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Job Search

Via Forbes : Why Your Job Search Isn’t Working — And How To Fix It

Dear Liz,

I’m job hunting, but it’s not going well. I’ve been sending out resumes for months. I’ve filled out 42 online job applications and I’ve only had two interviews. What am I doing wrong?

Thanks,

Jerry


Dear Jerry,

Blasting out resumes and filling out job applications are the two worst ways to get a job. The best ways to get a new job are to use your network, to consult during your job hunt (and even after you get a job) and to reach out to hiring managers directly.

I took a quick peek at your LinkedIn profile.

Your brand is not as strong right now as it could be — or as strong as it needs to be. We can’t tell exactly what you do. Maybe you are trying to keep your options open, but if a hiring manager or recruiter can’t tell from your LinkedIn profile what you’re especially good at, then you won’t look like someone who can relieve whatever pain an organization is feeling.

To brand yourself, you have to commit to a certain family of jobs you are especially well-suited for. Right now, your brand is mushy. “Multi-talented Business Professional” is one of the worst possible branding choices, because nobody has the kind of pain that a “Multi-talented Business Professional” specializes in solving.

Think about what you do especially well and what you love to do. Then, compare those strengths to the job market by reading job ads to see what employers are looking for. When you’re ready, rewrite your LinkedIn profile to focus on a specific career path. That’s where you will begin your job search.

You can read job ads, but don’t reply to job ads you see by filling out an online job application. It is incredibly hard to get noticed in one of those Applicant Tracking Systems. They are made to screen job candidates out — not to screen them in! You’ll have better luck touching base with everyone you know, and letting them know exactly what kinds of jobs you’re looking for.

You can get a consulting business card at Vistaprint or at any office supply store. Once you become a consultant (which only requires you to decide that you are a consultant now) your networking will be easier and more fun. You can talk about the consulting jobs you’re open to performing, rather than having to ask everyone you meet, “Know any companies that are hiring?”

Begin constructing a Target Employer List for your job search. Use a spreadsheet to note each company’s name, location and website URL. Then, use LinkedIn, Google and each organization’s own website to locate your hiring manager in each firm. Your hiring manager is the person who will be your boss if you end up working there.

You’re going to send a very specific letter to each hiring manager on your list.

Mother Nature teaches us the lessons we need to learn. You’ve been spinning your wheels in your job search, but those days are over! You are going to step out of the traditional job search box and take matters into your own hands. Watch how the energy changes when you do!

Yours,

Liz

Via LiveCareer : 14 Quick Tips for Finding a New Job

Unless you are one of the lucky few who works in a high-demand career, finding a new job can be a challenging and frustrating experience. You can make the job search a bit easier on yourself if you use proactive strategies for finding a new job – and the tips for finding a new job included in this article are applicable to all jobseekers, from those just starting out to experienced candidates who need a quick refresher.

Here are some of my best tips for finding a new job at any career level.

1. Get clear on what you want

Before starting your job search, take the time to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and the type of work you enjoy doing. The better you know yourself, the more likely you’ll find a new job that provides you with greater satisfaction. What do you want in a job? What’s most important, title, money, promotion, the work itself, location, or company culture?

2. Research your target companies

Once you know what you want, it’s time to find out what the companies you’re applying for want. A great tip for finding a new job is to investigate a company’s Glassdoor page. It will help you get a feel for their company culture, figure out what questions they commonly ask in interviews, and even discover what salary you’re likely to be paid.

Your resume is still one of the most critical tools of a job search. One of my best tips for finding a new job is to have an achievement-oriented resume that includes quantifiable achievements that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

3. Tailor your resume to each job

Your resume is still one of the most critical tools of a job search. A lot of resumes I see are full of responsibilities (instead of tangible achievements) and jobseekers send the same resume to various openings. One of my best tips for finding a new job is to have an achievement-oriented resume that includes quantifiable achievements that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Make yourself an obvious fit. Study the words and phrases that are used in the job description? Make sure you include them in your resume (provided you have that experience, of course). Tailor your resume to each job – the recruiter should know within a few seconds of looking at your resume that you have the skills they are looking for.

4. Create your online career brand

Building your brand simply means showcasing your expertise and passion online where employers searching the Web can find it. Most recruiters, including myself, use LinkedIn as their primary search tool and if you’re a professional, you need to be using LinkedIn to your full advantage. It’s a great resource for finding people working at companies that interest you and also for positioning yourself to be found by recruiters and hiring managers with relevant openings.

5. Get organized

Before you start applying for jobs or interviewing with employers, take a moment to develop a system that works for you in organizing your job search. A simple spreadsheet works best for many to keep a track of the jobs you’ve applied for, where you have been invited to interview, etc.

6. Build, cultivate, and utilize your network of contacts

For the vast majority of jobseekers, a large and strong network of contacts — people who know you and want to help you uncover job leads — results in more job opportunities. Networking – in person and online – is essential to your success in your job search.

It also helps you to get a good idea of what is out there and available, so you can be more strategic in your job search. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people on LinkedIn, and if you know someone working at a company that interests you, ask for a referral. Hiring managers would prefer to interview people who came recommended before sorting through the resumes arriving via a career website.

7. Don’t limit yourself to online applications

If you rely only on submitting online applications, you could be looking for a job for a very long time. By the time you apply, the company might be in the final interview stage, or the job might have even been filled. Contact companies that interest you directly – you might get in contact with an internal recruiter or schedule informational interviews with people who work in those companies. Ideally, you want to be known to the people who might influence you getting your foot in the door.

8. Aim to complete a few job-related goals daily

It takes a great deal of time and effort to find a new job. In a long job search, it’s easy to get discouraged and distracted, but by focusing on achieving daily goals you can motivate yourself while also building a foundation for success.

9. Be kind to yourself

Looking for a job can be stressful. So, take some time to meditate, exercise, watch a movie or whatever it is that helps you unwind. Create a good support network – having people to brainstorm with or vent your frustrations to will help the process be less painful.

10. Develop examples and stories that showcase your skills

This is one of the main tips for finding a new job. People remember stories, so your goal should be developing a set of interview stories you can use in networking meetings or job interviews that clearly demonstrate your skills, achievements, and passion for your work. Be memorable! Using stories (use the STAR format) may also help you feel more comfortable talking about yourself.

11. Prepare for all job interviews

Before you get called for your first interview, develop responses for common interview questions, and then practice them — ideally using the mock-interviewing technique with a friend, network contact, or interview coach. The more prepared you are for the interview, the more comfortable you’ll be – and the more likely you’ll succeed.

For the vast majority of jobseekers, a large and strong network of contacts — people who know you and want to help you uncover job leads — results in more job opportunities. Networking – in person and online – is essential to your success in your job search.

12. Write thank-you notes after interviews to all interviewers

A quick note (by email is fine) of thanks that emphasizes your interest and fit with the job and employer will not get you the job offer, but it will help make you stand out from the majority of jobseekers who do not bother with this simple act of courtesy.

13. Continue following up with hiring managers

Your work is not done once the interview is complete or the thank-you note sent. Following up with the hiring manager regularly shows your interest and enthusiasm for the job. The key is doing so in a way that is professional while not making you sound pesky or needy.

14. Expect the job search to take longer than you think

You can hope to have a new job within a short period, but the likely reality is that it might take months to find the right opportunity and get offered the position. You should mentally prepare yourself for a long battle — and then you can be happily surprised if you are one of the lucky few whose job search is short.

5 Final Thoughts on Finding a New Job

Here a few other tips for finding a new job if your job search situation does not fit the typical model – if conditions are such that finding employment will be unusually hard.

First, having both a positive attitude and outlook is extremely important. Employers can sense desperation and despair; organizations want to hire positive and competent people. If you’ve been unemployed for a long period and depressed or recently downsized and angry, find a way to shrug it off when job hunting or you will only be hurting yourself.

Second, if you’re an older worker trying to find a job, you may face age discrimination. Among the ways to proactively counter any issues about your age are to limit the number of years of experience you list on your resume (by keeping to the last 10-15 years), eliminate dates in the education section of your resume, and focus on adaptability and flexibility in the interview.

Third, remember that you may need additional training or experience, especially if you are entering a new career field.

Fourth, you may need to consider temping or volunteering for a short period to gain experience and build network contacts that can lead to a full-time position.

Fifth, in the most extreme cases, you may need to consider relocation to a place that has a higher concentration of jobs in your field.

Hope you’ve found these tips for finding a new job useful. I’d love to hear what you’re going to change in your job search after reading this article.

Via Forbes : Career Challenge: Get Job-Search Ready In 15 Days

If you’re searching for a new job, you’re in luck: This is a job hunter’s market. With 51% of American employees looking, there’s a lot of churn out there and so you have a definite advantage. But since the keys to a successful job hunt seem to change more quickly than you can update your résumé, it can be puzzling to figure out how best to proceed.

Whether you’re a recent college graduate trying to secure your first full-time position or a seasoned professional looking to take your career to the next level, we want to help you land your next job. So we’re launching this series of articles, “Career Challenge: Get Job-Search Ready In 15 Days.”

Every weekday for the next three weeks, we’ll challenge you to tackle another aspect of your job search, from leveraging your networking connections and refreshing your digital footprint to mastering the art of interview storytelling and positioning yourself to get poached. Since everyone’s career path is different, we can’t guarantee that completing this challenge will earn you a new job right away—but we know that if you join us on this journey, you’ll be better equipped for your search.

If you’re ready to get started, tune in here, Monday through Friday, for each day’s topic, and follow along with your fellow job seekers on Forbes’ LinkedIn. Today’s challenge is below.

Happy hunting!

Day 1: Establish your “why”

Day 2: Define your dream job

Day 3: Get to know the job market

Day 4: Leverage your network

Day 5: Update your résumé

Day 6: Refresh your digital footprint

Day 7: Secure your references

Day 8: Round up the extras

Day 9: Master the art of reaching out

Day 10: Consider recruiters

Day 11: Start telling stories

Day 12: Learn how to say what you want

Day 13: Prepare responses to difficult questions

Day 14: Position yourself to get poached

Day 15: Don’t let adversity get you down

Via The Jakarta Post : How to utilize social media in your job search

With the huge role that social media plays in our personal lives, it’s no surprise that it also has a big influence on our professional lives. Employers are increasingly using social media channels to screen potential new employees. Whether you’re an avid user of social media or not, it’s likely to play a role in your job search.

Not only are companies using social media as a way to promote externally or to do background checks on potential employees but it is also an effective tool to manage staff internally and to drive retention. Platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are no longer simply places to post holiday photos and connect with old friends. They have become a way for people to present a carefully curated profile of a well-rounded professional.

Here are some tips on how to utilize social media to your benefit on your quest for a new role:

1. Never underestimate the power of a great social resume

More than a third (37 percent) of recruiters use social and professional media as their number one source for finding talent. Does yours show that you’re an expert in your field? Do you share regular, industry-related content? It’s not just about ensuring your job title and contact details are on all your social profiles – it’s about how you position yourself to others.

2. Consider LinkedIn as your new resume

Almost every recruiter on the planet (97 percent) uses LinkedIn to find potential recruits – what will they find on yours? As a minimum, you should keep your summary and experience sections updated, and your profile photo should be a professional looking headshot. Along with the profile, try to be active on LinkedIn. Like and share insightful, industry-related content and engage with others in your field with comments and join in on other discussions.

3. Be mindful on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Everyone loves to use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as a way to interact with friends – but if you’re not careful with your privacy settings, anyone could be seeing what you post and your comments on other posts. And while your friends might love that photo of you partying in Las Vegas, it may not be as impressive to a potential employer.

Of course, you have a life outside of work, and Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are among places to share your experiences. Just ensure your privacy settings keep your personal and professional lives separate. Facebook now allows users to create a following without having to add everyone as a friend and Instagram now has a close friends feature where your posts can be seen only by a selected circle or friends.

Focus on building a following based on useful content that portrays your value to potential employers.

4. Forget contact details and forget that job offer

No matter how impressive your social resume is, if hiring managers can’t find a way to contact you there will be no job offer. Include at least one way for people to contact you, even if it’s a separate email used only for professional purposes. Twenty-nine percent of job seekers have been contacted by recruiters via social media.

5. Start a blog to land a job

It’s great to share relevant articles across social media to impress recruiters and even better to post something you’ve written yourself to really show you know what you’re talking about. LinkedIn Pulse can be a great way to publish articles to your network and beyond. Publishing on LinkedIn can position you as a thought leader in your industry, if you don’t have time to maintain a separate blog.

6. Watch your spelling and grammar at all times

You already know that correct spelling and grammar is essential on your CV and cover letter, but it also matters on social media, particularly on LinkedIn. Before you hit publish on any public post, have one more look for any spelling or grammar mistakes. Sixty-six percent of recruiters will be turned off by poor spelling and grammar across your public social media profiles.

7. Consider new social platforms

Companies are starting to look at platforms other than the usual LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for talent, especially if your role requires quite a bit of creativity. Consider using other platforms such as Pinterest or YouTube to showcase your unique talents and interests in a way that doesn’t come across in a simple text CV.

8. Go social regardless of skill level

Powerful social resumes aren’t just for high-level managers. In fact, 87 percent of jobs recruited through social media are for non-management roles. Show your knowledge as an industry expert through what you post on social media.

Via US News : 6 Job Hunting Tips for New Grads

How to be savvy when you are looking for your first job after college.

With college debts at all-time highs and education loan payments about to start coming due, graduation season can be filled not only with a justifiable sense of accomplishment and high hopes but with a clear angst about how to get your first job and begin a meaningful career. Even though the Great Recession is behind us and our nation enjoys low unemployment rates, you still need to be smart about how you enter the full-time workforce.

Here are some insights and tips to keep in mind in this season of possibilities:

Are you searching for just a job, or the start of a professional career? It may be either you still don’t know what you want to do when you grow up, or that you feel so desperate to get a job that you’ll be prone to taking a buckshot approach. Still, it is likely to be a mistake with long-term consequences if you just apply to anything and everything without thinking ahead.

Recognize that whenever you apply for your second job, you are likely to be asked questions like: Why did you take your first job? What did you learn from your first job? What value did you provide to your employer? What added value will this enable you to provide to your second employer? It’s important to always be thinking ahead to the next step in your career.

Consider what you want to learn in your first job. Look for job opportunities that will teach you the things you know you will need to learn and help you acquire the necessary experiences expected for the next job in your career ladder.

It might be, therefore, a great idea not only to look at jobs you want now, but at second-level jobs toward which you will aspire in a few years. Learn what prerequisites employers have for those positions. Then, go about the intelligent task of finding those companies and positions that will set you up now to get the crack at the jobs you seek in the longer term.

Your future is an open book and you need to be careful about the story you are composing about yourself. What does the first job you take say about you as a person, and about the associations you are making?

Like it or not, if you join a top-tier firm, the fact that they hire you says something about you. And if you join a firm with a poor reputation or no reputation at all, it can hurt your job prospects later on.

There’s an old adage which suggests that nothing you possess can ever outweigh the value of your good name, your reputation. Everything you do from now on builds your reputation, and you should be sure to curate the kinds of associations and relationships that will be of long-term benefit to you.

Just asking people for favors is begging, not networking. Even though you are just starting on your professional journey, you already know lots of people in multiple networks: your family, friends, college classmates and professors, members of clubs or organizations you’ve participated in, your Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections, members of your church, synagogue or mosque and more. Most colleges have alumni networks you can now access to help you find employment, as well.

It isn’t your networking partners’ responsibility to figure out your career for you, to tell you what to do or set you up for jobs. People in your network will likely be more than willing to help you, but not if they simply feel that you are taking advantage of them and their connections. Remember they are putting their own reputations on the line whenever they tell one of their contacts that they should consider you for a position!

Understand that networking is about building and enriching relationships, not begging for favors. When you take the time to learn about other people and their needs, and you offer to help them whenever you have the opportunity to do so, they’ll be much more eager to put themselves out for you.

And, remember, when you do get around to asking for help, be specific about ways someone can help you, tailoring your “ask” to their capabilities and likely willingness to be of assistance.

Find out what people can know about you already. Check yourself out on multiple search engines. Clean up your Facebook page, and consider that no matter what your privacy settings, anything that is online can likely be found by an enterprising background checker. Get rid of all those pictures that can bring your character into question.

Give each job application the time it deserves. Applying shouldn’t be a numbers game, and when it is, it almost always favors the employer rather than you. That means you need to take the time to tailor a cover letter for each position. Explain a bit about what you know about the company and the role for which you are applying.

Don’t just claim that you are uniquely qualified, or really want the job, but show how your background matches what they are looking for, and why you would like the opportunity to begin your career not just any place, but at that company in particular.

Happy hunting!

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