Job Hunting en-US A Pro Resume Editor Reveals the 5 Dumbest Things You Have on Your Resume <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-pro-resume-editor-reveals-the-5-dumbest-things-you-have-on-your-resume" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="resume" title="resume" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="150" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Resumes are your first introduction to a potential employer; they're the key that unlocks a closer inspection. You might be the world's best interviewee, but if you can't land an interview in the first place, those interpersonal skills won't do you much good. (See also: <a href="">12 Words You Need to Delete From Your Resume Right Now</a>)</p> <p>In an effort to identify the dumb mistakes many job hunters make on their resumes, I spoke with Jenny Rae Le Roux, professional resume editor and owner of <a href="">Management Consulted</a>, an online resource for would-be consultants. After spending several years as a consultant with Bain &amp; Company, Jenny Rae now helps others enter the highly competitive world of management consulting.</p> <p>Here, in her words, are the top five mistakes Jenny Rae sees in resumes.</p> <h2>1. It's a Novel</h2> <p>We are sure your history is amazing, and you may be an awesome storyteller, but don't ever, ever,<em> ever</em> have more than two pages on your resume. Five sections (summary, professional experience, academic experience, leadership, and personal), four entries per section, and four to five bullet points per entry should cover it. And please don't ever use less than 10.5 point font size and 0.5 inch margins!</p> <p>Less is really more. You only have 10 seconds to make an impression, so don't bore the reader or scare them away with too much detail. Instead of reading everything, they'll look at your huge document and skip it completely.</p> <h2>2. The Formatting Is a Fiasco</h2> <p>Keep it consistent, people! If you are hoping someone will select you to appropriate their big honking budgets, manage multi-member teams, make major decisions, or perform any basic job at a competent level&hellip; you should be able to make one page flawless.</p> <p>Don't mix fonts, sizes, or styles and PLEASE &mdash; do NOT put color on your resume (unless you are 10 years old or younger).</p> <h2>3. Previous Positions Prioritized Poorly</h2> <p>Say that three times fast!</p> <p>If you scooped ice cream for 10 years, but just completed a three-month non-paid internship with Google, that's what employers want to know the most about. If you can fill up a page with short-term prestigious experiences, leave off the 10-year piece altogether &mdash; especially if it makes someone picture you in a setting that isn't compatible with your current aspirations. The last thing you want is to paint a picture of yourself in a role you're attempting to break free from.</p> <h2>4. It Suffers From TMGI</h2> <p>(That's <em>Too Much General Information</em>)</p> <p>You do not have to explain to the reviewer that you answered phone calls as a secretary. They know that. They also don't want to know about your middle school awards. Focus only on college achievements and beyond, and make sure that you don't just include summaries of each job. Include one clear illustration of something you did over and over with positive results.</p> <h2>5. It's Missing Key Details</h2> <p>&quot;Offered advice to companies,&quot; does not pack as much punch as &quot;Oversaw team of four consultants to manage a contract with $5B pharmaceutical company; assisted CEO directly with new market entry strategy.&quot;</p> <p>Provide relevant details and metrics wherever possible. Expect to spend time on your resume on your own, but also consider having an expert review it for you. It's a small one-time cost that will pay itself back tenfold by the time you start your first day at a brand new job.</p> <p><em>Have you made any of these resume mistakes? Share in the comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="A Pro Resume Editor Reveals the 5 Dumbest Things You Have on Your Resume" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jacob McMillen</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Job Hunting job hunt resume resume mistakes Fri, 18 Jul 2014 13:00:02 +0000 Jacob McMillen 1161453 at 10 Dumb Things Holding You Back From Getting a New Job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-dumb-things-holding-you-back-from-getting-a-new-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="interview" title="interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="151" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For those of us looking for work, more work, or better work, the odds aren't always stacked in our favor.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px;">We all know the essentials, the big things that can make or break our applications. But what about the little things, the dumb things, that can steal victory right out of our hands? Don't let these mistakes stand in your way.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">(See also: </span><a style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;" href="">14 Proven Strategies for Landing Jobs</a><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">)</span></p> <h2>1. You're Not Looking in the Right Places</h2> <p>Don't limit your search to one or two listings. Occassionally browsing <a href=""></a> isn't going to cut it if you're serious about getting a job. Attack the search engines. Find online groups and forums in your field. They will link you to numerous job listing sites. Utilize LinkedIn. Contact people in your network. The wider your net, the better your catch will be. (See also: <a href="">6 Unconventional Ways to Find Your Next Job</a>)</p> <h2>2. You're Not Selling Yourself</h2> <p>As a job hunter, you should be running a full marketing campaign on yourself. This includes every marketing channel you can find, from online profiles to cover letters, resumes, networking, even direct advertisements if you're so inclined. And your message shouldn't be simply informative. You should be selling yourself. Don't be humble. Highlight your selling points. Pitch your value. (See also: <a href="">How to See Yourself to Potential Employers</a>)</p> <h2>3. You Have Weak Social Media Profiles</h2> <p>Speaking of marketing channels, everyone knows not to leave compromising images or information posted on their social media profiles, but many fail to use these profiles as a meaningful part of their job hunt. Employers regularly check these pages, and in this job market, any opportunity to stand out should be taken full advantage of. Your profiles can be crafted into targeted marketing channels, actively participating in landing you a job. (See also: <a href="">Get the Job You Want With the Right Professional Image</a>)</p> <h2>4. You're Not Following Directions</h2> <p>Did the application say, &quot;Include 'I'm your new hire' in the email header,&quot; but you didn't bother reading that paragraph? Did the directions tell you to answer in bullet points but you wrote paragraphs? Failing to follow simple instructions is quite possibly the dumbest reason to bomb an application. (See also: <a href="">8 Ways to Get Noticed During a Job Search</a>)</p> <h2>5. Your Applications Have Typos, Spelling Errors, or Grammar Mistakes</h2> <p>Correct grammar and spelling are the easiest things to get right on a resume, application email, or cover letter. Sure, you need to be thorough, but spell-check typically does the heavy lifting anyway. The key is to remember that spell-check is an <em>editing tool</em>, not an editor. Never send out written materials until you've thoroughly reread them at least twice (and once more aloud). (See also: <a href="">12 Words You Need to Delete From Your Resume Right Now</a>)</p> <h2>6. You Write Long-Winded Cover Letters</h2> <p>Your cover letter should never exceed a single page. You have five brief paragraphs MAX to detail why you are the right fit for the position. Get to the point, brag about yourself where it counts, and close. The cover letter is your chance to supplement your work history with something meaningful, not list additional information. (See also: <a href="">Stupid Things to Put in Your Cover Letter</a>)</p> <h2>7. You Employ Tactless Name Dropping</h2> <p>If you know someone at the business you're applying to, great! You should absolutely mention them in your cover letter. But don't be tactlessly obvious. Mentioning your association should be done in a way that's relevant to the overall message of your cover letter. If you can remove the name-dropping sentence with no consequence to the flow of your letter, there's a problem. (See also: <a href="">15 Bad Networking Habits That Will Kill Your Job Prospects</a>)</p> <h2>8. You're Focusing on You</h2> <p>This may sound harsh, but the company you're applying to isn't really interested in your career story. They're not interested in solving your employment situation. What they are invested in is solving their own business problems. Talking about yourself is a sure-fire way to be ignored. Talking about how you will bring value to the business, however, will get your foot in the door. (See also: <a href="">This Interview Technique Will Get You Hired</a>)</p> <h2>9. You're Trying Too Hard</h2> <p>Nobody likes desperate, and overreaching can cause mistakes. Doing highly detailed research on your target company and making a grand show reeks of desperation. It tells the company you're probably not employable. Approach every potential job like you have options. (See also: <a href="">8 Common Job-Hunt Tips You Should Ignore</a>)</p> <h2>10. You're Not Trying Hard Enough</h2> <p>On the flip side of the coin, companies don't want prima donnas on their rosters. They want to know that you are genuinely interested in working for their company. If you can't even answer a basic question about the company's product line, background, or brand, you won't be receiving many offers. Dress the part. Clean yourself up. Arrive on time. Don't let the dumb little things hold you back. (See also: <a href="">This Is How You Get A New Job This Year</a>)</p> <p><em>What's the dumbest job hunt mistake you've ever made (or seen)? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Dumb Things Holding You Back From Getting a New Job" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jacob McMillen</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting job hunt job search Tue, 10 Jun 2014 09:00:22 +0000 Jacob McMillen 1142124 at This Is How You Get a New Job This Year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-how-you-get-a-new-job-this-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="job applicant" title="job applicant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're unemployed or looking to take your career to the next level, there are ways to snag a new job before the end of this year. Yes &mdash; given the stubbornly <a href="">high unemployment rate</a>, and the fact that many employers are bombarded with resumes and applications, getting noticed isn't without its challenges. But don't let this discourage you. Here's a look at 10 ways to get a new job this year.</p> <h2>1. Gain New Experience</h2> <p>Sharpening your existing skills and gaining new ones can put you ahead of the competition. For example, have you mastered the latest software programs for your industry? In addition, if companies in your industry can benefit from bilingual employers, learning another language might impress hiring managers and increase your chances of getting an interview, and maybe a job offer. Take a class at a local community college, attend a workshop or seminar, or volunteer for hands-on experience.</p> <ul> <li><a href="">How to Get Job Experience Without Having a Job</a></li> <li><a href="">Turn Volunteer Experience Into Job Experience</a></li> </ul> <h2>2. Make Your Resume ROAR</h2> <p>Even with the skills and experience needed for a particular job, a boring resume can reduce the likelihood of an interview. To <a href="">make your resume ROAR</a>, it needs to be Results Oriented And Relevant. In other words, when listing your duties, your resume should not sound like a cookie-cutter job description. Rather than focus on what you were told to do, your resume should focus on how you can benefit the company and highlight past accomplishments or achievements.</p> <ul> <li><a href="">12 Words to Delete From Your Resume Right Now</a></li> <li><a href="">How to Get Your Resume Past the Resume Filter</a></li> </ul> <h2>3. Get LinkedIn</h2> <p>Don't rely on your resume and application to get noticed by employers. Many corporations have taken the job search online and use various online sites, such as LinkedIn, to locate suitable candidates.</p> <p>After updating your resume, give your LinkedIn profile some attention. Similar to a resume, your profile should state your objective and list your education, skills, and experience. And if possible, include links to an online portfolio to highlight your work</p> <p>Since this is your online resume, the more people you connect with in your industry, the more opportunities to put your best foot forward.</p> <ul> <li><a href="">Get Your LinkedIn Profile Noticed With a Few Attention Grabbers</a></li> <li><a href="">9 LinkedIn Changes Every Job Hunter Should Make</a></li> </ul> <h2>4. Use Your Connections</h2> <p>The people in your circle can be a valuable resource when looking for a new job. Put out feelers to individuals you know in the industry &mdash; maybe your former boss, colleagues, friends, and family members. Also, don't be afraid to network outside your immediate circle. Attend industry events, such as meetups or alumni mixers.</p> <ul> <li><a href="">8 Job Hunting Tools That Are More Important Than LinkedIn</a></li> <li><a href="">31 Hidden Networks That Can Help You Land a Job</a></li> </ul> <h2>5. Rock Your Interview</h2> <p>Your resume gets your foot in the door, but it's the interview that gets you hired. And unfortunately, if you bomb the interview, the employer may move to the next applicant.</p> <p>How can you shine on your interview?</p> <p>Arrive on time &mdash; at least 10 minutes early. Dress professionally and practice responses for common interview questions. You need to impress and wow employers, thus demonstrating that you're the best person for the job. The employer shouldn't forget your name and face as soon as you walk out the office.</p> <ul> <li><a href="">10 Things You Did Wrong at Your Last Job Interview</a></li> <li><a href="">Weird Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them</a></li> </ul> <h2>6. Get a Grown Up Email Address</h2> <p>This might seem like a minor thing, but if your virtual life comes off as a bit childish, some employers may conclude that you're not mature enough to handle certain positions. There are several ways an employer can assess your character and personality. He or she may check your social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, to see what you're posting. Also, your email address can be a tell-tale sign of a &quot;too-young&quot; attitude. And when the employer calls to schedule an interview, if your voicemail isn't professional, he might decide not to leave a message and move to the next applicant on the list.</p> <ul> <li><a href="">Get the Job You Want With the Right Professional Image</a></li> </ul> <h2>7. Fix Your Attitude</h2> <p>No job prospects can leave you sad, angry, and desperate. However, your mood has a tremendous impact on the job search. If you're not motivated, you may spend the majority of your days lying in bed, rather than looking for a job. And if you go into an interview without confidence, the employer will detect this and conclude that you don't have what it takes to handle a particular job. Be positive, and you'll get better results. Get plenty of sleep, eat a balanced diet, and exercise for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week.</p> <ul> <li><a href="">Job Hunting Tips for the Recently Unemployed</a></li> <li><a href="">How to Thrive Despite Long Term Unemployment</a></li> </ul> <h2>8. Be Flexible</h2> <p>You may desire a particular schedule and salary, but unfortunately, getting a new job this year may require relaxing your standards. This is especially true if you've been out of work for a while and desperately need a job.</p> <p>Take a look at your budget and determine the least amount you can accept for a position. Also, can you take a job with a flexible schedule, or perhaps a job that requires weekend work?</p> <ul> <li><a href="""">7 Tips for the Newly Unemployed</a></li> </ul> <h2>9. Spellcheck</h2> <p>Careless typos and grammatical errors do not leave a good impression. And if an employer receives countless applications from qualified job seekers, mistakes can push your application to the bottom of the pile.</p> <ul> <li><a href="">6 Dumb Things Employment Recruiters See People Do</a></li> </ul> <h2>10. Follow Up</h2> <p>Some job ads specifically ask applicants &quot;not&quot; to contact the company &mdash; make sure you adhere to the rules. However, if the ad doesn't specify follow-up guidelines, contact the company in 7 to 10 days to confirm receipt of your application or resume. And if you interview with the company, it's okay to send a &quot;thank you&quot; note or email within 24 hours. This tactic can keep your name on the interviewer's mind as the company makes a decision.</p> <ul> <li><a href="">13 Ways to Make a Good First Impression at Your Next Job Interview</a></li> </ul> <p><em>What are you doing to boost your job search this year? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="This Is How You Get a New Job This Year" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting find a job getting hired job search Thu, 29 May 2014 09:00:34 +0000 Mikey Rox 1141013 at 5 Scary Thoughts Everyone Has During a Job Interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-scary-thoughts-everyone-has-during-a-job-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="nervous interviewee" title="nervous interviewee" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What do you think about when you hear the word &quot;interview?&quot;</p> <p>Does it invoke feelings of dread, terrifying memories, and lucid nightmares? Or perhaps your experience with the interview process has been decidedly more positive.</p> <p>Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, there are a number of thoughts almost everyone has during an interview. We're going to take a gander at what those thoughts are and how we can best respond to them. (See also: <a href="">This Interview Technique Will Get You Hired</a>)</p> <h2>1. &quot;Is it my fault that handshake was so awkward?&quot;</h2> <p>Awkward handshakes are a part of life. It's quite shocking how many ways there are to mess up the same classic greeting we've been doing for centuries. Nothing kills your confidence at the outset of an interview quite like an awkwardly misfired handshake. (See also: <a href="">10 Body Language Mistakes That Sabotage Most Interviews</a>)</p> <p>If you experience this in an interview, don't waste your time wondering whose fault it was or what the interviewer is thinking. If you act awkward about it, you'll kill the mood for the entire interview. If you jump straight into engaging with the interviewer and confidently advance the conversation, the opening jumble will be forgotten.</p> <h2>2. &quot;They're not saying anything. Am I supposed to say something?&quot;</h2> <p>Long pauses can be difficult to navigate. Your interviewer finishes a statement and then simply stares at you for a few moments, as if you're supposed to say something. Or you finish your answer to a question, but the interviewer continues looking at you as if he/she expects more. What now?</p> <p>Treat the conversational element of your interview like you would any other conversation. You can't control the other person. You can't dictate what they will or will not do within your discourse. Just focus on yourself. If they fail to ask a question, say something such as, &quot;I feel like there's a question in there somewhere,&quot; just as you would if a friend behaved similarly in a casual conversation.</p> <h2>3. &quot;Why are they trying to sell me on the company?&quot;</h2> <p>Good companies are run by good employees. I know this, yet somehow, it always surprises me when the interviewer starts selling me on the company. If you're at the interview stage, it means either your resume stands out or your networking was fantastic. Either way, you're the type of talent who has options, or at least, that's a possibility your interviewer is aware of.</p> <p>Come with specific questions prepared. When you catch that first whiff of salesmanship, it's time to take over the interview and begin asking meaningful questions about why this company is the right fit for you.</p> <h2>4. &quot;How invested in getting this position should I appear to be?&quot;</h2> <p>Do you act like this is your dream job? You don't want to appear desperate. Do you pretend you have much better offers on the table? They aren't going to offer the position to someone who isn't interested.</p> <p>Finding the right balance of purported interest can be tricky. Ultimately, you want to put yourself in the same bracket as they see you. To them, you are one possible choice on a shortlist of options, any of which will work, and none of which are irreplaceable. You should approach the interviewing company in a similar manner. It is one of several strong options you're considering. You could absolutely see yourself working there, but you will be 100% fine if it doesn't work out.</p> <h2>5. &quot;Dang it, I have no clue how to answer this question.&quot;</h2> <p>It seems that no matter how much we prepare, there's always at least one question which completely throws off our interview groove. It might be that one question you didn't want them to ask about your resume. It could be an ambiguous question about your weaknesses or a query concerning topics with which you are unfamiliar.</p> <p>First, stop and breathe. Don't rush into an incoherent answer because you're afraid of a brief silence. The most important thing to understand is that questions are always a positive opportunity. You are being given full license to frame any issue or topic in whatever way suits you best. You have a few moments to construct the interviewer's perspective of you and dismantle any assumptions that would otherwise arise.</p> <p>Interview questions, like the interviews themselves, are simply your opportunity to shine.</p> <p><em>What scary thoughts have you had during a job interview? How did you get through them?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Scary Thoughts Everyone Has During a Job Interview" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jacob McMillen</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting first impressions interviews Mon, 19 May 2014 08:00:30 +0000 Jacob McMillen 1139540 at 10 Words to Never Use in a Job Interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-words-to-never-use-in-a-job-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="hand covering mouth" title="hand covering mouth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Job interviews are tough, if you're lucky enough to get one. A recent study found that 80% of the available jobs in the US are never advertised. And only 20% of people who apply for any given job actually get an interview.</p> <p>So, if you do have an interview lined up, congratulations; you've already beaten the odds. Now, you have to get through the interview, and once again the odds are stacked against you. First impressions count, and doing your homework on the company you want to work for is a given. But what else can you do, or not do, to improve your odds of getting the job?</p> <p>Below are 10 words that you should never use in an interview. Read on to learn these words, and understand why you shouldn't be using them. Whether the employer is conscious of these words or not, by avoiding them, you raise your chances of being hired. Of course, we're excluding blatant curse words, racial slurs, and other obvious words to avoid. If you're using them in an interview, you'll need more than a little luck. (See also: <a href="">The Interview Technique That Will Get You Hired</a>)</p> <h2>1. Um</h2> <p>You may have other variations of it:&nbsp;<em>erm</em>, <em>hmm</em>, or <em>urh,</em> for instance. Whatever your go-to &quot;I need to think about this but keep making a sound&quot; phrase is, don't use it. It will kill a presentation, and your job interview is a presentation about yourself.</p> <p>Sure, this is not as formal as public speaking, and one or two uses of the <em>um</em> word may go by unnoticed. But if you are answering every question with <em>um</em>, the interviewer knows you are using a filler word to give yourself more time to answer. Why? Are you having trouble coming up with something? Are you about to lie? Are you not knowledgeable on the subject? If you need time to think, simply pause and say nothing. It is way better than thinking aloud.</p> <h2>2. Try</h2> <p>A very wise fellow once said, &quot;Do, or do not; there is no try.&quot; That was Yoda, and how right he was.</p> <p>You can <em>try</em> your hardest to do something, but saying &quot;I <em>try</em>&quot; in an interview is both vague and non-committal. For instance &quot;I <em>try</em> to do about three hours of studying every night.&quot; What does that mean? I could <em>try</em> to lift a dump truck with my little finger; it doesn't mean I will ever succeed. Similarly &quot;I <em>try</em> to make the best of a bad situation,&quot; or &quot;I <em>try</em> to get in early every day&quot; is just as bad. It means nothing and gives the interviewer a reason to question your response. Cut it out.</p> <h2>3. Hate</h2> <p>It's a strong word. Actually, it's a very strong word. And when people do use it in an interview, it's usually about a previous job (or current employer).</p> <p>If you are asked about your current boss and you say &quot;I <em>hate</em> him&quot; or &quot;I <em>hate</em> working for her&quot; you are entering a world of pain. Similarly, if you start saying &quot;I <em>hate</em> this about the industry&quot; or &quot;I <em>hate</em> the way&hellip;&quot; then you're really piling on the negatives. It's OK to dislike the way certain people do things, or the kinds of systems that are put in place. But to bring out a heavy hitter like <em>hate</em>? That's not a good idea. <em>Hate</em> is a word that should be reserved for your personal life, not your professional life.</p> <h2>4. Honestly</h2> <p>There is a difference between being honest and specifying that you're being honest. If someone asks you your opinion on something, and you begin with <a href=""><em>honestly</em> or to <em>be honest</em></a> there are four possible outcomes. First, they'll think nothing of it, which is doubtful. Second, they'll overlook it. Third, they'll think you are actually trying to hide insincerity. Or fourth, they'll think you're lying every other time you open your mouth. Don't fall into this trap. Be honest, without being blunt or rude, but don't say you're being honest. It's a red flag.</p> <h2>5. Perfectionist</h2> <p>This word is loaded, and for all the wrong reasons. Very few people in this world are actually true <em>perfectionists</em>. The word itself means &quot;a propensity for being displeased with anything that is not perfect or does not meet extremely high standards.&quot; So if you're taken literally, the interviewer now knows you will be unhappy 99% of the time because perfection is almost impossible to achieve in any job. Usually, this word comes about when asked for a weakness. People refuse to give one, and so say something like &quot;if anything, I think I'm a bit of a <em>perfectionist</em>.&quot; No, you're not. Put this word in the mental trashcan.</p> <h2>6. Amazing</h2> <p>In 2012, the word <em>amazing</em> topped a list of <a href="">words that should be banned</a>. As someone who has interviewed many people over the years, the word <em>amazing</em> is one that continues to stick in my craw. In fact, only once has that word lived up to the hype; the advertising campaign they presented to me really did get <em>amazing</em> results.</p> <p>Usually, <em>amazing</em> is interchangeable with <em>nice</em>, <em>good</em>, <em>interesting</em>, or <em>noteworthy</em>. But as the definition of amazing is &quot;causing great surprise or wonder,&quot; it should be used sparingly. You were not an <em>amazing</em> supervisor. You did not do an <em>amazing</em> job. You did not work for an <em>amazing</em> boss.</p> <h2>7. Basically</h2> <p>What does <em>basically</em> mean? Well, <em>basically</em>, it&hellip;ah, I almost fell into the trap.</p> <p><em>Basically</em> is a way of teeing up events that are complex, and breaking them down to something more easy to understand. The explanation should be quick, and brief. So when a mechanic says, &quot;<em>Basically</em>, you need some new parts for your engine&quot; he or she is saving you the trouble of going into detail about the pistons, valve guides, counter-shift balancers and a whole host of other stuff most people don't understand. But when someone says &quot;<em>Basically</em>, I was in charge of a team of four graphic designers, and we oversaw the creation and production of a vast array of print projects including, but not limited to, magazine ads, newspaper articles, logos, brand identities, corporate stationery, signage systems, typographic solutions, page layouts, point of sale terminals, and annual reports,&quot; they are not being basic at all. Just drop it, and explain what you did without using it.</p> <h2>8. Irregardless</h2> <p>A small red wiggly line has just appeared under the word <a href=""><em>irregardless</em></a> as I write this; that means my copy of Microsoft Word does not believe this is a real word. It does appear in many dictionaries though, and it has been in conversation since the late 19th century. But that doesn't make it acceptable.</p> <p>The word <em>irregardless</em> is a melding of two words &mdash; <em>regardless</em>&nbsp;and <em>irrespective</em>. They both mean exactly the same thing. So using this is word shows a lack of respect, or understanding, of language; that's not a great idea during an interview. It also makes some people go nuts, and you don't want to risk your interviewer being one of those people. Just use regardless, and drop the pointless prefix.</p> <h2>9. Whatever</h2> <p>So let's be clear on this. If you use it in the &quot;<em>whatever</em> project was put in front of me, I approached it with vigor&quot; kind of way, you'll probably be OK. It's the dismissive<em> whatever</em> that should be struck from your lexicon. If you're using it to say you didn't care about the outcome of something, you should find another word&hellip;and quickly. A few years ago, whatever ranked as <a href="">one of the most annoying words</a> used by Americans. &quot;They overlooked me for a pay raise. Hey, <em>whatever</em>.&quot; That will not stand you in good stead. If you want to say it was no problem, say it and justify it. But don't sound like a facetious valley girl.</p> <h2>10. I</h2> <p>You know what they say &mdash; there is no <em>I</em> in TEAM. If you use <em>I</em> a lot, you're focusing everything on yourself and not on the job or the employer. While you should certainly be promoting yourself, you really need to be careful with the use of <em>I</em>. Use it too often, and you will begin to come across as some self-centered egomaniac that has only one subject to talk about &mdash; yourself. Instead of using <em>I</em>, find ways to turn the sentences around. Instead of saying &quot;<em>I</em> am a hard worker&quot; say &quot;My work ethic is strong, and greatly benefited my last employer.&quot; Instead of &quot;<em>I </em>am a great with budgets&quot; try &quot;Budget management was very important to me in my last position.&quot; You're saying the same things without turning it into a &quot;look at me, look at me&quot; party. (See also: <a href="">Things You did Wrong at Your Last Job Interview</a>)</p> <p><em>Are you an employer who has specific words and phrases that really bug you? Let us know what they are and how interviewees can avoid them.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Words to Never Use in a Job Interview" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Job Hunting first impression interview job search language Wed, 07 May 2014 09:00:20 +0000 Paul Michael 1138213 at 9 Great Cities for Job Seekers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-great-cities-for-job-seekers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Austin, Texas" title="Austin, Texas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="128" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While the unemployment rate is slowly declining (decreasing from <a href="">7.5% to 6.3% in 12 months</a>) some cities across the US are faring better than others when it comes to job opportunities. Based on data that includes unemployment rates, median salaries, and surveys sent to 18,000 employers by Manpower, these are our picks for best cities to find a job in the US:</p> <h2>1. Austin, TX</h2> <p>With its young population boom, <a href="">Austin's</a> employment rate has begun to increase, thanks in part to the number of startups moving to Texas. Current unemployment rate: 4.7% and a median income of $29,000.</p> <h2>2. Washington, DC</h2> <p>Becoming one of the biggest regions for healthcare and education (in addition to government and public policy sectors), <a href="">Washington, DC</a> has become a great place for companies that are looking to further their R&amp;D departments. Current unemployment rate: 4.9% and a median income of $45,151.</p> <h2>3. Virginia Beach, VA</h2> <p>A veritable resort city, <a href="">Virginia Beach</a> is a great place to seek employment in the hospitality industry. Although it's the most populated city in Virginia, Virginia Beach boasts an unemployment rate of only 5.5% and a median income of $34,373.</p> <h2>4. Fort Worth, TX</h2> <p>Thanks to large corporations like Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and American Airlines calling <a href="">Forth Worth</a> home, this Texas city boasts the 16th highest population in the country. In addition, it also has an impressive unemployment rate of just 5.6% and a median income of $28,636.</p> <h2>5. Omaha, NE</h2> <p>Heavily encompassing the healthcare and data entry sectors, Omaha has an impressive unemployment rate of only 3.6% (one of the lowest in the nation) and a median income of $27,390. In addition, the city of Omaha is very involved in job training and offers career programs through the University of Nebraska-Omaha.</p> <h2>6. Denver, CO</h2> <p>While the data is too fresh to account for any job booms thanks to the new marijuana laws in Colorado, <a href="">Denver</a> still makes the list as one of the most desirable cities for job hunters. In addition to a booming small business economy, corporations like Lockheed Martin and the Ball Corporation help to drive the unemployment rate to 5.8% with a median income of $32,002.</p> <h2>7. Raleigh, NC</h2> <p>Another city heavily involved in the R&amp;D fields (thanks to its Research Triangle area), <a href="">Raleigh</a> also is the home of the IBM corporation. Its current unemployment rate is well under the national average at 5.4% and a median income of $30,778.</p> <h2>8. Arlington, TX</h2> <p>A well-kept secret on job hunter lists, this Texas city should not be overlooked. Home to the Lear Corporation and a multitude of small businesses, <a href="">Arlington</a> has an impressive unemployment rate of 5.6% with a median income of $28,434.</p> <h2>9. Minneapolis, MN</h2> <p><a href="">Minneapolis</a> is known for housing corporations that run the gamut. In addition to Wells Fargo and Target, the city is also home to one of the largest performing art festivals in the country, the <a href="">Minnesota Fringe Festival</a>, which helps to keep the local economy thriving. The unemployment rate is 4.0% with a median income of $30,127.</p> <p><em>How far would you go for a new job and a new start? Will you add any of these places to your job search? Let us know in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Great Cities for Job Seekers" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Megan Brame</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting best cities employment job search relocate Wed, 07 May 2014 08:12:18 +0000 Megan Brame 1138214 at 8 Ways to Get Noticed During a Job Search <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-get-noticed-during-a-job-search" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="handshake" title="handshake" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let's assume you are perfectly qualified for a job you find on Craigslist or LinkedIn, saw in the classifieds (really?), or learned about from a friend. You have the skills. You have the experience. Great. Unfortunately, unless it's a very specialized job, many, many other candidates will be perfectly qualified, too. Or maybe just a bit more qualified.</p> <p>So how do you get the job?</p> <p>You have to separate yourself from the pack. These eight tips might help.</p> <h2>1. Don't Mention You're Responding to an Ad or Listing</h2> <p>If you respond to an ad for a job opening, don't mention that. It's like saying, &quot;I'm interested in your company because I need a job.&quot; Instead, try &quot;I am introducing myself to your human resources department because I am skilled in X,Y or Z and believe I can contribute to your company.&quot; It's not the most scintillating sentence ever written, but it turns the situation around. You are not seeking <em>them</em>. They are seeking <em>you</em>.</p> <h2>2. Introduce Yourself When They Aren't Looking</h2> <p>What if you saw an ad for a job where you knew there was a fair amount of turnover. To add to this, let's assume you are not desperate and unemployed. Wouldn't it make sense, then, to allow the ad to run its course and send a letter a few weeks later to make it appear your interest in the company was genuine and not an opportunistic spur of the moment decision made because there was an enticing ad that sparked your interest? The point here is to get yourself noticed when they aren't looking &mdash; and when there aren't a hundred other candidates seeking their attention all at once.</p> <h2>3. Get Right to the Point</h2> <p>&quot;I have five years experience doing X,Y, and Z and believe I am a very strong candidate for the job of &hellip;.&quot; Put your best foot forward immediately. With emails, skip the formalities of a business letter that put what is now redundant information at the top such as the company's address and the date. The email already registers the date. Think of scrolling as your enemy. Emails come pouring in like a swarm of cicadas and human resources staff open their 120th letter of the day and it begins, &quot;I saw your ad in the ...&quot; Who wants to read that? Of course you saw the ad. Get to the point.</p> <h2>4. Make a Personal Connection</h2> <p>&quot;A former employee at your company, <em>Bob Usta-Work-For-You,</em> suggested I write.&quot; This is not always possible, but when you can manage it, this is powerful. Companies trust employees and former employees more than they do perfect strangers, such as yourself. In two recent inquiries for myself, to make the point further, I said, &quot;So-and-So, suggested I call you,&quot; when So-and-So was someone they didn't even know. And it worked! In each case they said, &quot;Who was that you said suggested you call?&quot; And I reeled off the name and credentials of the person &mdash; and suddenly I had an impressive sounding person suggesting I call. They could have said, &quot;Well I don't know them, and I'm not impressed,&quot; but they didn't.</p> <h2>5. Ask for Advice Before the Interview</h2> <p>If they say yes and you get that preliminary interview, then you should always ask for help preparing for the job. This does three things. It helps you prepare for the job. It displays initiative. And it gives you an excuse to call (or write) and say thanks once you've completed the suggested tips. What you want is to keep reminding the hiring supervisor that you exist. &quot;Thanks for the suggested reading material (or whatever it was). I found the book/website/whatever and read the chapters you suggested. It was helpful.&quot; Now, suddenly, you've gone from being a genuinely interested candidate to someone who takes suggestions well and gets things done.</p> <h2>6. Find Out How You Can Help</h2> <p>Similarly, you should listen for hints that the person doing the preliminary interview is having trouble with something. It could be something incidental, not even connected to work. A week later, you might read an article about that concern. Shoot that interviewer a quick email with a link. Now you've promoted yourself to someone who listens well and is helpful, traits that employers are certainly seeking.</p> <h2>7. Hand Deliver Your Resume</h2> <p>Sometimes you have to manufacture reasons to be noticed. One trick I used to use is to not mail in a resume (or whatever it might be), but deliver it by hand. This is obviously not possible when the company is far away, but if it is close, stopping by to drop off something gives you one more chance to display your professional persona. To make the point, don't drop off a resume in cut-off shorts unless you have a particular reason to show off that side of your personality.</p> <h2>8. Find Out Who the Hiring Manager Is</h2> <p>Avoid the human resources department unless it is spelled out that there is no other choice. The reason is obvious: Human resources departments don't hire, they screen out unqualified applicants. They then send resumes and cover letters of qualified applicants to department supervisors, who pick the people to hire. Those supervisors then call the human resources department and say, &quot;Call up So and So. That's who I want you to hire.&quot; It follows then, that when you call for a preliminary interview, ask for &quot;Someone in the department who can really give me the lowdown on the work the company does.&quot;</p> <p><em>What's gotten you noticed for the job? Let us know in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Ways to Get Noticed During a Job Search" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Anthony Hall</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting job hunt job hunt tricks job search Fri, 02 May 2014 08:12:22 +0000 Anthony Hall 1137728 at Best Money Tips: Essential Steps to Take Before a Job Interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-essential-steps-to-take-before-a-job-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="interviewees" title="interviewees" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on essential steps to take before a job interview, reducing stress in your life, and making money for your monthly bills.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">10 Essential Steps to Take Before a Job Interview</a> &mdash; Before a job interview, turn off your phone and take deep breaths. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">Reduce the Stress in Your Life</a> &mdash; Eating right and exercising can help reduce the stress in your life. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="">Fifteen ways to make money for your monthly bills: make &pound;1,000/$1,700 per month</a> &mdash; To make money for your monthly bills, build a blog or make/mend things. [The Money Principle]</p> <p><a href="">6 Easy-to-Steal Rituals of Extremely Successful People</a> &mdash; Extremely successful people only use quality tools and spend quality time with quality people. [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="">Too Busy to Side Hustle? These 5 Tips Will Show You How To Make It Happen</a> &mdash; If you are too busy to side hustle, systemize, regularize, and organize. [Budget Blonde]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">Before You Quit Your Job - Ask Yourself These 5 Questions</a> &mdash; Before you quit your job, ask yourself what you want to do instead. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="">If It's Not on Your List...Don't Do It!</a> &mdash; To make sure you stick to your to-do list, take the time to order your list. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <p><a href="">8 Keys to Attracting Healthy Relationships</a> &mdash; If you want to attract healthy relationships, know who you are and teach people how to treat you. [Lifehack]</p> <p><a href="">How Can I Add Wi-Fi to a Desktop PC?</a> &mdash; The easiest way to add Wi-Fi to your desktop PC is to use a Wi-Fi adapter. [Lifehacker]</p> <p><a href="">Learning How To Learn</a> &mdash; When figuring out how to learn, you have to look at what strategies help you retain information best, not simply memorize information. [20's Finances]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Essential Steps to Take Before a Job Interview" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting best money tips interview Job Interview Thu, 01 May 2014 08:48:33 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1137577 at 9 Ways to Make Job Recruiters Come to You <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-make-job-recruiters-come-to-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="busineswoman" title="businesswoman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you want a headhunter to notice you, it follows that you have to be noticeable. You have to be the one that everybody is talking about. (See also: <a href="">How to Get Your LinkedIn Profile Noticed</a>)</p> <p>Fortune smiles on those who work hard, but to get noticed by a headhunter, it takes a bit of positioning. Here are a few suggestions that could help.</p> <h2>1. Be the Absolute Best at What You Do</h2> <p>Impress a headhunter by being on top of your game &mdash; <em>the</em> must-have product of the season. Be current about what's going on in your field. Have facts and figures at your finger tips. Get yourself recognized by your friends and colleagues as the go-to expert in your field, whatever your field is.</p> <h2>2. Be Bold and Confident</h2> <p>We operate in the world of hot shots. While not everyone is a star, it helps if you are positioned for the role. If a headhunter calls, don't say, &quot;Geez.&quot; Say, &quot;I'm listening. What have you got?&quot; (See also: <a href="">Break These Habits to Become More Confident</a>)</p> <h2>3. Establish a Track Record</h2> <p>If you're not at the top of your division's pyramid, you should set a goal of staying with a winner or moving to the winning team. Ivy League degrees, for example, help even if you were in the middle of your class. Don't have one? Then working for brand-name companies or industry leaders that impress people are more likely to work in your favor than being a star at a company that still makes floppies.</p> <h2>4. Network</h2> <p>Networking is like someone constantly fishing &mdash; always be on your game. Impress everyone. Be generous with social connections and willing to cash in on who you know. Get to know more people and keep it up. (See also: <a href="">15 Easy Networking Tricks</a>)</p> <h2>5. Spread Yourself Around</h2> <p>Do you know anyone who never stays more than a half hour at a party? They work the room, have a drink, and are off to the next bash in a few minutes. At work, you can take on inter-departmental tasks and, even better, sign up for assignments that involve other companies, so you can be noticed outside of the confines of your own employer.</p> <h2>6. Volunteer</h2> <p>When someone mentions they do volunteer work, what does that say about them? We live in the world of the meta-message, the impression that follows the information. Volunteering says, &quot;I care. I'm empathetic. I turn emotion into action. I am social. I make use of my time. I appreciate what I have.&quot; Those messages are powerful. What else? You never know who you might meet while volunteering. (See also: <a href="">Ways to Save Money by Volunteering</a>)</p> <h2>7. Be Different, Current, and Cutting Edge</h2> <p>Stand apart by being different does not always mean playing Icelandic folk songs on the ukulele. It does mean finding a spot on a current or cutting edge project. You don't have to be an inventor or a programmer to be part of something new.</p> <h2>8. Work Social Media</h2> <p>You can bet in this day and age that a headhunter doing cold calls is looking people up on the Internet &mdash; checking out website, LinkedIn profiles, and friends lists on Facebook. What does your social media say about you?</p> <h2>9. Get Someone Else to Mention You</h2> <p>Who do you trust? You trust people you know. When someone the job recruiter knows mentions your name, that can be a big help. Recommendations like that are honest and genuine.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been contacted by a job recruiter? What got you noticed?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Ways to Make Job Recruiters Come to You" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Anthony Hall</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting headhunters job search recruiters Mon, 28 Apr 2014 08:24:12 +0000 Anthony Hall 1136816 at Best Money Tips: Stay Motivated While Looking for Jobs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-stay-motivated-while-looking-for-jobs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="man with binoculars" title="man with binoculars" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on staying motivated while looking for jobs, personal finance tips from Captain America, and the 30-second habit with a lifelong impact.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">How to Stay Motivated While Looking for Jobs</a> &mdash; Creating a schedule and fulfilling a purpose can keep you motivated while looking for a job. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="">8 Personal Finance Tips from 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'</a> &mdash; Captain American can teach you to do the right thing and to not overshare. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="">The 30-Second Habit With a Lifelong Impact</a> &mdash; Every time you have a meeting or significant event, take 30 seconds to write down the main points. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">Digging Into the Buy Versus Rent Question</a> &mdash; Your monthly income and debts should be examined when deciding whether you should rent or buy. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="">I'm a collection agent. Here's how you get rid of me</a> &mdash; Did you know collection agents are not allowed to communicate with consumers at their place of employment if the employer has advised that such communications are prohibited? [Girls Just Wanna Have Funds]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">Investing in Bull Markets is Easy - But What About Bear Markets?</a> &mdash; To prepare yourself for investing in a bear market, recognize that the market becomes more selective. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="">Thoughts on Being a Millionaire and Retirement</a> &mdash; When it comes to your retirement strategy, amass enough assets then distribute them so that you can live off your savings alone. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="">10 Good Ways For Parents to Maintain a Sense of Humor</a> &mdash; Embracing a little mess and being a team player can help parents maintain a sense of humor. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="">Things to do for Mother's Day</a> &mdash; This Mother's Day, take your mom out for lunch. [How's Married Life?]</p> <p><a href="">Don't Miss These If You Make Money Blogging - Blogger Tax Deductions</a> &mdash; If you are a blogger, you can write off your business license renewal and mailing materials. [Free From Broke]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Stay Motivated While Looking for Jobs" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting best money tips job job hunting motivated Wed, 09 Apr 2014 09:00:27 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1134759 at 6 Things You Can Do to Help an Unemployed Friend Find a Job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-you-can-do-to-help-an-unemployed-friend-find-a-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="friends" title="friends" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While the nation's economy is improving from the depths of despair we experienced in 2008 &ndash; 2009, finding a job is still a challenge for a large number of people. Currently, I have a few friends who are looking for new jobs, some unemployed, some underemployed, and others who want to trade in their current jobs for new ones. These recent experiences have prompted me to consider how I can be the best resource and friend possible during their searches. Here's what I've been up to. (See also: <a href="">Should You Talk to Friends About Money?</a>)</p> <h2>1. Offer Up Your Contacts</h2> <p>A few of my friends are interested in transitioning in both directions between for-profit and non-profit organizations. I've worked on both sides of the aisle throughout my career, and I've found a great deal of satisfaction and some difficulties in both. Whenever a friend tells me he or she needs a new job, whether by circumstance or choice, the first thing I do is offer to connect them with people I know who can be helpful to them in their search, especially if they are looking to change industries. I spend a lot of time and effort cultivating my network, and it's a tremendous gift to connect like-minded people who can help one another along their career paths. (See also: <a href="">Hidden Networks That Can Help You Land a Job</a>)</p> <h2>2. Ask Them What They Really Want to Do</h2> <p>Before I make those connections I mentioned above, I ask each of my friends what they really want to do with their careers going forward. These future plans can simply be the next step on their path or a long-term goal. To be most helpful to them on their journeys, I need to know where they want to go. As Lewis Carroll so brilliantly and insightfully wrote in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, &quot;If you don't know where you're going, any road'll take you there.&quot; We need to have some kind of destination in mind before we set out on a new road.</p> <h2>3. Review the Resume</h2> <p>Just as a map can show us where we've been and the way ahead, a resume succinctly explains our work history and our future ambitions. I always keep mine up-to-date as I add new experiences, although you may find that many of your friends don't have this practice. People are sometimes reluctant to ask for help on their resumes because they are afraid to toot their own horns. Offer your eagle eyes and help a friend brush up a resume so that they shine like the bright stars that they are. Be honest and supportive, encouraging friends to focus on the skills they acquired in each professional experience as well as their achievements and results. (See also: <a href="">12 Words to Delete From Your Resume</a>)</p> <h2>4. Suggest Groups to Find New Connections</h2> <p>Some people don't realize just how many resources they have in their job search. Many alumni organizations, even if we've graduated a while ago, offer fantastic services to connect to other alums and discover job listings. Professional organizations, LinkedIn groups, and Meetups are other rich pools of opportunities to connect with and learn from others who share our interests and goals.</p> <h2>5. Remind Them to Set Goals and Review Them Regularly</h2> <p>The job search can feel like a grind, especially when it's not going as well as we'd like it to go. We easily lose our way and forget all that we're doing to help ourselves.</p> <p>I encourage my job searching friends to keep track of every person they speak to, every resume and cover letter they submit, and every company that piques their interest. Note the dates and content of the conversation or job listing, and create next steps for each. It's helpful to encourage friends on the hunt for a job to set daily, weekly, and monthly goals and then track their progress. One of the most disorienting parts of the job search is that it feels so overwhelming and often lacks structure. With a plan in hand, we can stay motivated and persistent, two attributes we need to lock down a new job. (See also: <a href="">9 Ways to Maintain Motivation</a>)</p> <h2>6. Give Them a Break</h2> <p>Looking for a new job is a stressful experience. Friends need our support in their search, and they also need ways to take their minds off of it every once in a while. Have them over for dinner at your place, catch a movie together, or take a walk or run through the park. The job search is a full-time job in and of itself, and just as we need a break from work to be at our best on the job, we also need a break from the job search so that we put our best foot forward with potential new employers. Sometimes our friends will want to vent about the process, and sometimes they'll want to talk about something completely unrelated. Give them that space and an empathic ear.</p> <p>They say it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to grow a career, and it takes several villages to get through a job search. When a friend is looking for a new role, that's a time when we can really step up and show our care and concern. It's sure to be appreciated and reciprocated.</p> <p><em>How have you helped friends find new jobs? Let us know in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Things You Can Do to Help an Unemployed Friend Find a Job" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Christa Avampato</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Life Hacks General Tips Job Hunting friendship job search networking Thu, 27 Mar 2014 09:36:18 +0000 Christa Avampato 1133027 at 10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Become More Hirable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-you-can-do-right-now-to-become-more-hirable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman" title="woman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="156" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you are currently on the hunt for employment or have been considering a venture into a new job, there may be some things that need your attention pronto. It's easy to become complacent, especially if you've been working in the same job for multiple years. But when it is time to find a new job, you may have a lot of catching up to do. (See also: <a href="">Crucial Job Search Steps Most People Skip</a>)</p> <p>Here are 10 things you can do right now and in the coming weeks that can make you more hirable.</p> <h2>1. Start Removing Socially Inappropriate Posts and Comments</h2> <p>Social media has been known to help prospective job seekers land a position they may not have had access to otherwise. It is time to start thinking of your social media pages as an extension of your resume. Remove pictures, memes, and commentary you wouldn't want a potential new boss to see. Sending the wrong message may keep a lot of doors closed so clean up your pages.</p> <h2>2. Invest Time in Social Media Upgrades</h2> <p>In addition to removing potentially embarrassing things from your Facebook page, you should take the time to update other social profiles you have on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and the like. If you've never opened an account, now is a good time to start learning how to make it work for you in the job arena. Those in need of new employees have been known to conduct searches for talent through these online networks. (See also: <a href="">Your Web Presence May Be More Valuable Than Your Credit Rating</a>)</p> <h2>3. Update Your Resume</h2> <p>Simply adding a date to your last job history is not a good enough resume update. Take the time to <a href="">restructure the resume information</a> now that you've have more experience under your belt. Consider what matters most and set up your resume accordingly. Make sure it looks clean, concise, and professional.</p> <h2>4. Change Your Email</h2> <p>If you are trying to be taken seriously in the job market, do yourself a favor and set up an email address that is professional. Some hiring managers may be very turned off by your <em></em> address. Try using a variation of your name, and earmark the account for business correspondence only. Add the new email to your social profiles and resume.</p> <h2>5. Understand the Requirements</h2> <p>Start looking through different job postings to get a better feel for <a href="">what people are looking for in a new hire</a>. It is often hard to toot our own horns, but you can learn what people want and how to tailor yourself to fit in as a good candidate in your industry.</p> <h2>6. Network Outside of the Box</h2> <p>There are plenty of ways to land a job that go <a href="">beyond applying to job postings on the Internet</a> or the newspaper. Get out and meet people in new places. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community while meeting people in high places you'd likely not have connected with outside of volunteering. Volunteering also can add something positive to your resume in both skills and social consciousness. (See also: <a href="">Hidden Networks That Can Help You Land Jobs</a>)</p> <h2>7. Update Skills, Certification, Education</h2> <p>Depending on your industry, there may be some credentials you are lacking. Find out which ones matter and work on obtaining or enhancing these things through online courses, adult education classes, or industry certifications.</p> <h2>8. Become a Virtual Expert</h2> <p>Even if you are not interested in doing freelance work, you could still use your skills and experience on a blog platform. By writing about the things you know, you could create another method for showing off your expertise to hiring managers and other valuable connections. Blogs are often free and simple to set up. Promote your writings on your social media pages to attract more attention. Add the blog URL to your resume and social pages.</p> <h2>9. Hold Practice Interviews</h2> <p>If it has been some time since you went out on a job interview, don't take for granted that you'll nail it without a little practice. Ask a friend or family member to stage a mock interview and listen to their critiques. This can help ward off nerves and ensure you are prepared to handle an official interview. Keep notes about your achievements and experience you'd like to bring up in the interview about, so you don't forget them out of nervousness. (See also: <a href="">Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a>)</p> <h2>10. Follow Up on Opportunities</h2> <p>After several rounds of interviews, hiring managers may find it difficult to choose between candidates. After leaving the interview, help set yourself apart from the others by sending a handwritten thank you note to the interviewer. Refer to a specific part of the interview and let them know you appreciate their time. Wait a week and then follow up again to inquire about the decision-making process.</p> <p><em>Are you doing anything to make yourself more attractive to employers? Lets us know in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Become More Hirable" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Anna Newell Jones</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Job Hunting getting hired interview job search Mon, 17 Mar 2014 09:48:26 +0000 Anna Newell Jones 1130644 at Job Hunting Tips for the Recently Fired (and Some for the Rest of Us, Too) <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/job-hunting-tips-for-the-recently-fired-and-some-for-the-rest-of-us-too" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="fired" title="fired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Job hunting after you've been fired can be an intimidating task, especially in a tight job market. It may not be a cakewalk, but there are ways to make getting your first post-termination job a bit easier. And once you've cleared that hurdle, the impact a firing has on future job searches decreases. (See also: <a href="">6 Tax Deductions for Job Hunters</a>)</p> <h2>Get Your Emotions in Check</h2> <p>Getting fired is one of the most distressing things a person can go through. The uncertainty of sudden unemployment coupled with the humbling experience of being dismissed instead of leaving by choice can cause anger, feelings of inadequacy, anxiety about your future, and an overall depressed mood. These reactions are completely normal, but they're also unhelpful.</p> <p>To get yourself back where you need to be, focus on positives instead of negatives. Think about your strengths and what you can contribute to an organization. Forgive yourself for any failures and make a conscious decision to move on. If you make peace with the situation, feel confident about what you have to offer, and adopt the view that you've only experienced a minor setback, getting back out into the working world will be a whole lot easier. (See also: <a href="">Lose Your Job Without Losing Your Identity</a>)</p> <h2>Reassess Your Situation</h2> <p>Once you've dealt with the emotional side of the situation, you've got to get analytical. Think about what went wrong, why, and how you can stop it from happening again. Next, ask yourself some important questions:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Where do you really excel?</p> </li> <li> <p>Which areas of your expertise do you need to build?</p> </li> <li> <p>Are you utilizing your skills and knowledge in a way that was satisfying to you? If not, what would you rather be doing?</p> </li> </ul> <p>Getting fired can be the push you need to break into a new area of your field or start a new career altogether, so as you're evaluating your strengths, weaknesses, and goals, think about how they would fit into new positions or industries. Don't be afraid to <a href="">look into other locales for new opportunities</a>.</p> <h2>Take Immediate Action</h2> <p>Getting fired is one of the worst times to take an extended break from working. A hole in your employment already sends up red flags to prospective employers. Revealing that you were in fact fired before that gap could lead them to believe you have even more serious issues. Plus, the longer you go without making progress, the more those negative emotions you're trying to control start to fester.</p> <p>Start your job hunt as soon as possible. The same day you receive your walking papers is a perfect time to begin, but you can take a few days to get your emotions together if you need it. If your search starts getting lengthy, say more than a couple of months, you may want to look into freelance and volunteer work or enrolling in job-related courses to fill the hole. You'll look better to employers if you've been keeping busy since you were laid off. (See also: <a href="">Getting Work Experience Without a Job</a>)</p> <h2>Optimize Your References</h2> <p>You'll need extra good references to take the sting out of the nature of your previous departure. References from pre-firing employers are good, but references from the job you were let go from are even better. Fellow employees should be able to substantiate the explanation you gave about your parting as well as tell potential employers about your positive contributions.</p> <p>The absolute best reference is one from your former managers or other higher-ups. The viability of this option depends on the reason you were fired and how well you performed before things went south, but having a positive reference even after you've been fired can make a huge difference. To maximize your chances, you could try sending a post-termination letter admitting any wrongdoing, and thanking the employer for the opportunity and learning experience. Even if you messed up bad, this bit of mea culpa can sway your old boss toward giving you a good &mdash; or at least better &mdash; reference. (See also: <a href="">How to Get Great Job References</a>)</p> <h2>Describe Your Job-Hunting Activities Wisely</h2> <p>The way you present your circumstances can have a big impact in your job search. Using a statement such as &quot;Actively pursuing new opportunities&quot; in your cover letter and online job networking profiles lets employers know you're available without disclosing exactly why. If you're taking a new career path, Deborah Jacobs of Forbes Magazine recommends a statement such as &quot;Currently seeking to leverage my Equity Floor experience and education into Investor Relations.&quot; This kind of phrasing works well when you're discussing your job status during interviews, too. (See also: <a href="">How to Make a Good Impression at Your Job Interview</a>)</p> <h2>Be Upfront, but Not Too Upfront</h2> <p>You definitely don't want to make any mention of your firing on your resume, cover letter, or online networking profiles. However, you also don't want to wait so long that the employer finds out on their own while checking references. The best time to broach the subject is during the interview. Wait until you're asked to describe your previous job or why you left your former position, and then give your explanation.</p> <p>In the event that you really messed up and don't want future employers to know about the job at all, you could simply leave it off of your resume and avoid bringing it up during interviews. This works better if doesn't have much relevance to the position you are seeking or if you were only there for a short time, but you may still be able to pull it off if you have other career-related activities to fill in the blank. Keep in mind that this will not work for people who are applying for jobs that require background checks or complete disclosure of all previous positions, such as in government, financial, and legal work.</p> <h2>Prepare Your Explanation</h2> <p>You'll need to formulate a statement that gives potential employers the facts surrounding your firing without injecting resentment, blame, or other negative emotions into the story. Even if you feel that your termination was unjustified, you need to avoid bad-mouthing your old boss or coming across as defensive. Interviewers only need to know what happened, why it happened, if there was anything you could have done differently, and what you've gained from the experience. Most importantly, you have to come up with a reason the mistake won't happen again. Above all, do not lie. There's a chance a potential employer will learn the real story eventually, especially if the job is within the same industry, and being dishonest is the surest way to disqualify yourself from a job.</p> <p>Planning out what you'll say makes it easier to be upfront about the situation, but discussing these kinds of stressful subjects can still make you uncomfortable. Even when you're telling the truth, anxiety can cause you to stutter, avoid eye contact, perspire, and flush red&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px;">&mdash;</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">&nbsp;all tell-tale signs of lying. To avoid raising an interviewer's suspicions unnecessarily, practice your explanation in front of the mirror or with another person, until it sounds natural and authentic. (See also: </span><a style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;" href="">Body Language Mistakes That Sabotage Interview</a><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">s)</span></p> <h2>Word Your Departure Carefully</h2> <p>Even if the truth seems pretty bad, there are ways of making it come across better. Avoid use of the word &quot;fired,&quot; because that particular expression carries a stigma that interviewers may find hard to overlook. Using phrases such as &quot;I was let go&quot; or &quot;My employment was terminated&quot; tones down the inherent harshness of the situation. Pairing your big reveal with an aptly-worded statement can then shift the focus from the negative subject of your discharge to the positive subject of what you can contribute to the company. Something like, &quot;My limited sales skills simply couldn't keep up with the fast-paced production required by my previous employer and I was let go. However, I believe my graphic design skills will be well-applied in this position as an advertising assistant.&quot;</p> <h2>Tell Them What You Did Right</h2> <p>Referencing situations in which you excelled at your previous job assures potential employers that you weren't just flailing around Mr. Bean-style, leaving confusion and calamity in your wake. Highlight your successes, such as the number of new accounts you brought in or the projects you completed. If you were better at one aspect of your job than another, put emphasis on the duties you did well. Have your references mention these things as well to support your description.</p> <h2>Show What You've Learned</h2> <p>One of the most effective ways to decrease the impact being fired has on your job hunt is to demonstrate that you've addressed the issues that lead to your firing. If the problem was a lack of knowledge, tell interviewers about the steps you took to fill gaps in your expertise, such as engaging in self-study or enrolling in continuing education courses. If the problem was due to interpersonal issues, explain how you've learned to work with a greater variety of personalities and viewpoints and now have the ability to handle similar situations better. No matter what the reason, the key is to describe how the knowledge you gained will help you be successful in the position you're applying for.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Have you ever been fired from a job? How did you get hired afterward?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Job Hunting Tips for the Recently Fired (and Some for the Rest of Us, Too)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Lauren Treadwell</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting fired job hunting job loss Fri, 14 Mar 2014 10:36:24 +0000 Lauren Treadwell 1127919 at This Interview Technique Will Get You Hired <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-interview-technique-will-get-you-hired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="interview" title="interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've conducted a number of job interviews, and while I interviewed a lot of very nice, very smart and very qualified people, I have to say that there's a reason why job interviews make such great<a href=""> fodder for comedians</a>. But unlike in the movies, the job candidates who aren't charming, articulate, and interesting aren't funny&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px;">&mdash; rather,</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">&nbsp;they are almost invisible. I met a lot of people who were so terrified of screwing up that they refused to break from their rehearsed script. As a result, they couldn't really answer my questions, I couldn't get to know them, and they didn't get the job. (See also: </span><a style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;" href="">Things You Did Wrong at Your Last Interview</a><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">)</span></p> <p>That's why many employment experts recommend that job seekers answer questions &mdash; or at least some questions &mdash; in a narrative format. In other words, rather than spitting out job search cliches like &quot;I'm a hard worker&quot; or &quot;I'm a team player,&quot; job seekers should let go of the script a bit and tell the interview a story about themselves.</p> <p>I like a good story as much as the next person, but when it comes to telling one in a professional setting, there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to do it. So let's take a look at what a little storytelling can do for your job interview &mdash; and how to get it right.</p> <h2>Stories Are Memorable</h2> <p>When you're being interviewed for a job, it's a good idea to put yourself in the interviewer's shoes. Think about what they're looking for in a candidate, what qualities you have that you think might make you stand out from other candidates, and how you can get that information across. You should also consider the fact that the person who is interviewing you might be sitting in that office conducting job interviews all day long. Please people; don't bore them to death. (See also: <a href="">Make a Good Impression at Your Next Interview</a>)</p> <p>Science (and possibly common sense) tells us that listening to a Powerpoint presentation or reading through bullet points activates the parts of our brain where we process language and decode meaning. The same probably goes for reading a resume...or having one repeated verbatim by a job candidate.</p> <p>When we hear a story, however, <a href="">our brains light right up</a>. Sure, those language processing and decoding areas are active, but so are the parts of our brain that would be active if we were actually experiencing those events. So, if you can tell your interviewer a compelling story, you will essentially be getting a bigger, more attentive piece of that person's brain. It will also give your interviewer a deeper, richer sense of the qualifications, experiences, and qualities you can bring to the job. If you're interviewing in a competitive field, that can mean the difference between standing out and being forgotten.</p> <h3>Caveat: Your Stories Need to Be Relevant</h3> <p>You can tell just about any kind of story in a job interview, but before you start reeling off your summer adventures in South America, make sure that what you're saying is <em>relevant to the job you're interviewing for</em>. Maybe your trip helped you uncover some important skills or characteristics you believe will help you on the job. That's a story worth telling. Maybe it included a turning point that helped you figure out what you want to do with your life. That's a relevant story, too. But the hilarious story that starts with too many beers? Save that one for your friends. The key is to use stories to reveal the most important, most relevant information about you in a compelling and interesting way. If you're telling stories for their own sake, you've probably gone off course. (See also: <a href="">How to Always Say Something Interesting</a>)</p> <h2>Stories Help Interviewee and Interviewer Feel Compatible</h2> <p>Have you ever finished a book that starred a character who was completely unlike you, but with whom you could identify by the time you turned the last page? That's how stories work. They help us bring other people into our world, and vice versa. That's important at work, too. After all, a hiring manager is a lot more likely to hire someone they &quot;get&quot; than they are to choose a candidate they can't imagine seeing eye-to-eye with.</p> <p>According to scientists at Princeton, when you tell a story, you not only implant information in your listener's brain, you also <a href="">inject ideas and emotions</a>. So, while you could mention a challenge you've overcome on the job, if you tell it as a story, your interviewer is much more likely to really understand and empathize with how big that challenge was and how difficult it was for you to overcome it. Plus, when someone empathizes with you, they are also more likely to like you as a person. And that, as much as any skill or credential, can be what lands you the job.</p> <h3>Caveat: Get the Right Information Into Your Stories</h3> <p>If you find you have something in common with an interviewer, such as a shared interest in sports or the arts, it's fine to chat about it briefly. But a job interview isn't a chat, and if you get too off topic for too long, it's unlikely to work in your favor. Before you go into your interview, make a list of the qualities and characteristics you want to portray about yourself, and think of some of the stories you could tell to help get those messages across. If you're really good at this, you'll be able to make your interviewer <em>feel</em> like they've had a nice conversation with you, while still coming away with all the information required to assess your fit for the job. (See also: <a href="">9 Interview Mistakes to Avoid</a>)</p> <h2>Stories Are More Convincing Than the Truth</h2> <p>I would never recommend lying in a job interview, but there are definitely two kinds of truth: there's plain and simple, and then there's fancy. The latter is better because it usually requires a few figures of speech. And that's what makes it more effective.</p> <p>So, for example, you could say that you were the top salesperson in your division last year. That might be a simple fact, and it's certainly one that a hiring manager would be interested in hearing. But what you really want your interviewer to understand is that <em>you could sell sand in a desert ... or ham to a pig ... or ice to an Inuit</em>. Well, you get the idea. What really hammers a point home is the use of similes and parables and other figures of speech. If the three I used caught your attention, it's because your brain is literally wired for them.<a href=";_type=blogs&amp;_r=0"> Several studies</a> have found that we actually process literal and metaphorical information in the same area of the brains. So, if you can use stories, metaphors and other devices that relate you and your skills with positive attributes &mdash; or even positive feelings &mdash; you can take a giant leap (metaphorically speaking) ahead of your competition.</p> <h3>Caveat: Keep Stories and Metaphors Simple</h3> <p>Metaphors are fun and interesting and engaging &mdash; to a point. If you get carried away, you're likely to sound like you're speaking in code. So keep literary devices to a minimum, and keep them simple (as pie!). This isn't a college-level comparative literature class. You don't want your interviewer to have to work too hard here. Or think you're crazy as a loon. (Also, now that I've tortured you with cliches, you're probably getting the idea that you should avoid those too. Some people like them, but many don't, so don't press your luck.)</p> <p>A good story, like a good metaphor, should transport the listener to another place &mdash; one where you're kicking ass and taking names in the employment world. Just remember that not all stories are good, and the bad ones are likely to harm your job prospects more than they help. So be creative, but also be sure to be concise, relevant and, above all, professional. If you get it right, you'll have a new story to tell: how you landed your new job.</p> <p><em>Have you used storytelling to land a job? Share your tale in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="This Interview Technique Will Get You Hired" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Tara Struyk</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career and Income Career Building Job Hunting interview skills Job Interview storytelling Thu, 13 Mar 2014 12:33:06 +0000 Tara Struyk 1130236 at 6 Unconventional Ways to Find Your Next Job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-unconventional-ways-to-find-your-next-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="man with binoculars" title="man with binoculars" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Back in the pre-2008, pre-financial-crash world, you could land a job with a mediocre cover letter and decent resume. Not so in today's competitive market. In 2014, you need to be creative to find your dream job. It's still a good idea to use job search sites and take advantage of your personal network, but going a step further will increase your chances of landing a gig you'll love. Here are six unusual ways to kick up your job search. (See also: <a href="">Job Hunting Tools More Important Than LinkedIn</a>)</p> <h2>1. Crash Industry Conventions</h2> <p>Going to conventions in your field is a standard way to network, but the high registration fees might not be an option if you're unemployed. That doesn't mean you have to miss out on the convention experience altogether. See if the convention's website advertises after-hours meet-ups or happy hours at local restaurants and bars, then go and start talking to people. Don't be shy about handing out business cards and letting folks know you're looking for a job.</p> <h2>2. Ask Your Parents</h2> <p>Working your parents' job connections is standard in high school, but less so in adulthood. Nonetheless, moms and dads, in-laws, and extended family might have connections in your field that you don't know about. You'll never know unless you ask. Once you get a contact's name, have your parent introduce you, then set up an informational interview or meet for coffee. Even if a job offer doesn't come immediately, if you make a good impression, your new connection will keep you in mind for future openings &mdash; or other connections. (See also: <a href="">Hidden Networks That Can Help You Land Jobs</a>)</p> <h2>3. Access Your Social Networks</h2> <p>LinkedIn is an obvious way to look for jobs, but think outside the social network box. Post an update on your favorite social media outlets to let people know you're looking for a job in a particular field, and ask them to pass any leads along to you. You never know; an old high school friend on Facebook might connect you with your dream job.</p> <h2>4. Think Like a Stalker</h2> <p><strong>Caution:</strong> Don't actually stalk anyone.</p> <p>But do hang out where people in your field hang out. If you really want a computer programming job at a local company and you live nearby, start frequenting restaurants, coffee shops, or gyms in the neighborhood. Don't be creepy. But you might bump into someone with connections on the inside. (See also: <a href="">15 Bad Networking Habits</a>)</p> <h2>5. Advertise Yourself</h2> <p>Take a leaf from the business advertising book and invest in signage. If you live on a busy street, professional-looking signage advertising your skills or freelance business could catch the eye of a prospective employer or well-connected neighbor (check your local zoning regulations, however). You could also put (well-designed) flyers at local coffee shops, or even invest in a custom car magnet that has your contact information and skills listed. Obviously, this tactic will work better for some professions than others.</p> <h2>6. Add a Pitch to Your Email Signature</h2> <p>If you're like most 21st century job seekers, you send dozens of emails every day. Put email to work in your job search by adding a catchy line to your email signature that indicates your qualifications and includes your contact information. Think of it as an <a href="">abbreviated personal branding statement</a>. For example, after your name, phone number, email address, and link to your LinkedIn profile, you can add: &quot;I am a top-notch graphic designer with 10+ years experience who brings passion and creativity to manufacturing businesses so they can make a lasting impression.&quot; (See also: <a href="">How to Distinguish Yourself Online</a>)</p> <p>Job searching isn't what it used to be. But when you employ creative ways to search for jobs into your job search, you'll increase the odds of landing your dream job. And don't forget, once you land your interview opportunity to <a href="">prepare for interview questions</a>.</p> <p><em>Have you tried anything unconventional to land a job? What'd you do? Please leave a comment in the traditional space below!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Unconventional Ways to Find Your Next Job" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Elizabeth Lang</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting job hunt job search job sources Mon, 10 Mar 2014 10:48:23 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 1128213 at