In your job search it’s critical to realize upfront that you aren’t the only one looking for a new job or wanting to work for a particular employer. In today’s market the unemployment rate is still considered ‘high’ and the competition is tough.
We now have FIVE generations in the workplace that are all competing for the same jobs that you want and many have more experience, broader expertise and a known work ethic that you need to exceed. Sounds dire, but it doesn’t have to be with the right approach.
Generations that are still working full time and /or are in the early stages of building their career:
It is up to YOU to market yourself as the best candidate. This requires effort and dedication to finding jobs that actually fit your background and those where you truly have experience to offer directly relating to the role itself.
This is your career, one that will expand decades which calls for building long term relationships not an overnight fix.
Remember no one owes you an interview or a job, those who fit roles are the ones that are hired, make an effort and show the employer it’s you!
Are you wanting to begin the new year with a fresh outlook on your career?
Whether you have questions on your resume, cover letter, networking or overall career guidance, we are offering FREE 15-Minute Coaching every Friday starting December 9 through December 30, 2016.
Visit the link below to claim your spot. Due to the limited time for our conversation, so that I have an idea of the focus of our discussion, there will be a very short questionnaire to complete when you sign up.
For many people even the slightest thought of going out somewhere to meet and make connections with people they do not know can be daunting. Whether it's due to time, resources, availability of meet-n-greet type opportunities, or your individual level of introversion, networking in order to meet other professionals in your journey to building your career can be very unappealing ~ rather than supportive of your long term career focus.
A few tips that are simple, quick and easy to do from the comfort of your office, on the train ride home, or from the comfort of your home, that can be as effective as in person networking as well as serving as a great follow up after meeting new people include:
Be sincere and work towards building relationships. When you least expect needing a contact is when you will see the results of the time and effort put in months /years earlier.
I get many questions these days asking if I can write a resume for Automated Tracking Systems otherwise known as ATS, with a long description to me on what ATS is, in case I’ve never heard of them!
Well, yes, I’ve not only heard of ATS but have in fact used them in recruiting.
Truth # 1: This many come as a shock to you but ATS are not perfect and no resume can be written specifically to fit an ATS for an employer. Yes you can pull keywords from the job posting and put them into your resume when it applies, but more importantly your resume needs to read as genuine, telling your story of what you bring to an employer, specifically what sets you apart from all other candidates. Keep in mind there is no one size fits all resume, each job posting has its own niche and you need to tweak your resume accordingly.
Truth #2: You don’t know what your competition will ever be for any single job posting, with most employers using online application processes that run 24/7 with applicants today coming from all over the world and willing to relocate, your competition is far greater than it was say 10 years ago when most employers only pulled from within their own ‘small’ geographical area. So make sure your resume /cover letter highlight what you have accomplished, rather than using canned insincere language that is generalized.
Truth #3: What is more important to know is that around 30% of people actually get their jobs from their resume ‘fitting an ATS’, the rest, as you will often see/hear me say in my tweets and live broadcasts gain their jobs by becoming known to employers, recruiters and hiring managers. Those in the hiring process will reach out to their own professional network perhaps offering employee bonuses for applicant referrals or look at social media accounts for those with their area of expertise. So along with making sure you have a strong, well- written resume/ cover letter, is the need to broaden your networking and actually meet people and build professional relationships.
Truth #4: Networking is not a ‘one and done’ process. You can’t merely attend one function and expect a job offer or great lead, it takes time on your part and yes, patience, but in the long run this effort will produce more leads than you can imagine. But you need to start now, not when you want a job, or worst case scenario when, it’s critical to have a job.
As I create online training programs and share knowledge via online social media platforms (i.e.Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, Periscope) I have found and currently use a few favorite pieces of technology that are reasonably priced that give me great quality results. I've found them very helpful and feel you may too.
***May contain affiliate links. I only recommend products that I use and love. But please do not feel obligated to purchase anything through my link.
We often read about the benefits of finding a mentor(s) and how it will be a positive influence on your career. And what you have read are very real benefits, finding a good mentor(s) is critical to learning and growing throughout your career. Being open to learning from mentors at every stage of your career is essential.
But we don’t often talk about the benefits that come with being the mentor to a student, young professional, midlife career changer or advanced professional.
What’s in it for me, you ask? LOTS!
Have you been a mentor? What did you learn from the experience?
2 cups passion
1 cup persistence
1/2 cup gratitude
1 tablespoon of faith
1/4 teaspoon of support
A pinch of courage
And a whole lot of time & determination
You’re ready to make a career change and you’ve been applying to what seem like an endless list of jobs both in close proximity of your current location, and for those flexible to relocation, quite a distance away.
Today you hear from one of the employers that they would like to schedule a phone interview.
You think GREAT…. I have an interview; someone (finally) recognizes my value.
But then the euphoria dies and you realize you’ve done face-to-face interviews but never a phone interview.
How does this work? What should you expect? How do you prepare?
Most likely a phone interview is scheduled to maximize the interview process and at this stage the employer is probably interviewing a number of candidates. It’s quicker and cheaper to use this medium to interview more candidates, especially those from a distance away.
How does this work?
It’s very simple really, the employer schedules a date and time for your call, you confirm and provide the number for them to call and at that date and time they call you. Phone interviews are usually short anywhere from 15-30 minutes in general.
What should you expect?
This is the interview where they ‘weed out’ the strongest (or weakest depending on how you look at it) candidates to determine which ones best meet the needs of the position and the company. Next they will take this smaller group and schedule face-to-face interviews.
How do you prepare?
Another challenge is the long pause….the interviewer often is taking notes or looking over your resume to ask more questions but you can’t see this so you begin to wonder what is wrong. You also can’t see their facial expression after a response to know how they reacted.
Practice! Ask a friend or family member if they will allow you to practice a phone interview. Give them your resume and the job posting and have them go through the motions of asking questions about your experience, timing your responses and inserting a long pause to see how you react. It won’t be perfect but it will help to put you at ease for the interview that really counts!
It’s over….now what?
The phone interview should be treated no differently than a face-to-face interview. You evaluate how you think you did, send a thank you email reiterating your interest in the position and working for their company and clean up or a particular question where you think your response wasn’t quite what you truly wanted to say. Just make sure you are only clarifying your response to one question not the entire interview.
‘Your Value Does Not Decrease Based on Someone’s Inablity to See Your Worth’ Unknown
Have you been working long hours taking on new projects all the while excelling at your normal duties only to continue to be overlooked for pay increases and job promotions?
Or maybe you’re at a point in your career where you have amassed significant achievements in your particular industry or career expertise and have embarked on an ‘employer change’ yet are not getting any calls on the many resumes that you are sending out and the job postings where you have submitted your materials?
As someone who has been there in the past and is listening to colleagues who are at that very stage right now, wanting to be appreciated by their current employer or just ready to start a job search for the next level of their career but not getting that recognition or chance to show their talents can be very difficult, and yes frustrating to continue to keep spirits high and not let the negativity take over.
As a career coach I hear very similar stories from clients at all stages of their career, of hard work, long hours, taking on additional duties, giving up free time for work related needs and taking classes while holding down a job (or two) while taking care of their families and feeling like they will never get beyond their current status.
There are many reasons this can occur, in some cases you can take a more assertive role for change and in some cases it really is ‘them and not you’.
If you are putting in the effort and not being recognized by your current employer or a prospective one take a minute to really assess your situation. But I warn you to get to the truth so that you can move forward it will call for you to be (at times maybe brutally) honest with yourself:
First is to never let anyone rent space in your head, especially negative space. Know your worth and figure out how to get others to know it as well. If you need to ask for help from someone not closely related to your situation that can maintain a neutral stance and be objective do so.
Secondly, don’t give up. Whether you stay with your current employer or are seeking a change, be patient. Success comes with hard work, consistent effort and sometimes it just takes time for the opportunity that is right for you to present itself.
2014 is nearing an end, did you set goals last January to accomplish for this year?
* If you did, what has been accomplished?
* What has yet to be tackled and can it be yet this year?
* What are the reasons some goals have been left untouched?
* Budgetary reasons?
* Goal no longer relevant?
* Loss of motivation to accomplish the goal?
To be successful in checking off your goals, whether short term or long term, you must have a commitment to doing what it takes to achieve the ones you set.
Take time in 2015 to think through what makes sense in your personal and professional life to accomplish and what it will take to do so.
Setting short term goals is the best way to start, but in order to be successful in achieving those goals or any other goal, they must be realistic and measurable!
Realistic: is this goal something that can truly be accomplished by you in the timeframe that you have set?
Measureable: how will you know if you have achieved your goal if it cannot be measured in some way?
WEAK: get a new job this year
BETTER: explore career fields this year for the career that I want to have by researching the necessary education, experience and special training that is required.
Just as goals aren't accomplished overnight, your career planning also takes time and effort……… but you don't have to go it alone.
Staying on target with your goals requires first that you set goals that make sense for you and next that you stay committed towards doing what it takes to accomplish that goal.