Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year, New Job?

It's a common practice - a new year brings the desire to change jobs.  If you have decided to hunt for a new job in 2016, let's get our job search house in order:

1)  Update your resume and make sure there is appropriate detail.  A resume is not a duties and responsibilities document - but a marketing document.  Tell the potential employer the successes you have had in your current and past jobs, and be sure to include appropriate key words and key phrases to your career target.  Also, don't fall for the one-page myth.  A two or three-page resume is fine, and is what most jobseekers will have after they have been in the workforce for a few years.  Your experience, education, professional development, technical/computer profile, and professional and civic involvement warrants a depth of information.

2)  Consider more than one resume.  You are not a one-trick pony and most likely have two or three different career types your can pursue.  Don't try to make one resume fit two or three career choices. Instead, tailor a resume and cover letter to each career type to ensure your career marketing documents work for you and not against you.

3)  Use job board aggregators, not single job boards. and are my two favorites.  Why search ten different job boards when you can search thousands at a time.  Sign up with just an email and a list of job titles (you may have two or three searches per site depending on your career choices) and let these sites do the search for you and send you a digest of new jobs that posted daily.  Then you can go direct to the company or recruiter site and apply for your job at the source.

4)  Set a specific amount of time for your job search and plan it into your schedule every week.  If you do not make time for your job search, and just work on it when you feel like it, you will have a long job search indeed and typically get very little done.

5)  Set up or update your LinkedIn profile, including a professional picture, and completed profile. You can make your updates private so they don't show to your connections unless they go directly to your profile page (just go to the Privacy and Settings area).  Once your profile is up to date, target individuals from the organizations you have the most interest in and recruiters in your field(s) of expertise.

6)  Keep at it, a job search is not a short race, but a marathon.  That new job could be just around the corner, so don't give up.

To your job search and career success!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week!

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Ridding your life of complainers and cynics is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. ~ Unknown

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week!

“The past is not your potential. In any hour you can choose to liberate the future.” ~ Marilyn Ferguson

Learning is easy. Application is hard. Most of the time we know what to do, but never do it. Doing it is the difference. ~ Unknown 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Career Tip: Track Your Project Participation

Project Management seems to abound in just about all job types now and your work in those projects can have a significant impact on your career, and in a job search.  Although the phrase Project Management used to mean a technical or construction project, it now encompasses any large project that an organization undertakes, regardless of nature.

To maximize your project involvement, keep notes on important projects you have participated in at work, including your specific role.  Track successes in the initial development of the project concept, gathering any requirements, meeting timelines and budget targets, implementation, any training you might have performed, documentation developed, project methodologies employed, and any software used.

From performance reviews and promotion possibilities, to raise requests and job searches, documenting your role in a project and the various achievements throughout its lifecycle can reap huge dividends in your career.  To your career success!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Your Resume is a Marketing Brochure!

Always think of your resume as a marketing brochure, never as a duties and responsibilities list.  Your resume must market you towards a specific position and show how you have been of value to your past employers.  It is never just a general career document.  Remember, companies look for keywords and key phrases that relate to the position they are hiring for, and the explanation of how you used those skills, software, competencies, career-related acronyms, etc., in your bullet points under each position.  To your job search success!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Job Search Quotes of the Week!

"Being busy is a form of laziness — lazy thinking and indiscriminate action."  Tim Ferriss

“Without passion, you don’t have energy. Without energy, you have nothing.” – Warren Buffett

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week!

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs

 “If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.” – James Cameron

Monday, December 14, 2015

Why You Should Ask Questions Targeted to Your Potential New Manager in an Interview

Sometimes an interviewee is hesitant to ask questions about their potential new manager, thinking that this will somehow look bad or make the interviewer angry.  Asking questions though will not only help you to look good to the manager, but to find out some very important information that may help you determine whether the job will be right for you.  What should ask?  Here are a few questions to use in your next interview:

Can you describe your management style and give me three examples?  This question can help identify a micromanager, as no one ever thinks they are a micromanager, but will often give an example that will clue you in to the truth.

Can you describe a typical workday for me?  Always ask the question with you being on the job in mind.  Give them the vision of you already working there and also find out if the “boss” knows what your job really entails.

What brought you to this organization? 

What do you like best about working here?

Why do you stay with this organization?

Yes, sometimes for the last three questions above you will get the “B.S.” answer, but more often than not you will surprise them with good questions and get a truthful answer.  One of the major complaints of interviewers is a candidate who does not ask any questions.  Be the interviewee that asks great questions, and increase your chances of getting that job.  To your job search success!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Job Search Quotes of the Week!

“Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. ~ Jim Rohn

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week

"Change how you react to rejection... every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past, or a pioneer of the future." - Deepak Chopra 

"Learning is not done to you, it is something you choose to do." - Seth Godin

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Don’t Give Up On Your Job Search During The Holidays

Every year around Halloween I start hearing those individuals pursuing a job, whether currently employed or unemployed say the following:  “I think I will take a break on the job search over the holiday season.”  This is the very last thing you should do. 

People use a litany of excuses for this annual trend, including:

--No one interviews during the holiday season.

--No one hires during the holiday season.

--No one is really working until January 2nd

--Everyone else job seeking is taking off for the holiday season.

--My friends, family, or other people I know said "blah, blah, blah" about the holidays and a job search.

--Only part time, temporary holiday jobs are available during this time of year.

--Companies don’t have any money to spend on new employees during the end of the year.

All of the above reasons are patently false.  Here is the truth:

First, many companies have an established budget for hiring year round, and their fiscal year may or may not be the same as a calendar year, and regardless of timing, they often need to spend that money or lose it for the next year – so they will hire people year round.  

Second, companies do not have time or money for endless holiday parties and fluff time.  In fact, more organizations are short staffed and they work just as much or more overtime during the holiday season trying to keep up with work and hire additional staff. 

Third, not all companies may hire, but they will interview to make those decisions in January and if you aren’t in the mix, you won’t get the job. 

Fourth, your friends, family and acquaintances don’t know what most companies do and most likely don’t know what the company they work for does in hiring,  stop listening to amateurs.   

Fifth, let other jobseekers take the holidays off and lose out on job opportunities.  Remember what your parents used to say:  “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump off too?”  We are not concerned about what other jobseekers are doing; we are concerned about getting a new job. 

Sixth, actually the trend is a boost in both part time and full time hiring at the end of each year, including a Career Builder article for 2014 citing the following results of a survey on permanent hiring for fourth quarter in 2014:

Company size
Permanent hiring in Q4
Seasonal hiring in Q4
50 or fewer employees
51 to 250 employees
251 to 500 employees
More than 500 employees

So, get out there and job hunt and take advantage of a period that so many people ignore as a prime time for a jobseeker.  To your job search success!

Job Search Quotes of the Week!

A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits. ~Richard Nixon

There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from. ~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D. 

Let a man lose everything else in the world but his enthusiasm and he will come through again to success. ~Unknown