Launching Your Job Search – Job Search 101

Welcome to CareerAlley’s Job Search 101 series, specifically focused for those who are launching a job search for the first time (or those that need some great advice). Over the course of this series, we plan to cover the following job search basics to get you started:

  • General Advice
  • Posting Job Search website links (with brief reviews)
  • Posting headhunter / Executive Search website links
  • Tools and Templates

There are five basic types of “job searchers” that can leverage this blog:

  1. “Not Happy”People who are not happy with their compensation, don’t like what they are doing, don’t like their manager, are past due on a promotion, or just don’t like their company.
  2. “Worried” – People who are worried about their company (may not survive, may be taken over, etc.), worried about their job (potential job cuts), worried about their industry, etc.
  3. “Career Change” – People who have just finished a degree (while working), people who want to make a career change or all of the above.
  4. “Not Currently Looking” – People who are not actually looking to make a change, but get offered a new opportunity (through a headhunter or a friend)
  5. “Job Loss” – People lose their jobs all the time for various reasons: Company downsizing, job elimination, takeovers/mergers, Company bankruptcy or poor performance.
Job Search Websites: Not all job search websites are created equal. Some allow resume posting, job search tools and general advise while others offer fee based services and “appear” to be job search sites. My general view is that you can get everything you need for your job search without paying a fee, but this is a personal choice and may be driven by the need for specialized help. However, if you are creative and diligent you can find everything you need by leveraging the web, family and friends (and of course, CareerAlley).
Sometimes it feels like there is an endless number of job search websites (many of which are a waste of time). I’ve listed below a very brief overview of two popular job search sites with very different styles to get you started. There will be a more focused job search site article in a future posts.
Every site is different, although most of them have the basics (which I’ve listed below, so you may want to refer back to this in later posts). There are too many options to list them all.
What to look for on a Job Search Site:
  • Resume Posting: Many sites allow 1 or more resumes to be posted. Sometimes there are options to build your resume online, upload a Word doc or cut and paste your resume into their form (depending on the site).
  • Privacy: A Privacy option (which allows you to block companies) can be very useful. Blocked companies either be companies that you don’t want to work for or your current employer (the last thing you want is for your name to come up in a search by your current employer!).
  • Job Search: The job search function allows you to narrow your job search to certain criteria (varies from site to site). Some also allow you to save 1 or more searches (with a number of options). This allows you to quickly run searches for specifics (as decided by you).
  • Job Match Notification: Most sites will send an email to you with the results of your searches (but don’t flood your email with so many that you are overwhelmed).
  • Linked Application: This is the ability to apply directly for the job opportunity. This is typically a link to the company’s career site and will save you time.
  • Other Stuff: Some sites offer career advise, resume building techniques, samples of resumes, samples of cover letters, etc. Some free, some not.
Monster.com -The grandfather (sorry Monster) of all job search websites. One of the first useful job search sites, Monster has spent a lot of time and effort to evolve with the fast changing job search resource landscape (including buying up their main competitor at the time – Hotjobs). Monster is one of the more popular job search sites and their homepage looks more like a job advice site than a dedicated job search site. A brief overview:
  • Resume Posting: The free service allows up to 5 resumes to be posted. You can build your resume online, upload a Word doc or cut and paste your resume into their form.
  • Privacy: There is a Privacy option which allows you to block companies.
  • Job Search: The job search function in Monster is very good. You can save up to 5 searches. Email notification is available.
  • Job Search Advice: Lots of stuff to help you in your search.
Indeed.comOne of the “new age” job search sites, Indeed has what I call a minimalist homepage which allows you to focus on the task at hand (job search!). A brief overview:
  • Job Search: The job search Indeed is very good. You can save searches and create “job alerts” which will send an email based on your criteria. Lots of choices on narrowing your search.
  • Resume Posting: This site also allows up resumes to be posted. You can build your resume online, upload a Word doc or cut and paste your resume into their form.
  • Privacy: There is a Privacy option which allows you to block companies.

Don’t forget to take a look at CareerAlley’s dedicated Job Search Site ==>> CareerAlley Job Search

Anther great CareerAlley resource to check out: CareerAlley’s Job Search Site List

We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.

Good luck in your search,
Joey

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Pounding the Pavement (Keyboard) for Jobs

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I remember looking for my first “real” job (as opposed to those that I held during college).  First of all, there were no personal computers, there were typewriters (it really was a long time ago). This meant I was typing my resume and each cover letter (and if I made a mistake, I started over). Furthermore, there were few copy machines. I brought my resume to a printer and had them “offset printed” or to the library to use their pay-per-copy machine. Research resources were generally the “want ads” in the local paper (you probably don’t remember the commercial tag line “I found my job through the NY Times”?). I would spend Sunday, cutting out job ads from the paper and then faxing my resume and cover letter to potential employers. Sometimes there were no fax numbers, but a P.O. box number to “snail mail” your resume (imagine how long that took).

Looking for a job meant that you were going (as in taking the subway or walking) from company to company, filling out job applications and attaching your resumes. You were probably going to a number of recruiting firm offices (also as a walk-in). As you might imagine, this was very time consuming and, since you were on your feet most of the day going from one place to the next, the term “pounding the pavement” was generally associated with looking for a job. For many of you, I’m sure this sounds a lot like camping in the wilderness with no running water or electricity. Today’s job search includes very little “pounding the pavement” but quite a bit of “pounding the keyboard”. In fact, with the popular use of telephone interviews these days, there is almost no reason to leave your house when job hunting except for the onsite interviews.

So, what is your “pounding the keyboard” strategy? The first thing you need is a job search plan.

Make Your Research List – This is the list of companies, friends and recruiting agencies that will form a part of your daily plan.

  • Vault.com Company Research –  Vault.com offers company and employer research on their site.  You can search by name, industry, state, country, number of employees, rankings, etc. (or any combination). There is basic information on each company on their list as well as the company’s website (which will have additional information). There is company search on the right hand side of the page and tons of information. While you are there, take a look at the other job related information.
  • Wetfeet.com – This site is about much more than just company research (more on that later). But, it is a great place to start your research. Click the link at the top of the page for Employers and type in the name of the company on the right hand side of the page. Once you’ve done this, you will get lots of good information on your research companies. Now, back to the other stuff on this site. You can also get great advice on Job Interviews, Resume tips, Job Search and more.
  • Business & Employer Research – This link is to Riley Guide’s employer (or company) research site. They have an amazing amount of information and links on this page. Choose between free and paid sites. Check out the link at the bottom of the page for researching companies.

Find a Job

  • Job Hunt Websites – This list of websites is provided by the University of Pennsylvania and it offers a wide range of websites to start your hunt. These range from your typical job search boards to the less typical sites like non-profit and government opportunities. Pick the ones that best meet your criteria and make your daily plan (see below).
  • Jobs Resources in the U.S. by State – Job-Hunt.org provides this list by state. Click on your state and you will link to a list of various resources for your state. The New York link, as an example, has resource links, search support and networking links Job Sites and a list of local government jobs. But if that’s not enough to keep you busy, there are links to additional resources on the left hand side of the page.

Make Your Daily Plan: You’ve got to have a game plan otherwise you will not be focused in your hunt. You do not want to spend too much time in any one area.

  • Keep a list to keep track of which sites you’ve visited. Include your username and password for each site. You think you will remember them but you won’t. Also include the last date you visited. Include a column for notes (who you spoke to when and any follow-ups);
  • Create Job Search Agents on your top 5 job search sites. This will minimize the time you spend reviewing potential matches;
  • Pick several tasks you will do each day:
    • Review your top 5 job search sites every morning;
    • Register on 3-5 company websites;
    • Register on 3-5 job search sites;
    • Send your resume to 3-5 recruiters/headhunters;
  • Return calls as soon as possible, start off your day doing this if there are any left over from the prior day;
  • Respond to emails as appropriate (and related);
  • Research, research, research – making a list of companies you would like to work for, but don’t reinvent the wheel – leverage all of the lists included in this website and others;
  • Register where you can and make sure you upload your resume;
  • Every week, refresh your resume on your top 5 job search sites so that they look like they are new/current;
  • All done with every list known to man (not likely)? Recycle the list, revisit the job search boards and try new searches.

We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.

Good luck in your search,
Joey

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How to Leverage YouTube for Job Search

television-32080_1280YouTube is gaining popularity as an alternative to other job search tools. Not only can you view lots of “how to” videos on job search (see some of the topics below), you can use YouTube to promote yourself in a few ways. YouTube is a great tool for building a personal brand as well as creating your video resume (see 5 Resources for Visual Resumes). Personal branding is key to developing your career and video resumes have become more popular over the last few years.

Personal Branding – Depending on your profession, personal branding can be very important in your success factor. Some great examples are authors, Real Estate Brokers, Personal Trainers, Certified Financial Planners and the list goes on. YouTube is the perfect tool to help you build your brand. So just how do you do this?

  • Who Are You? – Before you get started, you need to define who you are (or want to be) in your career. Are you a Finance Expert or a Social Media expert?  Whatever you are (or want to be), you need to define you.
  • Define Your Audience – Is your personal brand for recruiters or to let professionals in your field of work know who you are and what you do (or both)?

 

Tips and Resources: There are YouTube videos for just about everything, and job search is no exception.  Following are some YouTube channels to help you with your job search:

  • CAREEREALISM TV has a bunch of YouTube videos through their “Careers on Tap” series and their “How to Tuesdays”. There are episodes on how to change industries, interviews, how to overcome career fear and a bunch more. Certainly worth a look and listen.
  • Career HMO – Some interesting videos on job search (also related to Careerealism). Videos on networking, LinkedIn, Recruiters, Interviewing, Branding and more.  Worth taking a look.
  • The Interview Guys – One of the more popular job search channels on YouTube.  The videos are generally several minutes long, and cover topics focused on interviews and resumes. They’ve taken the time to categorize their videos into playlists, so you can focus on a topic.
  • Snagajob Videos – Snagajob, which also has a job search site, has a YouTube channel.  The site has a wide variety of videos on interviews, how to find a job, etc. They also have topic specific videos such as “What is it like to be a pizza delivery driver” and the “Hourly America” series.
  • Job-Applications – This YouTube channel focuses on interviewing of former employees, what they role entailed as well as some information on what it was like to work at the company.  This is a great place to conduct your research on companies before adding them to your list of places you would like to work.   Many well known companies are featured (such as Walmart, Starbucks, Macy’s, etc.).
  • Don Georgevich – Don’s YouTube channel focuses on job interviews. The interview series is broken up into modules. There are a bunch of videos on giving positive reviews on how Don’s interview method worked for them.

So is it worth your time watching YouTube videos on job search? Like everything else on the Internet, there’s some really good stuff and some not so good stuff.  Sorting out the good from the bad can be time consuming, so going with recommendations will probably save you from wasting time.  Listening and watching a video on advice can be a welcome break from reading lots of books and articles.  The real key is to gather the information you need and then get back to proactive job search. Refer back to those topics where you feel you need some help or additional information.

We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.

Good luck in your search,
Joey

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12 Job Search Tips & Tricks

6 mistakes 2The job market has improved lots since 2008, but it is still difficult to find a job. Plenty of supply (as in candidates), just not enough demand (as in jobs). If you have been looking for a job for more than three months, then tips and tricks listed below could certainly help you find that job. There are some basic tricks like, updating your profile on LinkedIn or any of the job search engines. This immediately puts you at the top of the list for recruiters (both from companies or from agencies. Another trick is leveraging snail mail (no, I am not insane). But more on this later. First comes the pre-reading and then some tips and tricks (and maybe some treats).

Homework: If you haven’t already read the articles listed below, now is the time to do so. This will give you some background information:

Tips, Tricks and Treats:

  • Hiring Tricks That Job Seekers Must Know – In addition to the tricks that you must know, you need to know the tricks that might be “played” on you. This article, from Hotjobs, lists a few tricks that you should know about. Now I won’t give away all of the tricks, but they are very interesting and it is worth a read.
  • 10 Great Interview Tips for 2015 - This is a great article yours truly. Some great tips to help you with your interviews. Tips such as doing your homework, body language and your handshake. Take a look to see the other tips.
  • Job Search Tips – This article is all about getting your job search on track and focused. About.com’s Alison Doyle is the author of this article and it is definitely worth a read. There are ten tips here to help you speed up your job search. Don’t forget to look at the related links at the bottom of the page and the tabs at the top of the page.

Job Search Engines: What about all of those job search engines, how do you leverage them without spending all of your time looking at useless leads:

  • 4 Tricks To Get Better Results From Job Search Engines – This article is posted on makeuseof.com and provides some tricks on how best to use job search engines. The article shows how to use some of the basic filtering techniques as well as some advance features (such as using multiple keywords or even excluding certain words).
  • Jobs Search Engine Tips to Find A Job Quickly – Quick is good, and any tip that can help you with job search engines is worth a look. This article provides a few pointers which may help (such as focusing on one site until you’ve exhausted the jobs). Take a look.

10 More Interview Resources: Take a look at these additional CareerAlley resources to help with your interviews.

  1. 10 Telephone Interview Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make
  2. I Have a Job Interview, Now What?
  3. 9 Interview Traps to Avoid
  4. How to Answer the Most Terrifying Job Interview Questions

We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.

Good luck in your search,
Joey

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Joey@careeralley.com
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7 Steps to Achieving Your Career Goals

Businesswoman Crossing the Finish Line Ahead of BusinessmenRemember when you were a kid playing games with your friends and something unexpected would go wrong and you would ask for a “do-over”? Most of us start our career with a goal in mind.  Whether it is CEO, Head of IT or Retail Sales Manager, we think we know what we want.  Sometimes it does not work out as planned. Stuff happens along the way and we lose focus, get stuck in a dead-end job or can’t seem to find the right opportunities.  But no matter what your dreams are, it’s never too late to make changes to your approach to your career and get a fresh start on your goals.

People restart or refocus their careers all of the time. Some are successful, but most are not.  Some of the key factors that determine success are a solid plan and commitment to get it done. Your goals do need to be reasonable and achievable. Once you make the decision to “reboot” your career and start the process, you will start to see the impact.

  1. Self Assessment: Before you can begin to plan and and achieve your career goals, you need to take a self-assessment.  This only works if you are honest with yourself. Following are a few examples of what you should consider when starting your self assessment:
    • Where are you on your career path? Just started, 5 years in, etc.
    • What have you accomplished in your career and your job(s)?
    • How do you perceive yourself?
    • How confident are you in your abilities and skills?
    • If you could start over and do something different in your career, what would that be?
    • If you could acquire/learn new skills, what would they be?
    • How do you feel about your career? Did you make the right career choice?
    • Where are you most comfortable working?  In teams?  Working on your own?
    • What motivates you?
    • Have you taken the Myers-Briggs personality test (take a look at The Myers and Briggs Personality Test)
  1. Time Management: A key component of managing your career is managing your time.  Work/Life balance (focused, committed time on your career as well as your personal life and family) is key to success for your career and your personal life. Planning helps, and this includes periodic “tasks” such as educational development (reading up on key aspects  in your career) and “family night” (setting dates to do stuff with your significant other, friends and family). Consider the following:
    • Plan some “down time” where you can do anything you want (or nothing).
    • Set aside time to work on your career and your career plan. Regularly scheduled  sessions (alone or with others) work best.
    • Prioritize your work at the start of each day (most important tasks first).  If you are unclear which tasks are more important, ask you manager to help.
    • Start one thing and finish it. Starting multiple tasks will cause you to lose focus and 5 started tasks are not as good as 1 or more completed tasks. This is true for your personal life and your career.
    • Learn to say no to additional work if you feel overwhelmed or if it forces you to give up a personal event. Again, ask your manager to help prioritize any new tasks that will interfere with you completing work already assigned.
  1. Develop Your Networks: Leveraging your networks is another important task when attempting to achieve your career goals. And, whether you think you do or not, everyone has a network.
    • Your personal networks (this is really the people you spend the most time with outside of work.
    • Take the time to make a list of your friends, family current/former coworkers for your network list.
    • Make an effort to meet at least one new person a week. These should be people who have something in common with you in terms of your career or job. This can be at an event that you attend or even a business meeting or a job conference
    • Maintaining your network is also key. As you build your network, you need to work on maintain the contacts you have made. Send an email or call every so often to see how they are doing.
    • Utilize your network in a way that allows people to make recommendations without putting too much pressure on them if they are uncomfortable in doing so. Make sure your LinkedIn account is active and updated. Add your contacts to your Google+ and Facebook accounts.
  1. Have a Vision for Your Career: What do you want to be when you grow up? Knowing the end game, where you want to go, is an important part of achieving your goals. If you know where you want to go, you are well on your way to your goals.
  1. Know What You Need to Change:  If you’ve done the self-assessment from step 1, now it’s time to do a skills assessment. You have your own views as to what you are good at (and you are probably right), but what about the stuff you don’t know about (which can be key in your career goals). Take a look at Aptitude Tests.
  1. Know Your End Game: Know what you need to achieve your career goals.  If it’s one or more promotions, make sure you know the requirements
  1. Practice Makes Perfect: Focus on the skills you would like to improve or learn.
    • Take courses at night school or online
    • Earn an advanced degree
    • Learn more about your industry
    • Attend industry conferences
    • Read industry periodicals
    • Visit your college or university career office (yes, even if you’ve graduated)

One of the biggest career obstacles is understanding and practicing the key success factors that will help you maximize your career goals. Making a difference in your company and industry as well as becoming a motivating force in your workplace will help you bring it to the next level. Managing to enjoy your job and make an impact at the same time requires a drive and commitment that takes intense focus. Examining online profiles of a number of successful executives and trend setters often reveals what it takes to get to the top of the success ladder.

No matter who you are or whom you know, you career will have its ups and downs. Make a plan using the seven steps to achieve your career goals.

We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.

Good luck in your search,
Joey

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