Job Search Tips for the Unemployed

Lengthy unemployment can feel like you’re drifting in purgatory. You send out your resume, follow leads, but ultimately, hear nothing back. It leaves you feeling disconnected, alienated, irrelevant, and depressed.

When pulling yourself out of an unemployment slump remember the feelings of bleakness are normal. Your job is a huge part of your life; acknowledge your loss and give yourself time to grieve.

No one gets hired by moping. It’s absolutely essential that you build up your shattered confidence during your job search. We’ve compiled some tips specifically for job seekers who’ve been out of the workforce for six months or longer. While these tips apply to anyone looking for a job, they are absolutely essential if you haven’t been employed recently.

1. Stay positive—and avoid surrounding yourself with people who aren’t.Unemployment can ravage your self-confidence. However, the most sincere kind of confidence comes from within—not from validation by others. This breed of self-empowerment is perceptible to others and can work wonders for you in a job interview. Instead of thinking about what you could have done differently to keep your old job, set your sights on the future and what you can do now to make your next job a reality. If you feel like someone around you is sapping your energy, tune out their negativity—remember, where praise is positive, criticism is reductive, always leaving you with less than what you started with.

2. Know what you can offer. Sit down and make a list of your talents, skills, accomplishments, and achievements you’re proud of. Then read them over, think back to the specific details, and consider the reach of each item. What do they reveal about who you are as a person and as an employee? Spending some time this list will boost your confidence and provide you with ready responses during a job interview.

For the other 3 job search tips to The Voice of Job Seekers Blog!

May Day! My Job Search is Crashing!

Recently, I facilitated a job search workshop providing job seekers employed, unemployed, and underemployed information to help position them better for employment. We gave away a couple of career books that each winner will enjoy. I also invited two of the blog’s contributors to participate in a panel discussion about using social media for the job search. Bianca Thompson aka “Sassy HR Girl” and Sandra Tedford were both prepared and ready to offer her perspective. Collectively and individually, she displayed expertise and candor that engaged the audience who, I think, received much value from their answers.

They addressed several questions regarding social media profiles and the use of Linked In:

  • The positive and negative use of having a profile
  • How an incomplete profile is perceived
  • What if a candidate has the right components except for his or her Linked In  profile
  • A bad profile picture? What a bad or no picture implies

There were several other questions the audience asked and overall each answer was appropriately offered.

To hear the audio recording of the workshop head over to May Day! My Job Search is Crashing!

3 Skills to Showcase When a Resume Lacks Experience

You may be surprised to hear that getting around the lack of experience in your resume is not as difficult a task as you may have initially thought.

The truth of the matter is that you can do various things to, in a way, pad out a rather empty resume and how it may very well increase your chances of getting that all important job.

Add experience by volunteering
One of the first things that you can do is to volunteer at various places for a short period of time and include it your resume. The idea is to let them see that you have kept yourself busy even if it was not in paid employment and can see you can deal with people, respond positively to instruction, and work in a team environment. This can help boost your resume and make more attractive to potential employers.

Get quality references for everything
When you lack career experience give a potential employer the chance to talk to people worked for or volunteered.  Talk to people that know you personally. These references can be extremely useful in helping you state your case for working there. When you lack experience potential employers will contact them. Make sure that the people that are listed will tell people how wonderful you are to help you get that job.

For the third skill to showcase when a resume lacks experience go to The Voice of Job Seekers blog!

Fired? From Your Job? Yep, it happened to me too!

I can relate if you’ve been fired before. Or even recently.

So I do have some suggestions if you are unsure what if you were recently terminated:

•     Create or update your LinkedIn profile, but be careful about doing too much at once while you’re still employed. It looks suspicious if you go from a new profile to having 200 new connections in a week. Don’t draw attention to yourself by populating your profile overnight. And be mindful of your privacy settings. Change the setting for notifications so that your network doesn’t get notices when you update information on your profile.

•     Lock down your privacy settings on your other accounts, especially Facebook. Be especially mindful of your posts. Don’t post anything negative about your current job. (Even with your privacy settings at the maximum, anyone who is friends with you can take a screenshot of your post and share it with anyone else.) You don’t want to give anyone a reason to fire you.

•     Update your résumé. Getting a head start on collecting the information for the résumé will help you if you do get fired. It may also give you a 2-3 week head start on your colleagues who haven’t kept their career marketing documents up to date.

•     Start depersonalizing your office, but take things home gradually so that it’s not apparent that you’re removing items. Also, collect the information you’ll need for your résumé while you still have access to your company records. (For example, dates and names of trainings, copies of performance evaluations, sales records, etc.)

•     Check out your company’s employee handbook and/or your employment agreement with the company to find out what’s owed to you. What is the company policy on accrued — but unused — benefits? Are you entitled to cash out unused vacation time, or is it “use it or lose it?” Also review the section that outlines what constitutes “termination for cause.”

•     Tighten your belt (financially speaking). Are there expenses you can cut out for the time being? (Services you’re not using, subscriptions you didn’t realize you had, or extra features/benefits you can remove?) Now is the time to start stockpiling an emergency fund for your living expenses, especially if you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck. Don’t wait until you actually lose your job to assess your financial situation.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. For the next 30 days, if you sign up for the new email list (no I won’t resell your address), you can receive this nine page report for FREE.

Excerpt from My Interview with Kathleen Brady, author of “Get a Job!”

I wanted to share a short excerpt from my conversation with Kathleen Brady who is an author and Principal of CareerPlanners. She has been in the career field for 25 years in various capacities. She has a wealth of knowledge and is truly passionate about her work.

Our conversation lasted 40 minutes filled with tips and career wisdom that you can apply to your job search immediately. Go over to The Voice of Job Seekers blog to enjoy the conversation in its entirety.

Employers Hire Who They Like

Then there’s the likeability factor. Michelle Lederman, the author of The 11 Laws of Likeability stated in her book that the “Law of Similarity” demonstrates that  “People like people like them.” When we uncover our similarities, opportunities for lasting authentic connections take place. This principle especially applies to hiring managers and decision-makers that measure authenticity by how engaging a candidate appears. Being liked for a decision-maker, translates to the employers’ customers and business partner’s enchantment with the candidate. It also means that the candidate’s prospective team will embrace him or her quicker if the personalities mesh well.

The California Job Journal article from earlier this year, “In a Tough Job Market, Soft Skills are Essential,” mentioned that a coach actually coaches students/soon-to-be-graduates on being “likable.” Yes, this means clicking with the interviewer. After all, if scrutinized for everything including personality, why not be as “likable” as possible?

Although you may possess that magic touch, that magnetic smile, and effervescent personality, be liked for the right reasons.

For the 5 ways to be more likable by employers go to OppsPlace.com!

Interview with Andrea Kay (Audio Snippet)

Last week, I had a recorded conversation with Andrea Kay, syndicated Career Columnist) and author of “This Is How To Get Your Next Job.” What I liked about our conversation was  her candor as she inserted solutions and a positive outlook while  sharing advice.  As part of our conversation, she gave advice about answering those out-of-the-box interview questions such as “What is Your Greatest Weakness?”

You can hear the entire conversation at The Voice of Job Seekers blog tomorrow! Find out how you can win a copy of  Andrea’s book, “This is How To Get Your Next Job!”

Tech Career Advice is Universal to Most Careers

I recently interviewed Forough Ghahramani, DeVry University Professor, for The Voice of Job Seekers blog. She offered some great advice for job seekers in the tech field that applies to most careers. There are several components that she pointed out when I asked her how 2013 graduates should be preparing for their job search:

” * Develop a network of contacts (professors, friends, parents of friends, friends of parents, family, and neighbors, etc.)

o Inform people know that you are about to graduate and are looking for a job before you actually graduate

o Create a professional social media profile (i.e. LinkedIn)

o Look into professional organization memberships

o Good networking is about building solid, trusted relationships that are long-term, not short-term

* Develop and market your brand: what are your key differentiators, how do you want people to perceive you

* Think ahead – create a 3-5-year plan

You can view the entire interview on both The Voice of Job Seekers blog and DeVry University’s Know How blog!

 

Job Search Tips for Recent Graduates

The search for jobs can be quite the daunting task for new graduates. Today’s job market is perhaps the toughest that a college graduate has ever encountered. The openings are limited, and there are always well-qualified applicants to grab up the positions that are available. You can make your job search easier by beefing up your resourcefulness. If you’re determined to get a job that you will like, then nothing will stop you from getting what you want. Try these job search tips in order to make the most of your employment opportunities.

Polish Your Resume
The interview is where an applicant can really show their stuff. A good resume is what gets you the interview in the first place. As a general rule, you want to make sure there are no spelling or grammatical mistakes in your resume. An employer will take you much more seriously if your resume is neat and organized. Make sure to highlight the skills you have acquired through jobs and your college education. Convince the employer that you know exactly what it takes to fulfill the requirements of the position. Use examples from your education or previous work history to back up your points.

Consider Cover Letters
Do you write cover letters for your resumes and job applications? You should always write a cover letter unless you are asked not to do so. The cover letter gives you a chance to show off your business writing skills. You can tell an employer more about your personality beyond just work and school. What are your views on life? What is it that makes you a great person in addition to being a great worker? If you’re an excellent writer, don’t be afraid to show off your writing skills and rich vocabulary, just make sure not to go overboard.

Contact Alumni
Your school most likely has a group of graduates, or alumni. They stay in touch with each other and network in all areas of the professional world. You should be able to find and contact alumni from your school with little effort. Even if they don’t know where you can get a job, they may know someone who does. They can also offer you valuable tips about your profession as you try to begin your career. The alumni network is one of the best networks you can tap into. People who graduated from your school are very likely to do what they can to help you.
For more job tips for graduates go to The Voice of Job Seekers!

13 Keys to Carefully Crafting Cover Letter

When crafting cover letters one has to be perfect and to the point as what is reflected in your cover letter should get you the job you are applying for. Ensure the cover letter is clear, grammatically correct, concise and error free. Here are cover letters writing tips that will make you stand out from the crowd.

 

1) Attach a cover letter with each resume sent out

It’s always good to send a cover letter even if not requested by the employer. Your cover letter may make the difference between obtaining a job interview and having your resume ignored.

 

2) Target your cover letter

Check out the job posting and list the criteria the employer is looking for and make a comparison with the skills and experience you have. From there you are able to address your skills and qualifications that match the job description.

 

3) Provide quality evidence of your qualities

Pick out the top most qualities the employer is seeking in their job specification that you most likely posses and include in the resume.

 

4) Write a custom cover letter

Writing a custom cover letter at times can be time-consuming but in the end the cover letter will show the hiring manager at a glance why you are the best person for the job as skills and experiences are included.

 

5) Start from a cover template

Use a cover letter template s a starting point which will help you create your own personalized cover letter a cover templates helps you take little details and fix them in your own personal letter.

 

For the other 8 Keys go to The Voice of Job Seekers Blog!

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