Are You Job Search Ready?

 

When was the last time you were in a full-on job search? Tw0? Five? Fifteen years ago?

 

While the saying is true that you never forget how to ride a bike, unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the job search. Unlike riding a bike, which hasn’t changed much in the last 150 years, the job search process has changed drastically.

 

So, if it’s been a while since your last career transition, now is a perfect time to catch up with the latest:

 

Social media has taken center stage, yet applying online has one of the lowest return on investments as compared to strategies like networking.

Well-crafted resumes and cover letters continue to be a necessity, but are no longer simple historical accounts of your career based on past job descriptions.

Competition has expanded beyond traditional candidates to a new group of career switchers who are vying (successfully!) for roles they don’t have deep experience in.

 

It’s confusing, and in a market where there’s more opportunity than ever, a lack of savvy job search skills keeps well-qualified professionals stuck in unsatisfying careers, contributing to why 70% of Americans are disengaged at work (Gallup, 2017).

 

Whether you’re looking to move to a similar role in a different company or industry, or if 2018 is your year to make a complete switch to a new function, review this 15-item checklist to learn if you are job search ready:

 

Job Target/Audience

 

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Ten Quick Resume Tweaks That Will Improve Your Executive Job Search

When I’m working with my six- and seven-figure executive clients, I often notice certain resume hiccups that detract from their main message of value when communicating with hiring authorities. By making some easy and subtle yet powerful changes, executive search candidates can frequently accelerate their interactions with decision makers and expedite their searches.

 

Here are my top 10 suggestions.

 

  1. Fix that email address. Nothing will date you faster than an email address that is associated with a company that peaked before the 21st century. Rather than using your prehistoric AOL or Yahoo address, create a Gmail account for your job search activities. Consider it part of the normal technology evolution process. You parted with your rotary phone, fax machine and Blackberry. You can let go of this, too.

 

  1. List your cell phone rather than your home phone. This is another dinosaur. Even if you still have a home phone, isn’t your cell phone the best way to reach you? You want to be available to recruiters and hiring managers quickly; it makes sense to give them the fastest way to contact you.

 

  1. Eliminate subjective words and descriptions of personal attributes from your resume summary. These words do little to position your value to an employer. Nix words like “seasoned” or “veteran” (translation: old), “high energy” (translation: you sound insecure) and “accomplished” (you’d better be; you’re a senior executive). Replace these with a synopsis of career highlights where you helped the companies you supported make money, save money, save time, grow the business or keep the business. Showcase tangible skills (e.g., turned around three companies, led 12 acquisitions, took $6 million of expenses out of the business, etc.) to validate your worth to an employer.

 

  1. Step out of the 90s and update your resume format.

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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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