Monday, April 30, 2012

20 Job Search Tips for 2012 College Graduates

by Rich DeMatteo

I want to tell you about a conversation that I once overheard.  The day was March 15, 2005, my college graduation day.  A roommate’s dad was talking to my mother and father when I heard him say…
I wanted to bring a 2X4 (lumber), write “LIFE” on it, and use it to smack Billy right across his forehead the moment he received his diploma
I was certainly too confused and overwhelmed with my current newfound life situation to understand how true that joke actually was.  For many, graduation signals a new life.  For some it’s a tougher life.  For most (if not all) it’s the official birth of a professional — but only after they do land that first job.

When I graduated, the job market was much easier to break into than it is now.  The “life” 2X4 induces much more pain for graduates these days, so here are 20 Job Search Tips for the current or soon to be 2012 Graduates:

1.  Use Linkedin:  Spend serious time on Linkedin.  Build connections, join groups related to your industry, and apply for jobs through Linkedin.  If you spend 10 hours on Facebook per week, try popping onto Linkedin for 5 hours.

2.  Visit Your School Career Center:  Your career center is not only free, but people there are very helpful.  Take advantage of their tips, advice, and employer connections.

3.  Focus Your Job Search:  Don’t apply to everything you see.  Focus your search on one or two specific areas.  Applying to too many jobs is sloppy and employers will take notice.

4.  Practice Interviewing With Friends:  Get a group of 2-3 friends together and meet once a week to practice interview questions.  Critique each other and offer feedback.

5.  Buy Your Interview Clothes Before Graduating:  You might already have nice clothes for an interview, but it’s always a nice feeling to buy a new suit and feel mentally prepared for something great to happen.  Don’t want to get a call on a Tuesday for an interview on Thursday and feel unprepared to look the part.

6.  Have a Plan:  Write out a little job search plan.  List the companies you really want to work for, the geographic locations you like, and pick specific times of the week to designate for the job search.

7.  Don’t Have a Plan:  Hey, some people just can’t plan, and that’s OK.  Just make sure to not lose focus of the one or two areas that you’re SURE you want to work in.

8.  Set a Professional Voicemail on Your Phone:  A standard voicemail will work just fine.

9.  Check Your Facebook Privacy Settings:  Turn your wall comments off, disable photo tagging, and set everything to a minimum of “Friends of Friends”.

Tips 11 - 20 and complete article

Sunday, April 29, 2012

S*** Recruiters Say

How many of these have you heard a recruiter say or if you are a recruiter how many have you heard yourself say???

Friday, April 27, 2012

5 Ways Pinterest Can Help Your Job Search

Posted by 

If you haven’t yet discovered the addictive time-suck that is Pinterest, here’s the deal: It’s a web-based bulletin board where users pin beautiful, inspirational pictures.

Most people use it to pin pictures of pretty clothes, interesting home decor, and drool-inducing food, but we’ve got another idea – use Pinterest for your job search.

Here are five ideas of how to do just that:
1. Find companies you want to work for.
Companies large and small quickly figured out the value of Pinterest for their sales and marketing (see Zappos and Whole Foods). Those pin boards can help job seekers get a sense of the company’s culture, priorities, outreach strategies and overall tone.
Are they buttoned-up or casual? What’s their main marketing focus? What language do they use to talk about themselves and their products? These insights can help you craft standout, tailored job applications that show you’ve done your homework and understand the company.

2. Put your resume on Pinterest as a portfolio.

We love an idea from Mashable suggesting Pinterest as a way to create a visual representation of your resume or professional experience.
Create boards for your work experience, awards and accomplishments, degrees or classes, a portfolio of your work, and even your hobbies and interests. As long as you have or can find pictures demonstrating these things visually, you can create an eye-catching Pinterest portfolio to share with employers.

3. Follow college career offices.
Some college career folks are brilliantly using Pinterest to give expert job advice to college students and recent grads. Even if your school’s career office isn’t on Pinterest yet, you can follow any that are, like those at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Bucknell University. These offices have pin boards for professional dress, job search tips and career research.

Tips 4,5, and complete Glassdoor Blog

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Make Social Media Your Job-Finding Weapon

Jacquelyn Smith, Forbes Staff

What’s one way for hiring managers to learn who you are outside the confines of the résumé, cover letter and interview? Scanning your social media profiles.
It turns out 37% of employers screen potential job candidates on social networks, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. That means about two in five companies browse your social media profiles to evaluate your character and personality — and some even base their hiring decision on what they find.
“Social media is a primary vehicle of communication today, and because much of that communication is public, it’s no surprise some recruiters and hiring managers are tuning in,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “It will be interesting to see over the years how many employers adopt formal policies around social media.”
The nationwide survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of jobs from February 9 to March 2, 20l2, included more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals.
Brad Schepp, co-author of How To Find A Job On LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ says he was surprised to learn that just 37% of employers are researching candidates on social networking sites. “I would think that number is actually much higher,” he says. “If you were a recruiter, or a hiring manager for a company, wouldn’t you check out a potential hire through LinkedIn? Or, if you were hiring a recent grad, it would almost surely occur to you to visit their Facebook profile.”
Of the employers who do not research candidates on social media, 15% said it’s because their company prohibits the practice, and 11% report they do not currently use social media to screen, but plan to start.
The survey also found that employers are primarily using Facebook (65%) and LinkedIn (63%) to research candidates. Just 16% use Twitter.
So why are they using social networks to research candidates? - More answers, tips, and complete Forbes article

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Job and Career Advice… from Dirty Harry

by Mark Babbitt

I took some time this weekend to get caught up on my non-work related reading, just to clear my head. In a matter of moments, however, I got sucked right back in by no one other than “Dirty Harry” himself, Clint Eastwood.

In an old magazine article, here’s what Eastwood said about getting a job in his teens… some six or seven decades ago:

“When I was a kid, I remember going out and looking for jobs, and I would ask my father how I could figure out how much money I would make. He told me not to worry about that, but to tell them what I could do for them and that I wanted to learn everything about their business and become a great asset to the company.”

Mr. Eastwood went on to use this advice throughout his adult life. Here’s his approach when he asked to direct his first film:

“I went to the head of Universal Studios and said that I’d like to direct this film as well as act in it. Because it was a small budget, he said, ‘Sure, go ahead, but we’re not going to pay you to direct.’ I told him that was fine; I should be paying him for the experience, that he shouldn’t pay me until he knows I can do something…”

Dirty Harry added:  -  More advice from Dirty Harry and complete article

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Get a new job? 10 tips for new grads

Job seekers, particularly those just finishing school, have a lot more control over their situations than they acknowledge. Even in a competitive economy, there are steps to take to help land a new job successfully Check these off your list to get on the road to job search success!

1. Apply for the right jobs. Study job descriptions and highlight the parts describing you.

2. Research companies seeking your skills. Use LinkedIn’s Skills section to help choose suitable organizations.

3. Create and cultivate a professional online presence. Jobvite’s 2011 Social Job Seeker Survey reports 89 percent of companies will use social networks as part of their hiring plans this year. Consider creating and maintaining your own professional website like a social resume.

4. Network in person. Join professional organizations (many will have student or new professional rates) and attend events where you can expect to meet prospective hiring managers and mentors.

5. Practice your pitch. Be able to tell people what you do, why it’s important to them, and about your accomplishments. Narrow down these talking points to a 30-second introduction.

Tips 6 - 10 and complete article

Monday, April 23, 2012

5 Common Networking Opportunities Job-Seekers Shouldn't Miss

Jada A. Graves, U.S. News & World Report

You've probably heard that you need to attend your office's holiday party. You'll be treated to free food, good music (hopefully), and a once-a-year opportunity to network with folks within your company whom you rarely never see.
But there are other events that come around regularly; informal situations that are ideal for networking. Grab a fresh stack of business cards, perfect your elevator speech, and keep your eyes and ears peeled during these five everyday situations:

1. Sporting Events. Sporting events and networking go hand in hand, ever since people began negotiating on the golf course. "We tell our M.B.A. students that if you're going to go into corporate America and you don't know how to play golf, then you should probably learn," says Cynthia Kay Stevens, an associate professor at University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. "It's the natural thing for you to have in common with a business associate." Other sporting events—whether you're a spectator or participant—also make for great opportunities to meet and greet. And the commonality of enjoying ski trips or cheering on your children at a weekly soccer game will give you an easy intro into a conversation.

Since it's natural for new acquaintances to discuss what they do career-wise, you'll have to plan carefully what you'll say and how you'll say it. Karen James Chopra, a licensed professional counselor with a specialization in careers, suggests memorizing a target statement about yourself for networking on the fly. "If you just say 'I'm currently unemployed,' that's going to be a conversation killer," she says. "Try something like, 'I'm currently unemployed, but what I'm looking to do next is X, Y, and Z,' so that the conversation can keep going. [Your target statement] doesn't have to be a full elevator speech, but it should be prepared like one."

Networking Dos and Don'ts for Sporting Events
Don't miss your kid scoring the winning goal on account of your schmoozing.
Do nurture a new friendship by talking sports and careers.

2. Charity Events. Like sporting events, charity functions are occasions when people gather with a common interest. In other words, you should be able to find a simple entrée into a conversation with a stranger—your mutual interest in autism research, for instance. But if you're having trouble, Stevens offers advice that she recalls hearing recently from a networking expert. "She suggested that you strategically place yourself near the food or drinks table, because that's where the most people congregate," Stevens says. "Then rely on a couple of generic questions you can ask to the people who approach the table. Things like asking about the parking, the traffic, the food, even distributing a compliment—these are small things that provide an opening."

"Try to connect with people on a personal level first," adds Hallie Crawford, a certified career coach and founder of the Atlanta-based company Create Your Own Career Path. "Because that's going to make for a deeper, meaningful relationship sometimes. Consider starting conversations by talking about a recent movie you've seen, or a recent vacation you've enjoyed."
Networking Dos and Don'ts for Charity Events

Don't harass guests while they're trying to make a silent auction bid.
Do stand near the food and drink table so you can meet the passersby.

3. Weddings. Waiting for the processional to begin. Standing in the receiving line. Milling about the cocktail hour. Weddings are rife with networking opportunities. And one perk to meeting business contacts this way is that you'll be wearing your Sunday best, which usually makes for a good first impression. "I've told women to make sure their business cards are in their evening bags," says Chopra when asked about meeting new people during formal events. "Then while sitting at the reception, be sure to ask your table mates what they do," she adds.
Just make sure to maintain a level of professional decorum if you think there's the potential for networking. Even though a wedding is a party, you still want to "maintain your professional composure," says Crawford. "Smile, be warm, be enthusiastic, and have a positive attitude. Behave as you would at a workplace, and talk to [the people you meet] in a professional way."
Networking Dos and Don'ts for Weddings

Friday, April 20, 2012

20 Action-Oriented Words You Can Use On Your Resume Today!

Need to make an impact with your resume but not quite sure how?  Or maybe you know your resume is missing something but you just aren’t sure what?  Using strong, action-oriented words on your resume can change the perception people will have of your resume—and of you as a candidate.  If you’re stumped by word choice, using passive terminology such as: duties included … and responsible for … then I’m talking to you!

Below you’ll find a list of 20 action-oriented words you can start using on your resume today!
1.  Build or Builder
2.  Maintain or Maintainer
3.  Expand or Expander
4.  Create or Creator
5.  Market or Marketer
6.  Generate or Generator
7.  Pioneer  

Words - 8 - 20 and complete article

Thursday, April 19, 2012

5 Amazing Job Search Tips That (Almost) Nobody Follows

by Mark Babbitt

Job search advice is everywhere. It’s hard to know who to listen to – and even harder to know what advice really works… and what is just crap.
So here are five “never-fails” pieces of advice – from job-seeking mindset to nailing the interview – that will make a difference in how you are perceived by recruiters… and WILL help you get a job or internship!

Realize This is a Competition

Job seeking has always been you against someone else. So, put your game face on… and compete! And not just before the interview, or when you get excited about a specific opportunity – but throughout your entire job search.
In our current economy, it isn’t just you against a couple peers… it’s you against Boomers laid off two years ago willing to take a pay cut; former Gen X managers waiting their turn for the right job; and a horde of recent graduates desperate to enter the workforce (and avoid moving back with their parents). Maybe five years ago you were competing against five people similar to you. Now, you’re up against against 20, 50… maybe 100 just-as-qualified-as-you applicants, or more.
Also, take some pressure off yourself by knowing this: you do NOT have to be perfect. Just like every other competition: to win, you only have to be a little better than the person you’re competing against. Attempts to be perfect are paralyzing – and unproductive.

Personalize EVERY Resume Sent

This is one of those advice gems you hear all the time. And yet, about 75% of the resumes we receive at YouTern are generic, boring documents that fail to show the sender did any homework – and is instead just going through the motions.
EVERY resume you send should contain keywords and phrases from the job description and company website. EVERY resume should summarize how you are a “must interview” candidate by summarizing how your soft skills match those sought by that employer. EVERY cover letter you send should contain the recruiter’s name.
If you don’t take this simple advice – and send out old-school, photocopied, generic resumes… you’re not competing, and won’t win.

Establish Your Strengths: Value Proposition - See tips 3 - 5 and complete article

About the Author: A passionate supporter of Gen Y talent, CEO and Founder of YouTern Mark Babbitt is a serial entrepreneur and mentor. Mark has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Forbes and Under30CEO regarding internships, higher education’s role in preparing emerging talent for the workforce and career development. Recently, Mark was honored to be named to GenJuice’s list of “Top 100 Most Desirable Mentors”. You can contact Mark via email or on Twitter.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Job Search Networking – Part 1: Types and Tips

Networking is essential to a successful job search. It is estimated that 70% of jobs are found through networking. Growing your network and connecting to those who can help will increase the opportunities for job leads, advice, and support in your job search.

Networking can be as informal as striking up a conversation with the person next to you on a plane, or as formal as attending a business social or association event. Networking is also done effectively through social media, but I’ll save that for another article.

Don’t overlook the power of informal networking. Meeting someone at a family gathering, holiday party, or community event can lead to unexpected job opportunities. It’s appropriate to mention in casual conversation that you are seeking employment. You never know who you might meet that can help you with your job search. In fact, I got connected to my current job through a fellow volunteer at my son’s school library. Serendipity!

Formal networking is a great way to connect with those in your industry or career field. Attend business social events, professional association meetings, or alumni events. Be prepared to exchange business cards, and jot down notes on the cards about those you meet to help you remember important details. If you are uncomfortable approaching new people on your own, take a friend or colleague along to the event and introduce each other.

No matter how you choose to connect, there are a few guidelines you should follow for effective networking:
  • Be respectful and mindful of your contact’s time. Be prepared and concise when talking with them.
  • If possible, research your contacts before meeting with or reaching out to them. Use Linkedin to find out more about them.
  • Follow-up on leads and referrals immediately, and keep your contact informed of your progress.
  • Respect your contact’s privacy and always ask permission to use their name with a referral.
  • Send a written note (by hand or email) or quick phone call thanking contacts for their time, advice, referral, etc.
  • Keep a list handy of your strengths and accomplishments (what you bring to the table) so you’re always prepared for a networking encounter.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A pre-graduation job search action plan

By Robert Half International

Graduating from college soon? As the "real world" looms, keep in mind these words of wisdom from Thomas Edison: "Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning."

While a lucky few from the Class of 2012 will secure employment opportunities with minimal effort, the majority of graduates will need to work hard to launch their careers. Use your remaining time in school to your advantage by following these 10 job-search steps:

1. Keep it clear and concise. Some recent graduates try to compensate for a lack of experience by filling their résumés with overly verbose language. Others bump up the font size or triple-space the document to make it appear more impressive. Skip the typographical tricks and put away the thesaurus. A short and sweet résumé written in plain English is better than one brimming with extraneous phrases and fancy five-dollar words.

2. Fine-tune your résumé. The résumé remains the go-to document for employers, so make sure it's clearly organized and error free. While professors might have overlooked a typo in research papers, hiring managers may not be as forgiving. Proofread diligently and ask detail-oriented classmates, mentors and counselors in the career services department to check your work for both content and clarity.

3. Adapt your pitch. Once you have a rock-solid résumé to work from, customize it for each company you contact. It may sound like a pain, but this step is critical. Research the company, pay close attention to the words the company uses in the job posting, and incorporate these terms as appropriate. Tweak your pitch by highlighting strengths most relevant to that specific opportunity. For one role, you might play up the niche software skills you honed during an internship, while for another open position you might emphasize your communication and collaboration skills.

4. Cover your bases. Think writing cover letters is old school? Think again. In a Robert Half survey, 91 percent of employers interviewed said cover letters are valuable when evaluating job applicants. Your cover letter should demonstrate your knowledge of the company and expand upon your most pertinent selling points. Think of it like an introduction to your résumé. And, at just two to three paragraphs in length, a cover letter can be fairly quick to craft. There's no reason to skip it.

5. Polish your online image. Operate under the assumption that employers will search the Web for additional information about you. Clean up any digital debris floating around Facebook, Twitter or blogs. That means deleting questionable content and checking your privacy settings. Also, it's increasingly important to have a presence on LinkedIn. Students and recent college graduates represent the site's fastest-growing demographic.

Read Tips 6 - 10 and the complete MSN article

Monday, April 16, 2012

5 Tips On Maintaining Social Contacts While In Career Transition

Deborah Sweeney, Contributor
West Coast CEO who knows small business and entrepreneurs.

Recently, I had several members at my company celebrate their first year anniversary of working within their current job positions. The key word here is celebrate, especially noteworthy since they were all millennials. As fellow Forbes contributor J. Maureen Hendersonpointed out in her post on whether loyalty was for losers or not, for the millennial generation a year in the exact same position is the equivalent of a decade on their watch. But the overall consensus rings true both in her column as well as within reality: if a millennial (or Gen-Y’er or Boomer) is happy at work and they know it, stay put.
I don’t doubt I’ll eventually see members of my team exit for a different position down the line. But leaving a job title gracefully in today’s job market requires more than just a speedy resignation letter written during your lunch break and a box to clean out the desk with.
The real farewell is going to involve you and your Outlook inbox.
Few organizations allow you to keep your email address once you’re out of the company for good and it’s important to let everyone you communicate with, whether on a daily basis or not, know about this. Because all of those PR pros, social media gurus, reporters, affiliates, and assorted business minded folk are going to be pretty confused if they try to email you and the reply that bounces back says the email couldn’t be delivered- the online equivalent of having fallen off of the face of the earth. And not everyone will think to immediately assume you’re switching jobs either.
To avoid looking MIA with your connections while in the midst of a career transition, put these five tips to use.
1) Tie up loose connection ends
Once you’re out of the company, you’re out. Everything that is sent over to your account from there on you won’t be allowed to view or control from mass newsletter subscriptions to personal messages. For those who use their company address for less than professional reasons, guess who gets to review whatever arrives on the daily? Hint: not you. Make sure early on to notify your contacts that you won’t be the one receiving emails sent to that address in a quick and friendly note before your departure.
2) Gather ’round LinkedIn
To say with certainly that you’ll stay with the next company you transition to for a long while is impossible to predict which is why we love LinkedIn as a hub spot for connecting. Mention in your moving on note to potential business contacts (not the customers of the current employer) that you’re on the site and encourage they add you as a connection there. These connections will carry over no matter what job title you have and help maintain your business relationships for the future.

Friday, April 13, 2012

5 Tips to Help You Ask For a Raise

By Josh Sanburn

Many of us become visibly nervous before engaging in career negotiations, especially if we’re asking for a raise. So how can we make sure we don’t psych ourselves out before asking our boss for more money?
According to a new survey by the social networking site LinkedIn, 39% of U.S. professionals get actively anxious before dealing with issues like a pay raise. That’s the highest percentage of any country surveyed, which may not be surprising considering the massive layoffs that happened during the Great Recession.

A quarter of us have never even been through a bargaining situation at work, according to the survey. So how do we put ourselves in the best possible position to get the most money out of our jobs? Stacey Carroll, director of professional services at, offers some advice.

1. It’s not personal
It’s easy to get emotionally wrapped up in how you feel you’re being valued at work. But remember, for your boss, salaries are more of an organizational and business decision than a personal one.
“If you can kind of step back from the emotional part of it, that’ll help you negotiate with a level head,” says Carroll.

2. Know your position’s salary range
Before you step into your boss’s office, make sure you know what employees make who have your level of experience and are in a similar position. Some professionals tend to ask their own friends and colleagues, but that’s not always the most reliable indicator. Instead, check your own human resources department, which often has salary ranges on file. You can also check sites like, which crowd-sources salaries.

3. Schedule a meeting toward the end of the week Read more on this tip and the complete Time article

Thursday, April 12, 2012

How to Get the Most Out of Informational Interviews

Knowing how, why and when to have informational interviews might be the one thing between you and your dream job. Whether you're a second-semester senior in the midst a job search, or a sophomore looking for a great summer internship, informational interviews with industry-insiders are an invaluable resource.

What is an informational interview?

An informational interview is a time to sit down with a professional or an industry expert, and get their insight, advice and wisdom on their career path, not a time to ask for jobs, internships, etc. You can find out more about certain industries, career paths or even specific companies -- all things will be great resources when you do begin a job search.

How can you find people to interview with?

The best place to start is by reaching out to people you've worked with or have met at networking events. Additionally, don't be afraid to ask family members, friends and classmates to see if they know anyone working in your industry with whom you could talk.

Still feeling a little overwhelmed at the prospect of finding people to reach out to? 
Spend a little bit of time looking into each of the channels below -- you're sure to find some great prospects. Look for contacts that work in industries that you're interested in, or at companies that you admire.
  • Your school's alumni directory
  • Professors and faculty
  • Former colleagues
  • Friends' parents
  • Your parents' friends
  • Professional and/or local organizations
  • Industry-specific networking events, workshops and seminars
  • Online networking (like LinkedIn!)
  • Online and offline trade publications and newsletters

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Diagnosing the Symptoms of an Ineffective Job Search Plan

There is no question: searching for a job can be a frustrating and discouraging affair. But a lack of available jobs and increased competition may not always be the cause of a failed job search. A lack of progress here may indicate a need to rethink your approach. In fact, there are several suggestive signs that your search methods may need a drastic overhaul.

Scenario 1 – You are snagging interviews by receiving no offers:
A lack of job offers after multiple interviews is often a telltale sign of ineffective or out-of-date interviewing techniques. Identifying your weaknesses in this regard is a necessary step in improving upon them. The best approach in determining problem areas is to practice interview questions with a friend or by participating in mock sessions at a career center or with a job coach.

Scenario 2 – You’re ambitions are out reach your experience:
While setting high goals is necessary in improving yourself planning your career, the goals must also remain realistic. Lacking the appropriate qualifications for the jobs to which you are applying can be a big time waster and demoralizer. Before applying for that dream job, build the experience necessary to perform the job at a high level.

Scenario 3 – You focus too much on job descriptions as opposed to companies:
Don’t simply search for jobs based on their function, but research companies to find the ones where you want to work. Finding those specific firms of particular interest creates the conditions for a more focused job search.

Scenario 4 – You are discouraged and hopeless: Complete article with more symptoms and cures

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Want To Get Hired? Grow A Thicker Skin

J. Maureen Henderson, Contributor
I write about early career issues. Pithily.

I’ve been a job hunter during the Great Recession. And it was brutal, soul-killing stuff. In a couple of instances, I had multiple rounds of interviews in which the hiring managers requested I develop fully-fleshed out “mock” campaigns – campaigns for which they’d have to pay a marketing consultant thousands of bucks to create but which they could ask job applicants to whip up on spec for the chance at gainful employment. I know what it feels like to send out dozens of resumes and get nothing in response but radio silence. Feedback, positive or negative, becomes like manna from heaven. That’s why when I saw Shea Gunther’s email critique meant for the 900 applicants who had applied for writing jobs at his start-up, instead of taking umbrage, I found myself nodding along with his words. This is the same kind of advice I trade in myself and I make no apologies for it. The hard truth is that if you want a job in this economy, you need a thick skin.

Here’s why you should sack up and suck up the sometimes unpleasant truth about how you’re presenting yourself to the world:

The job market is brutal, especially if you’re young
As mentioned, employment for the 18– 24 year old set is hovering around 50% and it’s not unusual for schools to advise grads to prepare themselves for a 9 – 12 month job search after they’ve received their diplomas. Anything and everything you can do to get yourself from the classroom to the cubicle in shorter order is fair game. That might be an unpaid internship, volunteer work or specialized certification in your field. It should also involve seeking constructive criticism on your job hunt techniques.  As a newbie to the working world, you need an edge over the rest of your babe in the woods peers.  Any knowledge you can soak up from weary vets – be it hiring managers, career services professionals at your alma mater, recruiters, or folks already working in your preferred field – is valuable.

And if these nuggets of wisdom don’t land in your lap, you’re going to have to ask for them. Often you’ll get bland stonewalling from hiring managers about opting for a candidate “whose skills and experience were a better fit,” but if someone out there deigns to give you an honest appraisal of where you’re going wrong, sit up, take notes and send them an Edible Arrangements basket of flower-shaped cantaloupe skewers in gratitude.

Even if you expect a no, it doesn’t hurt to ask; help may come from unexpected quarters. For example, the brains and voice between the Recruiting Animal Show (an online call-in program for those working in the HR field) tells me that he frequently gets requests for resume feedback via LinkedIn and personally responds to each – an act of job search charity you might not expect from his bombastic social media style.

Feedback is an intel goldmine – if you know how to apply it - More advice and complete Forbes article

Monday, April 9, 2012

Five Things A Billionaire Taught Me About Job Hunting

By ,

Life is good if you are Reid Hoffman. The self-made billionaire was a part of the founding team at PayPal. He took his winnings from that expedition and went on to found LinkedIn. Hoffman knows what success is.
I’d like to tell you that I’ve been chumming around with him; that in his jet somewhere over the Pacific on the way to his private island, we bonded. I’d also like to tell you that he gave me a fistful of stock tips and a couple of hundred thousand LinkedIn options. I want you to believe that time spent with Reid turned my life into a dreamscape.
Instead, I have to report that I never met the fellow. I did, however, read his recent book, “The Start-up of You.” The book, which is co-written by Ben Casnocha, is pretty inspiring and motivational. I believe that ‘co-written’ means that Ben got to do the bonding, jet riding and investment advice receiving for me. I think of it as outsourcing.
The Hoffman-Casnocha team does a really good job at delivering the scary truth. The days of stable employment, long term company relationships and fixed professions are over. Your future involves taking a series of jobs that disappear while you have them. The best you can hope for is a temporary reprieve.
10 kajillion faceless people in countries you’ve never heard of are waiting to take your job as soon as you get good at it.
Are you scared yet? In some ways, the book is like going on a camping trip with Uncle Reid while he tells scary stories around the campfire. In this case, it’s the set up for a view of the world where being an entrepreneur is the only choice you have. Old school advice about getting ahead is simply outdated.
As scary as it is, he’s probably right. And, after the scary stuff, he gives some good advice. Here are the things I took away:
Anyone can be an entrepreneur.
Actually, the point is more forceful. You don’t have a choice; your future involves being an entrepreneur. Rather than a fixed destination and a once in a lifetime occupation, you are headed for a series of opportunities. The question is not whether you take them but how well.
It’s always day one.
He stole this from Jeff Bezos. At Amazon, they always say it’s Day 1. That means that Amazon is in a state of perpetual beta; that every day is the beginning of the company; that the trappings of success are the roots of failure. Keep yourself and your work fresh through constant reexamination and redefinition.
A million people can do your job. What makes you so special? - Read the rest of the Business2Community article for more advice and complete story

Friday, April 6, 2012

7 career advice myths

Steve Tobak

(MoneyWatch) COMMENTARY From your parents telling you the early bird gets the worm to that personal branding blog you read just last week, everyone and his brother has advice on how to advance your career.
There are only two problems with that.
First, to say things have changed over the past few decades is a bit of an understatement. What was once conventional wisdom is now laughably outdated. Second, the Internet is full of blogs and tweets designed to rack up clicks by quoting clueless people and bad research.
To help clear up all the nonsense, here's the truth about seven career advice myths that have somehow managed to become conventional wisdom. Don't drink the Kool-Aid.
If you're not an early riser, you're a loser. Granted, the deck is sort of stacked against you, but that doesn't mean you're doomed. I haven't had a coherent thought before noon in decades and somehow managed to have a remarkably successful career. And I'm certainly not alone. Instead of trying to be a zombie drone like everyone else, here are some easy tips on how to succeed when you're not a morning person.
It's not what you know but who you know. This old saying has given more people an excuse to give up on their careers than anything I can think of. Yes, it's true that networking and work relationships are key to your success, but now more than ever, that's entirely up to you. It's your responsibility. If you aren't willing to do the work, don't blame it on anyone else. Also, what you've got going on under the hood means more than anything; it always has.
You need to kiss up to get ahead. I've known hundreds of successful executives and very few got there by kissing up to management and being worthless yes-men. If you know what you're doing, you don't have to kowtow to anyone. Learn how to manage up and how not to manage up, instead. Managing your boss is not the same as kissing his behind. Not even a little.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

How to Curate Your Own Personal Job Feed

By Lindsey Pollak

Remember the days when looking for a new job involved the Sunday newspaper classified section and a black magic marker? Thanks to technology, looking for a job today seems to require an advanced degree in data analysis. There are millions of positions posted online across an ever-changing landscape of job boards, company websites, social networks, apps, and more.

What’s a job seeker to do? You have to become a curator of your own personal job feed, narrowing down all of the various websites and listings to a truly personalized stream of opportunities. The best way to do this is to set up a select group of bookmarked websites and email alerts that you view every day. Here’s how:

1. Get specific. If you were searching for a pair of shoes online, it wouldn’t be a very good strategy to go to Google or another search engine and type in “shoes.” You’d more likely visit the website of a retailer that caters to your specific style and budget, then search for the type of shoes you want — the style, the price range and perhaps the color or heel height. The same goes for job hunting. A common mistake among job seekers using the biggest job boards — such as,,, and — is to search too broadly.
Your first step in cultivating a personal job feed is to get clear on the exact terms that best match the jobs you want. If you cast too wide a net, such as searching on “marketing” or “Atlanta” or “writing skills,” you’ll receive too many results that waste your time and energy.

Always use the Advanced Search page for any job board you visit, which allows you to enter multiple search criteria (such as marketing jobs in Atlanta that require excellent writing skills), and be as specific as possible in terms of industry, location, experience level and other factors (such as specifying “online marketing” or “copywriting skills.” Yes, you may occasionally miss out on a listing here or there, but you’ll make up for it in the time saved culling through hundreds of postings that don’t fit your needs.

2. Increase your niche know-how. The term “hyper-local” doesn’t just apply to news; it also applies to jobs. Many employers want to weed out unqualified candidates, so they only post jobs on dedicated job boards for their industries. One of your tasks as a job seeker is to find the niche job boards for your field.
The easiest way to do this is to perform a Google search on the name of your industry and the word “jobs.” Examples of niche industry job boards include,,, and (for nonprofit positions).

Industry jobs can also be found on the websites of the professional or trade associations that serve that field. For instance, the Society for Human Resource Management has a job board, as does the American Marketing Association. If you’re not sure of the association(s) that serve your industry, check out the American Society of Association Executives’ Gateway to Associations Directory, then visit the websites of the associations to see if they offer job postings.

Industry is not the only niche, of course. If you want to work at a company specifically seeking diverse job candidates, a Google search on “diversity jobs” yields sites such as If telecommuting or having a flexible schedule is of utmost importance, a Google search on the term “flexibility jobs” delivers Typing in the phrase “executive jobs” results in sites such as and
Once you find the job boards in your desired niches, bookmark those sites for easy daily reference and, when available, also sign up for daily email alerts that you will receive when new jobs are posted that fit your search criteria.

3. Take social media seriously.  More Tips and Complete Article