Archive for January, 2010

7 TIPS ON HOW TO CONDUCT YOUR JOB SEARCH AFTER BEING LAID OFF

January 29, 2010

Every week, and sometimes every day, we hear of more companies laying off employees, forcing those people to look for new jobs. The fact is that looking for work at any time can be challenging; but during our current economic times, it can be downright daunting. I’ve seen it strike fear into the hearts of even the most accomplished individual. It can cause successful, confident, and capable professionals to question their sanity, marketability, and expertise. If you let it, it can immobilize you.

Where to start?

  1. Take time to acknowledge what you’ve lost. Even if your job wasn’t all that terrific, it did provide a certain amount of security, income, and identity. Admit your feelings of loss and recognize the range of feelings you are bound to have over the next several weeks and months: anger, sadness, relief, fear, embarrassment, and lack of confidence. Take time to process your feelings and get whatever assistance you need to regain your emotional footing. A positive attitude is essential for a successful job search.
  2. Clarify what you have to offer an employer. Identify what you are selling, and make no mistake about it, you are selling your services in exchange for something of equal value. A company isn’t going to hire and pay you for more than you are able to deliver. At the same time, you don’t want to be under paid for your contributions. Getting clear about your skills and expertise will make the next step – developing a value-packed resume and other marketing materials – easier.
  3. Create impeccable marketing materials. I am amazed at what are passed off as acceptable resumes and cover letters. However, I do realize that the people sending them are not always to blame. They just haven’t been told the truth as to what compromises a great resume. Most resumes concentrate on “tasks & duties” – what they are expected to do on their job description – and fail to mention how they have made a difference, or in other words, the specific value they bring to the table. Some resumes include numerous typos, misspellings, and errors in grammar. Your marketing materials must be top quality – your professional credibility rests upon them.
  4. Develop and implement an active job search plan. You may be surprised to discover that only about 6% of jobs come from the Internet, so limit the time you spend looking online. What makes the prospect of spending hours online searching for job opportunities seductive is the feeling that you are doing something; when in fact you are like a caged squirrel running on the wheel to nowhere. It feels like you are accomplishing something, but in reality, you are simply killing time, time better spent on more active job search strategies. Of course, using passive job search methods results in a lot less out-and-out rejection and virtually no actual opportunities, but it feels like you are doing something.
  5. Take control of your search. If you don’t do it, know one else will. Harry Truman once said, “The buck stops here.” That saying has never been truer than when conducting your job search. Decide to be a person of action. Everyone has dark, discouraging days. Managing your search means persisting without exception. Nobody cares about your success, or job search, as much as you do. (Joining the Job Hunters Success Coaching Club will help with your job search – you will receive great support and learn all kinds of valuable information to implement immediately)
  6. Look for opportunities to create value. Savvy job hunters build credibility and trust by looking for ways to create value. Make every interaction a high quality one. Stop looking for a job and start looking for ways to contribute. Ask compelling questions, and probe for problems that need solving. Keep your attention on the other person’s agenda because finding the right job is really about solving someone’s pressing business problems.
  7. Plan for and expect success. Leap into your job search as though it is your new job, because right now this is the most important work you can do! Create your plan for success, work it, evaluate it regularly, and recommit to your success.

10 Secrets to Finding a Job – Despite a Scarce Job Market

January 12, 2010

Every time we turn on the news, we seem to be bombarded with discouraging news about the job market. However, there are open positions that can be found, with persistence. Here are 10 ways you can stay positive and greatly increase your chances for great results. When you take action toward something you want, you remain more positive and feel more in control of the situation.

  1. Strive to be the best in your profession – Demonstrate at every opportunity how you can add value to an organization. Show what distinguishes you from your competition. This applies whether you are currently looking for a job, or whether you already have one.
  2. Brand yourself – How are you unique? What are your strengths? Who is your target audience? Do you have a personal brand statement? If you’re not sure about the answers to these questions, take the time to reflect on them so you know just what VALUE you offer a new employer, or your current employer.
  3. Network constantly and consistently – Join Internet networking groups such as LinkedIn and FaceBook. Also, join local and national professional organizations, such as your local Chamber of Commerce, or the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), to name a few.
  4. Develop a relationship with a recruiter – especially one that works in your field. Being in their database isn’t enough, you want to be the one that comes to mind when they have a position for which you’d qualify.
  5. Think about freelancing – Become more entrepreneurial, whether you work for yourself or someone else. Visit sologig.com. This is a site that hosts jobs just for freelancers and contractors.
  6. If you are out of work, join a support group – The Career Conquerors Job Club or the Job Hunters Success Coaching Club – either one is a terrific place to start. Each week people support one other and provide leads and advice to others in the group.
  7. Embrace change – Keep your job skills up to date. Create a personal website, or at least a great profile (ask about the 60 Second Commercial) on websites such as LinkedIn and FaceBook. Take a class.
  8. Prepare for an evolving job market – Look for trends in the job market where there is increased hiring. Growth industries include health care, education, and green living, to name a few.
  9. Your resume is what gets you interviews – Make sure it shows the type of position you want, how you have the skill set for that type of position, and how you have used your skills to make a difference in the various jobs you have held. It must show VALUE, and it must look great, so an employer will pick up the phone and call you.
  10. Make sure your credentials and skill set matches the employers job requirements – Pay attention to the employer’s requirements or job posting – you should match about 75 – 80% of what they want.