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6 Tips For Finding a New Job During the Holidays

Being without a job as the holidays approach can be stressful. The desire to give your loved ones a special holiday season can be difficult when you don’t have any money come in. It is easy to get disheartened, discouraged and depressed. However, as the holidays draw near, there is good reason for hope. Many companies actually do hire people in the midst of the holiday bustle.

Instead of getting down, you can use the holidays as an opportunity to find a new job. Contrary to popular believe, the holiday rush is an ideal time to find a new job. Lots of companies are already looking ahead to the new year. In an effort to start the year off strong, many will hire people in December so they are already established for the new year. Some job seekers will stop looking as the holidays approach so there will be less competition. You can definitely use this to your advantage.

With that in mind, here are six tips to help you land a job this holiday season:

1.Network – The holidays are an ideal time to network. This year instead of dreading bumping into old friends and acquaintances, you’ll be able to use the awkward moment to network and reconnect. You’ll also be able to reach out to connections online through social networking websites. Making connections during the holidays is easy because reconnecting with people is all part of the tradition. Don’t worry, it will come naturally and people will be more open than usual due to the holiday spirit and cheer.

2.Volunteer – Volunteering with nonprofits during the holidays is a great way to foster new relationships. You never know what connections you’ll make. Who knows, you may meet someone who will be the connection you need to get your dream job. Plus, you’ll feel good that you’re helping others in need. You’ll instantly boost your self esteem and gain confidence in yourself – both qualities you’ll need at your next interview. 

3.Greeting Cards – Send out cards to the places where you’ve interviewed. A friendly holiday greeting will keep you fresh on the minds of hiring managers and also let them know you’re still interested. A small gift (i.e. a box of chocolates) with a note asking if they are hiring is also a nice way to approach companies. Most people will not do these things so you will stand out from the crowd.

4.Give Thanks – Thank people who have helped you look for a job. Sending out a thank you in the way of a holiday card is a nice way to thank those people who’ve helped you along the way. Friends, industry contacts and job recruiters will appreciate the gesture and it will also keep on their mind when a job comes along you might be interested in.

5.Be Social – Attending holiday parties might be the last thing you want to do when you’re jobless. However, holiday mixers can be a great place to mingle with industry contacts. Make it your goal to meet everyone in the room. You never know who may be at these social events and the one person you miss could be integral to your future employment.

6.Host Parties – Hosting a party or two is a nice way to spread the holiday cheer and network with people at the same time. Plus, when you’re with friends, you’ll have a safe environment to hone your job seeker’s pitch. It never hurts to have a party when you’re feeling a bit down on your luck. An added bonus could be a new job. You never know who might have a job lead for you.

4 Job Skills For 2013

There are a number of essential job skills that you can bring to a job in just about any potential field of employment. No matter the type of job that you have there are some indispensable skills which employers value above all else. By working on these essential skills as well as listing these skills on resumes and applications you can work to become a better employee or a much more desirable employee for a potential employer. These are the skills that new employers are looking for in 2013:

1. Improvements in productivity: if you can show a significant improvement in your productivity over the course of a year or even provide an example in a job interview of a way that you worked to increase your productivity in a past position, this shows that you have initiative and are always willing to improve your process. Productivity is what saves companies money and something like a 20% improvement in employee performance is bound to get noticed. Doing little things to chip in and help out with productivity is what gets you promoted fast and also makes you look like an extremely desirable employee for future employers.

2. How flexible you are: the nature of work has changed significantly over the past few years and as a result employees need to be much more adaptable and flexible than ever before. Because many companies expect employees to answer e-mails even in their off time, having the flexibility to come in and work extra hours as well as make yourself available in your off-hours is extremely important. Many companies will throw employees into projects which are outside of their comfort zone to see how they adapt. Having a well-rounded skill set that makes you flexible in a lot of situations is an extremely good quality to have from the perspective of a new employer. Make sure to state as many skills as you can for prospective employer as you never know when these might come in handy in a real world job situation with relation to your flexibility.

3. Communication skills: these have always been a staple of a good employee. Make sure that any of the information that you submit over the course of an application reads well and effectively communicates what you are trying to present to a potential employer. With good communication skills you will be able to keep everyone in your workplace in the loop and be able to express any needs that you may have from the company effectively. Communication skills are paramount when it comes to interviews and when it comes to the daily working day.

4. Creating a good image: in many cases, when you are applying for a new job, if you can create your own personal brand you will be in a much better standing against the competition. With the plain resume or LinkedIn profile you may not stand a fighting chance against someone who is taken the time to craft an image or brand that surrounds them. Branding yourself and creating a professional profile to market to prospective employers is important to having them remember you and getting the ever important callbacks for job opportunities.

Book Review: Drive: The Suprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Most of us wake up every day with a definite plan in mind about what we need to accomplish before we head back to bed at night. For most, that means heading off to a job that we may not necessarily love, but which we need for a variety of different reasons. We basically become driven by a daily routine that is developed in order to achieve our goals. If you asked the average person what it was that made them follow their routine in such a devoted manner, most would point to the quest for money and the pursuit of happiness in general, but is that the real reason so many of us are driven to get out and work every day?

That is the question that Daniel H. Pink tackles in his book, “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.” Mr. Pink takes the results of more than four decades of research into human behavior to argue that perhaps it’s a little too easy to suggest that everyone is simply in it for the money. Before getting to the meat of the book, it’s important to understand that just because Pink has drawn from that research that he has created a hefty tome that will be impossible to wade through. Drive comes in at a trim 250 pages, but at no point does it feel that the author skimped on the information in order to make the book a “light read.”

The basic premise of Drive is that the average human is not as driven by money and the quest for success as many would have you think. Pink believes that, deep down, people are more driven by the need to be in control of your own life, which includes having the freedom to continually learn and create new things that show off what we have to offer. The author feels that the way in which the business world works tend to run counter to those feelings, which is why we may have adopted the race for money as the ultimate driving force.

Pink sets out to show that the business world may actually be coming round to the other way of thinking. In the book, he cites Google as an example of one company that encourages its people to be creative, even if that means them doing something other than what they were specifically hired to do. The results seem to speak for themselves, with the people at those types of companies generally happier than most and feeling as though they have a purpose in life.

Drive doesn’t just take the time to explain where our true motivation may lie, but also shows the steps that we can take to get off the money carousel and jump on a ride that will make each of our lives more fulfilling. Taking the time to read Drive might not necessarily change your life forever, but it will certainly make you question what it is that makes you get out of bed every day.

3 Ways to Use Social Media in Your Job Search

Nowadays, technology has advanced up to a point where resumes are no longer given the importance these documents once had in the job seeking business. With the advent of the internet and the near 100% chance of an applicant being on Facebook or other social networking sites, employers now check the qualifications and credentials directly from these sites to get a better idea of what the person is all about and to help them make a decision whether to let them on board.

The average job seeker can use this to his advantage by forming an effective social media strategy. Mentioned below are the few things that you need to take care of.

1. Know your audience. there are different types of audiences on different social networking sites. The people following you on Twitter will generally not be the same people who are your Facebook friends. You should share personal status messages and photos only on Facebook and keep your messages on sites like Twitter and LinkedIn more professional-related. You would never know when an unwanted person takes peek at your profile. For example, if you post pictures of yourself drunk at the party you attended last Saturday night on your LinkedIn profile, it will most probably not be appreciated by your future bosses, but will be celebrated on Facebook by your friends.

2. Research. Make a list of the target companies that you wish to be a part of as an employee. Use social media to research those companies to know more about employee life there to help you make a more informed decisions about the respective companies. Twitter hashtags are a good tool to find jobs. For example if you are interested in arts, you can search for #artjobs. On sites like Technorati and Twellow, you can easily search for certain employees in different companies and get in contact with them. This way, the two of you will have some understanding even before you show up at the company asking for a job. You can also use this strategy to find out about your potential interviewer and research effective ways to break the ice.

3. Know your online profile. Keep in mind that your potential employer will most probably Google your name after looking at your resume before even thinking about calling you up for an interview. You can be a step ahead be Googling yourself and making sure the search results show up exactly what you want them to about you. Visit Klout.com and check your “klout” score to have an idea how much influence you have and how engaged you are across different social media platforms. Another site is wefollow.com. It is basically a directory maintained by Twitter that lists users according to their shared interests and categories. Users have the option to add or remove themselves from certain categories or interests.

Remember that not everyone is fortunate enough to be working a job that they are pleased with and are enjoying. With a smart and effective social media strategy, you might just be able to land the perfect job for yourself.

How to Find a Job in Your Niche

Aspiring to be in a certain career field or job is normal for most people. This is where you feel most comfortable and what fits your desires, so it is only natural to want to have this job. Actually getting there, though, is often a struggle for some people. It is difficult to get the job right as you walk into an office, so it takes work to start work. By investing your time in networking, developing connections, and volunteering for areas that specialize in your dream career field, you can begin building up your resume and reputation. This gives you the boost you need to get your job with quite a bit backing you up from the start.

If you want to be in your specific career field, you need to start opening doors. This means reaching out to people who are already working in this area and developing connections. They can help you learn what it takes to be there, where the best places to go for this job are, and so much more. This also helps you to remain in the know when things are happening so that you can always be prepared, ensuring that you do not run into any serious issues on the job hunt. To meet these people, look into local establishments where you know they will be.

You can also create connections and learn a few things online. Plenty of professionals turn to the online world to connect with others like them so you are bound to find someone. By searching for forums that are set up specifically for these individuals, you can begin to meet others and develop strong connections from across the globe.

While trying to boost up your image, you should also find some experience. One of the better ways to do this is by volunteering for places in that specific field. While these may not be paying jobs, you have to remember the unique experience and knowledge they give you. You can learn what is going on right in front of you, develop connections from within the job, and make a name for yourself. What you are learning and creating will give you the chance to get closer to your dream job.

Once you begin looking for the specific job, try sites and places that specialize in that career field. There are plenty of job websites out there, but many of them have general listings for the entire public. If you want to be in a specific career field, you need to find somewhere that can cater to your specific needs.

Doing these things helps you to stay above when looking for actual jobs. You have people in the field, knowing about what is happening, and actual experience on the job to support you, which make it easier to be noticed and hired. You are bringing things to the table that many others cannot compare to, giving you a head start and some room to be closer to where you really want to be.

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