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3 Ways Twitter Can Enhance Your Executive Job Search

A whole new world of job search is open to candidates through social media and is booming like never before. It’s already been established just how beneficial this medium can be for individuals conducting professional job searches, especially when LinkedIn is a priority.

 

Twitter has also been deemed a useful tool for job seeking, especially for entry- and mid-level professional job seekers. But should it be utilized at the executive level? The answer is yes! In fact, you might be surprised by just how beneficial it could be for your search. It may be able to…

Support Your Executive Brand

There’s no doubt that executives need to work harder than professionals further down the corporate ladder to build and maintain a strong brand. Employers expect you to be highly respected in your field. This can be difficult to prove if your brand doesn’t back you up.

In the online world, the first impression recruiters and headhunters will receive when entering your name in a search engine depends highly on what your name is connected to-and even how often your name is mentioned in the engine.

By creating a Twitter profile under your name (or your name and executive title), you are making the statement that you and your profession are one-this is how you’re identified. You are creating one more entry in the search engine that ties your expertise in a particular field to your name.

Cement Your Reputation as an Expert

What’s great about creating a Twitter account is that you now have the opportunity to build a following by sharing your expertise. As we all know, the Internet is filled with millions of online users looking for free information. And as an expert in your field, you should have plenty to share.

From a recruiting perspective, companies want to know that the executives they headhunt are highly knowledgeable about their fields. Usually, this information has to be acquired via a seeker’s resume, cover letter, and a series of interviews. So just imagine how much more confident they can feel in your ability to deliver when they’re given a front-row seat to your wisdom before they even contact you.

More Easily Accessible to Executive Recruiters

As mentioned previously, recruiters and employers are looking for candidates all the time, and Twitter works wonders in making you more visible. But even when you’re not being recruited, you can make yourself known to recruiters by following them. Engage in a conversation, share info, and even send them candidates if you know of any to build great networking relationships that could move beyond Twitter.

Twitter seems like a fun land for kids and young adults-nothing that could benefit executive job seekers. But if utilized correctly, this medium could work wonders in improving your job search.

For additional tips and advice on resumes and cover letters, follow us on Twitter @GreatResume or visit our blog.

Global resume authority Jessica M Holbrook of http://www.greatresumesfast.com is a former HR Manager who partners with professional- and executive-level candidates to create authentic, branded resumes and cover letters. An international resume columnist and resume expert for JobTalkAmerica radio, her work opens doors to lucrative positions at Fortune 500 companies.

 

Job Hunting on the Sly – Finding a Way Out of That Dead-End Job

Despite what you tell your colleagues, you’ve looked online for work while at work. It doesn’t matter if you say it’s only happened during your lunch break, sure thing, or you admit to taking an entire morning to peruse the job market. Everyone has killed some time looking for that dream job, while your current one takes a back seat. No one is here to judge you. Instead, why not find some ways to make your job hunt easier? After all it’s your life and if you find a way to make it better, why not leap at that chance?

If you’ve ever looked for a job while at work, it’s probably not the smartest move you can make. You don’t have to be an Einsteinian genius to know that looking for work while on the job is a bad move. But, people do it a lot and employers are not oblivious to it. The key is being able to look for a job and keep it on the down low. You don’t want some work place colleague to go back and spill the beans to HR or your boss.

What are some things you can do to continue your job hunting without getting the hook from your boss?

Maintaining productivity

One of the earliest signs of a distracted employee is loss of productivity. Excessive job hunting on the clock can kill productivity and make managers look for replacements before you’ve even found your new job. Managers can monitor computer habits so make sure that your job search stays within an appropriate amount of time. You don’t want to get fired and your work computer is one hundred percent the property of your employer, so be careful when looking for another gig.

Examining repercussions

Even if you do your search at home, make sure you’re using your personal computer. If you use a work related computer, there could be active monitoring software installed, which is completely up to the company. Make sure that nothing you do can be traced back to you. And always remember that US companies have the right to fire an employee for any reason. If they are not just, then why should you be? There are plenty of opportunities out there and all it takes is you applying yourself to get them.

When is it appropriate?

Even if you’re browsing out of casual curiosity, it can send the message that you’re ready to leave your current job. About the only time it is acceptable to look for work while at work is in the event that you have all ready been terminated and you need the time to look for another job. Employees can spend some time job hunting if they’ve already received a notice saying they will be laid off, just don’t abuse the situation. Know the laws in your state and always have a way to fight your employer.

Erin Kennedy, CPRW, CERW, BS/HR, is a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant and President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She is a nationally published writer and contributor of 9+ best-selling career books. She has achieved international recognition following yearly nominations of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Erin has written thousands of resumes for executives and professionals.

As a proud member of PARW, CDI, AORCP, Erin also sits on CDI’s Credentialing Committee for new certification candidates and serves as a Mentor for CDI’s Member Mentoring Committee. She also is a featured blogger on several well-known career sites. Reuse of this article is encouraged but must include a link to http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com. Want to know more about Erin Kennedy, CPRW? Read her LinkedIn profile at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/erinkennedycprw

 

Seven Keys to Working With Recruiters

Working with a recruiter could be one of the best career decisions you’ve ever made. It can also be a serious waste of time and lead to disappointment and even resentment. Choosing the right firm, the right recruiter and getting off on the right foot can be essential steps to landing you in a position that fulfills your ambitions. Follow these simple seven tips to get the most out of your recruiter relationships.

 Choose firms (and recruiters) that specialize in what you do. As obvious as it sounds, a little research will go a long way to helping you find the right position. If a firm or recruiter doesn’t understand the language of your profession, chances are they won’t have the skill to obtain the job orders from managers hiring people like you.

  1. Work with a senior recruiter when possible. It’s perfectly OK to ask a recruiter a few questions to determine their experience and ability level. Check them out on LinkedIn. Do they have good recommendations? Are they connected to your industry?
  2. Most recruiters work for free until they make a placement and when they do, it’s the client who pays not you the candidate. Remember this and treat them accordingly. If a recruiter doesn’t like you for whatever reason (thinks you’re rude or arrogant) it’s unlikely they’ll submit you for any jobs.
  3. Staying in touch is YOUR job – just don’t stay in touch too much. It’s essential for you to gently remind your recruiter of your existence. However, too many phone calls or emails and your recruiter is likely to run the other direction and begin avoiding you. Striking the balance is easy. Ask your recruiters how often they would like status updates. I recommend sending an email each week with your availability status, whether you have interviewed recently etc. Include in the email “REPLY NOT REQUIRED”. This keeps your recruiter informed without generating more work for them.
  4. Take the advice. If you’ve chosen your recruiter wisely and are working with someone with many years in the industry and he or she offers you advice TAKE IT. They know much more about resumes, interviews, and skills trends than most other people you’ll come in contact with.
  5. Register with more than one firm. More recruiters equals better odds of landing the job you want most.
  6. Keep track of places you interviewed, the managers you met with and share this info with your favorite recruiters. Many recruiters rely on leads from candidates to grow their job openings, which helps them place other people. This is the very best way you can repay a recruiter for the time they spend with you. Not only will it be appreciated, but it will keep you at the very top of their available candidates matrix as well.

 @josh_d_matthews is the Director of Get It Right, Inc. and specializes in assisting technology professionals in getting more offers and more out of life. He can be contacted at [email protected]. For more information, visit www.YouGetItRight.com

 

Networking for the Aged 50+ Worker

There is a hiring crisis going on currently with the worker aged 50+. They have been squeezed out of the workforce, as having many workers of all ages, but the difference with the mature worker is that they are not being allowed back in. Employees who thought that they would retire with long-held jobs or who thought the option of always being able to pick up something new have had these dreams shattered. The frustration, discouragement, and fear of entering the twilight of working years with no work is palpable.

Too many this reality came as unexpectedly as the body slam of the Great Recession with its disastrous effects And one of the most egregious consequences of the Recession has been for companies to shed themselves of older workers whenever possible. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, it has become not only accepted, but encouraged to have hiring policies that eliminate workers with accumulated knowledge, wisdom, and experience. Combined with a historic work-ethic characterized by loyalty to one’s employer and willingness to put in long hours and you would think the mature worker would be seen as desirable. But apparently not.

Unfortunately, workers aged 50+ are seen as having more liabilities than assets. These include having outdated and counter-innovative ideas, a relative lack of technology skills, an unwillingness to accept the changing social culture with its increasing ubiquitous connectivity, a complacent work style, higher risk of health problems, and difficulty accepting the lower compensation packages of today. The challenge for the older worker is to tip this balance. In other words, be seen as having more benefits than burdens.

There is a process I recommend to go about branding yourself as being a valuable prospect worthy of consideration by hiring managers. Begin by systematically and deliberately

putting together a presentation package about yourself that highlights all of your advantages, while directly confronting perceived misconceptions of your “old-fashioned” weaknesses. Once constructed, this message should be displayed on your resume and online profile. With this in hand, it’s time for you to present yourself to those who are in positions of influence with regards to direct hiring or who have connections leading to potential hiring opportunities.

This leads us to networking. By now most job seekers have heard that leveraging your contacts is the best way to get a job. But many older workers, despite all of their years of working, feel that they have no network. Maybe your past work was somewhat isolated, or you have not been much of a people-person, or as is very common you did not get the memo at the start of your working years that you should maintain and even cultivate connections with high-value colleagues throughout your careers. If you feel you have no viable network, then get started identifying one. It’s in your job search interests to do so.

Communicate your value proposition and job search goals beginning with those closest to you and then widening out. Start with your family and close friends. From there move to LinkedIn (or even Facebook). Search for those colleagues both current and former and request connections. With your expertise clearly displayed on your LinkedIn profile you can more easily ask your connections who they recommend you talk with.

Be prepared to get into the zone of seeing most, if not all, social events as networking opportunities. The PTO meeting, the cocktail party, the church committee, and many others are possibilities for reinventing or starting new relationships. Share as appropriate your professional value, during these situations. Expanding your circle and adding face-time with others should become an ongoing effort.

Becoming part of the conversation gets you known. Joining in and participating in industry and interest groups discussions on LinkedIn and Twitter or within your professional associations increases your visibility. Sharing expertise heightens chances of making new and potentially valuable networking connections.

Since the doors of employment are not being opened wide for the aged 50+ worker it becomes necessary for you to push them open. Accepting the new normal and being strategic about navigating it may make all the difference.

William W. Ryan is a Concord, New Hampshire based career consultant specializing in customized career coaching, resume and cover letter writing, and personality assessments.

Guerilla Job Hunting – Give Yourself an Edge and Get the Job

Have a plan

A job search is about marketing yourself and, just like any other marketer, you need a marketing plan that will take you from where you are to where you want to be. In order to build a plan, you must first determine your goal-What sort of job do you want? I know, you are tempted to say, any job that pays. But, think of it this way. Just like a marketer will pick a target audience in order to refine and deliver a message with the most impact, you will gain an advantage over the competition by creating a resume and an interview strategy that specifically targets your ideal job. On top of that, by targeting your dream job, you may prevent going through this whole process again in a few months. Now, realistically, finances may dictate that you take whatever you can find most quickly for now. But don’t give up there. If you have to take a job that is less than what you really want, look for something that will allow you to continue your search until you find what you’re looking for.

Then, examine your strengths and weaknesses. What makes you uniquely qualified for the position you want and where do your skills need some work? Your strengths are your selling points and you should be prepared to set employers at ease when they ask about your weaknesses by showing how you have successfully overcome them in the past and what steps you have taken to correct or minimize them.

Your plan should include measurable outcomes that you can control. For example, how many calls will you make a week? What steps will you take to strengthen your network? How many resumes will you send out? Do you have a cover letter that you can use a template and customize easily to fit each position that you apply for?

Prepare for your search

There are all kind of resources out there to help you get ready for your job search. Your local library can recommend good books to help you and you can search for resources online. There are five critical components of your job search: your resume, your cover letter, your interview skills, and your follow up/thank you letter. So, stay in touch with your contacts, make sure that your written communications are up to snuff and practice interviewing. Be ready for the behavioural interviews that are so popular today. Do an internet search for job interview questions, think about what you would ask if you were the hiring manager and be prepared with great answers.

Keep Track

Track every part of your job search. I like to keep an Excel spreadsheet with the dates that applications or resumes were submitted, follow up dates, and offers received. If you track your job search, you will know when it is time to follow up with a potential employer and can get a feel for what is working and what is not. For example, if you send out a lot of applications but get no interviews, you will want to work on your cover letters and resumes. If you get interviews, but no offers, brush up on your interviewing skills.

Follow up

Use your tracking system to help you keep in touch with potential employers. Stand out from the crowd by taking the time to follow up on your application a week or two after it is submitted. Send a follow up letter to each person that interviews you to thank them for their time, express your interest in the job, and comment on some aspect of your conversation.

Dig Deeper

One technique for effectively answering behaviorally based interview questions is the SMART technique http://soar.swiftlysoar.com/2010/09/07/ace-the-behavioral-job-interview-using-soars-smart-technique.aspx. Following the guidelines in this article may help you avoid awkward follow up questions by the interviewer.

Job Hunting 101: How to Write Your Social Media Profile to Get Hired

Social media is a resource that is used by at least 75% of all hiring managers to pre-screen or pre-qualify job applicants. Hiring managers and employers are searching for you online before they contact you for the first interview. Do not let your social media presence ruin your chances of getting an interview or getting hired for your dream job. My seven tips below will help you create your social media profile so that your phone rings inviting you to a job interview.

1. Keywords – Identify the keywords that hiring managers are using to search for applicants. You will find the keywords in job announcements. They will be industry specific.

2. Remove offensive pictures, posts and friends – Do not post pictures that you would not want grandma to see. This means no drinking game photos from your graduation party or photos from your bachelor party. You will also want to alert your friends and family that you are using social media for job hunting and that you do not want them posting offensive content. If they do you must be prepared to hide the post or unfriend the person. I recommend unfriending the person because you may not see the offensive post before a future employer sees it.

3. Write your profile – Write your profile as a word document so that you can edit it as needed. Also, write it as if you were writing a paper. Capitalize words that begin a sentence. You will want to end your sentence with a punctuation mark. Use correct grammar and spell words correctly. Do not forget to run spell check. Use keywords in your profile so that when a hiring manager or employer is conducting a search they will see your profile.

4. Share your expertise – When you post status updates you will want to share content related to your industry so that you are showing future employers you are staying abreast of your industry trends. Your updates may be links to articles, websites or videos. You will want to add a few of your own thoughts or ideas to supplement the link.

5. Network – Do you know what companies or the industry you would like to work? If so, start following the company and connecting with the hiring managers and employees. When networking with the employees ask why they like working there. You may find out that many of them are not happy and they will share that secret with you. Also, look to see where people leaving the company are going. This may provide valuable information too. You will also want to connect with these people and ask why they left. Networking with the hiring mangers is a great way to find out more about the jobs and to build rapport. Do not immediately begin asking these new friends about job openings. You will want to make time to establish rapport first. You establish rapport by finding a common subject to discuss i.e. pets, sports or military affiliation.

6. Get Recommendations – Now is the time to get your present and previous coworkers and supervisors to write recommendations for you. When hiring managers see these it will help them know why they should hire you and what to expect out of your performance.

7. Post a Profile Picture – Do not forget to post a professional profile picture. This is not the time to have a picture of you on your boat or with your pet. Post a picture that would be appropriate to put on your business card. A photo allows people to see you and feel a connection. It makes you real.

These seven tips will help you create a social media profile that will get you noticed and begin the hiring process. Job hunting is serious business. When you have a social media profile you will be able to share your expertise with hiring managers so you stand out amongst the competition.

Dream Catcher, Business & Life Coaching is a Veteran Owned Business. Coach Jaynine is a retired United States Marine and former psychotherapist who works with Veterans and those on Active Duty. Jaynine will show you how to increase your visibility while developing your expertise. Whether you are a Veteran Business Owner or still on Active Duty, Coach Jaynine is the coach for you. She will teach you the systems and strategies needed to grow your business, have a successful military career, or transition into civilian life. You can start turning your dreams into reality by downloading her free 15 Resume Success Tips https://writetherightresume.com.

Networking Tools for Your Job Search

If you have found yourself looking for a job in the past couple years, you are probably all too familiar with the frustration that usually accompanies the search. People with jobs will give you advice-they’ll tell you to update your resume, rearrange your resume, make your cover letter more personal but shorter, more informative but more concise, do more networking and less searching, do more searching and less emailing…you get the idea. The point is, you can follow these “tips” until you’re blue in the face, but what it usually comes down to is who you know. In fact, a recent statistic noted that nearly 80% of job positions filled in the last year were given to those with a personal referral.

If you’re thinking your search is now hopeless because you’ve already tapped into all of your personal referral resources, think again. With the ease of networking via the internet, there are several networks you can use not only to find connections you already have, but also to make new connections, so your personal connection well will never run dry. Almost anyone who has used the internet to help with their job search and networking will be familiar with Facebook and Twitter, but let’s take a look at few other sites, with a more professional twist, that will give you a leading edge in your efforts.

Plaxo: As far as keeping up with your contacts, Plaxo is your one-stop-shop. Not only does it store all of the contacts from your phone and computer, but it also tracks updates from your contacts from their Twitter and Facebook feeds, so you know what’s going on in their lives before you get in touch. This is especially helpful if you’re reaching out to an old friend or ex co-worker about a prospective job. It will help take away the “cold call” feel and help you get back in the loop quickly so you can get right to what matters.

Ecademy: This tool allows you to connect with other users on a business and social level. Essentially the “business happy hour” of the web, you can connect with people based on business connections you already have, as well as find groups of people who are interested in the same topics as you. For job searchers, this can be a great way to make real connections based on business concepts while getting your name and needs out there to people who trust you.

ZoomInfo: If you need to know more about the people within a company you’re interested in, ZoomInfo is a great source for you. It has been around for over 10 years and holds a database with the information of thousands of professionals. In addition, recruiters often use this site to find potential job candidates, so whether you know how to use it or not, it is always beneficial to set up a profile.

Xing: This is another tool geared towards gathering professionals in a social environment. However, for people looking for a job, this is a great site to join, as it has systems in place which specifically encourage social networking. Not only are there forums and discussion groups, which are always beneficial for job seekers, but there are also appointed “ambassadors” for each community with a decently sized constituency which then hold “events” which allow for the participation and communication of other members.

Whether you use one or all of these helpful technologies, the main idea is to get your name out there and build trust surrounding your name. While these tools help, there is no substitute for hard work and honest time spent, so get out there and make it happen for yourself. You might even end up with more than a job; you might just find your purpose.

Erin Kennedy, CPRW, CERW, BS/HR, is a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant and President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She is a nationally published writer and contributor of 9+ best-selling career books. She has achieved international recognition following yearly nominations of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Erin has written thousands of resumes for executives and professionals.

As a proud member of PARW, CDI, AORCP, Erin also sits on CDI’s Credentialing Committee for new certification candidates and serves as a Mentor for CDI’s Member Mentoring Committee. She also is a featured blogger on several well-known career sites. Reuse of this article is encouraged but must include a link to http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com. Want to know more about Erin Kennedy, CPRW? Read her LinkedIn profile at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/erinkennedycprw

Social Networking And Your Resume

Resume writing is the process of getting a good resume to make the right impression on the recruiter or hiring manager to land your dream job. However, you first need to find out where to apply, or what is the right time to apply at the company of your choice. And that can happen only through networking. Thanks to online social networking sites, job networking has become more simplified to expedite your job search.

Today, you can use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as part of your job search plan. Here are some of the important points to keep in mind when using social networking to expose your resume:

Be Careful What You Tweet Or Post

You don’t have to run a spell check every time you tweet or post, but you do have to keep in mind whatever you have tweeted or posted will be online forever. Abusive language, gossiping, nude pictures, sexual overtones, and the like can raise red flags for prospective employers.

Don’t Use Company Time To Tweet Or Post

If you’re not supposed to be online at work, then avoid tweeting or posting online just in case your boss might see it. As you might have noticed, tweets and posts all have time-stamps, so it’s quite easy to figure out who’s online at what times.

Quantity Is Not Quality

When you’re networking in Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, it’s easy to lose your credibility if you become friends with everyone, connect with everyone, or follow everyone. It’s just not done. When you’re interested in a potential friend, connection or follower, look up the other person to see if he/she is at all related to your industry, school, university, club, anything to suggest any relevance between you and the other person.

Randomly connecting with everyone will definitely increase the number of friends, followers or connections, but you won’t be able to establish your own niche. Hence, your online presence will be confusing to your prospective employers.

Check Privacy Settings

This is BIG. If you haven’t done so already, Google yourself, or look yourself up in any other online search engine of your choice. Take a look at the results to see what any prospective employer gets to see when they are looking you up online.

If you find mistakes (trust me, there will be a few), go to the particular website to correct those. You might have to sign up for services, but hey, it’s your name at stake here, so I don’t think a few minutes setting up your account and correcting misleading data about yourself will hurt you.

Facebook has explicit privacy settings, so do keep a track of that as well.

So here were some of the important points to keep in mind when using social networking to expose your resume. To understand how you can benefit from social networking to land your dream job, get free career consultation from Anks Image http://www.anksimage.com now.

Job Search Emails – Avoiding the Spam Filters

The Subject Line is the Most Important Facet of Your Emails

Every job seeker knows that they have approximately 20 seconds or less to impress a hiring manager with their resume and attending cover letter.

It is equally well known that Recruiters & internal HR professionals are inundated with unsolicited emails on a daily basis, a large percentage of which are from those seeking employment, businesses trying to market their new products, etc. In other words, something is ‘wanted or needed’ from the recipient.

Unfortunately, many of these unsolicited emails end up in the spam folders because of incorrect punctuation such as exclamation points, and ineffective subject lines.

As an example, I have seen ‘please see attached resume’, which of course tells me nothing – not even what type of position the individual is applying for, or what experience they have to offer my firm.

Naturally, putting something like ‘please see attached resume’ or ‘stop, I’m the right one’ in your subject line guarantees that the spam filters will capture it, or worse, the intended recipient will receive the email and have to take their time to put it in the spam folder themselves – making a mental note of the sender’s name, I might add.

Conversely, if you put something such as ‘B2B Marketing Expert’ or ‘Vice President, Special Non-Profit Projects in Ottawa’, you will likely be successful in dispatching your email to the intended party, and have a much better chance that your email will indeed be opened and read.

Personalizing Your Email – Full Contact Name

It is an entirely different matter if your job search emails are ‘solicited’ for specific positions where you are told what to enter into the subject line, and are either given a direct email address, and/or given the individual’s name to direct your correspondence to.

However when this information is not readily available to you, it is your responsibility to learn whom the email should be directed to by performing a little research on the firm you are targeting. You may be able to quickly Google the company name and learn the contact names quickly or perhaps take a wee bit longer to find they are listed on a professional network such as LinkedIn.

Attention Grabbing Details – Use Bullet Points

Now that you have piqued their curiosity, it is imperative that your email content grabs them and holds them long enough to quickly read your first body of text, which would ideally be your major career accomplishments.

Remember you are competing with literally hundreds of others in this individual’s overflowing email inbox, so it is imperative that you are very efficient and powerful in communicating your value.

Make it easy for the recipient to see what it is you have to offer, whether you are conducting a job search, or marketing a new product or tool for your firm. Using bullet points, you can quickly highlight five or so items that will appeal to your specific target audience.

Make it Brief & Succinct

I know from personal experience that it can be difficult to keep in mind that your ‘email’ should be a brief and succinct message, versus a ‘cover letter’ in your job search toolkit.

Simply follow the instructions laid out in the job advertisement and act accordingly, as there will be instances where you will be asked to provide a ‘cover letter email’ rather than ‘attaching’ a cover letter in Word or RTF (rich text format).

Make your best effort to make your emails as short as possible, while still holding a powerful impact, highlighting your major achievements and accomplishments, and clearly stating what it is you are ‘offering’ and ultimately seeking from the recipients.

Complete Contact Info

Although this seems rather obvious, you do want to give the party as many avenues as possible to contact you, aside from your return email and telephone number.

If you have a strong professional portfolio set up on the Internet, share that link, just as you would do with your professional LinkedIn Profile. If you have a career website, be sure the URL is active and working properly when you add it to your closing.

I do not suggest including the more ‘personal’ social networking URLs such as your Twitter or Facebook page, as you want your target audience to see your ‘professional’ side, versus the more intimate side of your personality profile.

An Effective Job Search Strategy is Essential

In our current economically challenged employment market, job seekers must flex every advantage, pull every string and develop strategies that focus on every aspect of an effective job search. Many jump into their search with little or no preparation or planning. Investing time in developing an effective job search strategy will pay off in the short and long term. A strategy refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. Strategies may change throughout the job search life-cycle, and adjustments may be needed in your tactical plan. By assembling a strategy and set of tasks, you establish key components to keep you on track.

The purpose of creating a strategy is to identify major objectives to be met during your job search. Your tasks are part of a tactical plan geared to meeting specific objectives including; identifying potential target companies, industries, positions, network contacts, and your daily search routine.

Some of the most overlooks strategies in an effective job search are:

• The value of networking
• Tapping he hidden job market
• The value of researching positions, companies and the people who work there
• Persistence and planned followed up

Networking with business professionals, friends, past associates and new contacts expands your reach enabling you to gather valuable information about potential opportunities. People-know-people and in most cases they will refer you to decision makers who can assist uncovering hidden opportunities and connections.

Hiring managers, decision makers and executives typically are tuned into potential positions being discussed. Many executives have the authority to create positions that satisfy a critical need within organization. Additionally, a VP of Marketing may have a good friend at XYZ Company who has a need for a Senior Information Technology resource. Don’t limit your network and networking to decision makers in your field alone. Cast a broad net!

In order to tap the hidden job market, ask each contact the following question. Do you know decision makers who know people willing to talk briefly about your job search? The question opens a broad field of potential contacts with a snowball effect of offering many new resources that can assist you.

By using your existing contact list, your target companies, network contacts, schedule meetings and phone conversations to begin your search. You should have at least three major goals for each conversation: 1) Introduce yourself, highlighting your skills and experience and target positions and companies, 2) Seek out information about your contacts position within the company, responsibilities, challenges, hobbies etc. Offer your new contacts assistance by way of network referrals, information, etc. Demonstrate that you have a genuine interest in learning more about them. 3) Ask for referrals and additional network contacts that can assist with your search.

Researching the company, position, challenges and work environment will put you a step ahead of most other candidates. It’s easy to send a generic resume and cover letter and hope to hear back. In most cases you will not. A more effective approach is to research the position by making contact with people who work for or know about the company. Gather company information, learn about the work environment and the challenges the company and area faces. Use your information to demonstrate that in addition to being highly qualified candidate, you also have a good understanding of areas where you can provide additional value. Nick Corcodilos, The Headhunter, has written a number of excellent books about the value of demonstrating your ability to perform the job, understand the company challenges and have the abilities to present your skills against the position you are pursuing.
Persistence and planned follow up helps monitor your job search progress and is perceived as an excellent quality by professional contacts. Most professionals will view your persistence as a positive attribute, which will increase your chances of success.
Here are a few simple tasks you might want to consider adding:
• Maintain a daily log of all job search correspondence and include for each entry, date, contact name, title, company, reason or job etc. Include a comments area for updating the latest status and future follow up.
• Develop a simple follow up system to get back to contacts and potential opportunities,
• Be professional, don’t spam your contacts with excessive e-mails, phone calls or voice mails. Respect your contacts time and business schedule.
• Reasonable follow-up after your initial contact attempt might be three follow-ups over a three week period that includes phone calls and e-mails.
• If not response is received – move on to your next perspective contact.
• Grow your network of contacts through daily interactions. The more new contacts you make the greater opportunity you have to penetrate the hidden jobs market.
Revisit your strategy and tactical plans periodically and making adjustments based upon your success. Learn from failures and celebrate successes and never stop networking.

Job Hunting After Age 50: Help For A Stalled Job Search!

Job hunting after age 50, can be a new, unusual and if you allow it; a discouraging experience. It’s like you woke up one morning in a foreign country. The roads are different, the transportation and communication system seems to have a language all their own. All very confusing.

Add in the economic and business decline, the falling demand for certain jobs and careers, and the daily birth of new jobs that the title can only be deciphered by those in the know. Add in that many employers who will be playing it safe and hiring the younger less costly job applicant. In the face of all this many job hunters after 50 have given up the job hunt or accepted positions well below their skill and qualification level.

Let’s see if we can [amazon_link id=”1453633472″ target=”_blank” ]get your midlife job search back[/amazon_link] into the game and increase you changes of getting hired into the right job. Here are some useful ideas and actions you can start taking right now:

Build Your Online Presence: Social networking has grown tremendously in the past several years. One of the first things hiring managers and recruiters do after receiving your resume is to search LinkedIn and Facebook to review your online presence. If nothing shows up, it’s more than likely your resume will be moved to the bottom of the stack, never to be heard from again.

At a minimum you must have a profile on [amazon_link id=”0071621334″ target=”_blank” ]LinkedIn and Facebook[/amazon_link]. Study the profiles of others; search their archives and the internet for articles on how to write a compelling profile. Concentrate on writing a profile that differentiates you from others in your field. Why should someone want to talk to you? Post a professional picture and you’ll be well on your way.

Build your connections on LinkedIn, and have personal recommendations written by others and posted to your profile.

Start a blog about an aspect of your career, your jobs or the industry you’ve worked in. Make frequent posts and write articles and post them to article directories. Search for other blogs in your field and make appropriate comments. All this activity will help establish your authority in your career field, and when the recruiter Googles you name a whole list of positive information will show up.

Accomplishments Sell Skills: Recruiters and hiring managers are trying to find someone who can solve their problems. They really don’t care that you’ve had 25 years experience in a series of jobs or are over age 50. It’s accomplishments they’re after. And that’s what you have to give them.

You understand return on investment (ROI). Sell the prospective employer on how you saved money, made money, improved something, did something faster and less expensive or otherwise created a benefit for your previous employer.

Focus your resume’s list of accomplishments on the needs of the employer. For example, if the employer’s number one requirement is cost cutting your first listed accomplishment may be, “developed plan to consolidate functions and cut costs resulting in an annual savings of over $210,000 with increased customer satisfaction.”

If you clearly demonstrate you can make or save money for your employer the hiring manager will see how you can bring value to the job. Your achievements will overcome age as the employer can see how you will help the bottom line.

Now Transform Your Resume: Get rid of the dates on your resume. Going back 10-15 years, remove older work history. If you need to include older work history put it in a section called, “Other Professional Experience.”

Take out the educations dates and the dates you may have taken other professional courses.

Write your accomplishments to closely reflect the needs of the specific employer. This means that each job submission will require an original resume. Once you have developed a body of accomplishments it will become a cut-and-paste exercise.

To further show you are up-to-date; add a section to your resume on “professional education.” Over the past three to five years list all additional education that specifically relates to the job requirements. Self-study, seminars, workshops, conferences and in-house training are all fair game for your list. This will further show to the employer that you are up-to-date on the latest in your field.

Control What You Can Control: Age bias when hiring is a fact with some employers. Your years of relevant experience could be valuable to any employer. You don’t have to apologize for your age or your years of experience. Be positive and sell benefits and age will fade into the background.

Another area you can control is your overall attitude. Keep up-beat, associate with others with the same mind-set, read and listen to motivational books. It’s been proven that positive, can-do job hunters get quicker and more satisfying results from their job search.

If you concentrate on what you can control, remain positive and sell the benefits you have to offer, your stalled job hunt after 50 will get back on track.

John Groth has changed careers seven times during his working life. Learn more about changing careers and job hunting after age 50 at http://careersafter50.com. Discover how others over age 50, built winning career plans and found the right careers by successful job hunting after 50.

Value-Added Network

A value-added network can be achieved through explicit actions to develop, expand, and promote trusted relationships. One successful example is Thomas Powers, the founder and chairman of ecademy, www.ecademy.com, one of the largest UK-based business networks. His passion and commitment to networking compares to none; he is ranked among the top business networkers in the world. Ecademy’s philosophy is “Winning by Sharing”, a theme of paramount importance. Donna Fisher and Sandy Vilas, of Power Networking, define networking as: “Networking is making links from people we know to people they know, in an organized way, for a specific purpose, while remaining committed to doing our part, expecting nothing in return.”
So how can you add value to your network?
Strategy
Over the years my primary networking focus has been establishing contacts that provide valuable job search-related opportunities. More recently, I have expanded my focus to include promoting services and exploring business opportunities. My networking strategies are simple – contact people and offer a mutually beneficial relationship through shared business contacts, opportunities, and potential partnerships. By connecting people with potential for shared mutual benefits, I am delivering an important service and developing trusted relationships. This is extremely rewarding for me and seems to be greatly appreciated by those I have connected.
Developing a strategy will help you focus on developing your network effectively. Don’t be afraid to change your approach frequently until it feels right and you are certain that it will serve your goals and objectives. The key driver is ongoing communications regarding mutual goals, interests, and opportunities, as well as expansion of your network.
Using established networking groups and on-line communities allows you to become linked to people all over the world. Nina Camp, an expert on the subject says, “Linkedin is the best business networking site – not social –which is attractive to Fortune 1000/500/100 business executives. Recent additions to the site make interfacing more attractive. The ability to send a message from the site when accepting connections is a good new feature, along with the V Card download and the opportunity to endorse immediately.” Linkedin, http://www.linkedin.com, is also my choice, and the on-line business community I use most frequently. To grow your network, initially you may need to be proactive in contacting people who you would like to connect with, but as your contact list grows, people will seek you out and want to become part of your network.
Building Network Contacts
While building your network, you will find that no matter how hard you work to establish relationships, a simple fact of human nature dictates that you will naturally hit it off with certain people, finding common goals, interests, and reasons to connect. This is not to say that you should give up on individuals less inclined to form a trusted relationship, but the amount of time you dedicate to such communications will define the potential for a successful connection. Finding mutual values, interests, and levels of comfort takes time and work. Making an effort to find such common grounds requires two-way communication, without which you will have a void of knowledge and information-sharing necessary for the growth of the relationship. Timing is also an issue and one which you need to keep in mind when you reach out to a contact, especially to someone who may not be as aggressive or interested in expanding or exploring networking benefits. Give potential contacts plenty of room to communicate using their own timetable.
Building and expanding your network requires a plan or set of processes that you can follow repeatedly. The following are some practices you might want to include are.
1) Communicate with your most trusted contacts frequently and share information, ideas, or just an update on your current status. Show interest in their activities, job, company, and common interests. Send an interesting article or information you feel that would be of value.
2) Share new contacts with others who you feel may realize mutual benefits.
Provide referrals to others for business services, opportunities, and information, or
as a common connector. It might be as straightforward as saying, “I met Joe
Smith’s boss and he said he knew you.”
3) Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to expand your network. If you are just starting out, set a goal for establishing X number of new contacts per week. When I first joined ecademy.com, I set a goal of adding 50 new contacts a week, which resulted in developing 1151 contacts in a year’s time.
4) Be open to new contacts that may want to communicate with you. Connected people like to connect with other connected people. I have never refused a new contact. You will learn that as you continue to grow your network, others will find you and want to become part of your group of associates.
5) The last step in your process is the most important one. Give to your network contacts, expecting nothing in return. The act of giving will earn trust and understanding and demonstrate that you have a genuine interest in your associates. “Winning by sharing” It works, so give it a try.
Those Who Did
As most successful business people will tell you, failures are an important part of your personal and business development process. Don’t discard failures, instead learn from them and use your new knowledge to address future challenges and goals. Laurence J. Peter said, “There are two kinds of failures: those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought.” If you don’t make an attempt, you will never realize the potential of what you might have been able to achieve. Building network relationships is not a task with a beginning, middle, and end; it is an ongoing process. Network and you will build a valued and trusted contact community.