Today we have some great advice for staying positive during a job search. This same advice works for thinking positive as we make attempts each day to survive everyday living!
Some really good interviewing tips fell into my in box today. Want to share them with you students who are soon to be graduating! Follow the link:
Today I ran across another great informational article by Careersherpa (Hannah Morgan). Please pay attention to what she has to say about her method for choosing these websites. The next two paragraphs are direct quotes from her article. Great lessons all by themselves. Enjoy!
“If you are just looking for a list of job boards, you have come to the wrong place. Job boards are only a very small part of your job search strategy.”
“In fact, less than 30% jobs are filled through job boards or aggregators. Surveys from Jobvite and CareerXroads and other sources, report that a referred candidate is more likely to be hired.”
Maybe you are working in a job that is helping you make ends meet, but you know it won’t lead to a job in your field. You have a career goal. You know what direction you want to move in, but between working, attending classes and spending time with those you love, finding time for conducting a work search seems to get pushed to the back burner all the time.
What steps can you take to make sure that every moment you spend on your job search is a good use of your time?
1) Have your three essential documents ready – That means have good drafts made up of your resume, your cover letter and your reference page. This includes having shown each document to someone who you know will give you good feedback.
2) Spend some time deep thinking about what companies you would like to work for. Create a list. These companies may not have openings right now at this moment in time, but they will have openings in the future. Go to each companies career or jobs page and set alerts to be notified when new jobs are posted.
3) Begin researching these target companies, reaching out to people who work there. Don’t know anyone who works there? You may be pleasantly surprised. Use LinkedIn to help you find people who work for a company. Do searches in LinkedIn on the company AND on the college that you are attending or did attend. When you do searches on college Alumni, you can see where they are working.
4) Make it a point to have conversations with the people that work for the company that you want to work for. Ask for an informational interview. During the conversation find and notice things that you have in common with this person. Targeting a company and networking can result in opportunities. You could find out about a job opening before it is posted. You may even be referred by someone that you have been networking with. Referrals from individuals inside a company can boost your chances of getting an interview.
5) Learn all you can about networking. You don’t ever want to ask for a job (this person you are networking with does not have the power to hire generally), and you don’t want to feel like you are establishing a relationship just to get a job either. You are going to want to exchange information. Watch for an opportunity to provide information that will help this other person. Maybe you can introduce them to someone they want to meet, or maybe you share an article with them that you know they will be interested in. Watch also for opportunities to share your skills and abilities. If networking stresses you out, read more about the technique. There are tons of resources out there.
These 5 steps are good uses of your time. They will produce more results than throwing your resume and cover letter at job openings, and applying for everything that you see posted.
I follow Hannah Morgan and her posts. She has a lot of knowledge as a job seeking expert. This week I am sharing an article that she posted regarding how frequently recruiters are using social media when they are looking for good employees. Do click on the link below. You will find some interesting statistics.
Keep in mind that your resume is a marketing tool. You want your resume to showcase your skills and abilities, plus assure the employer that you are the right fit for the job opening.
The three most basic resume rules from resume experts include:
1) Keep your resume to one page and make it easy to read.
2) Do not use a template that you find on-line – open Microsoft Word and start typing.
3) Use the key words of the industry that you plan to be working in to describe your skills and abilities….your resume should literally reflect the job opening or posting that you are planning to respond to.
If you are like me, you want to know why these resume rules need to be followed.
Those that review resumes tell us that they have little time to devote to reviewing resumes. Most are trained to review each resume within 6-20 seconds, placing each resume in a “Qualified” or “Not Qualified” destination (on line or physically on a pile on their desk). They are basically sorting all those who applied.
You want your resume to land on the “Qualified” pile. In order for that to happen, the reviewer must be able to see at a glance that you meet the qualifications they laid out in the job posting. This is the reason why a “Summary of Qualifications” has become so popular in recent years. This summary of qualifications needs to be just that…..a Summary of Qualifications. That means this section on your resume should include bullet points about your education, your experience AND your strengths. Make your Summary of Qualifications a well rounded one that includes the main points about your skills and abilities as they match the job posting or what the employer is looking for.
If your resume is too wordy it won’t get read. If the reviewer cannot find the information they are looking for quickly, you will end up in the “Not Qualified” or the “Maybe” pile. You can bet they never look at that “Maybe” pile unless they do not have enough “Qualified” persons.
There are two reasons that we discourage the use of templates for your resume:
#1) Most templates do not let you re-arrange the information later if need be. When it is time to update your resume, it won’t let you, and you will end up typing the entire thing all over again. Using Microsoft Office allows you to cut, copy and paste all you want.
#2) Most templates put your headings in color, then when the employer prints them out, the headings come out in grey-scale. Employers generally do not print resumes in color. You want your headings to be BOLD and to stand out.
And our last bit of advice. Use the key words of your industry to describe your skills and abilities so that you “match” their job opening. The best way you can learn the key words of your industry is to work in the field and/or read a lot of job postings and job descriptions. It is a matter of gaining experience, just like anything else that you learn.
And remember, if you need help with any of this, there are experts out there. Career Services staff at the various colleges, and professionals in your local Job Centers. Find help if you need it.
Author: Chris Magnuson, Career Services at Western Technical College
When I am talking with students about their resumes and how to best market themselves, I generally explain the importance of correct employment dates in the work history section of their resume. More than once I have been asked the question, “I have some gaps in my work history, how should I handle that?”
During our last “Get That Job” event this was discussed by our panel of employer experts, plus I have heard this same response in other situations where the topic has come up.
The winning advice that I hear is this: You will accurately list your employment and dates for the last ten years on your resume and you will explain any gaps in your cover letter. What I hear from employers is, “If I see gaps and they are not explained anywhere, that resume lands in the “no” stack when I am sorting through who is qualified.”
You can explain the gaps in your work history like this.
“You will notice a gap in my work history from ___ to ___. During that time I was dealing with some health problems which have now been resolved.”
Now replace the words “health problems” with whatever works; transportation issues, personal issues, etc. No need to explain any further. What the employer wants to know is that the issue or the problem has been resolved.
Seems too simple doesn’t it? The way I look at it, something should be easy in life, so be thankful.