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Job-seekers are figuring out from harsh personal experience — the best teacher there is — that the traditional job-search machine is broken. It doesn’t work. You could literally lob applications into automated recruiting sites forever and never get a job. To get hired and especially to get a job that deserves your talents, you have to take a more proactive approach.
You don’t have to follow the traditional job-search rules or even the rules laid out in employers’ own job ads. You are not responsible for reading job ads! You can reach out to anyone you like, and I encourage you to reach out to hiring managers at every organization on your Target Employer List.
You will find your specific hiring manager like this, and then you’ll send him or her a paper letter in the mail, the old-fashioned way. Your letter is called a Pain Letter because it digs into the most likely source of Business Pain to be vexing your hiring manager right now.
When you send your hiring manager a pithy Pain Letter along with your one- or two-page Human-Voiced Resume, you will make much stronger and more relevant impression than your automated application could ever do.
Your direct approach to your hiring manager is one important job-search channel. Two other channels to get up and running are your Networking channel and your Consulting channel. It is imperative for you to get consulting business cards (for instance, at Vistaprint online) and give them out to everyone you know and everyone you meet. You are creating a new persona for yourself.
You are not a lowly and desperate job-seeker, but rather a consultant! The more time and thought you give to your fledgling consulting business, the more effective a networker and a job-seeker you will become!
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Why is that? It’s because business consultants are experts in solving thorny problems. They are intimately familiar with the problems their employers and clients run into most often, and the cost of those problems to clients until they get solved. You have to know the same thing. Your investment of time and energy in developing your new consulting business will shed light on the areas where your Pain-Solving abilities will have the most impact.
Here are three techniques every job-seeker should incorporate into his or her job-search approach. In combination these three shifts in your job-search methodology and mindset will cut your job-search time in half.
The concept of Business Pain can revolutionize your job search. When you know before you reach out to a hiring manager how you can solve his or her most likely problem rather than just performing a function, you have power in the hiring equation.
Nancy used Business Pain to equalize the traditionally unequal power relationship when she was job-hunting. Nancy researched each employer she approached before she ever reached out to them and she didn’t apply for jobs through faceless Black Hole recruiting sites. Nancy is an administrative assistant. She knows how administrative hassles slow organizations down and cost them money and customers.
Her branding doesn’t say “I’m a skilled Administrator.” It talks about the aggravation and costs associated with a disorganized office, instead! Nancy knows how to solve that kind of Business Pain. That’s why she never stays unemployed.
Nancy sent a Pain Letter to the CEO of each company on her target employer list, and in her letter she focused on missed appointments, out-of-date office systems and the confusion that results when an overbooked CEO lacks a capable first mate to manage his or her calendar. Nancy got a job in six weeks because she didn’t go the job market hat-in-hand, but rather as the solution to a stressed-out CEO’s problem.
Get Out Fast
Nancy and every other Mojofied Job Seeker knows this about a job search: there are many more hiring managers who won’t appreciate your brand of jazz than those who will. The last thing Nancy wants to do is waste time running down an opportunity that shows all the signs of going nowhere. Nancy trusts her gut. If she gets a weird feeling or the sense that she’s beating her head against the wall in one opportunity, she doesn’t stick around. She moves on!
The key to becoming a Mojofied Job Seeker is to believe in yourself and back up that belief with a highly-targeted, carefully-researched approach to a few employers that you choose — the opposite of the traditional, thoughtless ‘Spray and Pray’ approach.
Nancy knows the names of every hiring manager she has in her sights. She doesn’t take the view “Somebody will hire me!” but rather goes after her target managers one by one. Her Pain Letters are thoroughly researched before she sends them out and her Human-Voiced Resume is customized for every opportunity.
We all like to feel that people have taken time and invested energy to learn about us when they approach us with a sales pitch. Hiring managers are no different! You can get your job search moving the same way Nancy did. It takes a shift in mindset and a new methodology, but the benefits are enormous!
Liz Ryan is the CEO and founder of Human Workplace. Follow her on Twitter. Read the rest of Liz's Forbes.com columns here.
We've compiled a list of the Forty Most Common Interview Questions which you can download below. Keep in mind that many other interview questions will be derived from these forty. When thinking about how you should answer each question, always consider how you can segue into one of your Key Selling Points. Consider, too, arriving at each interview with a mental list of creative ideas about what you would do in the position if you were hired, which one human resources manager says, "is a great way to impress just about any employer."
Remember that tact and discretion are of utmost importance in any interview. A common, but tricky question some interviewers ask is, "What other companies are you considering?" Here, you'll want to be honest, without revealing too much information or indicating to the interviewer that any other job is more appealing than this one. Other questions that will require lots of diplomacy-and as little negativity as possible-include, "Why did you leave your last job?" and "What would you do differently if you were in charge of this company?"
Finally, keep in mind that your interviewer's questions may not automatically educe the kind of information she needs to know. In the end, it is up to you-the interviewee-to provide enough details about yourself and your work experience that will satisfy that ultimate question: "Why should we hire you?"
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You know that networking is the best way to find a new job. So where do you start?
The best place to begin is with your “warm contacts”. A warm contact is a person with whom you have some personal connection and is willing to help you in your search. They can help by offering information about current job openings, business opportunities, and introductions to influencers or people at their company. They just might have some great tips on looking for a job. Begin your job networking by building a list of warm contacts who might be willing to help.
Family and friends should always be first on your list of warm contacts. They are always willing to help or to give advice. This group may be able to give you information on job openings at their employers. Ask if they would walk your resume into the hiring manager you’d likely report to in their company. Family and friends are also more willing to refer you to others and they in turn will be more willing to help you. You get to borrow some of their credibility and trust in these kinds of networking introductions. Their referrals will take your calls and respond to your emails more readily than other types of job networking referrals. Be careful not to take advantage for their goodwill. Simply ask for their help to connect you to others.
THE OLD WATER COOLER
Former employers or coworkers are also an important addition on your warm contact list. This is one of the reasons why you want to leave a job on good terms. A potential employer will call past employers to see what kind of an employee you were and why you no longer work there. Past employers can also give you information on their competitors and industry players. This kind of job networking intelligence is invaluable to your job search. When you ask family and friends about job and hiring information it can very well be second hand or even rumors. But when you ask someone who is in the same field as you, like a past employer, they will be able to give you firsthand information or clear up any questions you might have.
People who share the same beliefs and hobbies as you are often willing to help you with your job search. Members of the church, political party, fraternity, or sorority usually will help you with your job networking. Their inside knowledge of potential connections can help you build a strategy on how to approach them and ask them for their help.
PAY ME NOW... PAY ME LATER
Another type of person you should have on your warm contact list is someone you pay to provide a service or a product. Think about people who you helped sell a product or service to a former employer. Even people who provide you with personal services; i.e… lawn, health care, hair styling, cosmetics, supplements, whatever you purchase on a regular basis… these are all people you should put on your warm list. You may think that your relationship doesn't extend past the business you have together, but more than likely they will be willing to help you do some job networking. These people know that maintaining a stable relationship is crucial to their business with you. They are a good source because they know a lot of different people and deal with them every day. Your vendors, both professional and personal, could be able to refer you to someone they know in the same field as you.
Don’t forget to add your professional association’s officers and executives to your warm contacts list. The purpose of these organizations is to support businesses and people in their industry. They want their members to be successful and active. They also know everyone else in the organization. Their high profile in your field gives them useful inside information about companies in the industry. Research your local chapter and be sure to add the offices and any paid directors or administrators to your warm contact list.
MORE STRATEGIC OPTIONS
These are the most important people you want to include in your job networking plan. You want to build your warm contact list with them. Your warm contacts are the people who will give you the most options in your job search.
What others do you think should be added to your warm contact list? Please let us know in the comments below…
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If you are unemployed, or thinking about making a change in the near future, you will end up embarking on a journey that has changed a lot over the past few years. Your first thought may be to jump into CareerBuilder or Monster to check those job posts. Not so fast. There are actually a number of things you need to do before you launch into that job hunting journey.
Before applying to any jobs create a plan. For instance, can you describe what your next ideal position looks like? A job if are unemployed now and just need to find something to pay your bills is different than if you were searching for just a better opportunity.
Even if you are desperate you need to take the time to consider what type of job you would like to have. Be realistic when you think about this. Do your research. Look at the kinds of jobs available and see how your education and experience match up. List the kinds of jobs that are good fits. You'll just be wasting your time apply to jobs where you are obviously not qualified.
THE SEARCH PLAN
Then plan how you are going to actually find the job. If you think you can find jobs online then what job boards will you use? What kinds of job posting alerts will you create? With what keywords will you search?
Networking should be included in any job search. What is your networking plan? Who will you approach? Is your LinkedIn profile optimized for others to know what you are about?
Others learn about jobs through career counseling centers. State governments, industry associations, and school alumni organizations. Developing a plan for yourself, one that outlines exactly how you can go about finding available job positions, is the best way to ensure that your job hunting time is wisely spent.
IS THERE A NEW HORIZON FOR YOU?
Another important consideration is relocation. Be realistic about this as well. If you are very specific about the kind of job you want, the type of company, or industry, there are just so many opportunities in your commutable location. If you can't or won't relocate there is nothing wrong with that. Just understand that you will not have access to a large pool of opportunities.
Yes, companies allow people to work from home these days. Companies also allow employees to have substantial responsibility and work remotely. It is certainly more prevelant today than in the past. However, most companies want people in leadership and executive positions to be based at their headquarters.
Before you start searching for jobs decide whether or not you would be willing to relocate. Talk to your family about it before you start interviewing. Nothing will burn a bridge with a comapny faster than getting an offer for a job where relocation was clearly disclosed and then turning it down because a spouse doesn't want to move. When it comes to relocating, there are some instances, where you may only be required to relocate a few states away and others where you may be required to relocate all the way across the country. Determine where you would not go first. This then rules out any opportunities in that geography and you don't need to spend time looking there.
WRITE YOUR JOB HUNTING PLAN
Once you have an idea about the job you would like to have and your interest in relocating, you have much clearer direction to begin your job hunting. Fine tune your resume to match the job you want and the qualifications your research revealed. Many job postings will be seen by hundreds, if not thousands, of hopeful candidates just like you. Having a focused resume prepared and ready to go will allow you act fast and possibly beat out some of your competition.
Finding a new job is a process that may take time. Having a plan in advance will help to eliminate too much worry, time lost, and stress.
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Whether you are currently unemployed or if you would just like to find a job that is different, you may be wondering how you can go about finding new opportunities. The old methods, scanning job postings online, mailing or emailing your resume, etc... just don't get the results today like they used to get. The old methods work some of the time, however, when you want to accelerate your search you have to get creative and try new ways.
Don't give up applying to jobs that fit your skill and experience. Just be sure you are a strong match when you apply. At the very least, be sure your resume shows how your experience is relevant. (Check here for an article about fine-tuning your resume). Once you have a system for finding strong matches, fine-tuning your resume, and following up on your applications, start to work in some of the more unique and less obvious approaches we've listed below. You may not have thought of some of these, but they work and you should give them a try. Especially if the old 'apply and hope' approach is not getting any interviews.
FOCUSED CONVERSATIONS TO FIND A JOB
One often overlooked way to find information on available jobs is by speaking to people you know. Word of mouth is a great way to find a job that fits you; a job that may want to apply for. You will be simply amazed at how helpful people are when you have these conversations. Networking like this is highly effective in a job search. One reason this works so well is that people you know, whether they are your friends, family members, or neighbors, may not even be looking to hire someone like you. However, they may have just come across a job posting or happen to hear of a an opening at their company. They may have also seen a posting on LinkedIn, which is becoming one of the best online networks for job hunting. It may seem weird when you think about it, but those who aren’t actually looking for jobs are usually the best sources of information when it comes to finding a job.
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THE BUDDY SYSTEM
Another unique way you can find a job is by working with a buddy or a partner. If you know of anyone, like a family member or friend, who is also job searching, you and that person may want to think about teaming up. This is very effective if you both have similar backgrounds and yet different enough that you won't be competing for the same position. For instance, you could search for traditional job listings online and your partner could research specific companies for job listings on their career pages. This approach has several advantages...it doubles the ROI for you both search efforts, you uncover many of the 'hidden' opportunities, and you stay motivated and accountable to get your search and research activities completed. That accountability can be huge in a job search strategy.
Yes, you could end up receiving a little bit of competition from your job hunting buddy, but the amount of time that you are able to save will likely be well worth it in the end. Also, depending on where you live, you may be able to find triple the number of available job listings; therefore, the chances of both you and your job hunting buddy finding a job are actually quite high. Then you'll have double the celebration!
LinkedIn Groups is where all the action takes place. In Groups you'll find the most active people in the network. These people are well connected, they are thought leaders, and influential.
What groups should you join? That depends on your industry and who you might report to in your next job. Start first with industry related groups. Join them and start participating in the discussions. Job listings are also posted in these groups as well.
What is the job title of the last two people who supervised you? Search for people with those titles or similar. To what Groups do they belong? Do a little research and see which Groups are most common among these people and be sure to join them. When you join you have access to the membership list of the Group. Now you have a list of potential people you can network with, people who are most likely to hire someone like you!
COMPANY CAREER PAGES
You want to use LinkedIn again for this technique. It has powerful search features that allow you to target specific companies. Think about the kind of companies you want to work for. LinkedIn will allow you to search based on industry, company size, and geographic location. Visit each of the companies and be sure to click the 'Follow' button. That way any news and jobs will show up on your LinkedIn newsfeed.
All of these companies, even those that are locally owned and operated, are going to have their website in their company profile. Many businesses have a webpage that is devoted to employment. That employment page may outline whether or not the company in question is currently hiring. If they are, information on what positions are available and how you can apply will be listed. You can also use a free tool at www.WatchThatPage.com to bookmark the employment webpage. WatchThatPage will then email you every time that page is updated, usually meaning a new job has been added.
These approaches are just a few of the many unique or less common ways that you can use to find a job. Using these methods, combined with online career hunting or job hunting websites, career counseling centers, career fairs, you are sure to find a handful of job listings that can lead you to your next job.
"Why do we have Thanksgiving?" my 6 year old granddaughter asked me. I, of course, explained the familiar Pilgrim story, which she had already heard. We talked about the hardships they endured and how they wanted to celebrate what they had been given. Then she asked a question that was natural and very appropriate. Yet it is a question that few of us take the time to answer..."What are you thankful for?"
I had actually answered this question a few months ago. In a morning devotional reading I was challenged to list all the things for which I could be grateful. When I was finished my list was over 100 items. That was an eye-opener. Then, last week, I upped the game!
I've been reading a book by Claudia and James Altucher entitled Become An Idea Machine. (By they way this book would be a great gift!) The book contains a collection of questions that requires the reader to list 10 ideas, original to them, EVERY DAY. One of the first is to list 10 things that annoy me and ideas about how I could be grateful for them. Sounds like a contradiction. Yet I was determined to take it on.
So I listed the 10 things that annoy me. That was the easy part. Figuring out how I could be grateful for something that really ticked me off was another story. For instance, I am really annoyed at waiting for a table at a restaurant. Annoyed to the point that I'd rather drive home and eat cold cereal than wait 20 minutes for a table! I decided I could be grateful for that wait since it would give me more time to talk with my wife about her day or whatever might be on her mind. You get the picture.
Better For Your Health
An 'attitude of gratitude' also appears to have some physiological benefits. According to Amit Amin of HappierHuman.com, people who live thankfulness filled lives enjoy improved sleep, more exercise, more energy, and are less sick. The article actually lists31 benefits from living a thankful life!
Imagine the impact this could have on your career? A few years ago Goeffrey James wrote about this in Inc. Magazine. He stated...
"People who approach life with a sense of gratitude are constantly aware of what’s wonderful in their life. Because they enjoy the fruits of their successes, they seek out more success. And when things don’t go as planned, people who are grateful can put failure into perspective."
[Tweet "Thankfulness creates better health and better careers #career"]
More Success Through Gratitude
I also believe that grateful people not only find more success, they also attract it. More people want to be around them. Grateful people have more opportunities to expand their sphere of influence. Employees have a greater sense of loyalty and meaning when they know their supervisors are grateful for them and their contributions. Customer want to buy from people who are truly thankful for their business. Not to mention the indirect benefits to your career from improved personal and family relationships. Turns out a grateful outlook in life has a rippling effect.
So if having a grateful attitude has all these positive benefits, what do you do to be more thankful?
It first starts with awareness. Make two reminders for yourself. They can be index cards, post-it notes, Evernote, whatever works for you. On each reminder write "I am thankful for..." and place one in your workspace and another in your home. Put them somewhere that will catch your eye. Then each time you see one of them just complete the sentence..."I am thankful that meeting went well"... "I am thankful for a time with my family on this busy day." It doesn't have to be big. Just take the second or two to pause and complete the sentence. Over time you may begin to notice a change in your outlook on almost everything. As you become more grateful for the things in your life now, you actually loosen up and free yourself from being tied to circumstances that once looked impossible to overcome.
This Thanksgiving, take time to enjoy the holiday, enjoy your time with family and friends, and think more about what you have to be grateful for than what you don't have. Practice an attitude of gratitude daily over the next 30 days. Your family, your friends, and your career will thank YOU!
Are you racing toward the finish line of getting a new job? Or are you stuck in the pits with your job search?
There are few simple steps you can take to super-charge your search. To beat your competition, however, you need to do the things other job seekers aren't doing.
In this short video you'll learn simple, easy to implement steps, so you can accelerate your search and get to your new job quicker. Don't forget to download a PDF transcript of this video at the bottom of the page.
In today’s world having the best resume you can is essential. Life happens and sometimes you encounter employment gaps in your resume. If you don’t know how to handle these gaps they can severely hurt your ability to find a new job. In this article we are going to teach you how to handle these gaps like a professional and come out looking better in the end.
Do you have a legitimate reason for having a gap in your resume? There are many different reasons that you could have a gap in your resume that can be easily explained in a way that a potential employer would completely understand. The most important thing to do about gaps in your resume is to have an explanation that you can give to a potential future employer.
If you are out of work for a while it is important that you spend that time doing something productive. Doing volunteer work is a great way to handle time away from being employed. You can actually list volunteer work on your resume and cite it as a core value of yours that you help others out. If you are out of work and not volunteering, start now.
EMPLOYERS WILL UNDERSTAND
One reason people cannot relocate today is because they are care providers for family members. If you were providing care for a family member and you needed to leave your full time job to do so, this is a perfectly valid reason. Many people want to shy away from saying that they were taking care of a family member. Employers understand these issues arise. Be sure to stress that now you are out of the role of caregiver and do not foresee needing to take up that role again any time in the future. They want to know that you are now available.
Another good reason for having an employment gap in your resume is that you did not believe in doing a job search while working. Explain that your ethics dictated that you focus all of your time working on the job you had so when it came time to leave it was also time to start looking for a job.
Continuing your education is never a bad thing, it shows employers that you want to better yourself and fulfill your role to the best of your ability. When it comes to going back to school though, most people need to leave their job in order to focus all of the time and energy on their education. Make sure to list going back to school on your resume and explain to employers that you were looking to better yourself by going back to school.
PACK YOUR BAGS!
Yet another one of the major reasons for having an employment gap in your resume is spending time traveling. Like education, traveling can actually be a big benefit if you are looking for certain jobs. Spending time traveling shows that you have experience with other cultures. Jobs that require you to interact with different cultures or travel will look upon time spent traveling as a benefit. Make sure to explain that you were spending time traveling during your interview and, if relevant, mention it in your cover letter.
Many people include consulting projects as different jobs on their resumes. Instead of this, list consulting as only ONE job on your resume. Put the time you were consulting as one period and then in points under that job put the different consulting contracts you worked. If you list each consulting project as a different job it makes employers think you are just bouncing around between jobs. Remember they are usually just glancing at resumes before actually reading them.
Having an employment gap in your resume can be a red flag during the hiring process. Prepare to discuss the reasons before the interview or make sure your resume reflects the reasons you were without a job (consulting, education, volunteer work). Having a gap on your resume doesn’t have to kill you. Just make sure that you can prove that you have done something productive during that gap.
Since 2006, MMS has been involved in building their clients’ senior management teams as well as their sales, medical management, and HIM staff.
When you need top talent, you want the best and you want it quickly. That can only happen when your search partner understands your business and your needs. The MMS Perfect Match search process delivers the comprehensive search results you need.
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