Your Job Search Marketing Toolkit – Your Elevator Speech

ElevatorIf you’ve been job hunting for any length of time, you’ve probably heard of the “Elevator Speech”. It is your short marketing speech (your job search objectives) and can be used in a variety of situations such as cold calls, job fairs, meeting someone at a networking event, yes – even an elevator!

Why You Need an Elevator Speech:

  1. Provides a concise answer to “what do you do” when it really counts.
  2. Provides a potential networking contact with the information they need to determine if they should provide recommendation or job lead.
  3. Explains to a hiring manager why they should hire you.
  4. Defines “your brand” (you as the product).
  5. Helps you summarize many years of experience into a short powerful opening introduction.

The actual length of the speech varies depending on who you speak with and what you read (30 seconds, 90 seconds, 3 minutes). I think the length is less important than the content (although 3 minutes would be a very long elevator ride). Suggestions as to style and content vary as much as the suggestions on length. Regardless of the length and format, it is an essential part of your job search toolkit and many times is the opening line in an interview.

What Your Elevator Speech Should Include:

  1. Define your target “market” (recruiters, hiring managers, people in your network, etc.).
  2. Define the core of your experience (why a hiring manager should consider you for the position).
  3. Include your top 3 accomplishments in your career (include the benefit – cost savings, etc.).
  4. Define the purpose (what are you trying to achieve).
  5. Include a “wow” factor, keep them interested and listening to you.

Above all else, practice makes perfect. Recruit a friend or relative to listen to your speech and have them provide constructive comments.

I’ve listed several resources to help you with this aspect of your networking tools.

  • HOW TO CREATE YOUR MEMORABLE ELEVATOR PITCH [4 SIMPLE STEPS] – This article is from Undercover Recruiter (http://theundercoverrecruiter.com) and provides some basic steps to writing your elevator speech. The article starts a What, Who and How, followed by a four step process and follow-on questions (for you) to determine if it is effective. The most important point is that your speech is generally targeted, so you will need to tailor it depending on the situation.
  • Preparing Your Elevator Speech – This brief article, posted on the Pepperdine Business School’s site, provide some of the basic components of a job search elevator speech.

Book Corner:

Take a look at the first three lessons in this series:

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Joey

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Hot Careers in Transportation

Trucking1Careers in the transportation industry can be as exciting or diverse as those in the other industries. From commercial driving for trucks that carry automobiles to working as an expedited freight transporter, job prospects are often plentiful and varied. Depending on what your level of skill might be, there numerous opportunities to start on this career path.

Working as an Expedited Freight Transporter: The life of an expedited freight transporter can be hectic at times. Loads have specific deadlines and must always be on time. Companies order expedited freight because they need the loads faster than tractor/trailer transport services can haul them. Most expedited freight runs are short, with some lasting a few days. It is important to take the time to learn how being an expedited freight transporter can be rewarding and financially lucrative.

Pick your own Loads:

  • One of the benefits of working for yourself through a major company is that you can pick your own loads. This is beneficial when it is close to your downtime period as you can pick a shorter run to still be home with your family on time.
  • The available runs are posted on an online board. Some ask for bids and others are already quoted by the home company and are up for grabs. It is ideal to take the loads that you are most comfortable with.
  • Picking the freight that you are most comfortable with is ideal because it ensures that the products will arrive in perfect condition as you are aware of how to secure the load in place correctly.

 

Selecting the Right Company to Work with:

  • As an expedited freight hauler, it is vital that you select the right home company to work with. A company that offers incentives, discounts on maintenance and appreciation rewards is one with other transporters that care about their job and enjoy it.
  • Another factor is the support available to help you run your own business. Support is important for helping transporters keep their financial records straight.
    Work with a company that values family time and puts its contractors first. You also want to select a home company, such as Landstar as an example that has ample runs available and provides the opportunity for independence.
  • Some companies have forced dispatch based upon your location. This is not ideal for all transporters as it can keep them out on the road longer than they desire to be at one time.

The life of an expedited freight transporter can be quite rewarding. Essentially, you set an income goal with a “go home” time frame goal. By carefully picking your runs, you can make a great income and be home when you need and want to be. Transporters should possess a willingness to work hard and meet every deadline set to have the most lucrative career possible.

Additional Resources:

  • Jobsinlogistics.com – This is a job search site and, according to their tag line “Find careers in Logistics, Supply Chain, Transportation, Freight Forwarding, 3PL, Distribution, Purchasing & Manufacturing“, covers the full range of transportation related jobs. The site has a box at top center for Job Seekers which allows search by category or city. You can also register on the site. Below this is the Job Search button which lists a number of job categories (or search all jobs). The center of the page has a very long list of companies (no links), which you can use a resource for looking directly at company career sites.
  • Kimmel & Associates – This firm is a recruiter and specializes in Supply Chain, Freight Forwarding and Logistics (among other fields). Their main page has tabs at the top and clicking Other Industries leads to their page with links to logistics and freight forwarding. Click on this for a full page on the topic which provides an overview as well as a list of the types of positions they’ve filled. The left hand side of the page has links for job seekers (including creating an account, search jobs and career resources). Either create an account or click on Contact Us from the links at top for their address, email address and phone number.
  • Logistics Publications List – This site provides a long list of trade publications associated with this industry. There are several benefits to reviewing trade publications:
    • They keep you up to date on what is happening in the industry
    • They provide resources (names of companies, individuals, etc.) which you can leverage for your search
    • Many have career / job opportunity sections which can provide direct links to jobs
  • LogJobs.com – Another Job Search Board, this one focusing on the logistics industry. The site has several links at the top, including Post Resume, Jobs, View Contract Jobs and View Featured Jobs. Below this you can click on Find Jobs Now or Post Resume followed by a list of links to jobs by category. There is also a list of featured companies further down on the page.
  • Supply Chain Comment: Tips for Finding a Job if the Layoff Wave Hits You – A very good article posted on Supply Chain Digest (another good industry source) provides some good advice for finding a job. While some of the tips will be standard across fields, this article provides some additional insight into this industry. Certainly worth a read if you’ve just gotten started on your search.

 

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.

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Joey

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Change Your Career – Change Your Life

If you’ve been working for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve had the thought “How did I wind up in this job?”. Not all of us wind up where we had planned at the beginning of our careers. And, if you are reading this article, then you are probably contemplating your next move or hoping to land a job if you are out of work. It is never too late to re-think your career, but if you are going to take the plunge and completely change what you are doing, you really need to be prepared. There are degrees of commitment to changing careers. Maybe you don’t want to switch from being a concert promoter to a Monk, but even if you just want to change slightly you should do your homework. Today’s post focuses on finding the best jobs.

  • 10 Steps to a Successful Career Change – The first thing you will want to do if you are making a career change is to make a plan. This article, from About.com, provides (you guessed it) 10 steps that you should consider before you make that change. From “Evaluate your current job satisfaction” to “Consider alternative roles”, the article provides some basic tips on where to start and what to consider. There are related articles on career change at the bottom of the page that are also worth a read.
  • High Paying Careers – Now I don’t want to say that you are just in it for the money, but we all have to eat and why not eat well? While money shouldn’t drive your choice of career, it is certainly a consideration for most of us. This article, from money-zine.com, provides a whole bunch of lists with the career choice and average salary. The article shows a few lists like the “top 10″ and “Highest Paying Jobs in IT”. What about your current job?

Additional ResourcesSalary Negotiation – Do You Know How Much You’re Worth?

  • The Ten Worst Jobs in America – Your quest for a new career is not complete if you don’t take a look at the worst jobs as well. Now everything is relative (as Paul Simon would say “One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor”), so while you may have a different view, you should still take a look at this list (and apologies if your job is on the list). CNBC.com provides this list, which is a series of pictures with brief descriptions of what make these the worst jobs.
  • The Ten Best Jobs in America 2010 – I’m sure you knew where this was headed and I couldn’t simply list the worst without listing the best as well. As luck would have it, CNBC.com also has a list of the best jobs (in the same format as the worst jobs). An interesting list, as as you would expect, Health Care and Accountants appear on the list. Now one that really surprised me was Historian. In addition to brief overviews, the article also provides the median salary.
  • 10 Tips to Fast Track Your Career – Can’t end the post without the “fast track” part. This list is provided by Careerrocketeer.com and provides some advise on how you can move to the top of the heap by following some time tested advise. From “build and manage your network lovingly” to “Create a powerful brand online”, this article is worth a read. While you are there, don’t forget to view some of the other career related aspects of the site. Featured article links are on the right hand side of the page and related articles are at the bottom of the page. Also take a look at the Rocket List, which provides links to related sites.

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.

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Joey

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Ace Your Next Job Interview

Businessman Midair in a Business MeetingWhen it comes to feeling nervous during a one-on-one conversation, interviewing for a new job ranks up there with going out on a first date. Part of the reason you might feel nervous during job interviews is the fact that you generally don’t know what to expect during the interviews. Learn how to identify interview traps and you can make the job interviews more relaxing and economically rewarding.

  • You’ve probably heard it said several times already. Maybe your parents or grandparents told you that the way you dress can cause people to perceive you in certain ways, right or wrong. It’s no different when you go on a job interview. As a tip, dress in business attire (e.g. clean suit). However, some employers may permit you to dress more casually. What you don’t want to do is to dress provocatively or too casually. If you’re ever uncertain about what to wear to a job interview, ask the recruiter who scheduled your interview whether you should dress in business attire or business casual.
  • This goes without saying. Arrive to the job interview 15 minutes early. You never know; you might need the extra time to find a parking spot.
  • Greet the interviewer with an authentic smile and a confident handshake. Look the person who is interviewing you in the eye when you meet her, but avoid staring.
  • As tempting as it might be to ask about a company’s time off and benefits policies (e.g. sick days, vacation days, retirement plans), avoid doing so. Keep in mind that your earliest questions may be perceived as topics you’re most concerned about when considering the job. That said, if the interviewer communicates the company’s time off policies with you, feel free to ask one to two questions about the policies that the interviewer has already discussed.
  • Should a job interviewer point out types of work experience you might be lacking for a particular job, share community projects, college laboratory assignments, internships, etc. you worked on that allowed you to gain this experience.
  • Interviewers should steer clear of questions that cause you to have to reveal your age, ethnicity, marital status, etc. But interviewers don’t always do this. That said, if a job interviewer ask you about your retirement plans (a question that might be used to find out your age) let the interviewer know how much you are looking forward to working, including how much you enjoy completing projects aligned with the job you’re interviewing for.
  • Piggybacking on the previous tip, if a job interview asks you about your plans to expand or grow your family (a question that might be used to find out whether or not you’re going to be taking maternity leave soon), again let the interviewer know how much you are looking forward to working the job. For example, you might respond, “I’ve loved working in this field for years. When I was in college, I was usually stayed at lab until they turned the lights off. Fulfilling the requirements of your job is more than work to me; it’s what I’m passionate about. Someday down the road I might expand my family but even then, my lifelong passion will still be [whatever your career passions are].”
  • Remember to ask the interviewer two to three questions about the company (e.g. company culture, recent major business projects that were reported on in the news). Let the interviewer know that you studied the company and thoughtfully chose it as a future employer.
  • Should an interviewer ask you what you’re expected pay is, ask the interviewer how much the job generally pays someone with your experience. Avoid pricing yourself out of an interview.
  • If you’re conducting a telephone interview (they’re more common today than you might think), conduct the interview in a quiet place at your home. Alert your family to the fact that you’re doing a job interview so you won’t get interrupted. Wear business casual attire and speak clearly, as if you are connecting with the interviewer in person. This can help your professionalism to come across in your voice.
  • Before the end of the day, send the interviewer a brief “thank you” note. Include your name and contact information (e.g. telephone number, email address) at the bottom of the “thank you” note.

If you’re serious about landing your dream job, a job that pays well and a job that you’re passionate about, you need to ace employer interviews. One way you can do this is to consider the aforementioned job interview traps to identify and avoid. Furthermore, and to help yourself stand out from the crowd, remember to send the interviewer a “thank you” note after you return home from the job interview.

Post by Rhonda Campbell, an East Coast journalist and the owner of Off The Shelf radio and content writer for College.com.

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Joey

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Your Job Search Marketing Toolkit – Resume Building

Looking for Employment 6 Effective Ways to Pump up your ResumeThe most important job search document is, of course, your resume. Having the best resume possible will be the key determining factor as to whether or not you will get an interview.  Whether you are brushing up an old resume or starting from a blank piece of paper, you need to spend the time to get it right. There are tools that can help you quickly build the framework for what will become a great resume, but your personal time and effort is what will set your resume apart from the everyone else.

Your resume is a living document that will change as your job search progresses. And while you want to get some version done as quickly as possible in order to get into the market, you should balance quality with speed. If you are new to resume writing (or just need some help), you should use a checklist process (what to include). Once you have what you think is a good working copy, compare it to other resumes and ask some of your friends and relatives to give an honest critique (painful but helpful). And, as if all that work writing one resume isn’t enough, many people have multiple resumes each geared to specific jobs.

This post is an overview of CareerAlley’s extensive “5 Steps to a Great Resume”.  For each step listed below, there is an amazing detailed lesson with lots of additional resources as well as the link to that lesson.

Step 1 – Gathering Your Information – As with all successful endeavors, thoughtful planning will make for a great resume. Take the time to collect all of the content for your resume before you start writing. This includes:

  • A Summary of Your Skills and Objective
  • Education
  • Work History
  • Achievements
  • Extracurricular Activities and Hobbies

==> Take a look at 5 Steps to a Great Resume – Gathering Your Information for additional information and resources.

 

Step 2 – Formats – Don’t worry about structure yet, we will get to that later. Lots of stuff to think about, so let’s get to what you will need.

  • Sections:
    • Contact Information
    • Your Headline
    • Objective
    • Skills
    • Work History / Experience
    • Education
  • Content Formats – The most popular formats are: Chronological, Functional, Hybrid, and a Targeted Resume.
  • Font & Type
  • Spacing & Margins
  • Visual Resumes versus Print Resumes

==> Take a look at 5 Steps to a Great Resume – Formats for additional information and resources.

 

Step 3 – Organization – Putting the pieces of your resume together.

  • Select Your Format – Now you need to pick a content format as your main format (we will cover multiple resume versions later in the article).
  • Order Your Sections – Here we combine the resume information you collected in step 1 (Gathering Your Information) with the Sections bullet from step 2. Pick a format that fit your needs
  • Your Headline – Your headline goes next, what do you do?
  • Objective -Your career goal and what you want out of a job– this is optional
  • Skills – What are you good at and why should someone hire you? You should list the skills that will help market your strengths.
  • Work History / Experience – The next part is easy, list your experience in reverse chronological order.
  • Put it Together – Put all of your sections together and you are set to go.

==> Take a look at 5 Steps to a Great Resume – Organization for additional information and resources.

 

Step 4 – Content – If you’ve followed the first 3 steps above, this step is where it all comes together. In today’s digital world of job search, content (the right content) is what will get your resume noticed and convince hiring managers to interview you. The right combination of keywords, skills (that are in demand) and experience (that demonstrates that you can do the job) properly written and placed will make for a killer resume. Easy to say, hard to do.

  • Keywords – Do you really need keywords? Absolutely. Keywords help demonstrate your level of experience and accomplishments.
  • Relevant Skills – You won’t get an interview if you don’t have relevant skills, even if you have relevant experience. You need to include your skills on your resume.
  • Relevant Experience – Your job experience demonstrates that you have worked in roles that are similar to the positions where you are submitting your resume. Ensure you include specific experience.
  • No Experience – Maybe you’ve just graduated from school or are changing industries. This is, of course, more difficult and the focus should be on entry-level jobs. Your resume will focus more on your college experience as well as your internship experience.

==> Take a look at 5 Steps to a Great Resume – Content for additional information and resources.

 

Step 5 – Versions -There are many reasons why you may need multiple resume versions. Balance how many resumes you need with where you will get the most value.

  • Why have multiple resumes – The most common reasons to have multiple resumes are:
    • Multiple Industries
    • New Industry
    • Different Roles
    • Career Change
  • Version Types –  There are several types of versions you can have, depending on your needs and the purpose:
    • What You Do
    • Where You Work

==> Take a look at 5 Steps to a Great Resume – Versions for additional information and resources.

 

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.

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Joey

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