know‘ people and not just connecting with anyone for the sake of connecting.

If you’re hanging out with customer service reps and you should be hanging around finance professionals, it’s time to make a change. True anyone can be a great networking source, but you have to be laser focused when you’re looking for a job. You have heard me say time and time again to get out and build networks and relationships. You can’t just turn to people when you need work. Cultivate those relationships so that when you are in need, people are more receptive and empathetic to you.
Get out and get known online and offline. Do something to showcase your expertise (podcasts, blogs, guest articles, etc). Recruiters are looking at those things more than you know, especially for certain positions. Social media is very powerful and it levels the brand positioning playing field. Building your professional brand is key. Show them what you’ve got and don’t be shy about it. You want recruiters coming to you, not to chase after jobs and recruiters.
Create a job opportunity. Research companies you want to work with and identify sore points that they are dealing with where you know you could be the solution. Speak to the hiring manager, department manager, etc (not HR) and ask to meet with them to network. During the conversation mention their problem and ask for clarification on what ails them. Then offer some (generic) solutions by giving them the what and the why (but not the how…that’s how you come into play) of what they most likely need.
If they seem interested in hearing more, ask for an interview. Then be prepared to blow them away with your knowledge and record of accomplishment.

I have a feeling many of you are going to job boards and applying for everything you are interested in. I’ll let you in on a recruiter secret that’s probably going to get me kicked out of the inner circle. Those are sometimes ads to pipeline candidates. Some (not all, but some) companies have no intention of filling the jobs, only building a database. So if you choose to apply, find out who you need to get in front of that matters and go through them first to let them know you’re interested. Then apply online per protocol.
You must approach online job ads as if there is a potential that it is solely for pipelining. Make sure you back that application up with some roll up your sleeves, investigative work to connect with the true hiring manager. Express your interest in the position, let them know you’ve applied per protocol and make sure it gets to the right people. You just never know in this day of technology and applicant tracking so it’s up to YOU to do the due diligence if you really want the job.

Get More Advice and Read the Complete Original Forbes Article

Friday, October 22, 2010

How to Get Better Online Job Search Results

(Hint: Stop searching by job title) It can be tough to figure out the nuances of the online job search. With the option to search by keyword, location, industry, company or all of the above at once, it’s hard to know which query will return the best search results for you.

In the absence of knowing the best method for getting targeted results, many people default to what they DO know about their job search: the title of the position they’re looking for. While searching for “marketing assistant” or “pediatric nurse” may seem like a good way to get direct hits on the jobs you want, searching by job title actually eliminates a lot of positions that may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Why? Because job titles often aren’t standardized across different companies and industries. One company’s software engineer is another’s database programmer. The job descriptions might be exactly the same, but the positions may have different titles.

In order to get the largest number of relevant search results, try one of these methods instead.

1. Search by keyword

Instead of simply searching by a job title, develop a list of keywords that represent both the type of job you’re looking for and the work you’re qualified to do. The list should be comprised of functions you’ve performed at previous jobs, duties you’d like to perform at your next job, as well as relevant skills and experience.

For example, if you’re looking for software engineering position, your keyword search terms may include:

* Software design
* Software languages
* Algorithms
* Linux
* .Net programming
* Network security
* Computer science
* Master’s degree

Instead of searching the term “software engineer,” use the terms above terms to find job results that match what you’re looking for.

2. Combine keywords with Boolean search terms

While searching by keyword will bring up a broad range of search results, combining keywords to create a “Boolean search” will allow you to narrow down your results.

Though the term may sound complicated, Boolean search is actually a simple way to combine search terms in order to form strings of keywords. They’re surprisingly easy to conduct once you understand the basics.

The basics:

* Put quotes around terms you want to keep together. For example “software languages.” This will ensure that your results are returned with listings that contain this specific phrase, not just the words software and languages somewhere in the listing.
* Combine words using plus (+) and minus (-) signs.
o For example, if you’re searching for a job where you can put your Master’s degree to good use while working on software languages, your search may be: “Master’s degree” + “software languages.”
o However, if you prefer not to use the JAVA language, your search may look like: “Master’s degree” + “software languages” – JAVA.
* To make your search even easier, Boolean searches also enable you to search root words. Meaning you won’t have to conduct separate searches for “programmer” “programmers” and “programming.” Instead, type in the root of the word, with an asterisk, to search all forms of the root word. For example, you might search “software language” + program*.

3. Try an advanced search

If you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for, or you’re interested in a job function, but not a specific industry (i.e. an administrative position in any sector), start with a broad search — you can always narrow it down as you figure out what you want and don’t want.

On CareerBuilder, for example, you can type in a general keyword, like “administrative” and then narrow it down through a variety of search categories. If you realize you’d prefer to work as an administrative assistant in a medical office or at a school, for example, you can specify this in the advanced search.

Similarly, if you are only interested in jobs that pay over $50,000, you can enter in your salary requirements as well.

The more fields you enter values for, the fewer, but more targeted, your search results will be.

Kaitlin Madden is a writer and blogger for and its job blog, The Work Buzz. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. Follow @CBForJobSeekers on Twitter.

Original CB Article

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

20 Ways to Stay Motivated During Your Job Search

By Karen Burns

The longer you look for a job, the tougher it becomes. Who could blame you for feeling despondent, discouraged, depressed—even bitter? Some days you may not even feel like getting out of bed.
Unfortunately, not only is depression, well, depressing, it also makes it harder to get out there and look. And the less you get out and look, the less likely a job offer will come your way. Even worse, prospective employers tend to be turned off by negativity. It’s the most dastardly kind of Catch-22.
What all this means is that a major part of anyone’s job hunt is staying motivated. We all have our ways of keeping on keeping on, but here are some time-tested suggestions to prevent your search from getting you down:
1. Join a job-search group. It’s a reason to get out of the house and a venue to vent. You may even get some great feedback on your presentation, resume, cover letter, etc.
2. Socialize with employed friends. It’s a reminder that jobs do exist. Besides, these are the folks most likely to know about available positions and upcoming openings.
3. Limit your exposure to the news. Yes, you do need to know what’s going on in the world, but you don’t need to wallow in the latest dismal job-market reports.
4. Invigorate yourself through hobbies or sports. These can be activities you already love or, better yet, something new and exciting.
[See 21 Secrets to Getting the Job.]
5. Avoid “glass-is-half-empty” folks. Everyone knows people like this. Minimize your exposure to them as much as you can.
6. Hang out with people who make you feel good about yourself. Find and stick with friends and family who respect you, who like you for who you are, and who are positive and upbeat.
7. Expand your network every single day. The growth of your professional network is a better way to measure progress than how many interviews you have each week.
8. Expose yourself to media that inspire you. Choose books, blogs, magazines, movies, and TV that uplift you and make you feel the world is a wonderful place.
9. Read biographies of successful people. It can help enormously to realize that every successful person encountered failures and setbacks along the way. Every single one.
10. Try new (to you) job-search techniques. Go for an informational interview or switch your resume from chronological to functional. A different approach may breathe new life into your hunt.

Tips 11 - 20

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Résumé writing 101: Keywords can make you stand out

Employers need quick ways to sort through the thousands of résumés they receive. One favorite method is the keyword search. If you use the keywords companies are looking for, your résumé has a better chance of standing out, job-search advisers say. Here are five résumé-writing tips to take advantage of keywords:
- Sara Afzal, Contributor
Vic Ziverts shows off his 'Hire Me' chocolate bar, which includes his résumé on the wrapper, at a 2009 job fair in Columbus, Ohio. You don't need to go that far to get noticed. Incorporate keywords into your résumé writing, job-search advisers say. (Kiichiro Sato/AP/File)

5. Focus on job titles

Companies are looking to fill specific positions, so they search for job titles that match the vacancy. Popular keyword terms these days are “manager,” “management,” “supervisor,” and “product manager,” according to a study released this week by, which surveyed the search patterns of 1,500 employers.
The trick in résumé writing is to highlight the job titles of your previous positions that most closely resemble the job you’re applying for – and to list relevant jobs higher up in your résumé, since there is a hierarchy of search results.
“Get into the mind-set of the recruiter and really find out what they are looking for,” says CEO Ted Hekman.

4. Hone your job descriptions

Here’s a keyword-hitting formula: Use synonyms. Look carefully at the words used in an employer’s job description, then come up with related words that describe your duties and skills in a previous position, suggests employment website This will heighten search-engine hits.
Putting the same words in a job posting on your résumé doesn’t hurt either, says Mary Ellen Liseno, assistant director for career planning at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. “Using identical words that are in the job description tied in with your own experience is one of the best ways” to attract an employer’s attention.

3. Highlight performance

Employers glancing over résumés are looking for language that emphasizes performance, says Mr. Hekman. “Recruiters want to know what kind of results an individual can generate that impact the bottom-line.” The survey found that just over half of employers chose résumés based on the “results stated in the candidate’s experience,” which Hekman says refers to measurable results.
“Accomplishments are incredibly important on résumés,” says Katharine Hansen of, an employment resource site. “Too many job-seekers mistakenly focus on duties and responsibilities. A résumé should be 100 percent accomplishments-driven.”

2. Showcase your skills

The more relevant skills you have, the less training a company has to do. So highlight your skills on a résumé. recommends a résumé section labeled “strengths” or “expertise” listing brief phrases that would be easily searchable. For a computer programmer, examples would be “software engineering” and “application development.”
An increasing number of job-seekers are creating functional résumés that list valuable skills at the top, says Allison Nawoj, career adviser at, a large online job site. Especially in today’s sluggish economy, “companies want to know what you can bring to the table.”

1. Use action verbs

Coloring résumés with action verbs can make a résumé stand out. Use verbs that draw positive attention to your performance – words like “administered,” “examined,” “innovated,” and “strengthened,” recommends the career center of the University of California at Los Angeles. (For suggested verbs from its career guide, see pages 6-7 of this pdf.
“Career counselors have always talked about keywords and power verbs as an important part of résumé building,” says Kathy Sims, director of the UCLA career center.
Don’t use keywords artificially, but as an honest representation of your abilities, she advises

Original CSM article

Monday, October 18, 2010

HOW TO: Use Twitter Hashtags to Boost Your Job Search

via Mashable! by Sharlyn Lauby on 10/16/10

About 300 to 500 jobs are posted on Twitter per minute, according to Carmen Hudson, CEO and co-founder of Tweetajob. With that many shared opportunities, the task of filtering information becomes daunting — that’s why we have hashtags. They can help you focus on the tweets you want to see along with the ones you didn’t even know existed.Hudson, whose company sends job tweets that match a job seeker’s location and career interests, says the numbers are true but come with a caveat. “Many of these jobs are duplicates, or from aggregators. It’s likely the number of real opportunities could be much lower. There is quite a bit of ‘job pollution’ on Twitter, because the job boards and many employers don’t target their job tweets.”
Nonetheless, the jobs are still there. The key is finding them. As a way to filter through the noise, Hudson recommends job seekers use hashtags to take full advantage of Twitter’s search functionality.
Here are six hashtag categories that might be useful in a job search, along with some examples of what you could look for. For those who are new to Twitter or just need a refresher, check out this overview of hashtags.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Long-Term Unemployment and Your Job Search: 10 Ways to Compete

While job seekers face increasing challenges as the length of their unemployment grows, landing a new job is not impossible. An executive coach and a staffing expert offer 10 tips for staying competitive in a long-term job search.

CIO — Nearly 42 percent of the 14.8 million Americans who are out of work fall into the category of "long-term unemployed," according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, meaning they have been jobless for 27 weeks or more.

The longer you've been unemployed and engaged in a job search, the harder it gets to land a new job, according to career and staffing experts. Job seekers who've been out of work for, say, a year or more, face multiple challenges. Not only are they competing with employed professionals, they're also battling with job seekers who've been out of work for less time.

For example, when two candidates have the same skills and experience, the candidate who's been out of work for three months is more appealing to an employer than the candidate who's been out of work for a year, says Stu Coleman, a general manager with staffing firm Winter, Wyman & Co. That's because employers, many of which have had to run lean over the past two years, lack the training resources to bring new employees up to speed. They want "plug and play" candidates whose skills aren't rusty and who can quickly acclimate to a new environment, he adds.

For executives, a year is not an usually long time to be out of work. In fact, the average length of unemployment for executives is nine months to a year, even in a good economy, according to Howard Seidel, a partner with Essex Partners, which provides career coaching services to executives.

Finding a new job can easily take an executive 12 months for a variety of reasons. For one, executives often have non-compete clauses in their severance agreements that prevent them from going to work for a competitor for a year, says Seidel. As well, there are fewer executive jobs than line jobs, and employers take their time vetting candidates for executive positions because they are so costly to fill (there are often legal fees and recruiting fees associated with hiring an exec).

Despite the mounting pressures job seekers at all career levels face as their unemployment wears on, hope for finding a new job is not lost. "A year itself is not a mark that should designate panic," says Seidel. "Being out [of work] for a year in this economy doesn't mean you're never going to get a job again."

Indeed,'s job search blogger Mark Cummuta landed his dream job after nearly three years of unemployment. Arun Manasingh found a new CIO job after a 17-month job search, and Henry Hirschel's unemployment ended at 11 months when he started a new IT management job.
The trick to overcoming the challenges associated with finding a job when you've been out of work for a long time is to stay focused, upbeat and engaged. Seidel and Coleman offer 10 specific ways unemployed job seekers can stay competitive in a long-term job search.

1. Benchmark Yourself

Seidel advises unemployed professionals to evaluate their job searches at regular intervals, such as the six-month, nine-month and 12-month marks. He suggests they ask themselves the following questions, intended to help them diagnose specific problems with their job search (if they exist) or specific barriers that are preventing them from getting interviews or job offers:
1. What's going well in my job search?
2. What needs changing?
3. Am I getting responses to my résumé?
4. Am I getting first interviews but not second interviews?
5. Am I making it to the final rounds of interviews but not getting job offers?

Tips 2 - 10

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

4 Questions YOU Need To Ask in an Interview

We all know that it's tough to break into Wall Street these days. It's hard enough to even land an interview. So when you get to the interview stage, you want to do everything you can to come away from it with an offer. To that end, prospective monkeys study their little monkey asses off (hopefully using WSO's excellent library of guides) to prepare for all the tricky questions interviewers might throw at them.

What you might be missing the boat on are the questions you should be asking the interviewer. Let's face it: the majority of us have been in interviews where we knew we weren't going to get the job because something didn't feel quite right or the interviewer made it clear through body language or something they said. The last thing any of us wants to hear an interviewer say at the end of the interview is, "Good luck with your job search." But you might be surprised to learn that a simple question from you has the potential to turn the interview around and get it back on track.

You really have nothing to lose by putting the interviewer on the spot if you think the interview is going sideways. It's always better to have the interviewer admit that you're not getting the job on the spot than to have him say, "We'll be in touch." Plus, a lot of banking interviewers are nerds, and it's fun to make them uncomfortable and watch them squirm when you know you're not going to get the job anyway.
The first question is the best in my opinion:

"Based upon this interview, what doubts, if any, do you have about my ability to do this job?"
That is going to require a fairly specific answer. If you're a moron and you've blown a bunch of easy questions, here is where you can expect to be told as much. Asking this question benefits you in a couple of ways. First, it gives you the opportunity to address perceived weaknesses right then and there. If you can prove that you know your shit and that you just might not have communicated that as well as you could have, you might be able to turn a no into a yes, or at least a maybe. Even if that doesn't work, though, you've still learned about a weakness you need to address in future interviews.

The other question I really love is:  Questions 2 - 4 and Original Article

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why I’m using Twitter to find a job

One thing I’ve consistently believed during my search for a new job is that it’s important to stand out from the crowd writes job-seeking blogger James Alexander.

For instance, it was recently reported on this blog about someone who actually made a nice little exhibition stand and used themselves as an exhibit to attract an employer into taking him on.
I think it’s also important to vary the ways in which one looks for a job now.

Whilst the job centre remains the biggest advertiser of new positions, there is a trend now for jobs to not only to be advertised online, but also via social media services such as Twitter.

Many people view Twitter as a banal exercise where people spend their lives telling the world what they had for breakfast and what they are watching on television, but companies are increasingly using it to advertise new roles.

For instance, one recruitment company I recently visited, Hart Recruitment have a twitter feed on which they advertise new roles that come in as they come in.

It would be nice if we lived in a pure meritocracy, but the fact is that we don’t.

I’ve noticed over time that there is truth to the maxim ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know.’
Social media has allowed me to network with people I might not necessarily have met in normal everyday life and I’m hoping via this network of contacts I might get recommended for a position that I may not have found out about otherwise.

Linkedin also looks to be a very useful site to advertise your skills to employers and other interested people and I’m hoping that by listing my details on there I may be contacted with regards to a new role.
Social media can of course be dangerous to a potential career and it makes sense to note that when using it in a professional capacity one has to be professional in their usage of it.

I’ve seen disaster stories online where people have lost jobs by slagging off their employer on Facebook only for said employer to read what they have said and I also know someone personally who has had to apologise on their Twitter feed for criticising the company they worked for.
Social media is a projection of yourself onto the virtual world and it’s important to potential candidates that they are seen in the best light possible.

I’m still in the early days of using social networking sites properly in order to enhance my job search, but the early signs are good – I have received more phone calls from recruiters in the past week than I have had in the month previously.

Already one or two have turned into fairly hot leads for a new role and I’m hoping my days of blogging about being unemployed may yet be numbered.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

The Power of Personality and Getting a Job

My economics seminar started on a surprising note this week when my professor said that “the most important things that college teaches you are outside your classes.”
This statement was followed by a brief discussion on the uncalculated value of a college education that comprises of our work in the classroom and personal growth outside of it. He reminded us of the importance of having personality, communication skills and most importantly, the ability to sell yourself.
Soon the conversation drifted back into economic theories, but I did take something out of this class that wasn’t scribbled in my notebook.

As I sat there smiling to myself, I recalled a pre-interview talk last year that focused on what employers look for in candidates. The lesson was that I wouldn’t be hired unless the employer was confident that he or she could stand to spend time with me if we were stranded in an airport together. And certainly we don’t have a Personality 101 class that could teach us that at Bates.
So, the reason my professor’s words struck a chord with me is that for the past few days, I’ve been struggling with identifying the strengths of my resume through endless considerations of the courses I have taken and the papers I have written. As I continue to scan job postings, I have been boxing myself in a mold—trying to fit into job details and restricting myself by my major. Now, I am trying to get out of that mold and look for opportunities that would require the academic training that I have and benefit from my personality as a whole.

The key to a comprehensive job search is to know that the skills we learn extend far beyond the credit hours we receive as college students and may qualify us for a wide range of opportunities. And by the time I graduate, these will be the strengths that separate me from the rest, right?
Of course we need to stay away from making generalizations about the entire job market. Certain academic qualifications will always take precedence, no matter how entertaining our personalities may be. But for now, I am feeling positive and a little more confident about how I should approach this job search and tackle upcoming interviews.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Junk Career Advice: 8 Red Flags That You're Reading Nonsense

By Jessica Stillman

Nearly everyone has seen a less than riveting news story and wondered exactly how slow a news day it was. When it comes to traditional media, we all know that if there isn’t anything earth-shattering to report, enterprising reporters will drum up stories about fall foliage, area honor students and the like. The internet is the same way, only with an even more insatiable appetite for content, and on some sites, even lower demands for quality.
The results are not always good for job seekers in search of sensible career advice. So how can you distinguish posts that genuinely aim to help from those that are just there to to fill space, spark controversy or generate clicks at any cost? Blog Work Coach Cafe offers eight red flags that the career advice you’re reading is nonsense:
  • Beware of ‘always’ and ‘never’ or any such absolutes that don’t take into account exceptions. If someone says always or never or gives you exact words to use, take that as a clue to put your own critical thinking into full gear.
  • Articles that say cover letters are dead. Sometimes online articles are more about disagreements between career “experts” (and of course generating site traffic) than anything you necessarily need to put into action.
  • Articles that say resumes are dead. Yup. They’re out there too –- under the guise of newfangled, state-of-the-art thinking. Don’t be fooled. This is pure hype aimed at getting you to read the article. Sure there are other ways –- most notably networking –- that can get you into an interview without a resume, but down the line there will most likely be someone -– even a protective HR department –- who will want to see a resume.
  • Articles that make creating a highly marketable brand THE answer to all your job search problems. It’s certainly good to know who you are and make sure your resume and cover letter market you well…and branding can help you do that. But let’s not get carried away.
  • Handy-dandy templates for cover letters or resumes or thank you letters. Guaranteed can’t-fail templates are great for increasing traffic to a website, but NOT a great way for you to stand out from the masses.
  • Sites that say you absolutely need a job objective – while other sites tell you job objectives are absolutely passé. Remember what I said about words like absolutely?
  • Telling you to hyper-load your resume with lots of key words and key phrases to maximize SEO possibilities rather than making sure your keywords are targeted to your specific needs and make sense for you. Hard to make your resume tell a story when it keeps popping out obviously placed keywords.
  • Giving you precise instructions for how you should interview and what you should say. There are career sites out there that give exact answers that sound so wooden, so scripted, they make me cringe. When it comes to the actual interview, speak as if you are in a conversation (which you are) and not a fourth grade recital.
Of course, Work Coach Cafe is a content producer (as is BNET) and like the content producers it criticizes has an incentive to stir up controversy. So take this particular site’s red flags with a grain of salt. Still, the post raises a good point. There is a lot of junk career advice out there. How do you sort the good stuff from the duds? And what are the dumbest career tips you’ve encountered online?
(Photo courtesy of Flickr user rvw, CC 2.0)

Original Article 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

WorkWise: What job seekers don't know about branding

The job-hunting process depletes a person's imagination. If you don't have a brand or your campaign is getting stale, look for a fresh approach to differentiate yourself. The knowledge that employers and recruiters match needs with applicant brands will help inspire you to sharpen what you have to offer in the marketplace.
Lethia Owens of Lethia Owens International Inc., in St. Peters, Mo., stresses that "a brand isn't what you say it is but what you show people. Don't (announce), 'I'm cutting-edge.' Demonstrate the abilities and share information that shows you're credible."


How do you identify your brand if it isn't already clear to you? Janice Ellig, co-CEO of New York City's retained search firm Chadick Ellig Inc., shares her secret. "Think about what people have said about you," she says. "Listening to those who've given us feedback and advised us in our current careers tells us a story about our strengths. The strengths become your brand, certainly your selling point, what differentiates you. Look to companies that might be really interested in what you bring which might be different from where they've been."
Owens recommends being strategic. This means, in part, selling benefits. It also means, as Ellig suggests, "Don't try to sell yourself from a position of weakness. Sell yourself from a position of strength." Appealing to every employer can sabotage a job search.


Owens continues with the need to "craft the message with language that paints that picture. Imagine you're painting a picture using words, those that help build the image of the type of brand identity you want, that you read periodicals, do community-based networking and attend professional organizations related to your industry or field. Mention recent updates of news you've discovered. Demonstrate by talking about what interests you and what you're doing. Brush strokes paint the picture."
How do employers use branding? Owens conducted behavioral interviews for an IT company hiring people full-time and on contract. "I was responsible for matching the gifts and talents of employees with opportunities within the organization," she explains, "which required evaluating the personal brand and capabilities to assure proper fit." She was looking for similarities between what a company needed and a candidate offered and now specializes in brand development as an advancement method for job seekers and people on the job.
Not everyone uses brands in the recruitment process. Not everyone thinks that brands apply. Mike Purcell, vice president of HR at Ambius, a global business interiors company headquartered in Buffalo Grove, Ill., speaks from the perspective of hiring senior managers. "I don't think people walk in thinking about what their brand is but the kind of organizational culture they've come from," he says. "In my experience, 'brand' is not a highly-used word in the interview process. In the general work world, 'culture' has universal application. It's like vanilla. When you throw out 'culture,' everyone immediately knows what you're talking about. Brand and culture right now are not synonymous in my view."
You have to decide whether you want to think in terms of branding. You can certainly apply the concept of your compelling story as you market yourself, but never mention the word.
Dr. Mildred Culp welcomes your questions at © 2010 Passage Media.

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