Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Companies make quick judgments on an applicant's fit

by Victoria Pelham

Job interviews are critical to snaring that coveted job. But you won't have much time to make that winning first impression, career experts say.

That's because companies know within a few minutes of an interview if the job candidate will fit into the company's culture, says Jessica Pierce, founding partner and executive director of Career Connectors in Gilbert. Those looking to stand out during the interview process should really know what they will bring to the company before being interviewed, she says.

"The interview is almost a dress rehearsal. (What) interviewers look for is somebody that will make an immediate impact for them and will make a difference for them," Pierce says.

Some tips to help you shine during the interview:

- Fully answer the question.
This means providing real-life examples from past work experience, rather than non-specific or obtuse responses, if you want to stand out from the pack.
"It's having an answer to their major concerns, proving to them how you've already done it so you can solve their problems right away," Pierce says.

- Be conversational.
Interviewers don't want conversations to be one-sided. So be brief and succinct in your responses, but also ask questions and truly engage in the dialogue. A good rule of thumb is to ask three pertinent questions that show you've already researched the company.

- Bring an interview portfolio.
Create and leave an interview portfolio where you can tangibly demonstrate your past accomplishments, which will show the interviewer you were a valued and productive employee. And remember, the portfolio must be tailored toward the specific company, Pierce says.

- Fully research the company.
The most common pitfall for interviewees is not knowing enough about the company, Pierce says. For example, asking specific questions about a company's past projects, rather than just asking general questions, shows initiative - that you are well-prepared and really want to work for that employer.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Eight Things College Graduates Can Do To Land A Dream Job

–Douglass McIyntre, Jonathan Berr

1. Don’t make salary the determining factor. 
A person who wants to be in the PR business and sets a minimum starting salary of $45,000 may never get a job. And, being unemployed doesn’t pay very well. A $35,000 job at a PR firm of in the PR department of a corporation could be available. Most young people believe that if they start at a low salary, they will never make much more money.  That’s not true.  Salary advancement has as much to do with talent as it does with preset pay scales. The best people, over time, will always be paid well.

2. Learn a Foreign Language.  
Knowing a second or even third language can help land a job as a translator, a field where good-paying jobs go begging.  For instance, Arabic translators with security clearances can command starting salaries of $125,000, Kevin Hendzel of the American Translators Association.  Translators with specialized technical knowledge in sciences or computers can earn big bucks too.  “No one knows these jobs are out there,” he says.   The picture is less certain for people wanting to work in the private sector.   Though Fortune 500 companies are expanding rapidly overseas, many prefer to hire local people for these jobs, according to Edwin Koc, NACE’s director of research.  Having these skills, however, certainly doesn’t hurt.

4. Understand Social Media.
A graduate can start a blog for free on a blog platform like Google Blogger. It is hard to get a thesis published, at least in a journal that matters. It is not hard to put a thesis online and expand on what else the author knows about the subjects related to a career goal. A blog has to be well-written, and well–researched or it can hurt someone’s job prospects. Few things impress a potential employer as much as expertise demonstrated online, particularly if the blog has any following.  It helps to understand Twitter too. Companies are using the site to directly communicate with students.   One recent University of Kentucky graduate landed a job at a Fortune 100 companies because he followed it on  the Twitter, says Lenroy Jones,  Associate Director for Employer Relations at University of Kentucky.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What Recruiters Look for in a Resume

One of the main questions we receive is what exactly recruiters and hiring managers look for in a resume. The goal of reviewing a resume is to determine who should be called for a phone screen or interview, so recruiters evaluate candidates to find out who closely matches the requirements for a role based on the content of their resume.

Work experience – A recruiter is going to look to see if you have enough and the right kind of experience that is required for the role. If a job requires 3 years of product management, and you have only a year of product management or 3 years of project management, chances are your resume will be passed over.

Technology/software/special skills – If a job requires certain technology, software or any special skills, a recruiter is going to look for those requirements on your resume. So don't forget to include that you "speak" PHP or Python (and we're not talking about Parseltongue), were a Salesforce administrator in your previous job, or have specialized knowledge in pediatrics.

Education – A recruiter is also going to look to see if you have the required education or certification required for the role. All of your education and certifications can be listed in the Education section of your resume.

Dates of employment – Looking at your dates of employment shows a recruiter two things: 1. That you have the years of experience required for the role and 2. Whether you commit to a company for an extended time or if you’re a job hopper, as well as if you have any noticeable employment gaps. Though, multiple jobs in a short period of time or a long break can be explained in the cover letter or early in the interview process.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

10 Creative Social Media Resumes To Learn From

by Brian Anthony Hernandez

Like flowers in early spring, new social media job openings are sprouting across industries as companies of all sizes look to create or expand their social squads.

The undeniable success and innovation of high-profile social media campaigns — from such brands as Old Spice, Google Chrome and Starbucks — have inspired this ongoing push for companies to hire people with social media skills.

If you’re seeking a gig as a community manager, public relations representative, marketing person or any other social media position, check out these resumes for inspiration on how to stand out from the crowd. Also, let us know in the comments about any creative tactics you use to promote yourself and your skills.

See all 10 of the Creative Resumes

Monday, May 23, 2011

Top 25 LinkedIn Groups ALL Job Seekers MUST Join

One feature you job seekers may not know about or have fully explored is LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn Groups are free to join, and you can choose to join up to 50 groups from a list of thousands of user-created groups for literally just about anything. Not only do these groups provide you access to connect with and contact fellow group members who could become future partners, employees, investors, customers etc., but the groups’ newly updated discussion board feature can provide more networking opportunities, answers to your questions and insightful advice, tips and support. You can also join the groups' subgroups and contribute answers, comments and your own expertise to the groups’ discussion boards to establish your own online personal brand on LinkedIn.

Last year, I published a list of the top 20 LinkedIn groups for job seekers which became a very popular resource on Career Rocketeer. It's been over a year since the list originally went out and some of the groups have changed and new groups have emerged. Therefore, I have updated the list and am pleased to present the Top 25 LinkedIn Groups ALL Job Seekers MUST Join to help you build your brands and launch your careers:

  • JobAngels - Non-profit job search network of professionals helping other professionals find job advice and opportunities.

  • Executive Suite - Community of over 100,000 US-based executive-level and recruiter members.

  • Star:Jobs Professional Career Center - Group working in tandem with Linked:HR, the largest Recruiters’ Group on LinkedIn, to help top candidates find jobs quickly and efficiently.

  • Career Rocketeer - Career Launch Network - Fastest-growing professional network for personal branding, career search and career management, bringing job seekers and employers, recruiters and career experts together for mutual success.

  • The Talent Buzz - Group for job seekers, recruiters and HR professionals interested in expanding their professional networks.

  • Helping Friends Career Network (LI2HF) - Business and career network where entrepreneurs, hiring managers, recruiters, and talented professionals worldwide can make meaningful win-win connections.

  • JobsDirectUSA - Official job search group on LinkedIn for JobsDirectUSA.com.

  • Career Change Central - Group linking job changers and professionals in career transition with recruiters, hiring managers and career coaches.

  • CareerLink Network - Community providing job seekers spiritual, physical, social, mental, economic and personal growth to meet their ever-evolving needs

  • Jobs Alert - Job search group for middle and senior-level managers worldwide. 

  • Groups 15 - 25 and Complete Original Article
  • Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    Why College Students Should Join LinkedIn

    By Miriam Salpeter

    LinkedIn is the best designated professional network and the first social network job seekers should consider using to find opportunities. Yet job seekers without much workforce experience may wonder whether LinkedIn is useful for them. If you don’t already know a lot of people who are using LinkedIn, it is easy to underestimate its potential value.

    Less experienced job seekers don’t flock to LinkedIn in the same numbers as other networks, such as Facebook, but joining early, learning how LinkedIn works, and connecting with professional contacts throughout your college career will help you later. You may have a work-study or part-time job, enjoy a good relationship with your supervisor, but not want to be friends on Facebook. What better way to connect and stay in touch than LinkedIn?

    Making a concerted effort to grow your online network will help support your job hunting efforts today and in the future. In a transient environment, when people do not always stay in one job very long, connecting via LinkedIn helps you keep track of contacts who might serve as references or refer you to opportunities later.

    LinkedIn says approximately 200,000 college students join every month, encouraging companies to use the site to recruit internship and entry-level positions. You don’t want to miss those opportunities by not having a profile.

    LinkedIn even has a student portal. The LinkedIn blog explains the benefits of the portal:
    • Recommends jobs based on your education and interests. You’ll be able to get email alerts and notifications on your LinkedIn home page.
    • Helps LinkedIn’s network help you. Adding connections via LinkedIn is probably a lot easier than you thought. You can even import your email lists and see who is available on LinkedIn. The company suggests looking first at alumni (who may be hiring), friends, and family members. If you don’t know a lot of people using LinkedIn, tell your friends to join and then connect with them. You may be surprised by how quickly your network can grow.
    • Helps you research companies via LinkedIn’s company pages. Find out what they do, types of people they hire, and what people say about them.

    More advice and complete USNews article

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    7 secrets for a smarter job search

    Confessions of an Executive Recruiter
    By Kathryn Ullrich

    After three years of economic aches and pains, the employment outlook by companies in the United States has improved to a 12-year high, according to a recent survey by the National Association for Business Economics. If you are an executive or mid-level professional who is looking, or plans to look, for a new job in 2011, that can be pretty encouraging news. But are you really ready for a job search? From a seasoned suffer-no-fools executive recruiter, here are seven secrets to help fire up your search and fuel your success:

    1. Recruiters spend 10 seconds “reading” your résumé
    Odds are, you can lose up to a third of the words on your resume without compromising the content. So put your résumé on a word diet and eliminate the bloat. Remove extraneous words and phrases and generic mom-and-apple-pie references (“strong team player”) to bring your experience to the forefront. Additionally, bring your résumé alive by branding yourself from beginning to end and by using active verbs to describe accomplishments relevant to your target job.
    2. Recruiters look for specialists, not generalists

    Today, companies want specialists who have done the job before. Develop a personal brand, distinguish your skills and strengths, and design your job search around industries or functions targeted to your background. For inspiration, study real-life job specifications online. Recently, for instance, a well-known software company was seeking a seasoned marketer “skilled in developing online video for B2B marketing.” Translation: specialize!

    3. Recruiters search for candidates who know where they’re going
    Have a long-term career strategy or, at the very least, a strong sense for where you’re headed. Ask yourself, “Where do I see myself in five to 10 to 15 years?” Then figure out what steps you need to take to get there. Having a clear, concise understanding of your career path can demonstrate your leadership maturity to potential employers.

    4. Recruiters care about how you present as much as what you present
    Your communication skills can make — or break — your job search. For every situation, from interviews to networking events, know your key points in advance and be crisp and organized in communicating them. Practice your responses to common interview questions, determining the “just right” length to illustrate your strengths and experience, and using interesting, impactful examples as much as possible.

    Secrets 5 -7 and complete TheWorkBuzz article

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Top 10 Most Effective Job Search Websites

    by Ryan Dube

    With the world economic climate still painfully low, more folks are losing their jobs than ever before. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. unemployment rate hit over 9 percent in May 2009.  France unemployment jumped to 8.2 percent, Germany was at 7.6 percent in January, and the UK was at 6.77 percent in March. It’s imperative that job seekers have all of the tools at their disposal to find new work. High unemployment rates don’t necessarily mean that there’s no work, it often means that the fields where there are available jobs are changing. For this reason, I’d like to offer a list of the top 10 most effective job search websites to help MakeUseOf readers land that new dream job as quickly as possible.

    Looking for Work? Spread Around Your Efforts

    The most important thing that any job seeker can do to improve their chances of landing a job is using multiple resources in their job hunting efforts. This means posting your resume online, as Mahendra described in Top 5 Free Resume Hosting Websites, or using social networks as Charnita described in 8 Sites For Beating The Job Hunting Blues. However, the core of your efforts should be focused on websites that bring all of the world’s jobs to your doorstep.

    1. Monster.com – The Monster of Online Job Hunting

    Whenever anyone needs access to job markets across the world, Monster is an obvious place to start. Monster has grown into the largest job search site on the Internet, and serves just about every community across the world.

    What makes the Monster of job search sites so useful is that the "International Search" will net you a pretty nice catch of job opportunities all across the globe. Of course, Monster also offers a free "home page", a place for you to post your resume, and an entire section of some pretty cool "career tools" to help you research every step of the job hunting process.

    2. Job.com - An Obvious Choice Among Job Search Websites 

    I guess when it comes to finding a job, visiting a website like Job.com makes sense. Like Monster, it is one of the few job search websites that offers the ability to search Internationally.
    Under "Additional Search Options", you can search from general areas of the globe, such as Middle East, United Kingdom or Pacific Rim. The site boasts over 700,000 listings, and they all seem fairly current. It also has the ability to publish your resume so that employers can view it.

    3. HotJobs - When You Can’t Get Enough of Job Hunting 

    Yahoo! Hotjobs is definitely Monster’s greatest competition. One of the things that Yahoo is very good at is providing content, and job seekers who visit Hotjobs are going to get exactly that.
    The site itself has the same "look and feel" of other Yahoo pages, and it has lots of articles and widgets from tools like Yahoo Answers. Aside from all that bonus content, it offers a powerful job search engine that includes many thousands of listings from all throughout the world.

    4. Net Temps - Full or Part Time Jobs

    Net-Temps is primarily a website devoted to temporary workers who were looking for the "next gig.". However, it is not a whole lot difference than the rest of the job search websites, except for the fact that it allows job hunters to filter search results by temp or full-time work.
    For most folks looking for a job, the difference is irrelevant – they need a job to pay the bills. But for freelancers who work for themselves, temp jobs give them the flexibility of a short term client contract, so that afterwards the freelancer can move on to the next job in their schedule.

    5. Indeed  - Simple and Effective

    This site is quite a job search engine indeed! Sick of sifting through dozens of individual job search sites? Indeed is a job meta-search engine which means that employers don’t actually have to list jobs with Indeed. Much like how Dogpile provides results from multiple search engines like Google and Yahoo, Indeed offers you job listings from not only sites like Hotjobs and CareerBuilder, but even the individual employer websites – now that’s cool.

    Sites 6 - 10 and Complete Article

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    The Job Hunt: What Worked for Me

     In part four of our four-part series on how to find a job, BU Today touches base with graduating senior Natalie Swenson (ENG’11), who has found a job in her field.

    BU Today: You have already found a job. How did you do it?
    Swenson: My job hunt began the fall of my senior year. I began researching more and more the types of jobs I would potentially like to get into. I realized that I wanted to incorporate my mechanical engineering education, my passion for green buildings and architecture (I founded a sustainability organization on campus called U.S. Green Building Council Students), and my desire for customer/consulting aspects in a career. Through various networking nights set up by the College of Engineering, as well as BU’s semiannual Career Fairs, I began to realize that there was a field of work I could get into that combined all of these interests. I reached out to a contact I had made at a company in downtown Boston and sent a résumé and cover letter. In December I went for an interview at the office, where I spoke with various senior engineers in the HVAC mechanical department. Over winter break, I sent in an employment application and another letter stating my increased interest in the company after my interview. I did not hear a definite or solid response for a few months. However, I stayed in contact with the hiring manager I had originally met, and after a few months of answering his questions and persistently showing my interest, I was asked in for a second interview. The next day I was offered a position as an HVAC mechanical engineer; I will be working on sustainable building design with a diverse network of customers.

    What I have learned from my experience is that if you really want a job in a specific field, make sure it is known that you are passionate about it, remain confident that you are the best candidate for the position, and be patient. Something will work out the way it is supposed to for everyone.

    What’s your single most important piece of advice to graduating seniors?
    The most important piece of advice for graduating students seeking jobs is to not limit yourself to your specific major or field of study. Generally, students who acquire a degree from a well-rounded university such as BU have more options in terms of job fields. Again, networking is key. Career fairs, company open houses on campus, and department-specific professional networking nights are examples of ways that students can get a foot in the door and begin to make contacts.

    What are the biggest mistakes a job searcher can make?
    One of the biggest mistakes job hunters make is searching companies in specific fields for jobs, rather than realizing that there are other companies with similar opportunities. For example, if you’re looking for a career in energy, you should know that most large companies, such as Gillette, Teradyne, Boston Scientific, and GE, have energy departments. Another mistake is failing to start searching for jobs and reaching out to connections by at least the beginning of the semester of your graduation.

    How useful is social media in finding a job?
    Social media sites, such as LinkedIn, are helpful for job seekers and hiring teams. In addition, many companies, particularly larger ones, post jobs on social media sites, sometimes even before they list them on their website. A site like Twitter is great because a job seeker can learn about current events at a company.

    More Advice and Complete Article

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    How to Build Your Job-Search Confidence

    By Curt Rosengren

    There’s nothing like a brutal job search to leave your self-confidence feeling bruised and beaten. And yet self-confidence is precisely what you need to make the most of your search. If you’re not careful, it can become a downwardly spiraling vicious circle.

    So what to do? Here are several ideas to help you feed your confidence in challenging times:
    Look in the archives
    When your confidence starts to ebb in your job search, it’s probably not about reality. It’s about the lens through which you’re looking at reality. That lens is a little bit like looking through a telescope the wrong way, creating a narrowly focused tunnel vision. That tunnel vision focuses on the current facts, rather than the whole picture. And those current facts (I haven’t found a job, and I’ve been trying for X amount of time) can spiral into a projected story (I can’t find a job, so maybe there’s something wrong with me).

    One way to expand your perspective to a more whole-picture view is to dig into the archives. The tunnel vision typically only lets you see what’s not working, not what gifts, skills, and abilities you have to offer. So shift your focus from the present to the past and start to explore your successes, the things you have done well, things that people have praised your for, etc. Start a laundry list of examples that counter that voice of self-doubt that erodes your confidence.

    But don’t just write them down and forget them. Focus on them. Relive the experiences. Use each of them as a starting point to explore why you were so good at that. The more real you can make them for yourself, the better they will counter that self-doubt.

    Seek out reinforcement
    One way to make the positive story about yourself more real is to get out of your own brain and ask others. Reach out to people you have worked with in the past and people who know you well. Tell them that you are reaching back into the archives to look at what you do well, and ask them for their perspective. Ask them what stands out to them. See if they have specific examples that come to mind.
    The more external reinforcement you can get, the easier it is to override that internal critic and the self-doubt it feeds.

    Keep it current
    Many years ago before I discovered my Passion Catalyst work, I wound up in a protracted job search with no end in sight. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my confidence in my abilities had started to erode. At one point I volunteered to do a project using my professional skills (at the time I was a marketing guy) for a non-profit. As I dived into it, the professional muscle-memory came flooding back. “Oh yeah! I’m actually really good at this, aren’t I?”

    When you don’t use your skills for an extended period of time, your memory of them starts to atrophy. Finding ways to keep using them, whether you’re paid for it or not, can help keep the self-doubt at bay.

    Shift your attention

    There’s nothing like ruminating on what’s wrong to plunge you further into the abyss. So don’t. Instead, make a conscious effort to focus on the positive. Start a gratitude journal (you can use these 15 questions to prompt your exploration). If you like the idea and want to expand it, try writing a positive journal.
    Go on a news fast. You don’t need the non-stop flow of toxicity into your brain. Read uplifting and inspiring books. Watch inspiring movies. Ask friends and colleagues what they feel good about. Make a habit of looking for positive things to notice as you go through your days.

    More Tips and Complete USNews Article

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    Are you using Facebook as a job search tool?

    If you are not using Facebook as a job search tool, you could be overlooking a prime networking opportunity. With 85 percent of job openings filled through networking of one kind or anther, what better place to connect with friends, family and colleagues.

    Pro's of using Facebook as a job search tool are by informing people you know that you are looking for a specific type of job opening. This can considerably increase the number of eyes and ears out in the real word helping you discover more job opportunities.

    It is important for you to post specific information about the type of job you are looking for (job types, company name, vicinity to travel, FT/PT). People are much more likely to have their radars tuned in if they know what kind of position you are looking for.

    It is not enough to post your "job search SOS" just once. Remember, people need to hear/see/read things multiple times in order for things to sink in! This means it is probably a good idea to send out reminder posts on Facebook every couple of weeks. Anther type of post you should consider is stating what kinds of skills and experience you have.

    Facebook is also popular with recruiters and employers, so this means you have to "put yourself out there" in order to be found! Facebook can also be a great research tool. Search for people using keywords; for instance, if you are looking for jobs related to "animation" you can simply search for that term and connect with people in that particular field. You can search for people who are animators, join groups and pages or simply find links that have the term "animation" in them. This allows you to connect with like-minded people and build a relationship with them that can help you find a job later. Also if you are searching for links, you might find a job where someone is looking for an animator.

    Con's of using Facebook include - Read The Rest Of The Article To Find Out The Con's And More Information

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Businesses embrace social media, create new job positions

    Twitter has taken over. After nearly five years of existence, Twitter has become something more than an outlet for celebs to talk about the fabulous lives they lead, or a platform for political activists and citizen journalists around the world.

    Today, big companies are eager to become involved. And in the process they're creating a whole new occupation for techno-savvy workers.

    "It's transforming the way we do business," said Arik Flanders, social media program manager and Internet marketing program manager for Texas Instruments.

    Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr allow businesses the chance to connect with their audiences on a deeper level. No longer limited by television commercials and radio ads, advertising is a two-way dialogue. Businesses are eager to bridge the digital divide. More and more jobs are being created to help older companies adapt to newer technology.

    It's not all fun and games, however. Social media jobs require an open mind, creativity, and thick skin.

    "It takes a lot of maturity to speak on behalf of a brand," said Neiman Marcus Social Media Managing Editor Jean Scheidnes. "Especially to handle the criticism and customer service issues that may arise."

    The ability to write well is also a must according to Scheidnes. Conversational skills, a strong work ethic and a sense of urgency are necessary to work in the social media field.

    "To get involved in the social media space, you really have to enjoy it," Flanders said. "You've got to enjoy the tools and be an early adaptor to technology."

    In the past, push marketing was the go-to strategy among elite businesses. Companies decided what products consumers needed to buy and when they needed to buy them.

    Today, this isn't the case. Social media has created a two-way communication channel, one that helps consumers find their voice.

    "Now that consumers have a way to talk to you as a business, you better be listening," said Cynthia Smoot, marketing strategist and social media director for Gangway Advertising in Dallas.
    It's not just about creating a dialogue.

    Social Media helps companies boost their search optimization, giving more attention to their brand. Google recently created a search engine powered by social media recommendations. Google Social Search helps users discover relevant content from social media connections. Through Twitter followers, Facebook links and favored blogs, Google recommends things of interest based on things users already like.

    "Social media has a one to one relationship," Flanders said. "Google is constantly changing their algorithms, but they always index pages that are constantly updated."

    Five years ago, Twitter didn't exist and Facebook was mostly used among college students as a way to connect with their friends and classmates.

    Today, Facebook has more than 500 million active users and Twitter reported in April 2010 that new users are signing up at the rate of 300,000 per day.

    Read The Complete SMU Article