Five Job Search Moves That Make You Look Like An Amateur

 

Dear Liz,

 

I’m job-hunting. I have a few job possibilities I’m pursuing, but I’m only excited about one of them.

 

The best job opportunity I’ve found is with a company located about ten minutes from my house. It’s not only close to my house but the job is perfect for my background, too.

 

When I first talked to the recruiter on the phone she asked me what I was earning. I wasn’t working then so I said “I’m not working now but I’m looking for a job that pays at least $55,000.”

 

The recruiter said “Okay. I can work with that.”

 

When I interviewed with the employer (Company X) they asked me again “How much are you looking to earn?” I said “At least $55,000” and they said “Fine.”

 

Now I’ve met the hiring manager and several other employees. I have a much better feeling for the job. The recruiter called me last Friday and said “Okay, Company X is putting an offer together for you.

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3 Things You Can’t Control In Your Job Search (And 3 Things You Can!)

 

Several years ago, I interviewed for a job that I really, really wanted: It seemed like the perfect role at a dream organization. I worked hard to prepare for the interview, and though I was nervous on the big day, I felt ready.

 

I was at ease with the interviewers (a team of five!), and felt we developed a strong rapport. I left the office sure I’d made a good impression—only to find out a few days later that they hired someone else.

 

I was devastated and disappointed. But their rejection email emphasized it wasn’t that I was a bad fit, but rather that there was someone who was a better fit.

 

This was a critical lesson for me. When looking for a new position, you want to believe that it’ll be like buying a new computer or booking a trip. In other words, you’ll research all of the options, pick the best and it’ll be yours. The hard reality, however, is that there is so much outside of your control in a job search from what openings are out there, to who else is in the running, to whether your interviewer is having a bad day.

 

So, a much better way to spend your time and energy is to focus on the parts that are within your control. In these areas, greater effort will mean more payoff.

And, for everything outside of your control?

Admitting they’re out of your hands will keep you from taking a loss too personally.

Here’s a guide to what’s what:

 

  1. You Can’t Control Who’s Hiring

Sometimes, the exact position you’re looking for will open up at just the right time; and other times you feel like you’ve been refreshing job boards and checking back in with your contacts again (and again, and again) before you see anything that’s a good fit. Unfortunately, you can’t will a role into being available.

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Ten Rules Job Seekers Are Allowed To Break Now

The working world is changing dramatically around us.

 

The job-search world has changed, too.

You can’t be a complacent job seeker these days. You have to be proactive. You can’t follow the old rules:

 

  1. Apply for jobs online, then wait.

 

  1. If you don’t hear anything, apply for more jobs online.

 

  1. Wait as long as it takes for you to hear back, and one day you’ll get a job.

 

Forget that nonsense! You have to break out of that mold to get a good job these days.

 

You might think it’s too risky to break the old, traditional job-search rules. If you don’t break a few rules, you could wait forever to get your new job!

 

For years, department managers have gone around and outside their organizations’ formal recruiting processes to fill their job openings.

 

They use their networks and their employees’ networks as recruiting sources. They meet people at industry events and keep in touch with them, and hire them down the road.

 

You can tap into the same informal networks to get your next job. You can break the old rules and step into your power!

Recommended by Forbes

 

Here are ten rules job-seekers are allowed to break now:

 

  1. The rule that says your resume must be dusty and formulaic.

 

Don’t use meaningless, robotic language like “Results-oriented professional” in your resume. Tell your human-story in your own words, instead!

 

  1. The rule that says you can’t use the word “I” in your resume.

 

You can use “I” in your resume — it’s your principal branding document! You can use “I” in your LinkedIn profile, too.

 

  1. The rule that says the only way to apply for a job is through the company’s online job application portal.

 

Black Hole recruiting portals are the worst job-search channel there is. Use your network, or reach out to hiring managers directly.

 

  1. The rule that says you can’t reach out to your hiring manager directly.

 

Yes you can!

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3 major red flags when it comes to taking a job offer

Don’t overlook these reasons to walk away.

Sometimes the excitement over landing a potential new job causes you to overlook some major red flags. In many cases, the problems aren’t hidden, but we’re willing to overlook them because we want a change, the money is better, or the new situation is a much-wanted promotion.

It’s important, however, no matter how excited you are, to listen to that little voice in the back of your head. Even if you want to charge ahead and ignore any potential problems, step back and really examine the situation. You may still decide to take the job, but you’ll go into it with less wide-eyed innocence.

Of course, you don’t have to take a job just because it’s offered. You can walk away even if it’s painful because of what you will be giving up.

Here are some helpful tips from three of our Foolish contributors.

 

You’re not feeling good about it

Selena MaranjianIf you’re offered ajob doing the kind of work you’d like to do for a salary that seems good or great, you might still want to turn it down — if you just don’t feel too good about it.

For example, when interviewing at the job site, you might have been put off by the company culture. Perhaps it seemed too silly, with cutesy signs adorning the halls. Or maybe it seemed too unfriendly, with lots of reminders to workers to follow various rules. It’s good to look closely at a potential workplace, noting, for example, how happy or unhappy the employees seem to be.

We’re in the connected internet age now, so take advantage of that. You can look up reviews of your employer at sites such as Glassdoor.com.

Here are some comments for one company that give you an idea of the kinds of insights you can glean:

•”Management doesn’t really care about the employees or what’s going on. … It’s simply horrid.”

•”No opportunity for advancement. None whatsoever. You won’t get a raise. some of my coworkers have worked for over 8 years without a change in compensation.”

Read many reviews of any company of interest, to get an overall sense of employee attitudes. Don’t be swayed by just one bad review. It’s also good to do some networking, trying to find friends or friends of friends who work at companies of interest to get their perspectives.

Finally, give some thought to the company’s health. Is it doing well? If it’s a public company, you can check out its financial statements to see if its top and bottom lines are growing. Look it up in the news, too. If you find articles wondering how it’s going survive amajor challenge or new competitor, those can be worrisome signs.

Mixed messages about the role

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The new year is on top of us.

You have a decision to make: are you going to keep your job for another year, or strike out for greener pastures in 2018?

 

Now is the perfect time to ask, “Does my job still deserve me?”

Keep in mind that our tendency as human beings is to stick with the tried-and-true and avoid the unfamiliar. Changing jobs is a pain in the neck. It’s easier to stick with the job you already have than to job-hunt, whether your current job is the right job for you or not.

It’s easy to go to sleep on your career, and forget that if you’re not moving ahead you are slipping backwards. It’s easy to start thinking that work is just a place to pick up a paycheck.

Your work is your art. You deserve to work for people who appreciate that fact — and appreciate the spark and brilliance you bring to everything you do.

You have talents you should be recognized and compensated for.

You have dreams and aspirations that only you can bring about. If your current job, your current boss or your current income level are keeping you from realizing your dreams, why stay stuck in place for another year?

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Millennials, Here’s Why Job Titles Don’t Matter Anymore

I can’t tell you how many times my Dad used to ask me about what exactly it was again that I was doing for a living.

Coming from the “black and white” world of accounting on Wall Street, he wasn’t satisfied with my answer that didn’t fit neatly into a box like lawyer, doctor, or teacher. As the founder of an online community, I was proud of my work and wanted badly to convey to my Dad what I was up to—but he always seemed to respond with a blank stare followed by defeated resignation.

 

 

What I’m finding is that I’m not the only one having this problem. In fact, the majority of the millennials I talk to today are opting for work that’s not clearly defined.

The millennial worker today wears many hats—whether that’s copywriter, marketer, sales strategist, or bookkeeper. We’re adaptive to the shifting demands of a fast-paced work environment and the skills we need to learn are often just a Google search away.

This week on the Unconventional Life Podcast, I interviewed one millennial woman who’s on the leading edge of nontraditional work and thriving.

Meet Tash Price, the business developer and manager of Engine House VFX, an award-winning UK-based 2-D, 3-D, CGI and VFX animation studio who has served clientele like BBC and Sony. Engine House VFX covers a wide range of projects within advertising, gaming, architectural visualization and film. Their work has been featured online, on TV, at events, and in films and games.

“You’ll get into the conversation of what you do for a living and you’ll say animation and people can’t quite seem to grasp it. They’ll quickly move on and they seem confused by it because it’s not the standard job role,” Price says.

But according to Price, the conversation doesn’t have to stop there. Rather than moving on, you can educate others about what you do in a way that promotes connection and redefines what it means to work in the 21st century.

I spoke with a number of other millennials who are finding fulfillment in nontraditional job roles, and here’s what they had to say:

  • Job Titles Don’t Reflect Lifestyle. In the past, jobs were much less integrated than they are today. Going to work meant punching in a time card at on office for a designated number of hours. Today, technology enables millennials to work seamlessly from their devices so that being “on” and “off” the clock is less rigid and more fused with lifestyle.
  • • Eric Termuende, an entrepreneur, speaker, and the author of Rethink Work, says, “With the capabilities of technology increasing so quickly, the ability to work from more places, using more devices, longer hours every day makes the job less about the seemingly limited title, and more about the holistic experience. In many cases, the title doesn’t encompass the life Millennials are living as a result of the job (or jobs) they are doing.”

Price’s animation studio is embodying this new “integrated” work model. ”Instead of having hundreds of people sitting behind a cubicle we have a small core team and we work with lots of freelancers who are based all over the world. It means everyone gets the lifestyle they want and we can hand-pick the artists we want for the job. We’ve got people working in Turkey, Sweden, Iran, the US, the Netherlands, Japan,” she says.

  • Job Titles Act As Constraints. Today’s millennial workers may have bigger ambitions than previous generations. Just a few decades ago, only a marginal percent of American workers held a college degree, and the majority of women preferred to stay at home.

As millennials tackle a host of global issues, both men and women are rising to the occasion with a shift towards businesses that do social justice. 92% of millennials believe businesses should be measured by more than profit. Undra Robinson, a millennial entrepreneur, says “Millennials believe our potential in life is limitless and want to change the world, and job titles only add constraints. They are polar opposites.”

Millennials Aren’t Motivated By Job Titles.

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Three Ways You’re Killing Your Job Search Without Even Realizing It

Being in active job search mode often means you feel compelled to do something: post your resume online, apply for as many jobs as you can and network with contacts old and new.

However, there is a wide gap between activity and productivity. When the activity is actually not moving you forward into phone screens, in-person interviews and offers, then it’s time to stop and re-examine your approach.

The reality is that the precise things you think you should be doing are the exact strategies that are killing your search.

Posting your resume all over the internet simply means you are devoting time to an activity with little to no return. Applying for as many jobs as you can means you don’t have focus and smell like desperation. And when your networking is not working, that doesn’t mean you should repeat it, just expand it.

Here’s what smart candidates do to stop spinning their wheels and actually make progress:

Stop being the needle in the haystack.

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How to Turn Interviews Into Job Offers

You’ve worked hard to craft a resume that highlights your value to a potential employer. Now, the phone is ringing and the interviews are starting to pour in. You are excited and anxious as you chat with hiring managers over the phone and face-to-face.

But for some reason, you can’t seem to land the offer. You become frustrated and unable to understand what went wrong when you feel the interviews went well.

As a seasoned human resources manager, expert resume writer and career coach, I understand exactly what you are experiencing. I’ve helped several professionals across different industries who have had the same frustration in their job search.

While a great resume is good, it can only get you an interview. Performing well at a job interview is the key to getting the offer.

 

Below are some of the steps you can take to ensure success at your next job interview:

1. Print extra copies of your resume and plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early. Most importantly, be respectful to everyone you encounter at the location of your interview — you never know the relationship between who you encounter and the hiring manager.

2. Make sure that you are dressed appropriately for the interview. Ask the recruiter what the dress code is, and whatever you do, don’t go overboard with your outfit, accessories or makeup.

3. Take a deep breath and

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Three Questions To Ask Yourself If You’re Thinking About Quitting Your Job

New year, new job is the tune most people start to sing around this time of year.

And while I’m the number one advocate for leveling up and going after the life and career you deserve, the job hunt is not for the doubtful or uncertain.

When you’re not sure whether you should stick it out or run for the hills, you end up with one foot in and one foot out: kind of trying to impress your boss and kind of searching around for something better – that limbo dance is rarely ever effective.

So, before your write down, “Get new job” on your New Year’s resolution list, it’s worth asking yourself these three questions so that you can go into your job hunt 100% committed, without any hesitation.

The right questions to ask before you start your job hunt.

1. Have I stayed at this company long enough to make an impact?

How long have you been working there? Have you been there long enough to make a difference? Have you given yourself enough time to rack up accomplishments or deliver results? Have you developed all the skills you need to succeed in your position?

It’s easy to want to jump ship the moment you feel unhappy or dissatisfied at work. But, if you were to update your resume today with your current position, would you be able to relay the achievements and contributions you’ve made in your position thus far?

If the answer is no, you’ve probably haven’t been in your position long enough. Or, quite frankly, you probably haven’t done enough.

Especially if you desire to land a more senior position in your current industry, you can’t attain more, if you haven’t developed and refined your skills at your current level.

If you know you haven’t made the most out of your current position, it may be time to shift your perspective. Instead of focusing on the exit sign, start evaluating the components that you need to improve and look for ways to develop in those areas, then focus on doing those things consistently and effectively. Search for ways that you can make a difference. Take initiative. Work on creating a list of achievements you can add to your resume so that when you do leave, you can have something to show for your experience.

However, if you’ve been at your company for some time, if you can count on your fingers and toes the results you’ve brought to the table, and if you’ve started to take on responsibilities outside of the scope of your current position, then these may be signs that you’re ready to switch gears and start your job hunt, especially if you’re itching to do something else.

2. Is there still room for me to grow at this company?

Is there a promotion on the horizon? Does that promotion excite you? On a scale of 1-10, how certain are you that you can land that promotion, considering your skill set, accomplishments, office politics, and other formal and informal rules and circumstances? Do you like the career path that senior leaders and others have taken in your company to get to where they are today?

If there’s still room for you to grow in your company in a way that excites you and empowers you to become your best self, then rather than scrolling through Indeed on your lunch break, it may be worth going above and beyond to pursue that path.

This could mean seeking that promotion or going after a lateral move – a position with the same or similar title and salary, on a different team or in a different department in the company.

However, if your company is ridden with office politics, favoritism, and other things that leave a funny feeling in your stomach, then it may be time to consider other avenues for growth, at a different company.

Even more so, if you’ve reached the point where you can say, “Yes, I may be able to grow here, but I’m not happy with my career and would rather do something else,” don’t hold on to what’s no longer for you. Start your job search in pursuit for something better.

3. Does this company and position still align with the career goals I have for myself?

 

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25 cities adding (and losing) the most jobs in 2017

 

Here is a look at the five cities adding and losing the most jobs in 2017.

 

2017 may stand out for many events and developments, and among them is the exceptional year turned in by the labor market. For one, U.S. unemployment dropped to 4.1% in October, the lowest since December 2000.

Barring a massive exodus of workers from the labor force, falling unemployment almost always reflects increased hiring, which in turn bodes well for the economy. But while national conditions are favorable, trends vary substantially across the country, and not all local economies have been doing as well.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed monthly metro area employment figures in 2017 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. From January through October, employment — the number of Americans currently employed — rose by 1.2%. Employment rose faster over that period in 187 of the nation’s 388 metro areas. It declined in 78 metro areas.

Most of the cities adding the most jobs in 2017 reported uninterrupted employment increases over the course of the year, but this was not always the case. Both Yuma, Arizona and Corvallis, Oregon reported among the largest employment increases this year, yet had some fairly dramatic employment fluctuations. In Yuma, for example, seasonally adjusted employment levels dropped for four consecutive months in the summer before rising again in September and October.

More: Best- and worst-run states in America: Which one is top rated?

More: These are the 5 worst cities for Black Americans

Similarly, while the trend in most cities losing the most jobs was one of steady decline, in several job changes were somewhat erratic. Employment in the St. Joseph metro area, on the border of Montana and Kansas, for example, surged in July before dropping in October.

 

 

25 cities adding the most jobs in 2017

 

 

 

1. Bellingham, WA Employment change: 5,609 (+5.5%) Jan. 2017 employment: 102,069 Oct. 2017 employment: 107,678 Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 4.5% Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+16.9% employment chg.)  

 

25 cities adding the most jobs in 2017

 

Cities adding the most jobs

25. Janesville-Beloit, Wisc.

Employment change: 2,826 (+3.5%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 80,978

Oct. 2017 employment: 83,804

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 3.4%

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+11.5% employment chg.)

24. Corvallis, Ore.

Employment change: 1,627 (+3.6%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 45,537

Oct. 2017 employment: 47,164

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 3.3% (lowest 25%)

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+8.3% employment chg.)

23. Yuma, Ariz.

Employment change: 2,883 (+3.6%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 79,504

Oct. 2017 employment: 82,387

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 17.4% (highest 10%)

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+4.5% employment chg.)

22. Johnson City, Tenn.

Employment change: 3,147 (+3.7%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 84,679

Oct. 2017 employment: 87,826

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 3.6%

Strongest sector: Government (+11.1% employment chg.)

21. Chattanooga, Tenn.-Ga.

Employment change: 9,377 (+3.8%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 249,982

Oct. 2017 employment: 259,359

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 3.5%

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+8.2% employment chg.)

20. Eugene, Ore.

Employment change: 6,475 (+3.8%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 172,152

Oct. 2017 employment: 178,627

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 4.6%

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+13.7% employment chg.)

19. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash.

Employment change: 46,621 (+3.8%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 1,230,028

Oct. 2017 employment: 1,276,649

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 4.2%

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+19.4% employment chg.)

18. Bremerton-Silverdale, Wash.

Employment change: 4,366 (+3.9%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 111,618

Oct. 2017 employment: 115,984

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 4.6%

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+7.1% employment chg.)

17. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Fla.

Employment change: 6,466 (+4.1%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 158,952

Oct. 2017 employment: 165,418

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 3.4%

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+9.1% employment chg.)

16. Auburn-Opelika, Ala.

Employment change: 2,938 (+4.2%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 70,002

Oct. 2017 employment: 72,940

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 3.1% (lowest 25%)

Strongest sector: Government (+10.9% employment chg.)

15. Bend-Redmond, Ore.

Employment change: 3,684 (+4.2%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 87,205

Oct. 2017 employment: 90,889

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 4.2%

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+22.8% employment chg.)

 

14. Morristown, TN Employment change: 2,043 (+4.2%) Jan. 2017 employment: 48,359 Oct. 2017 employment: 50,402 Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 3.6% Strongest sector: Education and health services (+14.5% employment chg.)  (Photo: Home4tnindustry / Wikimedia Commons)

 

14. Morristown, Tenn.

Employment change: 2,043 (+4.2%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 48,359

Oct. 2017 employment: 50,402

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 3.6%

Strongest sector: Education and health services (+14.5% employment chg.)

13. Olympia-Tumwater, Wash.

Employment change: 5,548 (+4.4%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 125,170

Oct. 2017 employment: 130,718

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 4.7%

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+18.8% employment chg.)

12. Longview, Wash.

Employment change: 1,885 (+4.5%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 41,617

Oct. 2017 employment: 43,502

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 5.6% (highest 25%)

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+6.5% employment chg.)

11. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn.

Employment change: 43,392 (+4.6%)

Jan. 2017 employment: 949,989

Oct. 2017 employment: 993,381

Unemployment, Oct. 2017: 2.4% (lowest 10%)

Strongest sector: Mining, logging, and construction (+7.2% employment chg.)

 

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