Archive for May, 2009

7 Tips for Going Through a Career Transition – While Remaining Optimistic

May 15, 2009
  1. Seek support and/or training – It’s always better to go through a job search having the support of others. You won’t feel so alone and you will get lots of terrific information and advice. If you want to take your career in a new direction, investigate to see if more training is needed.
  2. Set goals – Know what specific direction you want to go and chart a path for getting there.
  3. Create a plan and work your plan – List all the steps you need to take to go from where you are to where you want to go. Also, list those whose help you will need along the way.
  4. Set and hold daily “Work Hours” – Set specific time aside each day, or each week, to work on your job search. Make sure to track your progress and follow up when necessary.
  5. Take inventory of your skill set, and investigate any job you consider interesting, that would use that skill set – Often times you will have to change industries, if not careers, so you need to know what other types of work you can do, and feel confident of the value you would bring to that position.
  6. Leverage your job search tasks – Make sure the way you spend your time brings optimum results, no matter how much time you devote to your job search each week. Use job boards, but also research companies, network in person, network on the Internet, attend Job Fairs, and set up informational interviews.
  7. Take time to care for yourself – As you know, being out of work and conducting a job search can be very stressful. Take time for yourself. Go for a walk, read, enjoy family and friends, soak in a tub – anything you enjoy that relieves stress for you. Also, give yourself rewards along the way – when you accomplish big and little successes.

 

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Do You Utilize the Hidden Job Market?

May 12, 2009

Even though the news reminds us every night that more and more people are out of work, I am here to tell you that there are jobs being fill every day – in the hidden job market – it’s just a matter of knowing where to look and how to find them.

While estimates vary as to how big the hidden job market really is, most people tracking these things agree that it makes up about 75% of total employment opportunities. Yet, many job seekers have their heads stuck in the job board postings that make up about 3% to 5% of job opportunities, and really yield few results. So you see, you have a much higher chance of landing the right job when you seek out the hidden job market – there are many more jobs and there is much less competition.

How do you find the hidden job market?

  • Focus on several target companies you would like to work for, rather than on specific job openings
  • Research these companies, thoroughly, finding out what their challenges might be and learning about the people who can help you get in the door – look on the Internet, in general publications and trade journals
  • Look for articles written by people who work at your target companies and begin building relationships with them by email, LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook – ask them to recommend others who might talk with you
  • Talk with vendors, customers and employees of your target company – they can often tell you about upcoming jobs and opportunities (these are the hidden sources in the hidden job market)
  • Finally, call the target manager at each of your chosen companies – briefly explain who you are, what you know about their business, and how you might help with some of the challenges they are facing. Ask for a 12-minute meeting so you can demonstrate you ability to contribute to the bottom line – stick to 12-minutes. Be prepared to offer ideas and solutions the manager needs.

Using this approach can lead a manager to create a new job for you, once you’ve shown how talented and self-motivated you are.

Mistakes Job Seekers Make – Mistake #1 – Sending out a resume that is not a “10”

May 8, 2009

Even through the economy is struggling, there are jobs to be had – it’s just a matter of learning what to do so you reap the biggest results. I’ll be sharing five simple rules, in the next couple of weeks, to help you get a handle on your job search now, so that you are aware of what works best.

What: Pass / send out a resume that is not totally effective – here is what to check:

  • Is your focus / target missing or unclear?
  • Is your skill set missing or incomplete?
  • Are your key words absent or ones that are not the most effective?
  • Do you show your uniqueness, accomplishments/successes, or are they weak, or missing completely?
  • Is your resume formatted so that it is easy to read and the information flows well?
  • Does your resume have misspelled words?
  • Have you used a template so that your resume looks like everyone else’s?

Why: If your resume is not a “10” you are hurting / killing your chances of getting calls for interviews, no matter how great your skills and accomplishments are. You might as well not even send it out. You only have 15 – 20 seconds to impress the reader and be considered for the “keep” pile. If your resume isn’t great, you’re just not going to be in the handful of people chosen to interview. I am constantly amazed at what people send out to represent their value to potential employers – the first impression others receive is much less than desireable.

I know this might seem harsh, but I want to make sure you know the truth. In these economic times, you have to take special care that your resume stands out, or you don’t stand a chance of being called for the type of job you want, much less get the salary you deserve. A poor resume can cost you thousands of dollars in lost revenue.