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Employer News

Job Hunting: Separating Fact From Fiction

Sorting out the myths from common sense advice

I’m trying to sort out the myths from common sense advice as I look for work. We’re all hearing about the sluggish economy and unemployment numbers. Some of the news is good, some a little more dicey and then there are the stats that seem to get pulled like taffy and twisted into different shapes depending on who’s quoting them. It’s hard to know what to think, but I know that I need more work. Here’s a list of some of what I’ve learned about trying to land a job and the search itself.

1. Looking for work is harder than actually working. I wish I’d kept track of all the hours I’ve spent revising my resume, searching job sites and writing cover letters rife with keywords. There are also all the hours I’ve spent researching companies online before even submitting my application. It’s a lot of work. I dutifully scroll through every job search email that pops up in my inbox. Just when I think I’ve got all the settings right, I find more jobs I’m woefully unqualified for. It’s important to focus. I’m having more success now that I’ve honed in on the types of positions I really want and am qualified for. It’s quality over quantity.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

10 Ways The Job Search Has Changed

If you haven’t looked for work lately, be sure you know the new rules about resumes

Job searching has changed dramatically over the past few years. If you want to succeed, you’ll have to take a much different approach than you did previously. Here are 10 things today’s job hunters need to know:

1. Google has replaced the resumé. Recruiters are now using Google and LinkedIn searches to find talent, instead of paying for job-board or talent databases. Many companies are even mandating that every new application go through a Google screening process.

So that means the first page of your Google results matter much more during a job search than they ever did before. I’ve written an article showing how to increase your rank in Google and attract the attention of hiring managers.

2. A summary of your work history is enough. Because there are so many candidates competing for each job, HR people (or hiring managers, if they are tasked with recruitment) often scan resumes very briefly. The average time spent on a resume is 30 seconds.

LinkedIn gives you a way to create a summary; use it.

3. Social proof is a must. Social proof—the testimonials, endorsements and recommendations of your abilities that appear on social networks—seriously reduce the perceived risk of you as a candidate.

The most costly mistake a hiring manager can make is to give a job to the wrong person. Some say that if a new hire leaves within three months, it costs the organization one and a half times that person’s annual salary. And with the economy as tight as it is, you can understand why hiring managers are so risk averse.

If you don’t have many endorsements and recommendations in your LinkedIn profile, get some before looking for a job.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

10 Unconventional Career Tips from an Unlikely CEO

Find the right balance

1. Expose Yourself
People entering the business world today are a commodity. They’ve gone to the same schools, taken the same courses, read the same books, and watched the same movies. Meanwhile, companies like mine are desperately seeking fresh minds to help them navigate massive cultural and technological changes. Where are they going to find them?

Growing up in a small town in Indiana, I led the middle-class life of Beaver Cleaver, until I was kicked off the high school tennis team. Then my real education began with a new curriculum of hustling, drinking, smoking, cruising, fighting, and sex. (I mostly examined the latter.)

Think of your life as a big magazine rack. When you’re standing in front of it deciding what to choose, resist the normal impulse to reach for People or Cosmopolitan. Instead, grab a copy of Game Informer, Inked, Guns and Ammo, or Bass Fisherman. Apply the same approach to movies, books, and people. You need to expose yourself. Whether you’re looking for your first job or your fifth, you’ll benefit from exploring unusual ideas and engaging unconventional individuals. If you experiment with your life, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and the rest of the human race.

2. Hit the Road
Americans are a sedentary lot. Only one out of three have a passport. When they travel, their favorite destination is Las Vegas, where they can photograph the Eiffel Tower, float in a gondola, and visit the pyramids. Less than 5 percent of US citizens travel overseas each year. As a result, they know less about the rest of the world than the rest of the world. This is a problem when every cell phone is made in China and every service call is answered in India.

Selling expensive leather wallets to unsuspecting tourists in Florence, Italy, I learned why Americans are afraid to travel. Foreign businessmen like my boss Enzo were just waiting to rip them off. In two-thirds of the world, bribery is an accepted business practice and bargaining is an art. You need to learn the regional ropes by studying or working abroad, because every employer is banking on international sales to fuel their future. If you want to compete in the global economy, especially in a melting pot like Miami, you’ve got to hit the road.

3. Ask the Captain
Knocking on a captain’s door opened a new world for me. While my contemporaries were graduating from college, I talked my way into a job as a cabin boy on a Norwegian tanker bound for Asian destinations I’d never imagined. In your career you will encounter “ships” that can transport you to unexpected places. You just have to figure out how to ask the captain.

Senior executives are intimidating to those just starting out. But they’re the ones who can have a real impact on your career. Stalk them in the hallways. Corner them at events. Drill them with smart questions. Ask for their help. If you want to be a captain tomorrow, you should start by asking one a question today.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

Need a new job? 5 ways to kickstart your search

Create the momentum you need to launch yourself off the sofa

Believe us: We understand the allure of your comfy sofa at the end of a long workday.

But when you’re collapsing into the cushions full of frustration over a job that isn’t suiting your needs — or is just plain making you miserable — you’re going to need to make a bigger change than the channel you’re watching.

No one knows more about creating the momentum needed to launch yourself off that sofa and into the right career than Christie Mims, founder of The Revolutionary Club, a career-coaching destination, featuring advice, international retreats, and one-on-sessions with Mims.

Before founding her site, Mims was stuck in a job she didn’t love (which just so happened to be managing million-dollar portfolios as a consultant). In her search for something that truly made her happy, she earned a B.A., an M.A., certifications as a mediator and counselor … as well as applied to shoe design school and planned a potential leadership institute with the Marines. But her path, however twisted, led her to her dream job.

So we asked Mims to share her five best tips to get off the couch and onto the right career path for you.

1. Get ready to listen
Where do you even start zeroing in on a new career? When Mims felt trapped, she says, “I told everyone close to me. Constantly. That habit made me really fun at parties — if you define ‘really fun’ as boring, annoying and sarcastic.” It wasn’t until she started listening instead of talking that she started feeling energized.

“I told myself that I didn’t need to have all of the answers now — all I had to do was take people out for coffee and listen, and the answers would slowly come,” Mims remembers. “It seems obvious, but it was a real ‘eureka’ moment for me.” She found that she left her meetings feeling like she was moving forward; learning about new industries and jobs made her worry less about finding the “right” job and more like exploring a wider range of opportunities.

To do right now: Invite one or two people you don’t see often for coffee to chat about their work. Instead of expressing your dissatisfaction, take advantage of the opportunity to hear more about their jobs, career paths and advice. Ask them: “What is it that you love about your job? How did you end up in your position or at your company? What advice do you have for someone looking to work in the same field? What do you wish someone had told you about your job before you started?”

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

Job-Search Strategy 101: It’s Not a Numbers Game

The old “might-as-well-apply-because-you-never-know” approach doesn’t work. A successful job search follows a strategy - not blind optimism.

On more than a few occasions over the years, I’ve heard people who masquerade as career coaches and employment experts telling people that job hunting is a numbers game.

It isn’t.

In a way, it’s a lot like the Lotto myth: People believe their odds of winning decrease as more people play.

They don’t.

The odds of picking the winning number are absolutely independent of the number of people who play. What decreases are your odds of being the only winner. That’s basic statistics.

The job search, on the other hand, is about strategy, not statistics.

There is no question that a recession and weak employment market have an impact on hiring. That’s absolutely true. But a dramatic increase in the number of competitors in the marketplace does not suddenly make it a numbers game. If that were true, the misguided people who send thousands of resumes would be the ones getting the jobs. Or even the interviews.

But they aren’t.

Your success in the job market is not a function of how many resumes you send but rather how much time and effort you spend understanding the needs of a potential employer and tailoring your experience to demonstrate your potential.

This takes time. More time than most job hunters are willing to spend.

Why your job search should be graded

I’ve always believed that if resumes were somehow graded and ranked for their relevance, people would put a lot more thought into them. They would also probably invest time, money and energy on Kaplan-like courses in hopes that a higher score would land them a better job.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

“Good” Jobs vs. Happy Jobs

Why You Need To Rethink Your Career Aspirations

This spring, millions of 20-somethings have suddenly found themselves in a staring competition with the real world. For the college seniors of the Tiger Mom generation, this usually means a search for “prestigious jobs,” or jobs that can provide instant validation of their hard work. But there’s more to the real world than rankings and superficial expectations. It is useful for us to understand some of the factors that we use to gauge the “prestige” of professions, in order to truly identify jobs that will make us happy after college.
1. Industry
Some industries are stereotyped more favorably than others. At a school like mine, where successful parents send their children to befriend other smart young adults in order to cultivate a life of achievement, this is even more prevalent. Certain jobs, such as banking or consulting, or a gig with Teach for America or the Peace Corps, have been placed on a pedestal over the decades. But your success in life (in the pursuit of happiness or professional prowess alike) is no more guaranteed by a job with a Fortune 10 company, as it was by your admission into an Ivy League school. There’s more to a meaningful career than the name of your first employer.

2. Pay
It is certainly nice to be paid for our hard work for once, instead of paying tuition (or taking on insurmountable student loans) in order to work hard at school. Pay dictates prestige like none other. This is why our society revolves around worshipping the elite: the elite have money! But it is prudent to ask yourself how much money you really need to feel fulfilled. According to numerous claims (including this one from Gallup), the magic number tends to hover around $75,000. Maybe this isn’t right for you, but everyone has a range, and you should honestly assess yours.

I should add, though, that there is no shame in admitting that you want to get wealthy. In that case, your pursuit of that Big 4 accounting firm should include a conscious understanding of whether it will truly help you attain a level of wealth that will satisfy you.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

Planting New Seeds in Your Career

Manage your career effectively

In the book, The Seasons of Life by Jim Rohn, he uses the seasons as a metaphor for how we live our lives. In life, if the farmer doesn’t plant seeds in the spring, come fall, there won’t be a harvest. And so it is with careers, if employees do not take the time to plant new seeds, their careers may flounder and not flourish. Are you feeling like your career is stuck-in-a-rut? Perhaps it is the right time to plant new seeds.

Seeds take time to grow: When you plant a seed, the plant doesn’t appear the next day. And there are instances when the time between planting the seed and it breaking ground is so long that you think nothing is happening because it is not visible to the naked eye. For you, planting new seeds could be taking courses to give you more employment options, it could be letting your boss know that you are interested in a new role, it could be letting people in your network know that you are interested in new employment opportunities, or it could be tweaking your online social media profiles and becoming more active. In all of these instances, you are taking action, you are planting new seeds, but you have to realize that some of these seeds you have planted will take time to bear fruit, and some may not bear fruit at all.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

Reference-Checking Your Future Boss

A job interview is a two way decision

During an employment interview, an employer is checking out job candidates to find the best one for the organization, but it should also be a time when job seekers are checking out prospective employers to decide if they are the best fit for them. As a job seeker, you already know the situations and environments in which you thrive, therefore, you want to make the best choice in employment. The last thing you want to do is accept a job and later discover that you cannot work with your boss. One of the best ways to discover if a job is really the best fit for you, is to reference-check your future boss.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

6 Tips to Get Your Stalled Job Search on Track

End the slump

There are times during a job search when job seekers veer off their intended path. Professionals who are feeling like their job search is stalled can take several corrective actions.

Focus your job search: Evaluate what you have done so far, are you applying for the right jobs?  Do you need to revamp your resume? Is your brand evident? Are you using the various tools available – networking, job sites, recruiters and social media?  Have you expanded your target list of companies that you would like to work for?

Create a professional blog: Market yourself to employers on a blog by building your expertise – blog about issues that impact your industry. Install LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter share and follow buttons to make it easy for others to share and connect with you. Create a page on your blog to post your resume.

Get job search help: Seek outplacement services, hire a coach or an employment counsellor. Take full advantage of all such services your company might provide.  You don’t have to go it alone since there are qualified professionals who can help you to kick-start your job search.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

Creating a Killer Elevator Pitch

Be Prepared

At networking events and job interviews, a common ice breaker is, “Tell me about yourself.” To respond confidently, it’s vital to have a practiced elevator pitch that sounds impressive, authentic and engages others so they want to learn more about you.

There is a basic formula that works all the time.

Background/Branding Statement/Target Position: State what you do and how long you have been doing it. Include what you are best known for – your keys strengths, unique selling proposition and the value that you bring.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

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