Slash Weeks Off Your Job Search By Taking a Few Simple Steps

June 10, 2015

ClocksOne of the questions I get asked most often is “How long do you think my job search will take?” And, the answer I always give is “It depends.”

It depends on if your resume and cover letter clearly show your value. Do they let the reader know your specific uniqueness and how you’ve made contributions in your past positions? The reason you get hired is for the value you bring to the company. If an employer can’t see the value you have to offer through your resume, they will never call you for an interview – no matter how great a skill set you have. If your resume doesn’t show your value, it’s a total waste of time to even send it out.

It depends on how much time you have to devote to your job search. If you are working full time, or even part time, you obviously won’t have as much time to devote to a job search as someone who is not working at all. Whether you are working or not, it’s necessary to schedule specific time into your daily/weekly routine to allow for your job search. And, it’s imperative to stick to your schedule – be consistent and diligent. Keep in mind, the more time you devote to your job search, the quicker you will find a new job.

It depends on the avenues you utilize to conduct your job search. Are you following a step-by-step proven system that works, or, are you tackling it willy-nilly, hoping for the best and wondering if what you are doing is going to work or not? Are you spending all of your time on job boards – which really deliver almost no results – or, are you spending most of your time researching companies where you’d like to work, and then finding someone who works for that company and getting to know them through social networking? Are you also networking in person? Networking and the Hidden Job Market are the most productive ways to find a new job.

It depends on whether you have a good plan of action for your job search, and whether you work your plan on a consistent basis. A good plan of action consists of knowing what works and what doesn’t, and using multi-channels during your search.

It depends on whether you have the right tools to conduct an effective job search: a great resume, cover letter, elevator speech, business card, a URL on LinkedIn, a great plan, and a solid support team, to name but some of what you need for success.

Each of the above points contribute to shortening your job search. It all boils down to knowing what actions to take and then taking those actions.

By having a clear strategy, and working that strategy consistently, you will take weeks off your job search, and you have a much greater chance of landing the perfect job for you.

PS: All of this information is covered, in great detail, in my Hidden Job Market program – gives you a step-by-step process for getting rehired quickly. For more information, email me at careerist@aol.com, or call me at 248/478-5662.

Also, ***I want to make sure you have every opportunity to get calls for the jobs you want – in order to do this, you need to start with a stellar resume – so I am offering you a complementary resume critique – I know what it takes for a resume to get results! Just email your resume to me at careerist@aol.com and put “Resume Critique” in the subject line. I will then critique your resume. I look forward to hearing from you.***

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Do You Want That Interview? If So, Then You Need These Resume Secrets!

June 2, 2015

jester hat isolatedYou’re fooling yourself if you think you’re going to get a job by copying a resume out of a book, or using one of a family member or friend, who has a similar position.

Too many job seekers simply buy a resume book, find the resume that best fits them, plug in their information, and begin sending their resumes out. Then they sit back and wait, and wait for employers to call them for interviews, and don’t understand why they are not getting any response.

Here are the facts:

  1. Employers spend about 6 – 8 minutes to scan a resume to see if they want to consider you further
  2. The top half of your resume needs to grab the readers’ attention, showing value you provide an employer
  3. Only one out of every 100 resumes received by employers, gets a call to interview
  4. First impressions play a big part in the resumes that are considered
  5. A “10” resume can give you up to a 30% to 60% better chance of getting an interview and a higher starting salary

“Like a perfect tennis serve, a perfect golf swing or a perfect omelet, a perfect resume takes more effort than simply copying what others do,” writes Tom Jackson, in his book “The Perfect Resume.” A great resume needs to be strategically written, keeping in mind what the employers needs are and how your unique skills can meet those needs.

If you want to maintain a competitive edge, make sure your resume contains the following:

  • A clear focus/target that answers the employers’ question “What job does this person want?”
  • A section that states you have the specific qualifications to do the job for which you have applied
  • Key words that will pull up your resume, to be seen by human eyes, when it’s scanned into a database
  • The value you bring to the employer – you must show what you can do to help the employer succeed
  • Your education – is it a fit for the job
  • Formatting that looks professional, easy to read and flows well

Each of the above points contribute to making your resume a “10” and giving you up to a 30% better chance of getting an interview and a higher starting salary. By having a clear strategy, and working that strategy consistently, you have a much greater chance of landing the perfect job for you.

***I want to make sure you have every opportunity to get calls for the jobs you want – in order to do this, you need to start with a stellar resume – so I am offering you a complementary resume critique – I know what it takes for a resume to get results! Just email your resume to me at careerist@aol.com and put “Resume Critique” in the subject line. I will then critique your resume. I look forward to hearing from you.***

3 Mistakes That Can Kill Your Success In Finding a Job

May 27, 2015

MindsetMistake #1 – Searching for a Job when you are not in the Right Mindset
If you have just been laid off, been searching for a job for a long time, or listening to the news each day, it is easy to get depressed and scared about having success in the job market. When you are like that, you are in no condition to be conducting a job search – no employer wants to interview people who are depressed and scared. Instead, try to switch your focus to becoming as confident, enthusiastic, and upbeat as possible; and look for employers that need help. In many cases, companies who are firing people, are also hiring people to replace those that were fired. Spend your time finding managers who have work that needs to be done. Don’t make assumptions about what jobs are, or are not available.

Mistake #2 – Poring over Job Boards
Job hunters look at online job boards (or the classifieds) and see opportunities beckoning – and so do thousands of other job seekers. When up to 5,000 people apply for the same job, that job is hardly “available.” Simple statistics will tell you that even an outstanding candidate can slip through the cracks if they rely mostly on Job Boards. I know that when applying for jobs from those postings, feels like you are taking action, for the most part, it is a waste of your time and you do not get any results.

Like that little post card you receive from HR says, “Thank you for submitting your resume. We are currently evaluating your qualifications. Due to the large number of responses, we will not be able to get back to you any time soon.” (If ever) Do you really consider that job available? You would probably have more luck if you buy a lottery ticket.

The other reason these jobs are not really available is because while Human Resources is reading resumes, some headhunter has met with the hiring manager, submitted three candidates, and is helping one of them evaluate an offer. Human Resources might not even know this is happening.

man drawing arrow

man drawing arrow

Mistake #3 – Under-emphasizing, or neglecting to explain your value
Your worth is what makes an employer want to hire you. What they need to hear from you is how you will help this employer achieve success! Your worth is determined by the value you offer the employer. That means you have to take the initiative in your job hunt and make sure the employer knows the value you bring – value that meets their specific needs. An employer cannot extract value from you – it is up to you to offer it. You can only offer value if you know what the employer considers valuable, or where their pain is. This means that you need to conduct a lot of research up front, before you approach any employer.

The way you earn an interview is by establishing the value you offer before any meetings with the employer takes place. The bottom line in any business enterprise is profit. It’s the thing that enables us to survive to work — and succeed — yet another day. Your job hunt is a business enterprise. If it doesn’t promise profit for the prospective employer, it won’t produce profit — in the form of a healthy job offer — for you.

***I want to make sure you have every opportunity to get calls for the job opportunities you want – you need to start with a stellar resume – so I am offering you a complementary resume critique. Just email your resume to me at careerist@aol.com & put “Resume Critique” in the subject line & I will critique your resume. I look forward to hearing from you. ***

Getting in the Door So You Can “Show Your Stuff”

May 18, 2015

flasherWhen clients ask me an effective way to find a new job, I suggest:

  • Research companies where you would like to work, and
  • Get an interview with the person that would be the decision maker for your area of expertise. Get in front of someone who has the authority to hire you and then show them your value – they just might create a job for you.

Forget about your credentials, your history and past jobs. They are irrelevant to a new company. If you focus on your past when searching for a new job, you’ll get yourself into the same dead-end job you just left.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Decide where you want to work. Study your target company. Explore the problems and challenges it is facing, and figure out how you can help the company tackle them profitably.
  2. Think of your skills and abilities and determine how to apply them in new ways to redefine your qualifications. Think in terms of what the company needs, but doesn’t have – that’s your new job. That’s the business plan you need to present.
  3. Show how you’ll deliver profit in new ways. But, don’t expect your target company to figure out whether this “new business” is justified. You must be ready to explain it to them
  4. To get into the inner sanctum where hiring decisions are really made, you need someone with a key. You need a personal introduction. You don’t get into a company by asking the HR department to let you in.

Employees of the company are an obvious solution, but not the only one, and not the best one. You can develop great contacts in a company by talking to the company’s vendors and its customers, its bankers and real estate agents, its landlords and its competitors. These are “players” who can make the kinds of introductions you need. Research them. Call them. Cultivate them.

***I want to make sure you have every opportunity to get interview calls for the jobs you want – in order to do this, you need to start with a stellar resume. I know what it takes to get results. Just email your resume to me at careerist@aol.com and put “Resume Critique” in the subject line. I will then give you a complimentary resume critique. I look forward to hearing from you.***

How To Find a Job – Even In This Challenging Economy

April 28, 2015

I have great news! My clients are finding great jobs, and have been all along, even in this slow job market. Companies are still hiring and job seekers are landing jobs on a daily basis. So, what are these people doing that others are not? What sets them apart from the masses?

They are providing prospective employers with the one thing that is of utmost importance to them – they are answering the one question employers’ care about most, which is: What can you do to help that employer succeed?

  • They are selling their potential to deliver RESULTS rather than just their skills and basic qualifications
  • They are communicating their ability to deliver VALUE and BENEFITS to the employer
  • They have resumes that tell what they have accomplished, and more importantly, the value and benefits those accomplishments have produced for past employers
  • They know what value they bring to an employer and are able to communicate how they can contribute to an employer’s bottom line.

Why is this important? Because this is what employers base their hiring decisions on and this is how they decide what salary to pay you – the bigger salary you want, the more you must show your value and how it will meet the employers’ needs!

Success FailureWhen we talk with our families and friends these days, often we are discussing how to SAVE money or how to MAKE money. The same is true of companies. Employers see you as an investment, and they invest in you with the expectation that you will produce returns on that investment. These returns are in the form of how you will SOLVE a challenging problem, help them MAKE money, help them SAVE money, or help them INCREASE their efficiency. By communicating how you have delivered these types of results in the past, you illustrate that actual return on investment (ROI) that you delivered. This is what will easily set you apart from your competition.

So, don’t let the rising unemployment rate throw you into a panic. There are job openings that come up every day. Make sure you focus on emphasizing what is in it for the company. It’s not about what’s in it for you. IT”S ALL ABOUT THE COMPANY. What can you do for them? How can you solve their problem? How can you make more money for them? In what ways can you save them money? How can you help them in these tough economic times? Emphasize and communicate how you can be an asset to the company, and you will be surprised how quickly you will see positive job search results.

Take a good, objective look at your current resume. Does it tell the employer the actual value you will bring them, or does it mainly show your “tasks and duties”?

***I want to make sure you have every opportunity to get offers for the jobs you want, and at the salary you deserve – in order to do this, you need to start with a stellar resume. I know what it takes to get results. Just email your resume to me at careerist@aol.com and put “Resume Critique” in the subject line. I will then give you a complimentary resume critique. I look forward to hearing from you.***

Tips to Maximize Your Job Search Results

April 20, 2015

Stronger1. Control your attitude – you need to conduct your job search with confidence. You might consider taking walks to calm your head and think, read positive materials and meet with other professionals who can offer support and ideas.

2. Take a fresh look at your resume – is it a document you are proud of sending out? Does it show what you’ve accomplished so others can see your value? When you begin sending it out, track all the places you end it so you can conduct follow-up and measure your progress.

3. Develop a list of concise and measurable performance accomplishments – this is the main tool to help you sell your value to prospective employers and to others who can assist you in your job search. You are hired, and paid, for the value to bring to your job.

4. Identify target employer prospects and conduct research on them (their website and articles) to see how you can contribute to what their specific needs are.

5. Build your connections with others – it’s people, not job listings, that offer you jobs. It’s important to build contacts in your field that can give your advice and introduce you to others in your field of work. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for referrals – call key contacts directly – especially if they work at a company you would like to consider.

6. Create a dynamic LinkedIn Summary – this should not be a repetition of your resume, yet it must show your value, and be compelling enough for people to pick up the phone and contract you to find out more about you. Also, get recommended on LinkedIn.

7. Become involved in professional and social organizations for the industry you are in. This gives you an opportunity to meet people who might be able to help you, to network on a regular basis, and to learn of new developments in your field.

Fine-tuning these actions will do wonders to help you achieve your goal of getting calls for interviews!

How To Tell If Your Resume Will Bring OPTIMUM Calls For Interviews

March 30, 2015

Two days ago, in the front of my home, several crocuses popped up, signaling the beginning of spring. I know most of you are so ready for warmer weather and the sights and sounds that spring brings.

Silent PhoneMany of us think of the New Year as a time for new beginnings, but I think of spring as a time to take inventory of where I am and make plans to ensure I am on the correct path for where I want to go. (I go to a hotel and spend a weekend reflecting and making my plans) If I need to make adjustments, because I’ve gotten off track or I have intentionally changed my goals, I make the necessary corrections to get me on the path to success – and draw up a new plan of action.

This might be just the time for you to evaluate where you are and where you want to be – whether you are currently working or not. If you are not where you want to be, decide what steps you have to take to get there, and who needs to help you along the way. Once you have done that, it’s time to take ACTION

While our economy is still challenging, smart job seekers are taking control of their career now, and wisely implementing simple procedures to increase their chances of finding a new job.

Good news is, it’s surprisingly simple to take control of your career right now. In addition, what’s really cool is that once you put these procedures into place, your job search will take on a new energy, even during times like these.

The first thing you need to do is make sure you have a stellar resume – one that shows your value and beats your competition hands down. Your resume has to grab the attention of the employer so they will want to pick up the phone and call you for an interview.

Are you passing / sending out a resume that is not totally effective? Here’s how to tell:

  • Your focus / target is missing or unclear
  • Your skill set is missing or incomplete
  • Your key words are absent or might not be the most effective ones
  • Your uniqueness, accomplishments or successes are weak or are missing completely, so that your specific value is not evident to the employee
  • Your resume isn’t formatted so that it is easy to read and that information flows well
  • Your resume has misspelled words
  • You’ve used a template and it 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 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 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, let alone, getting the pay you deserve.

***I want to make sure you have every opportunity to get calls for the jobs you want – in order to do this, you need to start with a stellar resume – so I am offering you a complementary resume critique – I know what it takes for a resume to get results! Just email your resume to me at careerist@aol.com and put “Resume Critique” in the subject line. I will then critique your resume. I look forward to hearing from you.***

Your References – Do They Help or Hinder You?

March 16, 2015

If you’ve gotten to that point in your job search where an employer is interested in learning more about you, they will undoubtedly be interested in talking with your references. Are you prepared to supply references that will aid you chances of success, rather than hindering them?

ResumeEmployers will want three to five professional references. A professional reference speaks about your performance on the job. Good professional references may include recent supervisors, co-workers (not subordinates), customers, vendors, suppliers or volunteer members. Use friends or members of the clergy as a last resort – they cannot provide the type of work information an employer will be looking for in making a decision to hire you.

Once you have thought carefully about whom you will use for references, get their permission – make sure they are willing to be contacted by prospective employers. After receiving the ‘go-ahead’ from them, supply the following information on your reference page:

  • Full name and job title

 

  • Organizations name

 

  • Daytime phone number

 

  • The references private email address

 

  • The references professional relationship to you (former supervisor, current vendor, colleague, etc)

 

Make sure you contact each one of the references and go over what kinds of things they might say about you so you will not have any surprises. It’s good to discuss with each reference, just what kind of information they will give.

You will improve your chances greatly if you have a powerful LinkedIn page, particularly if your page includes recommendations and endorsements. Make sure your page gives a powerful representation of you and include your page URL on your resume and in your signature when you email others.

PS:  If you are not confident about your LinkedIn presence, or you’re not yet on LinkedIn, I can help!

 

***I want to make sure you have every opportunity to get calls for the jobs you want – in order to do this, you need to start with a stellar resume – so I am offering you a complementary resume critique – I know what it takes for a resume to get results! Just email your resume to me at careerist@aol.com and put “Resume Critique” in the subject line. I will then critique your resume. I look forward to hearing from you.***

Does Your Business (Networking) Card Reflect the Impression You Want to Convey?

March 11, 2015

If you’re not already doing so, have a business card made up to hand out as part of your job search – actually, it’s good to have one for networking whether you are conducting a job search or not.

Networking business cards, which have the look and feel of a traditional business card, give you the opportunity to provide critical career and contact information with people you meet in social and professional situations.

Business Handshake SeriesKeep your networking cards clean and crisp and bring them EVERYWHERE you go — to networking events (obviously), career and job fairs, professional meetings, social gatherings, parties, weddings, and anywhere else you may run into potential contacts…everywhere. You should keep copies of your resume handy as well, but there are obviously numerous times where a resume would simply be too awkward to handle. Here are some tips for you:

Designing your Networking Cards – Networking cards are the same size and shape of business cards (3-1/2” wide and 2” high), contain key contact information like business cards, but instead of listing a company and job title, a networking card focuses on your job objective or unique selling proposition. Be sure to include all your pertinent contact information, including your name, phone number, email address, and your link to LinkedIn.

Don’t sell yourself short. Put your profession or job focus, your strongest skills or highest degree right under your name.

Exploit the reverse side. Fill the top half of that space with key bullets about your professional achievements, the name of a prominent prior employers and addresses for your Web page, LinkedIn profile, etc.

Be creative — within limits. Printing cards on shiny paper looks distinctive, but defeats their purpose – people can’t write on them. Your photo probably doesn’t belong on your card. A photo enables a hiring manager to remember your face — and discriminate against you.

Use a simple typeface, high-quality paper and an elegant design. Match your résumé font. A professionally prepared card shows you mean business.

Create different cards for different opportunities. This piece of advice especially makes sense if you possess many talents and are unsure what to do next. For example, you could have one card for sales and maybe another one for management.

Printing Details – So, how do you go about getting networking cards printed? You can have networking cards printed for you at a local printer or on the Web — or, you can try designing and printing them yourself on your computer. One site to use on the web is VistaPrint.com (I use them myself and have been very satisfied with the results – they are very reasonably priced)

***I want to make sure you have every opportunity to get calls for the jobs you want – in order to do this, you need to start with a stellar resume, an effective LinkedIn Profile and a system to navigate the Hidden Job Market. I know what it takes to get results. Just email your resume to me at careerist@aol.com and put “Resume Critique” in the subject line. I will then give you a complimentary resume critique, let you know what you can do to improve your LinkedIn Profile. I look forward to hearing from you.***

 

Salary: What to Do and What to say when You Are Asked

March 4, 2015

These days, if you are conducting a job hunt, you are sure to be asked, “What salary do you expect?” Whether it’s a job application you fill out on line or at a company; a phone interview or an in-person interview; or talking with a recruiter, it’s almost a guaranteed thing you will be asked that question.
I know that from talking with so many of you, there is a lot of confusion about what to do when asked this question.

Often, on an on-line form you have to fill that question in before you can advance in the application. Try putting in the word “confidential” instead of a number; if it won’t let you do that, put in a lot of 5’s so the company knows you are not misrepresenting your salary.

As for a phone, or in-person interview, think carefully before divulging your past salary history. Many people think that by NOT doing so, it could prejudice an employer’s offer, so they gladly reveal their salary history if asked, so as not to be disqualified. Just because employers keep insisting & pretending you must hand over your salary information, does not mean you have to come up with new ways to answer them.

What you can say, however, is “My last company considers that information confidential, but I’ve been doing some investigating, and for this position and this area, I would expect a salary of between $$$$ and $$$$” Of course, in order to say this with integrity, you have to have done your research to find out what those numbers are.

Find a JobAlso, your focus should be on projecting a clear impression of what’s important to you & what you’re worth. When you withhold your salary history, it forces you & an employer to negotiate based on your future value and how you can help that company succeed. Do you really want to get stuck defending what your last employer paid you? Usually, sharing your old salary will almost always result in a lower job offer. Employers who rely on salary history to judge you, are trusting another company’s evaluation of you. Think about that. It’s almost insane. What really matters is what you can do for this company now & in the future. Why does it need your last employer’s “salary input” to evaluate this?

However, when you are dealing with a recruiter, it is quite different from when an employer asks the question. It can be beneficial to share your salary history – if you trust him/her completely!

Sometimes you go to an interview and the question of salary never comes up, but you are interested in the position and want to know whether to pursue it any further. It then becomes up to you to find out what the salary is.

To do this, keep it short and to the point – ask “What’s the pay like?” this is an honest, enthusiastic question that you need to know in order to make an informed decision. You are not asking for a specific number, just a salary range, so it’s best to get it out in the open.

Of course, the only reason any employer pays you for the value you will bring to help them succeed. Therefore, it is essential to know and to express this value so the employer sees how you are the best candidate for the job.

***I want to make sure you have every opportunity to get calls for the job opportunities you want – you need to start with a stellar resume – one that highlights your value – so I am offering you a complementary resume critique. Just email your resume to me at careerist@aol.com & put “Resume Critique” in the subject line & I will critique your resume. I look forward to hearing from you. ***