Monthly Archives: February 2011

4 Ways to Fight the Blues During Your Job Hunt

Interview1 Finding a job can be difficult, especially in today’s work environment with so many job seekers fighting for the limited number of openings. With job hunts lasting anywhere from six to 12 months or longer, it’s easy to get discouraged. But, it’s important to keep a positive attitude and not give up. In fact, since searching for a job is a full-time job in and of itself, here are four tips to help you stay motivated and fight the job hunting blues!

Get Organized
Amid sending out your résumés and cover letters, it’s important to keep track of your efforts so everything doesn’t start running together. Staying organized will help you stay effective and efficient on the job search. So, create a tracking system that includes the names of the companies you’ve contacted, who you talked to, when you talked with them, if you spoke over the phone, in-person, or through email, and what they said. Also, keep track of the results, such as if they said to call back in two months or if they requested a copy of your résumé. This not only helps you with your unemployment requirements, it will also ensure you don’t contact the same employer too often and provide a visual record of how hard you’re working.

Change Your Surroundings
It’s easy to get in a rut when you’re sitting at home scanning the classified ads or online job boards. When you get discouraged and tired, break out of the norm and change up your job search environment by going to a local bookstore or coffee shop to do your job hunting. Libraries are also good places to go, especially if you need a computer for searching job sites or emailing applications. As a bonus, these local meeting places often times have bulletin boards where employers post job openings.

Take a Break
Just like everyone needs to take a vacation now and then, you also need a break from your job search every once in awhile. Give yourself permission to rest. Maybe go outside and work in the yard or go to the park with your family or see a movie. You could also volunteer at a local charity, which is also a great way to build skills and experience. You’ll come back to the job hunt feeling refreshed, less stressed, and with a new outlook.

Ask for Help
Teamwork is an effective tool when you’re on the job hunt. The more people who know you’re looking for work, the more your chances increase of finding job openings. It’s also another way to build your personal referrals. Make sure everyone you have a conversation with knows you’re looking for a job – tell everyone. Also, staffing companies are another great way to multiply your efforts because recruiters help you locate a job that matches your skills and interest. You should never be charged, and you’ll gain access to companies and job openings that you might not have ever known about.

Today’s job hunt is a marathon, not a sprint, so it’s imperative that job seekers stay motivated and not give up. It’s easy to get discouraged, but if you get organized, change up your environment, give yourself a few breaks, and build a team around you, you’ll be well on the way to finding your next great job! So, try these four tips to keep your job search fresh and moving forward.

Three Stories to Share During Your Next Interview

Interview It’s safe to say that interviews can be stressful. In an attempt to make a great first impression, you spend time preparing your résumé, picking out your interview outfit, and practicing answers for potential questions you might be asked by a hiring manager. As you prepare, don’t forget to think about some positive work-related experiences you can share with your interviewer.
It’s important not to let your nerves get the best of you. When the spotlight’s on you, use your 15-minutes of fame to tell the hiring manager why you’re the best choice. Take the initiative to tell them about you. Here are three areas about relevant work experience you can share in a few minutes to help you get closer to landing the job.

1. I function well on a team.
Employers want to know you can function well as a part of their team. Describe a time in a previous job where you worked on a team to successfully complete a project. Be sure to share your role and how you contributed to the process. Each individual on a team has different skills and abilities they bring to a group, so it’s a good idea to highlight how you helped achieve the final product.

2. In my previous job, I saved my company time or money.
Talking about how you impacted a company’s bottom line helps show you are not only innovative, but also a great investment. You think outside the box rather than just do what’s always been done. Anytime you can show an employer you can help them cut costs or save time – valuable resources in today’s workforce – it’s a great way to earn extra points in an interview.

3. I am good at problem solving.
If you can recall a time where you implemented a resolution for an obstacle, briefly share about it. What was your strategy and the steps you took to solve the problem? This helps demonstrate your reasoning skills and follow through – traits which are reflective of your leadership abilities and drive to succeed.

Even though it’s an interview, you don’t have to depend on them to do all the talking. Take a few deep breaths to settle your nerves and get ready to talk about you. By sharing short stories of how you excelled in past work experiences, you can show potential employers your true value as an employee.

3 Reasons Why You May Not Be Getting Hired

Doyoucounteroffer Recruiters and employers have seen their fair share of résumés in the last few years due to a highly competitive job market. So, do you feel like you’re working 8 to 5 trying to land an interview?

Employers are taking numerous factors into consideration when considering job applicants. Let’s take time to focus on three small ways you can improve your chances of getting a job.

Update your contact information. Do you have your most recent contact information listed on your résumé? Yes, it’s a small detail, but without the correct information, it can wreak havoc on your job search. It’s frustrating for a potential employer to try to reach you when the number you gave them doesn’t work. They won’t be able to contact you. So, be sure to include a working phone number on your résumé or job application because a call about a job offer is one that you definitely don’t want to miss.

Give an appropriate email address. You might not think that a potential employer will pass you over for a job because of your email address, but they might. A manager wants to know that you’re professional, and an e-mail address like may not present you in the best light. Ere on the side of caution and choose a safe email address that includes your name – for example, first name.last 
Share your relevant skills. In order to decide if you would be a good fit for a job, a hiring manager needs to know about your work experience. What are your skills and areas of expertise? Employers don’t want to just receive an email from you with your name and a brief paragraph outlining how you’re interested in the job. They want to know what you can bring to their business, so be sure to include your skills that are relevant to the job opening.

It’s important to keep in mind that employers are looking through job applications with a fine tooth comb. Be sure that your information passes the test and gets you through the company’s doors and into the interview seat. Knowing that even the smallest of details are being considered will help you be better prepared with your career search.

A Breakthrough Role Starring You and Your New Job

At one time or another, you’ve probably dreamed of being a movie star. You could see yourself in the spotlight and walking the red carpet. However, if you are like me, you had to find your calling elsewhere due to a lack of theatrical talent.

Instead, I’ve focused my energy and talents on jobs and leadership roles that would allow me to help influence and shape other people’s lives. And, here I am writing to you with career advice and tips.

So, how did I find my calling and career path in life? Here are three tips that helped me visualize my breakthrough role.

Script Writing
Write down your goals and script out your career path. Try to visualize what your career path will look like in three to five years. Where do you want to be? Does it involve learning new skills or going back to school? Identify what steps you need to take to reach your goals, and then create your game plan for achieving those goals.

Also, as you map out your career, continue to build your network and seek out those leaders who inspire and motivate you. Study their behavior, ask about their management style, and inquire about their favorite resources to learn more about leadership. Remember, knowledge is power.

Don’t Settle for a Stand-in Role
In the movies, a stand-in is a substitute for the star during the tedious process of scene preparation, set up, and lighting. So, how can you get past that stand-in role and be recognized as the potential leader you know you can be? It’s important not to give up on your career advancement. Stay motivated. Take on additional tasks or brainstorm a new project and present it to your boss. Showing that you have determination and drive will be viewed as an asset to the company and will help you advance in your career journey.

It’s Show Time
You know your lines and now it’s your time to shine. With a little preparation, you can demonstrate leadership and show you are ready for that breakthrough role. And, as with every great actor, their skills continue to grow with every new role. Continue to build on your leadership and supervisory skills so you can perform bigger and better roles in the future.

As Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” So, visualize yourself in the starring role of your new job, be confident and go for it.