Wednesday, April 15, 2015

6 Ways to Spring-Clean Your Job Search

By Susan Pines, Shy Job Seeker Blog

Does anyone still do spring-cleaning? I find regular house cleaning to be challenging enough. I may wash a window and two, but that’s the extent of spring-cleaning for me.

Yet spring-cleaning may be useful for your job search by making it more effective. So here are six suggestions
6 Ways to Spring Clean Your Job Search [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
Give your job search a
 on how to clear out the cobwebs in your job hunt:

  1. Refurbish your resume. Take a fresh look at your resume. Can you delete or shorten anything? Have you developed a new skill or gained work experience? Employers won’t spend a lot of time reviewing your resume, so clean it up and make your most important skills and experience shine.
  2. Spruce up your wardrobe and appearance. First impressions count in job interviews. I know you’ve heard that before. So if you’ve had a lazy winter, it’s time to get some exercise and perhaps improve your looks. Also study your interview clothes. Are they dated? Maybe a new item or two will give you a whole new look for impressing employers.
  3. Find fresh ways to dig up job openings. Do you use the same job sites without results? Consider reaching out to people who work in the fields that interest you. Perhaps they can give you some advice or job leads. Contact employers you’re interested in and present yourself and your skills. Avoid the same dusty job search.
  4. Blossom with a new skill. Employers want workers who can do the job, and the more relevant skills you have, the stronger you are as a candidate. So fill in your skill gaps with a class or a workshop.
  5. Clear your path. Take time to consider whether you are still heading in the right direction. Are you going after the right jobs, the right companies, and the right fields? Perhaps you need a slight shift in your job target.
  6. Reenergize with some fresh air. The days are getting longer and warmer, so get out and take a walk, a run, or a bike ride. You’ll feel much better when you get back to job hunting.
So put some spring into your job search. It’s the time of year to grow!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Are You Making a Good First Impression in Your Job Search?

Are You Making a Good First Impression in Job Search [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
Focus on others to make a good
first impression while job searching.
By Susan Pines, Shy Job Seeker Blog

Introverts and shy people have many strong points to use in the job search, as I have described in other posts. But our introverted natures may work against us when first impressions count. And nowhere do first impressions count more than in job searching, especially in job interviews.

In looking for employees, employers first and foremost want workers who can do the job. But the impression you make--good or bad--influences employers who also want employees who will communicate well, get along with others, serve customers congenially, smile, be friendly, and be excited about the job.

Because introverts and shy people are by nature more internally focused and get socially drained, we can inadvertently come across as unfriendly, uninterested in others, aloof, stuck up, crabby, eager to get away, and even somewhat hostile.

Here are some tips to keep in mind for creating a good impression during your job hunt. Although most of the following points sound pretty basic, introverts can sometimes forget to do them because we are not outwardly oriented and may get nervous, uncomfortable, and depleted during social interactions:
  • Smile. Smiling will ease any interaction. Practice smiling if necessary so it feels and looks natural.
  • Make and maintain eye contact. Be sure to look at people when they speak to you and vice versa. If you look away frequently or avoid eye contact, you may not seem interested or trustworthy.
  • Watch your body language and nervous habits. Be sure to sit up straight, lean in toward others, and listen attentively. Avoid bad body language—such as slumping in a chair, tapping your foot, checking the time, or gazing out a window—that indicates you would rather be somewhere else.
  • Greet everyone. Be sure to say hello and good-bye. Shake hands firmly with people you meet.
  • Be friendly. Don’t ignore people you come across during your job search, such as receptionists, security staff, door people, and other employees you encounter at an organization. A nod and a slight smile will go a long way if you aren’t introduced.
  • Show enthusiasm and energy. Make a point to walk energetically, speak with excitement, and let potential employers know you are interested in their openings. You can recharge later if needed.
  • Use small talk. Small talk lubricates conversation. Come up with a few phrases to use or questions to ask if small talk is awkward for you. Examples: “How are you today?” “Nice to meet you.” “How long have you worked here?” 
  • Say thank you. Be sure to thank anyone who gives time to you during your job search, including human resources staff, interviewers, managers, and other employees. 
Using the list above, assess how you may be coming across in your job hunt. Then make an effort to improve and turn the first impressions you make into a lasting job relationship. 

What tips can you share for making a good first impression during the job search?