Random collection of Job Search Advice

Number One

As a career coach specializing in mid-career professionals, I work with many
clients who have not been “on the market” for a number of years. Here’s the
job search advice I give them:

If you have not conducted a job search in a while, you may think everything’s different or nothing has changed. Here’s what you need to know:

What’s changed:

* In addition to an accomplishments-based résumé, you will need a strong
LinkedIn profile, as anyone who is looking to hire will check out your
profile on this site, often even before contacting you.

* Recruiters/hiring managers will also be looking at your overall on-line
profile, so make sure your Facebook page and any other social media sites
represent you in a way that would be attractive v. repellent to a potential

* A tight and volatile job market means more scrutiny in the hiring process. Expect longer wait times for initial contact (often a phone screening by HR or a recruiter), multiple interviews and delays in decisions.

* Recruiters and Human Resources professionals are squeezed between many
applicants for every job and the demand by harried hiring managers to see
only the “best” candidates. Initial screening of credentials happens quickly
(average 15 seconds) to eliminate anyone who doesn’t hit all the marks. To
insure your application makes it through the first round, cover letters must
“connect the dots” between their requirements and your qualifications.

What hasn’t changed:

* People get hired because they can help organizations solve specific
problems, so make sure you can articulate your value proposition in written
and spoken form.

* Advertised positions–whether in print or on-line– represent only about
10-15% of hiring activity, so don`t spend more than that percentage of your
job search time and energy on this channel. Set up career alerts on job
boards and with companies of interest so posted positions come to you, v.
wasting time checking to see if there’s “anything new.”

* Recruiters– whether internal or external- account for no more than 10-15%
of hiring, so don`t spend too much time chasing them. Send your résumé to
all recruiters who work in your industry or field so you get into their
database– where they start when they’re looking for candidates. Don’t bother
calling them: if they see a potential fit, they’ll call you

* The highest percentage of hiring results from some sort of personal
contact, so make networking-related activities (research, targeting,
developing contacts, informational interviewing, follow-up) comprise at
least 75% of your job search.

Submitted by Day Merrill, Founder & Principal www.2BDetermined.ca

Number Two

As a certified personal image consultant, I have helped many people upgrade their professional image for job interviews and career advancements. Recruitment firms hire me to give webinars to their job-seeking clients. So I'm happy to give a few tips on what new job seekers need to know about interviewing. 

Your verbal and nonverbal communication matters more than you ever imagined. Companies and corporations want more value than ever before. They want creative solutions to their nagging problems. They are also looking for team players with soft skills and talent that add up to be worth their investment. 

Verbal communication includes not only what you say, but how you sound when you speak. If you are interviewing for a job that requires you to communicate with colleagues, co-workers, customers and clients, your verbal skills need to be polished and professional. No uptones, no gravely voice, no monotone robot sounding talk. What is your ratio of speaking to listening? Do you give others a chance to speak or are you doing all the talking? Better to use a pause rather than repeating "um". The best way to know how you sound is to record yourself talking. Use either an audio or video recording device to listen to yourself in conversation mode. Basically, you want to shoot for sounding similar to television news reporters. Practice and then record yourself again.

Ask for feedback from someone you trust will be honest. Nonverbal communication includes posture when walking, standing and sitting. It includes scuffing of shoes while walking, which can indicate apathy and low energy. Nonverbal communication sends messages via a handshake, eye contact, foot and leg jiggling, unconscious hand gestures, face-rubbing and self grooming. Even the placement of your feet can be an indication of where you want to go. Feet pointed toward the door mean that's where you'd like to head! So be aware of your body language and what message you are sending. Be in control of your movements, head-to-toe. 

Nonverbal communication also includes your appearance, head-to-toe. The only way to avoid communicating your appearance is via a phone interview. Once you’ve passed that initial phase, you’ll of course move on to either an interview with higher-ups via Skype or in person. For these, you will be seen. It’s important that your image makes a strong first impression: polished, sharp and professional. 

Elements of your appearance that need intentional preparation, in addition to posture and body language are: haircut, eyeglasses, clothing and accessories. That doesn’t mean just going out and buying a bunch of new clothes. Dressing intentionally means having an understanding of what cuts and shapes flatter your body type, what colors flatter your coloring, and how to use colors and shapes to your advantage. For example, wearing high-contrast colors, (black and white), give you a sense of authority. Low-contrast colors, (tan and beige), make you appear approachable. A jacket with a collar sends the message of capable, management, in charge. No collar reads as independent, non-corporate, and salaried worker. Which is fine, if that’s what message you want to send about who you are and what you’re going for. 

When planning out your attire, you’ll want to balance that fine line between standing out as a leader who can get things done for everyone’s benefit, and team player who fits in. It’s a matter of being mindful of your total image including personal presentation of how you sound, look and behave. Spend time on polishing every detail to make the best impression by communicating who you are genuinely, and what you can bring to an organization.

Submitted by Marian Rothschild, AICI FLC, Author; Look Good Now and Always

Number Three

"Start. If you have not had to look for work for a long time, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Not everything has changed," said Julie.

· You still need a resume and it still has to look good; but it will never be printed on a piece of paper, so it doesn’t matter how long it is.

· You still need to apply for positions you are qualified for; this is more important than ever, because companies today have no budget for an “I can learn that” candidate.

· DON’T fill your resume with personality words: hard worker, driven, multi-tasker… who isn’t?

· DO save space for words that describe what you can do: “Developed an application through full SDLC including requirements gathering, design, coding, implementation and user testing.”

· DON’T think you have to rely on the major job boards; your online social profiles will help recruiters and hiring managers find you.

According to Julie, "One thing hasn’t changed. If you want to find a job now, the best thing you can do is network, network, network."

Submitted by Julie Desmond from George Konik Associates.

Number Four

There is a "hidden" job market. *According to CNN.com, 75% of job openings — often some of the best and highest paying jobs are not advertised on the internet or in the newspaper.

Here's 4 Tips to help you tap into the hidden job market and strategies to help you land a new job fast:

1. Many companies post positions on their internal board only. Target companies not just positions. When you approach your job search campaign with this strategy you not only will find great opportunities, but you will be happier at your job in the long run. Look directly on company websites at their internal job board. Even if you do not find a
position that you qualify for at the time of your search you should still attempt to get your resume in the right hands. You may qualify for a position that is not yet posted, and perhaps you will be the first candidate to be considered when one is. In today's job market you have to strategically balance being aggressive without coming across as

2. Prepare to sell yourself. Before you start making contact it is crucial that you are prepared to present yourself in an appealing way. Some call it an “elevator speech” or “30 second commercial”. I call it your “30 second what I can do for your company pitch”. Any time you are speaking with someone of influence, a potential connection, or decision maker, you need to introduce yourself as an asset and speak to your relevant skill sets, experience and education. You’ve researched the company and their job descriptions so infuse that information into your pitch. Avoid talking about your career objectives.

3. It's not just about who you know anymore. It is about who knows you. Build a marketable LinkedIn profile. 97% of recruiters vet candidates from LinkedIn. People who are not even looking for employment are often prospected on LinkedIn. Make yourself "known" by connecting with relevant people at the companies you plan to target.
Showcase your initiative by reaching out directly to managers at these companies. Some will note their email address on their profiles. Or, you can usually find their contact information on the company website. If you cannot find out this information online, call the company directly and ask the receptionist for the name and email address of the hiring manager. LinkedIn is also an exceptional resource for finding career
opportunities. Don't rely on typical job boards alone. (maximize them) Once you’ve made contact, tell them what you bring to the table, how you can help the company and why you want to work for them. Ask if you may arrange an informational interview.

4. Your resume must be updated and more competitive than ever. For instance, every 60 seconds, about 30 resumes are uploaded to Monster.com's worldwide network. That adds up to a lot of resumes and a whole lot of competition. *Resume rules have changed.* For instance, an "Objective" statement has become obsolete. Employers want to know what it is you have to offer, not what it is that you are seeking. Front-load your resume with key words from the job announcement and with a strong value proposition.
Tailor it to each of the positions you target. Bring several copies with you to every in person meeting, and have a copy in front of you during every phone call. You never know when an initial reach out may turn in to a phone interview on the spot.

Submitted by Sally Calloway, CPCC, CPRW *Expert Resume Writer - Career Coach - Author - Speaker