Search Strategies

The Multi-Faceted Job Search

Friendly InterviewerFinding a job used to be a much simpler process than it is today… You used to send a résumé, get an interview, and if they liked you, you were hired.

Today, there isn’t just one area to consider, the modern job search is multi-faceted and there’s a number of areas to consider, but with a little preparation, it can come together nicely.

Prepare the following and it will make your job search go much smoother…

Résumé: Have an up-to-date résumé ready at any given moment and with you. You never know when the opportunity to offer it may arise. Be prepared. If you can make it shine on your own, do it and if you can’t; hire a professional. This is the most important document of your career… Make it shine.

Connections: From alumni groups to lifelong friends, you never know where an ally in your job search could come from. Be active on LinkedIn because it’s a solid resource. I’ve had several offers come from LinkedIn connections, so it’s well worth the effort. There are also some wonderful professionals that you’re likely to learn from, you can follow. Brilliant minds worth tapping into.

Online Presence: Do a search on your name to see what comes up… You may be surprised and that can be a bad thing, if you “express yourself” in any questionable ways. From politics to an out of control social media presence can be the kiss of death to a career and job offers, if you aren’t careful. If there are questionable posts, try to clean up your presence, but remember that nothing really ever goes away online. It’s safer to not have anything to hide and easier than trying to clean it up.

Phone Interviews: It used to be that you were called in for a face-to-face interview based istock_000021392184_doubleon your résumé alone, but those days are pretty much gone. You can go through several phone interviews before you ever meet anyone face-to-face. Even possible Skype interviews. I strongly suggest dress for phone or Skype interviews because it puts you in the best mindset for a professional presence.

Appearance:  In my humble opinion this is one of the most important areas to cover… Image is EVERYTHING! Companies want a professional image and if you want to get hired or advance, you need to know what the company expects and be that. You have to prepare to adapt to the corporate culture and not expect them to adapt to you.

Follow the above tips and you’ll be ahead of many… If you need assistance, feel free to contact me and I can assist you with the process.

Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value. ~Albert Einstein

 

 

 

 

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Mistakes

Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You SHOULD Post It.

iStock_000009570308_XXXLargeIn recent months, I’ve noticed that people are thinking less and less about the consequences of what they say and do online. The warnings are everywhere, but people think that it’s their right to post whatever their heart desires. Whatever it takes to gain attention… Their 15 minutes of fame, their RIGHT to say or do anything. It’s their RIGHT! This is the United States and we have rights, right? Of course, you have the right, but that doesn’t make it right. Is that an overuse of “right” or what??? 😉

The problem with this is that they don’t take into consideration the cost. The cost can be quite high and once it’s done, there’s rarely ever a way to make it go away completely. Even if you take it down, relatively quickly… The internet NEVER forgets!

From the gentleman that had the tirade at Chick-fil-A to the local guy that posted a video on YouTube of him in the Burger King sink on his birthday, like he was taking a bath… There is a cost and for these two , it was their jobs.

What I find amusing is that regardless the HUGE public disasters these events create and no matter how much media coverage there is of the damage, people are still doing it. It’s an attitude that says, “It can’t happen to me.” From stomping on the flag to making uncalled for statements against the police, you hear it happening each week.

The bottom line is that if you’d get fired for saying to your boss or if what you’re doing might get you arrested, you likely shouldn’t be posting it online. It’s much easier to avoid the damage, than it is to clean it up.

So my advice for the week… Think before you post.

Have a wonderful week!

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Five Ways to Get Your Career Ducks in a Row

iStock_000020614872_LargeThere’s an old saying, “Have all your ducks in a row.” It means that you are completely prepared, right down to the last detail. You might ask how this applies to you and how you can make this work for you…

So, you’ve decided to look for a job… Are you prepared? You should ALWAYS be prepared, because you never know what the future holds. From great opportunities, to downsizing… ANYTHING can happen.

Let’s go over just a few ways you can get those ducks lined up:

  1. Documentation: Is your resume up to date? How long has it been since you last updated your resume? This is an area most wait until they need it and then end up in a panic because they are unprepared, when In fact it should always be current and ready to go. Whether you write it yourself or hire someone, get it together today. You’ll find that this makes the entire process much easier.
  1. Style: Attire and hairstyle, modern and professional? You don’t want anything dated, nor do you want something out in leftfield. Proper professional attire and hairstyle are necessary for interviews and believe it or not, it can be done affordably. This is another area that you shouldn’t wait until the last second for.
  1. Education/Training: Education information and skills current? We should always be a student in our chosen fields and in life, in general. It keeps the mind sharp and keeps you current within our fields. Skill sets: are you staying current in all of your skill sets? What many consider age discrimination is very simply put, outdated skills caused by complacency. It’s all too easy to sit back and get lazy with one’s skills when you’ve been at a job for a long period of time (even if you hate the job).
  1. Attitude: although age discrimination is a very real thing, often it is a mindset one creates. I’ve met many a person that are so young at heart that age has NEVER been an issue and they’re well into their 60’s and 70’s, but I’ve also met some in their 40’s that come off ancient. Don’t allow a bad attitude become your greatest hurdle to finding a new or better job.
  1. Contacts: your network shouldn’t be seen as simply a “network” you fall back on when you need it. These should be both personal and professional friends. I can’t stress this one enough… You can’t expect people to put their neck out for you, if they only hear from you, when you want something. Be a friend and friends will want to help, in a heartbeat.

These are just a few areas that can help you in finding a new job or even advancing within your present company. Don’t take them for granted.

Have a wonderful week!

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Ladies… Seven Deadly Sins of Professional Attire

iStock_000005892300XSmallRecently, I was at a dinner with a number of young people that were supposedly dressed professionally and the guys did it nicely, but the young women were almost entirely wrong. I hate to say it, but it seems many young women are clueless to professional attire. Because of this fact, I’m writing to enlighten those that need it to the seven deadly sins of professional dressing.

  1. If your tummy bulges are hanging over your pants or skirt for the world to see… You’re NOT dressed professionally.
  2. If you’re wearing a top that clings to all your tummy bulges for all to notice… You’re NOT dressed professionally.
  3. Flip flops and sandals… Not professional.
  4. Super short skirts… Nope!
  5. Tattoos uncovered… Do I need to say it?
  6. The “Goth” look… Really???
  7. And finally, if your bosom is exploding from your top…NOT PROFESSIONAL!!!

For most of us, this should be common sense, but WOW, I see it all the time! This isn’t acceptable; by just about any standard (The last few might work for a stripper, but let’s hope that isn’t where you’re going!).

It’s not that hard to find acceptable clothing at even Walmart or a thrift shop, so cost shouldn’t be the issue. Besides that, there are places that will assist you in finding proper attire. Clothes That Work is a great group for assisting women with clothing choices, if cost is an issue. Dressing appropriately can be the difference between a strong future and unemployment, so don’t risk it.

You can easily look online for clothing suggestions, examples are literally everywhere. If you must, do a little research before going shopping. Great, affordable looks are out there and easy to find… You won’t regret doing a little research.

Play it safe, so you don’t end up destroying a great opportunity.

Military Veterans

A Passion for Our Heroes

Over the years, I’ve worked with a number of veterans and have found great joy in helping them find work. Some, I’ve even assisted while they were still active in the Middle East, soon to be coming home. I find it an honor to work with our heroes, those that sacrifice, so we don’t have to.

These days, I’m reading so many articles and seeing a number of reports on how these great individuals are struggling to find work and get back to normal life, once they’re out of the service and it breaks my heart. My personal goal has become to do all that I can in an attempt to do something about this national problem.

Once upon a time, we respected these returning heroes… I’m not sure what’s happening, but they’re being ignored and need to be grabbed up by companies. They have the discipline; you just don’t see in the young people of today and deserve the opportunities that are out there.

In the days ahead, I’m going to be contacting numerous organizations to see how I can help and from my business perspective, I’m also going to offer discounts to veterans, as well as seeking out a list (hopefully, ever-growing) of companies that are looking for vets to hire. We need to do whatever it takes to make a better future for our heroes.

In the mean time, I’m looking for veteran organizations to start donating a portion of my sales to. As I find ones that I feel strongly about and support, I’ll share them with you, so you may also get involved.

As I said, serving our veterans has always been a passion of mine and now, I’m going to take it a step further. Will you consider joining in this endeavor? There are so many opportunities out there to reach out and help our returning heroes… Take a look around and see what you can do.

The first I’d like to share is Boot Campaign… They have a great way of sharing patriotism through boots. Check out this great new commercial with a couple of the guys from Sons of Anarchy, Theo Rossi and Kim Coates and please check out the site.

Thank you.

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Our Kids Should Have a Backup Plan…

iStock_000021337330LargeLately, I’ve seen a number of college students seeking degrees that are going to be difficult, if not impossible to find jobs with; building mounds of debt, with little hope of being able to pay off anytime soon. I’m seeing fields that experienced workers are struggling to find jobs and kids coming out of school, with hopes of finding the dream job. The worst part of what I’m seeing is that there’s no backup plan… No other options; besides minimum wage.

We need to make sure that our kids know that in this job market,  a degree is certainly no guarantee. We need them to be prepared, when it comes to their education. To do their research, so they know what jobs are out there in their chosen field. Our kids need to make the hard choices, knowing that their financial futures are at stake in this game.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I don’t want people to go after jobs that they’ll hate, but they have to understand that there’s more than one job that they could love. There are jobs that are rewarding and pay the rent, which is what they should be aiming for.

Yes, macramé may be a joy and an idea for a future business, but it’s not something they should want to go into some serious debt for, without any hope of recouping losses. They need a backup plan! Students can study business, with the goal of starting their own business in the future. Then there’s a degree that one can build on and one that will only help in the future.

There’s countless ways that goals and career hopes can blend, that have solid footing. We need to make sure that our kids know this fact and they think their goals through. Make choices that will build a solid base for their career goals, from the courses they take to the extracurricular activities they participate in and NEVER let them to forget about internships. They can make all the difference in the world!

There are so many people out there willing to assist our kids with these choices (because we all know that as parents, we don’t know ANYTHING). We need to have our kids seek these people out and ask the necessary questions. From people in the field, school counselors, and simply doing job searches online, these will all help make decisions.

Sit your kids down and have a talk with them, if they’re thinking of some questionable career goals and assist them in doing the research needed, not to have a useless degree (and YES, they exist!). This is especially important if you’re name is on those college loans, you don’t want your retirement to go to pay off that Masters in Macramé. 😉

Have a wonderful week and do great in your work and your life…

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Are You Taking Care of Your Number One Asset???

workout girlYour number one asset… Do you know what it is? Do you know how to keep it in top working order? And do you know that this one item can make or break your career???

That item… You.

It’s easy to allow your health to slip away under the guise of “I’m too busy to take care of myself; I’m too busy taking care of everyone else.” Unfortunately, that excuse comes at a very high price.

I’m not perfect and have in the past couple years, put my own health on the back burner to care for family and build a business, but as a cancer survivor that was a bad decision and I’m trying to get back to making my health a priority. I’ve started walking/jogging again and have lost close to thirty pounds and with that, it’s helped my confidence and believe it or not, my business. It’s hard to have a career or any kind for long, if you refuse to take care of what does all the work.

I’m going to give you some suggestions to getting back in control of your health…

Now, understand, I’m not a doctor and if you’re starting a new diet or exercise regimen, you should see your doctor to make sure you are up for it.

  1. Get enough sleep. I can’t stress this one enough (to myself, as much as to anyone else) because it’s impossible to be at the top of your game if you’re only getting four hours of sleep a night. It WILL catch up with you and it WILL be ugly.
  2. Eat right. Again, I need to often remind myself of this fact because when you work on the go, it’s EXTREMELY easy to grab junk and munch, instead of grabbing something healthy. This nation is an obesity issue and it hurts us, as we try to do the jobs we’re given. I’ve been trying to pack a healthy snack for times when I can’t get somewhere to grab a decent lunch (that means NO to the fries and NO to supersizing).
  3. Get off the sofa. I know when you get home that you’re tired (I get up at 4 in the morning, so completely get it), but even if it’s only a twenty minute walk, it’s better than simply putting your feet up and eating chips. I’ve also been parking further away and squeezing in a little more walking that way (it does help). If you need to, get yourself a pedometer to simply track the steps you take during the day and build on that. Again, little things make a big difference.
  4. Visit your doctor if something is amiss. You know your body and in most cases, you know when something isn’t right. I knew something was off with my leg for two years before giving in and seeing a doctor, only to find that the huge mass on my knee was cancer (was lucky, but don’t be me).
  5. And finally, play… Yes, I said “play.” As adults we tend to build our entire lives around our jobs and families, becoming so adult that we forget what it’s like to play. Play keeps your mind sharp and improves your attitude on every level. Find something you enjoy doing and do it. It doesn’t have to be rocket science or somehow change the world to be important. Whether it’s bowling, jogging, riding a bike or even playing a sport… Just get up and do it. This is likely the best exercise you’ll do.

So… Get up from the sofa and turn off “Big Brother” (that in and of itself it good for you and saves runningcountless brain cells) and get out there and take care of that asset, so it will take care of you and your future.

Have a great week and enjoy the wonderful autumn days!

“Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Education

Are You a Life Long Student??? Be One!

copyOften when I work with clients that are struggling to find a job, I ask if they have any ongoing job training or classes to add to their resume and get the answer, “No.” There are many different reasons why, but sadly many people seem to think that they know all that they need to know in their chosen field. Heck, I don’t know all that I need to know in ANY aspect of my life, so how can I be so sure that I know all that there is to know about my field??? No one and I mean NO ONE knows everything there is about their field of choice and we can all afford to pick up a class or training session here and there. Jobs change, fields evolve, and there’s never anything that simply stays the same. Either we evolve with the rest of the world or we die, so to speak.

Here are just a few tips for getting up to date or picking up new skills that can advance your career…

  1. Online courses are everywhere and far more respected than they once were. Check out local colleges to see what they offer, as well as the online universities out there.
  2. Local adult education centers are another great choice for getting new or renewed skills.
  3. Participating in professional associations and taking some of their trainings can be a wonderful networking advantage, as well as a way to learn new skills.
  4. And finally, understand that the only true way to advance in your field or compete in the job market is to know that there’s always something new to learn and to seek that knowledge out… It’s just a common sense thing.

If you take this advice and keep the heart of a student, you’ll be much more satisfied with your skills and career. We were never created to stop learning… It’s good for the mind and good for those seeking success in their chosen fields.

My challenge for you this week…                                                                                                                                              

Get out there and see the classes are available to you and what interests you. You’ll be surprised at what’s available.

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Track That Training!

confused clientRecently, I’ve worked with a couple of different clients that described their previous training/education as “numerous” and have no idea of the details. Sadly, that doesn’t fly in the real world.

I don’t care how many there are, or what they are, track them. Dates, titles, instructors and or institutions all need to be kept on file. You may not need them all at any one time, but have them. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to develop a quality résumé without them. You deserve the best possible advantage against the competition; don’t become your biggest hindrance.

First things first:

1)      Create a file and keep it nearby, so it’s easily accessible for additions.

2)      Keep in chronological order (will make copying it over to your résumé easier, as well as easier to toss outdated information).

3)      Regularly look in this file… I know this sounds obvious, but so often this gets blown off until the individual is in a rush to create an effective document and then they’ve created more work for themselves.

4)      And finally, remember opportunity can come at ANY time, so be prepared… It doesn’t hurt to regularly update your résumé. Good things come to those that are prepared.

I hope that this little tip has helped open your eyes to the need to keep your training information current and ready to be used.

Until next time…

Remember that you create your own successes, in both career and life.

 

 

Search Strategies

How Not to be Chum Looking for a Job After 40

iStock_000001623897_ExtraSmallHave you ever noticed how once you hit 40 (or it seems so to some), there are young vicious sharks swimming around you on your search for work? They act friendly, but you just KNOW that they are circling and waiting to have you for lunch. I’d like to give you a few tips on how to keep the sharks at bay…

  1. Never and I mean NEVER use the word old to describe yourself. Good grief, if you’re not 80, you’re not old to begin with and need slapped upside the head just for saying it. Saying that you’re getting old is like opening a wound and dripping blood in the water. Stop it!
  2. Feeling squishy and slow among your 12 year old coworkers? Let me break it to you… Watching American Idol while eating chips and playing couch potato isn’t going to advance you career, only your waist. Get up off your butt and get active.
  3. And if you try to get active and suddenly EVERYTHING hurt… Get over it! It will! I don’t know how many people give up after the first time they exercise simply because it hurts. Don’t overdo it, but don’t mosey through the neighborhood without breaking a sweat and call that enough. Sweat, baby, sweat!
  4. When you do exercise, listen to something upbeat. Smooth jazz may keep you from getting violent on the drive home, but goodness it will do NOTHING for a workout. Think of it this way, if the music can cause your pulse to pick up just listening or watching the video, imagine what it can do for a workout.
  5. Another don’t is the constant complaining about the younger former bosses and fellow workers. It makes you look like the curmudgeon of the office and like you should be saying something like “When I was a kid, we walked 10 miles to school, uphill, both ways.” Complaining gets you nowhere, fast!
  6. Understand that you should be at the top of your game and you’re never too old to take classes and seek professional development. The only way to stay on top is to be a continuous student.
  7. And finally: Be active in your community and make a difference in lives. There’s a much bigger world than just the only you live in. Look out for more than just you and your own. This keeps you active, your resume current, and an impact that can advance or build a career.

Follow these guidelines and not only will you stand a chance with the sharks, but you might just become a force to be reckoned with (instead of sleeping with the fishes).