Friday, August 30, 2013

7 Ways to Stand Out in Your Job Search


A friend of mine recently lost her job. During her job search she became increasingly frustrated with job boards and asked me for suggestions on how to differentiate herself from the competition.

“Being different and grabbing peoples’ attention is relatively easy”, I replied. “However, being different in a way that makes you incredibly appealing to prospective hiring managers isn’t as simple.”
With differentiation in mind, here are 7 (well, 7½) unconventional approaches to job search that will help you stand out from the job seeking masses:

1. Don’t Rely on Job Boards

I’m not saying this to be different, but the truth of the matter is that job boards are the most used (read: overused) job search resource there is. On job boards, you are one of thousands of applicants applying for each job. 10-years ago, you would have been one of a thousand resumes on a hiring manager’s desk, but today your resume is screened by anapplicant tracking system and your identity as an applicant is reduced to binary digits on a hard-drive or server somewhere in cyberspace. If you want to stand out you really need to do it in person.

2. Your Network Will Never Be Big Enough

If you’re tired of hearing people talk about networking, then you’re probably not doing enough of it. There are few things more important to your success than your network, and a network comprised of many high-quality contacts and strong relationships makes it more likely that someone in it will know of someone who’s hiring, may be hiring soon, or may be looking for someone just like you.

3. Recruiters Won’t Find You a Job – That’s Your Job

All too often I hear someone who’s starting to look for work say “do you know of any recruiters?” to which I respond, “I certainly do, are you looking to hire someone?” While contacting recruiters is a good idea, waiting by the phone for a call from one isn’t – and there are two reasons why: 1) The odds that the specific recruiter you call is working for an employer who is looking for someone with your specific skill set right now are rather low, and 2) it’s as simple as this – recruiters work for employers, they don’t work for you.

Ways 4-7 and the complete article

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Here, the 10 most critical job skills to parlay in your job search for 2013

Meghan Casserly

No. 1 Critical Thinking (found in 9 out of the 10 most in-demand jobs) 

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

No. 2 Complex Problem Solving (found in 9 out of the 10 most in-demand jobs)

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

No. 3 Judgment and Decision-Making (found in 9 out of the 10 most in-demand jobs)

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate ones.

No. 4 Active Listening (found in 9 out of the 10 most in-demand jobs)

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate and not interrupting.  

Skills 5-10 and the complete Forbes article

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

8 Reasons Why You Won’t Be Hired (And How To Get Past Them)

by Joey Trebif

We all know that job search can be tough and there are so many reasons why your search may take longer than you had hoped. The economy, your industry, your experience and competition are just a few of the factors that will impact your ability to land a new job.

But what if it’s more complicated than that?

What if it’s the unthinkable – you are the reason you are not getting any job offers?

Maybe you’ve thought about it, but if you haven’t, you should.

Think about it -
YOU are the single largest factor in getting a new job (or promotion or raise). It’s just not enough being the best and the brightest (and it never was). It’s about the entire package – how you present yourself, your resume, your cover letter, your network, your interview skills, your experience – and the list goes on.

So now that you’ve given it some thought, what are the reasons you won’t get hired?

1. Your Resume is All About You and Does Not Meet Hiring Managers’ Needs

Your resume obviously needs to include what you’ve done as well as a list of your achievements, but you know the old saying – “What have you done for me lately?”

Hiring managers want to know that you can do the job and the only way they will consider interviewing you is if your resume clearly demonstrates that you have what it takes to get the job done. If you’re not sure what to include, take a look at some job descriptions for your function (you should be able to find lots if you do a search).

Does your resume include enough job specific information to convince a reader that they should hire you (be honest with yourself)? If not, time to make some changes. You may need to have a few versions of your resume depending on the types of jobs / functions that you apply for.

2. You Didn’t Bother to Proof Read Your Resume, Cover Letter, etc.

My biggest pet peeve when reading a resume or cover letter is errors.

All of your job search documents should be error free. Just running a spell check is not enough. You should focus on sentence structure, punctuation, word usage, etc. Once you think that it is perfect, send it to some friends, family and peers in your network to read it as well. You will be surprised to find out how many errors may have slipped by.

But wait, you’re not done yet. When you forward your resume to a recruiter, they (I would argue) should be reviewing your resume as well and suggesting changes as appropriate. They see more resumes than anyone else and are best placed to help adjust your resume for the best possible error-free profile.

3. You’re Not Qualified for the Job

It makes absolutely no sense to submit your resume for jobs that are “close” or maybe not even close (for the same reasons as indicated in #1 above). You will be wasting your time, the recruiter’s time and the hiring manager’s time. Additionally, you will potentially be “burning bridges” which may mean that when you submit for a perfect match, your resume and application may go directly to the trash folder.

That being said, consider carefully how/when you want to leverage multiple resumes.

4. You Don’t Know How to Interview

Just because you are great at what you do, have the perfect resume and are generally the life of the party, does not mean you are good at interviewing. It’s not only about qualifications and being well spoken, it’s also about being able to answer those “soft” questions.

Every manager has a different interview style. Some prefer to ask technical questions while others prefer to see what “makes you tick” (and some like to do both). Read up on interview questions for your industry and job function. Also take a look at all of those “soft questions” and ensure you know how you would answer them.

Don’t worry about those “why is a manhole cover round?” questions. You can’t possibly know the answer to every one and the general thought these days is that those questions don’t add any value.

One more important point, make sure you are prepared with the questions you want to ask as well (see below)!

Read more 5-8 and the complete article

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

4 Signs You Shouldn’t Bother Applying to a Job


If you’re in desperation mode—i.e., totally miserable in your current gig or job hunting for the fourth unemployed month in a row—it’s temping to apply for any link your mouse lands on.

But if you’re set on finding a career that you actually love (which you should be!), stop applying willy-nilly to every job listing you stumble upon, and start focusing on finding the positions that make you excited to ditch your pajamas for the power suit hiding in the back of your closet.

How do you find these gems? Well, first off, you have to learn how to filter out the job listings that just aren’t worth your time. If you’re not sure exactly what to avoid, here are four signs that you should close your browser window and continue your search elsewhere.

1. It Seems a Little Fishy

If you find a job listing that doesn’t mention a specific company name, legitimate website, or any contact information besides an encrypted email address—well, that’s a sign you’re looking on Craigslist. And that, my friend, is a red flag.

I’ll admit it—I was once the victim of a Craigslist job listing. I applied to an entry-level marketing position, despite not being able to find much information about the company through its listed website. No more than an hour later, I had received both an email and a phone call, requesting an interview for the very next day. A little confused by the instantaneous reply, I Googled the company and quickly found out it was a scam.

While it’s possible to land a legitimate job on Craigslist, a large number of job listings aren’t trustworthy—so it’s important to sniff out which aren’t worth your time. If you can’t research the company (i.e., the listing doesn’t include a website or even a company name) or you’re asked for personal information like a Social Security or driver’s license number—retreat. Even better: Re-focus your job search by targeting specific companies through their own websites.

2. You Don’t Meet the Qualifications—By a Long Shot

Beginning your job hunt with an ideal position in mind is a good start—as long as it’s within your range of skills and experience. You may want to apply for the senior-level management position that requires 10 years of experience, but if you only have three years under your belt, you won’t stand a chance next to more qualified candidates.

Of course, if you’re only short the required experience by a small margin, go for it. But if you are missing key skills or several years of experience, it’s best to spend your time either applying for a job that would be a stepping stone to your ideal position, or working to gain the skills that will help you meet those qualifications.

Signs 3,4, and the complete article

Monday, August 26, 2013

How Recruiters Read Resumes In 10 Seconds or Less

Brad Remillard

The 10 or 20 seconds it takes to read a resume seems to always generate a lot of controversy. 

Candidates comment on how disrespectful it is, how one can’t possibly read a resume in that time and some get angry at recruiters when we talk about this. I hope this article will help everyone understand how we do this. I realize that some still may not like it and will still be angry, but at least you can understand how it works.

First, let me say I’ve been a recruiter for 30 years.  I’m sure I have reviewed over 500,000 resumes. I can’t prove this but I’m reasonably confident that this is the case, as this is only an average of about 46 a day. I know many days I have reviewed hundreds of resumes and most in less than 20 seconds. I would say the average is probably around 5 to 7 seconds.

So for the record when you hear or read about, “reading a resume in 20 seconds,” that isn’t completely true. It is more than likely, “reviewed the resume in 20 seconds.”

Here is my process for getting through 100′s of resumes in a short period of time. Others may have different ways and I welcome your comments.

I set up a hierarchy of certain “must haves” or you’re out, so at first I’m really just box checking. Generally, 80% of the time these are my knock out blows. There are exceptions to each of these, but I’m dealing with the 80/20 rule. These are not cumulative times.  This is box checking, if I see any one of these as I scan your resume you will be excluded.

1. Location. If the client is in Los Angeles, CA and you aren’t – goodbye. Few if any clients want to relocate anyone in this economy, and I believe most shouldn’t have to. Especially in a huge metropolitan area like Los Angeles. If they do have to consider relocation the position has to require some very unique experience that few jobs do. I can do this in about 1 second.

2. Industry. If my client is in banking and your background is primarily manufacturing – goodbye.  These two often are so different that the client isn’t open to considering such different industries. This works both ways, if you have a manufacturing background I’m not going to consider someone with banking. 2-3  seconds to determine this.

3. Function. If I’m doing a sales search and your background isn’t sales – goodbye. Generally companies are paying recruiters to find them a perfect fit. We never do find a perfect fit, but we have to be very close. They don’t need a recruiter to find them someone in a completely different function. 2 seconds to figure this one out.

4. Level. If I’m doing a VP level search and your title is “manager” and you have never been a VP – goodbye. There are exceptions to this, but again it is the 80/20 rule. Again, clients pay me to find them the perfect fit. It is generally way too big of a jump from manager level to VP level, all other things being equal. It works the other way too. If  I’m looking for a manager and you are a VP – goodbye. I know you are qualified to do a manager level role, but it is clear you have grown past. Most clients and recruiters aren’t willing to take the chance that when a VP level position comes along that you won’t be gone. Less than 5 seconds to figure out.

Steps 5-9 and the complete ImpactHiringSolutions article

Friday, August 23, 2013

9 Questions To Ask Yourself During A Job Search

Melissa C. Martin

“Be all you can be.” Do you remember that TV ad the American army used for a time? Stop and think right now. Are you really doing everything in your power to move forward in your job search? 

Here are nine key questions to self-assess: 

1. What Do I Really Want? The question of the ages. Find something that you are good at. Look at interests – they are the cornerstone of career decision making. Take advantage of assessments, positive performance evaluations, job placements, and credentialed career practitioners to assist you. 

2. Should I Really Change? This is going to depend on what STAGE of change you are: 

Pre-contemplation (no intent to change where the job seeker is). Ex: “I just need a job because my parents/spouse… and then everything will be fine.” 

Contemplation (desire to change; confidence to start) Ex:” I really want to work. I don’t want to be unemployed.” Preparation (decision to change) Ex: “I’ve started to use my new skills and now I’m going to a job placement.” 

Action (attaining goals). “I know where I want to go now.” 

Maintenance (planning for high risk situations) Ex: “It feels good to be working all these years.” The stages of change model (SOC), has been effective for youth, newcomers and people with disabilities. If your are in stage one, you do NOT have motivation to move forward. 

3. What’s The Bright Side Of A Long Job Search? One of my counselling trainers said, “No problem exists twenty-four-seven except chronic illness.” Tell yourself that unemployment is temporary. Even better, tell yourself that others are experiencing worse things than you right now. Re-frame your negative-talk so it doesn’t sabotage career success. 

4. Am I Comfortable With What I’m Doing? See #2. Sometimes the best career decisions involve SOME degree of discomfort. Gauge your results and outcomes, otherwise, step out of your comfort zone. Underestimate, instead of overestimating goals and action plans.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Resume Tip Thursday: 10 Filler Words to Delete

By Ritika Trikha

Resume filler words are the equivalent of “like,” “um” or “you know” in everyday conversations. They mean nothing, add no value to the convo and make you sound really redundant.

Unlike resume power words, filler words are vague and applicable to anyone, like “hard-working.”
It’s a bad habit you just have to kick.

Hiring managers graze over meaningless, generic words and phrases included in your resume – costing you major brownie points.

Our friends at Grammarly are naturally sticklers about syntax. They recently came up with a fantastic list of the most generic, useless filler resume words (and phrases) that you, job seekers, must delete right now!

We also scoped out other experts for additional resume-killing filler words for an even more comprehensive list. Here it is:

1. “References Available Upon Request”
This is a given. Hiring managers already know to request references. Plus, this statement has no additional information that would be useful for them at all.

Instead, opt to request some glowing recommendations on LinkedIn. Then, once you have a couple shining recommendations you can flaunt, be sure to include a link to your LinkedIn profile at the very top next to your contact info. Chances are, your future boss will look at your LinkedIn profile anyway!

2.  “I am seeking a job/career/position….”
Too many job seekers are wasting your most valuable resume space by starting with this “I am seeking a position” line as part of their objective statement. Snooze!

The top of your resume needs to have the most impressive accomplishments. It’s prime resume real estate!

3. “Team Player”
Describe a team-oriented achievement.

4. “Strong Work Ethic”
Describe a particularly productive streak.

5. “Detailed Oriented”
On which projects or achievements?

Fillers 6-10 and the complete article

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

8 Secrets of Hiring Managers

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

7 Ways to Make Sure They Read Your Cover Letter

  Your cover letter plays a really important role in a successful job search; but only if it gets read. What is the point of writing a cover letter if no one is going to read it? Doing the following things will increase the chances that recruiters read your cover letter when it is submitted as part of a job application.

  • Keep your cover letter the right length. Except for a few industries including higher education and maybe research, cover letters should be less than a page at all times. No more than three to four paragraphs are all you need to get your point across.
  • Make sure the salutation is correct in your cover letter. One way to get your cover letter tossed aside is to address your letter to the wrong company or wrong person. Take it from someone who reads a lot of cover letters; it does happen and it happens pretty often.
  • Do not use 'To Whom it May Concern" when you write a cover letter. Take the time and do the extra research to find the name of a person. Even using "Dear HR Manager" is better than addressing your cover letter "To Whom it May Concern".
  • Identify the specific job for which you are applying. There needs to be a clear connection between the job you are exploring, your cover letter and your resume.    

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Biggest Mistakes 20-Something Job Seekers Make

Susan Adams

There was the young job seeker who showed up at his interview 15 minutes late, failed to apologize, and then asked if the interviewer had a garbage can so he could throw away his gum. There was also the 20-something applicant whose call to the hiring manager went dead in the middle of the conversation. The young woman didn’t call back for two hours, only to explain, without apology, that she had dropped her phone in a tub of water while she was getting a manicure. Then there was the mother who called her son’s boss when he wasn’t hired at the end of his internship, and demanded to know why.

Dani Ticktin Koplik, 58, an executive and performance coach in Englewood, N.J. has lots of stories like these. For the last several years, half of Koplik’s coaching practice has been made up of so-called Generation Y, or Millennial, job seekers. This group, age 20-32, makes a series of job-searching mistakes that stem from their sense of entitlement, lack of deference to authority and over-involvement by their parents. Koplik says in her own practice, parents frequently call and email, and try to micro-manage the coaching process. To run interference, Koplik schedules a monthly meeting with parents, mostly to tell them to stop meddling. She also coaches them to give their kids a consistent message.  Too many parents tell their offspring that they have to earn a living, and then let them live at home indefinitely rent-free. Koplik recommends timetables and limits.

I asked Koplik for a list of mistakes her 20-something clients make, and she had plenty of ideas. Here is her list of the top ten.

1.  Acting entitled
One of the consequences of over-involved parents is that young people feel as though they deserve an easy ride. Koplik tells of an intern who, on the first day, informed his supervisor that he had to leave early that Thursday for a horseback riding lesson. “It didn’t dawn on this person that he was being totally inappropriate and sabotaging his career,” says Koplik.

2. Starting the process too late
Ideally, college students should start looking for meaningful internships for the summer after their freshman year. Students who assume that they will get a job without too much effort, wait too long to begin the process.

3. Under-utilizing the alumni network
Though parents and their friends can provide good contacts, the network of professionals that comes through a college or university should be one of the first places a young job seeker turns.

4. Using a résumé that’s sloppy and too self-centered

Young job seekers are often weak on résumé basics, like clear, tidy layout, careful proofreading for grammar and punctuation, and use of keywords from the job description. Another big problem: the “objective” section tends to be too much about what they want, and not enough about the potential employer. For example, young applicants often say, “entry level position where I can use my skills, ideas and enthusiasm and I can learn a lot.” Instead, the emphasis should be on what they can contribute to the employer. Applicants should also leave off menial jobs like camp counselor, unless they can quantify their achievements, like saying they organized waterfront activities for a group of 150 campers.

5. Writing cover letters that repeat the résumé
Many young applicants regurgitate their résumé accomplishments in their cover letters. Instead, cover letters should be short and vivid, and say something particular about what the applicant can bring to the job.

Mistakes 6-10 and the complete Forbes article

Friday, August 16, 2013

The ABCs of Interviewing


A is for ... Ask as many questions as possible.

Asking intelligent questions helps you learn more about how qualified you are for the position. Smart questions also send a message about your interest in the job. Remember that you shouldn’t ask something you could find on a simple Web search

B is for ... Be specific.

“Yes” or “No” are not suitable responses to any question you’re asked. Even if asked if you want a glass of water, you should stretch the answer out to “Yes, please” or “No, thank you.” For heavy-hitter questions, you should give examples to support your answers. For instance, explain why you’re a good fit for the position. Tell a story of a time you overcame an obstacle.

C is for ... Carry several pens and a notepad.

Your interviewer is unaware of and disinterested in your elephant memory, so bring what’s needed to take notes even if note-taking isn’t normally your style. It’s another way to relay your interest in the job and your engagement in the conversation, plus the notes will give you specifics to refer to in your thank-you email as well as in a second- or third-round interview.

D is for ... Develop a strategy for discussing tricky subjects.

“Why are you leaving your old job?” “Why do you have a seven-year employment gap on your résumé?” “What are you most concerned about with this job?” Count on fielding awkward questions like these and rehearse so that you won’t struggle and stutter when the time comes.

E is for ... Enunciate.

Take a deep breath before answering each question, and remember to speak slow enough so that you don’t trip over your words. You’ll probably find the quality of your answers will improve by doing so, plus you’ll lower the chances of rambling.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

6 Resume Mistakes That Will Get You Rejected

Resume writing is absolutely crucial when it comes to attaining a position of employment – so it’s important not to mess it up. But believe it or not, resume mistakes go way beyond just examining your spelling and grammar. There is much more that you should be considering before shooting off your personal resume to a potential employer.

Here are 6 mistakes that will a) make you look unprofessional and b) prevent you from getting the job. 

Too much blabber
While it’s perfectly fine to develop a resume that exposes all of your talents, you must always remember that too much information can only serve to harm your application. Put yourself in the shoes of an employer; you’re likely to be sifting through a whole host of resumes, you want to scan and quickly pick up the important points of the document without needing to read through four pages of resume.

An inappropriate email address
Is your email address appropriate for a resume? Well, if it goes something along the lines of then chances are that it’s inappropriate – and therefore unprofessional. Which is a bit of a turn-off for employers. If you don’t already have one, create an email address that’s resume friendly – one that includes your full name., for instance (if your name is Joe Bloggs).

Resume jargon
Another thing that is likely to grate on the nerves of employers is hearing the same manufactured and canned clichés over and over as they flick from resume to resume – or, as I like to call it, “resume jargon”. For example, you may claim to be an “excellent team player”, “eager to learn” or “really excited to become a part of a reputable company”.

You may indeed be all of those, but the trouble is that all these phrases are rather generic and unoriginal. They don’t separate you from every other candidate in the process who, in all likelihood, is probably saying something very similar. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ten Job Search Rules to Break

1. Follow the defined process.
This is the first rule I want you to break. For many people it's the hardest one to ignore, because of all the follow-the-rules Kool-Aid we've drunk over the years.

We've been trained since childhood to do what we're told to do. The Black Hole will eat your resume and shred its atoms, but people keep lobbing resumes into those gaping corporate recruiting portals nonetheless. Don't do it! Reach your hiring manager directly with a Human-Voiced Resume™ and Pain Letter™ instead.

2. If you know someone in the company, give that person your resume and tell them to give it to the hiring manager.
Just like in other kinds of marketing and sales efforts, your job search needs to focus on your message, your audience and the best channel to connect them. Your friend inside the company may be a great channel partner for you or a wretched one.

What good does it do to have your friend trudge down the hall to HR or even the hiring manager's office if your resume just gets dumped on a desk or re-routed right back into the same Black Hole you were trying to avoid?

Choose the most powerful channel for your job search, whether the channel is an intermediary friend, the direct approach via Pain Letter™, or a third-party recruiter. Don't assume that your in-house friend is your best job-search conduit.

3. Use a traditional zombie-style resume and cover letter.
Are you a zombie? I doubt it – zombies can't read. You're a creative, colorful and vibrant person, so don't brand yourself using zombie-style jargon like "Results-oriented professional with a bottom line orientation!" (Ropwablo for short.)

You can sound like yourself in your resume, and you'll make a stronger impression on a hiring manager if you do. As for your cover letter, toss that out the window and write a compelling Pain Letter™, instead.

4. In your overture to employers, emphasize the way your background matches the job spec.
If you have already held a job, you know that the typical job spec has as much in common with the actual job as I have in common with Huckleberry Hound. Focus on the pain behind the job ad, rather than the goofy and often arbitrary (not to mention delusional) bullets in the job ad. 

Rules 5-10 and the complete article

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Job Search: Einstein’s Definition of Insanity


Albert Einstein famously said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Unfortunately, many job seekers fit this definition. They do the same thing in their job search over, and over, and over again and think THIS time it will work! To some extent, any endeavor takes several tries to get it right or to get the desired result. However, if the number of tries starts becoming very large and nothing has developed, you may want to reconsider the process.

Thomas Edison said it took him over 10,000 tries to find the right material for a filament before he was able to invent the incandescent light-bulb. Each experiment, however, involved a new material… something different. He didn’t keep trying the same filament over and over again.

This comes to mind because of a job seeker I’ve been talking to that over-exemplifies the problem. She’s been unemployed for nearly 18 months with no end in sight. She has a respectable work history, however, has stuck to a common and ineffective job search strategy without any intent to change.

She, like many job seekers relies on only one arrow in her quiver. She applies to jobs posted online… endlessly. She’s taken the “art” to a new level. She has applied to one large company in the area nearly 800 times over the past year and a half. She has applied to a multitude of other companies countless times as well. Her job search day consists of sitting at her computer 8 to 10 hours searching every job board and company site she can and applying to any position that matches a few keywords from her resume. She has received a few calls and a few interviews, however, none of them was a great fit, and she no longer receives calls at all these last few months.

She knows someone at the large company she’s been targeting and keeps applying relentlessly thinking that her contact will make it happen for her. That contact has told her directly, however, that they will not hire her because they view her as unfocused in the jobs she’s targeting and exceptionally obsessive in the number of online applications. She’s burned any hope of current or future opportunities at that company because of her obsession… and probably other companies as well.

Whenever we talk about how to become more effective in her search, she focuses on submitting more online applications each day. She’s  convinced that if she can only apply to enough positions… ONE of them has to bite. No bites so far.

Read the rest of the CareerRocketeer article

Monday, August 12, 2013

8 Ways You Sabotaged Your Last Job Interview

by Levo League

Job interviews are stressful… no matter how much we prepare. You can read 40 blog posts, talk to every career coach and watch dozens of instructional videos, but you can still be totally caught off guard.

There may be curveballs thrown at you or things you can’t control, but there’s a way to take charge and be aware of anything that might sabotage your chances.
Here are eight things you need to be on the lookout for:

1. Having a Bad Handshake

We’ve talked about the power of body language, and a handshake is one of the big indicators. It’s been said that employers can tell if a candidate is right for a job within 30 seconds of meeting the person. Because you typically shake hands within those first 30 seconds, there’s a lot of pressure. You don’t want to be a dead fish, but you also don’t want to grip so hard that your interviewer can’t hold her coffee later that day.

Careful of sweaty palms! You want to go for a firm, confident handshake that shows you mean business. Watch Jerry Seinfeld’s great monologue on handshakes below:

2. Dressing Too Well

I know what you’re thinking: Don’t you want to dress really well for an interview? Isn’t that where the saying “dress for success” comes from? Dressing too well for an interview, meaning statement pieces and a really opulent bag and shoes, could actually convey that you’re dressing to overcompensate. You may not have the skills or savvy for the job, so you’re trying to dress to make up for it.

3. Talking Too Little or Too Much

If you’re anything like me, you tend to get nervous during pauses in conversation and start talking to fill the void. Sometimes I will just start singing if there is too long a lull (but not in a job interview, of course). What’s important to remember is this: You don’t want to fill the pauses in conversation with rambling, but you also don’t want the pause to go on for eternity. Try to strike a good balance.

4. Treating Your Job Interview as One of Your Errands

Never show up at a job interview with a bunch of shopping bags and your dry cleaning. It makes it look like you aren’t prioritizing the opportunity or the company, which speaks volumes about how you might perform if hired. Also, don’t bring your Starbucks cup to the interview. Just don’t.

Ways 5-8 and the complete article

Friday, August 9, 2013

7 Of The Best Ways To Get Hired Online

E-mail Subscriptions

Make sure you’re subscribed to as many job sites as you can, entering in as many details as possible. If there are a couple of sectors you’re interested in, make sure you tick them all, instead of just looking at one. Widen your range from the main recruitment websites to industry specific bulletins and sites – these more precise sites may come up with jobs that aren’t being advertised as widely.

If there are companies you’re interested in working for, sign up to their newsletters or bookmark their careers page. It’s worth checking regularly and e-mailing for information on how to be alerted. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

Aptitude Tests

Whether you’re unsure about which job industry you want to go into, or you’re considering switching to a different sector, try taking online aptitude tests. While these aren’t set in stone and won’t tell you what career path to follow, they can be a good way to put your skills to the test and find out what your strongest qualities are.

Some job applications will involve taking online tests, so find practices and make sure you won’t be taking one without doing the necessary research and preparation. There’s no excuse to do badly at them when they are so easy to find and practice!

Social Media Sites

Social media sites will be your best friend while looking for jobs online! Platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are great places to source vacancies, as well as being able to network, and speak to people in the industry you’d like to enter.

Remember to keep your LinkedIn profile updated, and see if you can find people to endorse you and write recommendations. The more referrals you get, the closer you’ll be to landing your dream job! Make sure all of your social media profiles are professional – Twitter can be a great tool, but it can also be your biggest downfall if you’re portraying the wrong image! Think of it as an extension of your CV: an insight into your life for a potential employer.

Ways 4-7 and the complete Careerealism article

Thursday, August 8, 2013

8 Errors You Must Stop Making in Your Job Search


Every job searcher faces different challenges, but hiring managers see some of the same mistakes over and over again. Chances are good that if you're looking for a job, you're making some of these errors – and you might have an easier search if you resolve to change your ways.

Here are eight job-search missteps to put an end to today.

1. Trying to read into every word or action from your interviewer. Because job searching can be so stressful, many job seekers try to find clues about their chances in everything an employer says and does. This leads to frustrating and generally fruitless attempts to parse every word from an interviewer – "Was she signaling I didn't get the job when she said they had more candidates to interview?" "Is it a good sign that he shook my hand and said he'd be in touch?" More often than not, these "signals" don't mean anything at all, and just drive candidates crazy trying to read between the lines.

2. Stressing out over elements of your job applications that really don't matter. Employers really don't care whether you spend time tracking down the hiring manager's name or just address your cover letter to "dear hiring manager," so don't put time into that. Similarly, most hiring managers really don't care what your résumé design looks like as long as it's organized and easy to skim, or whether your post-interview thank-you note is handwritten or emailed. Don't sweat the little stuff; put your energy into showing your qualifications and why you'd excel at the job.

3. Scrimping on the cover letter. If you're applying for jobs without including a compelling cover letter, one that's customized to this specific job, you're missing out on one of the most effective ways to get a hiring manager's attention. A cover letter is your opportunity to make a compelling case for yourself as a candidate, totally aside from what's in your résumé. You're doing yourself a disservice if you don't write one tailored to each job for which you apply.

4. Thinking that you have the job before you have an offer. Too often, candidates see good signs from an employer and think it means that they're going to get an offer – only to be crushed when the offer never comes. And not only does this regularly lead to disappointment, it can also lead you to make bad decisions for yourself – like not continuing to apply for other jobs or even turning down interviews because you think your search is over. Never assume that you're getting the job until you have a formal offer.

Errors 5-8 and the complete USNews article

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What You Don’t Know About Recruiters Can Hurt Your Job Search

by The Social HR Connection

Recently, a friend forwarded me a snarky blog post written by an individual giving technical recruiters “tips” on how not to be hated by technical candidates.

I get it… technical candidates are contacted multiple times a day by recruiters and sometimes with job openings that aren’t relevant to their skill-set. After a while, I would be annoyed, too.

As I read through the blog post further, however, I started to see that he seemingly generalized recruiters into one “type”. I started to wonder if other people had the same thoughts. If so, then I think it would be best to break them out of this one-size-fits-all mentality about recruiters.

I would like to clear the air – and help job seekers understand our purpose a bit better:

We Don’t All Work for Commission

Yes. There are recruiters out there who work for agencies that only pay based on certain metrics. But that only makes up a small portion of recruiters.

Whether I hire you or not has no effect on my paycheck. Making a bonus has no part in the reason why I’m contacting you. I honestly reached out to you because I’m trying to find quality candidates for my client and I thought you were a potentially high caliber candidate.

We’re Not Sales People

Sure, sometimes recruiting duties have some similarities to sales functions. That doesn’t make me a sales person.

What I love about recruiting is the ability to help people find work and help companies find the person that can make their organization better. It’s about discovering the connection that benefits both parties.

We’re Not All Hiring Temporary or Contract Employees

Sometimes companies don’t have the bandwidth to handle the tedious and long processes it takes to source and recruit candidates. They sometimes hire outside help to assist with their time-sensitive position, full-time, permanent, direct hires with the companies.
Before writing a recruiter off, ask the question: “Is the position we’re talking about full-time and permanent?”

We Do Our Homework - read the complete article for tips and advice.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Do’s and Don’ts to Make Recruiters Notice Your Resume


Many job seekers are confident about their resume; however, most make huge resume mistakes.

Often you will find that with the right resume you could have the job long before you see an interviewer. The actual meeting could end up being solely a formality.

Here are some tips to help get you on your way, the “do”…

Avoid Clichés

It is really easy for you to talk about yourself in a way that makes you sound like the best candidate ever. The problem with that is employers aren’t interested in your biased opinion. They are more interested in the facts. This includes your work history, education and any honors you have received in work and school. Don’t add in a section just to talk about your dependability and work ethic–it’s a definite turnoff.

Document Your Target Position

For example, if you are a registered nurse you can put that title at the top of the page or you can opt for something that will work even better.  Instead if you are looking for a career specifically in Emergency Medicine you should opt for “Emergency Nurse.” By doing this you will receive more phone calls and interviews. I know that it seems counter-intuitive to narrow down your preferred job, but what it is actually doing is helping you to stand apart from the crowd.

Include Quotes

No, I don’t want you to put “patience is a virtue” on your resume. What I mean by including quotes is those testimonials that come from your peers, colleagues, or educators. Ask professionals to define you through a simple elegant quote. For example: “Jennifer exceeds all expectations. She is meticulous and is an exceptional leader.” Let others speak for you.

Select Keywords Carefully

Showing up on searches is one of the best ways to make the phone ring. You can improve your chances by inserting the appropriate keywords in your resume. One easy way to find the appropriate keywords is to search job boards and agencies. Let’s stick with the nurse example: look through nursing jobs on a temp agency listing and see what words you see frequently. Include these in your resume and you will definitely stick out.

Monday, August 5, 2013

10 Things NOT to Say in a Job Interview

You’re are nailing this interview. The recruiter is engaging, smiling… even giving that knowing nod that says “very good!”

Then, in an instant, something changes. You can feel it. And, yes, it is usually because of something you said.

If you’re wondering what you can do to prevent your next interview from going downhill like this, here are ten things you must NOT say:

1. “I’m Sorry, but I’m Really Nervous!”

The employer already knows candidates are nervous for their job interviews. If you fumble during your interview, don’t use nervousness as an excuse. Pick up from where you left off and speak with confidence.

2. “How Much Do I Get Paid? What About Vacation Time?”

Never ask about salary during the interview. This is a topic the interviewer will bring up at their discretion. Once the interviewer explains compensation and benefits, you may ask questions regarding the topic.

3. “Did You Know I Ran Cross Country in High School?”

It’s really cool that you have hobbies and talents outside of your career, but make sure during the interview you only talk about experience and skills relevant to the position. Being an all-star runner is a great accomplishment; however, it wouldn’t relate to the accounting job you applied for. On the other hand, if the interviewer mentions they’re a runner or the position is with an athletic shoe company or something similar, it would be acceptable to share your experience to build a connection.

4. “My Boss at ABC Company was Awful.”

Trash-talking your boss during an interview shows a lack of professionalism. Never bring up a past experience during your interview that would cause you to speak poorly about the person or job.

5. “Man, I Really Need this Job to Pay Off My Credit Card Debt.”

The employer realizes you are applying for the job because you are searching for employment. They don’t need to know exactly why you need the job or any personal details. It isn’t necessary to state how desperate you are for the position and you don’t need to say anything that would cause a red flag for the employer.

Things 6-10 and the complete article

Friday, August 2, 2013

6 Job Search Tips For Workers Still Employed

By: David Mielach

Workers are not waiting until they are unemployed to look for a new job. New research has found that 73 percent of workers say they are comfortable searching for a job while they are  employed.

However, those respondents are not only looking for a new job while employed, they are doing so while they are working. Respondents say they would be comfortable in searching for jobs online, exchanging emails, taking calls and submitting applications while they are at their current place of work.

Not every worker was comfortable in looking for jobs while employed, however. Twenty-six percent of respondents say they are uncomfortable looking for another job while they are employed.

  The researchers found a distinct breakdown by age when it comes to comfort in looking for a new job. Workers between ages 18 and 34 were most likely to conduct job search-related tasks at their current job. Overall, 48 percent of workers in that age range say they are comfortable looking for a job at work. Just more than one-quarter of workers between ages 35 and 44 say they are comfortable looking for a new job at their office.  Twenty-one percent of workers 55 and older say they would be comfortable looking for a new job while at the office. 

"The grass isn't always greener on the other side, so professionals should first consider how they might improve their current situation before looking for a new job," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of "Human Resources Kit For Dummies" (John Wiley & Sons Inc. 2012). "When it is time to move on, conducting the job hunt using company resources is not only unethical, it places the employee at a high risk of being caught in the act."

To help workers who may be looking for a new job while employed, Accountemps offers the following tips.

  • Look at internal openings first — If you've outgrown your current role but are happy with your work environment, see if there are relevant openings within your company before looking elsewhere. When it comes to filling vacancies, many employers prefer internal candidates.
  • Keep it to yourself — If you want to keep your job search a secret, don't mention it to anyone at work. Even the most trustworthy co-worker could inadvertently spill the beans. It's best to stay mum until you announce your resignation.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

How To Reach Out On Twitter After Applying For A Job

By: Heather Huhman

Twitter is a great tool for job seekers. It can be used for personal branding, networking and even researching potential employers. But after you’ve submitted your resume, should you use Twitter to reach out to the hiring manager and follow-up on your application? And how long should you wait to do so? Here are several expert tips about utilizing Twitter for job search follow-up:

Connection is Good, Nagging is Not

Elizabeth Poole When following up via Twitter after submitting an application or going through an interview process, the key is to engage. Nagging the corporate Twitter account with questions about your chances, or when you should expect to hear back, is really bordering on spam. Instead, build rapport with the company through social media and stand out in a positive way.  -- Elizabeth Poole,

Determine If It’s Appropriate But Don’t Push It

Alan Carniol There are appropriate and inappropriate times to reach out on Twitter. There’s nothing wrong with interacting with a company through Twitter by answering questions they pose or bringing up an important industry occurrence. You can even use Twitter as a way to follow-up after a job interview. However, don’t push it. There’s a point when tweeting a company incessantly can be seen as annoying. Use your best judgment and only reach out when there’s a reason to. -- Alan Carniol, Interview Success Formula

Job Seekers Should Use Social Media Strategically and Carefully

Josh Tolan Social media makes it easier for job seekers to connect with employers. Now, a talented job seeker can join in on a discussion or tweet a video resume out into the social stream. But this doesn’t mean social media is the right outlet for everything. When it comes to checking up on an application, the right format is often more private than a public Twitter stream. Send an email or call the employer instead of checking in with 140 characters. -- Josh Tolan, Spark Hire

More tips and the complete CareerBliss article