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!

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!”

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!

What is not so Human about HR?

Why in the world would you expect Human Resources to be “Human”? Are we not the super heroes of each company? We are in place to serve the best interest of everyone remotely involved with our company which includes a very lengthy list. Let us start with senior management, middle management that believes they are senior management, actual middle management, senior staff level employees, entry level staff that believe they are senior level, actual entry level staff, interns, recruiters, vendors, clients and let us forever remember each and every one of our job seekers, our candidates for employment.

If you have not gathered by now, I am a bit Sassy. This comes straight from the hip of Sassy HR Girl. I do my best be a straight shooter while blogging. Why else do it, right? We each get our share of smoke blown ice cream castles with no lines, no waiting. So, let’s not have that mirage during blog time.

Now, back to the issue of Human Resources or shall we call it Human-less Resources? We are a special breed. We willingly took the bait to serve our fellow co-workers and whomever else that may be in need of our services…everyone. Most HR professionals really do love people and love the role of HR. Now we may not like every individual that we serve all the time. That’s right! I said it. We do not like everyone all the time. The HR smile is sometimes hiding the secret desire to flip someone off or masking the fact that we may have placed someone’s issue at the bottom of our “to do” list because they are somewhat of a “workplace turd”. Every company has one and sometimes several. You know who they are because their face is now plastered in your mind and you are possibly smiling, laughing or grunting right now at the thought of this “workplace turd”.

There are many mountains to move in HR which most of whom we serve, want the mountains moved precisely and quickly. Everyone’s issue is the most important issue to them and hence should be to HR. Super HR hero flying to the rescue of all that need us but wait Super HR hero forgot their cape today and there’s a run in their tights. Ughhhh! My effort to paint a quick picture of how Human Resources may not be so “Human” or actually quite the opposite, we are simply human.


We have great days. We have not-so-great days. I won’t say bad days because I was taught that I don’t have time for a bad day. I may have time for a bad moment or a minute but never a whole day.


So now you get the picture of the HR crazies. How can this help you in your job search? Let’s start with a focus on Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements. 1) Be impeccable with your word; 2) Don’t take anything personally ; 3) Don’t make assumptions; and 4) Always do your best. Listed below are four of Mr. Ruiz agreement cards that I would like you to ponder. While pondering, remember the HR crazies and all that is expected of your potential new HR team…

Go over to The Voice of Job Seekers to read the rest of the article!

Now You Look Like An Unappreciated Jobseeker

To be smart in the 21st century and remain successful, you must remain a job seeker, marketer, and entrepreneur. Take the opportunities that come your way that could define and re-define who you are and what your reputation epitomizes. You know…a brand.

Many job seekers jump into his or her career shift without evaluating and considering brand condition. To be frank, it is likely that if you haven’t updated your resume, are not actively networking, or attended relevant training in your field in the past year (yes, more than ONE year ago), your brand is jacked up! You may not know what your brand is and how you got it. That’s scary.

That’s why you’re unappreciated. You lack a reputation and identity. This might have been self-induced. You’re probably feeling unappreciated because of the following:

1. An incessant negative attitude. 

People remember your complaining, grumbling, and dark sarcasm more than any positive trait about you. Rarely do you find the good and positive about anyone and rarely express it. Are you having a hard time finding job references?

2. You pass on opportunities to train others

Training others is a way to contribute significantly, especially if you see areas that need someone to step up. Instead you say, “I don’t want to be bothered!” a limiting attitude. If you need a selfish reason, training others will stand out on your résumé as a wanted attribute by employers.

Read the rest at!

5 Ways Volunteering Enhances Your Job Search

Written by Dunya Carter (@DunyaCarter)


In the never-ending search for better work and higher pay, it can be extremely easy to brush off volunteering. After all, isn’t volunteering just for elementary school fundraisers and community environmental projects? Most certainly not! Volunteering can provide a unique, powerful, and possibly even fulfilling way to improve both yourself and your future job prospects if you have the drive to take advantage of it.

1. Chance to Acquire More Experience

Especially for younger adults just getting into the work world, experience is one of the major barriers to landing that ideal position, even for those with the education credentials. If you can’t get someone to pay you to do what you want just yet, try volunteering to do it, or something closely related, for free.

Volunteering work looks great on a resume because it not only shows the employer that you have dabbled in the work in question, but it makes you look like a “team player” willing to go the extra mile to get a job done even without explicit reward. Even if the work isn’t directly related to the position you apply for, regular volunteering shows that you are able to manage your time and commit to a goal once you’ve begun it, both vital qualities in any employee.

2. Chance to Develop Skills

Other than the extra lines on your resume, the actual activities you undertake during volunteering can help you refine and improve any number of skills. Different volunteering projects can have you learning a new computer program, working with the public, teaching, understanding a different aspect of a business, and more.

Volunteering can be a great way to keep polished skills that you do not get to use much in your actual job: for example, an accountant who tends to work on his own most of the day might want to volunteer at the local fair to get more personal interaction with the public, just in case a new, more socially active position opens up later.

For the other 3 ways volunteering helps your job search, read the rest at The Voice of Job Seekers blog!

Your Resume at the Top of Your Game

View more presentations from Mark Dyson.
This is part 2 of the Employment Work shop slides. I hope this will be help to all. Remember that your resume is the centerpiece to your job search.

Writing Resume to Meet Applicant Tracking System Requirements

View more presentations from Mark Dyson.


This slide show demonstrates the basic knowledge for writing a resume to meet requirements of companies who use the ATS software. A recent study shows that 40-60% of companies are now using this software to screen candidates.

This presentation was re-edited to include better examples of what was presented. You can view online or download (for a limited time). This is part I of the presentation. I should be posting part II of the presentation next Tuesday.


Although I mentioned to NOT send a PDF file, the best file to send is the .doc (Word) file and not the .docx (Word 2010) file.

30 for 30 Suggestions to Keep Your Resume In Top Fiscal and Physical Condition in 2012



There are hundreds of posts around the web that can cover a lot of ground for resume tips. I am offering a few to help jump start your job search for 2012

1. Great networking conversations will result in updating your résumé if you had a great conversation. Think about it

2. Grammar, spelling, font consistency, and correct alignment is the bare minimum to perfection

3. Take off the address and zip code

4. Forwarding a paper résumé is rarely requested, but if you must, then use  resume paper  (non-white, and not too pretty)

5. Understand the words and its meaning you use. Know the difference in using assured, insured, and ensured

6. One resume, one job. Second job, needs customized resume

7. One résumé, one phone number, one email address

8. E-mail addresses should use your name: not

9. Use active verbs when describing your job duties (i.e. tackled, orchestrated, executed). A thesaurus is a writer’s best friend

10. Try not to use an active verb more than once

11. Show that you are a perpetual learner. Include your training and continuing education classes

12. Don’t write when you feel anxious, desperate, or too emotional. Find clarity, then come back and write. It’s normal, but manageable

13. Keep several versions of your résumé active and circulating (i.e. one management, one non-management, one career changing)

14. Correct and proper preposition usage is essential such as “…before meeting (before the meeting)…”

15. Use Dropbox to keep copies of your résumé

16. Irrelevant job and experience will only inspire unwanted and useless scrutiny. Build around relevant facts

17. Your résumé, your voice, and your vernacular

18. What problems did you solve? What measures prove your claims?

19. The bold, italics, and underline functions have very rare use when writing resumes. Refrain from using them unless you are listing publications, movies, and news articles you created

20. Avoid clichés. Stay away from vague job descriptions (e.g. Team player, excellent verbal skills, experienced working in a fast paced environment)

21. Leave off “References upon Request” off of your résumé. It is often asked for when filling out an application

22. Awards are great. Team awards are great. Special cash awards everyone in the company received is not that special

23.  Use a “Core Competencies” or “Key Competencies” section between your Summary and Professional Experience section. These are specific skills related to your prospective job

24. Don’t inundate your résumé with acronyms without defining the term once in full

25. Don’t lie or hype your résumé. Stick to the facts, results that you can demonstrate and describe

26. Highlight your accomplishments, results, and impact (Measures that use % and $)

27. Max 2 pages for private/civilian industry and 4 pages (or more at times) for federal

28. Proofread, proofread, and proofread. Then, let someone else proofread, like an English major

29.  Exclude the passive voice, include active voice (use the online tool for help with this)

30. Make sure your résumé speaks the language of your industry. Don’t fake, it will show during your interview, if not before then

31. It is your marketing document, not a flyer, nor an obituary

32. Unload unnecessary words such as all, ultimately, and every. Use quantitative results instead

33. Establish value, not vanity. Better to show that you are excellent, dynamic, and great than saying it. What did you change, fix, or resolve?

34. Consider that others want this job as much as you. They are the competition! Your résumé must stand out by its content, not by fonts and features alone.

35. Keywords are necessary and effective when sprinkled, not poured

36. Write a short description and  get to the point, but avoid commentary. Just the facts.

Although I gave you several bonus suggestions, you can still add a few in the comment section. Or maybe you hate one or more suggestions I listed, let me know!


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