While looking for a new job, you’re going to spend the majority of your time searching for job openings online – this is a sign of the times. Besides applying for various jobs on job boards and through company websites, you may want to brush off your networking skills to help you in your search. Here are three tips that you can use to assist you with networking your way into a new job.
1. Update Your LinkedIn Profile
Now that you’re looking for a new job, this is the perfect time to spruce up your LinkedIn profile. Take the time to update your job skills, previous job accomplishments, education, etc. Potential employers, recruiters, and hiring managers will be checking out your profile, so make sure you’re presenting your online self in the best light possible. While on LinkedIn, take a stab at connecting with 5-10 professional in the field you’re interested in, or are already working for companies you’re interested in working for. Let them know why you’re interested in their organization or field, and share with them some brief information about who you are and what you do professionally. Being proactive can open you up to an abundance of new job opportunities you wouldn’t have found out about otherwise.
2. Reach Out to Your Alumni Networks
If you’ve ever graduated from a school, training program, internship, etc., that means in some way you’re formally (or informally) apart of an alumni network. Take the time to attend any local events sponsored by your alumni group to engage in some in-person networking. Show your face, engage in meaningful conversations with people from your past, and share with them that you’re seeking a new opportunity. Overall, people definitely know other people, and through their connections, you then become exposed to a whole new world of professionals and new job opportunities.
3. Get Engaged… On Social Media
Yes, you’ve already started using your LinkedIn profile, but as we all know there’s more than one social media platform. Take some time to use your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts to join various online groups related to your profession and get to posting! Share interesting (and relevant) articles, professional advice, etc. If you see something interesting that someone else posted – reply to it. Before you know it, you’ll gain several new professional connections to add to your network. Keep in mind, if you do decide to use your personal Facebook or Twitter pages, clean it up first and remember to keep it professional!
I Landed an Interview and Have NO Idea What to Talk About - 3 Tips to Make it Through Your Interview!
All of your hard work updating your resume, applying for jobs, etc. has finally paid off - and now you've got an interview. You're feeling happy to have gotten a call back about a job that you're really interested in, and really excited to have an interview. But now, you are becoming nervous as your interview approaches. What do you talk about? How should you speak about your work history and experiences? One of the most important things your should do at this point is CALM DOWN and RELAX (and do this throughout your interview as well - it will really make a difference). Now, here are 3 tips to help you prepare for your upcoming interview.
1. Incorporate the STAR technique into your interview
During your interview, you can almost guarantee that you will be asked several behavioral interview questions. A behavioral interview is an interview technique that is used by employers/recruiters/hiring managers to get candidates to elaborate more on their responses by discussing specific situations that support their previous experiences. To prepare for behavioral interview questions, the STAR technique is a great tool to use to help walk you through your answer. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. When answering behavioral interview questions, simply provide your response in order of the STAR technique.
Situation - Describe the situation or event that you were faced with or encountered. This may have been a problem or a project that was given to you to handle. Make sure you provide your interviewer with a detailed explanation of the situation to help them understand it thoroughly. Remember - they weren't there with you, so be descriptive, but not long-winded.
Task - After you describe the situation, describe what tasks or steps needed to be completed in order to handle the situation. Think of this step in comparison to describing the steps to carry out a cooking recipe.
Action - Now that you have described the situation and task(s), describe to the interviewer what actions you took to complete the tasks. Don't get caught up on what other members of your group, team, etc. did - make sure to focus on what YOUR actions were specifically. Keep in mind, the interviewer isn't interviewing your team or group - they are only interviewing YOU. So, continue to focus on describing what your specific actions were to complete the tasks at hand.
Result - After describing the situation, tasks, and actions, wrap up your response by describing the result of your work. What impact did you actions have to complete the tasks in the particular situation you described? Make sure to focus on what you accomplished, and quantify your response if possible.
2. Use Your Resume As Your "Cheat Sheet"
If written well, your resume will be your best "helper" through your interview. Not only have you (hopefully) catered your resume to the position that you're interviewing for, but you hopefully have also written about specific situations and accomplishments that you will also discuss during your interview. If written well, you would have already written your task statements to serve as "notes" throughout responding to behavioral interview questions.
3. Prepare Well Thought Out Follow-Up Questions
Many people skip over this step when preparing for the interview. However, by really putting effort into thinking about thoughtful interview questions, it shows your interviewer that you have conducted research on the company and job, and because of your insight - can bring great ideas to the table!
Good luck on your interview, and go GET THAT JOB!!!
"What is your greatest weakness?"
This is one of the most DREADED interview questions (well, at least to me it is). When does anyone ever want to intentionally tell someone about their greatest shortcomings are as an individual, or as a professional. Well, the important thing to note here is that your interviewer is not really trying to nit-pick and find out everything bad about you. Instead, what your interviewer is really trying to do is assess how you manage, or make efforts to overcome and improve your weakness.
Check out this VERY informative article that is featured on Best-Job-Interview.com titled Interview Questions Weaknesses. They've got a great chart that lists out various weaknesses, how they can be perceived in the workplace, and how they can be positively managed.
Is My "Dream Job" Right for Me? 4 Reasons to Re-Think Applying for a Job That Looks Too Good to be True
Depending on how long you’ve been in the thick of your job search, you may have reached what I call your “pseudo job search breaking point.” We’ve all been there. This period comes about after you have applied for every job in your field (at least that’s what it feels like), and now you just simply want a job –ANY job! At this point, you’re just ready to get back into the swing of having a job, just like everyone else seems to have and bring home a steady paycheck! Low and behold, you come across a job posting that seems PERFECT for you, and you are gung-ho about applying. Before you start filling out that online application, take a moment to consider if this seeming “dream job” is your version of utopia, or in reality, a potential nightmare. Here are 4 things to consider before applying to any job:
1. Is the position description interesting to you?
Yes, you may have completed the type of work listed as job duties in your previous roles, but it doesn’t mean you liked it and want to continue doing it in the future. If the job description doesn’t really interest you, don’t apply. You don’t want to end up in a new position you hate – that would be annoying!
2. Is the position located in an ideal location?
Let’s say you review the job description and it peaks your interest. But, you notice that the position is based 50+ miles away from your home… that SUCKS! If you hate traffic, ever-rising gas prices, and you actually have a life outside of work, you may want to reconsider applying for this position. For some, the commute may be worth it (hey – I’d travel far and wide to work for a company like Google). If the position is too far for your liking, consider finding out if the company has offices closer in proximity, or telecommuting options (that would be wonderful). But, consider the location of all positions… you just may find that the location is a deal breaker.
3. Does the pay meet your financial needs?
Sure, many job postings don’t include salary information these days. But, if you’re willing to do a little digging, you may be able to at least come up with a ball park salary range for the position before applying. Check out Glassdoor or Salary.com. Glassdoor allows current and previous employees to post reviews about companies, and sometimes they post their salaries for various positions. Salary.com provides users with the average salary of various job titles (they even use geographic location to determine averages). It’s a great tool to use when providing salary expectations to employers (I personally hate that question – your response can potentially take you out of the running for a position). After you conduct your salary research you find that the potential pay isn’t going to help you get back on your feet financially, you may want to reconsider applying.
4. Does the company culture match up with your work style?
Not many people consider how a company’s work environment will affect them as employees. So, take the time to do more research about the company’s beliefs, work habits, culture, etc. Check out their website and see what they have to say. Again, this is another great opportunity to use Glassdoor to find out what other employees have to say about the company and their experiences as employees. Some companies, such as Salesforce, Whole Foods Market, and The Container Store, have it clearly stated on their website in the Careers section. If it sounds appealing to you – go for it! But if something stands out as a red flag, keep that in mind when deciding whether or not you’re going to apply. CNN Money has published a pretty extensive list about the 100 Best Companies to Work – your dream job may be with one of those companies! The Ladders has a great list of questions that you can use during an interview to find out more about a company’s culture – check it out and see how you can incorporate them into your next interview.
Dream jobs… do they exist? Sure they do, you just have to look for them! What other reasons do you think are debatable when thinking about applying for a job?
So, you've read about writing the “perfect resume." You think you've incorporated every tip, suggestion, etc. and still have find a way to successfully convey all of your professional and educational experiences. You've even managed to keep your resume under 2 pages. It's your best resume EVER!
Or so you think...
The reality is that while you've finally completed your most thorough resume to date, it doesn't tell employers anything about WHAT you've successfully accomplished, and HOW you've accomplished it. So how do you go back to the drawing board and really make sure you sell yourself as the best candidate with your resume?
1. Include your accomplishments. Everyone (hopefully) has successfully reached at least one milestone in their place of employment. Everyone also has had to solve at least one problem in the workplace. Well now's the time for you to shine by describing how you did that, and share how it benefited your employer. Try using the PAR technique (P-problem, A-action, R-result) to write the perfect statement that describes that accomplishment.
2. Quantify your accomplishment(s). No, that doesn't mean tally up all of the accomplishments you've ever had. Instead, take some time to really think about significant outputs to your employer that was a direct result of your work. Maybe you developed a new review process that resulted in your department decreasing spending by $10k throughout the year. That's a great and quantifiable accomplishment. Hey, what company doesn't want to figure out ways to spend less? Spending less = more profit!
3. Showcase your accomplishments. Now that you've written several awesome PAR statements, and you've quantified your accomplishments, make sure they stand out in your resume. Don't bury those impressive accomplishments at the bottom of your bullet points - employers may never see them! Instead, take a page from the “functional resume handbook" and work on grouping your major accomplishments with supporting task statements that relates back to certain skills sets.
Ex. Revitalized declining strategic partnerships with corporate sponsors by facilitating quarterly site visits to develop long-term communication plans that increased programing approvals by 40%
·Collaborated with agency directors to schedule in-person site visits and develop meeting agendas
·Analyzed complaints from corporate sponsors to identify gaps in service and to develop collaborative solutions
What other ways can you successfully convey to a potential employer what you are actually capable of doing? Leave a comment and help out your “job search colleagues!"
We all know about Careerbuilder.com and Monster.com, but what else is out there to help a job seeker in search of employment? Check out some of these great sites to ramp up your job search efforts! FYI - thanks to advances in our technology, job search websites oftentimes uses software that scans individual resumés for important keywords that are relevant to the job description. Be mindful, and use keywords strategically and wisely.
To learn about job opportunities, why not try to conduct your job search on Twitter? While many may never think about doing anything other than tweeting about the most recent thing/person that irked your nerves, it actually can be a great resource in finding out job openings in your field instantly. Step away from your Twitter account for just a second and read about 50 ways to use Twitter in YOUR job search!
50 Ways To Use Twitter as a Job Search Tool
Oftentimes when looking for employment, many job seekers take that plunge to create the perfect (or not so perfect) resume to begin their job search. You may find yourself struggling to remember all of your duties from a job you held four years ago, searching through old e-mails to pull from previous job descriptions, or just pulling all of your old resumes and simply combining it into one main resume. GUESS WHAT???? That will definitely keep you unemployed.
To be successful and effective in your job search, job seekers should make sure to draft more than one resume that is specifically catered to the position that you are applying for. If you find that you have several career goals/passions, do not pigeonhole yourself by placing such a vast amount of information into one resume. It is a great idea to have resumes that have specific career goals, such as resume catered to Human Resources, another resume catered to the nonprofit sector, etc. Gone are the days of just sending the exact same resume to every company with job openings. According to Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert, "If you have more than one career goal, the best strategy is to develop multiple resumes that target your different objectives".
Stay clear of the "one-size-fits-all" resume!
If you would like more information regarding creating more than one resume, click the link below:
Article Source: http://career-advice.monster.com/resumes-cover-letters/resume-writing-tips/more-than-one-career-goal/article.aspx