Job Search Tips

Job Search Stay ahead of your competition with these job search tips.

Most of us are painfully aware that good jobs are hard to come by in today's economy. With unemployment skyrocketing and companies using downsizing as their primary expense reduction strategy, this trend is likely to be with us for a while.

If you find yourself among the ranks of the unemployed, how do you increase your chances of landing successfully? Blasting your resume to hundreds of recruiters and replying to internet ads is not the answer. While these strategies have a place in your search, a more targeted approach, as we suggest with these job search tips, is likely to yield better results.

Getting Started

First, take a hard look at your background. Isolate what you're really good at. Consider both the industry you work in and your most recent job function. Assess the size of the companies you've worked for most recently. Use these thoughts to help set your focus on the kinds of jobs you should apply for.

The Best Resume Ideas

Resume Sometimes it's really hard to come up with good resume ideas. Most of us don't where to begin.

Here are put together a point by point roadmap to help get you thinking in the right direction. Your resume is a good opportunity to showcase what you've done. Don't be shy! Let's get started.

Resume Ideas

  1. Make a chronological list of every company you've worked for, including your dates of employment. Note where they're located.
  2. Make a list of every school you've attended (post high school) and degree conferred. Add to this list any professional training you've received (e.g. sales training courses).
  3. Write a brief description for each of your employers. For example:
  4. A $500 million manufacturer of computer peripherals, with operations in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

The Great Pantsuit vs. Skirtsuit Debate: What Should Women Wear to a Job Interview?

WomanWhenever I want to watch my students' jaws drop down to their desks, all I have to do is tell them that the "safest" attire for women to wear on a job interview is a skirted suit and that pantsuits -- while almost universally acceptable in the workplace -- are still somewhat risky attire for interviewing.

My students can't believe it. They are stunned that such a sexist double-standard could still exist in the business world. They are incredulous that they should be expected to wear attire that is so clearly gender-specific.

I can't blame them. I can't disagree with any of their protests. All I can do is prepare them for reality: That they might be perceived as less than professional and even lose a job offer if they wear a pantsuit to an interview instead of a skirtsuit. And that they can rarely go wrong by reaching for the highest standard of traditional dress -- especially in such conservative fields as banking, investments, and law.

Some of my female students adopt the position that they wouldn't want to work for an employer who would fail to hire them just for wearing a pantsuit. And that's a perfectly valid stance. If you’re trying to find an employer that’s a good fit with your style, the acceptability of pantsuits can be a good litmus test. If your goal is to get a job offer, however, you may want to take the more cautious skirtsuit route.

The Top 5 Jobs in 2009

JobsIn 2009, the job market will be full of contrasts: some industries will be eviscerated while others face shortages of workers. The good news is that despite the recession, there are still real jobs to be had. The bad news is that you may have to change fields to find one.

The trick to job hunting in 2009 will be to figure out how your skill-set can translate across industries, says Elaine Varelas, a managing partner at Boston-based outplacement firm Keystone Partners, so that you're not confined to searching one sector of the economy. "People are frustrated because it's taking them a while to assess the job market," she says. "They'll have to figure out other things they can Ð and want Ð to do." Successful job-seekers will be the ones who can figure out how to take skills learned in one kind of job and translate them into assets in others.

Here are the top five areas where work can be found in 2009:

1) Nursing & Medical Services

Perhaps the best bet in 2009: Becoming a registered nurse or medical technician. With over 50,000 new nursing jobs to be created this year alone, med techs and nurses will have their pick of jobs and salaries, the latter averaging about $57,000 per year.

Social services jobs will see a boom too, as a swelling number of retirees check-in for medical care, says the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report. But not all health care jobs will see equal growth. "The growth here will be more about the services and delivery people--nurses and technicians--than administrators," Varelas explains. "Hourly workers interested in changing roles should get into any role that services the elderly," she suggests.

Job Search: References

Job References The three whales, supporting your job search process, should be: your resume (curriculum vitae), cover letter, and references from your previous employers. The big mistake of many is ignoring the last one – it is as important as the other two.

One might say that most employers ask for references only at the point when they make a job offer, so it does not really matter if you have them or not. This is only partially true: normally the reference are required at the final stage of the interview only, however if there are several candidates for the same job position, the preference is most likely to be given to the one who has the most reliable referrers. Ideally, you should have three job references (of course, you can have more than that, but not less) – this is the usual expectations of the most of Human Resources or recruitment agencies representatives.

You can get recommendations from the people you reported to in you past job role. Normally there are two or three of them, so pick those you used to have the best rapport with, and ask them to provide you with job references for the future employment search.

Economic Crisis vs. Job Hunting?

World Crisis It might be a real challenge to find a desired job within normal circumstances, but what if you are looking for a job in the situation of the world economic crisis? Enterprises are getting rid of the old stock, slowing down production rates, trying to lower costs, and consequently, cutting down the workforce. Many companies around the world are reducing their staff. Hiring? Not really.

It might look like a completely hopeless situation – how can anybody get a job, when so many are being fired? But this is not exactly like that. Yes, it is most likely that you are not going to find vacant positions openly advertised on the companies’ web pages or anywhere else. However, Human Resources are looking for people – full of fresh ideas, talented, bold people. People, who will bring positive changes, invent new techniques and rewrite the history of the business development. Who told you, that you cannot be one of those people?

Please, consider the following:

Career transition.

There should be something you have always wanted to do for your living, but never got down to it, because you had another job, because you did not have relevant experience to do this kind of work, because, because… This is the time! Just be bold and go ahead!

Cannot find a Job: Why?

Scared If you start asking yourself this question, this is not a good sign at all – there is something to think about. However, there is no reason for totally freaking out. You are not the only one: thousands of job seekers are getting increasingly frustrated, because they keep searching, but cannot find a job they want. It might be even worse, if you are currently unemployed or looking forward to running away from your present working place that you hate from the deep of your heart.

Let’s see what could be the reasons for your job hunt taking so long:

Variant 1: No Interviews.

If this is the case, you really need to review (and consequently rewrite) your resume and cover letter. Those, basically, are specially designed for getting you invitations for interviews; your resume and cover letter should be selling you to the potential employer, convincing them that they will never find anybody better than you to fill the vacant position. If you are not getting interviews, your curriculum vitae and cover letter are not good enough and need to be redone in a proper way.

You might also want to review your references – are they positive, encouraging the human resources representatives to contact you directly and make an appointment? Or are they cutting off your potential communication with the head hunters?

Another reason why you are not invited for a face to face talk with prospective employers could be that you are applying for wrong positions. Is it that you are trying to get a job position that you have just no chance of getting? Think about that. Be more realistic and do not waste your time.

Job Fair: Useful Tips

Job Fair Visiting a job fair may significantly increase your chances to get a job even faster than you might have thought. You just need to be prepared to “hit” the potential employers. This article will give you some useful tips on how to be a success at a job fair.

Resume.

Review and update it, making sure that the contents reflect the kind of job you are currently looking for. Even if your previous working experience is not too much relevant to it, adjust your resume to your needs – stress out the points that could give you an advantage in job hunting in the desired field. Make many copies of the resume so that you can take a bunch of them to the job fair – you are going to meet quite a lot of prospective employers there.

Introduction.

Think of a brief presentation, that you could use to introduce yourself. It should be like a 40-60 seconds’ commercial, outlining the main points and aimed at making a good impression. A fresh, bright, upbeat presentation will help you grab the recruiter’s attention and get them interested in employing you.

Why do you Want to Change your Job?

Question Mark At all interviews all employers with practically no exceptions do ask about the applicants’ current / previous job and why they do not fancy it any more. Do you have an answer to this question so far? A clear, precise, reasonable and persuasive one.

Reflection on this topic will not only help you to prepare for your job interview, but will also make you understand what kind of position you are looking for. Consider the following points:

1. What is your job?

Just describe it and be as precise as possible: what your daily activities at work are, what you are responsible for, how much time you spend at work, etc. The more details – the better. It is like looking at yourself at work from the distance. It will help you realize:

2. What do you like in your job?

3. And what will you never miss in case you leave the present employer?

Both points are worth reflecting on. And do not say that there is nothing positive you can think of about you current job – there must be if not loads, at least some positive things in it. Think this over and be honest with yourself, objective and specific – it is all for your own good, you do not want to get a new job and keep complaining about the same issues.

Confidential Job Hunting

Confidential The last thing in the world you want to happen is your current boss getting to know that you are searching for a new job. Employers normally do support career development, but only within their own company. Here are some useful tips of how to avoid the awkward situation when you have to explain why you are going for job interviews and, basically, considering a job change.

Never involve company facilities usage into your job search.

This includes phone line, Internet, fax, and computer. Many employers monitor Internet usage and check phone logs. It is also not secure to store your resume and cover letter, job applications, references from former employers and correspondence with potential ones, - somebody can just come across with them accidentally and, believe me, will get very suspicious.

Never use your business email address for this purpose.

You might think that it looks more professional, when the email address on your resume contains the name of your company, but you are not quite right. First, you destroy the idea of confidential job search, letting everybody know who you are. Second, in many companies business email address usage is prohibited for personal purposes, and your employer might be reviewing the external email traffic, and might quite easily discover that you are job hunting. You should rather use a personal email account or set up a free of charge mailbox at gmail.com, for example.

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