Archive for November, 2011
Keep Your Job Search Going Through The Holiday Months
Monday, November 28th, 2011
With the hiring slowdown that typically happens around the holidays, job seekers assume it’s a waste of time to reach out to companies in November and December. Nothing could be further from the truth! True, things do quiet down around HR, and often new positions come in January with the new year’s budget.
But companies ARE still open. Hiring managers and HR employees don’t get these six weeks off of work. Use this quieter time of the year to your advantage. Chances are, you won’t have as much competition since others are probably suspending their job search. You’ll be more likely to get to talk to someone at your target company since they won’t be as busy. Your resume may be read more thoroughly since there won’t be as many coming through. Standing out like this could help you come January, when hiring is back in full force.
Still, it’s not enough to blast your resume out during the month of December and hope for the best. Your search will be much more effective if you’re strategic in your approach. First of all, consider what you want. What positions are you interested in, and at which companies? Do they have an open job posted or are you trying to get on their radar for the future?
Next, determine who you need to talk to. If possible, go straight to the hiring manager of the department. You can often find this out through a little online research or by calling the company’s main number. Drastically increase your odds of getting in touch by finding a contact to refer you.
Be clear on your message and what you have to offer. Your resume should clearly communicate how you can add value to a company, and you should be able to confidently articulate this when you make contact with the decision maker. Finally, remember that this is process. Be prepared to follow up, wait, follow up again, and be told to call back after the new year. Though it’s easy to get discouraged, rest assured that you’re ahead of the curve and this can only help you end your job hunt with an offer!
Q&A: Why Should I Use Google +?
Monday, November 21st, 2011
Despite all the hype about Google+, there were many out there that weren’t excited. ANOTHER social network to learn and manage? Don’t we have enough? After hearing about the “pros” from Jenny Weigle, Social Media Manager for CareerBuilder, you just might see why adding this tool to your career management plan can be worth the extra effort.
MMC: There are so many social media sites out there, it’s overwhelming! Why do you think it’s important for job seekers to add Google+?
JW: It’s important for job seekers to take advantage of all of the free tools available to aid them in their search, and this includes social media. One more social network means one more opportunity to make connections that could help you in your job search.
MMC: What should job seekers do to get the most out of Google+?
JW: Just like using any other social network, job seekers should showcase their personal brand on Google+. If you’re looking for a marketing job with a large association, post your comments on a marketing article or tips for associations. Brand yourself as an expert in this field.
MMC: Do you think Google+ is here to stay?
JW: Yes, and I also believe we will start to see more social networks.
MMC: Do you think Google+ will take overtake any of the current sites (as a leading social media network for job seekers)?
JW: In my personal opinion, Google+ and Facebook aren’t going anywhere. I do predict that we will see more social networks for niche audiences.
High Growth Industries Offer Hot Opportunities For Job-Seekers
Thursday, November 17th, 2011
Is your industry shrinking? The truth is, if your most recent job was in a retrenching market, there are always going to be more job hunters than jobs. If you want to reaming in a retrenching field you can plan on a longer job search, potentially lower pay, and if the industry continues to shrink, yet another job search is quite possibly right around the corner.
Instead why not consider a high growth industry? Sure you may need to retool your resume and possibly even pick up a few new skills, but despite the doomsday outlook we hear on the news, there are pockets of growth across the US. IbisWorld, the world’s largest independent publisher of U.S. industry research, shared the following list of the 10 Fastest Growing Industries in Huffington Post earlier this year:
- Solar Power
- Video Games
- Third-Party Administrators and Claims Adjusters
- Environmental Consulting
- Correctional Facilities
- E-Commerce and Online Auctions
- Wind Power
- Internet Publishing and Broadcasting
- Voice Over Internet Protocol Providers
A slightly older report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the Top 10 Growing and Shrinking US Industries. Even though it is nearly two years olds, this reports provide job seekers with direction… a way to focus your job search on areas of opportunity. While you may not be an expert in wind power, what’s to say a wind power company doesn’t need a ace accountant, administrator or analyst?
As you look to apply your skills and talents to new industries you’ll need to do your homework. Read trade journals, attend industry events, conduct information interviews, and fill in any gaps you identify in your skill set. Switching industries may not be as easy as finding the exact same job in the exact same industry, but if yours is shrinking now may be the time to set your sights higher.
Investing In Your Future Without Spending (Much) Money
Monday, November 14th, 2011
Usually, people think of IRA’s and 401(k)’s when “investing” is mentioned. Or, they think of saving 4-8 months of liquid reserves in case of a layoff.
These are both important, but there’s another type of deposit you can make for your future – additional knowledge. We all know that a college education is a valuable career investment, but many don’t think much beyond that. Everything else they need to know, they learn on the job.
This may not be enough to stay competitive. To advance, reduce the risk of a layoff, or get hired at a new company, it helps to stay up on trends and learn the latest industry tools.
Most people think any kind of continuing education has to mean college – that’s not the only option. Many times, employers want to know that you know something, and they don’t care HOW you know it. One of the simplest things you can do is regularly Google your job function/industry for news. You can also follow industry leaders on Twitter, to get a good idea of the latest trends. These options, of course, are available at no cost.
If you only do one thing to invest in your career future, join an industry association. Not only will you have access to the latest information (for example, through a newsletter, teleseminars, and/or conference), you’ll be networking at the same time! Whether by e-list, private LinkedIn Group, or in-person event, you’ll continue to grow your knowledge base while simultaneously building relationships (BOTH of which are investments in your future). Though you’ll have to pay a membership fee, it’s usually nominal compared to all you’ll receive. Plus, you may have the option of getting a free or discounted membership by volunteering – yet another way to network!
It helps to invest your finances, but it’s almost as important as investing your time in continuing education. Being up-to-date is too important to your career to neglect!
Picture: Studying for a Test 2, by hvaldez1
Inspiration: Wish Lists And Action Plans
Thursday, November 10th, 2011
Today’s inspiration comes to us from Eleanor Roosevelt, ranked in the top ten of Gallup’s List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century.
I was reminded of this quote the other day when coaching a a 20-something who felt stuck in his career. I suggested he download the free MarketMyCareer.com Weekly Activity Goals Planner and give himself some homework. In my experience, just taking one small step forward can create the momentum we need to really get moving.
This quote from Roosevelt sums it up perfectly: ”It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” Not sure where to begin? Here are some ideas:
- Attend an industry event
- Schedule an informational interview
- Contact one new recruiter
- Update your LinkedIn profile
The thought of launching a job search can be overwhelming. Setting small goals for yourself is a great way to get moving, and ticking them done will help you see the forward progress your making.
What Andy Rooney Can Teach Us About Finding A Job That Brings You Joy
Monday, November 7th, 2011
Retirement is a common topic among people of all ages. For most, it’s a goal, and, financial concerns aside, something they have never considered NOT doing.
Apparently Andy Rooney is an exception. He vowed to work until the day he died, and he came pretty close. Within just a few weeks of retiring from 60 Minutes, he passed away at age 92.
Though the money was probably nice, it’s doubtful that financial concerns are what kept him working. Same goes for Former President Jimmy Carter, Actress Betty White, and Journalist Barbara Walters. These people don’t HAVE to work, yet they choose to – why?
You may be thinking, “well, they have amazing jobs!” Some might think so, but EVERY job has its challenges. Plus, there are plenty of “regular people” who choose to keep working well beyond retirement age. There are even some arguments that doing so can keep you healthy and mentally sharp. And, the extra years of income certainly couldn’t hurt!
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for the future. There may be real challenges that keep you from being able to work (including health issues or mandatory early retirement), and having a nest egg can help. However, maybe it’s worth remembering that there are some people out there who love their jobs so much, that don’t even consider retirement.
Not all of us are blessed to have figured out our career passions in high school or college. Still, it’s worth continuing to explore until you find the job that makes you so happy, you may never want it to end!
Delete These 3 Things From Your Resume
Thursday, November 3rd, 2011
Does anyone truly really love their resume? Does anyone ever sit back and say, “At long last, my resume perfectly represents my accomplishments and potential. Tick it done!”
As you may have guess the answer is no. A resume is a living, breathing document – a work in constant progress. Job seekers are always adjusting their keywords to align more closely with a job opportunity. Career climbers are constantly adding accomplishments. And even perfectionists question the wording of a phrase or two every now and again.
While your resume may be in a constant state of motion there are some sections that you may be able to eliminate altogether. Today’s featured Library Article outlines the 3 things you can delete from your resume immediately and offers up some ideas for how to fill in any excess white space.
If you have any other resume tips to share with our readers please feel free to leave a comment – we’re all here to help one another! Click here to read the full article.