Friday, January 30, 2015

6 Job Search Tweaks To Find Work In 2015

Thinking of looking for a job in 2015?

Well, I’ve got some good news for you. For the first time in a long time, you just might have the upper hand.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics just announced that 2014 was the best year for hiring since 1999 and that the unemployment rate fell from 5.8% to 5.6% (employers added 252,000 jobs in December). Better still, 36% of employers plan to increase their full-time staff in 2015, according to a CareerBuilder survey.

Wages are on the upswing, too. Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist for The Economic Outlook Group, told USA TODAY that he forecasts average annual wage growth rising to perhaps 3% by midyear (compared to 2.4% last year).

Of course, just because firms, nonprofits and government agencies are hiring doesn’t mean the job search has gotten any easier or that you have any more time to look for work. So to help you take advantage of the improving job market in your limited spare time, here are six ways to improve your search with just a few hours of work:

3. Set-up Google alerts for a target list of three to five employers where you’d like to work. This way, you’ll be on top of breaking news, job postings and business opportunities long before your competition without having to devote hours to research. And if you get called in for an interview, the knowledge you’ve gained about a prospective employer’s challenges and strategic plans will help you come across as a highly effective candidate.

4. Add two or three job-search apps onto your smartphone. These days, the sooner you respond to a job posting, the better your chances of getting hired. Mobile job-search apps can cut your response time drastically. So download a few from job-posting aggregator sites such as or Then, when you’ve got time to kill, you can easily use your phone for something more productive than reading the latest Facebook gossip.

The Next Avenue blog post I wrote, “8 Great Apps to Help You Land a Job” can help you find the right apps for your search.

5. Create a list of at least three people you think could help your job-search efforts in 2015. We all know that networking is the best way to find new jobs, but real networking is about long-term relationship building, not quick transactional exchanges. It is far more powerful to have a few strong supporters in your network (who’ll go to bat for you when there’s an opening where they work), than many lukewarm connections.

As you’re coming up with a shortlist of people who could accelerate your job search, think about ones at employers where you might like to work, leaders in your target industries or former colleagues you haven’t kept in touch with. Just remember: Networking works best when you approach it with the attitude of helping others before you expect help.

Once you’ve identified your target list, send those people useful articles, offer to connect them to your other contacts and share their content on social media. These gestures will help you build meaningful business relationships, which should lead to referrals for job opportunities.

See all 6 tweaks and the complete article

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

8 Ingredients for Job Search Success

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

You Are 5 Steps Away from Finding a Job with Twitter

Marissa Venturella

You can follow your favorite celebrities and participate in clever hashtag games with a Twitter account, but Twitter can also be much more than an entertaining site you compulsively check. Rather than spending 20 minutes racking your brain for the most clever and creative way to explain what you are doing in 140 characters or less, follow the five tips below to use your Twitter account to find your next job.

1. Make your profile employer-friendly.
Your twitter handle should be professional. Many people in the industry suggest using some variation of your name. You can also use your biography to briefly state your credentials or the type of job you are looking for. Lastly, make your background relevant to your job search. Your background can be a great way to express yourself in an area other than the bio. For examples and inspirations check out this Mashable article.

2. Tweet about things relevant to your job search.

If you participate in an activity that relates to your potential future job or finally mastered that pesky skill that was holding you back, tweet about it. Let prospective employers know you are actively improving yourself and your skills in preparation for a new job. Also, simply tell people you are searching for a job. The Twitterverse is expansive so surely somebody will be able to help.

Steps 3-5 and the complete article

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

5 Mistakes You Should NEVER Make on a Cover Letter

Matthew Crist

You don’t get a second chance to make a great first impression and when it comes to applying for a job your cover letter is usually the first thing most employers will see. This is your chance to say “Hi, I’m here and you should really hire me” and any error will be the written equivalent of tripping over as you enter the room or spilling tea all over the boss.

It says everything about you right from the start – and that could be the bad as well as the good. It’s true that we can learn from our mistakes, but you really don’t want the application for the job of your dreams being the place to make them, do you? So ensure you don’t make them in the first place and enhance your chances of being invited for an interview by making sure your initial application stage is spot on!

Here are some of the most common – yet avoidable – cover letter mistakes that you need to guarantee you don’t make when applying for your dream job:

3) Not writing enough:

The secret to a great cover letter is getting the balance just right. Too long and you will lose the attention of the person writing it (they might receive hundreds of letters for just one job), too short and it won’t say enough about you to really catch their eye. Aim for around 200-250 words maximum and pick out some of the key reasons you feel you are the ideal candidate for the job, trying to focus on one major success story you are particularly proud of. “I successfully increased revenue by 200% during my time at the company”, for example.

If your letter is good enough then you’ll have the opportunity to tell them more about yourself at the interview stage.

4) Using generic text (To Whom It May Concern):

Whatever you do never use these five little words to address a cover letter. And come to think of it, Dear Sir/Madam isn’t much better either.

Do whatever you can to find out the hiring manager’s name, and address your letter to that person directly. Anything else will make you appear lazy and less than bothered if you get the job anyway.

Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask who it is that’s hiring for this position. You might get passed from pillar to post initially but remember, it’s a real person you are trying to impress here and little details like this can make a huge difference.

See all 5 mistakes and the complete TheUndercoverRecruiter article

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

10 Assumptions You Make That Kill Your Resume

By Lisa Rangel

Myth 2: Your resume needs charts and graphs to be impressive.

While I put charts and graphs in executive resumes for some of my clients, it is not the norm. Most clients can have achievements properly outlined in well-written content. Charts and graphs are often not digested by applicant tracking systems (ATS).

Myth 4: You Should put all of your experience on your resume

As a general rule, I do not go back more than 15 years. Even if what you did 25 years ago is applicable to what you are targeting today, no company will hire you for what you did 25 years ago. I believe, in most cases, putting 20+ years experience on your resume only dates you and does not really help your candidacy.

Myth 6: A great resume is the magic elixir to landing a job.

A great resume with an excellent job search plan, robust network, superb follow-up skills and an amazing attitude land you a job. The most fabulous resume alone will not get you a job.

See all 10 assumptions and the complete FastCompany article

Monday, January 19, 2015

Top Five Mistakes Job Seekers Make

Hunting for a job is not the easiest thing to do. It's stressful, making it easy to rush the process. When you're not employed, it's normal to feel anxious about the future. However, think logically about the job seeking process. You want to give yourself the best chance of achieving your final goal; getting hired by a company you respect, for a position you're excited about.

Top Five Mistakes Job Seekers Make
When looking for a job, there are common mistakes made. You may be guilty of some of these mistakes without even knowing. Once you understand the most common mistakes, you can focus on areas that will ensure success. You can find a position that fits your skill set and experience, you just need to know where to look.

Mistake Four: Not researching the company
When you're approaching a company that you would like to work for, make sure you have done your research. Take the time needed in order to gain crucial information. What's the company's mission? What strengths do they display, and do you notice any weaknesses? If so, can you add something of value to those weaknesses?

Basically, do your homework. Show the company that you are driven and thorough. If you understand the vision and mission of the company, you can get much further within an interview. If you can suggest anything to benefit the company, do so. This will be sure to impress, showing that you're a forward thinker.

Mistake Five: Only have one copy of your CV
When job hunting, you'll be applying to multiple companies. Instead of blasting out tons of generic CV's, focus on specifics. Each company will be looking for different things. They will have different visions, strengths, and dynamics. When companies differ, how can you maintain one, consistent CV? This is most certainly a mistake that many individuals make.

Each CV should reflect you, relating to the company you're applying for. You want to match your CV's content with what that company is looking for. You may have a wide array of skills and experience; focus on the position you're seeking. Choose set skills and experiences, showing that you're a good match for that particular position. You should also write an informative, specific cover letter.

You can find that job you're looking for, you just need to focus. You do not, and should not settle for a position you're not thrilled to take. You spend a lot of time and energy at work, so put a lot of effort into the job hunting process. Seek out opportunity and act upon it. Avoid the most common mistakes, increasing your chances of success.

Free bonus Mistakes:
Not checking spelling in your resume and application.

Applying for jobs that you aren't even remotely qualified for.  There is a lot of competition for every position so focus your time and energy on those that you can compete for.

Being a secret agent - Tell people that you are looking for a new position.  You never know who might know of a position.  On the flip side don't have it be your only topic of conversation.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

7 Tools Every Job Seeker Needs Today

Boost your job search with brand new apps, old-fashioned tactics and everything in between.

If you are considering a job hunt or revamping your current search in 2015, these are the tools and apps you need to succeed in finding your next opportunity:

3. An easily accessible, on-the-go résumé. There will be occasions when someone wants you to send your résumé ASAP or when you arrive at an interview and your résumé is MIA. Save your résumés so you can easily access them and share them from your mobile device.

Quick tip: Being able to access important documents from anywhere is critical not only in your job search, but at work, too. Learn how to save and share documents using Dropbox or Google Drive, which provide free storage and are easily accessible from any device.

4. Business cards. This may seem old-fashioned, but business cards make life easier. When you meet someone new or reconnect with an old friend, just hand him or her your card at the end of the conversation.

Quick tip: Your business card need only include the information you want to share: your name, occupation (or desired occupation), phone number, email address and links to any social media profiles, like your LinkedIn URL. If you want to use something more high-tech, try one of the apps that allows you to share your card from your phone, like CardDrop. Or pick up a business card with FullContact’s Card Reader. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Top 15 Resume Trends for 2015

With the New Year comes new beginnings. This is the perfect time to update and perfect your career development materials. When it comes to resume writing, there are some industry-standard guidelines you should follow to ensure that your resume gets past Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and into the hands of decision-makers. The following trends have made great strides in 2014 and will continue into 2015 as attention-catchers.

6.      Quality Over Quantity

There are so many reasons why resumes over two pages are thrown out. Hiring managers don’t have the time to read every word you write and need to find valuable information quickly. Focusing on your value proposition, or what you will contribute to the company, will win over the amount of responsibilities you have had over the years.

8.      Listing Achievements Rather Than Duties

Although duties and responsibilities list what you’re capable of doing, using action words and accomplishments to share how your contributions benefited the company will bring more positive results. Achievements can include statistics from performance reports or awards presented for excellence or leadership.

15.   Customized Resume For Each Position or Industry

Away with the generic resume that you hand out to every potential employer. Customizing your resume’s career summary and key skills or core competencies for each position or industry you are applying shows that you are invested in your job-search. Hiring managers can tell the difference between a cookie-cutter resume and one that shows interest.

See all 15 trends and the complete article

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Definitive Social Media To-Do List For Job Seekers

Tony Restell

The job market has changed significantly over the last 20 years, and with it, so too have the hiring methods of employers. Traditionally, it’s been newspapers, industry publications, recruiters, and job boards that have provided the ‘lion’s share’ of new hires for employers. However, since the advent of social media, social networking tools have transformed approaches to recruiting and they are now a primary source of new hire leads for employers and recruiters alike.

The ability to research a candidate market and approach desired hires directly is an approach that corporate recruiters really love – and see produces great results for their business. While this doesn’t mean that you should abandon looking at job boards and industry publications, it’s ever more important that you also incorporate a social strategy into your job search and work on your personal brand management.

The four key networks that you need to have a presence on in my opinion are LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. However, it’s also worth bearing in mind that any social networking site and forum where you post personal information and set up a profile may be publicly searchable. Recruiters these days are using ‘People aggregators,’ which are essentially specialized search engines, allowing recruiters to search hundreds of sites for potential hires. With that in mind be sure to keep your profiles safe for work and tailored towards your respective role or industry.

In this post, I am going to cover the main benefits of joining the ‘big four’ social networks to help you improve your job search and networking capabilities. Bear in mind that like any job search strategy, maintaining a presence on a social network can take some time and it’s up to you to decide where you want to spend yours.


Twitter offers one of the easiest ways to network with potential employers. Most organizations worth their salt will have a presence on Twitter, as will their individual recruiters. Before you start following and engaging with them, it’s a good idea to build up a profile/brand that shows your interest in the area that you are trying to get work in. Use relevant keywords in your bio to show your particular specialty and follow and engage with other professionals and organizations relevant to your target industry/role.

Follow and engage with target employers and decision-makers

Once you’ve built up a reputation, start following employers and decision-makers and monitor their activities, corporate culture, ethos, and upcoming opportunities. Every so often, you may find that they post content that you can engage with, whether that is by Retweeting, Favoriting, or by adding an insightful comment or one that sparks conversation. Make it a regular habit to do this and you’ll be well on your way to prompting the types of conversations that generate job leads and career conversations.

Read the advice for LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and the complete Careerealism article

Thursday, January 8, 2015

It’s 2015: Do You Know the 5 NEW Job Search Basics?

by Mark Babbitt

“In this economy, what’s the one thing I need to do to stand out?”

As I speak on campuses around the country, that is the question I get more often than any other. And often, the answer expected is “finish your education” or “follow your passion.”

But those well-worn cliches are never part of my answer, in large part because a college education no longer makes you employable and that “follow your passion” thing is probably the worst career advice ever given.

Instead, I answer with the five items that have become the new minimum requirements… the new “job search basics”:

Present an Amazing LinkedIn Profile

There are now 36 million Millennials on LinkedIn – a dramatic improvement over just two years ago. And yet, many students and recent grads – about 60% – are still not active on LinkedIn. In fact, at a recent workshop YouTern completed at a university for engineering majors, the 100+ students (95% of whom were seniors) were asked how many were on LinkedIn.

Only 4 – four – raised their hands.

If you aren’t on LinkedIn… to employers, you don’t exist. If you don’t present an amazing (meaning: complete!) profile… you’re wasting an opportunity to impress those employers.

Membership in a Professional or Industry Association

A survey by Millennial Branding said that about 78% of college students and young professionals had not yet joined a professional development or industry-related association. From this, we can infer that those young careerists are behind on not just networking skills, but also are far less likely to have established a mentor relationship with an influencer – or gained any hands-on experience in their industry.

In today’s job market, you must be committed to your craft. Failure to get involved with your future colleagues may indicate that you’re just going through the motions.

See all 5 basics and the complete article

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

9 Ways To Get Past Job Search Gatekeepers

Susan Adams

Recently a friend of mine applied for a job at a Washington, D.C. political advocacy group. She knew she would face stiff competition because the position was widely advertised. But she had several ins. Her husband knew a highly placed staffer and told him my friend was pursuing the job. Also she was acquainted with a board member through a previous job; she sent him an email asking him to put in a good word. Then she sent her résumé with a peppy, detailed cover letter to the person who was listed as the contact on the job posting. She followed up with the board member and left repeated phone messages for the job posting contact. But after six weeks she’d heard nothing, not even a response saying they had gotten her materials. She finally gave up.

Does this story sound familiar? It can be the most frustrating, confounding part of a job search: Getting past the company gatekeeper. You do your best to make personal contacts inside an organization, you make calls and send emails, but nevertheless, you hit a brick wall.

Kathleen Brady, a New York City career coach and author of three books, including GET A JOB: 10 Steps to Career Success, says it’s one of the top two biggest challenges job seekers face. (The other: locating “hidden” openings not listed on job boards or company websites.) Brady says my friend did everything right. The tough truth for job seekers, she says: Even if you play all of your best cards, chances are you will be stopped at the gate at least 50% of the time. But it’s essential to keep plugging beyond simply sending your résumé through an automated website or via email. “If you do nothing, nothing will happen,” she says. Many people don’t realize that it’s the gatekeeper who is holding back their chances. “For a lot of these positions, they’re getting 600-700 résumés,” she notes. “If someone the organization knows and trusts recommends you, it can move you to the top of the pile.”

Often there are forces at play beyond the job seeker’s reach. For my friend, Brady suggests, there may have been internal politics, her contacts may not have had the same “juice” as another applicant’s connections or, despite the listing, the group may have decided not to fill the post. “Sometimes you just can’t make any sense of the situation and you’ve got to move onto the next one,” she says.

What can you do to get ahead of those 700 other résumés? Here is what Brady recommends:

3. Drill down into the company website. Brady recommends searching not just the careers link on a company’s website but the investor relations page and the company news links to find the names of potential contacts. Publicly traded companies also frequently have links to their annual reports, which list the people in leadership positions. Or simply Google the company name and “annual report.” You may realize you have a connection to someone on the list. Also try doing a LinkedIn search on each of the names. The goal: making a direct connection to a highly-placed person in the company where you are applying.

8. Get creative. Sometimes it’s possible to combine networking and alumni connections and then to take a step beyond that. Brady had a client who wanted to work at a particular company but couldn’t find a contact or even a job listing. Through the company website he discovered that the company supported a charity he liked, and was hosting a fundraiser. He went to the event and made contacts at the firm, who helped him connect with a hiring manager. But you need to know where to draw the line. One of Brady’s lawyer clients sent his résumé to firms in the form of a blue, tri-fold subpoena. “That was over the top,” she says. “He was getting noticed but not in the way he wanted to get noticed.”

See all 9 ways and the complete Forbes article

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Job Interview 101: 5 Clever Ways to Research Your Next Employer

by ComeRecommended

2. Skim Through Press Releases and Recent Company News

Search for company news or press releases that will help you understand the company’s projects, clients, announcements, community involvement, or recognition. You can typically find this information on the employer’s “about” page.

By reading company news, you’ll learn more about the company’s history and the progress it made during recent years. It’s likely the hiring manager could bring up questions relating to the company’s current projects, so learning this information can be helpful.

3. Search Quora

Many people use Quora to find an answer to practically any question. In fact, people have used Quora to ask questions about what it’s like to work at companies like Apple and Google, and have received responses from real employees.

Use Quora to ask questions such as “What is it like to work at ABC Company?” or “What does ABC Company do?” Depending on the size of the company, you might be surprised at the amount of information you find. Quora can provide you with answers that will help you better understand the company’s culture.

See all 5 clever ways and the complete article

Monday, January 5, 2015

5 Ways To Keep Your LinkedIn Job Search Undetected When Employed

by Chris Perry

There is a lot of great advice out there for job seekers on how to use LinkedIn to build their personal brands and find new career opportunities.

Some of these tips include maintaining a 100% complete LinkedIn profile, building your network of connections, getting recommendations, sharing valuable and relevant content to enhance your personal brand, joining and contributing to industry-specific and job search LinkedIn groups, following companies, applying for opportunities via LinkedIn Jobs, and more.

However, I am often asked how professionals who are currently employed can leverage LinkedIn effectively, yet discreetly, without compromising their current job security.

Here are 5 critical steps to ensure your LinkedIn job search efforts are successful, yet go undetected by your current employers:

1. Stay Off the Feed

Whether you’re already active on LinkedIn with a 100% complete profile or you’re just getting started, the first thing to do is to change your privacy settings so that your activity is not automatically broadcast to your network in the news feed and so your network cannot see your activity feed on your profile. Here’s how:
  1. Once signed in to your account, click on your name in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and click on “Settings” in the dropdown menu.
  2. Find “Profile” in the bottom section of this “Settings” page and then “Privacy Controls” to the right.
  3. First, click on “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts.” Un-check the box that says “Let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies.” Click the “Save changes” button.
  4. Next, click on “Select Who Can See Your Activity Feed.” Set this to “Only You.” Click the “Save changes” button.
Note: This doesn’t hurt your overall visibility on LinkedIn, but just helps make your activity related to job searching more discreet to help protect you and your current job.

2. Don’t Openly Advertise Your Job Search

Hiding your activity from the news feed doesn’t make all of your LinkedIn activity totally undetectable. While this may seem obvious, be very careful not to openly advertise your job search. Here are some examples to consider:
  • DO NOT post any LinkedIn status updates that would imply that you are dissatisfied with your current job and/or looking for a new job opportunity. DO post status updates that demonstrate your expertise and interests and that support your personal brand.
  • DO NOT include language anywhere in your profile implying that you are dissatisfied with your current job and/or looking for a new job opportunity. DO leverage your profile as a selling document for you and your personal brand by including your accomplishments, skills and more.
  • DO NOT post anything openly related to your job search in LinkedIn Answers or in LinkedIn Groups, especially those related to job search. This doesn’t mean you can’t participate in these places. It just means you should focus your participation and contributions on building your personal brand in your area of expertise and should message people of interest directly and thus, discreetly.
  • DO NOT show all of your groups on your profile. When joining LinkedIn groups related to job search or any groups you don’t want people from your current employer to see, go immediately to the group after joining, click on the “More” tab and click on “Your Settings” in the dropdown menu. Under “Visibility Settings,” un-check “Display the group logo on your profile.”
  • DO NOT ask your current manager or colleagues for LinkedIn recommendations. You can ask previous managers and colleagues, but just be careful when they also work for the same employer. You can always say, “I just wanted to ask you for your feedback before too much time had passed since we had worked together.”
  • DO NOT display the optional Job Seeker badge on your profile if you choose to pay for a premium LinkedIn account.