Monday, July 2, 2018

3 Ways to Shorten Your Job Search

Want to get hired as fast as possible in the job that’s right for you? Here are three tips that can help in any job market:

Shorten your job search [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
Cut your job search time!

  1. Focus, focus, focus. Put all your effort into applying for jobs for which you are qualified and want. Applying for anything else (and everything else) is a diversion and a time waster. You’ll apply for fewer jobs by focusing. But your applications will be strong and appealing to employers, who want to quickly find right-fit candidates.
  2. Tailor your resume and cover letter to the job. Review the job ad and tweak your resume and cover letter to make it clear you are a solid match. This tailoring may take a few minutes or perhaps longer, but it is worth it and will help you stand out. In addition, automated applicant tracking systems may screen your resume and look for the right keywords (skills and qualifications). Using these keywords will help get your application in front of human eyes. Of course, you should always be truthful and not list qualifications you don’t have.
  3. Make person-to-person contact. Reach out to colleagues, former bosses and co-workers, past clients and customers, people in association and alumni groups, and others you know professionally to update them on your status. They may be aware of job openings or refer you to hiring managers. People you know socially may have connections at companies and organizations that interest you. You can also contact companies directly; you never know when they will need someone with your background. If you are interested in working for certain organizations, be sure to send them your resume even if no jobs are advertised; you may be just the person to fill their unmet needs.

No one likes a long job hunt. Use the three preceding suggestions to make yours as short and fast as possible.

#jobs #jobsearch #careers

Friday, June 1, 2018

5 Weapons to Combat Job Search Loneliness

By Susan Pines, Shy Job Seeker Blog

Job searching can be lonely. That may be a counter-intuitive idea, because a job hunt—if done actively—involves lots of human contact: talking with people to find job leads; reaching out to employers even if jobs aren’t advertised; asking past colleagues about unadvertised job openings; participating in job fairs, job clubs, and networking events; lining up references; taking job search workshops and getting job search help at a local American Job Center; practicing job interview questions with a friend; and interviewing for jobs.

Take a walk to combat job search loneliness [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
Take a walk to combat job search loneliness.

Still, much of today’s job hunt is accomplished online through electronic job boards and electronic job applications. Making contact with others often is done via email, text, LinkedIn, and other social media. And even if you get out and connect with people face to face, there are many hours to fill, especially if you are unemployed. As a result, you may find yourself alone and lonely, which can zap your job search energy and motivation. Even introverts, depending where they are on the introversion scale, can yearn for some in-person interaction.

Here are a five ways to fight job search loneliness:

  1. Make sure your job search is active. Active job searching involves communicating with people, so go beyond online job boards, online applications, emails, and social media to talk with others. Engage in the job search activities I describe in the first paragraph and throughout the Shy Job Seeker Blog. You’ll feel less alone and may find a job more quickly. 
  2. Move it. Activity will keep you energized, improve your fitness, and may help you meet and connect with others. So take a walk or bike ride, perhaps with a friend. Stretch or do yoga. Start an exercise program. Plant a garden. Volunteer for a neighborhood cleanup or other event. 
  3. Stay positive and engaged. Negativity can aggravate loneliness and wreck your job hunt. So take steps to stay upbeat, such as associating with positive people, planning activities that you look forward to, trying something new, taking a class, journaling, and meditating.
  4. Sit someplace else instead of at home. It’s harder to feel alone if you are around people. So take your laptop, phone, and job search notes to a coffee shop, the library, or perhaps the park.
  5. Create a schedule. Open-ended time can make you feel isolated and lonely. So consider creating a schedule that focuses on job searching but includes socializing, outings, exercise, and fun or new activities. This schedule will help give structure to your day and a sense of purpose.
Your job hunt can have many hurdles, but please don’t let loneliness be one of them.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Skills Matcher Reveals Your Best-Fit Careers

By Susan Pines, Shy Job Seeker Blog

How may job skills do you have? Don’t say “none.” Most people have more—many more—skills than they realize. I have found that using my best skills in a job is very satisfying and rewarding.

A new, free online tool from the U.S. Department of Labor lets you rate yourself on 40 workplace skills and then see your best-fit career options. Called the “Skills Matcher,” the tool gives you instant results to do the following:

  • Discover your best job skills.
  • Find careers and jobs that suit those skills.
  • Explore careers you may not have considered.
  • Plan an education/training and career path.
  • Learn the pay, education, and growth outlook for careers that match your skills.
  • Target your job search instead of applying for everything.
  • Explain to employers how your skills match a job opening.
  • Strengthen your cover letter, resume, and online profile with skills language.

Skills Matcher Reveals Your Best-Fit Careers [Shy Job Seeker Blog]With the Skills Matcher, you rate your level of each skill as beginner, basic, skilled, advanced, and expert. It includes examples of each skill to help with this task. The Skills Matcher then compares your skill ratings to the knowledge, skills, and abilities of more than 900 occupations.

You can customize your results to see only career matches that fit your education and experience level. You also can sort your list to review the highest-paying or fastest-growing careers.

Skills Matcher is quick and easy to use. Be sure to write down or print your results; you will not be creating an account or logging in. 

Try out the Skills Matcher, available on the CareerOneStop site.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

How to Keep Employers Reading Your Resume

Ten seconds. That’s how long it supposedly takes an employer to look at your resume and decide whether you are a good candidate for a job. Ten seconds seems impossibly short to me, but I do know employers don't spend much time studying resumes.

How to Keep Employers Reading Your Resume [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
Avoid the resume trashbin!

So how do you maximize whatever brief time you have and encourage employers to keep reading your resume? Here are a few tips: 
  • Be speedy: Quickly reel in an employer with a concise professional summary at the top of your resume that highlights your key qualifications. Make it easy for the employer to swiftly see how you fit the job’s requirements. 
  • Be a good match: Use keywords from the job ad in your resume to get past automated resume review systems and to help employers see you could be the right person for the job. 
  • Be current: Drop off old jobs. I suggest not going back more than 10 years. Old jobs may be important to you, but they aren't to employers. If you have important experiences from old employment, group them together under an “Additional Qualifications” heading without dates. 
  • Be active: Your resume is not a tombstone. List your experiences, skills, and qualifications as accomplishments with numbers like dollars and percentages as much as possible. 
  • Be brief: Avoid including every detail about your education and past jobs. Use bullets with only your most important achievements. Omit irrelevant information. 
  • Be correct: Make sure your spelling, grammar, and punctuation are correct. Use spell-check but then proofread your resume forward and backward.
To get hired, it’s critical that employers keep reading your resume and then decide to interview you. Get past those first seconds by following these tips.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Job Interview Today? Do These 3 Things Before You Walk Out the Door

Your job interview is a couple of hours away. You’ve practiced answers to common job interview questions. You know how your skills and background fit the job opening. You’ve prepared questions for the interviewer. You’re wearing appropriate clothing. And there’s nothing in your teeth. 

3 Things to Do Before You Walk Out the Door for a Job Interview [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
Don't walk out the door for a job interview just yet!
So you’re ready for your job interview—right? Before you walk out the door, be sure to do these three things to guarantee a great job interview.

  1. Know where you are going and allow enough time to get there. Take the address of the interview location, including any room or office number. Allow enough time to compensate for bad weather, traffic, and public transportation or parking. Plus, you may need to find your way through an office complex, a big building, security, stairs, elevators, and hallways. Being late will make a bad first impression, as will calling your interviewer and saying you’ll be late. 
  2. Take everything you need. Don’t go empty-handed, because you want to look prepared. Take several copies of your resume, your portfolio or examples of your work if appropriate, your list of questions for the employer, and a pad and pen to make notes. All of these items show interest and planning. And be sure to mute your phone.
  3. Check your attitude. It’s easy to let nerves to take over. But it’s critical to get in a good frame of mind to shine. Make sure you smile, greet everyone in a friendly way, offer a firm handshake, show your interest throughout the interview, and let the employer know you want the job.

The job interview is your time to show the employer you are the best candidate. So do everything you can to make the most of it—before you even leave home.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Easy Ways to Squander Job Interviews

By Susan Pines, Shy Job Seeker Blog

It’s your big moment in the job search: you have a face-to-face, in-person job interview with a potential employer. The job interview is where the real hiring action happens, because it’s where an employer decides whether you could be the right person for the job. 

So far, you’ve impressed the organization enough to get past many hurdles, including a resume screening, an online job application, perhaps a phone or Skype interview, maybe a test or assessment, often a social media review, and most likely dozens of competing applicants. 

There Goes the Job Interview Down the Drain [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
There goes the job interview down the drain.
So there’s no doubt you want to be sure to make the most of this opportunity. Yet in my experiences as an employer, many potential hires destroy their chances of getting a job at this key juncture by their behavior, including the following:

  • They are late. Being late for a job interview makes a bad first impression. An employer will wonder if the candidate will be late and undependable if hired.
  • They are not personable. A job candidate who doesn’t smile, greet the interviewer in a pleasant way, give a solid handshake, or make a little small talk comes across as cold and unfriendly. An employer will worry the person will in turn make a bad impression on co-workers, customers, and clients if hired.
  • They are unenthusiastic and uninterested. A candidate with a blasé attitude in the interview can’t be very interested in the job, right? Giving one-word answers to questions, not asking questions, not taking notes, not making eye contact, fidgeting, and looking at the time make a candidate seem like he or she would rather be elsewhere. 
  • They are unprepared. Candidates who can’t answer common interview questions come across as unprepared. These questions include “Why do you want this job?” and “Why should we hire you?” Also, not asking questions and not being familiar with the company are signs of not caring enough to prepare for the interview.

By showing these easy-to-avoid behaviors, job candidates fail to seize the chance to get hired. So take some time before job interviews to get ready for your hiring opportunity by being aware of how you come across and becoming prepared.

Monday, January 1, 2018

What Are Most Popular Jobs in Occupational Outlook Handbook?

By Susan Pines, Shy Job Seeker Blog

Most Popular Jobs in OOH [Shy Job Seeker]

Do you want to become a doctor or a detective? How about a nurse, a veterinarian, a physical therapist, or a software developer? Based on the most popular searches of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), so do a lot of other people.

The OOH is a vast online resource brimming with descriptions, facts, figures, photos, and videos on more than 300 careers. The occupational profiles explain what workers do on the job, education and training required, pay, job outlook, and much more. 

According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner’s Corner blog post, here are the top 10 most viewed profiles over the past year, along with their key data.

Typical education
2016 Median Wage
Doctoral or professional degree
Bachelor’s degree
High school diploma
Doctoral or professional degree
Bachelor’s degree
Bachelor’s degree
Doctoral or professional degree
Doctoral or professional degree
Doctoral or professional degree
High school diploma

As you can see, most of these careers require a bachelor’s or higher degree and pay quite well. Of course, the information above is just the beginning of the OOH informational treasure trove. 

So I suggest that after you look at what’s popular, you dig into the OOH and search for your occupational gold, whether that’s a perfect career match, an interesting and meaningful career path, a good salary, or strong career growth.