Four Ways to Find a New Job

We all know the value of job sites such as Indeed, CareerBuilder, and Monster. However, sometimes it can feel like you are one of hundreds or thousands of people sending your resume into the abyss of online job searches. And, sometimes, that is the truth. For many people, going online and finding these potential positions is time-consuming, frustrating, and overwhelming. Here are four other ways to discover job opportunities that may fit better with your desired career opportunity.

1. Networking. Did you know that most jobs are found because of word-of-mouth? That’s right—the old saying that ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,’ is true. Tell people that you are looking for a change or new opportunity. The more people that know, the better your chances of finding a new job. However, if you are a ‘covert’ job seeker (someone that is keeping the job search fairly quiet), be careful who knows this information and only tell those that are trustworthy and can keep your confidence.

2. Chambers of commerce and economic development corporations. The purpose of these organizations is to cultivate business success in the community. Typically, organizational personnel may know of job openings or upcoming openings before they are advertised. Chambers of commerce want to see their members succeed and finding good employees leads to profits and stability. Check the websites of these organizations, or connect with someone that works there so you can be one of the first to know of new jobs.

3. Company websites. Let’s say that you want to target a specific company for a new position. Instead of checking large job sites, go directly to the company website. Often, they will have a specific page for job openings and the information will be current. And, these are typically posted prior to going to the larger websites.

4. Connect with a placement agency. In the past, these agencies were viewed as a place to get temporary workers and ‘a body’ to fulfill a job. However, that is no longer the case. Organizations such as Manpower, Flex Staff, and Express Employment Professionals find mid-level and upper-level management opportunities in a variety of fields. And, as an individual, you do not pay for the service—the companies that need the employees pay the temporary agency. If you can align yourself with a professional at one of these organizations, they will find a position that fits your skill-set.

The moral of the story is to NOT limit yourself to online job sites. Think of other ways you can connect to job opportunities beyond just the job posting. Most importantly—if possible—build these relationships prior to needing them. That means creating a networking circle, knowing your local business development organizations, and connecting with agencies that can help you in your job search.

Check out our Top 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW – it’s a free download!

Top Five Tips for Attending Your Next Job Fair

If you have been out of work for awhile, it’s likely that you have been or will be attending a job fair or career event. Or, if you are a college student seeking an internship opportunity or are ready for your first ‘real job,’ you will definitely be attending a career fair. These events can be overwhelming or intimidating, especially if you aren’t prepared. Follow the tips below to ensure you are professional, prepared, and ready for that job opportunity.

Tip #1 – Dress professionally. We have all heard the saying that people shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. However, first impressions are critical to your future career success. If you don’t appear to be professional and ‘put together,’ a potential employer may disqualify you immediately. So, be sure to wear professional attire, walk and sit up straight, and build your confidence. Don’t make any excuses for appearing to be your best self. If you are short on money to build a professional wardrobe, borrow clothes from someone or visit your local thrift store—you would be amazed at the bargains that can be utilized to create professional attire.

Tip #2 – Be prepared. Bring hard copies of your resume with you on the day of the event. And, carry them in a nice portfolio. If a company is interested in you as a candidate, you will want to leave them with a document that describes your job history and contains your contact information. Bring more than enough copies – you can always take the extra copies home with you.

Tip #3 – Conduct research. The career fair will most likely feature a variety of employers from your area. You may be interested in some of them and others may not interest you at all. Research the companies that interest you and find out as much as you can ahead of time. This can cut down on the awkwardness of randomly stopping at a table or booth and not having anything to discuss. Instead, mention that you saw they recently earned an award, have a new product offering, or are expanding their current location. Don’t try to research all of the companies – just focus on the 5-10 that peak your interest.

Tip #4 – Practice your elevator pitch. Most employers are going to ask you about yourself. Be prepared with your 30-60 second bio. Don’t discuss personal issues; rather, stay focused on your educational background or professional history. Remember that it is all about THEM – how are you going to help them in the daily functions of their business and why should they even consider you? If you are nervous doing this, practice with a trusted colleague or friend before the event.

Tip #5 – Follow up. After you prepare for the event, attend the career fair, and make those connections – then what? Don’t let all of that work go to waste. Follow up with your new connections, sending an email or a thank you card. If you can get your name in front of the potential employer again, it’s just one more ‘touch’ on your way to a new job opportunity. And, even if it doesn’t work out right now, something may become available in the future.

If you are ready to move forward with your career search and just don’t know where to start, please contact me today – my passion is helping you reach your career goals!

Networking Your Way to Career Success

Are you seeking a new career opportunity? Or, have you been out of work for awhile and don’t know what to do next? If you are simply sitting behind your computer and perusing the job boards for that next big career step, you are missing one vital part of job search—in-person networking. See below for several tips to maximize your time and reap the benefits.

Tip #1 – Volunteer within the community. If you are unemployed or have a passion for a particular organization, consider volunteering. Not only will this fill your time and make a significant impact on those the organization serves, you will also meet other professionals and can connect with them. If you are extremely interested in an organization, consider serving on a board of directors or taking a more vital role within the group.

Tip #2 – Attend chamber of commerce events. Most city’s have local chambers of commerce that allow you to attend networking events for free or minimal charge. What if you spend $5 or $10 to attend an event and are able to connect with 100+ professionals? Be sure to dress in business attire, have business cards or a connection card available, and put on your best smile.

Tip #3 – Schedule a minimum of one business lunch or dinner per week. Whether you are currently employed or not, you still have to eat lunch and dinner. Rather than staying home and grabbing a sandwich from your kitchen or eating in your company lunchroom, make a point to connect with someone outside of your current company and schedule a lunch appointment. This will allow you stay connected to your field (or your desired field), and you can let these individuals know that you are seeking new opportunities.

Tip #4 – Follow up. After you attend networking events or meet someone via a volunteer organization, be sure to follow up with them. Send an email thanking them for their expertise or explaining how much you enjoyed meeting them. This shows follow-through and that you maintain contact with your connections. It’s important to stay top-of-mind when potential job opportunities arise. And, if you secure an interview, following-up is more important than ever.

If you are ready to move forward with your job search and aren’t sure if your resume is ready-to-go, contact us today for a free resume consultation – we would love to help!

After Losing Your Job…7 Tips for Job Searching Success

Everything has been going along just fine with your career—nothing exciting, but things are stable. But, are they really stable? Do you know what’s around the next corner in your company? And, are you established enough in your career just in case something does happen? Most companies, many industries, and the economy in general are constantly evolving. What does this mean as a worker in this twenty-first century? It means that you have to be prepared for uncertainty and a potential job change.

As a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), I have partnered with over 1,000 clients in developing forward-thinking, eye-catching, and industry-appropriate resumes and cover letters. Unfortunately, many of those clients contact me only when they have lost their jobs and need to quickly rework a 20+ year-old resume or are starting with no documentation. Along with needing a new resume, there are other things to consider if you lose your job.

#1 – Don’t be ashamed of the job loss. First, a job loss can happen to anyone. Companies, merge, businesses close, and organizational needs change. Tell people that you are actively seeking new employment opportunities. Did you know that most jobs are found via networking and existing contacts? It’s a much better way to find a job then replying to hundreds of job postings online.

#2 – Be sure your resume is up-to-date. Although it was mentioned before, it deserves repeating. If you have let others know that you are seeking a new job and they ask for your resume, it doesn’t look good to make them wait for an updated document. Be sure to include your most recent job and know that you don’t have to list why you left that particular position.

#3 – Get a new email address. Many of us are tied to our job email address, which is obviously gone if you have lost your position. And, home email addresses could be checked by multiple people in the household. Instead, open a new email account that is used specifically for job hunting. Then, you can be sure you will be the only one checking the email account. And, always use your name or a portion of your name as the email address. Don’t use your graduation year, birth year, or other information that could detail your age. Keep it professional and simple.

#4 – Join LinkedIn as your preferred social media outlet. LinkedIn is a professional resource for social media content, updates, company profiles, and job searching. If you already have Facebook, Twitter, and other profiles, then be sure there is nothing out there that could harm your job search. While it is true that everyone has a personal life, it is also true that a quick Google search of your name will generate hits on your social media profiles.

#5 – Attend networking events. Again, most people find job opportunities through contacts they know. If you can attend a local chamber of commerce expo or a local networking group, take the chance and do so. And, if those aren’t available to you, then schedule a lunch appointment with a contact you haven’t seen for awhile. The more people that know you are seeking opportunities, the more eyes and ears are out there assisting you with your job search.

#6 – Never badmouth your ex-employer. Never. Ever. Do. This. Have you ever heard the saying, ‘don’t burn your bridges?’ Well, this rings true when seeking employment. The more you badmouth your ex-employer, the more you are viewed as a critical, sad, and annoying ex-employee. Furthermore, you never know who may know the people and/or company that you are criticizing. It doesn’t matter if what you are saying is true—just don’t do it.

#7 – Take on part-time work, freelance projects, or volunteer opportunities. If you are unsure of your career direction or can’t seem to find the perfect full-time job opportunity, then grab the chance to volunteer with an organization close to your heart, find a part-time opportunity that meets your family needs, or be open to the idea of freelance work. These short-term gigs show future employers that you kept busy during your time away from the full-time workforce and still honed your skills while networking with entirely new groups of people.

Remember that you are not the first person to lose their job and you certainly won’t be the last. By keeping a positive attitude, being proactive, and establishing a network of people that are also seeking opportunities for you, you can be on your way to a new opportunity that may meet your needs even better than your previous position.

Are you READY to take your job search to the next level? Contact us today!

Where Does Education go on a Resume?

As you piece together the information on your resume, you may start to wonder where that information needs to go. Should you include your qualifications at the top of the document or is that better left for the end? And, do you include your contact information on each page? But, the question I am asked most often is whether or not to list your education prior to your experience or after that work history.

The answer is this: IT DEPENDS. While that may not be the answer you want to here, it is the truthful response. Read below for several ‘rules’ and questions that we can apply to the Education section that will guide you in its placement on your new resume.

First – have you graduated college within the last six months to one year? If so, then it is appropriate to list your education prior to employment experiences. This is because you most likely have little or no professional experience and your education is the core competency that you wish to highlight for an employer.

Secondly – have you graduated from a well-known college or university? For example, if you graduated from Harvard or Princeton, this is information that should be highlighted. Depending upon the position and the employer, these types of universities will provide you with an additional advantage over other candidates.

Next – how many years of professional experience do you have in your desired field? If the answer is one or more years, then the Education section can go after the professional history. In this case, we should focus on highlighting your skills, accomplishments, and abilities at each position. For those that have many years of professional experience, education becomes less important as you move forward through your career.

Remember, there is not one resume format that fits all job seekers. Be strategic when placing your information and showcase your strongest assets and experiences first. Recruiters and hiring managers have precious little time and you want to ensure the front-loading of pertinent information.

If you still have questions about your resume, please contact us for a free resume review!

Why Volunteerism and Community Involvement is Important on Your Resume

As you are writing your resume, you have most likely listed your skill-set, your professional experience, work history, and education. However, did you also consider your volunteerism and community involvement initiatives? If you haven’t, now is the time to start thinking how these items can help you in your job search.

First, consider how you have chosen your volunteer activities. Most likely, you are working with organizations and events that align directly with your skills and qualifications. Although this isn’t paid work, it is still valuable experience that can be used to attract a potential employer.

Next, have you been unemployed for short or long time periods? If so, ramp up your volunteerism during this time and list it on your resume. For example, if you are in accounting or bookkeeping and currently serve as the treasurer for your church, consider adding this to your resume. If you are an event planner that has planned large-scale events for your child’s school, list this as well. And, remember that this experience can be listed under professional experience—just because it isn’t paid work doesn’t mean that it isn’t “professional” work.

Finally, consider how those community involvement activities may have added further connections to your circle. Did you know that many people find new job positions through personal connections rather than job advertisements? Use your volunteering time to also network with community leaders. You never know when someone at an event may hear about the perfect opportunity for you.

Contact us today for a free resume critique – we are ready and excited to work with you!