Monday, June 23, 2014
If you are out of work this presents a problem because there is often a large quantity of qualified applicants seeking a given job.
In these times, it is more important than ever to think outside of the box when applying for jobs.
Here are 10 creative job hunting tips:
1) Know what positions are available at a company
Before you can try to work for a company, you need to figure out what job openings the company has. Once you know this you can focus your energy on trying to get that specific job. You can look on a company website to see what job openings a company has. However, the best strategy would be to speak to someone who works at the company as often times companies don’t update their websites with every potential and available job opening.
2) Use LinkedIn and use it well
LinkedIn is widely recognized as the best social network for career professionals. LinkedIn can be utilized as a great resource to connect with people at a company that you are interested in working for. The key on LinkedIn is to compile as many direct connections to other professionals that you can. More direct connections will convert into more secondary connections.
So, if you want to work for Facebook, and you have 200 LinkedIn connections, there is a chance that one of your connections has a connection with someone working at Facebook. This secondary connection can then be leveraged by you to get introduced to the respective person that works at Facebook. And, as we all know - knowing someone who works at the company which you are applying to - can greatly increase your odds of securing the job.
3) Take a look at resume samples
Before finalizing your resume, it is wise to take a look at resume samples. By reviewing other resumes, you can get ideas for ways to improve the content and look and feel of your resume. Looking at resume samples often helps you to identify specific areas where you can improve your expertise or enhance the way you present yourself to potential employers.
4) Be creative about how you use Twitter
You can utilize Twitter to look for jobs in several ways, one of the most creative ways is to use Twitter to locate and contact someone at a given company. You can use Twellow to search Twitter profiles. Search for the company that you want to work for - and you may find someone who has a profile
that says, Director of Biz Dev for company X.
Now that you found that person, you can follow them on Twitter hoping that they follow you back so that you can DM them.Or you can mention them in the hopes they will then get in touch with you. Also, sometimes people include their email address in their profile so you can contact them that way. Either way, Twitter offers a creative way to develop a contact, as the person may appreciate your hard work and creativity in getting in touch with them.
5) Consider different types of jobs
You don’t want to have tunnel vision and only look for one type of job. Especially with the unemployment rate being what it is - you have to think about a few different types of job titles to consider. When you have a few different areas you are considering - it will open up a wide range of options for yourself and you’ll end up getting more interviews and call-backs. And remember, each interview is an opportunity to not only get a job but also to develop key contacts within an organization.
Monday, June 23, 2014
Have you ever left a job interview knowing you completely flopped? Chances are you have—and you probably dealt with it by beating yourself up and putting that opportunity behind you. But walking away from the job or employer with a negative attitude won’t benefit anyone.
“Bad interviews can be very discouraging and cause feelings of inadequacy, shame, frustration, and even depression,” says Dr. Katharine Brooks, executive director of the office of personal and career development at Wake Forest University and author of You Majored in What? Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career. “We all like to think of ourselves as successful and when we have an experience that contradicts that image, it can be difficult to recover. Particularly when the interview involves a lot of pressure—the person desperately needs the job—this just makes the bad job interview worse.”
Sylvie Stewart, assistant director of career services at the University of Dayton, adds, “People tend to spend time wishing they could rewind and do it over. It is very normal to feel negative after a bad interview. As an unemployed job seeker, you are naturally very emotionally raw and vulnerable.”
A ‘bad interview’ can mean a lot of things: The candidate believes retrospectively that he or she flopped on a majority of the questions; he or she didn’t adequately prepare for the interview; the candidate is dressed inappropriately; says something offensive or arrives late; or a personal issue—like a family death or a break-up—distracts the candidate during the interview, among other things.
Brooks says if your talents are extremely valuable to the organization and they really want you, the employer might overlook small mistakes. However, if they’re on the fence about you, or you aren’t in the strongest position vis-à-vis the other candidates, the mistakes might not be fixable. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
“If the candidate believes the interview went poorly, absent any direct feedback from the employer, he or she could look for redemption,” say Jay Canchola, an HR business partner for Raytheon. It’s always better to make an effort to redeem yourself than to leave the interviewer with a bad taste in their mouth.
“The expression ‘never burn your bridges’ can apply to interviews as well,” Canchola adds. “Because people and circumstances are constantly changing, and if the prospective employer is one that aligns with your individual goals, you should continue to make the best impression possible.” You never know if another great opportunity at that company will present itself in the future.
You can’t rewind and redo the interview—nor can you change the employer’s decision to offer you a job. But there are a few things you can do after a bad job interview to help you avoid such mistakes in the future, to mend the employers impression of you, and, if you’re really lucky, to help them understand and overlook your mistakes.
1. Reflect on the experience.
“I talk to many students who believe they have bombed the interview,” Brooks says. “The first thing I do is ask them what went well. It’s important to discover what went well first so that you’re able to look at the negative aspects with a less defeated attitude. I then ask what one thing they would change.” If you have a bad feeling about the way things panned out, identify exactly what went wrong.
2. Learn from it.
Make a list of the mistakes you made during the interview, learn from them, and do better next time, Stewart says.
“The best thing to do with a bad interview is learn from it,” Brooks adds. Don’t wallow in self-pity or allow the bad interview to be an excuse for not following-up or not interviewing for a while. Instead, ask yourself what you would do differently to prepare next time; figure out what information you should have had that you didn’t; and think about how you would handle a difficult question next time.
3. Learn to forgive yourself.
“This will help you to play better in the game in the future,” Stewart says.
Nothing good ever comes from beating yourself up. It’s natural to feel uneasy for a little while—but don’t let the feeling linger and don’t let it discourage you from reaching out to the employer to make things better. Accept your mistakes and move forward.
Monday, June 23, 2014
While money concerns top work stress, time spent in the cubicle and on the clock has a way of grinding away at even the most well-balanced person’s gears. If your workplace anxiety and anger require more than a bubble wrap session, try these healthy stress-relieving tactics.
Decode Your Stressors
How can you combat the most significant workplace tension triggers? Start by decoding the elements of your day and the tasks and projects you perform that set off your stress meter and how you can change them. If you’re generally content with your position, focus on the positive during moments of dread, and actively try to fall back in love with your job.
Relieve Workplace Stress Now
When in doubt, take a walk around the block and consider talking to your manager about changing things up to keep you motivated and growing. If you experience anxiety all day, spend some time thinking about the bigger picture, your career options, and the steps you will need to take to make a larger change.
Monday, June 23, 2014
Here are some secrets that interviewers are holding back from you
Job hunters get the short end of the stick during interviews—the hiring managers hold all the cards, and if you don’t get the job, you’re left wondering why. Sometimes going over the interviews countless times can be frustrating and will harm rather than help. Instead of beating yourself up over a job you didn’t get, use it as a chance to hone your interviewing skills for the other available job positions. A friend of mine, who helps with the hiring process at her company, recently shared some of her interviewing experiences with me. Here are some secrets that interviewers are holding back from you:
It takes 10 minutes.
It’s sad but true. Most employers have already decided in their minds within the first ten minutes if you’re a no-go or if you have potential. The first few minutes are very crucial so be sure you follow good interview protocol, such as arriving early for the interview, but not too early, dressing for the part and showing enthusiasm.
Monday, June 23, 2014
An increasingly large pool of unemployed workers, many of who are highly qualified and have killer resumes, means that getting an interview and landing a new job is a longer and more challenging process. After sorting through piles of resumes, hiring managers are now holding more rounds of interviews than before. Get through the first round of interviews with these tips.
Step Up Your Job Search
Fortune suggests the following tips for job searching in a weak market: request more face-to-face meetings; step up your job-search activity; try to be as flexible as you can; consider relocating; scour the hidden job market; spend very little of your time on Internet job boards and help-wanted ads; take advantage of social networking sites.
Put Yourself in the Interviewer’s Shoes
Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes. When she’s looking at your resume, what questions will likely develop? Come up with specific experiences that go with each question and work out the best answer when you practice aloud. Then, ask a friend to play interviewer and think of her own questions.
Get Dressed Thoughtfully
Your attire should be interview-appropriate, which generally means at least one step up from the company’s dress code.
Impressions Start While You’re Waiting
Sitting and waiting gives an interviewee plenty of opportunity to showcase nerves—leg shaking, nail biting, hair twirling, foot tapping, etc. You want to present yourself as a confident candidate, not an anxious mess, so be mindful of your mannerisms in the waiting room for a strong start.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
A job seeker recently shared that he had applied for nearly 1,500 jobs in the past 12 months and was very disappointed in the results.
Not only no job offers, but no interview invitations either. Like many job seekers, he viewed the abundant supply of job postings on the Internet as a short cut to new employment.
Most likely, the problem was the way he applied—too many applications, done quickly and carelessly.
In this very competitive job market, job seekers need to stay focused and bring their “A game” to every opportunity they pursue. If you are in spray-and-pray job application mode, applying for every job you see, you are bringing your “C game” to each opportunity.
Disconnect from that apply-apply-apply instinct because a job search is not a numbers game.
Before You Apply for a Job
Conserve your “A game” energy and efforts for jobs that are a good fit for you. Carefully read the job description, and then, ask yourself these four questions:
1. Do I want this job?
Yes, a paycheck is VERY important! But, earning that paycheck will mean doing that job. So before you chase and, perhaps, land the wrong job, read the “duties” or “responsibilities” section of the job description very carefully.
Maybe you’ve done this work before, earlier in your career, and, sure, you could do it, but you don’t really want to. Perhaps, the job sounds okay, but the location is a long, expensive commute.
Or, maybe as described, this is the perfect job for you, and you are excited by this opportunity.
The benefit -
When you apply for a job you really want, your enthusiasm will show in the quality of your application and interview.
2. Do I qualify for this job?
Examine the “requirements” or “qualifications” section in the job description. Even if you “know” that you could do the job described, applying may be a waste of your time if you don’t meet most of the requirements—like meeting three out of four or five of the requirements, or seven out of nine or 10.
In this competitive job market, employers have their choice of applicants. So, applying for a job without meeting most—or all—of the requirements/qualifications makes it doubtful that you will be considered for the job.
The benefit -
When you apply carefully for a job that is a good fit for you, you have a better chance of making it through the human or automated screening (or both) to be invited in for an interview.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Anyone conducting a job search today knows that you’ll need to be as visible as possible—both through your personal network and your online presence. Close to 100 percent of employers and recruiters are now turning to sites liked LinkedIn and Facebook to source candidates, check out their skills, and vet them as to their suitability for the job.
Moreover, due to the issues involved in dealing with the volume of potential applicants and their resumes, many firms are forgoing advertising altogether. Depending on their size and their current supply of job openings, companies may either turn to employees for referrals or go directly to the Internet. Consequently, although a position may not be posted, recruiters and hiring managers might well be looking to find someone with your skill set. And they’ll likely be looking online.
As with other aspects of the job search process, branding yourself effectively on the Internet is critical to your success. But how will you land at the top of the list of attractive applicants?
The following is a checklist of items that will help you ensure you’re making your presence known:
Make certain you’re presenting yourself as the candidate of choice. Identify the current needs of the marketplace and position yourself in ways that will attract attention. Pay special consideration to job requirements that appear frequently in the postings for your line of work. Also note the order in which they’re listed. This will reflect the current demand for these types of abilities and experience and how greatly they’re valued in today’s market.
Become highly searchable. Know the keywords for your line of work and make sure that each of your online profiles is well populated with these sought-after skills. Also be aware that you’re presenting your skill sets in contemporary terms. Mature jobseekers might well possess the skills required for the position, but may be using outdated terminology that doesn’t “read” well to recruiters.
Highlight your unique qualities. You’ll need to set yourself apart from other candidates, so stress the ways you’ll add value and outperform the competition. Use phrases like, “possess a unique combination of X and Y” to make yourself stand out.
Be sure that each of your profiles is 100 percent complete and that you’re presenting a unified brand. You’ll want your LinkedIn profile to support what you’re highlighting on your resume, etc.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
A summer spent flipping burgers or perched in a lifeguard chair has been a teenage rite of passage—but not for the current young generation.
This year, teen joblessness promises to peak yet again, topping the record of the summer of 2008, when roughly two-thirds of 16- through 19-year-olds were not working, says Joseph McLaughlin, senior research associate of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University.
The toughest job for millions of young, inexperienced workers will be finding a job, experts say.
It’s worthwhile to start a summer job hunt using the tactics outlined below even as spring flowers are just starting to bloom, especially because the payoff for finding work stretches beyond August.
Although a stint bagging groceries or busing tables may not seem like a resume enhancer, early work experience correlates with better employment prospects in young adulthood because employers like to hire workers with some experience, says McLaughlin.
“We will have millions of teens who will have never had a job by the time they are age 20,” says Renee Ward, founder of Teens4Hire.org, a Huntington Beach, Calif., Web site specializing in teen postings. “I believe if they never have the fulfillment of a job, they’ll be frustrated and that becomes perpetuating.”
In the nearer term, a lack of summer earnings will cause many students to scramble to cover their share of college expenses. Lots of students will be visiting their college financial aid offices asking for loans, grants or other ways to plug the gap they expected their summer paychecks to fill, says Phil Shreves, director of student financial assistance at the University of Central Missouri.
While millions of job slots are needed, each individual teen needs to find only one opening—and that’s not an impossible task, say experts. Here are tips to help in the search:
1. Start early
“Job searching is all about contacts,” says Roberta Chinsky Matuson, president of Human Resource Solutions, Northampton, Mass. And sufficient lead time is necessary to connect with job possibilities. Parents might ask their own employers about summer positions. Neighbors, friends and relatives may also provide leads.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
It’s not only baseball season but also job-hunting season. This is especially true if you are among that new group of graduating college student’s eager to enter the work force and score that dream job. To achieve that success you have to hit it out of the park on your interview. I have wanted to write a follow-up piece to a post I wrote a couple of months ago that discussed phrases and common responses to interview questions that were a real turn-off to employers. I envisioned this next column to include really great responses and suggestions to some of the toughest questions that even the savviest candidates might have trouble answering.
I reached out to many of my most trusted colleagues in the recruiting and university career services industries and asked if they would share some perspectives that I could add to my own. Here then are some essential tips and advice that can help you hit it out of the park on that interview.
Always do your homework on the company and the position you are interviewing for and arrive on time, rested, and ready. The first few minutes of an interview are critical and set the tone for the entire conversation. Look the interviewer in the eye, smile and firmly shake hands saying something like: “I have really been looking forward to meeting you”. This immediately displays your confidence in and eagerness for the opportunity to discuss your qualifications and the position in more depth.
It’s fairly common for the interviewer to engage in a little bit of small talk at the start of the interview to help you relax and ease into the discussion. Be prepared to share something about your interests. You may want to discuss something fairly innocuous that happened recently in a sporting event, national or world news. The truly well prepared candidate will, if possible, have “Googled” their interviewer and know something about their interests and passions that they can bring out in the first moments of the interview. This will establish that you did your homework and more importantly that you have something in common with the person(s) who will ultimately decide if you are a good fit for the organization.
Manny Contomanolis at the Rochester Institute of Technology shared some common characteristics to “good interview answers”. These include:
Answers that are direct and actually answer the questions that were asked.
Using “articulate brevity” – don’t take more words or time than necessary to effectively respond to questions.
Responses that seem genuine and truly reflect the candidate’s consideration of the question rather than a “stock” answer that sounds rehearsed.
Answers that are consistent and reinforce or advance a positive image of the candidate.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
You successfully made it past the HR screening. Now it’s time to meet with the person who will ultimately decide if you’re the right candidate for the job—the hiring manager.
When going into an interview, it’s important to know what questions to expect and how to approach them. Preparation is key, which is why, as a career coach, I provide mock interviews and guidance for those looking to successfully navigate these crucial career moments.
Below are five common questions asked by hiring managers and how to prepare for them.
1. Tell me about your experience at Company X.
In other words, how does your past experience relate to the job the hiring manager is looking to fill? When answering this question, you want to convince the hiring manager that you can hit the ground running and bring value to the team by providing specific examples that resulted in successful outcomes. It’s also helpful to identify how your current and prospective employers differ. This will help you determine which skills to emphasize.
Sample Answer: Despite working for a company that prefers organic growth, I have worked through the nuances that evolve when two organizations with distinct cultural norms are brought together. For example, recently, new leadership from Company Y brought new ways of evaluating projects. I set out to understand their ways of doing things by building a rapport with key leaders and sharing with them the institutional knowledge I acquired during a successful eight-year career in the firm. An example of when my knowledge was beneficial is…etc.
2. What is your biggest professional accomplishment to date?
This is your opportunity to provide an example that shows you can do the job. Think about the skills detailed in the job description and which of your accomplishments most directly relate. The goal is to convey to the hiring manager not only your past successes but also what you are capable of accomplishing if offered the job.
Sample Answer: My greatest accomplishment was when I grew the IBM IBM -0.24% business on my agency’s behalf by 25% in one year. Most clients were cutting back on producing events as a way to warm leads for their sales force. With my creative team, I came up with a way to offer the same high-touch experience via webinars. Each webinar was accessible 24 hours a day and led by IBM thought leaders. In the end, I reduced event production costs by 40% and with those savings, IBM invested in more webinars worldwide. I won my agency’s award and was soon promoted.