Wednesday, August 31, 2011

25 Career and Business Women Bloggers Worth Reading

n my role as Section Editor for Career & Business at BlogHer I get to scour the internet looking for quality content to help you succeed. Career and business is central to many of our lives and yet it can sometimes feel hard to find voices that resonate with our heart, provide practical advice, and generally make us feel not so alone in our own journey. As a person who works with clients to discover and successfully create the work they are most meant to do in the world (and that goes far beyond just what job, field, or business you are in...) I know how important it is to have resources and support. It felt way too self-serving to include myself in my roundup of 25 women to read and yet I do want to invite you to check out my own blog (The Intuitive Intelligence™ blog) for some straight-shooting advice, interviews, and intuitive wisdom about careers and business.

Now, onto the roundup... here are 25 women with something valuable to say and worth your time (in no particular order).
  • Now What Coaching Blog: Laura Berman Fortgang and her community offers great advice on reinventing your career and finding meaning in what you do.

  • Passion for Business: Karyn Greenstreet is a veteran small business expert who offers solid advice on all things entrepreneurial. Funny, smart, and real-world advice.

  • Escape from Cubicle Nation: Pam Slim will help you break free of the cubicle and succeed as an entrepreneur. Best-selling author with honest, down-to-earth inspiration and advice.

  • Penelope Trunk: The Brazen Careerist often ruffles a lot of feathers. Whether you love her, hate her, or somewhere in between, you can expect thought-provoking content here.

  • The Time Finder: Who couldn't use more time, right? Paula Eder is an expert at helping you invest your time in the right tasks and do them productively.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Career Advice From Steve Jobs - Video

Emily Co

Steve Jobs resigned from Apple and the whole world (not to mention my Facebook page) was abuzz with the news. The highly intelligent and enigmatic man has taught us a lot, through his speeches and by example. A true leader in many respects, his talent with words has been one of his most admired traits. His speeches have the ability to move and inspire.

In a famous commencement speech Steve gave to Stanford in 2005, the Apple visionary advised students to never settle.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
. . . I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

Monday, August 29, 2011

What American Idol can teach you about your job search

, Tampa Job Search Examiner

Do you ever get tired of hearing the judges on American Idol say "keep it real" or "be yourself?" As annoying as it may be, it's actually good advice in a lot of areas of life - including your job search.
Many times, job seekers try to be something they're not in order to tell the employer what they think they want to hear. But, that approach more often than not backfires because it comes across as fake and disinterested. The best thing you can do is to truly be yourself. Below are some tips to help you do that.
  • Know your strengths. This may go without saying, but a lot of people don't do themselves justice. The more you know what your strengths are, the better you can communicate them to a potential employer. 

  • Know how to sell yourself. Be sure you can clearly articulate what makes you the best candidate for the job using short, memorable phrases. 

  • Practice. Look at yourself in a mirror to see how you come across in an interview or networking environment. Ask a friend to observe you and make suggestions. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Want an Unbeatable Résumé? Read These Tips from a Top Recruiter.

Kerry Hannon

“Can you take a look at my résumé and see what you think?” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked this in the past year, I wouldn’t be rich, but I would have some extra dough.
It’s true. Since I write about jobs and careers, it’s not surprising that I’ve been fielding calls from friends and colleagues, who want me to take a look at their résumé to see what’s missing, give some pointers.
I try to help. They agonize over the details. They’re frustrated beyond belief. They shoot their résumés off in a flick of a button when they hear about a job opening, and then silence-no response.
Sound familiar?

I offer my two cents. (For more strategies to land a job when you’re over 55, read my post here.) But to get some deeper insight, I asked Tony Beshara, author of Unbeatable Résumés (Amacom, 2011), a Dallas-based recruiting and job placement powerhouse and president of Babich & Associates to share his secrets.

KH: Why are people so obsessed with their résumé?
TB: The primary reason people spend so much time, money, and effort in writing a résumé is that this is the one activity within the job search that they can control. Instead of picking up the phone and calling a prospective employer to ask for a face-to-face interview-risking potential rejection-people agonize over their résumés.
Here’s the truth–it is rare to get hired by simply submitting a résumé –the purpose of the résumé is to help get you an interview. And at the interview, remember that 40 percent of a hiring decision is based on personality. You’ve got to get the interview and sell your pitutee off.

KH: What makes an unbeatable résumé?
TB: It has to be simple. No more than two pages. The average résumé gets read in 10 seconds. Be sure the content is on a level any high school senior could understand. In other words, the person looking at your résumé should be able to easily understand exactly who you have worked for and what that company does. Just because you know the company or it’s a big name like IBM, Boeing Corp, or Ford Motor Co, doesn’t mean everyone is familiar with what your specific division does.
  • Avoid the fancy-schmancy layout, font, and other special effects. Stick to traditional font of Times New Roman, 9 to 12 point size, and black type against a white paper. You might try a different type size for your name and the companies you have worked for, perhaps your title. But try to be consistent. Go easy on boldface type, italics, and underlining.

  • Prepare it in a simple Word format that can easily be viewed on most computers. Not a table format or template.

  • Use a reverse chronological order. List your present, or most recent job, first, and then work backwards. You state the complete name of the company you work for, or have worked for, and what they do, how long you were there–month and year. Then list the position you held and your accomplishments. You don’t have to use full sentences. Begin with verbs. “Managed company tax reporting, finance, invoicing, purchasing,” for example.

  • Get rid of objectives and summary and all that silly stuff. It’s all fluff. An employer doesn’t care about your objective. He cares about his.

  • Skip personal information such as married with three kids. Sounds stable to you. But to a hiring authority looking for someone to travel, it may keep you from being interviewed.

  • Stories sell. Numbers, statistics, percentages get attention if you put in bold type. Increased profit by this 28%. Came under budget by 30%. If you were born and raised on chicken farm, note it on your résumé.

  • Fuzzy key words and phrases should be avoided. These include customer-oriented, excellent communications skills, and creative. These words lack meaning and do absolutely nothing to help you get an interview.

  • Use words that refer to titles- customer service, controller, manager, accountant,

  • Get the photos off your résumé. You are looking for a job, not a date.

KH: Does “age” stop people over 50 from landing a job? - Read the answer and complete Forbes article

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cold Call Your Way to a New Job

There’s no question that the Internet has changed the way we search for jobs. Email, social media, job boards – a world of career opportunities are literally just a click away. But all this easy job seeking comes at a cost – whether you’re sending a email, letter of inquiry, or a submitting a resume – you’re just another faceless applicant among millions of job seekers.

When we apply to jobs online, we lose a good portion of our personal marketing message. There’s only so much a great LinkedIn profile or Facebook page communicates about who we really are as a person. It’s not the same as actually talking to someone real-time. On the Internet, great applicants get overlooked and great talent gets lost in translation.

So how do we stand out in such an impersonal system? This article advocates using an old piece of technology to get you in front of a human being – the tried and true telephone.
After you’ve applied to some jobs online, it’s time to call some companies and hiring managers. You’ll be seen as more driven and proactive just by making the effort. However, picking up the phone and calling a stranger can be the hardest thing in the world. Compared to non-confrontational emails, social media messages, etc., selling yourself on the phone is a whole different ballgame. But those who make the extra effort reap the rewards. So how do you actually make the call? Read below for some tips:
  1. Research who to call: This is where your network and the Internet comes in handy. It wouldn’t make much sense to open up the phone book and blindly call the receptionist at all companies you’re looking at. You need the names of hiring managers and decision makers – and your network can help. You can do your detective work on a company’s website or any of the social media networks. Ask for referrals and probe around your industry for opportunities.

  2. Make a script: If you don’t feel comfortable with off-the-cuff conversation, make a cold call script just like salespeople do. This can range from a few scribbled talking points to a full on elevator pitch. If you can’t get through to anyone, leave a short voice-mail and move on. You never know who might call you back.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

5 Reasons Why Recruiters Are Using Twitter for Recruitment

By Careerealism

1. Twitter is free; and with the cost of business sometimes being a hefty burden, even recruitment firms can’t resist the charms of a no-cost, useful online tool. For recruiters seeing a decline in assignments, free services such as Twitter can offer needed relief to a weighed-down operating budget.
For job seekers: Twitter is free, even to Jane and Joe Job Seeker. If recruiters are using Twitter to attract ideal job candidates, it seems only fitting job seekers should put themselves in the position to be attracted.

2. Twitter provides a substantial reach for recruiters, putting them in touch with prime job candidates that few other online services provide. Building hundreds of followers within a few short weeks is very doable, so Twitter can certainly put recruiters in touch with followers (job seekers) quickly as well.
For job seekers: Twitter puts you within “tweet reach” of recruiters.

3. Twitter offers a formal and informal platform for recruiters to open conversations. Recruiters strive for the best job candidates, which usually means “cherry picking” prime candidates away from competitors. Twitter certainly offers one more method of contact to pick.
For job seekers: Make yourself accessible to recruiters by learning about their current and continued recruitment needs. Take an active interest in keeping up on recruiter posts, recommending colleagues or associates when the need arises [keep in mind not each job posted will be perfect for you, but might be perfect for someone in your network — don’t forget to feed your network!].

Tips 4-5 and Complete Article

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ace Your Skype Job Interview: 14 Smart Tips

By Amy Levin-Epstein

Practice makes perfect. This dictum applies to learning to do anything well — whether it’s riding a bike, speaking a foreign language, or doing a Skype interview with confidence. Consultant Kerrie Hopkins, who works with clients on 5 continents, advises not only practicing but also recording your efforts to review. “People have no idea how they are being received on another’s computer screen,” says Hopkins.

That’s not a great thing, since in a still shaky economy when companies that are able to hire are increasingly turning to online interviews to save time and money, being able to interview comfortably on Skype is an essential skill to have.

So in addition to practicing, how else can job seekers prepare for an online interview? I asked dozens of executives, career consultants, and tech experts nationwide this question. Here are their best 14 tips. Got more? Please share them in the comments section below.

1. Look Into The Camera
“During Skype interviews, some people fixate on themselves on the computer screen. This gives the impression that the candidate is not making eye contact with the interviewer on the other end. When an interview starts, take a moment to make sure you look fine on the screen, then focus on looking into the camera.”–Davin Malasarn, Science Writer for the California NanoSystems Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles

2. Get Rid of Distractions
“Make sure that [you're] the only living object in view. Maybe you’re 27 and living with your parents, but the person interviewing you doesn’t need to know that. Let the people in your life know what’s happening, and insist they stay at the opposite side of the house/apartment. If you have kids, it would be helpful to have a babysitter come to make sure there is no crying during the Skype session. And pets should also be out of view.“–Rich DeMatteo, Co-Founder of Bad Rhino, a social media marketing firm, and Founder of Corn on the Job, a job search blog, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

3. Put Your Hands Where They Can See Them
“Make sure that the camera on your computer gives a good shot of your head and shoulders, as well as of your hands. Remember that a good portion of understanding comes from body language and other non-verbal cues, so you want to make sure that the upper half of your body is showing.”–John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC, “Heckers Development Group, LTD, 
Cherry Creek, Colorado

4. Plug In Securely
“Plug your computer into an ethernet port, and plug your headphones into the computer’s jack. You want direct ethernet access because it’s far more stable than wireless, and you want to have headphones in to avoid playback from the speakers.”–Fan Bi, Founder + Chief Shirt, Blank Label, Boston, Massachussetts

Read Tips 5 - 14 and more:

Monday, August 22, 2011

10 Things to do After you Lose your Job.

  • Contact a Career coach. Have you met with one? Most will give you the first meeting at no cost or obligation and you can brainstorm. Even this one meeting might give you some great ideas. Before you sign on with one, make sure you have shopped around to find one you like.

  • Network in unlikely places. Examine who you know, and who knows the most people. Tell them your story and see what comes back to you. For me, it was always my hairdresser. Seriously. He or she knew so many people. Second to this is your financial planner. Seriously II. As a financial planner I am incredibly connected to generations of clients and their families with all sorts of skill levels. As a self employed person for almost 20 years, I can also give you insight into this life style.

  • Evaluate your financial planner. If you look in the mirror and see your financial planner, fire yourself, and reach out to the financial planning community in your area. Just like career coaches, most planners will meet with you initially to see how they can help you and potentially work together and there is no charge for this first meeting. Look for Certified Financial Planners here. They have passed a strenuous series of 6 exams followed by a 2 day 10 hour comprehensive exam with a 55% pass ratios. CFPs dedicate themselves to this regimen.

  • Sharpen your saw. This aspect is one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. If it has been a while since you read these 7 Habits, take another look. These are amazing and simple truths. Find people and situations to make you a better prospect and potential employee the next time around. 

  • Join Toastmasters. I would have put this first, but then you may have quit reading. It has been said they many people would pick death over making a speech in public. Perhaps you can already think on your feet. If you have never given an improvised speech, ask someone you love to give you a topic to talk about for 5 minutes and have them time you. If it is something you know about, that will help. If not, then your speech may be more about your curiosity about the topic. For example: Talk for 5 minutes about a Day in the Life of a Firefighter. But I digress……my major in college was Communications and I love to give speeches. You don’t have to love to speak in public. But you must be able to speak extemporaneously in a job interview, and you can practice this in your own living room. 

  • Tips 6 - 10 and Complete Forbes Article.

  • Friday, August 19, 2011

    10 Hiring Red Flags to Avoid

    By Victoria Brienza

    In this economy, companies often are flooded with hundred of applications for a single opening. And so it’s no surprise that hiring managers try to find ways to easily weed through the pile of resumes to get to the most qualified candidates to interview. It’s easier for companies to dismiss candidates than to keep them in the running and complete the whole screening process with prospects who may not pan out.

    The trick to giving yourself the best shot at a job is to make a clear path for the hiring manager to see how you fit the job requirements and make sure that your square peg fits nicely in their square hole. The more you can help them easily recognize how you are the best person to meet their needs, the easier it is for them to offer you a job.

    To keep your resume from the bottom of the pile, check out these top 10 hiring red flags and learn how to stay on your path to employment.    

    1. Your Contact Information

    While you may have a cutesy e-mail handle, it may not be the best option to use for your resume. “E-mail addresses are more important than you think,” says Anna H.*, a human resources executive. “Don’t use your 'stage name' like” Remember that e-mail is typically the preferred method of contact and you don’t want the hiring manager to have the question raised again and again, "I wonder how they got that email name?"

    With the ability to sign up for a free e-mail account, there is no excuse to not have an e-mail that shows your professionalism (i.e. yourname @ It’s the little things that can make a big difference between a job and the unemployment line.

    Anna H. also recommends this following tidbit to job applicants, “No pictures on resumes please! It is an HR nightmare. And for that matter, leave your street address off your resume too, until we ask for it.”

    Make sure you use an e-mail account with a professional handle. You can sign-up for a free e-mail from G-Mail, AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail or others. Use this e-mail only for your job search.

    Also, make sure that any touch point (i.e. voicemail, text, etc...) a recruiter may use to connect with you is also professional and appropriate.

    *All names have been changed to protect the identity of our sources.

    2. Lengthy Gaps Between Jobs

    With such high unemployment these days, having a lengthy gap between jobs has become almost common. Although most of us will have a gap or two at some point in our career, it is still one of those markers that hiring managers make note of and will probably prompt them to probe you with some in-depth questioning.

    While there are gaps of time that can be easily explained, such as childbirth, education, self-employment, etc., it’s the unexplained lengthy gaps that raise a red flag for hiring managers. And in this competitive climate, it’s an easy way to weed your resume out without taking a good look.

    If you’ve been unemployed for six months or longer, you may want to briefly mention the reason for the gap in your cover letter and then expand your explanation in person, if necessary. Just keep your reasoning brief and positive in your cover letter. Remember, the best policy is to always be honest and open. Hiding it will be more problematic in the long run.

    Flags 3 - 10 and Complete Article

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    The Career Advice You Should Never Offer Or Accept

    Giving advice is fraught with potential pitfalls. Mostly, people don’t want your unvarnished take on a given situation, they want you to help them confirm their bias in the most soothing way possible. But not all career counsel is created equal. Whether you’re on the giving or the receiving end, there are a few platitudes that should be permanently shelved. Don’t parrot them and if someone offers one up, you have my permission to consult a Magic 8-Ball instead.

    “Pursuing your passion should take precedence.”
    I’m going to get heat for this, but I cringe almost every time I hear some self-styled guru or coach urging their followers to ditch an unfulfilling career in order to chase their nebulously-defined dreams. Yes, you should probably find a way to get out of a job that is causing you acute physical and emotional distress or requires you to jeopardize your health and safety or disregard your moral code. But what if it just doesn’t make your soul sing? There may be people out there who feel passionate about direct marketing or doing payroll, but just because you aren’t one of them doesn’t mean that you or your job are broken. The advice that if you don’t feel wildly inflamed about going to work every day it should be taken as a red flag that you’re doing it wrong is bunk. Maybe work fills a hole in your soul or maybe it fills your bank account and gives you the freedom to follow up other interests on your own time. Encouraging people to leave behind stability (especially in this economy) for something more, without having defined what that something more is and putting in place a solid (and resourced) transition plan that will take them from drudgery to bliss is irresponsible. If someone tosses this platitude your way and doesn’t follow it up with questions or guidance about minimizing risk during the transition, write them off as an out-of-touch airhead.

    “Have you discussed this with…?”  Read the Rest of the Forbes Article

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    Don’t Send Me (or Anyone Else) Your Resume!

    by Susan P. Joyce

    “Spray and pray” resume distribution (sending it to every email address you can find or posting it in every job board you can find) is a waste of time, and makes you look desperate and dumb.  Don’t do it yourself, and don’t hire a resume distribution “service” to do it for you.  

    Not only do you look desperate, spray-and-pray may send your resume into the wrong hands, for example, to:
    • Your current boss, if you are employed, or someone else you work with, which can result in loss of the job you have.

    • Someone who will use your information for their own purposes completely unrelated to job search – selling your contact information to mass marketers, for example.  Need more spam, junk phone calls, or junk mail?

    • Someone intent on identity theft or other nasty action.

    Don’t send your resume to anyone without a good reason, a “connection” of some kind to the person receiving the resume, an approach customized to the person and organization, and a plan for following up appropriately.
    Do NOT send your resume, unless:
    • You are responding to a job posting you have found – be sure to specify the job title, the posting number (or other identifier used by the employer), and where and when you found it.

    • You have done some research on the person and the organization, and you think it could be a good place for you to work.

    • You know the person, have met them, or have been introduced in some less concrete way (email, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.).

    • You have done the research to  know – or to strongly suspect – that they have a need for someone to do what you could do for them.  Don’t be rude about it – NO “You guys  are very bad at…!”

    • You customize your approach, based on research you have done, so that you address people correctly and demonstrate your sincere interest in them.  “Hi [fill in name]” is not effective without the name filled in!  You can use a template, but be sure to use it very carefully!

    The Research
    Once you have identified a target job or target employer, leverage LinkedIn to find out:
    • Who does the job probably report to?
      • Who is their boss? 

      • Who else is at that level

    • Who recruits for the organization? 

    • Who else works at the organization? 

    Track down people who work there now and who worked there in the past.  The people working there now know the organization, names, titles, and locations, and have easier access to those people than anyone else.
    The people who worked there in the past know the organization (or how it was at the point of their departure), and they might know and share: the names, titles, and organizational structure plus why it is or is not, a good place to work, who to work for and who NOT to work for, which group(s) are growing and which group(s) are dying, etc.
    How do you find those people on LinkedIn?
    • Do a ”Company” search for the target organization, and LinkedIn will show you who in your network worked there or currently works there.

    • Do an “Advanced search” for People, type the job title into the “Title” field on the form, choose “Current or past” from the drop down.  LinkedIn will show you who in your network who currently has, or who had, that job title.  If you only want people who currently hold the title, choose “Current” from the drop-down.

    Your LinkedIn network is too small?  It’s easy to enlarge by joining serveral LinkedIn Groups – you can join up to 50 of them.
    You can also have Google search ALL of LinkedIn for you, not just your connections.  The query should look like this:
    “marketing manager” +Verizon +Philadelphia – OR
    “marketing manager” +philadelphia – OR
    “[job title you want]” +[employer you want] +[location you want]
    See Google-ize Your Job Search for more tips.

    Do’s  - See the Do's and read the complete article

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    You Will Get Googled...Are You Afraid?

    By Careerealism

    I like to tell my clients they will be Googled just as surely as it will rain in Portland tonight. The latest survey revealed 81% of employers WILL Google candidates. Do you know what they will see when they find you?

    Online reputation management is a critical piece of your job search. There is just no getting around it, no matter what field you are in.

    Quick story: When I Googled my name a year ago, I was a convicted felon and a prolific New York gynecologist, either simultaneously or separately. I was sure I didn’t want to be associated with those jobs, so I embarked on a campaign to bring the real “me” to Google’s first page.

    The good news is now my LinkedIn profile comes up on Google’s first page. What a huge relief! I was worried what kind of appointments people were scheduling with me. The bad news is this happened only after many months of putting myself out there. Results didn't happen overnight.
    But there is a method and science to getting your name ranked on Google’s first page. Follow these easy steps to finally take back control of your internet reputation.

    Assess the Current State of Your Online Reputation
    In order to know how much effort to put in your re-branding efforts, you’ll need to assess how bad it is.
    1. Google your name and notice how many times the real you comes up on the first page, and also on the first three pages. Remember to use your first and last name as well as your first name, middle initial and last name combinations.
    (If you have a common name, always use your middle initial when publishing anything online and on your social media profiles.)

    2. Use to search for your name. Does the real you come up? is the most comprehensive people search I’ve found online. It will reveal any criminal records, past address, and other skeletons. Recruiters use this all the time. So should you.

    3. Depending on these results, you may have a lot of work ahead of you to begin to rebuild your name. Use this data to figure out how much time you need to spend on this project.

    Bury the Dead, Plant a Tree
    Ranking on Google is just a matter of building a web of “you.” The more links, sites, or pages with your name Google indexes, the better. It’s a matter of burying the old results but making new results rank higher. Here are some basic principles:  Read the Principals and Complete Article

    Friday, August 5, 2011

    Job Seekers: 5 Tips to Launch a Career


    We’ve all heard the depressing stories about job fairs where the handful of recruiters are mobbed with hundreds of applicants for less than a dozen positions, the oft-used term “jobless recovery” and speculation that we’re headed into a “double-dip” recession. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a job, says Susanne Goldstein, career coach and author of “Carry a Paintbrush: How to Be the Artistic Director of Your Own Career.”

    But the best way to approach a job search has changed, she says. Here are her top tips for finding work that that you’ll love and that will love you.

    Brand Yourself: Think of yourself as a car. What comes to mind when you think Volvo? (Safe and kind of boring?) When you say Prius? (I will never race someone for a six-pack, but I will save a tree?) Porsche? (I have enough money for a really great mid-life crisis?) Okay. Those thoughts may not have been the manufacturer’s marketing materials, but car manufacturers spend a great deal of time determining how to design and market their vehicles to emphasize what makes them special — power, safety, curb appeal or economy, for example. That helps them find their niche and target their pitch to a receptive audience. You need to do the same thing with your career. What’s your brand?

    If you’re not sure, Goldstein suggests you start with three sheets of paper. Label one: Passions; the next: Interests; the final: Skills. Write down as many thoughts as you can on each page and then brainstorm with your smartest friends and advisors about what careers intersect your passions, interests and skills. That’s the niche where you’re likely to thrive. Target employers in that niche and target your pitch to show them how you are a spectacular fit.

    Think Backward: Instead of looking for open jobs, look for companies that do the things that engage you and fit your skill set. Don’t even worry yet about whether they have open positions, says Goldstein. Research companies. Read their history, mission statement and about their team — all information you’re likely to find on their web site.

    Part of what sells you is what you know and like about them. Remember that even though you’re here because you want to find a job, this is not about you. Find out what problems the company needs to solve. If you can legitimately help solve those problems, you become like aspirin — a simple way to fix their headaches.

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    LinkedIn’s New Job Search Tool: How to Make the Most of It


    Previously at On The Job, we’ve talked about how some people (namely, men) use LinkedIn more effectively than others (us ladies), and how all of us can improve our networking skills on the site. Now LinkedIn has a new tool in its bag that job seekers should know about.

    The new development is the launch of an “Apply with Linkedin” button. Over 1,000 companies (including Netflix, TripIt, and Photobucket) have added the plug-in to their job listing pages. Once an applicant clicks on it, their LinkedIn info is sent to the company in lieu of a resume. Applicants are then reminded of professional connections that might help them get the gig. The “Saved Jobs” feature helps job seekers keep track of opportunities they’re being considered for. For hiring managers, the plug-in is free to download.

    I met with Adam Nash, VP of Product Management at LinkedIn, and asked him 5 questions about the new product. Here’s what he shared:

    1. What is the first thing a job applicant should do to get started with Apply with LinkedIn?
    The first thing applicants should do to get started is ensure their profiles are complete and up-to-date. In a recent [LinkedIn-commissioned] survey, nearly a quarter of respondents [said they] update their resumes less than once a year.

    2. How can you make the most of this new product?
    Remember, most employers search LinkedIn by keyword, so be sure to fill in the details of your responsibilities and achievements for each of your positions. Also, leverage your connections. Once you submit via the Apply with LinkedIn button, you will then be prompted with relevant professional connections at the company, and have the opportunity to immediately send them a LinkedIn message. Important stat: our research shows that applicants with referrals are seven times more likely to get hired.

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    Eight Job-Interview Wins for the Record Book

    A former human resources director recalls some applicants who impressed their way into getting instant job offers

    After revealing tales of job applicants who disappointed, disconcerted, or generally weirded me out in my last column, I thought it only fair to share stories about prospective employees who surprised me in positive ways. Even in lean times, job candidates who show that they know what an employer is up against and have insight into how to make things more effective are always in short supply. Here are eight stories of job-seekers who made good by standing in their power and helping employers see their value.

    1. A Bit of Free Consulting
    I'd already interviewed a half-dozen contenders for director of internal communications when Diane arrived. Her professional background included stints at top-tier consulting firms, but I wondered whether our company's breakneck pace and "Ready! Fire! Aim!" leadership style would throw her. "Traditional top-down communication will not do the trick in this environment, in my view," Diane told me. "What other alternative is there?" I asked. To my delight, Diane launched into new-client-consultation mode—right in the job interview. By the time we finished our chat, we had a rough communication plan outlined and Diane had consulted her way into the job.

    The lesson: Use your interview time to learn the business conditions, not passively answer questions. People hire people they believe can help them, not the most-groveling or most-docile applicant in the mix.

    2. Up From McDonald's
    Twenty-plus years ago, I interviewed John for a client-service job. We were both 21; John had just graduated from college, and was working as a crew member at McDonald's (MCD). "Tell me about McDonald's," I said, and John jumped into an explanation of the company's supply chain: "It's incredible," he said. "They know exactly what each store sold on each shift yesterday, so the distribution center sends us just the items we need, based on projected sales for today. The feedback mechanisms are impressive. It's an incredibly efficient information flow." John used his ringside seat to study the operation in a situation where many of his colleagues merely flipped burgers. He saw the bigger picture, paid attention to the critical points where service and profitability were made or broken for the restaurant, and used the job interview to share what he knew. John got the client-service job, and today runs a research organization.

    The lesson: You can get altitude on your business from any vantage point. Don't just complete the tasks assigned to you. Use your perch as a place from which to learn the business, and be able to talk about what you know.

    3. Showing How You Do It
    This story comes to me from my old friend Alice, who was interviewing for an admissions coordinator job at a tony prep school in central New Jersey. The admissions director liked Alice's down-to-earth communication style and her administrative background, but wasn't totally sold. "We multitask here every day, under tight deadlines," said Alice's prospective manager. "Let me show you what I can do," Alice replied. The admissions director said: "Go to the desk out in front of my office, and put together a spreadsheet of information on the competitive private schools in this area." Alice jumped online, got on the phone, and went to work. One hour and a dozen phone calls later, she had compiled a detailed spreadsheet on the prep school's competitive set, showing everything from year established and student/teacher ratios to after-school programs, tuition costs, and class sizes. She got the job.

    The lesson: Don't be afraid to show, rather than tell, what you can do for your next boss.

    Lessons 4 - 8 and Complete BusinessWeek Article

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Career Exploration: Start With Where, Not What


    With college life often jam-packed with clubs, activities, classes and internships, students with a less than laser-like career focus often graduate with no shortage of potential skills to develop or interests to pursue. But how do you translate these resume tidbits and a vague sense of your strengths and weaknesses into a viable career path? Or to put it another way, how do you decide what you want to be when you grow up?
    Annie Favreau, a spokesperson for career exploration site Inside Jobs, has an innovative suggestion. When we spoke to her recently, she stressed that those who are unsure of their career path often trip themselves up by putting the cart before the horse. Rather than mentally trying on job titles, Favreau suggests you begin by picturing an actual work place rather than an abstract idea.
    The place that I like to start is, what is your ideal working situation? Do you really want be working with a whole lot of people? Do you want to be in an office? Do you have to be outside? Do you actually hate cubicles? Think about it very specifically — what is the concrete working space I want to be in? That’s a great place to start and then you can move on to, what do I like to do? What are my skills? What would I really like to focus on?
    A lot of the time nowadays people, I find, are coming out of school with a huge amount of interests and many things that they’ve done over their college career and finding one to play up and to really develop can be kind of difficult, because a lot of times people will start with the job, saying ‘oh, I really want to be an accountant,’ but then not really follow that thought through to what the actual the results of that would be.
    So what does Favreau suggest you do once you’ve completed this mental exercise and pictured the physical environment in which you’d like to work? It’s no surprise that career exploration sites like the one she represents top the list. They can help you “explore different career paths and flow through different jobs to see which one might match up with you. This is really great because you can discover jobs that maybe you hadn’t thought of yourself as being good at or didn’t even know existed.” And she also stresses the benefits of getting off the beaten path when considering possible careers.

    Complete Article and More Advice

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    Job Search Advice: How often do you check your spam filter?

    by Phil Rosenberg

    Spam filters are a funny thing.

    Because sometimes they have a mind of their own … and sometimes they are wrong.

    Spam filters attempt to read our minds, by learning what we don’t like. Plus, some email providers have their own rules that try to predict what should be considered spam. Usually, this works pretty well – But sometimes, either your own filter or the email providers’ rules can misclassify email you really want to see as spam.

    It’s not that email providers have bad software – but it isn’t perfect.

    So Mixed-in with all the Viagara ads, insurance offers, scam emails from Nigeria, penny stock offers, contests, free iPads, announcements that you won the Tasmanian lottery, and the emails that aren’t safe for work … are often one or two emails that can be important to you.

    What if that important misclassified was … say, an invitation to interview? Questions from the hiring manager? Or a job offer?

    How often do you check your spam filter? Most spam filters will automatically delete flagged emails every month, some every week.

    Read the rest of the reCareered article