Thursday, March 31, 2011

Social Media is Your Job Search's Best Friend

After being fired by CBS, Charlie Sheen didn’t get even, he got online. In what seemed like no time at all, he had over 3 million followers on Twitter, had set up a nationwide tour, and was being re-considered for his old job as lead comedian on “Two and a Half Men”.

By employing a few strategic moves on social media, Charlie Sheen transformed his job-less position into an online phenomenon that is landing him more than just media attention. While the average social media user doesn’t have Charlie Sheen’s notoriety, his case is an example of how social media can be used in the job hunt.

While using social media does not guarantee a job offer, ignoring its implications in the job search will absolutely limit your potential. The current trend in human resource departments is to use social media as a recruiting tool; by not taking advantage of online platforms, you may be missing out on job offers as well as connections. UPS, for example, places a lot of emphasis on social media in their hiring strategy, and this year employed 955 new staff through social media channels.

Think of social media accounts as platforms to not only show off your talents but also connect and engage with your network. Staying in contact with friends, previous bosses and co-workers over social media can make all the difference in your job search. By engaging with your network online, you open doors to new introductions, recommendations and connections.

Start with your network during your job search. See if anyone in your network either works for or has connections to your ideal company. Don’t focus on getting an immediate job offer; instead cultivate relationships and job advice from people who could give you that crucial introduction later on.

Presenting yourself in a positive light across all forms of social media is essential; keep in mind that companies are Googling candidates before they even respond back to your email. Here are some tips on how to leverage your social media to position yourself in the best light.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Job Search 4.0 - 11 New Websites for Your Job Search

By Heather Huhman

If you’re entering the job market for the first time or haven’t searched for a new job in the last three years, you’re in for a shock over how the process works—and how it has changed in a relatively short period of time.
Job search 1.0 = help wanted ads in newspapers
Job search 2.0 = online job boards
Job search 3.0 = social talent communities

What’s next?
"Job search 4.0 will be less about finding talent and finding jobs and more about applying skills to the problems existing in any marketplace,” says Joel Capperella, vice president for Yoh, a Philadelphia-based technology staffing firm.
[See 10 Ways to Use Social Media in Your Job Search.]

To get up to speed, here are some new job search tools you should consider using:

1. ClearFit’s Career Finder: Figuring Out What Job Best Suits You
Career Finder by ClearFit, which is free for job seekers, differs from other personality and motivation surveys for a number of reasons. They use a “normative” survey, which compares people to people (for example, an average range of top performer attribute scores to an applicant’s attribute scores). In other words, you can validly and defensibly compare people with jobs to help predict performance.

2. MyWebCareer: Understanding How Employers Perceive Your Online Presence
MyWebCareer provides a free online service that evaluates your social and business networking profiles, your overall network, and your search engine footprint to generate a personalized Career Score. Your Career Score provides insight into how colleagues and employers perceive and evaluate your professional competencies and achievements. Your Career Score is refreshed each month, and you are notified of any changes and actions you should take.
[See The Most Effective Ways to Look for a Job.]

3. Vizibility: Creating an Accurate Google Search About You
More than 85 percent of executive recruiters report Googling candidates as part of the search process today, and almost half of executive recruiters have eliminated candidates based on what appears (or does not appear) about them online. Vizibility allows you to manage what people find about you in Google. You can create your own perfect search and choose a personalized URL to share with others. Additionally, personalized QR codes are now available for Vizibility SearchMe™ links, which can be added to résumés, presentations, business cards, and any other printed or online materials.

4. JobSTART101: Learning How to Find a Job
JobSTART101: Smart Tips and Real-World Training is a free online course for college students and recent graduates—but it’s a great tool for all job seekers—that introduces the professional skills necessary to succeed in the workplace. JobSTART101 addresses the gap between employers’ needs and workers’ skills by helping job seekers understand the real-life challenges and expectations of the workplace.

5. Gist: Bringing All Your Connections into One Location
Gist, a free web and mobile application, brings your contacts into one place to give you a full view of your network. Automatically get a dossier of the latest news, blog posts, and tweets for anyone in your professional network delivered where you want it, when you want it. Gist is available on the web, Gmail (Chrome and Firefox), Outlook, iPhone, Android, and inside

Sites 6 - 11 and Complete US News Article

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Six Job Search Myths that Can Hurt Your Search

  • Myth #1: The Internet will do the trick
Hitting the send button, clicking your résumé into cyberspace, is not job search. It’s playing the lottery: the odds against success are huge. Instead use the Internet to do the research that will help you excel on interviews.
  • Myth #2: I’m doomed in this market/I’m damaged goods
Yes, the job market is tougher than usual, but hiring still goes on—despite all the negative headlines. If you give in to the gloom, of course you won’t find a job, especially if you’ve been unemployed for a while. But ‘unemployed’ does NOT mean damaged. Master the articulation of your skills and accomplishments and get out there!
  • Myth #3: It’s not a good time to job search
And get out there NOW. The holidays are a great time to job search—because most people think they’re not. Business doesn’t come to a halt; interviewing and hiring go on.
  • Myth #4: I can do this myself

Monday, March 28, 2011

Local Job Search Tips – How To Find Employment Through A Local Job Search

Bill in Employment News

A local job search could be a fantastic way to find a job in your own local area. However, with unemployment rates on the rise, local job searches for many can prove very frustrating, difficult and overwhelming.

Local job searches can present various benefits to a person. You can save loads of money that you will otherwise spend to pay the rent or food when staying away from home. Plus, you’ll get loads of time to spend with your family.
However, many people are forced to work in a faraway place or even abroad because of their inability to find careers in their local job search.

If you wish to be successful in landing a job in your local area, it will be wise to follow these local job search tips that we provide.

• Use Your Network:
The advantage of searching for jobs in your own area is the fact that you know people from around your local area. Since you will be searching for jobs in your area and possibly the hometown you grew up in, it will be easier to build a network. Make sure to use your network to find a job. Contact old friends and former classmates, as well as the professionals that you know and also your professors. A good recommendation from a friend is better than any well written cover letter. Make sure to ask them for any job opening. You may also ask them to pass along your resume for you.

• Make Use of Online Local Job Search Websites:
The internet surely makes our lives a lot easier and faster. Take advantage of the online local job search listings and create and account. Choose only a very reputable job searching website. Edit your profile and your email notification to receive job announcements from your own local area only. Make sure to also be specific on the Category (example HEALTH), and job position you are looking for (example MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIST). Online job search websites are easy and convenient way of sending applications make use of it.

Read the full Employment Digest Article for more Tips and Advice

Friday, March 25, 2011

7 Federal Job Search Myths Dispelled

By Daphne Houston

Are you wondering how to land a federal job? Have you been discouraged by naysayers? Are you wondering if the federal government is really hiring thousands of people? Well that one I'll answer now. YES! So if you are not incorporating federal jobs in your job search strategy it's likely you have been misinformed about the process and about the reality of the federal job market. Here are 7 more myths I'd like to dispel to help you conquer your federal job search.

1. Myth: All government jobs are in Washington, DC.
Fact: Only 15% of federal jobs are actually in DC. That means 85% of the federal jobs are outside of DC throughout the US and the rest of the world.

2. Myth: Federal government salaries are low.
Fact: Actually, government salaries have risen faster and higher than private sector salaries. In most cases you will find they are very competitive. In fact, it's been reported from 2000 to 2008, the pay for federal civilian employees skyrocketed 57%, while the pay for workers in the private sector grew by only 31%. And the White House recently proposed a 1.4% pay increase for federal employees.

3. Myth: To get into the federal government you have to be connected; all the jobs are wired.
Fact: If that was the case, then the government wouldn't currently have over 60,000 job openings worldwide. Don't you think the people that know the current government workforce would have networked their way in if that was the case? Networking always helps. But my federal resume writing team has helped hundreds of clients land federal jobs that were not networked.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How to Find a Friend to Help You Land a Job

By Ted Hekman

If you've been reading about careers and jobs over the past several years, you will no doubt have read that the best jobs never find their way to the newspaper want ads, or even online job boards. That's because they are filled by people who are referred by friends and colleagues.

Put yourself in the place of the person looking for a job candidate. If you place an ad in the paper or online, you may get hundreds of replies, just a few of which might be a fit for the job. But to find those few, you have to wade through all the others and that can take up a lot of your time. And even when you do find a resume that looks promising, that person is still a stranger to you and you have no idea what kind of person or worker he or she might be.

On the other hand, what if a candidate is recommended to you by a trusted friend or colleague? Right away you are more inclined towards that person because of who recommended them. And you don't have to do all that tedious reading of hundreds of unsuitable resumes.

So where does that leave you, the job seeker? Well, you want to be the candidate being recommended!

But here's the catch. What if you don't know anyone in the industry or company you've targeted? Does that mean you have to go back to the want ads? Not necessarily.

This is a classic opportunity to use your network. Now even if you are quite young and only recently started on your career, you do still have a network. Think about it. Your network contains all those people you have gone through college with, any high school friends you've kept in touch with, your immediate and extended family, your friends and more.

But the great thing about networking effectively is it can also give you access to the people in other people's networks! So maybe you don't know anybody in the pharmaceutical industry who can refer you for a job there, but maybe someone in your network does.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Get the Job! Get the Job! Get the Job!

Marshall Goldsmith

When you are faced with a career change, and you're not quite sure where you want to go, don't waste time speculating. Sell yourself, get real offers and then decide.

We all face times of transition. Sometimes these changes are planned, such as graduating from college or pre-set retirement. Sometimes they are unplanned, such as dismissal from a job or company bankruptcy.
Over the years, thousands of people have told me the stories of their lives and their hopes for the future as they anticipate change. A frequent obstacle I see when professionals are facing big life decisions is analysis paralysis. They get lost in debating the desirability of options they don't even have yet!

My friend Jessica is an excellent example. Jessica had a fantastic career in a top professional-services company. In spite of her outstanding contribution to the business, she was in her early 60s, and, according to this company's published guidelines, it was time to go. She had no interest in traditional retirement. She wanted an exciting new career challenge, but wasn't sure what that might be. We discussed her future and she started thinking about leadership in the nonprofit sector.

Debating Change
"Perhaps I should be a leader in a human services firm," she said enthusiastically. "I really don't need much money, and this would give me an opportunity to make a positive contribution to society. I believe that a lot of what I have learned in business could be applied in the social sector. And who knows? At my age, this type of change might be great fun for me!"

Her face changed expression as she began to debate with herself. "On the other hand, I'm not sure that I want to spend all of my time taking rich old people out for lunch and begging them for money," she fretted. "That may be a large part of my job as a nonprofit leader. And sometimes those nonprofit people look down on business people like me. They think we are all just greedy capitalists with no real values."
Jessica had similar debates with herself about consulting, private equity, and a couple of other future careers. As she began her search for a new job, she didn't do very well. Some potential organizations saw her as arrogant. They felt she showed more interest in "What can you do for me?" than "What can I do for you?" She asked a lot of questions she could have answered herself had she done more homework; they felt she communicated with ambiguity and showed a lack of genuine desire for the new job.

Offers First, Decisions Later
Jessica became a little defensive as we discussed some of the feedback from the companies where she had interviewed. "I am not really sure what I want," she snapped. "What's wrong with me asking a few questions? And by the way, I'm not so sure I would have wanted those jobs anyway!"
I gave Jessica the career advice I give most often:  Read The Rest Of The Huffington Post Article

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mojo a key part of job search

Liz Ryan, For the Camera

Dear Liz,
I lost my job in October. I have great experience, but I'm not getting a lot of interviews. I go through the motions and send out resumes every day, but I've pretty much lost my confidence, although I had just gotten promoted when our division folded.
My recent job interviews have been stressful. I don't feel like I'm convincing when I'm so unsure of myself. What do you recommend?

Dear Gene,

When you have a mojo deficit, you can't conduct a full-out, enthusiastic job search. Your energy is down, you don't feel great about yourself and you aren't doing your best thinking.

That's why it's critical to begin rebuilding your mojo before you blast off any more resumes. Your appeals won't make a hiring manager's heart beat faster if you don't feel powerful as you write them.

No one could blame you for being tired and demoralized. The problem certainly isn't you! Not only is the job market tough, but the recruiting process itself is completely broken. It's dysfunctional.

It isn't that hiring managers are rejecting your resume; for the most part, they're not even seeing it. I don't want you conducting your job search through the Black Hole, or groveling and climbing over piles of broken glass in the process.

Doing those things depletes your mojo like crazy. When your power starts to return, you'll research employers and reach out to their decision-makers with pithy, thoughtful overtures that talk about what's most relevant to those managers, namely, the business pain behind the job ad.

You'll have better results that way. But let's get your mojo back in action, first.

Monday, March 21, 2011

5 Worst Reasons to Use Twitter for Your Job Search

by Susan P. Joyce

5 Worst Reasons to Use Twitter for Job Search:
1.  Because your job search coach or career counselor told you that you should do it.
2.  Because you read somewhere that you should do it.
3.  Because “everyone else” is doing it.
4.  Because your spouse/significant other/teenager/tweener/neighbor set it up for you.
5.  Because you don’t have anything better to do.

Much MUCH better reasons to use Twitter for your job search exist! 

5 Best Reasons to Use Twitter for Your Job Search:

Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce, USMC veteran, has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. In 1998, her company, NETability, Inc. purchased, and Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt since then. Follow Susan on Twitter at @JobHuntOrg.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Elite Tips for Job Searching on

With over 5 million job listings on, it might seem intimidating to rummage around that many jobs to find the ones that match your skills, background and interests. But never fear—we’re here to show how to find the jobs you’re looking for, using some elite job search tactics. So read on, young grasshopper...

Your entire job search is based around two fields: Keywords and Location. Simple right? Maybe. What you get out of our job search engine depends on what you put into it. Based on what you enter, you could have the most successful search ever, or you might not find a set of jobs that are a good fit.

Exact Phrase
To search for an exact phrase, put the phrase in quotations marks in the Keywords field. For example, a search of “Registered Nurse” will only return results with the phrase “Registered Nurse” anywhere within the listing. Searching the phrase without the quotation marks returns results for the words “Registered,” “Nurse” as well as “Registered Nurse”—meaning jobs like Registered Dietitian or Nurse Practitioner may appear in your search.

Exact Job Title (title:)
To search for a specific job title, write “title:” followed by the title you wish to search. If the title is more than one word, put the job title in quotation marks.
Example: title:“sales executive”

Exact Company Name (company:)
To search for a job at a specific company, type “company:” followed by the company name. As with job titles, if the company name is more than one word, place the company name in quotation marks.
Example: company:"Simply Hired"

Using AND, OR and NOT
Simply Hired supports the Boolean terms AND, OR, and NOT. Remember, these must be capitalized in order to work correctly.
Examples of use:
AND (returns results with both terms in job listing)
You’re looking for jobs that require writing and editing: writing AND editing
OR (returns results with either term in job listing)
You are looking for Manager or Supervisor jobs: Manager OR Supervisor
NOT (returns results with one term, while excluding those with other term)
You’re looking for engineering jobs, but not software engineering: title:engineer NOT software
Please note that use of the NOT term first requires a positive search term. A search for NOT "truck driver" is invalid and will not yield results.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Is Anybody Even Reading Cover Letters?

By Suzanne Lucas

Dear Evil HR Lady,
Now that employers aren’t reading resumes - instead just putting them through scanners to find keyword matches - do they still read cover letters? I’ve got no problem crafting specific cover letters for the various jobs I’m applying to. That said, my job search is time-consuming enough without spending time and energy on a cover letter no one is going to read.
I think I better clear some things up.  While it’s true that in many companies, your resume needs to get selected through a key word search done with the computer, humans still look at your resumes.
You certainly can be rejected from a job by a computer, but you will never get hired without the recruiter, hiring manager, and other interviewers reading your resume.  This is why it is critical to have a great resume and not just one filled with key word blather.
And this is also why you must, must, must have a fantastic cover letter.
Everybody the computer deems acceptable has all the necessary skills (on paper, anyway).  In most jobs, far more people than will ever be interviewed will have the necessary experience to do the job.  A cover letter is something that will push you over the top.
Alison Green, at US News, gives solid advice on why a cover letter isn’t just something to take lightly.
A cover letter is your opportunity to make a compelling case for yourself as a candidate, totally aside from what’s in your resume.
That because for most jobs, picking the best candidate is rarely solely about skills and experience. Those obviously take center stage, but if that’s all that mattered, there would be no point in interviews; employers would make a hire based off of resumes alone. But in the real world, other factors matter too—people skills, intellect, communication abilities, enthusiasm for the job, and simply what kind of person you are. A good cover letter effectively conveys those qualities.
Remember, a cover letter isn’t just a restatement of the facts on your resume.  It’s an opportunity to tell them why you should be hired.  What is it about you that makes you unique?  Why is this company such a good fit for you?

Read The Rest Of The BNET Article With More Advice

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Top apps for job seekers

Audio Job Interview Professional app
Looking for a new job? ZDNet UK presents a selection of apps to help you in your search — from interview practice and social-networking apps to business-card scanners, advice guides and pocket CV tools.
Audio Job Interview Professional
This interesting 59p app for iPhone allows the user to record a job interview and share it with a prospective employer.
Users select questions that are relevant to their application from a list, then record their answers. The recording is uploaded to the web and the URL is sent to recruiters.
The company behind the Audio Job Interview Professional app claims that employers are grateful to receive recorded interviews, not only because they help candidates stand out, but because it saves them time in the recruiting process.
Photo credit: Halosys Technologies Inc

See more top tech apps on ZDNet UK.

Monday, March 14, 2011

11 Reasons Why Every College Student Needs a LinkedIn Page

by K. Walsh

While in college, students worry about having enough money for tuition, what to major in, finding time to study, and passing mid-terms and finals. Having a LinkedIn page is probably far from their mind. But it shouldn’t be! LinkedIn is a valuable tool in their arsenal for helping them to establish their career.

It is important to remember that LinkedIn is your professional face to the business world. It is not like Facebook or YouTube. Don’t post goofy pictures, be silly, or say inappropriate things. Put your best foot forward. You are creating your own personal branding and this is your sales letter (about you) to future employers and to the world.
With that in mind, here are 11 reasons why every student needs to join LinkenIn:
  1. Build your professional network. It’s never too early to start building a network with people in your career area. Start by linking to classmates who are in your major. While they are friends and classmates now, in the future they become business referrals. Ask professors who are in LinkedIn to write a recommendation for you. Linking to professors ensure that you will stay connected to them after you graduate. This could be beneficial.
  2. Check out career paths. Find people who are in LinkedIn who are already employed in your desired profession. Check out their profiles to see what they have done to become successful. See if you can incorporate something from their career path into yours.
  3. Prepare for interviews. When you have a job or internship interview, review the profile of the person who will interview you. Having this background knowledge during the interview will help impress the interviewer.
  4. Get referrals. Networking is all about who you know and who those people know. If there is someone in LinkedIn that you would like to meet, ask a mutual acquaintance to for an introduction.
  5. Land internships or jobs while in school. Is there a company that you would like to work for or an internship that interests you? LinkedIn can help you find a common connection to someone at that place of business.
  6. Gain connections from conference attendees. When you meet new acquaintances at a conference that you attend as a student, chances are you do not have a business card to share. Nor do other students. LinkedIn is the perfect place to maintain a connection to those people once you have returned back to school.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

10 Secrets To Getting A Job At Apple, Google Or Microsoft

Written by Gayle Laakmann McDowell

Some might say that I got incredibly lucky. At eighteen years old, I was perhaps the youngest intern in Microsoft’s thousand person intern class. Most of my fellow interns had three times as much experience as me, and I couldn’t help but wonder, “What am I doing here?”
Indeed, there’s no denying that I got very, very lucky to land such a prestigious internship at such an early age. But there’s more to it than just that.
The tricks below enabled me to get the right experience, flaunt it on my resume, get the attention of recruiters, and eventually land positions with Microsoft, Apple and Google.
Here’s a list of 10 things you can do to improve your chances to do the same:

  1. Start Something: Launching a small tech company, or just a project, can demonstrate virtually everything a tech firm wants to see: field expertise, passion for technology, initiative, leadership and creativity. Don’t have software development experience? Not to worry – you can hire an outsourced development team from sites like odesk and elance
  2. Create an Online Portfolio: Almost everyone can benefit from a portfolio. A simple web site with a description of your major accomplishments (both inside and outside of work) can provide more context than what your resume can provide. Recruiters may reference this after seeing your resume, but they might stumble across your portfolio online and give you a call.
  3. Get Out There (And Online): Online job boards are tough, and the best way around them is a personal referral. Attending tech events will help to build your network, but don’t forget about the online channels. Recruiters search for potential candidates on blogs comments, industry forums and Twitter. Being active on online – while providing a trail back to your portfolio – can be an excellent way to catch a recruiter’s attention.
  4. Make a Short and Sweet Resume: Let me tell you a little secret: recruiters don’t really read resumes. They glance at them, often for as little as fifteen seconds, before putting it in the ‘yes’ pile or the ‘no’ pile. For this reason, a short (usually one-page) resume is advantageous. This will ensure that the resume screener notices your most impressive accomplishments, without the mediocre items getting in the way.
  5. Focus on Accomplishments: Kill the fluff; no one buys into vague statements like “excellent problem solver.” A resume should focus on your accomplishments: concrete ways that you’ve made an impact, quantified if possible. Remember that your list of accomplishments goes beyond the “official” work that you’ve done. Any project that is reasonably substantial can be listed on your resume.

Gayle Laakmann McDowell, a former Google engineer, who interned at both Apple and Microsoft, is CEO of She’s the author of “The Google Resume” and “Cracking the Coding Interview.”

Friday, March 11, 2011

8 Tips to Battle Job Search Fatigue

Rachel Farrell, Special to

Job searching for any length of time can be frustrating. But when your search has gone on for months or even years, even job seekers with the most endurance can get tired.

It doesn't help that many job seekers are looking for work under the notion that the recovering economy means automatic work -- and now.

"The economy is on the rebound but the job market is still very slow to respond," says Caroline Dowd-Higgins, director of career and professional development at Indiana University Maurer School of Law and author of "This is Not the Career I Ordered." "Candidates should be cautiously optimistic."

But sanguinity in times of dejection is easier said than done. Job searching for long periods of time can not only make job seekers tired -- it can affect them emotionally, too.

"There are so many emotions that go along with long-term unemployment -- feelings of inadequacy, anger, terror, shame. You name it. And when these emotions get a lock on a job seeker, they can be nearly paralyzing -- or totally paralyzing," says Jenny Foss, owner of Ladder Recruiting Group.

To manage those emotions, you need to acknowledge that your search methods aren't working and commit to adopting a new strategy or plan, Foss says. And it's important to tap into your resiliency skills so employers know you can handle stress and change, adds Dowd-Higgins.

But part of the problem is that even after long-term unemployment, many people still rely on the passive search methods that used to work well -- but just don't anymore, says Foss.
"The game has changed dramatically in the past few years. Unfortunately, a large number of job seekers who find themselves suddenly on the market often panic," Foss says. "They don't take time to catch their breath, craft a job search strategy that leverages a variety of search and networking tools, and then execute on that strategy in a focused, systematic way."

Tried and true methods of simply applying to jobs online, searching through job boards or even enlisting a recruiter just won't cut it, especially after a long period of job searching. You simply cannot conduct an effective job search from behind your computer, says Dowd-Higgins.

"You must get out and be seen and heard in your job search. People hire whom they know and trust and employers are using their network more than ever to make new," she says. "When jobs do become available, employers are hesitant to post because they know they will be inundated with applications. The networking job search continues to be the most effective technique."

If you're looking to revitalize your job search, here are eight tips from Foss and Dowd-Higgins.
1. Consider your job search a full-time job.
2. Catch your breath. Calm down before you scramble to find a new plan, says Foss.
3. Know what your strengths are. "Develop your special sauce story so you can illustrate why you are a value-add to an organization," says Dowd-Higgins.
4. Focus on your competencies not just job titles.

Tips 5 - 8 and Complete CareerBuilder Article

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Great Work-at-Home Jobs for Retirees

by: Kerry Hannon | from: AARP

Returning to work is an economic necessity for some retirees and a personal choice for others. Either way, the prospect of long commutes and annoying co-workers can be daunting. A good compromise might be to find a work-at-home job.

That's what Jackie Booley did. In 2007, she retired from her position as an AT&T call center manager. Her husband had recently died from chronic kidney failure, and Booley, then 61, was exhausted from serving as his primary caregiver while holding down full-time employment.

But retirement proved to be short-lived. Two years later, with energy restored and her nest egg depleted, she found a part-time job that allowed her to work from home. Now, when you dial Office Depot's toll-free number, you may be speaking with Booley in the spare bedroom of her Ocala, Fla., home.

She doesn't work for the office-supply retailer, however. Rather, Booley's employed by Alpine Access, a call center service headquartered in Denver. Incoming calls to Office Depot are routed to her in Florida. Alpine has 4,500 work-at-home customer service agents in 1,700 cities.

Booley logs in anywhere from 18 to 30 hours each week answering questions and processing orders. At $9 an hour, she usually earns between $500 and $600 per month. It's not a fortune, but the extra money does allow her to go out to dinner and a movie without worry.

"I absolutely love it," says Booley of her work-at-home job. "It gives me flexibility. I feel like I'm my own boss, and I can fall out of bed and go to work in seconds." The topper: She's banked enough hours with her virtual employer to take a paid vacation to England this year.
Beware of work-at-home scams

Working at home has a nice ring to it, sometimes too nice. Work-at-home scams have been around for decades, but in the past few years, the FTC has seen the number of complaints nearly double.

Two glaring red flags to look out for: Jobs touted via e-mail that promise to pay more than you ever dreamed, and firms that charge you a fee to obtain more information about a job. "Payment for the privilege of working is rarely acceptable, in our view," says Christine Durst, an Internet fraud and safety expert and co-founder of, a website on home-based work that screens job leads.

That said, there are legitimate work-at-home jobs in customer service and other fields, but you'll need to do legwork to avoid scams. Here are five work-at-home jobs to consider. Pay ranges, which will vary based on experience and other factors, are primarily derived from employers and U.S. Department of Labor data.
Click here to see 5 great work-at-home jobs.>>

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Be the First Applicant with this Job Search Tip

Laura Smith-Proulx

Planning to apply to that hot job you just found online? Take it a step further with some competitive research that can put you first in line (but at another company).

Here’s the idea: when companies post a position, they might be hiring from within their network – looking at suppliers, competitors, vendors, and any other organizations within their sphere of influence for that perfect candidate.

If they follow through on hiring from within this group of companies, there’s now a space to be filled somewhere within this network.

Here’s your cue: jump on this scenario, and send your resume to any of these other firms BEFORE a job is posted, putting yourself first in line – before these companies realize someone is leaving!

Find a hiring manager (using LinkedIn or Zoominfo), then add supporting detail to your cover letter that shows your research on the industry, and your interest in their specific operation. (This letter WILL be read in detail, because you’re going to send it in hard copy, intriguing the manager enough to open it.)
Next, plan to follow up in about a week by phone or via LinkedIn.

Congratulations! You’ve just made a preemptive strike in your job search, figured out how the hidden job market works, and probably generated sufficient interest to win an interview.
Laura Smith-Proulx is a resume expert & former recruiter who wins interviews for C-Suite leaders using powerful personal branding and resume strategies.
Read more » articles by this approved career expert 

More Career Advice at CareerRealism

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tips To Land An Internship At A Start-Up Or Small Business

Posted by Vickie Elmer

Summer work is showing up superbly this month.

Small companies and start-ups may just now be wondering how they will manage the vacation-heavy months of July and August or who’s going to help handle the surge in business. They’re developing posts that will show up this month; March is usually the peak month for internship job postings, according to job search site , which offers advice for would-be interns on its blog.

“Every day it’s something new” at a start-up company, said Daniel Aguiar, Santa Clara University’s executive director for entrepreneurship programs. Interns could end up taking on a broad array of duties – from assisting with the business plan to developing a website to sales calls with the CEO – if they work for a company with only a few paid staffers.

Here are some ideas from Aguiar on where to seek start-up and small company opportunities:
  • Head to business incubators and business parks. Incubators can house 20 to 100 start-ups and growing companies, so bring a lot of resumes along. Business parks may have dozens of prospects too, many of them below the radar.
  • Read up on who’s revving up. A company that has just landed an angel investor or some new funding may want some bright young talent. So will one with a major new client. So check the business journals, small business magazines and blogs, and watch the chamber and economic development newsletters for profiles and news that shows promise.
  • Look to lawyers and alumni associations. Both may be fertile grounds to identify small business owners and start-ups, Aguiar said.
Small businesses have been creating more jobs than the major ones recently.  For each of the last three months, small employers, those with fewer than 50 workers, have added 100,000 jobs, according to the ADP National Employment report. That’s way more than the larger companies with 500 and more workers. Small company job growth may be less obvious because it comes in ones or twos not 200 at a time, but the totals add up.

Understand that interning or working for a small company can feel very different than a huge company. Expect a start-up to be less structured and to offer less support than a major company. Most have no one handling human resources and the founders are probably working 70-hour weeks already. Plus they may have fewer forms and more personality, or quirks.

Start-ups don’t work for everyone, Aguiar said. One student told him: “It’s way too chaotic.”

It’s a great time to look for a summer internship – especially if you’re searching outside of the Fortune 500 and other giant companies.

Read The Rest Of The Glassdoor Article and More Advice

Monday, March 7, 2011

3,800 Résumés …and More Arriving Daily

By Richard M. Knappen

The human resources director of a local San Diego company placed an opening on one of the internet job sites. The ad was placed for a three-week period. After approximately two and a half weeks, with four days left for the ad to run, the company had received more than 3,800 résumés, with more arriving each day.

And this scenario is repeated thousands of times each and every day across the nation.
Even if you are a perfect fit for this position, you have little chance of being recognized. One of the easiest job search methods is to answer ads on the internet job sites. One can spend all day, every day, on these sites and feel that one is conducting a hard-hitting job search. But answering ads on the internet job sites is what everyone is doing.

Are there jobs there? Yes. Should you ignore these jobs? No. But you’d be foolish to rely solely upon this method to find a job.

Put yourself in the mind of the human resources department of that company. If you have received those 3,800 résumés, what do you do? What are your problems? You have so many résumés, that one of your major challenges is to reduce the number of résumés to a manageable number. Say a dozen or so. What do you do with the rest of the résumés? There are so many résumés, and with your limited staff, you cannot take the time to send each candidate who sent a résumé an acknowledgement. You would like to, but you cannot.

It may even happen that with that many résumés, your department is so overwhelmed that you simply put the job order on “hold.” In fact in the 2010 calendar year, that happened repeatedly. Companies would publish job orders on one of the job sites, perhaps even interview a few candidates, and then put the job order on “hold” using the slow economy as an excuse not to proceed.

Follow this scenario further. As the head of the human resources department, you are instructed to advertise for a newly created position in the marketing department:
e-marketing manager. You place the ad on one of the leading internet job sites. You receive several hundred résumés. You run these through your scanner, and end up with 1500 résumés that are qualified. Unmanageable.

You tighten your criteria, and run the résumés through your scanner one more time. This time, the number of résumés is reduced to 653. Still unmanageable.

You decide to place a full-time human resources clerk in a conference room with a job description, and instruct that person to review all 653 résumés. The clerk reviews the résumés, and ends up with three piles: A “Yes” pile, a “Maybe” pile, and a “No” pile. You immediately move all of those résumés that are in the “Maybe” pile into the “No” pile.

Read The Rest Of The San Diego Reader Article

Friday, March 4, 2011

Jim Stroud demos Linkedin Signal and how to use it to find job leads.

This episode marks the end of season 1 of The Jim Stroud Show. Subscribe now to get updates on the next season. (Scroll down for more jobhunting resources.)

More Jim Stroud Advice @ 
the Recruiters Lounge

Thursday, March 3, 2011

5 Hiring Process Myths You Need to Know

We’ve all heard myths about the hiring process…but how do you know what’s bologna and what’s fact? Let me dispel a few myths job seekers should be aware of:
Myth #1: All job openings are posted on job boards.
This is definitely not true! In fact, a lot of hiring managers and recruiters are hesitant to post an opening on a job board today, in fear that they’ll receive too many applications. A lot of jobs are filled in-house, through employee referrals or handpicking candidates from an existing talent pool, which is why networking is so crucial to your job search strategy.
Myth #2: No one will read your cover letter.
For each job you apply to, you need to create a tailored cover letter (and resume, for that matter) that specifically states why you’re the best fit for the job. I always read a candidate’s cover letter first thing, as it is supposed to pique my interest in moving on to your resume. Your cover letter gives you a unique opportunity to convey your passion for the job, along with a compelling story (or two) you’d like to share with the potential employer.
Myth #3: Simply applying to jobs will land you an interview.
You already know how tough today’s job market is. So why would you think merely applying to a job opening will get you an interview? You must be proactive in your job search in order to be considered for job openings. This includes following-up on applications you’ve sent in, networking with other professionals who can help you in your job search, and maintaining a positive presence online.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Five Great Ways To Spring Clean Your Résumé

By Ford R. Myers

If you find that your résumé isn't getting the results you want, spring is the perfect time to clean it up.
Ford R. Myers, Career Coach, Speaker and Author of "Get The Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring," (John Wiley & Sons, 2009,, suggests the following five tips to freshen up your résumé this spring.

1. BE BRIEF:  Less is Always More
Of the five main sections of a résumé - Personal Information, Career Summary, Professional Experience, Education and Affiliations or Professional Development - the Career Summary is where brevity counts most.

"The Summary is a brief statement of who you are, where you're 'coming from,' and what skills and expertise you have to contribute to an organization. All you'll need to grab the reader's attention are five or six lines of text highlighting the benefits and contributions you offer as a professional," states Myers.

Résumés that get noticed focus on specific results. Quantify everything you can, including retention rates, sales numbers, profit margins, performance quotas, and so on. Whenever possible, use percentages, dollars and hard numbers.

"Although individuals should be as specific as possible throughout the entire résumé, this tip should be exercised most in the 'Professional Experience' section. Here is where your past jobs, roles, responsibilities, and accomplishments are listed.  It's also where most employers and recruiters focus 90% of their attention.

The information you present here, and how you present it, can decide the fate of your candidacy within about 10 seconds of scanning time," explains Myers.

Myers urgesrésumé  writers to use strong action verbs at the beginning of every sentence. Words such as "create," "launch," "initiate,"  "devise" and "conduct" have a lot more impact than a vague phrase such as "was responsible for."

Tips 4 and 5 Read more:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tweets can be used to impress employers

I'm late to the Twitter party.
I messed up; I'm behind. I used to tweet occasionally, then Twitter smacked me in the face. It was everywhere, in virtually every aspect of my life, and here I was with ten tweets. Not anymore.

As a student journalist, college student, 19-year-old, smartphone owner and news junkie, Twitter is suddenly everywhere I look. Twitter helped start a revolution in Egypt and it's now supposed to be on my resume.

During last week's liberal arts career fair, Kyle Lacy, the man who wrote "Twitter Marketing for Dummies," came and spoke to students. He said that every student on Twitter should tweet six times a day - two retweets, two professional updates and two personal tweets. One's Twitter name can be put on one's resume next to one's GPA, e-mail address and reference list. I like to update my resume every couple of months, just in case, and now I'm supposed to add on my Twitter name? That concept baffles me.

LinkedIn made sense. The initial concept of LinkedIn was to put resumes online then be able to track your connections online. It's like a virtual career fair - your resume is out there for everyone to see and you can make connections and work contacts instantly. Twitter started with the connotation that it was a forum where you or I could post updates about our lives throughout the day and someone out there in cyberspace would be listening. It has done an excellent job of defining itself as something multi-faceted - it's a resume booster, a front page for different news sources and a place for Kanye West to exercise his caps lock key.

I'm not the only one late to the Twitter party or the only one who's suddenly discovered its potential - JP Morgan is in talks to buy a 10 percent stake of the company. It would value Twitter at $4.5 billion.

Student journalists have utilized Twitter in a creative way, too. A trend that has become increasingly more popular among student journalists is to tweet at sources for a story asking for interviews. The popular blog College Media Matters wrote a post about proper Twitter etiquette when tweeting a source. The post said to make sure the student includes a description of what his or her story is about and is sure to thank the potential source - all in 140 characters or less. The post also suggests that student journalists keep their Twitter feeds public, something I only recently changed. After being on Facebook for four years, I feel trained to protect as much of my personal information as possible. With Twitter, however, users are almost encouraged to put less about their personal information, like their birthday, hometown, etc., and more what they're doing in that moment.

Read The Rest Of The Exponent Article