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.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

4 Smart Ways to Expand Your Job Search

By Susan Pines, Shy Job Seeker Blog

Expand Your Job Search [Shy Job Seeker Blog]Are you limiting your opportunities when job hunting? For example, are you looking for a specific job in a specific location? If so, you may be missing out on the best prospects, and it may take you longer to find employment. 

I often blog how important it is to target your job search so you are not applying for everything, including jobs that don’t fit your skills, qualifications, and interests. What I am pointing out here is that you can also be too narrow in your job hunt activities.

So, consider these 4 great ways to broaden your job search to get hired more quickly in a position that’s right for you:

  1. Expand your job title based on your skills. Make a list of all the job titles that your desired job can be called. For example, a marketing manager may be called a brand manager, account manager, product manager, communications director, campaign manager, sales director, product specialist, promotions director, social media coordinator, or any number of other variations. Most online job sites will bring up related job titles in a search. Don’t ignore the job titles that look like a poor match at first glance; read the job ad and consider whether your background fits the role. Also important are your transferable skills—those skills that easily transfer from one occupation to another, such as computer skills, writing skills, organizational skills, and public speaking. As you look at other job titles, think whether you have the skills to do the job, even if you developed them in different occupations. If you need help determining your transferable skills for jobs, check out MySkillsMyFuture.
  2. Expand your target employers. Although you may really want to work for a particular employer, open your search to other companies and organizations that hire people with your skills and experience. Small and mid-size employers, startups, federal and local governments, trade associations, schools at all levels, and nonprofit organizations can be great places to work. Search online for such organizations and read your local business news for information on places that are prospering. Approach these entities directly with an explanation of how your skills can help them operate successfully and grow.
  3. Expand your geographic area. Short commutes are great, but looking at other cities, towns, and suburbs can give you more job options. Don’t rule out jobs that involve longer commutes. Perhaps the organization offers telecommuting or a shortened work week that would ease the situation. Perhaps you would relocate for the right job.
  4. Expand your job search approach. Online job searching has become the norm, but don’t let it be your only job search method. Person-to-person contact is still the most effective way to job hunt. So reach out to people you know, network in your professional association and alumni groups, and attend events. Also reach out to employers directly, even if you don’t see their job ads. They may be hiring soon, and you will be first in line.
Expanding your job hunt can open you up to many career possibilities. Think about ways to increase your reach, and watch your opportunities multiply.

Friday, November 3, 2017

2018-2019 Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) Published Online--Earliest Release Ever

Quoted, Compiled, and Adapted from Various U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Information Sources

The 2018-2019 Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) was released on Oct. 24, 2017, by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The OOH release occurred simultaneously with publication of new employment projections for the 2016-2026 decade. In the past, at least several months would elapse between the projections’ data release and the OOH’s physical publication. With the online OOH publication, the delay no longer exists. In fact, this OOH release is the earliest ever. Frankly, I'm not sure the BLS is labeling this OOH as "2018-2019"; I am calling it that based on past tradition and to help distinguish the "editions." The OOH is one of the nation’s most widely used career information resources. 

BLS currently releases new employment projections every 2 years. However, in an effort to enhance the timeliness of the projections data and the OOH, the Employment Projections program plans to transition to an annual release of projections. Moving to annual projections will allow new research to be incorporated into the published projections sooner, improving the overall quality. In addition, non-projection information in the OOH will be updated in real time, rather than once every 2 years.

Per the projections, employment is expected to increase by 11.5 million over the next decade, an increase from 156.1 million to 167.6 million. Health-care industries and their associated occupations are projected to account for a large share of new jobs projected through 2026, as the aging population continues to drive demand for health-care services.

The OOH includes information about 575 detailed occupations in 325 occupational profiles, covering about 4 out of 5 jobs in the economy. Each profile features not only the 2016–26 projections, but also details on the job outlook, work activities, wages, education and training requirements, and more.

New OOH Includes Videos [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
New OOH includes occupational videos.
Select profiles in the OOH now include career videos on the Summary tab of profiles, to the right of the Quick Facts box. 

In addition, the wage information in the OOH is now updated on an annual basis. The OOH reflects May 2016 wages from the Occupational Employment Statistics program and will be updated with May 2017 wages in the spring of 2018.

A graphic representation of projections highlights appears in the Career Outlook online.

Navigating the OOH Homepage

There are several ways to find career information about a detailed occupation:
  • Occupation Group Search. The OOH is broken into clusters of similar occupations. To find an occupation, you may browse the occupational group of interest on the left-hand side of the homepage. Clicking on a group results in a landing page of similar occupations together with their respective job summaries, typical entry-level education, and median pay. Typical entry-level education and median pay can be quickly sorted by clicking the arrows at the top of each column.
  • Occupation Finder. The occupation finder (located toward the top of the homepage) makes it easy to search for occupations by entry-level education, on-the-job training requirements, projected number of new jobs, projected employment growth rate, median pay, or a combination of these five characteristics. 
  • Search Box. You may also search for occupations by entering a title into the “Search Handbook” box at the top right side of the homepage.
  • A–Z Index Search. You may use the alphabetical index to look for an occupation. 
  • Browse Occupations. Clicking on these buttons takes you to three distinct pages: highest paying occupations, occupations projected to be the fastest growing, and occupations projected to have the most new jobs created.
  • Featured Occupation. With each visit to the OOH homepage, a different occupation will be featured that you can click on and explore.
  • OOH Glossary. The OOH Glossary includes terms frequently used in the occupational profiles and related pages, including general economic concepts, such as seasonal employment and the labor force; definitions of BLS resources, such as surveys and classification systems; and terms particular to the OOH, such as education and training categories.
  •  Question Mark (?). Certain terms in the profiles have question marks next to them. You can click on the question mark to read the definition of a term or about the section.

How OOH Profiles Are Organized

Each occupational profile in the OOH is made up of nine separate “pages” or tabs, as follows.

1. Summary Page

Quick-facts table; this feature summarizes key information about the occupation, including:
  • Median pay
  • Entry-level education
  • Work experience in a related occupation
  • On-the-job training
  • Number of jobs in the base year
  • Job outlook
  • Employment change
  • Summary information describes each occupation by basic characteristics (see items 2–9)

2. What They Do
  • Definition of the occupation
  • Typical duties
  • Specialties within the occupation

3. Work Environment
  • Number of jobs in the base year
  • Work setting, including potential hazards and physical, emotional, or mental demands
  • Employment by largest industries
  • Work schedules, including information on hours worked and seasonality of work
  • Injuries and illnesses (if relevant)

4. How to Become One
  • Typical entry-level education requirements
  • Important qualities that are helpful in performing the work
  • Typical on-the-job training needed to attain competency in the occupation (if relevant)
  • Licenses, certifications, and registrations (if relevant)
  • Work experience in a related occupation (if relevant)
  • Other experience (if relevant)
  • Advancement (if relevant)

5. Pay
  • Median annual or hourly wages: top 10 percent in wages earned, bottom 10 percent in wages earned, and wages earned in top-employing industries
  • Chart showing median annual or hourly wages in the occupation in comparison with median annual or hourly wage for all occupations
  • Work schedules
  • Union membership (if relevant)

6. Job Outlook
  • Projected change in level and percentage of employment, including a discussion of the following factors affecting occupational employment change: industry growth or decline, technological change, demand for a product or service, demographic change, change in business patterns
  • Chart showing projected rate of employment growth in the occupation in comparison with the projected rate of growth for all occupations
  • Job prospects, including expected level of competition (if applicable) and factors that may improve job prospects
  • Table showing employment projections data for the occupations covered in a profile, with a link to a spreadsheet that details employment by industry for those occupations

7. State and Area Data
  • Links to sources for employment, wages, and projections data by state and area

8. Similar Occupations
  • List of similar occupations, with summaries of their job duties, typical education level needed to enter the occupation, and median pay
  • Similar occupations are selected on the basis of similar work performed and, in some cases, on the basis of the skills, education, and/or training needed to perform the work at a competent level.

9. More Info
  • List of outside associations, organizations, and government agencies that provide career information for specific occupations
  • Links to O*NET, which provides comprehensive information on key characteristics of workers and occupations

With the OOH, you can learn valuable occupational information to make career and education choices and changes. By familiarizing yourself with the features of the OOH, you will be in a position to quickly and effectively help your life's direction.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

3 Best Ways to Help Yourself During a Job Search

3 Best Ways to Help Yourself During a Job Search [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
It can be difficult to know what to do first in your job search, especially if you have just lost your job and are shocked, upset, and worried. But by keeping in mind the following three key tips, you will help yourself stay focused and do what is most important for getting hired quickly:
  1. Be proactive in your job search. Don't apply for job after job online; many online job applications are never seen by a human being. So don't sit around waiting for employers to call you in response to online job applications. Instead, target the jobs you want and try to make a personal contact with organizations, either through networking or by reaching out to employers--even if no jobs are advertised.
  2. Stay involved and motivated. If you are unemployed, spend as much time as possible in your job hunt. Try to maintain a positive attitude. Expect rejection--it is part of the job search process. Don't take rejection personally, and keep going.
  3. Know your best skills and how they can help employers. By understanding what you can offer employers and communicating it to them, you are more likely to be hired.
Job searching can be overwhelming, so remind yourself of these three best ways to get on track and get hired. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Why Employer Research Is Critical in Your Job Search

Working for the right employer can be an important part of your happiness and success in a job. If you like, relate to, and believe in an employer’s mission, you will feel that your work makes a contribution. If you are interested in what an employer offers, creates, produces, or sells, you will be more connected to your work and the workplace. If you feel an employer values and respects you, your coworkers, its customers, and its work, you will feel proud to work there. If an employer offers a work environment, opportunities, and benefits that match your desires and needs, it’s likely you will be satisfied.

So not only is it essential to apply for jobs that match your skills and interests, it is crucial to find employers and work environments that suit you as well. For example, early in my career I was a copywriter for automotive parts. I loved the writing. But I did not enjoy writing about mufflers and car batteries. It was difficult for me to get enthusiastic about another tonneau cover or car top carrier. From this experience and others, I learned that the right employer is just as important as the right job.

That’s why employer research is critical in your job search. If you discover an employer doesn’t suit you in key ways, it’s better not to apply for a job opening there at all. Why waste your time and theirs? Instead, target employers you know are a better match. You may be applying for fewer jobs, but chances are you will be hired more quickly because of good fit.

So how can you do employer research? Here are some suggestions:
  • Scour online sources. Review the organization’s website, social media, blogs, news releases, and reports. You will learn about the employer’s purpose, focus, direction, size, growth, products, and financial situation. Many employer websites offer information for prospective employees on opportunities, benefits, and culture. Other sites, such as news outlets, may provide overviews, insights, and customer reviews.
  • Employer ratings on job search sites. Job search sites may give ratings and reviews from past and current employees. Take comments with a grain of salt but still read them.
  • Talk to others who work or have worked there. By talking with current and past employers, you may get the inside scoop on issues that are sometimes hard to learn about in any other way, such as expectations, culture, work hours, workload, managers, work environment, stress, company flexibility, pay levels, communication, and organization. Perhaps you can also make a networking connection this way.
  • Read your local news, particularly the business news. You can often uncover details about an organization’s activities and plans from the media. Has the company bought a building, launched new products, or announced growth plans? Conversely, has an organization been hit with lawsuits or downsized? Let any such information help you decide whether to apply for a job with a certain company.
  • Network with professional associations and career-focused groups. Associations and online groups that focus on your field have members that work or have worked for many different organizations. You may be able to uncover the best employers—and learn the ones to avoid.
After you have done the most detailed employer research you can, be sure to ask yourself whether what the organization stands for, offers, and will mean to you as an employee are a good match. If your answer is yes or possibly, then go ahead and apply. If the answer is a clear no, move on to the next opportunity. Your future self will thank you.