Thursday, July 31, 2014

5 Ways To Be Smarter With Your Job Search

Here are my job search tips to help you stand out:

1. Determine Your Brand And Value Proposition

What will you bring to the employer? What makes you better than the rest? This needs to be communicated in your resume, cover letter, interview, and even as you network. Have your elevator speech down. If you met the CEO of your dream company and had 30 seconds to talk about yourself, what would you say?

3. Research Every Organization Before You Submit Your Resume

You need to know about these companies well before an interview. It shows your professionalism and more importantly your interest in the company. Employers want employees who will love their company, not just the job. This will help you stand out by showing you are genuinely interested in the organization and you will be ready to hit the ground running day one.
Don’t just check out the company’s website. Read articles on the company and create Google News alerts for companies you wish to work for. Your goal is to impress the employer with your knowledge of their company.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

8 Steps That Will Get You Hired


The Job Seeker’s Success Formula

Success is a process

Athletes will likely agree with me that developing skill, building technique, taking care of their body and mind requires daily care. Proper routine becomes a critical factor in their success. Professional musicians are no different and each one can relate unique stories about the development of their technique as well as their musicianship. They develop individual regimens that become a trusted part of every day.

Just like athletes and musicians, jobseekers develop routines and processes. Some good, others…not so much. The list of activities include attending jobseeker support groups, networking appointments, presentations at libraries, daily activity on LinkedIn, finding and applying for posted positions, reading and learning more about their professions, and possible classes and certifications. Did I mention cover letters and résumés? Thank you notes and interview preparation?

Did you make this common mistake?

Often, after being laid off, jobseekers may panic and rush to put together a résumé and apply for any number of opportunities. However, today’s job market is constantly changing. An industry has evolved to support the hiring process. To be successful in today’s market, a jobseeker must become an expert in the advancements in his or her industry to be credible. Next, he or she must understand the new hiring processes.

Why jobseekers quit

  1. The quality of the activity determines the quality of the result. So if the action was of high quality, then the result brings high value.
  2. When the results are deemed poor by the jobseeker, then that person is more likely to give up. They quit.
When an activity doesn’t bring in any results or when the results only have a negative impact, then it’s reasonable to stop that process.

Jobseekers spend a lot of energy on the job search. They give it their very best and when they get calls for jobs that are a poor fit and don’t bring even a consideration of a living wage, they give up. That’s reasonable.

Further, when a jobseeker gets nothing back from all their effort—nothing; why should they continue that process. That’s reasonable.

Lastly, when jobseekers are treated poorly by the hiring community (this is my biggest “beef”!!!!), when they receive contracts that evaporate, interviews for positions that disappear or didn’t exist to start with, promised calls that never happen— It’s no wonder they give up. That’s reasonable.

Finding a job is a marathon rather than a sprint.

Don’t quit. Do this instead.

Jobseekers might consider a different approach:
  1. If the result was undesirable, then change the process that created it.
  2. Realize that every response has valuable information IF the jobseeker asks the right questions.

Case study: Meet Toni

Toni had been in a transition job for 18 months when we met up. The position paid half of what she was making and the work wasn’t in her field of expertise. It barely paid the bills. None of her efforts resulted in an interview. She was ready to give up and resign herself to never getting back to her industry of choice.

As we began working Toni carefully studied changes in her industry. She realized that she would likely have to move out of state. She diligently applied herself to learning our process to create customized cover letters and résumés that would get through the online systems (ATS), and parallel the hiring process with regard to additional information. Calls began coming in…but:

After four months of work she said, “Marcia, these people see me as being qualified for positions that are lower than my expertise.”

It was an excellent observation. Somehow we were sending the wrong message about where Toni fit in her industry. We went back and selected five job postings that were at her level of expertise. We compared the language used on the postings with the job descriptions on her résumé. Then we changed the language in her last two positions to reflect the current language found on the job postings.

The “right” interviews began to surface. A job offer came last week.

Case study: Meet Mike


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How To Create A Target Employer List For Your Job Search

Liz Ryan

When you’re in a job search, your plan is important. We laid out a job search plan in this story. 

As you begin your job search you’ll want to zero in on a career direction, and brand yourself in a way that supports that direction. If you have an Electrical Engineering degree, for instance, and spent three years doing technology quality testing but now you want to be an Applications Engineer working with customers, you’ll need to brand yourself to show prospective employers that you’ve already done most of the things that Applications Engineers do.

You’ll bring out your Applications-Engineer-type experience in your LinkedIn profile and your Human-Voiced Resume. 

You may not be 100% sure of your career direction right now. That’s okay. You’ll continue to refine your career direction as your job search progresses.
Today we’ll talk about your Target Employer List.
Your Target Employer List is an important part of your Job Search Toolkit. Here are all six elements of your Job Search Toolkit:
  • Your Human-Voiced Resume
  • Your Pain Letter template (to keep on your computer’s hard drive and use as a starting point for every Pain Letter you write)
  • Your Target Employer List
  • Your Human-Voiced LinkedIn Profile
  • Your network
  • Your job search business card — get these at Vistaprint and hand them out in your networking travels.

Your Target Employer List has three functions. For starters, it gives you a roadmap to follow as you begin to reach out to employers with your Human-Voiced Resumes and Pain Letters. You can continue adding new employers to your Target Employer List as your job search progresses, and you can also remove employers from the list as you learn more about each organization and about what you want and need in your next job. So the first function your Target Employer List will fulfill is that it will give you a path to follow as you begin your job search.

The second function of your Target Employer List is that it will allow you to track your job search progress. You can update your Target Employer List each time you send anything (an initial Pain Letter + Human-Voiced Resume packet or a followup email, phone call or LinkedIn invitation) to a manager on your list. That way you’ll be able to track your job search activity.

The third function your Target Employer List will serve for you is that when people ask you “How can I help you in your job search?” you’ll have a good answer for them. You’ll be able to say “Thanks for that offer. That’s very kind of you. Do you happen to know anyone who works at one of these employers?” and show them your Target Employer List.

Here are four ways to construct your Target Employer List:

See the 4 ways and the complete Forbes article

Monday, July 28, 2014

8 Under Considered Ideas How to Find a Job

2. Make like a product and get yourself a QR Code

By: Lydia

Just as using social media profiles has become an integral part of the job seeking arsenal, increasingly so too is the use of personal QR codes. Admittedly this tactic is most likely to hold favour with creative type companies, there’s nothing to say that it won’t take hold for other industries in the future. It’s super easy to generate your own QR code, so make like a product and go and get yourself one sharpish.

5. It’s called job seeking for a reason

The key point about job seeking is that second word: “seeking”. You have to be pro-active and under no circumstances sit back and wait for the opportunities to come knocking – they very seldom do. Look out for new startups or small businesses. It’s unlikely that they’ll have cash to waste on expensive advertising and recruitment agencies, but they may well be able to squeeze a salary out of their budget once they realise how fabulous you are. Don’t be afraid to contact them. Go get ‘em tiger!

7. Network like your life depends on it

Attend every networking event you think would be of value. Get yourself out there and connect with people. Networking events are not about passing your business card to everyone who comes within spitting distance. Rather they’re about showcasing your personal brand, so go prepared with an elevator pitch so you can let whomever you come into contact with know how hireable you are. In the same vein, get back in touch with former colleagues (LinkedIn is perfect for this) and see who’s doing what for whom, and more importantly do they need any help. It’s not what you know, right?

See all 8 Ideas and the complete UndercoverRecruiter post

Author: Linda Forshaw is a Business Information Systems graduate from Lancaster University. The leading contributor to online university review site, she is a full time writer and blogger specializing in education, social media, and entrepreneurship. Contact her on Twitter @seelindaplay

Friday, July 25, 2014

4 Career Must-Do's For Networking Situations

Selena Rezvani

If you think about it, a great networking event can be career-changing. When this kind of magic happens, you connect with people that “up” your skills, you form lasting alliances—you may even engage those with the power to expand your career options and mobility.

Regardless of the line of work you’re in, there’s a built-in expectation that you should be plugged in to the happenings of your industry and region. And according to training firm Contacts Count, if you want to move from quick encounters to true, results-oriented networking, you need to seek out networking opportunities where you can demonstrate both your character and competence.

As you consider approaching relationship-building in a more thoughtful way, here are some pointers that can boost your efforts:

1)    Use the good times to plan for the bad times. Too often, I see people rush to get involved with networks at crunch time, when they’ve been freshly laid off or are panicking about a recent work crisis. But networking doesn’t work that way. Investing time in your network when things are stable makes you real and human to those who know you and makes them far more likely to vouch for you when times are tough. This is a lot like seeing someone stranded on the side of the road. If they look to be a stranger, we’re less likely to help. But if we can say, “Oh there’s Rachel. I know her and she looks like she could use a hand”, we’ll jump in and assist them. It’s critical that you become known by many people other than just your boss; nurture your networks even if little by little over time.

Must-Do's 3-4 and the complete Forbes article

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Seven Lies That Can Sabotage Your Job Search

Liz Ryan

On a job search you need all the power you can muster. It isn’t easy out there pounding the pavement, or staying at home and filling out endless job application forms. It’s hard to get through a job search without a moderate-to-severe mojo drop. You wonder why it’s taking so long, and rage against whoever invented keyword-searching algorithms. A job search is isolating, and causes you to doubt yourself. You need all the resources you can gather!

That’s why it’s  important to pay attention to the messages you’re taking in during your job search. For years now, since the beginning of the recession, we’ve heard that it’s a buyer’s market for talent and that job-seekers have to grovel and beg to get hired. We’ve heard a lot of other garbage, too, like these often-repeated beliefs:

  • People over 50 don’t have a chance in the new-millennium job market, and will have to accept whatever they can get.
  • The only way to get a job is to lob resumes into Black Hole recruiting portals, then wait for a response from an automated bureaucrat known as an Applicant Tracking System.
  • A job-seeker who walks away from a job opportunity is squandering something valuable.
All of this is nonsense, of course. Job-seekers of any age have power in the hiring equation, but only if they’re aware of it. Plenty of people in the mix, from recruiters and HR folks to your very own loving parents and spouse will tell you that you can’t be yourself, can’t follow your heart and most of all, can’t break the rules on a job search.

If you believe the conventional wisdom, no one would ever negotiate a job offer or opt out of a recruiting pipeline that was obviously going nowhere. Only people with self-esteem make choices like that, and if you pay attention, you notice that those are the people who prosper. They take a chance, and say “Well, surely God or the universe doesn’t want me in THIS hellish job situation!” They don’t always know what’s next, but they listen to their heart and their sturdy instinct. That is what wise and forthright people have always done.

Here are the seven lies that, given room in your brain, will sabotage your job search and keep you in Please, Your Majesty, May Your Humble Servant Approach Thy Throne? Land when you should be stepping into What You See Is What You Get territory on your job search. As we tell job-seekers, Only the people who get you, deserve you. Want to find those deserving people faster? Get these seven lies out of your brain at the first opportunity.

1) You Are Your Job Titles and Degrees, Period
Many people have unknowingly and unwillingly sucked down toxic lemonade that has them convinced their worth is in their past job titles, degrees and certifications. If you ask them about their life and career, that’s what they’ll tell you: that they went to this university and worked for that brand-name employer, as though these are the most significant elements in their lives.

On a job search today you’ve got to know more about yourself than the job titles you held and the tasks and duties you carried out at each one. In the end, no one cares about that stuff – they care what YOU care about, and what you think about and what you stand for. If you’re spending your job search time chasing recruiters and managers whose only interest in you is your pedigrees, look elsewhere. The more fearful the person, the more trophies will matter to him or her, and the less you’ll be able to grow your flame working with him or her.

2) You Can’t Do It Your Way
You might think about branding yourself like a human being in your LinkedIn profile or your resume, and in my experience that’s the best thing you can do. If you want to step outside the velvet ropes that way, get ready to hear the chorus of horrified shrieks from people who’ll tell you “No, you can’t do that!” I still meet people who say “You can’t use the word I in a resume,” as though if you did that, employers would come to your house and slash your tires in the driveway. Of course you can do your job search your way. The people who like your  brand of jazz will be delighted to meet you. The rest of them won’t, and they are welcome to take a refreshing dive into the nearest lake.

Rules 3-7 and the complete Forbes article

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

10 Reasons Why I Ignored Your Resume

A lot of people want jobs in marketing, which is great news for those of us currently hiring. However, after a decade of screening, interviewing and onboarding marketers, there are still some mistakes that I constantly see. Here are examples of some mistakes you should avoid.

1. You use a Hotmail or AOL email address
Marketers should see into the future, not live in the past, so unless you're applying for a job as a historian for 1999, I would suggest updating your email address, perhaps to a Gmail address. Bonus points if you use an email address associated with your own custom domain because it shows you know something about using the web and technology.

2. I can't find you on Google
You don't have to be popular like Michael Jordan or Michael Jackson, but you should be present enough on the web that I can easily find your LinkedIn profile, content you have created, your Twitter account, or your personal web page just by typing your name into Google.

3. Your last tweet is from 2011
Don't tell me you’re a digital guru if you haven’t tweeted in the last three years. You don't have to have a million followers (though I'll pay closer attention if you do), but you do need to be participating in the conversation on a regular basis by sharing other people’s content and staying current. A few tweets a week is enough; a month long lapse is unacceptable. I’d rather see you using one network well and not have accounts on the others, than have accounts everywhere and use none of them effectively.

Reasons 4-7 and the complete Mashable article

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Questions Managers Want You to Ask During a Job Interview

It's a query that can give an ill-prepared job seeker pause: So, do you have any questions for me?

Interviewers will judge you by your questions. Almost all employers wrap up job interviews by turning the tables and offering candidates an opportunity to showcase how well they understand the role, how interested they are in the opportunity and what plays to their passions points.

When the time comes to flip roles and grill your interviewer about the potential job, it can be tempting to ask pressing questions about salaries, hours and workload. But asking questions about vacation time, salary reviews and benefits might be red flags — and worst-case scenario, they might cost you the job.

When asking your interviewer questions regarding compensation or scheduling, there’s an imminent risk of being perceived as self-serving. Questions that are more focused on achieving results, helping the company grow and showing how well you've researched the role are the most wow-inducing. The goal is to end with a bang and leave a solid impression.

We asked managers what they actually want to hear candidates ask during an interview. Below are a few of their responses.

1. "How has [the company you're interviewing for]'s product impacted you directly?"

"This question shows that the candidate wants to work in a place where people are passionate about what they do. They don't want to come to work just to get a paycheck. They want to know how employees interact with the product and how it has personally impacted their lives."
Ragini Parmar, hiring manager at Credit Karma.

2. "How would my role affect the business in the short-, medium- and long-term?"

"First, this question demonstrates that the candidate isn't just thinking about themselves, but rather where they fit into the strategy of the business as a whole. It switches the conversation from being about what the company can do for them to what they can do for the company."

–- Erin Patterson, talent acquisition at Moxie.

Questions 3-6 and the complete Mashable article.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The 8 Cover Letters You Need to Read Now

By Lily Herman

Cover letters: They strike fear in the hearts of millions, and just uttering the phrase is enough to make a grown man cry. Who the heck writes a good cover letter anyway?

Lucky for you, we searched the web far and wide to bring you the best examples of totally awesome, out of this world cover letters that people have actually written. After all, how can you become a cover letter ninja without seeing some examples beforehand?
  1. Ever wanted to see a cover letter makeover? Alison Green did a little before-and-after action to show just how awesome your cover letter can be. (Ask A Manager)
  2. One of the most confusing things about the cover letter writing process is how to adapt your letter to the particular industry you’re applying for. The Guardian did a side-by-side comparison of how to format three different types of cover letters. (The Guardian)
  3. Can a five-sentence cover letter really be the best cover letter ever? (Harvard Business Review)
Read cover letters 4-8 and the complete article

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Why You Need a Job Interview Ice Breaker

by David Sargant

Vision it. You’re sat there anxiously waiting in the reception area for your job interview to begin.
Tick. Tock.

If you’ve done your research on the company, the job and the person(s) interviewing you, in your head you’re probably going over what you’ve been reading up on. That’s normal.

It’s OK to be nervous before a job interview too – it shows you genuinely care about performing well and that the job is important to you – but you need to be careful that the pre job interview ‘in-head’ planning and your nerves don’t scupper your chances of getting the job – especially within those vital first 10 to 30 seconds of meeting the person who will be interviewing you.

You need to be focusing on a Job Interview Ice Breaker.
A Job Interview Ice Breaker is the very first thing you say and talk about after shaking the interviewer’s hand.

It’s the conversation that you lead on when walking from reception to the interview room, while in the lift to the top floor or while they’re pouring you a glass of water. It fills those awkward moments right before a job interview has started but it also does a whole lot more for your chances of getting the job.

How to identify a good Job Interview Ice Breaker. - Find out to identify a good Ice Breaker, Sample Ice Breakers, and the complete article

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Why Recruiters Ask The 5 Toughest Job Interview Questions

by Mark Babbitt

During a job interview, there are five questions you must absolutely be ready to answer.

Why these five? Because old-school recruiters and hiring managers have come to count on them as the best possible way to gauge your confidence, passion, sincerity and knowledge of the role for which you’ve applied as well as the mission of the company.

There’s a down side to this, of course: because these questions are asked of everyone there is almost no such thing as an original answer. While the recruiter is smiling, nodding and exuding professional politeness the chances are good they are really thinking:
“For the love of Pete… Can’t anyone give me a good answer to this question?!”

With that in mind, here’s why a recruiter is really asking these questions, and what they really want learn from your answer:

“Why should we hire you?”

As complicated as this question sounds, it is designed to help the recruiter learn three simple things:
  • How well do you know – and how well can you articulate – your strengths, skills and qualifications?
  • How much do you know about the mission of this organization and the role for which you applied?
  • Have you considered how working here, in this specific role, will help us accomplish the mission?
So when answering this question, don’t dive into your hometown, what you enjoyed most about college, your hobbies or family life. Don’t simply regurgitate the company mission statement. And definitely don’t give some generic “Miss America” contestant answer about wanting to change the world.

Instead, focus on answering the three “real” questions the recruiter is asking. Tell the recruiter about your unique value proposition. State your version of the company mission – and be sure to include “why” the company does what it does. Then, deliberately talk about how you being chosen for the position will help them meet their organizational goals.

That is what the recruiter really cares about. That is what they are really asking!

(By-the-way, this exact same approach can easily be used to answer two other tough job interview questions: “Tell me about yourself?” and “Why do you want to work here?”)

“Describe a problem, then tell me how you solved that problem?”

With this question, interviewers are measuring your ability not just to think critically and develop solutions – but to see if you understand the impact of the solution.

Regardless of the specific issue, phrase your answer in the form of a fairy tale. Specifically, tell the recruiter:
  • The beginning: What was the problem? Why was the hero necessary?
  • The middle: How did the hero solve the story? Who was helped? Who was impacted? How did lives or business change?
  • The quantified end: What was the real impact of the hero’s work? How many dollars were saved? What percentage of operations were impacted? What was the effect on the customer? Who lived happily ever after?

In job interviews, storytellers make the best sellers. This is more than just a good question. This is your opportunity to tell a good story.

Questions and Answers 3-5 and the complete article