Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Overwhelmed by Job Search Advice? Here Are the Best Tips.

By Susan Pines, Shy Job Seeker Blog

Job search advice abounds, to the point of being overwhelming. Here are my best tips to keep you focused:
  • Make a list of your top skills and stress them in every part of your job search. It's easy to take your skills for granted, but employers need to know what you can do.
  • Create a job search schedule and stick to it. You will increase your chances of
    Stay focused on your job search to get hired faster!
    getting hired faster.
  • Build your job search network through former co-workers, volunteer activities, professional associations, online sites like LinkedIn, and friends. Tell network contacts that you are looking for a job, and briefly describe your skills. Ask if they know of suitable openings, possible employers, and other contacts.
  • Use more than one job search method for the best success—network in person and online, attend job fairs, respond to ads, and call potential employers directly. These methods will help you uncover both advertised and unadvertised jobs. Don’t just apply for jobs online and think you are doing all you can do.
  • Keep up and enhance your job skills through classes, workshops, reading, trying new things, and volunteering.
  • Target employers who hire people with your skills and who are growing. You can search for employers by industry, occupation, and location at this site from the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Become an insider at your target organizations: freelance, consult, volunteer, intern, mentor, ask for a tour, work part-time, or request an informational interview.
  • Learn about the job search resources and help available at a One-Stop Career Center/American Job Center. It’s no longer just the unemployment office.
  • Develop a positive, 30-second introduction that mentions your skills and your desired job. Use the introduction when you meet new people, network, and call for interviews.
  • Treat job fairs like job interviews. Dress professionally, bring copies of your resume, and know your top skills.
  • If networking is intimidating, think of it as asking for information or as requesting a meeting to learn more about a company.
Even the shyest and most introverted job hunters will find success if they take these points to heart and take action!

Image courtesy of Jeroen van Oostrom / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Friday, November 15, 2013

Afraid You'll Be Forgotten? Follow Up in Your Job Search to Get Hired!

Follow up is an often overlooked part of a job search. You may be so focused on sending resumes that you neglect to follow up with people who help you, show interest in you, and interview you. Here are a few follow-up reminders. Most of these actions are easy for even the shyest and most introverted job
Follow Up in Your Job Search to Get Hired [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
Follow up in your job search to
stand out and get hired.

  • Send a thank-you note via e-mail or regular mail to everyone who helps you in your job search and to everyone who interviews you for a job.
  • Be sure to follow up with employers after interviews. Ask about next steps and any other questions they may have. Express strong interest in the job. If you want the job, say so! If you feel intimidated by the idea of making this phone call, write a script and practice it until it sounds natural. Then take a deep breath and make the call.
  • Record all follow-up actions and appointments on your calendar or smartphone. If you promise to send an employer your references or examples from your portfolio, for example, be sure to do so. If you promise to take someone out to lunch for helping with your resume, don’t forget to do it. (I am still waiting for a few lunches.)
  • During an extended job search, consider recontacting potential employers and others in your network. They may know of new opportunities.
Following up may mean the difference between getting a job and not getting one. Following up will help employers remember you over the competition. Employers view candidates who follow up as more assertive, more energetic, and more on the ball! And it’s so easy!

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Only Unemployment Rate That Matters

The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases
national unemployment data once a month.
On the first Friday of the month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Labor, releases its latest unemployment data. The nation’s unemployment rate now stands at 7.3%.

So what does the unemployment rate mean to you? NOTHING. The only unemployment rate that matters is YOURS. When you get hired, your unemployment rate will be 0%. Zero. Zilch.

A high national unemployment causes many job seekers to throw up their hands and wonder if it’s worth putting the time and effort into a job hunt that won’t bring results. They hear story after story of unemployed people applying for hundreds of jobs and getting no response. Why put yourself through it, they ask? Perhaps it’s better—or at least easier—to coast on unemployment insurance for as long as it lasts, to do the minimum required amount of job searching, and to wait for the economy to improve.
That sort of thinking will trap you into long-term unemployment. The longer you are without a job, the less likely it is that employers will find you of interest, according to studies. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) is 4 million. These individuals accounted for 36 percent of the unemployed. Don’t become one of them! Your skills will atrophy, your network will fade, and your ambition to work will dwindle.
So what are you supposed to do when so many people are competing for jobs? DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. That’s right. Don’t worry about it. Here’s what to do instead:

1.     Focus on your unique skills and talents.

2.     Research and find employers who need your skills and talents.

3.     Connect with these employers.

4.     Convince these employers that you are the person they need to solve their problems, to better serve customers, to meet all their deadlines, to bring speed and accuracy to their processes, to organize their business, or whatever it is you do best.

In other words, don’t apply endlessly for jobs, even though as a shy or introverted person that’s in your comfort zone. Target employers based on how you can fill their needs and meet their demands. If you do this, you will most likely apply for fewer jobs but get more interviews and ultimately a job offer.

So stop worrying about the unemployment rate. Become a smarter job seeker. Start identifying your skills (use myskillsmyfuture.org) and learn how to actively job search (check out www.reemploymenttips.com). Get going!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

5 Ways You Are Eliminating Yourself in the Job Search

Getting noticed by employers is difficult. Yet many job seekers eliminate themselves from consideration--often before human eyes see their resume or their online application. Here are 5 ways you may be ending your hiring chances, plus what to do about it. 

5 Ways You Are Eliminating Yourself in the Job Search [Career Action Blog]
You may be eliminating
yourself in the job search
and not know it.
1.     No targeting. Are you going after any and all openings? Stop! Find the right opportunities for your skills and experience by researching careers with the Occupational Outlook Handbook or mySkillsmyFuture.org.

2.     No tailoring. Customizing a resume to match job openings is quick and smart. In many cases, all you need to do is change a few words to match an ad or rearrange details to highlight an employer’s desired qualifications. Make it easy for employers to see how you suit their needs.

3.     No keywords. If a resume or application does not contain the right industry- or job-specific words, it won't get through automated systems. Be sure to add these keywords to your resume.

4.     No attention to detail. Employers want to hire the best people. If your application materials are sloppy, disorganized, or have typos, they go into the trash.

5.     No human contact. When interested in a company, you need to reach out to an inside contact first or follow up with a hiring manager. An insider can pull a resume out of the pile. While I know this step is difficult when you are shy or introverted, it’s one of the biggest reasons you aren’t getting called in for interviews. So take a deep breath and make that contact, even if you do it by email first.

Go the extra mile in your job search by taking these five actions. It will pay off with more interviews and eventually a job offer!